Millions flock to cast votes President Mugabe leading the First Family out of Mhofu Primary School polling station in Highfield soon after casting their ballots
President Mugabe leading the First Family out of Mhofu Primary School polling station in Highfield soon after casting their ballots

President Mugabe leading the First Family out of Mhofu Primary School polling station in Highfield soon after casting their ballots

Herald Reporters
ZIMBABWEANS turned out in their millions, despite the chilly weather, to cast their votes in harmonised elections yesterday. At least 6,4 million had registered to vote, representing 95 percent of eligible voters. As with the referendum held mid-March, Zanu-PF strongholds recorded the highest turnouts with queues snaking for hundreds of metres at many polling centres while the situation was markedly different in perceived MDC-T strongholds in urban and peri-urban centres where  queues that were seen early morning had largely disappeared by midday.

Zanu-PF is widely tipped to romp to victory amid reports the US government had embargoed the latest survey by its think-tank, Freedom House that pointed to a crushing victory for President Mugabe and Zanu-PF, obviating the need for a run-off and delivering a two-thirds majority for the revolutionary party.

Though figures were sketchy at the time of going to press, information gleaned from our news crews countrywide pointed to high voter turnout in Zanu-PF strongholds where voting had to be extended beyond 7pm to clear voters who were still in the queues by the scheduled closing time.

President Mugabe and his family cast their ballots, as usual, at Mhofu Primary School in Highfield, Harare, in the morning where Robert (Jnr) cast his maiden vote in the presence of his parents and sister Bona as brotherChatunga played cameraman.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his wife Elizabeth cast their ballots at Mt Pleasant High School, ditching St Mary’s, Chitungwiza, where they voted during the referendum.

In Chegutu East, 16 819 people had voted by 6pm while 2 102 were turned away.
In Mhondoro-Mubaira, 5 905 people from all the nine wards had voted by 2:30pm, while 518 were turned away. In Chegutu West and Kadoma Central, people started queuing as early as 4am and voting progressed well at polling stations visited.

Voting in Guruve North ended at 7pm, except for Gwakwe Primary School in Ward 21 where there were large numbers of people waiting to vote at 7pm.

About 22 000 people had voted at 6pm, while 941 were turned away.
However, reports say MDC-T officials at Gwakwe Primary had withdrawn their polling agents complaining that too many people had been assisted to vote.

In Guruve South, about 20 000 people had voted by close of polling.
Cde Chriswell Mutematsaka was battling against Mr Tinei Karise and Mr Noel Chimanikire of MDC-T and MDC respectively.
By around 5pm, voting had almost ended in many Hurungwe constituencies.

In Hurungwe East, 600 voters had cast their ballots by 1pm at two polling stations, while 67 were turned away as their names were not appearing on the voters’ roll.

In Hurungwe West more that 1 000 voters had already gathered at polling station as early as 5 am.  Elections officer Mr Ephraim Bhasera, said they did not experience any challenges

At Charles Clark Primary school in Magunje constituency long queues were the order of the day with the Presiding officer Mr Edmore Kondo attributing the delay to the availability of only one voters’ roll.

A low turnout was registered in Hurungwe Central with some polling stations recording less than 60 voters by 1 pm.
Voting started on a low note with few people waiting patiently at polling stations at Guruve Centre.

Low turnout was also observed at Chimanikire Primary School, Guruve District Registry Offices and Muzika Primary school polling stations in Guruve.

Long queues characterised voting in Mudzi and Mutoko but the exercise progressed well.
In Mudzi North about 15 000 people had voted by end of day.

Mudzi district elections officer, Ms Loice Masimu said polling in the three constituencies went well.
“In the morning we experienced long queues but we managed to serve all people who came to the extent that by afternoon there short queues,” said Ms Masimu.

In Mutoko South voting started on time and district elections officer, Mr Stanley Madzinga said elections were peaceful.
Several people thronged various polling stations in Mbire district in Mashonaland Central province.

At most polling stations long queues started forming as early as early as 5am.
The presiding officer Mr Tarcisius Mahuni said 1 800 people were expected to vote in Ward 17.
At Juru Jena polling station, presiding officer Mrs Nzwirashe Chimanga said a total of 104 people had voted by 1 pm.
At Mushumbi Primary School, 90 people had voted by 11am.

The presiding officer Mr Sylvester Nyamajenjere said they were expecting over 1 000 people to vote.
There are 15 wards and 48 polling stations in the constituency.

