Police on high alert

HARARE - Government has warned against inciting public violence with Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu saying the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) will not hesitate to descend on those bent on fomenting anarchy.

Mpofu’s statement comes as the MDC Alliance has gone public declaring it will not accept a defeat, arguing anything short of victory would be a result of rigging by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).

The MDC Alliance has gone on to claim victory in the polls held on Monday.

But addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, the Home Affairs minister Mpofu said such “mischievous” actions have the capacity to cause alarm and despondency.

“…and leaves the police with no option but to investigate and arrest if there is any breach of the law,” said Mpofu.

“Let me warn such individuals and groups that no one is above the law, the law enforcement agency will arrest anyone found on the wrong side of the law without fear or favour irrespective of your political stature, gender, colour or creed in society.

“No one should allow themselves to be coerced or persuaded into committing crime. Let us respect the rule of law and promote peace,” he added.

Mpofu said police were on high alert and will continue to monitor the situation vigilantly.

The ZRP has deployed its officers across the country, maintaining a heavy presence in potential hot spots.

Mpofu also highlighted that the announcement of poll results was the prerogative of the Zec, and that the long arm of the law will catch up with those who violate the Electoral Act.

He dismissed claims by some in the MDC Alliance who said their lives were in danger.

“They have to bring their matter to the police and make a report. Unless they do that the issue will only be for public consumption and will just remain talk on the streets,” Mpofu said.

Meanwhile, a top aide of MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa issued an alert yesterday, claiming polling agents were being forced to change v11s forms.

“There is also some voting taking place at some polling stations. They want to steal Chamisa’s victory,” alleged advocate Tabani Mpofu.

Yesterday, the Daily News witnessed teams in the provinces still tallying votes.

While business had resumed, voters were anxious about the results.

The environment, however, remained calm although observers warned of likely unrest if results from Monday’s election are contested.

In Bulawayo, international and local observers said the polls were transparent and peaceful.

“The Zimbabwe 2018 harmonised election was unexpectedly organised and transparent, people were getting instructions on how to vote and the poling officers were very kind and patient,” said Yanina Shkurapat, an observer from Belarus African Observer Mission.

Erness Mchunu, another observer from South Africa with the African Observer Mission, said everything was in order and they were pleased with the high voter turnout.

“Everything is flowing smoothly, communities are happy, there is no voter intimidation, no tampering with votes and we are convinced that nothing will go wrong. As the international community we are proud of Zimbabweans, this is how elections should be done world-wide,” he said.

While for the better part of voting day very few people could be seen at Lupane Business Centre, the situation was back to normal yesterday.

In Midlands, the town looked busy yesterday, with counting still underway.

In Mashonaland central provinces, counting was underway yesterday by the time the Daily News crew arrived.

There were people milling near polling stations dotted around Mt Darwin South constituency and the farming communities.

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