Violence mars Zimbabwe recount

Opposition alleges government-sponsored violence amid controversial recount.

    Twenty-one of the constituencies being recounted were won by the MDC [AFP]

    Controversial recount
     
    Twenty-one of the constituencies being recounted after complaints of irregularities by Zanu-PF have been won by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
     
    Goromozi West was one of only two districts to hold a recount in a seat won by president Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.

    In video


    Opposition claims intimidation

    The MDC was initially declared to have taken 109 seats against 97 for Zanu-PF in the 210-seat parliamentary chamber, but Mugabe's party will regain its majority if it can reverse the results in seven or more of the seats under review.
     
    The recount also covers votes cast in a simultaneous presidential election in which Mugabe is seeking a sixth term in office.
     
    Al Jazeera's Mutasa said people in the country are becoming increasingly frustrated with the political wrangling over the elections.
     
    "Many people have given up, they suspect Zanu-PF are going to end up winning," she said.
     
    "We are [also] hearing a report that out in the rural areas, people are being intimidated ... the government has denied this, saying that those arrested are MDC supporters. There is a lot of confusion."
     
    Post-election violence
     
    Jacob Zuma, leader of South Africa's ruling political party and likely the country's next president, has called any violence "unacceptable".
     
    The opposition claims at least 10 people have been killed and hundreds injured - mostly during what they say has been a campaign of intimidation by supporters of Mugabe.
     
    In Centenary, 100km northwest of Harare, at least 28 homes have been burned down, while many people report being attacked.
     

    "They beat me, tore my clothes and said to me I was selling out the nation, and that I am MDC"

    Justin Chauke, attacked farm worker

    Justin Chauke, a farm worker, told Al Jazeera: "They beat me, tore my clothes and said to me I was selling out the nation, and that I am MDC. They kept beating me, and I started bleeding from my ears and nose."
     
    Church leaders on Tuesday also issued a statement claiming several people have been injured and killed in post-election violence.
     
    Government officials deny opposition supporters are being targeted and say the MDC is lying.
     
    Patrick Chinamasa, the minister of justice, said: "We refute completely that people are dying of politically motivated violence. And please next time they say that, ask them who are these people, where are their names."
     
    The minister said claims by Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader, of a genocide happening in the country are wrong.
     
    Chinamasa told Al Jazeera: "With respect to genocide, please save us from the MDC-Tsvangirai lies. What are they intended to achieve? They are intended to achieve on an international intervention in the domestic affairs of Zimbabwe."
     
    Unity call

     

    Zimbabwe's state-run newspaper has urged regional countries to help Mugabe form a transitional government that can organise a fresh poll and write a new constitution.

     

    The Herald, traditionally close to Zanu-PF, said in an editorial posted on its website on Wednesday that prevailing political tensions made it impossible to hold a free and fair presidential run-off.

     
    "The current socio-economic environment in Zimbabwe is not conducive, and the country's political dynamics so distorted, that holding a free and fair election run-off in the immediate term is literally impossible," it said.

     

    Back to China 


    Meanwhile, a Chinese vessel loaded with weapons reportedly turned back to port after it was prevented from unloading cargo that was to be transported to Zimbabwe across several southern African nations.

     

    Your Views

    Should Mugabe concede defeat?


    Send us your views

    Jiang Yu, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, said the shipment was part of "normal military product trade" between the two countries.

     

    "As far as I know, the carrier is now considering carrying back the cargo," she said on Tuesday.

     

    Zimbabwe's neighbours, powerful unions and church leaders united to bar the Chinese freighter An Yue Jiang from docking or offloading its cargo since last week, saying it could deepen the country's post-election crisis.

    Zanu-PF officials defended the arms shipment, saying the government did not need "clearance from anyone".

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    The US exaggerating and obsessing about foreign threats seems quite similar to what is happening in Russia.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months