Published: Tue, July 31, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Tense count as MDC claim election victory in Zimbabwe

Tense count as MDC claim election victory in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's rival presidential candidates both claimed Tuesday they were heading for election victory, setting up a tense count in the country's first vote since the ouster of longtime ruler Robert Mugabe.

- Anxious wait for results - Vote counting went into the night in the suburb of Mbare in Zimbabwe's capital Harare.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, has also said he was confident of victory in Zimbabwe's first election since former leader Robert Mugabe was ousted in November after 37 years in power.

In much of Harare, the mood is quiet.

President Mnangagwa then addressed hordes of local and global journalists before leaving the polling station.

And Mr Mnangagwa tweeted earlier: "On Election Day, let us vote with peace in our hearts".

"I said I can't vote for those who have caused me to be in this situation, so there is Chamisa left".

He said Mugabe - who on Sunday endorsed Chamisa in an extraordinary press conference - has the right to to express his opinion.

Voter Andrew Anthony came prepared to cast his vote with an unusual accessory, a vuvuzela - a Southern African plastic horn often used at sports events.

Verryn said the historic day had been remarkable. "Tomorrow we will have a new president".

Zimbabwe's opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, has claimed he is "winning resoundingly", as counting of votes in the country's election continued.

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Analysts have said it was unclear whether the country's military generals, who ousted Mugabe and ushered Mnangagwa to office past year, would accept a win by the Movement for Democratic Change. "And I represent that". Pre-election polls have given him a narrow lead in the race.

European Union election observers were seen at one polling station in Harare, checking the voting process.

He said he hoped voting in rural areas, where most of Zimbabwe's voters are and where the ruling party usually holds away, will be fair. But this one, he said, is different.

She said even though she had not taken much time to vote in Bulawayo's oldest township of Makokoba, she had received reports from her members that voting lines were moving slowly. "Whether that change would be brought by Mnangagwa or Chamisa did not matter". "Zimbabwe will be changed".

During the run up to the polls, all political parties and candidates had been campaigning freely across the country without any hindrance.

While voting proceeded smoothly in some areas, in others it was "totally disorganized", and it was unclear whether this was a coincidence or bad organization, he said. "I can not vote for ZANU-PF", the ruling party that has rejected him as well. "I can not vote for those who have caused me to be in this condition".

"Now that it is clear to all that Advocate Chamisa has forged a deal with Mugabe, we can no longer believe that his intentions are to transform Zimbabwe and rebuild our nation". He made his way into the polling center and had his finger inked, and was assisted by his wife into the booth.

The presence of Western election monitors for the first time in years is an indicator of a freer political environment, though concerns have been raised about state media bias toward the ruling party as well as a lack of transparency with the printing of ballot papers.

He lingered in his cardboard voting booth, his daughter at his elbow, and placed his three ballots carefully in their boxes.

"I'll vote for Chamisa because it is a vote for change, it is a vote for the youth", Fabian Matsika, a security guard in Harare, said earlier.

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