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Zim police going after MDC Alliance leaders for 'inciting' violence

On Wednesday, the party's supporters marched outside the national elections results centre in the capital Harare, accusing Zanu-PF of rigging votes in Monday’s historic election.

MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa (wearing red tie) prepares to cast his vote in Zimbabwe's presidential elections on 30 July 2018. Picture: EWN

HARARE – Police in Zimbabwe are going after party leaders from the opposition MDC Alliance, claiming that they have incited their members to commit violence.

On Wednesday, the party's supporters marched outside the national elections results centre in the capital Harare, accusing Zanu-PF of rigging votes in Monday’s historic election.

They were met by the military, who fired rubber bullets, teargas and even live ammunition to disperse the crowd.

The protest happened as the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission announced results that Zanu-PF scored a two-thirds majority in parliament.

After Wednesday's violent protest, police and President Emmerson Mnangagwa are laying the blame squarely on the MDC Alliance leaders.

The party's president, Nelson Chamisa, previously declared he would not accept defeat if he loses, while his co-leader Tendai Biti called a press conference on Wednesday pronouncing Chamisa as the new president even though presidential results have not been announced.

The police's Charity Charamba says they are aware who the inciters of violence are.

She says the police are viewing video footage of political party leaders who stoked tensions during their addresses.

Chamisa's spokesperson addressed the media on Wednesday night, saying his party did not provoke any violence and didn't "order guns onto the streets".

VIDEO: Zimbabwe army uses live rounds against protesters

At the same time, the MDC Alliance has demanded the government withdraw soldiers deployed to crackdown on protesters.

Post-election violence gripped the capital on Wednesday, which saw three people died in clashes with soldiers and police.

The opposition believes Monday’s polls were rigged in favour of the ruling Zanu-PF.

MDC Alliance politician David Coltart has appealed for calm.

“The MDC needs to say to the people you can’t put your life at risk and we don’t want you to go and protest. It’s clear that the military will not show restraint. Mnangagwa, as well, needs to do the same thing, he needs to withdraw the military from the streets.”