OVERVIEW: Zim issues prosecution warning after opposition claims poll win

2018-07-31 20:25

Vote counting is under way in Zimbabwe's first election since Robert Mugabe was ousted after 37 years in power, as observers warn of possible shortcomings in the country’s landmark poll. Follow the live update here

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Last Updated at 11:59
31 Jul 19:54

Zimbabwe's government warned election candidates on Tuesday that they faced prosecution and jail for prematurely announcing results of landmark polls after the main opposition MDC party said it had won.

"As a government we have noted with concern the actions and conduct of some political party leaders... who are openly declaring that they will announce results irrespective of provisions of the law," said Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu at a media briefing in Harare.

"I am sure no one wants to provoke the wrath of the law and risk being sent to jail." - AFP


31 Jul 19:03

BBC is reporting that supporters of Chamisa are holding a victory celebration outside the party headquarters in the capital, Harare.

They gathered after officials of the MDC Alliance told a press briefing that Chamisa had won the election 


31 Jul 19:01
ZEC is expected to release more election results this evening

31 Jul 18:57
ZEC says the commission "might investigate" Tendai Biti after announcing Nelson Chamisa as President elect, according to social media reports

31 Jul 18:54

31 Jul 18:11

31 Jul 17:45

Haru Mutasa of Al Jazeera is tweeting that supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance are having a victory rally, celebrating outside their party head quarters in Harare


31 Jul 17:37

The country's minister of Home Affairs Obert Mpofu is expected to hold a press conference at 18:00, according to social media reports.


31 Jul 17:12

Zimbabwe's electoral commission said on Tuesday there had been no vote-rigging in the first election without Robert Mugabe on the ballot, but the opposition alleged irregularities as an anxious nation awaited the first official results.

Dozens of opposition supporters gathered at their headquarters in the capital, Harare, celebrating in the belief that they had won the presidential election based on results they said they collected from agents in the field.

Police with water cannon circulated in the area.Zimbabweans hope the election will help to lift their country out of economic and political stagnation.

Millions peacefully cast their ballots on Monday in a process closely watched by international monitors, who have yet to make formal announcements about whether the election was free and fair. - AP


31 Jul 16:50

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has just finished announcing results from seven of the 210 constituencies for National Assembly seats

Zanu PF - 6

MDC Alliance - 1


31 Jul 16:41
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Chairperson Priscilla Chigumba says presidential results will only be announced after all results have been received and collated

31 Jul 16:40
Meanwhile, the MDC says "security has been increased" around Nelson Chamisa following a report  they got of "an assassination order" against Chamisa and Biti.

31 Jul 16:39
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission starts announcing election results

31 Jul 16:34
SABC is reporting that the Movement for Democratic Change is preparing court application to force the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to release results from Monday's national ballot

31 Jul 16:07

Police with water cannon are circulating in Zimbabwe's capital as the country waits for the first official results of Monday's presidential election.

The main opposition claims that voting results were not posted outside 21% of the country's polling stations as the law requires, raising concerns about possible vote-rigging. Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has said he would lead peaceful protests if the vote is found to be flawed. - AP


31 Jul 15:58
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission says it needs an extra 30 minutes before it start announcing results

31 Jul 15:23

Zimbabwe's main opposition is claiming that voting results forms were not posted at more than one-fifth of the country's polling stations as the law requires.

The opposition says results it has collected from around the country show "beyond a reasonable doubt" that Nelson Chamisa has won the presidential election.

It says 21% of forms were not posted at stations.

Zimbabwe's electoral commission is expected to release the first results of Monday's vote shortly.

The election was the first since longtime leader Robert Mugabe stepped down in November under military pressure and former confidante Emmerson Mnangagwa took power.

Mnangagwa also has expressed optimism about the results. - AP


31 Jul 15:18
The media is still waiting for the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Priscilla Chigumba to announce the election results

31 Jul 15:14

BBC is reporting that some candidate are already conceding defeat in some races. This comes as a first set of official results are due to to be announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. 

Meanwhile, the report says, supporters of the the leading candidates, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Nelson Chamisa, remain upbeat that their man will win.


