Zimbabweans took to social media this afternoon to share their fears after at least one person was shot dead in the country’s capital as armed forces opened fire with live ammunition at MDC Alliance supporters.
The supporters were protesting over electoral results in Harare.
Before the military was called in, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the ruling Zanu-PF presidential hopeful, called for calm.
The slain citizen was reportedly shot near Zanu-PF Harare provincial offices, although police could not confirm this, and several more were left injured after MDC Alliance supporters took to the streets amid a delay in the release of the results of the presidential election.
The Zimbabwean Electoral Commission (ZEC) said the presidential results would no longer be announced today, as there were still processes to be followed to allow candidates to verify the results. The opposition accuses ZEC and Zanu-PF of colluding to avert the will of the people.
Some people, including South Africans, took to Twitter to speak out against the violence.
African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee member Zizi Kodwa said Chamisa’s “inflammatory and reckless” statements led to the violent protests.
Nelson Chamisa of MDC must be held accountable for inflammatory and reckless statements which has now led to eruption of violent protests in Harare. What started as peaceful elections in Zimbabwe history. He irresponsible declared himself a "winner". #ZimDecides2018
— Zizi Kodwa (@zizikodwa) August 1, 2018
In the days after the July 30 vote, Chamisa has on a few occasions said that his party, the MDC Alliance, has won.
Meanwhile, some Twitter users have called on the military to be withdrawn from the city.
A number of them said Chamisa should take some responsibility for the outbreak of violence.
I can only stare painfully at a collection of tweets from the past week of some prominent MDC leaders INCITING what we are witnessing in the streets of Harare today! Its very bad to make our followers vulnerable! How do you let your followers into an illegal protest & vandalism?
— Terence Tachiona (@terencetachiona) August 1, 2018
Many Zimbabweans also posted photos from the run-in with the military with emotional messages.
— Sherwin Bryce-Pease (@sherwiebp) August 1, 2018
PLEASE STOP KILLING US!! Sad to hear that civilians have been killed in Harare as soldiers open fire on protestors. WHY ARE SOLDIERS FIRING LIVE ROUNDS!! We must be peaceful & value human life, violence is not the answer, PLEASE STOP!! pic.twitter.com/dib6Axjn1m
— #ThisFlag E Mawarire (@PastorEvanLive) August 1, 2018
The international observers and foreign missions are on their way home and we are now left with the burden of dealing with a ruthless military government that doesn’t hesitate to kill unarmed civilians.
For another five years.
This is a battle for the soul of our nation.
— Fadzayi Mahere (@advocatemahere) August 1, 2018