LIVE BLOG - Zimbabwe goes to the polls

HARARE - Daily News will be giving you countrywide coverage of the voting process throughout the day.

7:08 am: In Zvishavane-Ngezi Constituency youthful voters, many of them voting for the first time began queuing as early as 3:30am outside their respective polling stations.

07:11am: In Murewa West Constituency small queues have formed, mainly with elderly people waiting to cast their ballots.

7:41am: In Rushinga Ward 12 voters at Chitimbe polling station are crying foul over the slow pace of the voting process.

7:49am: In Lupane West Constituency at DA stand polling station less than 10 people has voted and there are no queues.

voters1

Husband and wife Shadreck and Lizzy Bundo after casting vote at Kuwadzana 2 Primary school

8:00am: In Ward 30 at Murewa Central there is a huge turnout. It is almost chaotic as voters  have been split into two groups according to alphabetic order.

8:05am: There is a clam atmosphere in Masvingo where most voters who spoke to Daily News say they are hopeful that the outcome of these elections will make a huge difference in their lives.

8:13am: At Redcliff Primary School, voting has just started, 16 minutes late. ZEC officials could not say exactly why voting delayed with some saying they had to consult first.

8:18am: Voters at Munyoro polling station unhappy with the slow pace of the voting process at Munyoro polling station. "It is all peaceful here there are no challenges except that the process is too slow. There are 517 reigistered voters here but at this rate peopleare getting frustrated . The polling officers are just too slow "said Champiom Gwena.

8:28am: Long queues can be seen at Mberengwa turn off, some people travelled over five kilometres from home, complaining about the distance. They say they should have been given a polling station closer to their homes.

Voting at Rutendo Hall in Redcliff where voting opened at 07:00

8:42am: In Lupane East at Ndamuleni Primary school 35 people have voted so far. 362 people are regitered to vote at this polling station.The polling station opened  at 7am. 

8:44am:  A high voter turn out in Byo Central. The atmosphere is calm and voters are pleased with the service of the polling officers.

8:48am: In Dangamvura-Chikanga ward 18 people started queueing as early as 3am to vote. More than 160 people had voted by 7:54am. Presiding officers said they need less than a minute to process a voter as they need to process 1 000 voters in 720 minutes in each of the three tents.

An elderly voter had to be wheelbarrowed to the polling station to cast her ballot

8:54am: At Amaveni Hall in Kwekwe, hundreds of voters are queing and people are complaing at the pace of voting saying its taking long, so far 150 ple had voted according to ZEC, Kwekwe Central.

8:59am: Empty market stalls in Mbare. Mupedzanhamo also closed

9:09am: In Dzivarasekwa Ward 40 in Nehanda Housing cooperative, there are very long queues that are not moving fast because of the system being used. There are 4 tents marked A to D. Voters are totally confused as to which line to join. Surnames have been selected and embedded into these 4 letters. Voters are complaining bitterly.

indelible ink

A registered voter displays indelible ink on his pinkie finger

9:35am: At Makhovula primary school, ward 18, lupane East, 70 have voted so far. Voting started  at 7am and the queue is long. Most of the the people waiting to vote are the elderly with a small fraction of youth present complaining about the first preference being given to those who are above the age of 65. However, they are happy with the pace at which voting is taking place. People are traveling long distances hence resorting to using scotch carts especially to ferry the elderly to an from.

9:38am: Mayhem at Kuwadzana 2 Primary School as MDC supporters hassle and tassle to catch a glimpse of  MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa cast his ballot.

9:46am: In Chikomba East at Mudawarima Primary school 77 voters had cast their ballots by 9am.Presiding officer Peter Nyangombe said four voters had been turned away because they were on the 'exclusion list'.

9:43am: At Sherwood School in Kwekwe security is tight . Hordes of international and local journalists are camped there as it is expected that Emmerson Mnangagwa will cast his ballot there this morning.

10:01am: In Chegutu West polling officials are the most visible in Wards 1 and 2 where voters are coming in pairs. So far there is nothing to suggest that registered voters are coming in droves to cast their ballots.

10:08am: Emmerson Mnangagwa has just cast vote at Sherwood Primary School in Kwekwe. He was accompanied by first lady Auxillia Mnangagwa and ED Jnr.

10:14am: Long queues at Chaminuka Primary School in Chitungwiza

10:25am: In Uzumba - one of Zanu PF strongholds as the sick and elderly are being brought to cast their votes at Marowe Primary school in donkey carts and wheelbarrows. At Marowe station 159 people had voted by 9am. Meanwhile, 35 individuals were assisted to vote.

10:35am: The major highlight at Chegutu Community Hall in Ward 4 is a woman born in 1928 who came to vote with the assistance of her grandchildren. Officials have recorded  a high number of voters who are 65 years and above.

10:48am: Welshman Ncube has just cast his ballot at Burnside Garage.

10:58am: In Mutare more than 300 people have voted at Sakubva Beithall polling station B. They expect around 990 voters. ZESN has raised poor lighting in the polling station around the polling booths.

