Zimbabweans woke up early to join long queues to cast their vote in an election they view as the most critical after the 1980 one. This is the first election since the removal of Robert Mugabe viewed by many for being the author of the economic problems in the country.
Updates by Ronald Magweta, Online
16:00 – Hwange East Constituency Dete Ward 17 MDC Alliance councilor Joseph Bonda (44) arrested and detained to Dete police base on allegations of disorderly misconduct after speaking to observers complaining about politicians who bought voters to vote in polling stations where they do no reside in. Zimbabwe Human Right Lawyers Thulani Nkala says no charge has been officially put but police confirmed that he will appear in court tomorrow.
15:30 – At Ariel Primary School polling station A, 482 voters as of 2pm voted against 630 registered voters with 12 being turned away due to being registered at another polling station. At polling station B, slightly more than 500 voted against 630 total registers with 12 turned away for not being at the required polling station. One was excluded, as of 12pm this polling station was already using a second ballot box for the presidential and national assembly votes. This is still Goromonzi South ward 25 as was the previous.
15:25 – A voter in Mutare North Taurai Bindu is complaining over the withdrawal of the former incumbent Zanu PF MP Batsirai Pemhenayi, he is saying Pemhenhayi was forced to withdraw from the race Madiro and reports here claims that Pemhenayi has handed over the stick to Agrippa Bopela Masiyakurima.
14:45 – At Chaona Primary School in Mazowe North Ward 2 there are two long winding queues one for females and the other for males with voters pushing and shoving complaining to have been waiting for long in the queues. The presiding officer Kudzanai Baramasimbe claims that they are many voters who are being assisted as a result of being Iliterate and blindness.
5 males and 35 females have been assisted due to illiteracy by 15:00hrs. Two people one male and a female have been turned away as the former had only brought driver’s license while the later was not registered. Among the assisted are two males and 2 females who were visual impired. The presiding officer claims that chaos is being caused by those voters who are not patient as they are having many people who need assistance. He was however confident that they will be able to clear the numbers by closing time. The three contesting candidates are Thulani Ndlovu of MDC ALLIANCE, Rambai Lumbe of People’s Rainbow Coalition and Campion Mugweni Takura of ZanuPF.
14:30 – Nomater Chikari who described the process as peaceful but said the elections was marred with done delays. She is accusing the the Zimbabwe electoral commission of of trying to frustrate them. There are reported clashes between MDC Alliance and Zanu PF supporters in Dangamvura Chikanga constituency.
MDC Alliance candidate in Dangamvura /Chikanga constituency Prosper Mutseyami is accusing Zanu PF of bussing supporters to vote but he said he is confident of winning the seat
14:16 – The polling station at Kyle College in Masvingo Urban appears deserted with a few voters walking in and out. There are three tents. Police officers and polling agents can be seen lazying around and chatting in the tree sheds. 911 people had voted by 2pm, three assisted voters, one turned away.
14:10 – Alarn Redfern primary school, ward 6 polling station and Mangwe constituency collation centre. As at 12pm, 304 had voted. Of the figure, 148 were male and the remainder female. 9 Assisted voters and 6 turned away – of the figure, 4 had come to the wrong polling station while thr other 2 are said to have been unregistered voters.
Mangwe Constituency ZEC district elections officer (DEO) a Mr Ngwenya refuses with stats for the whole constituency, argues only the provincial office in Gwanda can release them.
The DEO admits communication challenges with Makhorokhoro (ward 17), Maninji (ward 8) and Khalanyoni area (ward 16). In separate interviews, a number of self employed residents in Plumtree town are saying they will try to vote later in the day. For now, they claim be busy fending for their families.
13:33 – Maware business centre polling station in Gokwe Chireya constituency. There are no voters insight but the presiding officer said 274 people out of 324 registered voters have cast their votes and 41 assisted to vote while seven people were denied to vote. Maware polling station is situated less than a kilometre from mudondo primary school polling station where there are more than 500 people queuing to vote.
13:13 – InMuzarabani South Constituency ward 14 voters are complaining of slow process with some claiming they arrived at Clear Morning Primary School polling station around 4 am but they are yet to cast their votes. They are 959 registered to vote in the ward but the Ward Election Officer identified as Murove declined to give figures of who had casted their votes and turned away by 12:45. The MDC ALLIANCE aspiring candidate Tapiwa Talent Choruwa voted at Clear Morning Primary polling station around 8:20 am. No foreign observers yet at the polling station and one official from ZESN.
