Three dead in Zimbabwe protests over alleged election fraud

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Three people were killed in Zimbabwe's capital Harare after troops opened fire on rioting opposition supporters, police say.

Soldiers and police fired live rounds, water cannons and tear gas at furious protesters who threw rocks and burned vehicles Wednesday in Zimbabwe's capital, dashing the optimism of an election that the country hoped would set it on a new course after decades of Robert Mugabe's rule.

Mnangagwa blamed the violence on the opposition Movement for Democratic Alliance, led by Nelson Chamisa, his main rival in a presidential election the results of which have not yet been announced.

Tongai Mnangagwa of Zanu PF was declared victor in Harare South and was closely ahead of former Zanu PF Harare Political Commissar who stood as an MDC Alliance candidate, Shadreck Mashayamombe.

Zimbabwe's electoral commission has said the results of the presidential election will be announced "very soon", while a new joint statement by worldwide election observer missions urges the quick release of those results.

Tensions spilled into violence when it became clear that Mr Mnangagwa, 75, was on course to be re-elected as president after his ruling Zanu-PF party secured more than two thirds of the seats in parliament. The commission has said the vote was free and fair.

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So, I know we have won the presidential election but we wait for the proper announcement of the results.

In Harare, the contrast could not be starker with November, when hundreds of thousands filled the streets, hugging soldiers and celebrating their role in ousting 94-year-old Mugabe, the only leader Zimbabwe had known since independence in 1980. We have also lost seats in other parts of the country but did not go to the streets.

This invitation of formerly banned election observer missions had, according to Augusto, demonstrated "transparency and confidence building in Zimbabwe's electoral process". "We had to consult among ourselves whether it would be safe", said one worker who declined to give his name.

Gunfire was heard downtown throughout the afternoon, including near the ruling party headquarters where protesters had gathered.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is yet to make a statement but the president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in a series of tweets, said he is talking to the opposition and has called for an independent investigation.

Southern African Development Community observer mission head and Angolan minister of external relations, Manuel Domingos Augusto, said a SADC elections advisory council was deployed to Zimbabwe as early as March this year.

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Khan offered to investigate all the allegations of rigging and said he wants to "unite" the country under his leadership. The PTI has won 76 of the 272 seats in Pakistan's national assembly and is leading in 43.

Former colonial power Britain called for "calm and restraint", urging "political leaders to take this critical moment".

"The opposition. have perhaps interpreted our understanding to be weak, and I think they are testing our resolve and I think they are making a big mistake", he said.

The MDC, which accused the election authorities of falsifying results, said the army had opened fire "for no apparent reason" leading to the deaths of unarmed civilians.

"There is no explanation whatsoever for the brutality that we saw".

But the one thing Zimbabweans want right now more than anything is an answer: who has won the election, officially. We've more votes than ED (Emmerson Mnangagwa).

A run-off vote is scheduled for September 8 if no presidential candidate wins by at least 50 per cent.

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