HARARE: Zimbabwe’s ruling party is signaling victory in the presidential election and telling the opposition that “we should all lose graciously.”
Spokesman Paul Mangwana also tells reporters that opposition supporters were responsible for Wednesday’s deadly violence in the capital in which the military swept in with gunfire to disperse protests over alleged rigging in Monday’s vote.
He says that “it is not entirely true protesters were not armed.”
Mangwana also urges supporters of the ZANU-PF ruling party to “celebrate our victory with restraint.”
Zimbabwe’s electoral commission has said the results of the presidential election will be announced “very soon,” while a new joint statement by international election observer missions urges the quick release of those results.
A new joint statement by foreign election observers in Zimbabwe is expressing “grave concern” over deadly violence after Monday’s vote and urging the electoral commission to release the full results “expeditiously” and in a transparent manner.
The statement by European Union, US, Commonwealth, African Union and other observer missions denounces the “excessive use of force” used to calm Wednesday’s protests in the capital and urges Zimbabwe’s army and police to use restraint.
The international observers call on political parties for peace and condemn vandalism.
Zimbabwean authorities say the military will remain deployed until “this situation is over.”