Voting started smoothly here in Buhera South and West constituencies with a few polling stations registering long queues.
In Zvimba District, voting started on a high note.

Some Jomic officials were barred from observing the voting process in the constituency after it emerged they were not registered with ZEC.
Constituency election officer, Mr Kennedy Maturire, said they chucked out some Jomic officials in Rafingora after they failed to produce accreditation cards.

By 1100 hours, more than 8 000 people had voted, while 877 had been turned away for various reasons with 435 having been assisted to vote.
Zanu PF candidate for the constituency, Cde Ignatious Chombo, said he was happy with how ZEC conducted the election.

“We hope it will end well with a Zanu PF victory that we are anticipating,” said Cde Chombo soon after casting his vote at Minehah Farm in Rafingora.

In Mt Darwin VP Joice Mujuru is battling it out with Mr Oliver Kapepa of the MDC – T and Mr Bejamin Benhura of MDC. There were long winding queues with some people having arrived at the polling station as early 4 am in the morning.

The environment was peaceful at Dotito High and Primary as well as Chihoko Primary School, where queues were long as people came in large numbers to vote.

Some elderly people who were unable to walk came in scorch-carts and wheel barrows such that the polling station ran out of forms for assisted voters as early as 9 am and more were ordered from the command centre.

The VP voted at 11 am at Chihoko Primary School and said Zanu – PF would romp to victory.
“It was straight forward and easy. At this place we voted for the MP and the President only. The councillor was won unopposed. There is a lot of enthusiasm, peace and anxiety. The people are happy with what is going on. I think we are going to win resoundingly,” she said.

In Mt Darwin South where Saviour Kasukuwere was facing Mr Sambama Gatsi of the MDC T and Mr Henry Chimbiri, long queues characterised most polling station with 850 people having voted by 6 pm at Kandeya business centre while 153 were turned away for failing to produce national identity documents or not appearing in the voter’s roll.

In Rushinga, voting went on well where Cde Wonder Mashange (Zanu-PF) was battling it out with Mr Tobias Tapera of MDC-T and Mr Gilbert Chiguma of the MDC-T.

In Uzumba, voting ended peacefully at all polling stations in Uzumba and Marambapfungwe constituencies, with the majority of the areas recording high voter turnout and most polling stations recorded a voter turnout ranging between 400 and 550.

In Mashonaland Central, provincial elections officer Mrs Thenjiwe Mnkhandla, said no polling station would be closed before voters were cleared. This follows reports of long queues at Progress Shopping centre in Bindura, Manhenga in Bindura South and Gwakwe in Guruve South and Kemutsenzere in Mt Darwin, among places where queues were still long by 7 pm.

In Hwedza and Marondera constituencies voting went on well and Zanu-PF candidate for Marondera Central Cde Ray Kaukonde and Senate candidate Cde Sydney Sekeremayi voted at Godfrey Huggins Primary School.  In Hwedza North, Zanu-PF candidate Cde Simon Musanhi voted at Hwedza High School and was confident of winning. In Chikomba West, polling started at seven in the morning with long queues being common features.

Constituency election officer Mr Alford Gwaringa, said no violence was reported. About 15000 people had voted by 7 pm.
In Chikomba East 3817 had casted their vote by midday

but constituency election officer Mr John Gumunyu, said they were experiencing communication challenges owing to logistical
There were long queues in Mudzi and Mutoko but the exercise was moving so fast that the electorate expressed satisfaction about polling.
Over 15 000 people had voted by close of voting.

Contestants in Mudzi North constituency Cde Newten Kachepa of Zanu-PF and Mr Anyway Mupanduki (MDC-T) expressed satisfaction with how the process had gone.

Zanu-PF aspiring legislator for Mudzi West, Cde Acquilinah Katsande hailed people in the constituency for heeding the call by the political leadership to desist from violence.

Other contestants in the constituency include Mr Ushe Mennard (MDC-T) and
Mr Mutasa Daimurimi of MDC.
In Mudzi South Zanu-PF aspiring legislator for the area Cde Eric Navaya was battling it out with Mr Milton Kanomakuyu (MDC-T), Mr Samson Chikandira of

MDC and lawyer Mr Jonathan Samkange who stood as an independent candidate after failing to qualify for the Zanu-PF primary elections.
Mudzi District Elections Officer, Ms Loice Masimu said polling in the three constituencies went well.

