Hundreds of Zimbabwe opposition MDC supporters gathered outside a Harare hotel on Wednesday where election results were being announced but police blocked the entrance to the building. Photograph:( Reuters )
One person was shot dead by Zimbabwean soldiers near a bus rank in central Harare on Wednesday after troops were deployed to quell protests over this week's presidential election, witnesses told a Reuters photographer.
Zimbabwean police fired tear gas to disperse stone-throwing supporters of the opposition MDC party, according to Reuters witnesses and live television images.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa called for calm as opposition supporters clashed with police of the announcement of this week's presidential election results.
"We must all demonstrate patience and maturity, and act in a way that puts our people and their safety first," Mnangagwa wrote on Twitter.
The opposition MDC, led by Nelson Chamisa, won in most urban centres, where it enjoys majority support.
The MDC accused the election commission on Tuesday of deliberately delaying results of this week's vote to favour the ruling party, reporting irregularities in the first poll since the removal of Robert Mugabe in a bloodless November coup.
A crowd of around 100 Zimbabwe opposition MDC supporters gathered outside a Harare hotel on Wednesday where election results were being announced but police blocked the entrance to the building, a Reuters witness said.
Crowds burnt tyres in the centre of the capital Harare, blocking some streets and engaging in running battles with police who fired water cannon to disperse the protestors.
"You can't rig our election ... this is a military government", the crowd shouted.
EU observers also criticised the Zimbabwe elections for being held on an "un-level playing field" as the opposition MDC protested against alleged widespread fraud by the election authority and ruling party.
The EU mission found an "improved political climate, but un-level playing field and lack of trust in the process," it said in a statement.
Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party won the majority of seats in parliament after sweeping rural constituencies by huge margins, official results showed on Wednesday, setting the stage for President Emmerson Mnangagwa's victory.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission results showed Mnangagwa's ZANU-PF cruising to a big majority after picking up 109 seats against 41 for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Another 58 seats are yet to be declared.
The House of Assembly of Parliament has 210 seats and ZANU-PF would need to win 30 more to have a two-thirds majority that would allow it to change the constitution at will.
At this crucial time, I call on everyone to desist from provocative declarations and statements. We must all demonstrate patience and maturity, and act in a way that puts our people and their safety first. Now is the time for responsibility and above all, peace— President of Zimbabwe (@edmnangagwa) August 1, 2018