HARARE-- The Zimbabwean Electoral Commission (ZEC) says it hopes to announce the results of the presidential election on Thursday amidst an eruption of violence on the streets of Harare after the results of the National Assembly polls were announced Wednesday afternoon.
Police fired teargas and rubber bullets at groups of supporters of the main opposition party, the Movement For Democratic Change (MDC), who had barricaded streets, claiming that the elections were rigged by the ruling ZANU-PF party.
ZANU-PF has won a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly with 207 of the 210 constituencies declared. The ruling party garnered 145 seats in the National Assembly while the MDC Alliance captured 59 seats.
Meanwhile, President Emmerson Mnangagwa says he holds the leadership of the MDC Alliance responsible for Wednesday's violence in the capital Harare following the announcement of the results of the National Assembly elections.
He said the opposition party aided and abetted the chaos which erupted. At least three people have been killed in the battles between the police and protestors.
Mnangagwa said the violence has taken the government by surprise. The Alliance and its leadership has forthwith to remove its violent supporters from the streets so peace returns to our country," he added.
"In asking them to take this necessary step, Government is simply reminding them of their duties as citizens. In any electoral process, it is understood that some win and some lose, but those who lose should not translate their disappointment into hooliganism.
The MDC Alliance has accused Zanu-PF of sending people to pose as MDC supporters and stage violence to discredit the MDC.
MDC Spokesperson Dr Nkululeko Sibanda said the party condemns the violence.
On behalf of the (MDC) president, this message can't be clearer. We condemn violence in all its forms," he said.
"My experience in this country is that when you have peaceful demonstrations the state wants to repress those demonstrations. They will send people who will pretend to be your supporters and they will start up the violence and gives them an excuse to react offhandedly and I think that this is one of those things that we are experiencing.
Meanwhile, the ZANU-PF party says it does not see any need to engage with the MDC Alliance leadership on the violence.
ZANU PF Secretary for Legal Affairs Paul Mangwana called the violent protests criminal acts that need urgent attention from law enforcers. He says ZANU PF not in a position to engage with criminals, but will focus on re-building the country and grow the economy.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK