We’re getting ‘extremely positive’ information on vote – Mnangagwa

Emmerson Mnangagwa

HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Tuesday that the ruling party was receiving “extremely positive” information from their representatives, a day after the first election since Robert Mugabe resigned following a bloodless coup.

Mnangagwa said on Twitter that he was delighted by the high voter turnout, which the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission put at 75 percent.

Zimbabweans are awaiting results from its first election since former leader Robert Mugabe was ousted.

Officials are counting 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.

Mr Mnagnagwa tweeted: “Good morning Zimbabwe. I am delighted by the high turnout and citizen engagement so far.

“The information from our reps on the ground is extremely positive! Waiting patiently for official results as per the constitution.”

He took over the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZAN-PU) after 94-year-old Mr Mugabe was ousted from power in a bloodless coup in November.

It is the first time in 38 years that Zimbabweans did not see Mr Mugabe’s name on their ballots.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has reported that there was 70 percent voter turn out.

It tweeted: “ZEC Chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba announcing at a press conference that the available statistics show that about 70% of the registered voters had voted in the 2018 harmonised elections.”

However, South African news agency eNCA is reporting a turnout of 75 percent.

Mr Chigumba told reporters in the capital of Harare: “It is our view that that the high voter turnout is indicative of a sound voter education and publicity conducted on a receptive electorate.”

Mr Mnagnagwa faced of 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party.

Mr Chamisa also expressed confidence in how the election has gone.

He tweeted: “Winning resoundingly…We now have results from the majority of the over 10 000 polling stations. We’ve done exceedingly well.

“Awaiting ZEC to perform their constitutional duty to officially announce the people’s election results and we are ready to form the next government.”

If Mr Chamisa wins he will be youngest elected head of state for Zimbabwe and it will be first time Mr Mugabe’s former party the ZAN-PU will be out of office since the country became independent.

Official results of the voting will be released this Saturday on August 4, but a likely winner could be known as early as July 2.