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Three opposition supporters die in Zimbabwe post-polls violence | Coastweek

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Supporters of the opposition MDC Alliance attend a protest in Harare, Zimbabwe, August 01, 2018. Three people died and scores of others were injured Wednesday when protesting opposition supporters clashed with army and police in the capital Harare. Scores of opposition supporters took to the streets of Harare to protest against the delay in announcement of presidential election results as well as alleged rigging of the vote. XINHUA PHOTOS - SHAUN JUSA

Three opposition supporters die in Zimbabwe post-polls violence

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Three people died and scores of others were injured Wednesday when protesting opposition supporters clashed with army and police in the capital Harare.

Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba confirmed the deaths in the violence which also left property destroyed.

She warned leaders of the opposition MDC Alliance against inciting its supporters to engage in violent activities.

Scores of opposition supporters took to the streets of Harare to protest against the delay in announcement of presidential election results as well as alleged rigging of the vote.

"The police condemns in the strongest terms acts of vandalism and hooliganism that occurred in Harare.

"As investigations continue, we urge members of the public to remain calm and peaceful and not to be persuaded or coerced into engaging in acts of violence," Charamba said.

She said police were keen to interview leaders of the MDC Alliance in connection with the deadly protests.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, meanwhile, called on Zimbabweans to remain calm and peaceful as the nation awaits announcement of all election results.

He blamed the MDC Alliance leadership for causing the protests.

"The incidents of violence and hooliganism which broke out in the afternoon came as a complete surprise," he said.

"We hold the opposition MDC Alliance leadership responsible for this disturbance of national peace which is meant to disrupt the electoral process," Mnangagwa said.

"We hold the party and its leadership responsible for any loss of life, injury or damage to property which arises from political violence which they have aided and abated."

Nkululeko Sibanda, the spokesperson of the MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa said the party regretted the deaths during the protests and criticized the security forces for using excessive force to quell the protests.

Chamisa claimed Tuesday that he had won the presidential poll and said his party will not accept a result to the contrary.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has said results for the presidential poll are expected by Aug.4.

According to the results declared by ZEC, the ruling ZANU-PF party won a parliamentary majority in the Monday elections.
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EARLIER REPORT:

European Union Election Observer Mission claim
an 'unlevel playing field in Zimbabwe elections'

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- The European Union Election Observer Mission to the Zimbabwean elections has alleged an unlevel playing field that saw intimidation of voters and lack of trust undermining the pre-election environment.

The mission however noted an improved political climate, inclusive participation rights and a peaceful vote.

"We now hope for a transparent and traceable results process," a preliminary report on the conduct of the July 30 elections said Wednesday.

It said many previous elections had been contentious and with reports of abuses, and so while the commitment to hold credible elections by President Emmerson Mnangagwa was welcomed, a legacy of the past was a low level of trust in the democratic process and institutions.

"The elections were competitive, the campaign was largely peaceful and, overall, political freedoms during the campaign, including freedom of movement, assembly and speech, were respected," it said.

"However, the misuse of state resources, instances of coercion and intimidation, partisan behavior by traditional leaders and overt bias in state media, all in favor of the ruling (Zanu-PF) party, meant that a truly level playing field was not achieved."

The EU became the first observer mission to issue an unflattering report on the process but also welcomed some improvements related to the introduction of some administrative and legal changes to the electoral process.

"The introduction of a number of legal and administrative changes was welcomed, including increasing the number of polling stations, limiting voters to voting only at their registered station, and limiting the number of excess ballots to be printed," it said.

It said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) had put in place administrative arrangements for the holding of the polls as scheduled but the potentially positive measures were undermined by electoral body’s persistent lack of inclusivity and transparency.

It also accused the state broadcaster the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) of failing to abide by its legal obligation to ensure equitable and fair treatment to all political parties and candidates.

"State-owned TV, radio and newspapers, which dominate the media landscape, were heavily biased in favor of the ruling party and incumbent president in their election-related coverage," it said.
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SEE ALSO:

Zimbabwe ruling ZANU-PF party sweeps majority in Parliament

ZANU-PF party leads majority of Zimbabwe parliamentary seats

Zimbabwe voting end peacefully after first post-Mugabe election

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FURTHER READING:

Zimbabwe: Deadly clashes erupt over election 'results manipulation'

           

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