HARARE – Zimbabwe police stormed the headquarters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the capital Harare on Thursday and detained 16 people after sealing off the building earlier, a Reuters witness said.
“Police came with a warrant of search and seizure they claimed there were certain computers and other subversive materials,” MDC lawyer Denford Halimani said.
“They wanted to seize those things and also get people that were inside. Perhaps it was a scare tactic. There was nothing the police retrieved. They took away 16 people we are going to confirm if these people have been arrested.”
Meanwhile, both leading contestants in Zimbabwe’s disputed presidential election signalled they had won on Thursday as a nervous nation awaited the official results three days after voting.
International observers urged the electoral commission to release the tally as soon as possible to avoid further violence after three people were killed on Wednesday in clashes between security forces and opposition supporters.
Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa claimed victory, saying President Emmerson Mnangagwa knew he had lost otherwise the results would have been announced by now. But Mnangagwa’s ruling ZANU-PF suggested the win would be his.
“We as a party we are obviously very pleased that the results announced by ZEC so far show that we achieved two-thirds majority from the parliamentary election,” ZANU-PF’s legal secretary is Paul Mangwana told reporters.
“We expect that these results will become a reflection of what we are expecting in the presidential elections.” The commission said it would start announcing the results of the presidential election — Zimbabwe’s first since the army ousted Robert Mugabe last November to end four decades of authoritarian rule — from 10 p.m. local time (2000 GMT).