Zanu-PF signals a Mnangagwa win

The unrest started soon after Nelson Chamisa, leader of the opposition MDC party, declared himself the popular victor.

MDC Alliance supporters demonstrate outside the Zanu-PF headquarters.

The National Assembly has 210 seats and Zanu-PF would need to win 30 more to have a two-thirds majority that would allow it to change the constitution at will.

The website of the election commission, which is expected to start announcing presidential election results on Thursday, was offline after being taken out by unidentified hackers overnight.

They also questioned delays in releasing the results of the presidential contest in Zimbabwe's first election since Robert Mugabe was forced to resign following a de facto coup in November after almost 40 years in power.

Races in some constituencies were so close that they could have gone to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), had it not been split between Nelson Chinamasa's MDC Alliance and Thokozani Khupe's MDC-T.

Amnesty International called on the government to launch a prompt investigation into the army's actions. The ruling Zanu-PF party are on course to retain their Parliamentary majority. He could not give any figures because he would be breaking the law, he said.

What are election observers saying?

Indications are that presidential results may be released on Thursday.

Chamisa, though, is not taking these results lightly. "So we are very circumspect". Chamisa tweeted Wednesday morning.

The clip and the AFP photo accompanying it are set to become symbolic of the violence and bloodshed that will mark the date August 1 2018 in Zimbabwean history forever.

It was the first time the military was back in the streets since Mugabe's ouster - at that time, they were welcomed by residents as liberators.

"They are showing their true colors now". Three were killed in the protests when the army was deployed to quell the violence. "Shooting us? This is not an election it is a disgrace on our country".

Police claimed that around 4,000 opposition supporters were "besieging" the city centre carrying iron bars and stones while the opposition said they were not responsible for the demonstrations.

Police have said they requested the military's help because they were "unable to cope".

SEOM will continue to assess the post-election period covering the counting, tallying and tabulation of results; and other relevant aspects of the result management process.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said he is in communication with MDC Alliance Presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa to diffuse the volatile situation in the country saying the dialogue is important to maintain peace in the country.

Police denied the allegation.

Police spokesperson Charity Charamba told state broadcaster Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) that the three people killed in the clashes had yet to be identified.

The opposition said it condemns violence in all its forms.

The head of the Commonwealth election observers in Zimbabwe, former Ghana leader John Dramani Mahama, condemned what he called the "excessive use of force" against protesters and said all sides should act with restraint.

The European Union (EU) mission has criticised the delay in announcing the presidential results. China said however it believed the election had generally been orderly.

  • Leroy Wright