Three dead in Zimbabwe as president blames opposition for election violence

Supporters of Zimbabwe's opposition party attend a rally in Chitungwiza outside Harare Zimbabwe

Supporters of Zimbabwe's opposition party attend a rally in Chitungwiza outside Harare Zimbabwe

The vote assessment by the European Union, which is observing the results for the first time since 2002, is critical in determining whether Zimbabwe can shed its pariah status and return into the global fold, which could help trigger an economic revival.

Official results strengthened President Emmerson Mnangagwa's prospects of holding on to power in the key presidential vote, showing that ZANU-PF had easily won the most seats in the parliamentary ballot.

"The Commission would like to advice that we will announce the results as they come in and all stakeholders should therefore, be reminded that it is unlawful to announce results because it is a direct contravention of Section 66 subsection (a) Subsection (b) of the Electoral Act".

The EU did not understand why the release of the presidential result was taking so long, Brok said.

More results are expected soon with Presidential election outcome expected by midday today.

"ZEC seeks to. reverse the people's presidential election victory".

Polling stations opened at 7am this morning and closed at 7pm.

Zanu PF United Kingdom branch chairperson, Nick Mangwana has already congratulated his party Zanu PF for attaining majority of National Assembly seats, with 72 % of declared by the ZEC.

Chamisa accused ZANU-PF of trying to steal the election.

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He tweeted: "We won the popular vote & will defend it!"

Observers say the race between Mr Mnangagwa's Zanu-PF party and Mr Chamisa's MDC Alliance is extremely tight.

"The results show beyond reasonable doubt that we have won the election and that the next president of Zimbabwe is Nelson Chamisa", Biti told a press conference at the party's headquarters in Harare.

"You can't rig our election...this is a military government", the crowd shouted. Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba‚ appearing on state broadcaster Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) during the 6 PM bulletin‚ said they didn't have enough resources‚ including their reserve force‚ to deal with a situation of this magnitude.

Meanwhile, EU observers have said the election was largely peaceful, but the use of state resources, coercion and bias by "traditional leaders" meant a level playing field was not "truly achievable". They also called for improvements in the counting procedure, saying the vote represented "a political watershed in Zimbabwe's history".

Zimbabwe was once one of Africa's most promising economies but became descended into corruption, mismanagement and diplomatic isolation in the latter stages of Mugabe's administration. Its population of 13 million is struggling amid shortages of foreign currency, unemployment above 80% and lack of foreign investment.

Zec has announced some of the results in the parliamentary elections but says it needs time to pull together the figures for the presidential poll from across the country.

Chamisa swept to victory in most of Zimbabwe's urban centres, including in the capital Harare. One independent candidate and a member from a party linked to Mugabe also won one seat each.

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