HARARE - Zimbabwe's general election drew millions of eager voters who endured long lines to cast ballots today.
Enthusiastic voters formed long lines around the country, and election officials said there was a high turnout in most areas of the 6.4 million registered voters.
People queue to vote at Crowborough North sub-office, Harare.
The voting got off to a slow start at 7am sharp in most areas because of the chilly weather, picking up steadily as the day progressed.
Long lines were seen across the country, especially in the capital Harare, but voting was relatively swift.
Voters queued patiently in the election's early hours.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai cast his vote just after 1:30 am at Mount Pleasant High School. The PM, who was accompanied by his wife Elizabeth, said he was overwhelmed by the high turnout.
President Robert Mugabe was due to cast his ballot in Highfield.
Pictures from across the country showed lines of voters snaking through fields, down streets and around corners.
In Chinhoyi, our team reports that there was a massive voter turnout at Chinhoyi Hall and Chikonohono shopping centre.
In Hurungwe,traditional leaders shepherd their subjects to polling stations and ordered them to cram the last three numbers of the ballot’s serial number in a blatant intimidation tactic.
In Bindura, voting was yet to start by 10am at Rushinga Primary School in Chipadze There was a slow start to voting, with 31 people having cast their ballots at Bindura District Administrator's office by 07:45am.
At Chipindura Primary School, 26 had voted by 08:00hrs while two were turned away.
Our team in Zvishavane reports that hundreds braved the chilly weather and turned out to vote at Gresham Primary School.
Several people were however said to be having a torrid time finding the correct ward-based polling station.
At Ninkandezi Primary School, in Insiza North, 180 people had voted by 11am.
Across Harare, the turnout was high in an election happening as security forces have been placed on high alert. There was a high number of police officers at most polling stations, and water cannons were spotted sweeping down Samora Machel Avenue heading east.
The country's leaders have been working for months to reduce election-related tensions, but multiple factors make more post-election violence possible.
Mugabe's acrimonious loss to Tsvangirai in 2008 triggered violence that ended only after the regional community stepped in.