Zimbabwe Elections 2018: A defiant Nelson Chamisa stands by election victory claim

Zimbabwe election: Both sides certain of winning

Zimbabwe election: ZANU-PF wins parliamentary majority, electoral body says

The first parliamentary results trickled in this morning and put Emmerson Mnangagwa in the lead to win the landmark election in Zimbabwe.

The Commonwealth's observer mission said on Thursday Zimbabwe's security services used excessive force to break up protests in Harare over this week's presidential election.

ZEC published the first tranche of results today, showing a majority for president Emmerson Mnangagwa's party in the first election since Robert Mugabe was ousted a year ago.

A senior official of MDC's seven-party coalition, Tendai Biti, has agreed to hand himself over to the Zimbabwean police amid claims that he had incited violence and hatred during protests in Harare on Wednesday, which culminated in the army opening fire and killing three people.

There was a heavy police presence around the headquarters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party, which had sought to dislodge the ruling party at the polls after decades of rule by former longtime leader Robert Mugabe.

ZEC has denied any wrong doing, noting that it is impossible to rig elections in Zimbabwe. Officers responded with tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets.

It is a lesson for the opposition that in future they should not lose sight of the bigger prize. "I was beaten by soldiers", said Norest Kemvo, who had gashes to his face and right hand.

The crowds chanted: "We want Chamisa". The results are a gimmick to try and prepare Zimbabwe for a rigged election.

The MDC broke into factions after the death in February of its veteran leader Morgan Tsvangirai as his deputies battled over who his successor should be.

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President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said that he holds the leaders of the coalition MDC Alliance responsible for the violence which took place today.

"We saw the deployment of military tanks and the firing of live ammunition for no apparent reason". Call on 's political leaders to take responsibility for ensuring calm and restraint at this critical moment. Police padlocked the main gate.

A Harare-based political analyst with Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, Pedzisai Ruhanya, said that the results released so far could be a reflection of the will of the people but were not ideal. Why are the army here beating us? "This is not an election it is a disgrace on our country", one young man, Colbert Mugwenhi, said. At least three protesters have been shot and killed. "We don't accept that", Biti said.

Police patrol outside the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission offices as opposition supporters gather, in Harare, Zimbabwe, on August 1, 2018.

European Union observers voiced concern about delays in releasing the results of the presidential contest, a two-horse race between Chamisa and Mnangagwa, head of the ruling ZANU-PF party.

This in turn would have allowed it to start unlocking the billions of dollars of donor funding and investment needed to get its economy - at independence, one of Africa's most vibrant - back on its feet.

The ruling Zanu-PF party has won a majority of seats in parliament, the electoral commission said.

When Mugabe resigned last November, bowing to pressure from his former ally Mnangagwa and the military, observers both at home and overseas heralded Monday's general elections - which will decide presidential, parliamentary and local seats - as an opportunity for a clean slate.

"What you see here is real support - not people being brought on buses like ZANU-PF does", he said. We've more votes than ED.

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