Presiding officer Gorden Gore was not forthcoming to give information. According to the ward elections office of the 6 polling stations about 1023 had casted their votes from the six polling stations namely Clear Morning Primary School polling station, Chipiri Farm Tent, Tekwani Farm Tent, Goromokwa Primary and Mwonga Farm Tent. The farm (Mwonga) is run by Stan Kasukuwere, brother to Saviour. The number of people who have been assisted and turned away not yet compiled. Above all the voters are excited to be voting easpecially the youths.
Mugabe casts his vote in Highfields [Video by 263 Chat]
13:01 – Zanu PF chief election agent for Chimanimani West, Tendai Matsikenyere complains that there is widespread intimidation by the MDC Alliance people against Zanu PF. He says the elderly are told to wait for many hours before casting their votes. This, he says its a ploy to frustrate them so that they don’t vote.
12:57 – At Emganwini Pentecostal Church polling station in Nketa Mganwini constituency ward 26 over 200 people were in the queue to vote with some saying the voting is very slow as they visited the polling station at around 6 am but at 12;50 they had not voted. Polling officer in charge refused to give details of the voting referring the news crew to Senzangakhona primary polling station where the ward command centre is located.
12:45 – Queues are very long at most Epworth polling stations. People are complaining that the polling officers are very slow. 36 people were turned away at Makomo A polling station in Epworth because they did not check with Zec where they were supposed to vote and their names did not appear at the polling station. They were referred to other polling stations.
12:10 – Bulawayo south: The presiding officer jamari Shanangurai said the voting was going on well and there were no hustles at all when the Barham Green poling station was visited at 12 noon.
She said as at 10:50 am 119 females had voted and 130 males giving a total of 249 voters having casted their votes. She said only four people were returned because they were not in the polling station roll and were directed to their respective polling stations. She said only two elderly women were returned for not being registered voters.
12:04 – Hurungwe: Voting started peacefully around Karoi urban wards with few people being at stations with some having as few as 13 people eg at Evangelical church polling station in Karoi while at Tavoy farm there were 87 people by 7 am. At Chikangwe hall at least 50 people turned away for double registration including aspiring candidates from MDC Alliance Modester Manjinjiwa Ephania Chihoboya affected.
A written communication was entered into ZEC district election officer Taona Pfunye saying they are working on rectifying the issue. “We are working with our superior to rectify the challenges.”
11:40 – As at 11:30 at Bindura primary, 333 people had cast their votes. 4 people were turned away as their names not found in the voter’s roll. Polling officers recorded 4 assisted voters, most of whom could not write. Interestingly men constitute the largest part of voters. 20 observers were present at 7:30 when voting started.
11:36 – Mangwe Constituency Update: Alarn Redfern Primary school; Ward 6 polling station and collation centre. Zanu PF chief polling agent at the centre Simon Moyo complains some opposition candidates have been needlesly loitering at the poling station. Moyo says they lodged a complaint with Zec “because this is an unfair practice akin to campaining at the polling station”.
An MDC Alliance polling agent also raises similar complaints against other candidates but refuses to be quoted on record in the absence of her polling agent.
ZEC election officers at this Mangwe collation centre have communication challenges with Makhorokhoro (ward 17) and Maningi (ward 8). Telecomms connectivity is a challenge in those areas that are 190km and 135kms respectively from Plumtree town. Villagers there rely on Botswana networks.
As a stopgap measure, ZEC election officers at Makhorokhoro and Maningi are now travelling to and from their centres to the nearest areas where there is telecoms connectivity to submit vote statistics.
Voters at this polling station are taking an average of 6-7minutes to go through electoral processes to cast their votes. ZEC election agents report there has been an average of 30 people queueing to cast their votes at any given time since morning.
Because of communication challenges with outlying areas, this Mangwe constituency collation centre is yet to have ready statistics of vote trends since 7am.
11:29 – Dama Falls, Open Spaced Proposed Secondary School polling station three have been turned away as they were registered to vote elsewhere with 919 registered to vote. Also, at Roman Catholic Church Tent A 966 have registered to vote with about a third having cast it but is moving slowly. At Roman Catholic Church Tent B, 966 have registered to vote four have been turned away. Three for not bringing IDs while one was just not registered to vote at this polling station. It seems the Dama Falls polling stations which is in Goromonzi South, wars 9, has a lot of voters that have been faced challenges finding the correct polling stations.
