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Observers panic as Zimbabwe election turn violent

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UGLY SCENES: Election violence OBSERVER: Tshireletso

Elections observers in Harare say they are locked inside their hotels as largely peaceful elections that took place on Monday turned violent from Wednesday afternoon.

An observer from Botswana, Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Botlogile Tshireletso, has confirmed that indeed they have been advised to stay in their hotels.

“I am fine, but scared. It was always fine until today around 12pm after the press conference,” Tshireletso explained.

She further confirmed that observers have been advised to stay in their hotels and advised not to go out.

Yet another observer from Malawi, corroborated Tshireletso’s statement and added that, “I am in a hotel now and have been advised by security agents not to move outside.”

Reports from Harare suggest that already a person has been shot down by soldiers near a bus rank in central Harare as protests that were said to have been started by the main opposition party followers turned violent.

Earlier in the day, media reports suggested that a crowd of protesters from Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) gathered outside the Harare hotel where election results were to be announced while armed riot police with water cannon blocked the entrance.

Yet another group is said to have gathered at the gates of the electoral commission with a line of armed police blocking them.

European Union’s election observer mission was heard saying the Zimbabwe poll on Monday was largely peaceful, but the use of state resources and coercion and bias by traditional leaders, meant a level playing field was not truly achieved.

Presidential election results are yet to be announced.

10 COMMENTS

  1. So this is the african continent using LIVE AMMUNITION against UNARMED people
    a similar situation where a Refugee approaches SADC with a piece of paper and gets ARRESTED the world has seen this footage of LIVE AMMUNITION against UNARMED people
    Someone should ask who at SADC who had this refugee arrested UNACCEPTABLE AND DISGRACEFUL FOR THE REGION

  2. This socalled Junta Government in Zimbabwe are on record of purchasing vehicles for the Chiefs to get Votes among other things

  3. In the footage one can see soldiers even carrying tree branches to beat the people
    another development a prominent opposition member who has won a seat has been abducted by the secret service and the SADC observers do not seem to be making a comment ??

  4. “The Commonwealth joined other election observers in urging Zimbabwe to release results of the presidential vote as soon as possible to reduce the tensions, saying delays will increase speculation that results were manipulated. The electoral commission said the results would come “very soon.”

    By law the commission has five days from the vote to release them, but both observers and the opposition have asked why presidential results were counted first but are being released last.

    In a series of posts on Twitter, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said “we have been in communication” with challenger Nelson Chamisa and that “we must maintain this dialogue in order to protect the peace we hold dear.””
    Goodnees gracious the onein charge that took over with the help of the Military does not know what peace is

  5. The following is an EyeWitness account on what hapened on the Ground
    By Groundup Correspondent

    l arrived in the Harare city centre at about 4pm on Wednesday.

    I was surprised to see ordinary people running from all directions of town. Some vendors were pushing trollies full of goods. They were shouting, “Soldiers run!”

    I could hear gunshots from every direction that people were fleeing from. MDC supporters, protesting the election results, had barricaded roads. Most of the protesters had dispersed but soldiers were chasing after people uninvolved in the protests. Some women were carrying children on their backs.

    That is when l saw the soldiers coming. Some were in military vehicles. Others were walking on foot. I have never seen so many soldiers in my life. They were angry. Some were holding guns, others sjamboks. It felt like a war had broken out in Harare, a city which is normally calm.

    The soldiers were not listening to anyone. Some people begged to be allowed further into town to catch taxis home. But soldiers wielded sjamboks not caring whether or not they were MDC supporters. People screamed and ran. Soldiers did not care whether the were women or men. They were shouting: “Go home!”

    Those who resisted were beaten up. Besides firing their guns, the soldiers also shot teargas. They showed no mercy. The best thing for everyone was to run for dear life. As soldiers chased after people, l heard one of them shouting “You can vote for MDC all you want but there is nothing you can do.”

    Some men, who were possibly MDC supporters, started chanting slogans, “Chinja, Chinja” which means it’s time for change. But the words were void to the soldiers who had by now begun succeeding in driving everyone out of the city centre. Some people jumped into taxis, while others left on foot.”

  6. “An Innocent employee at the Zimbabwe National Water Authority, ZINWA, was one of the people shot at by trigger friendly members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces in Harare on Wednesday.

    Mrs Sylvia Maposa was shot at the back as she made her way out of the offices home in the middle of the chaos that rocked the city late afternoon. “

  7. “Zimbabwe President EmmersonMnangagwa’s spokesman said on state
    television that there was no order issued by the army to clear central Harare and termed such
    reports as “fake news”.

    “My message today to all Zimbabweans is thattoday is a normal working day. They must go
    about their business as always,” GeorgeCharamba said.

  8. What a mess and others trying to cover up the do not seem to cre if people have died this spokesman was the spokesman for the Old man now he is the spokesman for the other one who has taken over with the help of the Miltary

  9. “The Commonwealth Observer Mission has strongly condemned the opening of fire on demonstrators in Harare yesterday.

    In a statement to a South African television, the Commonwealth Observer Mission condemned the use of excessive force to disperse angry MDC Alliance supporters who were protesting at alleged electoral theft.

    “We have always stressed the need for peace and harmony.

    We urge disgruntled parties to follow the readily available legal platforms to express their concerns. Therefore we do not condone violence.

    At the same time we also condemn the opening of fire on demonstrators.

    Soldiers are not supposed to use live ammunition to crush dissent,” said the Commonwealth Observer Mission.”

  10. “The Zimbabwe Republic Police has issued a search warrant to MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa, Alliance Principal Tendai Biti and 5 other MDC Alliance stalwarts.2