Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party won the most seats in parliament, official results showed Wednesday, as the count continued in the presidential race and the opposition MDC cried foul, alleging widespread fraud.
“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has announced a further 50 National Assembly results, bringing the total so far to 153. Of the 153, ZANU-PF has won 110 seats, while the MDC Alliance got 41 seats,” ZBC state media reported.
There are 210 seats in the national assembly lower house.
The sound of automatic gunfire reverberated through Harare on Wednesday as armoured military vehicles rolled through the Zimbabwean capital and soldiers fired on opposition activists protesting against alleged electoral fraud.
By the time daylight began to fade at least one man had been shot dead, recalling the dark days of former president Robert Mugabe’s era when elections and extreme regime violence went hand-in-hand.
It had been hoped that the first elections following his removal — after a brief army takeover led by former army chief Constantino Chiwenga — would turn the page for the country.
“There’s no need for Chiwenga to control the elections,” said a protester, wearing a red sports jacket and holding a sign proclaiming “We don’t want fake elections”.
But moments after he spoke to AFP, a man wearing a black jumper and jeans was shot in the stomach and lay in a pool of his own blood that seeped onto the dusty tarmac.
The noisy but peaceful protest descended into chaos after security forces opened fire, sprayed tear gas and unleashed water cannon.
Two men fled for cover in the shadow of two election billboards emblazoned with Mnangagwa’s face and pro-government slogans.
“You said you were better than Mugabe — you are the picture of Mugabe,” shouted one young male protester wearing a white T-shirt. “We need security for the people.”
Dozens of soldiers fanned out across central Harare as armoured personnel carriers with roof-mounted machine guns sped through the streets.
MDC did not immediately respond to the parliamentary results but earlier on Wednesday party leader and presidential contender Nelson Chamisa said the presidential results were being faked.
“ZEC seeks to… reverse the people’s presidential election victory. The strategy is meant to prepare Zim mentally to accept fake presidential results,” he tweeted.
“We won the popular vote and will defend it!”
EU observers are due to give their report on Zimbabwe’s election later Wednesday, two days after the vote — the first ballot since Robert Mugabe was ousted after 37 years in power.
With elections under Mugabe marred by fraud and often deadly violence, his successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa promised a free and fair vote and invited international observers.