HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe police said on Thursday the death toll a day after clashes between soldiers, police and opposition party supporters had doubled to six after three people succumbed to their injuries.
Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba said the situation, particularly in the capital Harare, remained tense and the army’s assistance was still needed to ensure security.
Opposition leader Chamisa today claimed victory in the presidential election.
Mr Chamisa said president Emmerson Mnangagwa knew he had lost, otherwise the results would have been announced by now.
In his first public appearance since the vote on Monday, Mr Chamisa, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), urged his supporters to be calm and await “massive celebrations” for his victory.
Mr Chamisa said he could not give any figures because he would be breaking the law.
The results are set to be announced at 10pm.
Zimbabwe’s electoral commission has been urged to release the results as soon as possible to avoid further violence. Three people were killed on Wednesday in clashes between security forces and opposition supporters.
Mr Chamisa criticised the “violent government” after a military crackdown on his supporters, some of whom were rioting during protests.
He was speaking during a visit to a hospital in the capital of Harare, where some of the injured and three dead were taken after Wednesday’s violence.
“We have unarmed civilians being attacked,” Mr Chamisa said. “Is that normal even in a banana republic?”
Mr Chamisa said he had not received any communication from Mr Mnangagwa, who claimed his government was in touch about calming tensions. Mr Mnangagwa earlier accused the opposition of inciting the violence to disrupt the electoral process.
Mr Chamisa called for calm and again said he is “very confident we are forming the next government.”
Meanwhile, the British Embassy has demanded the military is removed from the streets of Harare.
A statement said: “We condemn the excessive use of force by the security forces towards demonstrators yesterday.”
It added: “All political leaders have a responsibility to ensure they do not raise tensions or issue statements that made violence more likely.”
Additional reporting by agencies