Opposition rejects "fake" Poll Results
Zimbabwe’s opposition leader has dismissed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s election victory as being based on “unverified fake results”. The electoral commission said “no skulduggery” was involved in the vote tally.
Later, on a tense day, riot police initially prevented the opposition’s Nelson Chamisa from holding a press conference, but it has now started. This was the first election since long-term leader Robert Mugabe was ousted. In a tweet, Mr Mnangagwa has urged Zimbabweans to unite to create “a new beginning” after a vote that was intended to set Zimbabwe on a new path following years of repressive rule.
But addressing journalists on Friday afternoon, Mr Chamisa called on his rival not to accept “corrupted results”. Mr Mnangagwa took office after Mr Mugabe, 94, was forced to resign in November amid a military takeover.
What is the situation in Harare?
The BBC’s Pumza Fihlani in the capital says riot police bashed their cover shields to chase reporters away from the venue of the opposition MDC Alliance press conference.
Later a MDC Alliance lawyer said there had been a mix up and that the police thought Mr Chamisa was to address a political gathering. Police are patrolling the streets of city after clashes between protesters and police on Wednesday left six people dead. A police vehicle with a loudspeaker is broadcasting the message: “Zimbabwe is open for business. We are here to protect you. Feel free to walk and open your business. All is well, fear not.”
The city, which is seen as an opposition stronghold, is quieter than normal as people are digesting the outcome, correspondents say. But there were celebrations in one part of Harare. The president’s supporters in the suburb of Mbare took to the streets to welcome the news. “This is a new Zimbabwe, we are happy,” AFP news agency quotes 32-year-old IT specialist Tendai Mugadzi as saying.
How close was the result?
Emerson Mnangagwa avoided a run-off by just 36,464 votes out of more than 4.8 million cast. Overall, official results show he took 50.8% of the vote to Mr Chamisa’s 44.3%. The 21 other candidates took up the remainder.