31 Jul 15:10
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has warned the public to be wary of alleged results being circulated on social media saying it’s unlawful for undesignated persons to announce fictitious, unverified results. Herald

31 Jul 14:52

The media is getting ready for the announcement of election results.

Watch this video


31 Jul 14:38

31 Jul 14:33
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.President Emmerson Mnangagwa said his ruling ZANU-PF party was receiving "extremely positive" data, while opposition leader Nelson Chamisa said the MDC party was "winning resoundingly".The claims pointed to a contested result in the historic election, raising the prospect of competing fraud allegations and a possible run-off vote in September -- required if no candidate wins at least 50 percent of ballots in the first round.ZANU-PF has held an iron grip on power in Zimbabwe since independence from British colonial rule in 1980, and victory for the opposition would be a major upset.

31 Jul 14:31
Haru Mutasa of Al Jazeera is tweeting that Biti of the Movement for Democratic Change is set to hold a press conference at 14:30

31 Jul 13:52
A vendor hawks food as voters gather to check the polling station results posted outside a tent in Harare's suburb of Mbare. (AFP)

31 Jul 13:32
Zimbabwe police officers sit while voters check the polling station results posted outside a tent in Mbare, Harare, a day after people went to the polls in general election. (AFP)

31 Jul 13:19

eNCA is reporting by 11:00 this morning, most voting stations in Zimbabwe's 10 provinces had counted more than 50% of their ballots.

This comes as the country's electoral commission is expected to start announcing verified results from 15:00 this afternoon.


31 Jul 13:02

No official results have been announced in Zimbabwe's elections‚ but social media is abuzz with pictures of poll tallies taken from various polling stations countrywide.

NewsDay is quoting elections expert Innocent Ncube from Royal Holloway University in London as saying that there is a mixture of fake news and planned propaganda circulating on social media.

“There are two aspects to it; there is fake news generated by third parties and propaganda engineered by the candidates.


31 Jul 12:42

An expert on Zimbabwean politics at the University of Westminster has urged the country’s election candidates to accept the vote outcome as the counting process started on Monday.

In an interview with News24, Dr Winston Mano, Director of the Africa Media Centre at the University of Westminster predicted that there would be a clear winner after Monday's elections, but no party would "be able achieve a two-thirds majority." 

Mano said that there would be no need for a runoff.


31 Jul 12:30

31 Jul 12:24
A Zimbabwean pastor who was prosecuted for leading large anti-government protests when Robert Mugabe was leader has conceded defeat in his bid to be elected as a ward councillor in the capital, Harare.

31 Jul 11:55

Zimbabwe's much-criticised election authority on Tuesday declared that there had been no rigging of the country's election, after the opposition repeatedly alleged that the vote process was flawed.

"We are absolutely confident there was no rigging... we at the Zimbabwean Election Commission will not steal (the people's) choice of leaders, we will not subvert their will," ZEC chair Priscilla Chiguma said a day after the vote.

ZEC has been accused of involvement in previous flawed votes in Zimbabwe. - AFP


31 Jul 11:34

Zimbabwe's electoral commission says it expects to start announcing election results from 15:00 on Tuesday.

Commission chief Priscilla Chigumba says most of the nearly 11 000 polling stations have completed vote-counting and that a verification process is under way.

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.

Chigumba says the electoral commission has five days to release the final tally and expects to do so within that time period. - AP



31 Jul 11:32
ZEFC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba says the commission has yet to receive results in far flung areas due to network challenges - according to Herald

31 Jul 11:21

Reports on social media say that the Zimbabwe electoral body will announce all verified results at 15:00

The electoral body maintains that it's confident there was no vote rigging



31 Jul 11:08
People take pictures of the ballot count results outside a polling station in Kambuzuma Township. (AFP)

31 Jul 11:06

People look at the ballot count results outside a polling station in Kambuzuma Township, Harare a day after general elections vote.

