Harare – The announcement of the much awaited Zimbabwe elections is expected to start at 3pm local time.
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson Priscilla Chigumba held a brief conference on Tuesday morning urging Zimbabweans to disregard the fake news results being circulated on social media and wait for the official announcement.
Chigumba said most of the 11 000 polling stations have now completed counting the votes and only the verification process is underway.
“Vote counting is underway and we should be able to release the first results around 3pm. The atmosphere has remained peaceful across the country,” she said.
The ZEC boss said the announcement will be of what has come in and not of the election outcome.
Chigumba emphasised that the electoral commission has five days to release the final tally and will meet that deadline as she ruled out rigging of results.
“We will not steal their choice of leaders, we will not subvert their will,” said Chigumba
Smaller wards in the urban areas are expected to be announced first while the rural votes make their way to the ZEC Centre at the Harare International Conference Centre.
The ZEC boss once again applauded the high vote turnout in the country’s first post-Robert Mugabe elections.
“It is our view that the high voter turnout is indicative of the sound voter education and publicity conducted on a receptive electorate,” said Priscilla Chigumba. Almost 5.7 million registered to vote in the election that had 23 candidates vying for the presidency and 130 political parties running for Parliament and council. If no presidential candidate wins more than 50 per cent of the vote, a run off will be held between the top two on September 8.