Harare – Observers from the European Union (EU) must report on Zimbabwe's presidential election on Wednesday, as the country settles into a tense wait before the announcement of the results, scheduled for Friday or Saturday .
The opposition claimed Tuesday the victory of its candidate Nelson Chamisa in the first round of the presidential election the day before, against the outgoing head of state Emmerson Mnangagwa.
A proclamation that has angered the government that has threatened arrests those who announce results while the count runs in length.
On Monday, Zimbabweans flocked to the polls quietly and en masse to elect their president, MPs and councilors in the first polls since the fall of Robert Mugabe, who fell in November after thirty-seven years in power.
The presidential election is played between Emmerson Mnangagwa – Robert Mugabe's former right-hand man and Zanu-PF member who has been in power since independence in 1980 – and Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
" The results show beyond reasonable doubt that we won the elections and that the next president of Zimbabwe is Nelson Chamisa ," said a senior MDC official, Tendai Biti, explaining to rely on the information of the party's electoral agents.
For his part, Mr. Mnangagwa, who succeeded Robert Mugabe in a military coup, said he was confident of winning.
" The information obtained by my representatives in the field is extremely positive ," he assured on Twitter.
The threat, it seems, of a senior MDC official to give details of " his results " sparked the wrath of Interior Minister Obert Mpofu, who is said to be ready to " send to prison " those who would be tempted to give figures.
" I am sure that no one wishes to provoke the wrath of the law ," he said.
The results of the presidential election will not be known until Friday or Saturday, warned the electoral commission (ZEC).
If no candidate obtains an absolute majority, a second round will be held on September 8th.
The delay caused by the commission causes the worst concerns of the opposition, which has repeatedly denounced during the campaign " bias " and the lack of transparency of the ZEC.
– " Deliberate Delay " –
" There is a deliberate delay in announcing the results.This delay is totally unacceptable ," said Tendai Biti.
Meanwhile, in front of the MDC headquarters, opposition supporters shouted victory by holding up posters " Vote Nelson Chamisa ", while police with water cannons were patrolling nearby.
No incidents have been reported since the end of the poll, unlike the Mugabe era elections.
But the opposition is on its guard, a victim of the last decades of rigged and tainted elections.
President Mnangagwa, anxious to stand out, has promised free, fair and transparent elections this year and, for the first time in sixteen years, has invited Western election observers.
The European Union is due to present a much anticipated first report on Wednesday.
The ZEC, for its part, said Tuesday that the elections were tainted by " no fraud ".
" We, at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, will not steal the choice " of the voters, " whoever it may be assured Tuesday its president Priscilla Chigumba.
– " Hungry For Change " –
In the streets of Harare, people were concerned about the ruling party's reactions to defeat.
" It is impossible for Zanu-PF to accept " the victory of the MDC, estimated Tracy Kubara, a 26-year-old trader.
But if the MDC is declared defeated, " people will surely go down to the streets because they are hungry for change ," she added.
According to the London-based firm BMI Risk Consultancy, the possible defeat of the government party could cause " an intervention by the army to secure power for Zanu-PF ".
Since independence, Zimbabwe has had only two heads of state, both from the same party, Zanu-PF. First Mr. Mugabe, forced to resign last November at the age of 93, then Mr. Mnangagwa, his former vice president.
million. Mnangagwa, 75, promised a " new Zimbabwe " and the revival of the economy, on the verge of bankruptcy.
million. Chamisa, 40 years old and without much political experience, has made his youth his main weapon to seduce an electorate in search of new blood.