Zimbabwe opposition leader Chamisa says won presidential election

The Electoral Commission has not yet given any clarity on who might become the country's next president

Soldiers are now on the streets of Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, a day after they fired at demonstrating opposition MDC Alliance supporters who argued that the election results were being rigged.

The deployment of soldiers and clashes with protesters set back President Emmerson Mnangagwa's efforts to shed Zimbabwe's pariah status after decades of repression under Robert Mugabe, who was ousted in a coup in November.

The election, the first since the army's removal of 94-year-old Mugabe, passed off relatively smoothly but its aftermath revealed the deep rifts in Zimbabwean society and the instinctive heavy-handedness of the security forces.

European Union monitors said the delay was undermining the vote's credibility.

The commission is urging the public to remain calm and condemns the violence in the capital, Harare, on Wednesday that left three people dead.

Opposition MDC party supporters protest in the streets of Harare during clashes with police on August 1.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said he is in communication with MDC Alliance Presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa to diffuse the volatile situation in the country saying the dialogue is important to maintain peace in the country.

The opposition "are testing our resolve, and I think they are making a big mistake", he said.

"This is our Government". "Equally we hold the party and its leadership responsible for any loss of life, injury or damage to property that arise from these acts of political violence which they aided and abetted".

He has repeatedly accused ZANU-PF and election authorities of trying to use a flawed electoral register and fixed ballot papers to steal the election.

Soldiers fired "randomly" and beat up bystanders who were not involved in the protests, said the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum. Why are the army here beating us? The electoral commission said the results would come "very soon".

China, Zimbabwe's main worldwide ally, said it hoped all sides would put the country's interests first following a "generally peaceful and orderly" election.




He added a military and police presence is evident, with the CBD the most heavily manned.

"We categorically denounce the excessive use of force against unarmed civilians", the group said in a statement.

The EU's chief observer, Elmar Brok, said he did not yet know if the shortcomings would have a material effect on the outcome of the vote, and he criticised the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for being, at times, "one-sided".

The observers expressed concern about delays in releasing the results of the presidential contest.

The opposition alleges the elections have irregularities, saying voting results were not posted outside one-fifth of polling stations as required by law.

"We removed Mugabe, but not Mugabe-ism", Mr. Chamisa said at a press conference, called shortly after the raid on his party offices.

Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu said the government would not tolerate such protests.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has so far announced victory in 140 seats for Zanu-PF, with 58 for the MDC Alliance, ZBC state media reported.

A presidential candidate needs more than 50% of the vote to win outright.

The violence was an unnerving reminder of the tensions that pervade the southern African nation.

Mnangagwa, 75, had promised a free and fair vote after the military ushered him to power in November when Mugabe was forced to resign.

Earlier, violence erupted in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare.

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