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Zimbabweans begin voting in first election since Mugabe’s removal

The hotly-anticipated election pits the new look ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front under Emmerson Mnangagwa against at least fifty other parties, although the main challenge is expected to come from an alliance led by Nelson Chamisa’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Both men have been campaigning hard across the length and breadth of the country. Locals are excited to have their say in the election and have been encouraged by the peaceful environment that has characterized the build up to the vote.

“Our president has promised a free and fair election so it’s like a free and fair election, the first ever, the first of its kind in Zimbabwe,” said Brian Moyo, a local resident.

“It doesn’t matter who wins, what we want from them is action, let their campaign promises not be lip service. We want to vote, and I know I’m going to vote by eight in the morning,” said Cainos Mtembo, another resident.

“We want a totally free and fair election which reflects the correct support on the ground,” said Cephas Mumbwandarikwa, another local.

The electoral commission has said the final results of the vote are expected within five days after the close of Monday’s poll. To win the presidential election, a candidate is required to garner at least a 51 percent majority share of the vote, otherwise a second vote is scheduled for Sept. 8