Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday called for calm as police fired live rounds, water cannon and teargas at crowds protesting alleged fraud in elections in Harare. At least four people were killed in the unrest, Sputnik reported, citing local media.
"At this crucial time, I call on everyone to desist from provocative declarations and statements," he said on Twitter. "Now is the time for responsibility and above all, peace."
Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi also appealed for calm and said the army was deployed on the streets to restore “peace and tranquility”.
Monday's polls, the first since Robert Mugabe was forced out by a brief military takeover in November, were meant to turn the page on years of violence-marred elections and brutal repression of dissent.
But the mood quickly descended into anger and chaos as supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) opposition declared they were being cheated in the election count.
"You said you were better than Mugabe, you are the picture of Mugabe," shouted one young male protester wearing a white T-shirt.
Official results showed that the ruling ZANU-PF party had easily won most seats in the parliamentary ballot after picking up 109 seats against 41 for the opposition MDC.
MDC's leader Nelson Chamisa has also accused Mnangagwa's ZANU-PF party and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of using underhand tactics to steal the election from them as the party won in most urban centers, where it enjoys majority support.