Published: Tue, July 31, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Tense count in Zimbabwe as some election observers voice concerns

Tense count in Zimbabwe as some election observers voice concerns

Estimated turnout was about 75% before polls closed on Monday evening after a peaceful day of voting.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) says vote counting and verification is at various stages and people should expect the announcement of results from around 3.pm.

We give you updates of what is happening around the country as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission collates results and posts them to the central command centre in Harare. There will be a runoff on September 8 if no candidate wins more than half the votes.

"I am delighted by the high turnout and citizen engagement so far", Mnangagwa tweeted. The peaceful election was a break from votes marred by violence.

Chamisa, a lawyer and pastor who leads the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party, has gone further, saying his own count shows that he won the election and that he's ready to form the next government.

Chamisa said he had his own results from most of the almost 11,000 polling stations, saying he would wait for the official tally.

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More than 5.5 million people were registered to vote in an election featuring a record number of more than 20 presidential candidates and almost 130 political parties.

In Harare 75% of the votes have been finalised while in Manicaland 56%, has been completed.

Elmar Brok, head of the European Union monitoring mission, said Tuesday that his team had noted some "inconsistencies", but overall, there was "progress" compared to past elections.

"While investors remain sceptical over whether Mugabe's former right-hand man has indeed turned over a new leaf, Mnangagwa's charm offensive with Western governments and businesses has at least given him a credible lifeline at the poll", said Verisk Maplecrodt analyst Charles Laurie in a note. "He is young and can understand our plight as youth", said Ndumiso Nyoni, 20, a worker at a lodge in Lupane, southern Zimbabwe.

It also found the final voters' roll was released too late to analyse it, the electoral commission dispatched more voting kits to rural areas than urban ones and the electoral laws had not been harmonised with the constitution.

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