zimbabwe extends voting in selected wards after delays

Zimbabwe extends voting in selected wards after delays

Zimbabwe, a landlocked country in southern Africa, has extended voting in selected wards by a day after a delayed polling on Wednesday. 

According to a presidential decree issued late Wednesday, voters in selected wards will get the extra day for voting. The presidential notice said that 40 wards were affected by the delays, including 11 wards in the capital Harare.

On Wednesday, polls opened in Zimbabwe. Emmerson Mnangagwa, the current President of Zimbabwe, was seeking a second and final term in the country. However, the late distribution of ballot papers delayed polling in some areas. They waited for several hours to vote on Wednesday.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced the extra day for voting in affected wards. The affected wards are in Harare, Mashonaland Central, and Manicaland.

In Bulawayo, a city in southwest Zimbabwe, many polling stations opened hours late on Wednesday. The voters had to wait for most of the day. Voters were frustrated because of the delay. 

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The electoral commission of Zimbabwe said that late printing of ballot papers caused delays. The electoral commission said that only 23 per cent of Harare’s polling stations had opened on time on Wednesday.

Africa Risk Consulting, a private firm, reportedly said, “The electoral playing field is heavily skewed in favour of the ruling party.”

According to reports, only 6.6 million people registered to vote in polls in the nation of about 15 million people. 

Twelve candidates are running for the presidential election. The main contest is expected to be between Emmerson Mnangagwa, a 80 year old current president, and pastor Nelson Chamisa, a 45-year-old opposition leader. 

Nelson Chamisa, the current President of the Citizens Coalition For Change, aims to break the governing ZANU-PF party’s 43-year rule in the country. He reportedly said, “Funny games or no funny games, our victory is certain.”