11:15am: In Uzumba, Ward 14, fifteen people had been assisted to vote by 10:30am. The presiding officer Simango said everything was going according to plan. Most of the people assisted are the elderly and two visually impaired.

11:24am: In Norton there are no queues at all.

11:37am: In Mt Darwin there are virtually empty polling stations at Nyamahobogo Business Centre. Most of the voting was carried out in the morning.

11:48am: In Magunje the voting process is slow. MDC Alliance local government candidate Tavaziba Claudius Kapondoro said his posters were torn during the campaign period. At Chishamavhudzi Ward 9 there are reports of known ZANU PF supporters recording names of people coming to vote.

12 noon: Long winding queues at Kandeya Business Centre tents where at least 10 people have been turned away because their names do not appear on the voters' roll

12:01pm: Murombedzi Primary in Zvimba West had a big turnout earlier with youngest voter being 18 and oldest 79. Officials expect a higher turnout after 4pm when temperatures are cooler as it is very hot.

12:09pm: Thokozani Khupe cast her vote at Stanley Hall in  Makokoba, Bulawayo.

12:26pm: Nyanga South MP Supa Mandiwanzira has just cast his ballot at Manjoro Primary School in Nyanga South, Ward 23. Mandiwanzira who doubles as the ICT minister is confident ZANU PF will romp to victory in his constituency.

12:55pm: Voting at Chinyaradza Primary School in Zaka Central constituency is flowing smoothly. At Gumbo Clinic voters were complaining over the slow process which kept them waiting for hours on end.

13:04pm: There has been a high turn out in Kutama village where Robert Mugabe hails from. The only visible things which we can deduce to be Mugabe's gift to his impoverished neighbours, are electricity lines and a neatly surfaced Robert Mugabe highway.

13:15pm: Kutama High Day school which is next to Mugabe's doorstep, recorded a huge turn out particularly with the elderly. An elderly woman born in 1932 has just come in to vote.

13:25pm: Robert Mugabe greeted with uproarious embrace in Highfield by people shouting, Gushungo, Gushungo, Gushungo, and showing him the open palm MDC symbol. Mugabe has just cast his ballot. He is accompanied by wife Grace, and his daughter Bona. 

13:32pm: Short queues at Zengeza 3 High. Some of the polling staff sitting outside with nothing to do as they wait for voters to come through

13:35pm: Bikita West constituency is known for having been the very first to witness the impact of political violence and people abandoned their homes then to live in mountains escaping the violence. Ironically very quiet. At Bikita Fashu about three quarters of voters on the station's register had cast their vote by lunch time.

13:37pm: At Chikambi Primary, still in Zvimba South, a total of 47 people had been assisted to vote, including two mentally challenged voters. Here there was a high number of 65+ voters including nonagenarians

13:55pm: At Zhenje Primary School about 120 voters had cast their votes out of a possible 200  by midday. Only one person had been turned away as he did not have identification documents. 63 females had voted while 57 were males. Six voters were were assisted for varous reasons. The majority of assited voters were either iliterate or partially blind. Others cited various health problems like diabetese and BP and old age.

14:03pm: Makoni Central Member of Parliament Patrick Chinamasa who is seeking another tenure has just cast his vote at Old Tent Polling Station in Rusape. The Finance minister says Zanu PF "is going to deliver a stunning victory in this election countrywide" because ED offers real change. He believes former President Robert Mugabe's endorsement of MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa is a non event.

14:18pm: Long queues at Seke Teachers College in Chitungwiza North.

14:19pm: At Ken Maura tent, Lupane East, 356 have by 2pm cast their votes out of a possible 520. 154 male  and 202  female. 34 voters had been assisted for various reasons like illiteracy, age and disability. However, most people voted in the morning.

Lupane

Voters in Lupane queue to cast their votes

14:35pm: Thornhill High school in Gweru voting is progressing well. So far 426 people have voted at this polling station

14:36pm: Born in 1930 gogo Patricia Mupereri braved the afternoon heat from her home about 6km away to cast her vote at Mandiki Primary School in Bikita West constituency.

14:46pm: A Bulawayo City Council crane spotted along Luveve road covering Ed's banner.

14:53pm: In Bikita West interesting demographics at Mandiki Primary there were more female voters aged between 35-74 year. In the 18-19 age group only two females & 3 males had voted by 3pm.

14:58pm: Mutare update - Murahwa Primary School in Dangamvura-Chikanga has seven polling stations and a further two polling stations are about 100 metres away and yet two more at TM less than 300 metres away giving a total of 11 polling stations in a 300 metres radius. This is meant to ensure that the almost 60 000 registered voters cast their ballots. People are however frustrated at the snail's pace on some of the polling stations where they sat queues have not been getting any shorter since morning.

14:59pm: Bulawayo update - 115 people out of a total 182 registered voters have voted at Mpopoma Secondary. 1 female turned away for having artificial nails.

