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Supporters of the opposition party MDC protest against alleged fraud by the election authority and ruling party Supporters of the opposition party MDC protest against alleged fraud by the election authority and ruling party  (AFP or licensors)

Zimbabwe in chaos as Presidential election results delayed

Police in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, clash with hundreds of protesters who claim Monday’s Presidential and Parliamentary election was rigged.

By Linda Bordoni

In Zimbabwe, scores of angry opposition supporters are rallying in the capital Harare outside the gates of the electoral commission and have been met by a line of riot police.

The country is waiting for the release of the results of Monday’s peaceful Presidential and Parliamentary election, the first without longtime leader Robert Mugabe on the ballot. He led the country for 37 years marked by corruption, the collapse of the economy and repression of the opposition.

Ruling Party wins majority in Parliament

Zimbabwe's election commission said the ruling Zanu-PF Party has won a majority of seats in Parliament but it only expects to start announcing Presidential election results from Thursday. The delay, it explains, is due to the fact that at many polling stations across the nation tallies had not been posted on their doors, as required by law.

Rampant unemployment and poverty

Crowds of voters are gathered in public places demanding news. But as this man told Zimbabwe State Media, what people want is a change of direction and accountability on the part of whoever ends up in power:

All what we need is jobs; whether Zanu-PF or MDC wins – all we want is jobs. Emmerson Mnangagwa promised us jobs and he has to fulfill his promise. If he doesn’t: out! We want jobs, as you can see everyone is not working” he said.

The vote pitted President Mnangagwa of the ruling Zanu-PF Party against opposition leader Nelson Chimisa of the Movement for Democratic Change.

Elections not free and fair

But although the vote was deemed peaceful by international observers, the EU and the US observer missions said that “a truly level playing field was not achieved.”

The observers pointed to a “misuse of state resources, instances of coercion and intimidation, partisan behavior by traditional leaders and overt bias in state media” and the Secretary-General for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change says that “what is not free and fair cannot be acceptable” and is threatening to go to court.

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01 August 2018, 16:14