UN urges restraint after post-election clashes in Zimbabwe leave three dead

The results of the country's presidential election are expected to be announced today

UN urges restraint after post-election clashes in Zimbabwe leave three dead

Supporters of the opposition MDC Alliance attend a protest in Harare, Zimbabwe. Picture by: Shaun Jusa/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Updated 11:55am

The UN has urged both the public and political leaders in Zimbabwe to 'exercise restraint' after three people were killed in clashes between protesters and the army following Monday's general election.

Soldiers used guns and tear gas against demonstrators in the capital Harare.

It came only days after the first election in the country since Robert Mugabe was ousted last year after more than three decades in power.

Supporters of the opposition MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) have been demonstrating after results showed the ruling Zanu-PF party securing a two-thirds majority in the parliamentary election.

The country's Electoral Commission has said it will announce the presidential election results later today, with the opposition leader Nelson Chamisa already claiming to have won the 'popular vote'.

Demonstrators have accused the ruling party of attempting to rig the vote.

Election observers have urged the release of the final results as soon as possible.

EU monitors said the election was 'competitive', but added: "The misuse of state resources, instances of coercion and intimidation, partisan behaviour by traditional leaders and overt bias in state media, all in favour of the ruling party, meant that a truly level playing field was not achieved."

Clashes

Military tanks in Harare. Picture by: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP/Press Association Images

Amid the clashes in the capital, Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa called for an independent investigation into the violence, claiming that "those responsible should be identified and brought to justice".

In a series of tweets, he noted: "We have been in communication with Nelson Chamisa to discuss how to immediately diffuse the situation, and we must maintain this dialogue in order to protect the peace we hold dear. "

MDC spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda said there was "no justification whatsoever for the brutality we experienced today".

He added: "The idea that protesters are violent is a false narrative that cannot be justified."

Meanwhile, a UN spokesperson said they were concerned about the reports of violence, adding: "We call on the political leaders and the population as a whole to exercise restraint and reject any form of violence while awaiting resolution of the disputes and announcement of the election results."