Calls mount for Zimbabwe army to be probed over post-election violence

Calls mount for Zimbabwe army to be probed over post-election violence

Calls mount for Zimbabwe army to be probed over post-election violence

The violence erupted after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said the ruling ZANU-PF party won a majority in parliament.

For its part, ZANU-PF said it was "eagerly awaiting the announcement of the results" and appealed to the opposition "to ensure that their supporters maintain a calmness which existed when people went to vote".

A joint statement by global election observers including the United States, the European Union, the African Union, and the United Kingdom expressed "grave concern" over the violence and urged the electoral commission to release the results "expeditiously".

Twenty-three candidates - all first-time contenders - contested for the presidency.

On Thursday, the United Nations called on both sides to "exercise restraint" following the landmark polls that saw the ruling ZANU-PF party winning a majority of seats in parliament.

Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba said the three people killed were yet to be identified.

A credible and peaceful vote was meant to end Zimbabwe's global isolation and draw in foreign investment to revive the shattered economy.

"You said you were better than Mugabe you are the picture of Mugabe", shouted one young male protester wearing a white T-shirt.

"Zimbabwe's 2018 elections were conducted under an improved legal framework consisting of the 2013 constitution, The Electoral Act, other acts and legislation, rules and regulations promulgated by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)", said Boshe. "If he had won this election the result will have been announced long back but they are trying to massage the figures to try to advance fictitious and fallacious results".

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

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Writing on Twitter, Mnangagwa also called for an independent investigation into the violence, in which three people were killed after soldiers were deployed to the streets of the capital on Wednesday.

While the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) insists the election was fair, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has raised an array of fraud allegations.

Gunfire was heard downtown throughout the afternoon, including near the ruling party headquarters where protesters had gathered.

The website of the election commission, which is expected to start announcing presidential election results on Thursday, was offline after being taken out by unidentified hackers overnight.

Mnangagwa's government, meanwhile, accused Chamisa and his supporters of inciting "violence" by already declaring he had won the election, the first after former leader Mugabe stepped down in November.

"The more the presidential vote is delayed, the more it calls into question the population's confidence in the election process", said former Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the lead observer of a U.S. monitoring mission.

European Union observers declared they found an "un-level playing field and lack of trust" in the election process.

"Let me also warn such individuals and groups that no one is above the law", Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu said.

The clip and the AFP photo accompanying it are set to become symbolic of the violence and bloodshed that will mark the date August 1 2018 in Zimbabwean history forever.

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