Ruling party Zanu-PF wins majority of parliamentary seats in Zimbabwe election

Thursday, 02 Aug, 2018

The Zimbabwean election commission's announcement that the ruling Zanu-PF party had won a majority of seats in Parliament in the country's first general election after the ouster of strongman Robert Mugabe immediately sparked protests by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has advised that it will start announcing the results for the presidential election starting today at 12:30.

MDC leader and presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa, who has alleged vote rigging, said on Twitter that he was confident of victory.

European Union observers are expected to give their report on Zimbabwe's presidential election Wednesday as the country waits impatiently for results of the first vote since Robert Mugabe was ousted after 37 years in power.

The security forces opened fire with guns, water cannons and tear gas, and protesters burned cars and threw rocks as helicopters hovered above Harare.

Truckloads of anti-riot officers were called in to help clear the streets as tensions escalated.

The results of the presidential vote have yet to be released.

While the electoral commission has five days from the end of voting to release the final tally, the national mood was growing anxious partly because unofficial results are already swirling on social media.

Ninety-four-year-old Mugabe, who was accused of political violence and rigging elections during his almost four decades in power, voted in Harare alongside his wife Grace. "This time we will not allow it, we will fight", said a protester who wore a red MDC beret in central Harare.

Zimbabwe's main opposition has said Mr Chamisa won the presidential election, sparking street celebrations by supporters on Tuesday.

Soldiers move in to disperse crowds of opposition Movement for Democratic Change supporters outside the party's headquarters in Harare, Zimbabwe, August 1, 2018. It cited concerns that the voters' roll had not been released prior to the poll, about a fifth of results from the presidential ballot were not published outside polling stations and that some voters had been "deliberately displaced".

If no presidential candidate wins more than 50 per cent of the vote, a runoff will be held September 8.

Mnangagwa's government has accused Chamisa and his supporters of inciting "violence" by already declaring he had won.

In much of the capital Harare, bar outside MDC offices, the mood is still quiet.

"There is a deliberate delay in formally announcing results", he told a news conference, characterising it as "interference with the people's will".

On Wednesday, observers from the Southern African Development Community and the African Union will also deliver reports on the polls.

Ruhanya said: "It seems the results so far could indicate the will of the people, especially the rural population, to be ruled by ZANU-PF".

Mnangagwa, a longtime ZANU-PF member with a record of violence during his time in government, called on Zimbabwe's voters to "desist from provocative declarations and statements".