15:08pm: Norton update - So far 17 406 people had cast their votes as at 2pm. 381 were turned away for various reasons and 103 were assisted.

15:26pm: Uzumba ZANU PF candidate Simbaneuta Mudarikwa says voting was a peaceful process and may the winner take it. We are happy because our people were able to cast their votes in a free and peaceful environment. Some people could have been turned away but this was due to technical issues. On the whole it was a peaceful process.

15:27pm: Kenneth Musanhi Zanu PF candidate for Bindura North commends Zimbabweans for voting peacefully.

15:33pm: In Rusape's high density surbub of Vhengeri, most polling stations have so far recorded an average 60 percent turnout. Registered voters coming in drips and drabs. Polling agents now basking in the sun waiting clear out the remaining electorate who appear intent on making a last minute dash before polling closes at 7pm.

15:39pm: Siziphile Primary School, Resettlement 24 tent, Mathambo primary school and Mathetheni primary school all under ward 23 collation centre  in Lupane East had a calm and peaceful voting since morning, according to ward elections officer Ntombizodwa Baloyi.

15:45pm: In Chikomba East, Central and West the majority of polling stations had more than 50 percent voter turnout by 1500hrs. Zanu PF national assembly candidate for Chikomba East Sekai Nzenza said voting was peaceful.

15:54pm: Bulawayo update - a total number of 1,092 people have voted as at 3pm in Cowdray Park. 15 were turned away for wrong polling station and exclusion from voters roll.

16:01pm: Polling officers at a Rusape, Vhengeri, polling station, yielded to pressure from a resident Rachel Gabazi who refused to remove her artificial nail arguing she will only remove it if provided with a nail polish removal. The polling station did not have any and asked she uses a razor. In the end, the polling officers used a magic marker on and around the nail.

16:46pm: At Ironsidew Community Hall in Shurugwi 593 people have cast the votes out of 749 that registered to vote at the polling station. By 2pm about 15 had been turned away for appearing at the wrong polling station.

16:49pm: At Selukwe B Primary School about 540 people have voted. At least 27 people were redirected to another polling station.

16:50pm: 30 voters asked to be assisted to vote in rural  Nyahukwe, at Nyahukwe Primary School  in Rusape. One was blind and 29 said "they had problems with their eyes but some shocked observers as they ended up helping themselves," said presiding officer Beauty Nerwande. At least 695 people have voted out of the registered 926 at the polling station.

16:50pm: No more queues at Gweru Theatre polling station.

16:51pm: Election Resource Centre report that a polling station at Glenview 1 Shopping Centre 'goes missing' leaving voters stranded. A report has been made to ZEC.

16:53pm: Very few people left at most polling stations in Bulawayo.

17:14pm: Bulawayo update - 1,153 people have cast their vote at Mpumelelo Primary School by 5pm. 19 were turned away for appearing at the wrong polling station. Five visually impaired people and 11 elderly voters were assisted to vote

17:17pm: No more queues in Chikomba central polling stations. Deputy Constituency election officer Monica Mutsimba said they were now waiting for the total number of voters who managed to cast ballots.

Chikomba

Villagers from Chikomba waiting to exercise their democratic right to vote

17:10pm: Mat North provincial election officer (PEO) Mark Ndlovu has told Daily News that voting has largely remained peaceful in the province  save for one incident in Hwange where a yet to be identified voter was arrested for disturbing the voting process.

17:18pm: Business is returning to normal at Lupane centre as many people had to travel to different polling stations around the district to cast their ballots.Youths were conspicous by their absence at polling stations whilst the elderly including those above 70 chose to go excercise their constitutional right to choose their leaders. Most of them had to brave the chilly weather and walk long distances to cast their ballots.

17:19pm: Queues have virtually disappeared at most polling stations that were busy earlier in the day.

19:06pm: At the Chikomba Central Constituency Command Centre at Madzivire Range High School. Most polling stations have closed and voting figures from various constituencies are being received.

Comments (7)

22:00 Nelson Chamisa is declared the winner. The youngest president in Africa. MDC is now in power. There's an arrangement of land seized from white farmers to be returned. The Zim dollar is going to be back. Diamond looters and Gukurahundi perpetrators will be brought to account.

Chikowore - 30 July 2018

22:01 This looks like a run off as the leading antagonists for the presidential vote have not garnered the required 51% marjority vote. Independent candidates have made a major dent in votes for the two leading parties Zanu PF and MDC - but we will surely have interesting times in council chambers and parliament. This is a new and refreshing era in Zimbabwean democracy.

Daniel 5 - 30 July 2018

who did Mugabe and Grace vote for...thats interesting

robert jr - 30 July 2018

Chamisa woyeeeee

g40 - 30 July 2018

No run offs. ZANU has lost already. Inside sources say so.

Chikowore - 30 July 2018

I think it'll be more logical and reader friendly to have the latest updates on top of the page rather than at the bottom?

Cephas - 30 July 2018

Excellent suggestion Cephas!!

Malam Tukur - 30 July 2018

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