Zimbabwe Election : Troops patrol streets of Harare after protests

There were continued calls for calm as Zimbabwean soldiers walked the streets of the capital Harare a day after clashes between security forces and opposition protesters left three people dead.

Zimbabwean authorities say the military will remain in the capital until “this situation is over” amid opposition protests over alleged manipulation of Monday’s election results.

Gunfire echoed round the city on Wednesday as troops, backed by armoured vehicles and a military helicopter, cleared the streets of demonstrators who accused the ruling party of trying to rig Monday’s presidential election.

ome affairs minister Obert Mpofu accused the opposition of using the presence of international election observers to “grandstand” and cause “anarchy”.

The officials offered no new information on the three people killed after the military swept into Harare on Wednesday and started shooting to disperse protesters.

Police have said they requested the military’s help because they were “unable to cope”.

The opposition and Western election observers have urged that results of the presidential election be released as soon as possible.

The deployment of soldiers and their beating of unarmed protesters set back President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s efforts to shed Zimbabwe’s pariah status after decades of repression under Robert Mugabe, who was ousted in a coup in November.

Mnangagwa blamed the violence on the opposition MDA party, led by Nelson Chamisa, for claiming that he had won the popular vote.

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