Zimbabwe's two rival presidential candidates have both claimed they were heading for victory as votes were counted in the country's first election since long-time ruler Robert Mugabe was ousted from power. (AFP)


31 Jul 11:03

BBC is reporting that in Harare, life has gone back to normal with vendors and businesses getting back to work.

The report says, however, there is a sense of quiet anticipation as people wait for the results in this hotly contested race.


31 Jul 10:53
Meanwhile, the Herald newspaper is reporting that election observers are currently in a closed door meeting at a Harare hotel.

31 Jul 10:42
Zim24News has tweeted that Mutare, in Manicaland province has started cerebrating the Chamisa victory.

31 Jul 10:16

From AFP: Zimbabwe's two rival presidential candidates on Tuesday both claimed they were heading for victory as votes were counted in the country's first election since long-time ruler Robert Mugabe was ousted from power.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa said that his ruling Zanu-PF party was receiving "extremely positive" data on the count, while the opposition leader Nelson Chamisa said his MDC party was "winning resoundingly".

Zimbabwe appeared to be heading for a contested result in the historic election, raising the likelihood of a bitter battle over allegations of fraud and malpractice from both sides.


31 Jul 09:58

As votes are being counted in Zimbabwe's first election since the ouster of Mugabe, concerns have been raised about voter suppression.

Watch this video in which the opposition cries foul in the landmark vote


31 Jul 09:57

One of the talking points in yesterday's election was the voting of former president Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace at a school in Highfields, Harare.

Take a look at this video clip.


31 Jul 09:50

31 Jul 09:40

A New Zimbabwe.com report says that a woman collapsed and died in Matebeleland South  while in a queue tom cast her vote on Monday.

The report is quoting the Zimbabwe electoral body chairperson Priscilla Chigumba as saying: "The commission is saddened to learn of an unfortunate incident in Bulilima where a female voter collapsed and died at a polling station. We want to express our deepest condolences to the family of the now deceased." she said.

The name and age of the deceased was not revealed.


31 Jul 09:24

From AP: Mnangagwa and Chamisa have issued upbeat assessments of how they performed in the just ended elections, although they said they were waiting for the electoral commission to make the final announcement as required by law.

"I am delighted by the high turnout and citizen engagement so far," Mnangagwa tweeted.

Chamisa said he had his own results from most of the nearly 11 000 polling stations, though said he would wait for the official tally.

More than 5.5 million people were registered to vote in an election featuring a record number of more than 20 presidential candidates and nearly 130 political parties vying for parliamentary seats.

If no presidential candidate wins more than 50% of the vote, a runoff will be held on September 8.

Western election observers were in Zimbabwe, reflecting a freer political environment since the November resignation of Mugabe, who had ruled since independence from white minority rule in 1980.

Still, there were concerns about bias in state media coverage of the election, a lack of transparency in ballot printing and reports of intimidation by pro-government local leaders who are supposed to stay neutral.


31 Jul 09:19

31 Jul 09:19

A report by NewsDay is saying that President Mnangagwa moved to withdraw Mugabe’s security details after the nonagenarian’s Sunday press conference where he threw his weight behind Chamisa.

The report says that Mugabe’s security aides were recalled on Sunday night.  


31 Jul 08:56

From AP: Zimbabweans are awaiting the first results from an election that they hope will lift the country out of economic and political stagnation after decades of rule by former leader Robert Mugabe.

Officials on Tuesday counted votes a day after millions of Zimbabweans peacefully cast their votes in a process closely watched by international monitors, who have yet to announce whether the election was free and fair.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission says it will release the final tally within five days.The two main contenders are President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former deputy president, and Nelson Chamisa, a lawyer and pastor who leads a coalition of opposition groups.


31 Jul 08:56

From AP: Zimbabweans are awaiting the first results from an election that they hope will lift the country out of economic and political stagnation after decades of rule by former leader Robert Mugabe.

Officials on Tuesday counted votes a day after millions of Zimbabweans peacefully cast their votes in a process closely watched by international monitors, who have yet to announce whether the election was free and fair.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission says it will release the final tally within five days.The two main contenders are President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former deputy president, and Nelson Chamisa, a lawyer and pastor who leads a coalition of opposition groups.

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