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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Zimbabwe voting ends peacefully in first post-Mugabe election

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Polling closed Monday night in Zimbabwe with election authorities reporting high voter turnout throughout the country.

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) commissioner Qubani Moyo said voting went on smoothly and peacefully around the country, with vote counting expected to start soon after closing of polls at 7 p.m.
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"We have received positive feedback in terms of high turnout in provinces. People voted in peace and tranquility and we had very few incidences or anomalies being recorded in the voting process," Moyo said.

He said results of National Assembly and local authority elections were expected to start from early Tuesday morning while presidential results are expected by Aug. 4.

Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. with long queues characterizing most polling stations in an election in which voters were electing the president, members of parliament and local government representatives.

A record 23 candidates are taking part in the presidential vote.

However, the election mainly pits incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa against opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa, both of whom have promised to focus on the country’s ailing economy if elected.

  President Emmerson Mnangagwa votes in Kwekwe, Midlands, Zimbabwe | Coastweek

KWEKWE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa votes in Kwekwe, Midlands, Zimbabwe, July 30, 2018. Zimbabweans began voting on Monday in the African country’s first presidential election since former head of state Robert Mugabe resigned in November. XINHUA PHOTO - SHAUN JUSA
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Mnangagwa cast his ballot Monday morning in Kwekwe, in his home province of Midlands.

His main rival Chamisa also cast his vote in the capital Harare.

Mnangagwa told reporters soon after casting his vote that Zimbabwe was enjoying an unprecedented democratic space.

He also said former president Robert Mugabe was entitled to express his views.

Mugabe, who resigned in November last year following a military intervention, said Sunday he will vote for the opposition, dumping the ruling ZANU-PF party which he founded in 1963.

"I can assure you that this country is enjoying democratic space which has never been experienced before.

"The former president has his right to express his views," Mnangagwa said.

Mugabe, whom was accompanied by his wife Grace and daughter Bona Chikore, cast his vote at Mhofu Primary School in Harare.

Several people interviewed by Xinhua said they hoped that the elections would usher in a new era where the economy thrives and Zimbabweans enjoy a higher quality of life.

Katsande of Bluff Hill, Harare West constituency, said he arrived at the polling station at a nearby school at 4 a.m., although polling would start at 7.

"I wanted to be early and was the first to arrive here.

"I am excited about casting my vote," he said.

Chiwada of Kuwadzana, Harare West constituency, said he hoped that whoever won the elections should honor their promises to the electorate.

"They gave us lots of promises and we are voting for them in good faith.

"I hope they will do the same and ensure that those promises come to fruition," he said.

In an effort to demonstrate openness, Zimbabwe invited more than 60 countries and key international organizations to observe the elections.

The Commonwealth, European Union, African Union, SADC and COMESA have sent observer groups to Zimbabwe.

There are 5.6 million people who registered to vote in the polls.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa
casts vote as national polling gets underway

HARARE (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa cast his ballot Monday morning in the first post-Mugabe election in Kwekwe in his home province of Midlands.

His main rival Nelson Chamisa of the opposition MDC Alliance also cast his vote in the capital Harare.

Mnangagwa told reporters soon after casting his vote that Zimbabwe was enjoying an unprecedented democratic space.

He also said former president Robert Mugabe was entitled to express his views.

Mugabe, ousted in November last year following a military intervention, said Sunday he will vote for the opposition, dumping the ruling ZANU-PF party which he founded in 1963.

"I can assure you that this country is enjoying democratic space which has never been experienced before.

"The former president has his right to express his views," Mnangagwa said.

Zimbabweans are voting to choose a president, National Assembly members and councilors.

There are 5.6 million people registered to vote in the polls.

Voting is scheduled to end at 7.00 pm.
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Presidential election kicks off in Zimbabwe

HARARE (Xinhua) -- Zimbabweans began voting on Monday in the African country’s first presidential election since former head of state Robert Mugabe resigned in November.

Voting started at 7:00 local time (0500 GMT) at most polling stations in Harare’s Warren Park constituency and will end at 19:00 (1700 GMT).

Long queues could be seen early in the morning outside the polling stations in Warren Park.

Some voters said they started queuing from midnight.

They said they want the new government to create jobs, resolve the financial crisis, and improve health services.

"We have suffered for too long," 65-year-old Peter Mukumba, one of the early bird voters, said.

"We want the new government to create jobs for the people, solve the cash crisis, and give old people cash-outs to help them survive."

Zimbabweans are voting to elect a president as well as members of both houses of parliament.

President Emerson Mnangagwa is squaring off with 22 other presidential candidates, with his main competitor being the young leader of the opposition MDC Alliance, Nelson Chamisa.
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Grace Mugabe’s diplomatic immunity must be set aside - South Africa court

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- The Johannesburg High court has set aside the decision to grant former Zimbabwean first lady, Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity after an assault on a local model.

Delivering his judgement on Monday, Judge Bashier Vally stated that the decision by the former International Relations minister, Nkoane-Maite Mashabane to grant Mugabe diplomatic immunity was inconsistency with the Constitution and should be set aside.

"It is declared that the decision of the minister of August 19, 2017, in terms of the diplomatic immunities to recognize Dr Grace Mugabe immunities is inconsistence with the Constitution of South Africa.

"The decision is reviewed and set aside," the judgment stated.

It is alleged that Grace assaulted model Gabriella Engels and two other women in an upmarket Sandton hotel in August last year.

Engels is said to have sustained severe facial injuries as a result of the alleged assault.

She also laid a criminal charge of assault against Grace with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

It is believed that Mugabe assaulted them after she had found them in the company of her young sons who are university students.

Grace left South Africa for Zimbabwe after she was granted a diplomatic immunity.

Following the judgement, International Relations and Cooperation Department under Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said it was still studying the judgment.

Former International Relations Minster Maite-Mashabane explained in court that Mugabe automatically qualified for immunity from prosecution by virtue of her status as a wife of a head of state.

She also argued that not awarding Grace diplomatic immunity would might have serious implications for relations between South Africa and Zimbabwe.
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SEE ALSO:

Zimbabwe parties end Polls Campaigning ahead of Monday vote

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FURTHER READING:

Zimbabwe voters go to the polls in close presidential election post Robert Mugabe

Grace Mugabe's diplomatic immunity was unconstitutional rules South African court

             

 

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