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Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
The MDC-Alliance leadership should be held accountable for the violence that rocked Harare’s central business district (CBD) yesterday, which was meant to disrupt a peaceful electoral process that was about to come to an end, President Mnangagwa has said.
Three people died in the violent disturbances by MDC-Alliance supporters who were acting on reckless statements from their leaders.
President Mnangagwa said the MDC-Alliance leadership should also be held responsible for any loss of life and damage to property that occurred.
Addressing journalists at his Munhumutapa Offices in Harare last night, the President urged MDC-Alliance leaders to remove their violent supporters from the streets.
MDC-Alliance is led by Mr Nelson Chamisa who on several occasions posted messages on social media saying he would not accept any result in which he was not the winner.
On the campaign trail ahead of the elections on Monday, Mr Chamisa vowed to make the country ungovernable if he lost.
“We hold the opposition MDC-Alliance and its whole leadership responsible for this disturbance of national peace, which was meant to disrupt the electoral process,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Equally, we hold the party and its leadership responsible for any loss of life, injury or damage to property that arise from these acts of political violence which they have aided and abetted.
“The Alliance leadership has, forthwith, to remove its violent supporters from the streets so peace returns to our country. In asking them to take this necessary step, Government is simply reminding them of their duties as responsible political players, and as citizens.”
President Mnangagwa said the acts of violence came as a surprise given the generally peaceful environment.
He said Government went out of its way to ensure the harmonised elections were held in a tranquil environment.
To that end, President Mnangagwa said: “In the past month or so, our country saw a remarkably peaceful election campaign process like has never been witnessed before. Government preached the message of peace, which was largely accepted and heeded by our people.
“Building on that environment of peace, this Monday, July 30, Zimbabweans went out in record numbers to cast their votes, and did so in the full glare of international observers and the world media.
“Since yesterday, our election management body, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, has been announcing results of that voting process.
“As I address you, results of parliamentary seats are all but fully announced, with those for presidential candidates waiting for legal formalities before they are similarly announced. Like the campaigning and voting process, this stage in our whole electoral process started off peacefully.
“Against this background, incidents of wanton violence and hooliganism which broke out this afternoon in the capital come as a complete surprise.”
President Mnangagwa said in any electoral process, there were winners and losers and people should learn to accept the outcome of such processes.
“In any electoral process, it is understood that some win while others lose,” he said.
“But those who lose should never translate their disappointment into hooliganism.”
The electoral process is expected to end today when ZEC is expected to announce the results of the presidential polls.