Zimbabwe’s general elections peaceful: Ambassador Kamati

The general elections in Zimbabwe took place on Wednesday without any major hiccups, with the presidential election results anticipated to be announced in a few days.

Ambassador Ndali Kamati, the head of Namibia’s election observer mission in Zimbabwe, said the process went smoothly despite delays at some polling stations.

Speaking from Harare on Thursday, Kamati told Nampa that counting began after the polls closed Wednesday night, with the outcome of the presidential election likely in a few days.

“I think the presidential results will be the last because legally they are supposed to take three to four days to make sure they verify all the results from different polling stations. So the presidential results can only be after tomorrow or even the day after tomorrow,” he said.

Six million eligible voters participated in the presidential, parliamentary, and local authority elections.

The elections pitted incumbent president Emmerson Mnangagwa of the Zanu-PF against his younger political opponent, Nelson Chamisa of the Citizens Coalition for Change.

Kamati further said the voter turnout was impressive, and long lines were observed across the 11 provinces of Zimbabwe, adding that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission had earlier resolved to establish as many polling stations as possible, each of which could accommodate up to 1 000 voters.

“The absence of the local authority ballot papers brought a bit of uneasiness, but when they arrived, people started voting peacefully until the closing,” Ambassador Kamati said.

He however confirmed earlier reports that voting in some urban centers, including Harare and Bulawayo, was delayed for several hours due to a lack of local authority election ballot papers.

The opening of the polling stations was delayed because the voters had to vote for three categories of elections at the same time. They could not start without the local authorities’ ballot papers. This caused a little problem and uneasiness, he said.

Kamati and his team will be in Zimbabwe until next week for post-election observation.

“Our mandate is up to 31 August, we were told to be on the ground to make sure that we observe what is happening and what is going to happen after the announcement of the results. That is historically what causes problems in Zimbabwe, as we have been observing their elections for the last 20 years,” Kamati said.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency