Three dead in Zimbabwe as Mnangagwa blames opposition, UN urges caution

A soldier fires shots towards demonstrators, on August 1 2018, in Harare, as protests erupted over alleged fraud in the country's election. Protests in Zimbabwe's historic elections turned bloody on August 1 as a man was shot dead during demonstrations over alleged vote fraud and the president appealed for calm. The man died after soldiers fired live ammunition during opposition protests in downtown Harare, AFP reporters saw. / AFP PHOTO / Zinyange AUNTONY

HARARE – Three people have been killed as Zimbabwe’s president blames the opposition for the violence after the country’s general election.

The military has swept into the capital Harare to disperse protesters after the Zanu-PF won a parliamentary majority in the vote.

The United Nations has urged political leaders and Zimbabweans to reject any form of violence after troops opened fire on opposition demonstrators.

Weeping family members have been seen at the Parirenyatwa Hospital in the capital where a body lay on a stretcher.

He has been locally identified as street vendor Ishmeil Kumeni, 42, who was caught in the crossfire.

Brighton Chizhande, chairman of the Zimbabwe Doctors for Human Rights, says they have confirmed one death from a gunshot wound near the heart and they are following up reports that four others have died.

He added that the injured include people with deep wounds in the shoulder, buttocks and another suffered a “gunshot wound to the penis”.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa said in a statement that the opposition under Nelson Chamisa is responsible for the chaos “meant to disrupt the electoral process”.

Zimbabwe holds parliamentary and presidential elections separately, with the electoral commission saying the outcome of the latter will be released “sometime tomorrow”.

Police have invoked a strict security act that forbids public gatherings amid the violence.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change has told reporters that Mr Chamisa is “shocked” by the events in Harare.

A spokesman said: “We are seriously meant to wonder that this means.

“Are we at war?”

The opposition says it condemns violence in all its forms.