The opposition MDC party Tuesday claimed victory for its candidate Nelson Chamisa in the historic ballot while the government threatened to jail leaders announcing results before the official tally.
Zanu-PF has won the majority of seats in parliament after sweeping rural constituencies by huge margins, official results released by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) showed.
European Union observers said Zimbabwe's elections had several problems, including media bias, voter intimidation and mistrust in the electoral commission and questioned delays in releasing the presidential results.
Speaking in Harare this evening, President Mnangagwa said the hooliganism and violence came as a surprise, adding that the opposition party leadership is to blame.
A shocked Zimbabwean told News24: "Those tankers "we" celebrated past year in November are being used against us".
Truckloads of anti-riot officers were called in to help clear the streets as tensions escalated.
Millions of people voted peacefully on Monday in the first election since the army removed Robert Mugabe from power past year.
"The more the presidential vote is delayed, the more it calls into question the population's confidence in the election process", said former Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the lead observer of a U.S. monitoring mission.
Vote counting began at polling stations across the country after polls closed Monday evening.
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The vote attracted a high turnout of 70% and was monitored by global observers.
The leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Nelson Chamisa, said on Twitter he had won the "popular vote" in Monday's election, in which he challenged Mugabe's successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa from the ruling ZANU-PF party.
"Congratulations to our party Zanu PF for attaining majority of National Assembly seats, with 72 % of declared by the ZEC".
But Chamisa, 40, a lawyer and pastor who performed strongly on the campaign trail, sought to tap into the youth and urban vote.
Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba said the three people killed were yet to be identified.
In a tweet early Wednesday, Mr. Chamisa said that the electoral commission was delaying the release of the vote's outcome "to buy time & reverse the people's presidential election victory".
A presidential candidate needs more than 50% of the vote to win outright. Otherwise, a run-off election will be held on 8 September. And authorities welcomed it as such, as well, inviting worldwide election monitors to observe the elections for the first time in about 16 years. They need a good change.
Dozens of MDC supporters have gathered outside the party headquarters in the capital Harare, dancing and celebrating in the belief that they have won.
A Zanu-PF spokesman dismissed the opposition's allegations of interference, telling the BBC he had "no clue" what Mr Biti was talking about.