In Mutoko South where Cde David Chapfika was battling against Mr Mapengo Mapango (MDC-T) and Mr Rukwata Matthew of MDC voting started on time with

about 300 voters on the queue at 7am.
In Mutoko East Cde Mawere Mubvumbi (Zanu-PF), Mr Tonderai Gwabada Tonderai Several people were turned away at various  polling stations  after polling officers discovered that they were not registered to vote.

At Sengwa Primary School in Gokwe Constituency at Manhede Polling station and Mapfungautsi Constituency there long queues throughout the day.

Presiding officers at the three polling stations confirmed the development saying they did not expect a huge number of voters that had not registered to exercise their right to vote.

Presiding Officer at Sengwa Primary School, Mr Rerai Chinhaire ,said over 300 people had voted by lunchtime while over 100 were still to cast their ballot.

In Gokwe/Mapfungautsi a huge number of voters were turned away.
Presiding Officer Mr Assah Moyo said there were overwhelmed by the number of people who could not vote because they were not registered.

As 7 pm in Beitbridge West 7925 people had voted, while in Beitbridge East 1609 people cast their ballot.  There were people at polling stations in most rural areas in Beitbridge, while in Beitbridge urban about, 150 were still voting after 7pm, while 350 were at Beitbridge Mission.

Voting in Muzarabani South and North ended peacefully and by 6 pm people had stopped coming to most polling stations. Voting ended peacefully in Chivi, Chiredzi and Mwenezi with most polling stations managing to clear all the voters despite high turn in some areas. In Chivi the average turnout was between 300 and 500 people having voted by close of polling, while the turnout was relatively higher in Mwenezi District which averaged between 500 and 800 voters. However, there was very high turnout in some parts of Chiredzi District with some polling stations recording between 800 and 1000 people by the time voting ended. At Zvemunhu Business Center in Chiredzi North, 800 people had cast their vote by close of polling and the presiding officer Mr Charles Magombedze, said the verification exercise started at 8 pm ahead of vote counting.

In Harare voting started on time in all the 34 constituencies with some voters arriving at polling stations as early as 3am.
Three polling stations, Padhirihora, St John Retreat A and B in Harare South – a Zanu-PF stronghold – remained open after 7 pm to accommodate prospective voters who were still at the queue.

Hopely Farm 1 polling station was the busiest in the constituency and a man was arrested for causing commotion at the polling booth after casting his vote.

There were also reported cases of people who allegedly forged registration slips at Stodart Hall in Mbare while investigations to ascertain their source were still in progress yesterday night.

In Sunningdale, long queues which characterised the morning had disappeared by mid-day.
Zanu-PF candidate for Mbare constituency, Cde Tendai Savanhu, said even though there were many polling stations, long queues remained because the area is densely populated.

MDC T candidate for Mbare, Mr Eric Knight, who cast his vote at Mbare Clinic Hostels, said the voting process was going on well.
Most polling stations in Mbare and Sunningdale constituencies were deserted by 5 pm and 7 pm respectively.

Some unregistered voters in Budiriro, Glen View, Kuwadzana and Mufakose were turned away or referred to command centres for further assistance.

In Mufakose, voting was peaceful and queues that had been moving at a snail’s pace in the morning disappeared as the day progressed.
However, some prospective voters who turned up at the wrong wards in the constituency were still patiently waiting to be assisted at the command center by 6.30pm.

On another note, around 120 people were turned away at different polling stations in the constituency because of various reasons.
At Dzivarasekwa 2 Community Center, people also formed long queues at the command centre.

A total of 607 people had voted at Yemurai polling station in Dzivarasekwa by 1 pm.
All long queues had been cleared up by 5pm in Glen View South constituency.

In Kuwadzana constituency ward 38, voting ended at 7:15 pm and the delay was attributed to the late start of the voting process since the polling station had to rectify the problem of excess polling agents.

In Harare East and North, voting progressed on well with some winding queues being witnessed till sunset.
There were 30 polling stations in the constituency.

Some of the prospective voters were turned away for various reasons, chief among them being not appearing on the voters roll, going to wrong wards and constituencies.

There were no queues in Mabvuku ward 21 when polling stations closed at 7pm.
All the 28 polling stations in Hatfield constituency closed at 7pm.

Caledon polling station had a long winding queue of up to 400 people in the morning. Some voters complained of poor lighting in the early hours of the morning, however, the situation later improved as the day progressed.

All the polling stations in Kuwadzana, Dzivaresekwa, Tynwald and Westlea had closed by 7pm.
At Kuwadzana 2 Primary School, the polling agents were by 8pm filling in the V11 forms with vote counting scheduled to start afterwards while at Kuwadzana 2 command centre collating of votes was in progress.

