Protests Continue in Harare following Zimbabwe’s Elections

Opposition activists and supporters in Zimbabwe have continued their protest against the ongoing delay to announce the final results of elections held two days ago.

Hundreds of opposition protesters took to Harare streets, calling on authorities to release official presidential election results. Police fired water cannon and tear gas at the protesters in an unsuccessful bid to disperse protesters.

The Protesters blocked major roads, burned tyres, and chanted slogans against the ruling ZANU-PF party, which has been in power since independence in the 1980s. In response, soldiers fired live rounds at protesters. Zimbabwean police confirmed that three people have so far died as a result of the protests.

The protests have followed the MDC Alliance presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa’s statement  thanking Zimbabweans for their support in an announcement claiming that his party had won the popular vote.

He said in a tweet sent out on Wednesday that he is humbled by the support shown to him by Zimbabweans.

Chamisa’s statement came after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) delayed the announcement of presidential election results, which were initially scheduled to be released on Wednesday afternoon.

The Electoral Commission says  all 23 presidential candidates will have to verify the results from all the centers before the figures can be released.

Chamisa alleged that the delay in the announcement of results is a ploy by the ZEC to steal the vote for the ruling ZANU-PF party and threatened that no amount of results manipulation will alter the  will of Zimbabweans. ZANU-PF has already been announced as having won the majority in Parliament.

International election observers have blmaed Chamisa’s statement for the ongoing violence in Zimbabwe. Zizi Kodwa of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress says Chamisa’s claims of an electoral victory is inflammatory, tweeting that “Nelson Chamisa must be held accountable for his reckless statements” which, he said, has now led to eruption of violent protests in Harare.

MDC supporters protesting in Harare on Wednesday after the electoral commission announced that Zimbabwe’s ruling party had won a majority of seats in Parliament.
Photo: Mujahid Safodien

ZANU-PF candidate, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has called on Zimbabweans to “desist from provocative declarations and statements at this crucial time.”

“We must all demonstrate patience and maturity, and act in a way that puts our people and their safety first. Now is the time for responsibility and above all, peace,” Mnangagwa said in his official Twitter account.


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