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Zimbabwe votes: At a glance

By BBC| 2008

Noel Kututwa, spokesman for the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, which has been monitoring today's elections told the BBC at 1647 GMT that in general voting had progressed quite smoothly countrywide. He said that most of the long queues at polling stations had been dealt with. But he expressed concerns about the state of the voters' roll which, he said, "was fraught with many problems of duplicate names, of ghost voters, and of people who have long since died but are still on the voters roll." 1815 GMT, Harare: Ashley (not his real name) texts in with this message: "They denied many youth to vote because they knew they were the ones to vote them away with various reasons. " He told the BBC by telephone that he was turned away from a polling station as his name didn't appear on the electoral roll - even though he says he has already registered to vote. 1813 GMT, Bulawayo: Contributor Themba Nkosi says that people who remained in queues after polling officially closed were still allowed to vote. But many were turned away from polling stations because they turned up in the wrong ward or did not carry proper documentation, such as identity cards. Although voting was generally peaceful, there were some reports of violence in Bulawayo. 1725GMT, Harare: Munawari emails in to say that police are around but standing away from queues. "Everyone is in a very positive mood, the atmosphere is calm, but we want free and fair elections." 1723 GMT, Binga and Hwange: Contributor Joel Gore in Matabeleland North Province says about 1,000 people in Pashu, Binga, had not started voting by 1400 GMT as ballot boxes arrived late. A source said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission could not explain the late arrival. Incumbent opposition MP Joel Gabhuza called for voting in the area to be extended to enable everyone to vote. Mr Gabhuza also complained that many people had been disenfranchised as the constituency had new boundaries. This had confused some voters who had turned up at the wrong polling centres or could not reach more remote polling stations. Meanwhile in Hwange, supporters of Morgan Tsvangirai were concerned by the presence of two disqualified MDC candidates on the ballot paper. They expressed fears that this could split the vote to the advantage of Zanu-PF our contributor says. By 1700 GMT polling stations were empty of voters. 1715 GMT, Karoi: Voting finished in and around Karoi about three hours ago, contributor Naume Muza says. As counting gets under way, it has been reported that independent presidential candidate Simba Makoni has not fielded election agents in the majority of rural wards in Mashonaland West. Our contributor says this is surprising as Mr Makoni said earlier that the only way to defeat President Robert Mugabe was to ensure that counting was done at the ward level.

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