Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party has further widened its lead in the parliamentary election as it has secured a majority in the 210 member parliament.
According to the results of 72 per cent of the constituencies announced by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Zanu-PF had bagged a majority of 109 seats, MDC Alliance 41, while one seat went to the National Patriotic Front (NPF) and another to an independent.
They are 58 seats left to be declared.
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.
*Updated with the latest results by ZEC. We also corrected the number of seats in the National Parliament.