Zimbabwe remained in a jittery mood on Thursday as police raided opposition party offices, indicating incumbent President Robert Mugabe may impose violent tactics to maintain his control over the nation.
Parliamentary police raided a hotel in the capital Harare, which was used by the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change, according to the Associated Press. Several foreign journalists staying in a hotel nearby claimed their hotel rooms were ransacked while four reporters were taken into custody by police dressed in riot gear.
Movement for Democratic Change secretary-general Tendai Biti said Mugabe has started a crackdown and it is quite clear he has unleashed a war.
Tensions began mounting in this southern African country as results from Saturday's presidential elections remain unannounced five days after the vote. MDC opposition candidate leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, asserted on Wednesday that he had won a 50.3 percent majority and that Mugabe should yield his power.
However, official results for the 60-member Senate have been delayed, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said, blaming it on logistical problems. The commission failed to confirm the release date for the official figures.
MDC said if there is call for a runoff vote, since the win was a marginal win, the party will verbally protest but participate nonetheless.
As one of Africa's longest serving leaders, Mugabe, has ruled Zimbabwe for 28 years with an iron fist and is seeking sixth term. Bright Matonga, a deputy information minister for Mugabe, said that the president is not prepared to step down. Mugabe is ready to compete in a run-off vote if results show that neither candidate had won the majority of seats in the 110-member Parliament in the first round.
Meanwhile, international concern mounted as delays persisted.
We still have not seen the important thing, which is real live election results, said U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey. Delays raise serious questions in our minds about what is going on in the vote counting.
Mugabe took power in 1980 when his guerrilla army helped force an end to white minority rule in then-Rhodesia and bring about an independent Zimbabwe. Once praised as the nations liberator, resorted to become an increasingly totalitarian ruler, while the nation's economy continues to crumble after ordering violent seizures from white farmers.
The state-run Heral laid false claims today, by quoting opposition leader, Tsvangirai as saying that he would hand back farmland to the whites should he become president. Tsvangirai, instead, promised an equitable distribution of land to people who know how to farm.
A third of the population in this former food-exporting nation now depends on international handouts while 80 percent is jobless.