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World

Zimbabwe election: Mugabe tormentor deploys troops, beats, shoots civilians

Army firing live bullets

Troops have opened fire in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare after opposition supporters went on the rampage.

At least one man was shot dead by the army, reports from the scene say. Another was shot and wounded by police.

The MDC Alliance alleges the ruling Zanu-PF party has rigged Monday’s presidential and parliamentary vote.

Parliamentary results show the ruling Zanu-PF party heading for a big majority. The presidential result has yet to be declared.

European Union poll monitors have expressed concern over the length of time it is taking to declare the presidential result.

The MDC Alliance says its presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa, won Monday’s election.

Correspondents stress that Wednesday’s violence is confined to the centre of Harare – an opposition stronghold – while other parts of the country remain calm. Latest reports from the capital suggest the security forces are in control of the streets.

Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said the army had been deployed in Harare to disperse a violent crowd and to restore “peace and tranquillity”.

He added: “The presence of the army is not to intimidate people but to ensure that law and order is maintained. They are there to assist the police.”

Army vehicles and police trucks rolled into Zimbabwe’s main city on Wednesday after the wait for the election results took an ugly turn.

MDC Alliance supporters had been gathering in various parts of Harare since the morning, but when news came that Zanu-PF had won the majority of seats in parliament and that the presidential results were not ready, the previously upbeat mood changed.

Opposition supporters went on the rampage down Harare’s busy streets, heading towards an old Zanu-PF office and carrying large stones, sticks and anything else they could grab along the way. The crowd chanted: “We want Chamisa.”

They believe the election has been stolen, and are demanding the MDC be announced as the winner.

Riot police using water cannon and tear gas arrived to a chaotic scene of burning tyres and an unrelenting crowd. There were hundreds of them. They jeered and pelted the police vans with stones.

In another part of the city where more opposition protesters had gathered, the army used whips to disperse them.

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