Opposition protesters rage, reject Zimbabwe's ZANU-PF victory in parliamentary poll

Opposition protesters rage, reject Zimbabwe's ZANU-PF victory in parliamentary poll

- There are indications that Zimbabwe's ruling party, ZANU-PF, has won most of the seats in the nation's parliamentary election

- Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) by its results, revealed that President Emmerson Mnangagwa's ZANU-PF was on its way to victory after claiming 109 seats

- However, the results have so far triggered tension among members of the opposition, who claimed that the election was rigged in favour of ZANU-PF

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As the vote count continued in the presidential race, official results showed on Wednesday, August 1, that ZANU-PF, Zimbabwe's ruling party, has won the most seats in the parliament, , .

According to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) results, President Emmerson Mnangagwa's ZANU-PF is cruising to victory after claiming 109 seats in a 210-seat parliament, Al jazeera reports.

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ZEC said on Wednesday, August 1, that the opposition, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) alliance managed to win only 41 seats with results for 58 seats undeclared.

By calculation, ZANU-PF would need to win 30 more seats to have a two-thirds majority that would allow it to change the constitution. Nick Mangwana, ZANU-PF spokesman, stated that the party was happy with the results.

Mangwana said: "We are very happy with the results. So far, it shows that the people of Zimbabwe have entrusted ZANU-PF to lead them and we will do our best to meet the people's wishes in the constituencies that elected us."

However, the opposition alliance has alleged that election was rigged in favour of the party that has been in power since the southern African nation gained independence in 1980.

Nkululeko Sibanda, MDC alliance spokesman, said: "The results are a gimmick to try and prepare Zimbabwe for a rigged election. If President Chamisa wins this election then the people of Zimbabwe will have their government."

There was tension and tensed moods at the opposition party headquarters, as hundreds of supporters gathered outside, claiming that the entire electoral process was foul play.

Samson Chikazhe, a member of the MDC told newsmen: "The results are not a true reflection of the people who voted on the polling day. These are cooked figures they are not the real figures.

"I am not happy because at the polling station where I voted most of the people were voting for MDC alliance but if you see the results of the constituency it does not reflect the will of the people. We are not going to accept defeat."

Standing a few feet away from Chikazhe, Eveson Matambanadzo said the results were unacceptable.

Another member of the opposition, Eveson Matambanadzo, said: "The results we have are cooked if you compare the people who voted on the ground to the results that are there it doesn't tally."

With the rise of reactions in the angry crowd, the security officials brought reinforcement with one police truck and several water cannon trucks kept a watchful eye but did not interfere. Many of the protesters tried to get into the National Results Centre (NRC).

The case is different outside the ruling party headquarters, as there was no sign of supporters or heavy presence of security agents.

Meanwhile, ZANU-PF denied the opposition accusation of manipulating the vote. Hundreds have gathered in the streets of Harare to protest the results [Hamza Mohamed/Al Jazeera]

Mangwana further said: "There was no rigging and the opposition will come to realise this once emotions settle down. This was a free expression of the people's will."

A Harare-based political analyst with Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, Pedzisai Ruhanya, said that the results released so far could be a reflection of the will of the people but were not perfect.

Ruhanya said: "It seems the results so far could indicate the will of the people, especially the rural population, to be ruled by ZANU-PF.
"But there are serious issues with the conduct of the election by ZEC and these need to be sorted out if this election is meant to ensure a smooth democratic transition for Zimbabwe or else there will be distrust and discontent among the urban people."

The election was Zimbabwe's first election since President Robert Mugabe left office in 2017. After the announcement, it will be critical to see if the opposition parties will accept the results. There have been threats of protests and the opposition parties have said they will release their own set of results.

The leader of the opposition, Nelson Chamisa, tweeted that he had "won". The results are a gimmick to try and prepare Zimbabwe for a rigged election. Chamisa said on Tuesday, July 31, that he was "winning resoundingly" - a claim denied by ZEC.

A presidential poll will be held on Saturday, September 8, if a candidate does not secure more than 50 percent of the vote, but it will probably take a couple of days before the results of the presidential election have come in.

More than five million Zimbabweans registered to take part in the poll. ZEC said that 1.3 percent of registered voters could not cast their vote because they presented the wrong documents at polling units.

Briefly.co.za gathered that official results indicated that ZANU-PF on Wednesday, August 1, won the majority of seats in the parliament after claiming rural constituencies by huge margins.

This, no doubt, has set 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).

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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