Riot Warnings As Emmerson Mnangagwa Narrowly Wins ‘rigged’ Zimbabwe Presidential Election

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Riot Warnings As Emmerson Mnangagwa Narrowly Wins ‘rigged’ Zimbabwe Presidential Election

ZIMBABWE is bracing itself for more violence after President Emmerson Mnangagwa claimed victory in the country’s historic and hotly-contested presidential election.

Official say Mnangagwa – known as The Crocodile – received 50.8 per cent of the vote while his bitter rival Nelson Chamisa won just over 44 per cent.

Reuters Mnangagwa – known as The Crocodile – received 50.8 per cent of the vote

Opposition party members who questioned the count were hauled out of the room before the final vote was announced to the press amid fears of further unrest.

The win is expected to leave the African nation on a knife edge, worsened by the deadly rioting in the capital which was sparked by claims the poll was rigged and delays in announcing the results.

Mnangagwa said his government was now in touch with Chamisa in an attempt to ease the mounting tensions in the country.

The death toll from Wednesday’s street clashes rose to six, with 14 injured  over a vote which was supposed to restore trust in Zimbabwe after decades of rule by Robert Mugabe.

Getty Images – Getty Jubilant supporters of President Emmerson Mnangagwa celebrate his win

Chamisa has insisted he has won the presidential poll, telling reporters earlier on Thursday the ruling Zanu-PF party was “trying to bastardise the result”, something that “we will not allow”.

But the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) insisted there was “absolutely no skulduggery” despite the delay in announcing the result.

Zimbabwe’s military will remain on the streets of Harare until the threat of  violence subsides, authorities have said.

Troops opened fire on voters in Harare after voters rioted amid claims the country’s general election fixed.

Harare was a ghost town on Thursday following Wednesday’s violence, as troops patrolled the city centre ordering people to “behave”.

AP:Associated Press An armed soldier patrols Harare during protests by opposition party supporters

AP:Associated Press The army was called in when local cops failed to handle the rioting

AFP or licensors Three people died and many more were injured in the violence

Juts 24 hours earlier the military swept into the capital when opposition supporters went on the rampage.

Soldiers backed by tanks were called in as it was revealed Mnangagwa was poised to win the first election since Robert Mugabe was removed from power.

Angry supporters of Zimbabwean opposition leader Chamisa took to the streets of Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, denouncing the result.

Trouble flared when news broke Mnangagwa’s  Zanu-PF had won the majority of seats in parliament but news of the the presidential results were not ready.

The country’s police force quickly invoked strict rules banning public gatherings in the African nation after the unrest.

AFP or licensors Soldiers eventually opened fire on the protestors

AP:Associated Press Opposition MDC party supporters lit fires in the streets

AFP or licensors Anti riot cops stand guard at the entrance of the election HQ

State broadcaster ZBC cites police spokeswoman Charity Charamba as saying police asked for the military’s help because they were “unable to cope.”

Both the opposition and Western election observers have urged the presidential election results be released as soon as possible.

The deployment of soldiers and their beating of unarmed protesters is a setback to Mnangagwa’s efforts to shed Zimbabwe’s pariah status after decades of repression under Mugabe.

Even before the violence, EU observers questioned the conduct of the presidential and parliamentary poll, the first since Mugabe’s forced resignation after nearly 40 years in charge.

AFP or licensors International observers have condemned the election violence

AP:Associated Press The police have now invoked strict rules banning public gatherings

Reuters Locals hold spent rounds and show injuries after soldiers opened fire

The unrest started soon after opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Nelson Chamisa claimed he had won the popular vote.

Scores of his supporters who had been burning tyres in the streets then attacked riot police near the Zimbabwe Election Commision HQ.  Officers responded with tear gas and water-cannon.

Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said the army had been called in to ensure “peace and tranquility” in Harare.

A police spokeswoman said the troops were deployed at the request of police, who could not cope with the violence.

AP:Associated Press All parties have called for peace to be restored to Harare

Reuters Zimbabwe’s state broadcaster said at least three people are dead Zimbabwe opposition supporters confront police in Harare after President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu-PF party wins majority in election

However, many protesters have now accused the country’s army of unprovoked brutality.

“We had no weapons. Why are the army here beating us? shooting us? This is not an election it is a disgrace on our country,” one young man, Colbert Mugwenhi, said.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has announced 132 seats for  Zanu-PF so far, and 59 for the MDC Alliance, ZBC state media reported. There are 210 seats in the National Assembly’s lower house.

More than five million people were registered to vote, and there was a high turnout of 70 per cent.

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