World, Africa

Zimbabwe: Government says troops to remain in capital

3 killed amid protests as ruling party accused of vote rigging in first presidential elections since Mugabe ouster

Zimbabwe: Government says troops to remain in capital HARARE, ZIMBABWE - AUGUST 1: Opposition supporters barricade a street in the central Harare, to protest against the results of Zimbabwe’s presidential election, on 01 August 2018. ( Wilfred Kajese - Anadolu Agency )

By John Cassim

HARARE, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean authorities said Thursday military troops would remain in the capital Harare after post-election protests turned violent.

On Wednesday, a government crackdown on opposition protesters resulted in the deaths of at least six people, according to local media.

Police confirmed that three people have been shot dead as troops used live bullets to quell demonstrators who accuse the ruling Zanu-PF party of rigging the elections.

Minister of Home Affairs Obert Mpofu said the government will not allow protests, accusing opposition party leaders of inciting the violence.

The situation was tense but calm on Thursday as troops have set up a number of roadblocks on all major roads leading out of the capital.

Meanwhile, Nelson Chamisa, the opposition leader, visited the shooting victims in various hospitals in the capital.

Chamisa also met relatives of the deceased at the country’s main hospital Parirenyatwa, where he condemned the “excessive use of force” by the military.

“President Emmerson Mnangagwa, if you believe that I am responsible for the death of these people then it’s unfortunate,” Chamisa said while responding to questions by the media.

The 40-year-old opposition leader urged Mnangagwa to walk the talk and reveal to the world as to who gave the soldiers instructions to shoot and kill.

Chamisa denied there was a scheduled meeting with President Mnangagwa aimed at defusing the volatile situation.

“I am actually surprised, he sent a tweet, yes dialogue is good for the country but I have not heard from Mnangagwa,” Chamisa said.

The election result has yet to be declared. The MDC opposition alliance insists its candidate, Nelson Chamisa, won the vote against incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

UN chief urges restraint in post-elections Zimbabwe  

The head of the UN on Thursday urged Zimbabwe’s political leaders for calm as the country awaits the results of the general election.

Antonio Guterres expressed concerns of increased violence in the capital, Harare, following the July 30 elections.

“He [Guterres] calls on the political leaders and the population to exercise restraint and reject any form of violence while awaiting the announcement of the election results," deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said in a statement. 

Guterres also called on politicians to pursue "any disputes through peaceful means, dialogue and in accordance with the law."

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