Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party has further widened its lead in the parliamentary election as it is close to securing a majority in the 150 member parliament.
According to the results of 102 constituencies announced by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Zanu-PF had bagged 73 seats, MDC Alliance 28, while one seat went to the National Patriotic Front (NPF).
While MDC won all the seats in the cities of Harare and Bulawayo, the ZANU-PF swept the countryside.
If the results are extrapolated with the presidential election held simultaneously, incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa may be coasting to a big win over opposition candidate Nelson Chamisa of the MDC Alliance.
Early on Tuesday, Chamisa on Twitter had claimed he had won resoundingly and his supporters had flooded Harare streets celebrating the ‘victory’.
But official results are pointing to a different reality.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s government has warned election candidates that they faced prosecution and jail for prematurely announcing results of the landmark polls held after long serving leader Robert Mugabe was ousted last November.
“As a government we have noted with concern the actions and conduct of some political party leaders… who are openly declaring that they will announce results irrespective of provisions of the law,” said Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu at a media briefing in Harare.
“I am sure no one wants to provoke the wrath of the law and risk being sent to jail.”
The election trend has also further demystified Mugabe as voters appeared to have ignored his last minute directive urging them to reject ZANU-PF candidates who removed him from office, via a defacto military coup.