Zimbabwe church body condemns post-election violence


Zimbabwe's president said Thursday that his government has been in touch with the main opposition leader in an attempt to ease tensions after election-related violence in the country's capital.

Troops backed by armoured vehicles opened fire on Wednesday to clear the capital's streets of demonstrators who accused Mnangagwa's ruling party of trying to rig Monday's presidential election.

"We hold the opposition MDC Alliance and its whole leadership responsible for this disturbance of national peace, which was meant to disrupt the electoral process", Mnangagwa said, according to ZBC.

For supporters of Zimbabwe's opposition MDC Alliance party, this was a day they had been dreading - the moment their dream of election victory was crushed.

Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa has tweeted that he was "positive" about the results and urged Zimbabweans to patiently wait for the final announcement.

"The presidential results were counted first in the polling stations therefore I have still to learn why it will be published last".

Four days later the ruling ZANU-PF party sacks him as leader and expels his wife.

The hopes of a new chapter for Zimbabwe after years of violence and dissent are being dashed following the chaos that rocked the country on Wednesday killing at least three people. The electoral commission says the vote was credible.

"We'd like to remind the incumbents and political parties of the commitments they made in the peace pledge, and the code of conduct to ensure peaceful electoral process", Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General, said at a press conference Wednesday.

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 criticised the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for being at times "one-sided".

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The electoral roll has always been a contentious feature of Zimbabwean elections, allegedly the rotten core of systematic rigging under Mugabe.

Voters in Zimbabwe traditionally pick a presidential candidate based on their party affiliation and the trend in the parliamentary election was expected to continue when results for the president are announced this week.

Writing on Twitter, Mnangagwa also called for an independent investigation into the violence and offered his condolences to the families of victims.

The head of the Commonwealth election observers in Zimbabwe is condemning what he calls the "excessive use of force against unarmed civilians" by security forces.

Mnangagwa had promised a free and fair vote after the military ushered him to power with a credible vote meant to end Zimbabwe's global isolation and attract foreign investment to revive the shattered economy.

It alleges that the governing Zanu-PF party has rigged Monday's elections.

The ZEC was synonymous with fraud and bias under Mugabe, when elections were often marred by deadly violence.

In Harare, the contrast could not be starker with November, when hundreds of thousands filled the streets, hugging soldiers and celebrating their role in ousting 94-year-old Mugabe, the only leader Zimbabwe had known since independence in 1980.

Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu said those who violated election rules by prematurely declaring victory risked incurring the "wrath of the law".