Violent protests broke out in Zimbabwe on Wednesday afternoon, two days after the Presidential elections after angry youths aligned to the opposition MDC-Alliance turned rowdy and destroyed buildings, burned cars in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare.
According to reports, MDC Alliance supporters gathered at several points in the city on Wednesday morning, waiting for the electoral body (ZEC) to declare election results.
At around 10:00am local time, ZEC declared that the ruling ZANU-PF had retained the 2/3 majority in parliament winning more than 144 parliamentary seats out of the total 210.
However, during the announcement, ZEC boss, Ms Priscilla Chigumba said that Presidential election results were to be slightly delayed as the Commission tried to meet the legal requirements which require that all aspiring Presidential candidates show up for the verification process.
On receiving communication from ZEC, the opposition supporters stormed streets with stones, sticks and iron bars demanding that Mr Nelson Chamisa be declared as President. The rowdy protesters matched towards the ZANU-PF headquarters and the ZEC offices in the Harare Central Business District only to be blocked by Police
Anti-riot police with assistance from the military used teargas and rubber bullets to counter and disperse the violent youths. Some unconfirmed reports indicate that live ammunitions were fired at the protesters allegedly killing and injuring an unknown number of people.
MDC-Alliance Presidential flag bearer, Mr Nelson Chamisa, 40, had earlier stated that he would not accept any results which are not in his favour. In a statement, Chamisa said that as of Tuesday, he had received most results across the country, indicating that he had resoundingly won the race.
He also accused the electoral body of conspiring with the ruling ZANU-PF party to deny him victory by delaying to release of the final results.
Chamisa said that the move by ZEC to start with announce the Parliamentary results first was a deliberate ploy to prepare the masses for the “unrealistic” news that since his party had lost most of the Parliamentary seats, it therefore lost the Presidential contest.
Election observers speak
After nearly 16 years of former President, Robert Mugabe barring international election observers from monitoring elections in Zimbabwe, his successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa allowed them as a gesture of a free and fair election.
Observers from regional bodies Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and continental body African Union (AU) on Wednesday morning applauded the electoral body for organising what they called a peaceful, free and fair election.
Over 5.6 million people registered to vote, out of whom 43.6% are under 35 years.
The final results of the Presidential elections are anticipated for tomorrow Thursday August 2 but ZEC has up to August 4. A run-off is expected on September 8 if no presidential candidate wins at least 50 percent in the first round.