"THE GLOVES ARE OFF" - ZIM GVT SAYS, AS VIOLENCE, MILITARY, LIVE GUNFIRE IN HARARE AS PROTESTERS ARE CONFRONTED BY THE ARMY

These are some of the people reported to have been shot this afternoon when Nelson Chamisa supporters gathered in the streets to demand he be declared the winner of the Presidential poll, after the opposition MDC Alliance called for people to gather in the city centre and "defend their voted" before the official results are announced.

The constant agitation by Nelson Chamisa, who keeps claiming he has won the election before results are announced has managed to get loads of crowds into the streets of Harare.

First they were met by riot police as the crowds of hundreds of people tried to storm the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission National Command Centre at the Harare International Conference Centre. As they became more rowdy, blockading roads, burning buildings, the police remained restrained.

That was when army trucks rolled into the city centre.

The army had to fire live rounds, just now, apparently, because Tendai Biti has just said publicly that he and Nelson Chamisa will now shut down the country and burn down the ZANU PF buildings and all businesses that "fund tyranny".

The protesters were demanding that all shops close down immediately. Enews Africa reported that they saw the protesters demanding that vendors shut down their stalls in the city centre. The vendors packed up and fled.

There are unverified reports that one of the bullets fired in the city centre went through a high-rise building window and hit one of the office workers in that building.

Protesters urged to get out into the streets by Nelson Chamisa and Tendai Biti had barricaded roads, started fires and were throwing stones. The police have been remarkably restrained. They did not beat anyone but simply blocked protesters from storming the National Election Results Command Centre.

The protesters are demanding that ZEC announce results, but ZEC is saying the law demands that Chief Election Agents for all 23 presidential candidates come to the ZEC National Command Centre, sift through all the polling stations results and verify and certify the results. Nelson Chamisa's people are apparently refusing to go to ZEC and go through the polling station results. Hence ZEC can not announce the results.

For you to understand fully why we are where we are now and what is likely to happen, you need to go back to just before the elections, when Nelson Chamisa was saying that he would not accept results that do not declare him the winner.

So, why are we now seeing this heavy-handed response, especially from the military?

We can reveal that, after the Observers issued their statements this morning, the government, who are convinced that they have run the election in a commendable manner, decided that there was no longer anything to lose."

"It would appear we can never do anything good enough in the eyes of some of these international people," said a source in government. "There is no point in trying to be good guys anymore. Being good guys does not help. So we will teach Nelson Chamisa and his rowdy supporters a lesson they will never forget. Good behaviour was what we did, not for the international observers, but for our people. And we have a responsibility to maintain law and order. We will, from now on, not care what the internationals who have proven they only want an opposition win, have to say or what they do. The gloves are off."

The government appears to think that there is not going to be any objectivity especially from the European Union and the Americans. They have bagged the endorsement of SADC/AU and the others.

Clearly, they wanted the endorsement of the rest of the international community and are now convinced this will not come, so they do not care anymore, hence taking off the gloves. There is, says government, no reward for good behaviour when you are dealing bias.

We can state with confidence that the next few days are going to be absolutely brutal.

Watch your screens carefully at 8:30 this evening. There is very likely going to be a declaration of martial law because there is a strong sense in the corridors of power that the police are not equipped to deal with the violence that intelligence say has been planned by Nelson Chamisa and Tendai Biti.

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