Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa Says in Communication With Chamisa

Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa Says in Communication With Chamisa

Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa Says in Communication With Chamisa

Protests and subsequent deaths in the capital Harare are the aftermath of vote rigging claims against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), raised by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance, and sentiments by some global observers that the poll was flawed.

Demonstrators took to the streets, angry that the victor of Monday's vote still hadn't been announced and convinced that the vote has been rigged to benefit incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

Mugabe's successor Emmerson Mnangagwa of the ruling ZANU-PF party and Nelson Chamisa of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change were the main contenders in Monday's election.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission on Wednesday said it would likely release results of the presidential election on Thursday (today) but there have since been reports of delays.

If no presidential candidate wins at least 50 percent of the ballots cast in the first round, a run-off vote is scheduled for September 8.

Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba told state broadcaster Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) that the three people killed in the clashes had yet to be identified.

A credible and peaceful vote was meant to end Zimbabwe's worldwide isolation and draw in foreign investment to revive the shattered economy.

Opposition leader Chamisa accused the ZANU-PF of trying to steal the election after official figures gave it a two-thirds majority in parliament.

This is despite the death toll from Wednesday's violence increasing to six partly because the army used excessive force by beating up civilians and firing live ammunition at protesters.

While the electoral commission legally has five days from the end of the election to announce results, Western observer groups urged the release of the presidential results as soon as possible. He says the situation on the ground remains tense and talks about the outcome of the election commission press conference. Elections under Mugabe's 37-year rule were marked by violence against the opposition and alleged fraud.

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Tensions are rising in the former British colony as opposition fears grow that the election count is being rigged.

"I am calling.for an independent inquiry into what occurred in Harare yesterday".

Gunfire was heard downtown throughout the afternoon, including near the ruling party headquarters where protesters had gathered.

The commission, which must announce the presidential results by Saturday, has said the vote was free and fair.

In Harare, the contrast could not be starker with November, when hundreds of thousands filled the streets, hugging soldiers and celebrating their role in ousting 94-year-old Mugabe, the only leader Zimbabwe had known since independence in 1980.

European Union observers have listed several problems with the vote, including media bias, voter intimidation and mistrust in the electoral commission.

Agents for all 23 candidates must verify them first, it said.

The army crackdown has broken the euphoria that followed its removal of Mugabe, and fueled suspicions that the generals who launched the coup remain Zimbabwe's de facto rulers.

Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu accused individuals and parties of inciting violence by declaring themselves winners before the results were announced.

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