Business as usual in Harare after elections conflict

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By Mary Taruvinga

IT was business as usual in Harare the morning after hotly disputed presidential election results which showed Zanu PF’s Emmerson Mnangagwa winning by 50.8 percent.

Main rival Nelson Chamisa of the MDC Alliance polled 44,3 percent.

The opposition coalition immediately rejected the results, describing them as fraudulent raising fears of possible disturbances in the capital from angry alliance supporters.

This was after delays in announcing results of the presidential vote resulted in protests Wednesday that left six people dead after riot police and soldiers move in to disperse them, the latter firing into the crowds.

Harare was edgy but calm on Friday with vendors back along the streets and along shop fronts in the capital.

Most shops were open for business and there were more people on the streets compared to the previous day.

However, while the atmosphere was peaceful, it was visibly tense as small groups of people would be seen in street corners discussing the week’s events while holding local newspapers.

At the Harvest House headquarters of the Chamisa’s MDC-T party trucks with riot police could be seen parked in front of the building, backed by two water cannon.

A flare up occurred late in the afternoon as riot police stormed Bronte Garden Hotel and tried to stop a press conference set to be addressed by Chamisa.

They ordered journalists to leave by the reporters refused to budge resulting in a tense stand-off which was only broken when Zanu PF national spokesman Simon Khaya Moyo turned up and ordered the police to leave.