HARARE (Reuters) – One person was shot dead by Zimbabwean soldiers near a bus rank in central Harare on Wednesday after troops were deployed to quell protests over this week’s presidential election, witnesses told a Reuters photographer.
One man is reportedly dead after the Zimbabwean Army opened fire on a crowd marching in protest over alleged electoral fraud during the Zimbabwe election on July 30.
Shocking Sky News Australia footage shows protesters taking refuge behind parked cars as shots are heard in the distance.
A man can be seen running towards the car before sliding behind it as shooting resume, with more people joining him to avoid getting hurt.
Another man can be heard yelling: “We’re in the crossfire, come down.”
Zimbabwe news: terrifying video shows men hiding behind a car as shots are fired
FT Southern Africa correspondent Joseph Cotterill, who is currently in Harare following the aftermath of the Zimbabwe election, has been recording the violent unravelling of the protest on the streets of Harare.
Writing on Twitter, Mr Cotterill said: “I saw one soldier in a blue and red ski-mask scream ‘I’ll show you free and fair’ as his squad beat women, bystanders, anyone, up the road.
“One pointed his AK-47 right at me.”
In another tweet, he added: “More armoured cars, more soldiers piling in around ZANU-PF HQ and election results centre. I’m leaving area as I didn’t bring my flak jacket.”
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) reported in its preliminary results that Emmerson Mnangagwa’s party has won the majority seats in parliament, showing he picked up 109 seats against 41 for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Zimbabwe election: Shots fired from Zanu PF headquarters
I saw one soldier in a blue and red ski-mask scream ‘I’ll show you free and fair’
Mr Mnangagwa took over the ZANU-PF party after ousting Robert Mugabe in a bloodless coup in November.
As results have yet to be officially announced by the ZEC sources counting the ballots have said it is “close”.
Zimbabwean soldiers appeared on streets of Harare on Wednesday, jumping out of several armoured vehicles to disperse opposition supporters after they clashed with police, footage broadcast by eNCA television showed.
Automatic gunfire has also been heard and an army helicopter has been spotted in the skies.
The ZANU-PF leader tweeted: “At this crucial time, I call on everyone to desist from provocative declarations and statements. We must all demonstrate patience and maturity, and act in a way that puts our people and their safety first. Now is the time for responsibility and above all, peace.”