Supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party (MDC) of Nelson Chamisa react as they block a street in Harare. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

* This story has been updated.

Harare - Violence erupted on Wednesday outside the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) at the International Conference Centre. 

Burning tyres, rubber bullets and tear gas, as well as a water cannon were brought to the outskirts of the hotel complex earlier on Wednesday as thousands of MDC Democratic Alliance supporters protested outside the gates to the Rainbow Towers Hotel.  

Since late last night, Harare’s riot police, water cannons and troop carriers have been moving around the city centre.

MDC supporters arrived at about 11 am chanting, shrieking in protest and burning tyres. 

The MDC members say “they have stolen our election. Chamisa (Nelson) is the winner. They have stolen it”

 Since midday, there is an ongoing violent confrontation between many younger supporters of the MDC, police and security guards employed by the hotel.

Rubber bullets, tear gas, and the water cannon have fired into the crowds.

Journalists and visitors to the hotel are unable to leave its premises at present because it is too dangerous.  

The ZEC says it cannot release the results of the presidential poll until all representatives of the 23 candidates have signed off certain documentation, formalising the results. 

The electoral law says the representatives can object to that documentation, but that will not prevent ZEC from releasing the result. 

ZEC officials told journalists at lunchtime, it is likely the result will only be released on Thursday.

After the confrontation at the security gates to the hotel complex died down, several military vehicles were seen entering the city. 

Live ammunition was then fired into the crowd but this is yet to be officially confirmed.

Independent Foreign Service