Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared a state of emergency, blaming opposition MDC Alliance leadership for Monday’s “violence and hooliganism”.
While Mnangagwa demands opposition takes responsibility for loss of life and injury, the opposition has in turn blamed the government for trying to cheat in the presidential election.
MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa is confident that he won the election but Mnangagwa is trying the rig the vote.
“I wish to extend my sincere condolences to the families of the victims of yesterday’s violence. All human life is sacred, and their deaths are a tragedy, irrespective of the circumstances. I would also like to wish a speedy recovery to all those injured in yesterday’s events,” Mnangagwa said in an address Thursday.
“They, alongside the families of the victims, are in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. The most important thing for us now is to move beyond yesterday’s tragic events, and to move forward, together.”
He has called for an independent investigation into what occurred in Harare yesterday.
The President who replaced ousted Robert Mugabe says he believes in transparency and accountability, and those responsible should be identified and brought to justice.
“It is also more important than ever that we are united, and commit to settling our differences peacefully and respectfully, and within the confines of the law.”
Mnangagwa says he has been in communication with Nelson Chamisa to discuss how to immediately diffuse the situation, and “we must maintain this dialogue in order to protect the peace we hold dear”.
“Together, we must lead by example and show all Zimbabweans that peace is paramount. This land is home to all of us, and we will sink or swim together.”
A statement by the by the European Union Spokesperson, says following the shootings and violence that have in the past day already claimed lives of several people, EU appeals for calm and restraint on all sides and for protests to be conducted according to the law.
“Violence is completely unacceptable and we express our sympathy to the victims and their families.”
The first findings of the EU Election Observation Mission, headed by Chief Observer Elmar Brok, Member of European Parliament, indicate that the elections were competitive, and that overall political freedoms were respected during the campaign.
Nevertheless a number of shortcomings were observed, including the lack of a truly level playing field. While the conduct of voting was well organised, it is now important that the final results are shared in a manner which provides for full transparency and accountability, including a breakdown by polling station.
The Election Observation Mission will stay on the ground until the electoral process is completed before issuing its final report, including recommendations for the strengthening of Zimbabwe’s electoral framework.
The European Union expects all stakeholders to allow the electoral process to run its course and be completed in full transparency and respect of the existing electoral framework.
Any complaints must be addressed swiftly and effectively through the legal means already foreseen.
The EU will continue coordinating with the African Union and Southern African Development Community (SADC) to strengthen Zimbabwe’s democratic institutions and processes.
The European Union is ready to assist a democratically elected government in implementing political and economic reforms to ensure a peaceful and prosperous future for all Zimbabweans, and to respond effectively to evolving regional and global challenges.
Britain’s ambassador to Harare has met Zimbabwean ministers and made clear that the army should be removed from the streets of the capital, the British embassy said.
“Zimbabwe is experiencing a period of heightened tension,” a statement said.
“All political leaders have a responsibility to ensure they do not raise tensions or issue statements that make violence more likely.”