Violence breaks out in Zimbabwe as Mugabe’s choice for president cries foul

Zimbabwe election results Could the opposition party win

Zimbabwe police said three people were killed in Harare on Wednesday as soldiers dispersed stone-throwing opposition supporters who accused the ruling party of trying to rig Monday's presidential election.

Official results showed that the ruling Zanu-PF party had easily won most seats in the parliamentary ballot - strengthening President Emmerson Mnangagwa's chances of holding onto power in the presidential race.

In a tweet early Wednesday, Mr. Chamisa said that the electoral commission was delaying the release of the vote's outcome "to buy time & reverse the people's presidential election victory".

In an indication of the growing tension, a crowd of about 100 MDC supporters gathered outside a Harare hotel where election results were being announced but police blocked the entrance to the building, a Reuters witness said.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday said he wanted an independent investigation into the killings, and that he is seeking settle differences "peacefully".

Police block dozens of opposition party supporters from entering the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission offices in Harare, Zimbabwe, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018.

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

Observers say it could be a tight race, but the opposition has said it will protest if their candidate is defeated.

A helicopter has been seen hovering over Harare as armed troops were deployed into Zimbabwe's capital to try to disperse hundreds of opposition protesters.

"We are absolutely confident there was no rigging... we at the Zimbabwean Election Commission will not steal (the people's) choice of leaders, we will not subvert their will", ZEC chair Priscilla Chiguma said a day after the vote. The 40-year-old vibrant leader says they have "won the popular vote".

Chamisa, a lawyer and pastor, yesterday said results had not been posted outside 21% of the country's almost 11,000 polling stations, raising concerns about possible vote-rigging.

Mugabe, 94, had ruled the country since it declared its independence from minority-white rule in 1980, steadily metamorphosing from a hero of the liberation to an iron-fisted leader intolerant of dissent.

"Rocks were thrown into the compound of the ruling ZANU-PF party".

Many Zimbabweans looked to the vote as a launching pad for a return to the kind of global acceptance and relative prosperity that the country enjoyed in the first part of the rule of Mugabe, who took office after independence from white minority rule in 1980.

On Tuesday Former Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) finance minister Tendai Biti and ZESN, the main domestic election monitor, said one in five polling stations - more than 2,000 in all - had not physically posted tallies on their doors, as required by law.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has announced it is not yet sure when the commission will announce the results of the presidential election. "We have won this one together".

The President said the MDC Alliance leadership has to remove its violent supporters from the streets forthwith so that peace returns in the country.

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