More than 5.6 million Zimbabweans have voted for a new president of the country, in what is being hailed as a historic election.
Reports indicate that the election has been peaceful, the first to take place without the face of former President, Robert Mugabe, on the ballot papers.
After 37 years of rule, he resigned in November 2017. This followed mounting pressure from citizens and his political party, Zanu-PF.
Zimbabwe’s President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, cast his ballot at Kwekwe, in the province of Midlands, early Monday morning. He was accompanied by his wife, Auxillia.
They were well received by locals as he walked to the Sherwood Primary School a polling station he is registered at as a voter.
President Mnangagwa says it’s Robert Mugabe’s democratic right to express his views freely. He was responding to the former President’s recent criticism levelled against the ZANU-PF.
The first citizen cast his ballot with his wife by his side. President Mnangagwa arrived at Sherwood Primary school in Kwekwe in the Midlands province of Zimbabwe just before 10am.
He says the peaceful nature of this year’s historic election is evidence that Democracy is at play in Zimbabwe. He succeeded Mugabe, in a military-backed takeover. He is confident that he will legitimise his rule.
Mnangagwa says the former President has a right to express his views as a citizen following Mugabe’s utterances that he won’t vote for Zanu-PF.
“In a democratic space in a country people have the freedom to express their views negative or positive, so the former president is right to express his mind because there is that democratic space in existence in our beloved country”
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s main opposition candidate – the MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa declared early victory to a cheering crowd after casting his vote.
Chamisa cast his vote at the Kwadzana Primary School in Harare, the country’s capital city.
MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa says, “”We have no doubt that if the ballot is an appropriate one, a genuine one and not a bastardized or a fake one – victory is certain for the people. The people have spoken, the people are speaking, and it’s clear that the vote is a vote for victory, a vote for freedom, a vote for democracy, a vote for a new Zimbabwe.”
The MDC leader also took a swipe at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
The ZEC said Chamisa held an illegal press conference on Sunday. It then reported Chamisa to the police for what it terms “flouting” electoral laws.
“They (ZEC) do not know the law. They will be taught the law and are just doing the bidding on behalf of Mr Mnangagwa. I am not even going to entertain their tomfoolery.”
He was endorsed by Mugabe and he is confident of victory. He is one of the 23 presidential candidates in Zimbabwe.
Former President Robert Mugabe cast his vote at Highfields in Harare, accompanied by his wife, Grace.
On Sunday, former President Robert Mugabe lashed out at the ruling party, saying he’ll not vote for a party that had tormented him.
The European Union observer mission was on hand to assess the state of the election. It gave a preliminary report on voting.