Zimbwabwe polling agencies at Zengeza 3 high school in Zengeza outside Harare. Picture: Matthews Baloyi/Africa News Agency (ANA)

Harare - Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba warned against premature announcements of the results and that so far the commission had received returns from four provinces and was awaiting results from the remaining six.

Chigumba said Zec had received returns from Masvingo (60,62% voter turn-out), Midlands (75%), Harare (70%) and Bulawayo 70%. She added that an average 1% of voters had been turned away for various reasons.

“The reasons ranged from defaced identity cards, invalid documents or wrong ones altogether.”

The Zec boss said most polling stations closed at 7 pm on Monday, adding the figures she had given were as at 6 pm.

“Zec is pleased to announce that it managed to clear all queues by 7 pm. However, all those people in the queues were allowed to vote because the law stipulates that they should be attended to,” she said.

Chigumba warned candidates and other stakeholders to desist from prematurely announcing the results.

“The commission would like to urge Zimbabweans to be patient as we wait for results. All stakeholders are reminded from announcing results as that is the prerogative of the commission,” she said, adding a female voter from Bulilima in Matabeleland South province collapsed and died at a polling station.

In separate telephone interviews, other contenders in the presidential race expressed satisfaction over the voting process and the peaceful environment obtaining in the country and said they were “hopeful” of springing surprises to unseat Mnangagwa of Zanu-PF.

Former vice president Dr Joice Mujuru, who was expelled from Zanu-PF for harbouring power ambitions before forming her own party and leading the People’s Rainbow Coalition, voted at Oriel Girls’ High School in Harare on Monday. After casting her vote she said while the voting process was "going on well but it does not change the fact that rigging was done already".

MDC-T presidential candidate Dr Thokozani Khuphe who voted in Bulawayo said: “I am 100 percent confident of victory because I have spoken to the people, I have been to where they are and asked them to vote for me and I truly believe they will vote for me”.

On Tuesday MDC-Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa said: "We now have results from the majority of 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 gvt."

The incumbent president, Mnangagwa, said on Tuesday his ruling Zanu-PF party was receiving "extremely positive" information from their representatives, a day after the first election since Robert Mugabe resigned following a bloodless coup.

Lists of results signed by all contesting parties and polling agents were posted outside each polling station after voting ended on Monday.

A government official has since conceded that  Chamisa had a "slight edge".

African News Agency (ANA)