Zimbabwe presidential rivals both signal election victory, result due soon

Zimbabwe presidential rivals both signal election victory, result due soon

Zimbabwe presidential rivals both signal election victory, result due soon

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

Down the hall observers from half-a-dozen foreign monitoring teams gave their verdict on Zimbabwe's national election.

Zimbabwe's former finance minister claimed that it was a "fact" that he and MDC leader Chamisa, 40, are on a "hit list", without giving evidence of his assertion.

Both sides fielded candidates in the polls and lost Bulawayo South and Nkayi South constituencies to Zanu PF's Raj Mod and Stars Mathe, respectively.

Zimbabwe was Thursday on edge awaiting the results of its historic presidential election after troops opened fire on protests against alleged electoral fraud, denting hopes of a new era for the country following the ousting of Robert Mugabe.

After burning tyres in the streets, scores of his supporters attacked riot police near the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) headquarters.

Mnangagwa blamed the violence on the opposition Movement for Democratic Alliance, led by Nelson Chamisa, his main rival in a presidential election the results of which have not yet been announced.

It said that by using live ammunition against unarmed protesters, "the army has broken the very same rule of law that they should protect".

Of 210 parliamentary seats, 207 have been counted with ZANU-PF winning 144 and the MDC Alliance just 61.

Mr Chamisa's spokesman, Nkululeko Sibanda, told journalists that the army's reaction was unjustified.

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"They are trying to protest so they can get fair results", said Elisha Pfigu, a 31-year-old street vendor who warily watched soldiers at an intersection.

His Excellency Minister Augusto said that as part of its observation process, the SEOM engaged a wide range of stakeholders including state and non-state actors such as the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe; Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), Political Parties, Council of Chiefs, media, representatives of regional and worldwide organizations, academia, faith-based organizations; and civil society as well as persons with disabilities, women and youth.

Tendai Biti, the senior official of MDC's seven-party coalition who was reported to be wanted by Zimbabwean police on Thursday morning has been let off the hook for now, SABC has reported. "We won the popular vote and will defend it!"

Questioning the independence of the judiciary, Chamisa said he was reluctant to go to court to challenge the results, saying this would be "going into the lion's den".

The ruling party forced Mugabe to resign in November, when the military briefly seized control of the country, and replaced him with Mnangagwa, his former deputy and spy chief.

The result in the presidential vote is due by 4 August but expected sooner.

Meanwhile, officials from the electoral commission were read the results from the parliamentary contest in a stuffy meeting room in the Rainbow Hotel.

A run-off vote is scheduled for September 8 if no presidential candidate wins by at least 50 per cent.

With more results to be declared, the party has a chance of gaining the two-thirds majority that would allow it to change the constitution at will.

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