11:23 – St Andrews Primari School, Zhombe constituency, long queues on both A and B, 1150 registered voters for both and as of 10 am, 327 had voted, 53 assisted to vote, most of them very young. Cases of political party agents cancassing support from queuing voters, Zanu PF, MDC Alliance and PRC reprsented at all poling stations in Zhombe, where Zanu PF’s Edmore Sambwa and MDC Alliance Datson Mapfumo are leading contenters. One person turned away, his name on the exclusion list.
At Bertha Summerview, Silobela 71 had voted by 10 am out of the 180 registered voters. MDC Allaince and Zanu PF represented, one assistef voter.
Gomora Clinic, Zhombe, 216 had voted by 10, 10 assisted voters, one turned away, wrong polling station. Challenges removing campaign posters around the polling station,
11:20 – Sunningdale Primary School (Ward 10) Over 588 people had cast their within the first two hours of voting in Sunningdale’s Ward 10. 74 were turned away owing to a variety of reasons including not appearing on the voters’ roll and exclusion from the list will 15 were assisted due to poor eye sight and illiteracy.
However, hundreds of other voters were still queueing at Sunningdale Primary School with their general sentiments pointing at a smooth sailing of the elections process.
“I think the process is free and fair so far… I expect change (and) I think the candidates I have voted for will deliver. I have voted for my future and the family I will have in the future,” said a first time voter Ngonidzashe Kondo after voting.
11:07 – In Chikomba West Northwood Primary School 300 people has already voted. Two were turned away as one had a photocopied National ID and the other was not in the voters roll. In the rural chikomba, only Zanu PF has agents while the MDC Alliance has failed to have agents. So far no foriegn observors in the rural areas but Zesn members.
#AMHConversations brings you elections as they happen with candidates, political and economic analysts, renowned journalists with incisive, robust analysis and debates.
10:50 – Voter turnout in Mazoe South constituency has been low with other polling station virtually deserted. As at 10 am at Henderson Research station, 195 voters had cast their ballots with females constituting the largest part of voters. About three voters were turned away. Two voters did not appear on the voter’s roll while the other is an alien.
Mururi Munetsi, chief polling officer said voting had been going on smoothly. European Union and NANGO observers were present. At Harmony farm tent ward 16, Mazoe South, 92 voters had cast their ballots by 10 am. Australian obsever mission said voting was largely peaceful ,although they were concerned about the pace at which voting was being conducted.
10:40 – In Muzarabani South, ward 15 short queues at Gatu Primary School were 668 people are said to have registered to vote. At Muzarabani South Constituency Command Center and there are no statistics yet as the Constituency Election Officer Blazio Chigwa claims that network problems has caused the delay to receive the results from other polling stations. No violence claims yet, with huge queues witnessed at some polling stations outskirts of Centenary such as Goromokwa, Clear Morning and Mwonga. The Election Officer claims that they have received enough material for the election. There are not foreigner observers yet but Zesn officials present. No campaigning or posters within the confined zone. Contesting candidates are Tapera Saizi of ZanuPF, Tapiwa Talent Choruwa of MDC ALLIANCE and Mika Gundani of National Assembly
10:33 – Three Beitbridge East Contestants for the parliamentary seat Albert Nguluvhe Zanu-PF, Patricia Ndlovu MDC Alliance, and Handsome Mbedzi cast their votes at Beitbridge Government Primary School just after the Polling Station opened. At 7 am queues had formed at the polling stations in town and voting started peacefully. Officers spend just under four minutes per person.
Voting started on time in Rural Beitbridge West with Zanu PF Candidate Ruth Maboyi casting her votes at Madzivhe Primary School 90 kilometres west of the Border town.
Villagers are travelling distances of up to 20 kilometres to vote. They are using their donkey drawn carts for transport. Atmosphere is peaceful and it is mostly women voters in queues.
#AMHconversations brings you elections as they happen with candidates, political and economic analysts, renowned journalists with incisive, robust analysis and debates.
Meanwhile, #Zimdecides2018 and #ElectionsZw are trending on Twitter as Zimbabweans discuss the voting process that is currently underway?
While other international broadcasters have allocated a lot of airtime to the Zimbabwe election, giving minute by minute updates from events countrywide, the state broadcaster, ZBC TV is screening regulaar programme. ZBC TV only broke off the normal programming to air Mnangagwa casting his vote.
10:05 – Bulilima East, Matabeleland South. Poor turnout at several polling stations with an average of less than 50 people where there are queues. Some polling stations are said to have recorded a zero turnout when voting started. These are the list of some of the polling stations that recorded a zero turnout when the voting started; Thekwane; Mbalule, Norwood, Watershed, Usher Secondary school, Sinotsi and Mdutshwa. Some had less than 10 people, the majority having an average of 20 people. These are rural areas.
