Mnangagwa Says in Communication with Chamisa

Geneva Stokes
August 2, 2018

The MDC Alliance says the ruling Zanu-PF party has rigged Monday's presidential and parliamentary vote.

Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party has won the majority of seats in parliament after sweeping rural constituencies by huge margins, official results show.

While the presidential contest involved 23 candidates, the main race was between Chamisa, a 40-year-old lawyer and pastor, and 75-year-old Emmerson Mnangagwa, who helped engineer Mugabe's downfall in November. With more results to be declared, the party has a chance of gaining the two-thirds majority that would allow it to change the constitution at will.

The outcome will be announced once results from all provinces are received and verified, Priscilla Chigumba, the chair of the electoral commission, told reporters.

This, no doubt, has set the stage for President Emmerson Mnangagwa's victory.

Thousands of supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change chanted anti-government slogans in Harare and faced off against a heavy police presence, fearing that their candidate, Nelson Chamisa, would have the election stolen from him.

The violence appeared to dash the hopes of Zimbabweans that the peaceful vote would lift them out of decades of economic and political stagnation under Mr Mugabe.

Once again, they had lost the battle for control of parliament and there seemed little chance that Nelson Chamisa - their charismatic party leader - could claim the presidency.

Opposition supporters gesture outside the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission offices in Harare. "If President Chamisa wins this election then the people of Zimbabwe will have their government", stated Nkululeko Sibanda, the MDC spokesman.

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In a second section called "How to stop a kidnapping" Mr Spencer loudly shouted the n-word several times to "attract attention". Spencer told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution the show "exploited" his state of mind "for profit and notoriety".

Now, almost 48 hours after polls closed, voters still await an official answer about who won the country's presidential election - and suspicion of electoral wrongdoing has gathered intensity in the capital city's streets.

Anti-riot police backed by water cannon trucks monitored the demonstrators, while MDC supporters also protested outside the conference center where election results are being announced.

Many Zimbabweans looked to the vote as a launching pad for a return to the kind of worldwide acceptance and relative prosperity that the country enjoyed in the first part of the rule of Mugabe, who took office after independence from white minority rule in 1980.

MDC supporters were seen dancing and celebrating in the streets outside the party's headquarters as the vote count started.

European Union chief observer Elmar Brok said there were "efforts to undermine the free expression of the will of the electors through inducements, soft intimidation, pressure and coercion... to try to ensure a vote in favor of the ruling party".

The election stands as an important test for Zimbabwe as the country tries to rebuild its economy and global standing after almost four decades of Mugabe rule.

The most important thing for us now is to move beyond yesterday's tragic events, and to move forward, together.I am therefore calling for an independent investigation into what occurred in Harare yesterday.

The electoral commission had warned that final results of the presidential first round may not be known until Friday or even Saturday.

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