Zimbabwe has had its first election since Robert Mugabe left power in November 2017 and there has been a high voter turnout.
Today Zimbabweans saw the day they were waiting for coming to life as they voted for their preferred candidates for the first time since iconic, controversial and authoritarian leader Robert Mugabe left power. People in Zimbabwe are generally optimistic on what the future holds for them based on this poll, and many are quite enthusiastic that change is already being felt.
The election sees ZANU-PF, led by Emmerson Mnangagwa, the man who got into power through a coup, facing stiff competititon from the powerful and vibrant opposition outfit MDC Alliance, led by Nelson Chamisa, who took over after the towering figure of opposition politics in Zimbabwe Morgan Tsvangirai passed on.
With this election, figures recorded suggest a high voter turnout in an election without Robert Mugabe. Although the polls were scheduled to open at 7am, Officials are saying that as early as 2am, people were already waiting at the polling centers.
In Domboshawa, about an hour's travel from the capital Harare, many had joined the queues long before sunrise. The election started well, with peace largely prevailing, although there were reports of voters being turned away and other irregularities like a name appearing twice on the voters' roll.
The first group of voters were mainly elderly people but there were some youngsters too. A local primary school has been converted into a polling station for the landmark election. Surrounded by mountains and rolling hills, the villagers are in good spirits, chatting and laughing.
There have been long, winding queues in most urban parts of the country, but a hunger for change and to exercise their democratic rights has compelled people to be patient and resilient.
The election has been marred by breaches of the Electoral Act by Nelson Chamisa and Emmerson Mnangagwa, although the country's electoral commission, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, denied to name Mnangagwa as the other candidate who breached the law.
Polls will close at 7pm and results will be regularly posted.
Header image credit: News 24
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