The presiding officer at Dzivaresekwa Community Hall said people started queuing to cast their votes as early as 5am while the numbers swelled towards mid-morning but subsided as the day progressed. Peace characterised voting in Makonde district where queues were generally short at most polling stations with the longest queues not having more than 200 people at any given time especially in the morning.

These however, cleared to trickles by mid-morning.
There were reports of people in Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee paraphenallia at some polling stations such as Murereka primary school and Chinhoyi’s Cooksey Memorial Hall polling station who were accused of trying to interfere with the electoral process.

They could be seen milling around polling stations in the morning but were, however told to leave or face arrest.
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Mashonaland West provincial elections manager Mr Kenneth Kwaramba confirmed the development adding that elections were a legal process that could not be interfered with.

“We got the reports and we dispersed the unaccredited people to leave the vicinity of polling stations or face arrest,” he said.
Three MDC polling agents were arrested in Chiredzi after being found in possession of five sets of ZEC forms that are used in collating election results.

The three were arrested at the Chiredzi Research Coalition Centre. According to police sources the sets of forms include the V11,V23A,V23B,V23C and V23D that are used for results at ward, combined wards per constituency and all wards per province.

At Magogi Primary school in Makonde constituency about 247 people had cast their vote by 2pm while 32 had been turned away for either not appearing on the voters’ roll or were registered after the July 10 cut-off date.

Presiding officer Mrs Tariro Mazhambe said voting progressed well from the time the ballots were opened at 7am.
At Muchiedza primary school, 274 people had cast their vote by 2pm.

Voting ended peacefully in Magunje and Kariba constituencies yesterday with the majority of the electorate, election officials and candidates describing the process as peaceful and smooth.

Long queues were observed at some polling stations at Magunje growth point but these got shorter as the day progressed.
Queues started to form as early as 4am in the morning at polling stations such as Charles Clarke primary school and Magunje.

Members of the uniformed forces who failed to vote during the special voting period also got a chance to vote.
“I came here around 5am and by 7.30am, I had already voted,” said a resident of Magunje soon after casting her ballot at Chisepa polling station.
In Kariba, most polling stations were characterised by long ques in the morning but they got shorter later in the day.

People interviewed attributed the short queues to the numerous polling stations and streams.
“As you can see, at Mahombekombe primary school, there are three streams from which people can vote. This has resulted in shorter queues and efficiency because the staff is not burdened,” said Mr Ronnie Kujere.

By mid-morning, close to 1 000 people had been turned away for failure to produce relevent identification, trying to vote in a wrong ward or not appearing on the voters’ roll.

In Buhera South most polling stations recored minimum activity by mid-day.
Presiding officer Mr James Kandenga said the voting process was going smoothly.

“A total of 141 people had cast their vote by 11am while two blind people and five others who are illiterate were assisted to vote,” he said.
“Only one person who did not have a proper identification was turned away.”
Mutiusinazita Secondary School polling station in Ward 27 in Buhera South recorded a huge turnout.

Presiding officer Mr Fungai Magaso said by 2pm, 563 people had voted while 18 were turned away.
He said 131 were assisted to vote.

“Those turned away were not on the voters’ roll while some were registered in other wards and had ineligible identity documents. Those assisted to vote were mostly elderly, a few blind people and illiterate.”

Buhera South chief election officers Mr Girison Tipi said they expected the figures to increase by end of day.
In Buhera West voters turned up as early as 6am.

The Murambinda Business Centre Rank and the Nyazura-Chivhu turn off polling stations had long queues as early as 6am.
Other polling stations such as Muchaiwa in Buhera South had been cleared by 1pm and election officers and police officers manning the stations spent the day idling

By 2pm, a total of 530 people had voted, 300 others were still queuing while four were turned away for not appearing on the voters’ roll at Masomo polling station in Mbire.

At Musengezi polling station, 412 people cast their ballots by 2pm, 38 turned away and only four people were still waiting to vote.
At Madzomba polling station 600 people had voted while 100 are still waiting to vote while Chikafa polling station, 430 have voted so far, and 12 turned away for appearing on the voters roll.

In Kanyemba, at Roads polling station, only 27 people voted.
Voting in Masvingo Urban started promptly at 7am characterised by low turnout at most polling station with the exception of those in Mucheke high density suburb where voters braved the chilly weather to vote.  However turnout began improving with more people trickling into polling stations while numbers have swelled in most polling stations in the high density suburbs.


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