Dingumuzi primary (Plumtree urban) had the largest number of voters at the opening of polling station with 33 females and 35males.
In terms of the largest number of voters between males and females, it has been a seesaw affair. In some stations there are more males than females and vice versa.
No reports of violence or any other electoral malpractices reported as yet.
09:55 – In Chikomba West at Riversdale primary school by 09:50 196 people had cast their vote and three assisted voters. No foreign observors only Zesn. The MDC Alliance does not have agents allthough a list of the same was provided to the presiding officer.
09:47 – Business is low at the usually busy Sakubva market in Mutare central constituency as most vendors have expressed their desire to register their vote.
The few vendors at the market were optimistic to vote later in the day.
One vendor who identified himself as Jennifer Kondo said they are hoping for change. “We are going to vote in the afternoon. l just want to make some few sales but obvious l can’t continue vending like this,” she said.
Zanu PF is represented by Nancy Saungweme in the contituency while MDC-Alliance is being represented by Innocent Gonese who has been occupying the seat since 2000. The seat is a known MDC-T stronghold.
11 candidates are vying for the seat. Former senator Patrick Chitaka also stands a chance of winning the election. In Mutasa Central MP Trevor Saruwaka claimed that there was intimidation to some of his polling agents by ZANU PF supporters.
“Some of my polling agents are claiming intimidation by ZANU PF. This started last week as some of them were randomly arrested for no apparent reason. l have polling agents who are known here in Mutasa Central so they are being targeted,” he said.
The dreadlocked Saruwaka has already defeated Zanu PF stalwarts in the seat such as the party’s current chairperson Oppah Muchinguri and businessman Benza.
Currently he is in the hat with seven candidates including Zimbabwe National Water Authority ZINWA boss Jefter Sakupwanya who is contesting under the Zanu PF ticket.
09:35 – Chamisa on ZEC complaining about yesterday’s presser which they view is breaking the law: “ZEC is doing this bidding on behalf of Mnangagwa who is pannicking, who is scared of victory of the MDC Alliance. It’s very clear from my reading that Mr Mnangagwa has been issuing statements, last night he issued a statement and I’m surprised why they have not reported Mr Mnangagwa. So I’m not going to waste my time on ZEC. My part is to play a positive role in making sure that there is peace in this country, Zimbabweans need peace and I know that we are winning this election, I’m only here to confirm that we are ready to read.
On Mugabe he said I can’t discriminate on voters if Mugabe decided to vote for me I am sure he will be doing that in his own right.
09:32 – Chamisa: “IT’S A GREAT MOMENT FOR ZIM, WE HAVE NO DOUBT, IF THE BALLOT IS A GENUINE ONE THIS IS GOING TO BE A VICTORY. THIS IS GOING TO BE AN EMPHATIC VOTE FOR FOR THE YOUNG, FOR EVRYONE AND I REPRESENT THAT.
09:12 – The presiding officer at Forester F Primary claims the serious delays leading to the growing numbers are a result of illiteracy as they are taking much time in assisting the voters.
09:11 – Voting ongoing at Mazowe citrus with long queues if mostly farm workers being witnessed. Zec chairperson Justice Chigumba voted early when at Bunnickburn in ward 20 Mazowe South. She called for peaceful elections and urged people to go out and vote.
09:06 – Forester F Primary School enroute to Centenary long queues at the School with elderly complaining of the delays, youthful voters in their numbers. Forester F Primary is also the Command and Collation center for Mazowe North ward 27 were 842 people are said to have registered.
09: 04 – In Dangamvura/Chikanga constituency where there is a record 59 000 registered voters there was a massive turn out as early as 7 am with voters lining up to cast their vote.
09:00 – MDC Alliance claiming voter intimidation in Budiriro.
08:48 – No foreign observers yet here at Umvukwesi Primary School but ZESN and Human Rights commission officials are present.
08:46 – A male voter has failed to vote at Umvukwesi Primary as he is said to be on the exclusion list of code DR meaning he had registered twice so he was told to go and vote at the correct polling station.
08:45 – At Current Shopping Centre in Budiriro voting is progressing smoothly. People started queuing as early as 6am and many have expressed satisfaction with the pace of the queue following the arrival of a Sadc observer mission.
08:36 – Voting in some place in Chegutu has been stopped. Wrong voting material delivered.
08:36 – Voting started at 7 at Chikokonya Guruve south two ques fair attendance.