Zanu-PF signals a Mnangagwa win

23% of legislative results Zimbabwe's Zanu-PF takes lead

Gunfire crackled as troops, backed by armoured vehicles and a military helicopter, cleared the streets of opposition protesters. Mr Mnangagwa knows it. Zanu-PF knows it.

Commonwealth observers also on Thursday accused the Zimbabwe security forces of using excessive force on protesters.

Most shops in the city center remained closed on Thursday and police in riot gear and trucks carrying water cannons were stationed outside government and political offices.

By the end of the day, three people were dead, several injured, and visible blood pools stained the Capital's street, marking the end of a very bad day. There were pools and trails of blood on the streets.

Global election observer missions have released preliminary findings revealing that the 2018 Zimbabwean elections were held under a vastly improved political and security environment conducive for free and fair democratic elections.

However, Mangwana is of the view that the ruling party has won despite ZEC having not announced the results, three days after the country's first plebiscites post the Robert Mugabe era. Now they are not happy.

"Please, please, we are begging you, let's go with the constitution".

Authorities invoked Zimbabwe's Public Order and Security Act, which allows police to ban public meetings or gatherings.

But the MDC Alliance has pushed back, saying it has the numbers and it has the votes, and that it was Mnangagwa's government and party that erred, by deploying the army and conspiring with ZEC to steal votes. Under Mugabe, the law was used routinely to ban anti-government meetings and demonstrations since its enactment in 2002.

Demonstrators took to the streets, angry that the victor of Monday's vote still hadn't been announced and convinced that the vote has been rigged to benefit incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

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The opposition said it condemns violence in all its forms.

"Are we in war?"

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared victory in the disputed poll, the country's first since the downfall of Robert Mugabe a year ago, and accused the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) of inciting the unrest.

Former colonial power Britain called for "calm and restraint", urging "political leaders to take responsibility.at this critical moment". "If they've got the smoking gun, then they must hold the gun and quickly put forward concrete evidence to support their claims that the election has been rigged", Tendi said.

Speaking at a press conference to announce the last of the House of Assembly results, Zec commisssioner, Qhubani Moyo said, " ...by 5 p.m we will have a definite time on when we can announce the results of elections..."

This is the first time in 16 years that the government has allowed European Union and USA election monitors into the country.

After first indicating it would release presidential vote totals on Wednesday, the electoral commission said it would wait until Thursday, adding that agents for the more than 20 candidates must verify them first.

The Commonwealth also urged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to expedite the announcement of the results of the presidential vote.

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. On Wednesday, they came to enforce a crackdown.

Zimbabweans were shocked after the military swept into Harare and opened fire to disperse opposition supporters. "They are there to assist the police".

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