Ignore fake news, wait for official announcement, ZEC chief urges voters

An election official tallies votes at a polling station in the Harare suburb of Mbare

An election official tallies votes at a polling station in the Harare suburb of Mbare

"We are however seriously concerned about evidence of interference. there is a deliberate delay in announcing the results".

Briefing the media in Harare this mid morning, ZEC Chairperson, Justice Priscilla Chigumba said the results will be announced as they come in, adding that they are confident that all the results will be announced earlier than the stipulated 5 days.

Election officials are counting ballots and both front-runners await the results. She says "the atmosphere has remained peaceful" across the country and that she has not received any major complaints about how Monday's election was conducted.

Zimbabwe's historic elections looked in danger of slipping into familiar scenes of violence and chaos today after the main opposition party accused the electoral board of withholding results and demanded that its leader be sworn in immediately.

Zimbabwean civil society groups said this afternoon they were working on a court application to force the electoral commission to get all polling stations to publish results.

Chamisa said he had his own results from most of the almost 11,000 polling stations, saying he would wait for the official tally. There will be a runoff on September 8 if no candidate wins more than half the votes.

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The voting started Monday, with long lines forming at polling stations across Zimbabwe. Some people are quietly discussing unofficial results circulating on social media, while others openly argue that their political parties won Monday's election even though the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has yet to release preliminary results.

"Vote counting is underway and we should be able to release the first results around 3pm".

The election is Zimbabwe's first without Mugabe, who led ZANU-PF to power on independence from Britain in 1980 and clung to power for 37 years.

The election is a two-horse race between 75-year-old Mnangagwa, a long-time Mugabe ally, and 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa, a lawyer and pastor who is vying to become Zimbabwe's youngest head of state.

A voter in Harare, the capital, said Zimbabwe is anxious to hear the election results as soon as possible.

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