* This story will be updated regularly in the build-up and during the Zimbabwe elections.

News post: Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has taken the lead in the counting of votes on Thursday from this week's presidential election, according to the official results.

With nine out of ten provinces declared, Mnangagwa had 2,147,505 votes to Chamisa's 1,929,704, according to tallies from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

New post: The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission on Thursday said it would announce the results of the presidential election from 10 pm onwards. Read more here.

New post: As Zimbabweans waited for presidential election results Thursday, the ruling Zanu-PF party urged the opposition to accept an expected defeat graciously but said they would also step aside "in the unlikely event we don't win." Read more here.

New post: Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa's spokesman said on state television that there was no order issued by the army to clear central Harare and termed such reports as "fake news". Read more here.

New post: Zimbabwe was Thursday on edge awaiting the results of its historic presidential election after troops opened fire on protests against alleged electoral fraud, denting hopes of a new era for the country following the ousting of Robert Mugabe. Read more here.

New post: The UN has urged the Zimbabwean government to reject violence following the outbreak of clashes between security forces and protesters angered at election results which left three people dead. Read more here.

New post: The US Embassy in Harare said it was "deeply concerned" by the violence that erupted in Zimbabwe's capital as the country awaits final results in a disputed election.

Violence broke out on the streets of Harare on Wednesday as security forces fired live rounds at opposition supporters protesting election results that they say were rigged. Read more here

New post: Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa said he holds the opposition responsible for the bloodshed on the streets of the capital that saw three people killed.

Three people were killed in the protests, police told ZBC. Read more here

New post: At least three people were killed in Zimbabwe's capital Harare on Wednesday as soldiers opened fire to disperse stone-throwing opposition supporters who accused the ruling party of trying to rig Monday's presidential election, witnesses said.

Gunfire crackled in the streets while troops, backed by armoured vehicles and a military helicopter and some with their faces masked, cleared the streets. Read more here

New post: Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF has attained a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly of parliament which allows the party to change the constitution at will, official results showed.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa's Zanu-PF swept most rural constituencies by large margins while the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change won in urban centres. Read more here

New post: The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) on Tuesday released a few results favouring Zanu-PF and then went silent amid mounting pressure from the opposition MDC Alliance to announce the full results that it said would show its leader 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa had won the election.

Tendai Biti who has won the ticket to represent the MDC Alliance in Parliament said Zec should announce the results immediately because they were aware that it had all the data by late Monday. Read more here

New post: The ruling party Zanu PF has taken a lead in the National Assembly seats after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) on late Tuesday announced the first set of results from Monday’s polls.

This comes after opposition MDC Alliance held celebrations Tuesday morning to declare victory in Zimbabwe. Read more here

New post: A Zimbabwean electoral support civic organisation, Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (Zesn), says Zanu-PF used State resources for campaign purposes in preparation for harmonised elections held on Monday.

Zesn trained and deployed over 6,500 observers that were deployed to every ward, constituency, district, and province of the country as part of its effort to observe the 2018 harmonised elections. Read more here

New postZimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) opposition party is preparing a court application to force the election commission to release results from Monday's national ballot, a senior MDC official said on Tuesday.

Tendai Biti, a former finance minister, said some election results that were supposed to be posted outside voting stations were not available. Read more here

New post: Zimbabwe's electoral commission said there was no rigging or cheating in the first national election since the end of Robert Mugabe's nearly four-decade rule.

ZEC chair Priscilla Chigumba told reporters in Harare that vote counting was complete in most provinces and the first results would be announced from 3 p.m. Read more here

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.

— President of Zimbabwe (@edmnangagwa) July 31, 2018

New post: Early on Tuesday, opposition leader Nelson Chamisa tweeted that his party, the MDC Alliance, had "done exceeding well" at the polls and that they were just waiting for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to confirm their victory in the watershed elections. Read more here

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 gvt.#Godisinit

— Nelson Chamisa (@nelsonchamisa) July 31, 2018
Supporters of the ruling ZANU-PF party of President Emmerson Mnangagwa celebrate following general elections in Harare.
Supporters of the ruling ZANU-PF party of President Emmerson Mnangagwa celebrate following general elections in Harare. Picture: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters

New post: Polls have closed in Zimbabwe's historic election, the first since the fall of longtime leader Robert Mugabe.

Election officials in the capital Harare said polling had closed, though any citizen waiting in line to vote would be allowed to cast their ballot. Read more here

Zimbabwe's former president Robert Mugabe casts his ballot in the general elections in Harare.
Zimbabwe's former president Robert Mugabe casts his ballot in the general elections in Harare. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

News post: Human rights organisation ZimRights has said that some polling stations had been moved from their original locations without people being aware of the changes.

The changes have caused confusion in some areas such as polling stations in Epworth, Glenview and Harare West constituencies. Read more here

News post: The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) on Monday said it reported the presidential candidates of the two main political parties in the Southern African country for suspected violation of the Electoral Act.

Zec chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba told journalists in Harare that the commission had noted with concern continued violations of the electoral act by candidates contesting the 2018 elections. Read more here

New post: Former president Robert Mugabe, 94, cast his vote in a Harare township on Monday in Zimbabwe's first election that does not include his name on the ballot paper.

A frail Mugabe, accompanied by his wife, Grace, shuffled into the polling booth and spent several minutes filling in his ballot paper with the help of an assistant. A huge crowd gathered outside, some cheering, many booing. Read more here

Zimbabwe's former president Robert Mugabe casts his ballot in the general elections in Harare. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

New post: The South African government will embrace and work closely with whoever emerges victorious in the tightly contested general election in neighbouring Zimbabwe, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday.

"We are very pleased to hear that the election has started off very well, there are no violent acts, and it means the people of Zimbabwe are determined to ensure that they install a government that will be representative of all the people of that country. We support them," Ramaphosa told journalists in Pretoria.

"We are saying, whichever party that emerges victorious, we are prepared to work with them as South Africa. We wish them the very best. We are looking forward to go to the [presidential] inauguration once the election results have been announced."  

New post: Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has cast his vote in his constituency of Kwekwe, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) south of the capital, Harare. He told reporters that he is committed to a Zimbabwe in which people have the "freedom to express their views, negative or positive." He called the vote peaceful. Read more here.

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa checks his papers as he casts his ballot to vote at Sherwood Park Primary School in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe. Picture: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters

New post: MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa woke up early to join thousands that got the Zimbabwe election going in the capital Harare this morning.

"We are certain of victory if the vote is not manipulated and it is a great feeling to vote," said Chamisa after casting his vote. Read more here.

Zimbabwean opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Nelson Chamisa casts his ballot in the country's general elections in Harare. Picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

New post: How does Zimbabwe's voting system work? Find out here

New post:  Just more than 10 000 polling booths opened around Zimbabwe where voting for a new president began at 7am on July 30.

Voting appears to have got off to a smooth start, with some 71 000 policemen deployed to polling stations.

A Zimbabwean voter casts her ballot in the country's general elections in Harare. Picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

New post: Opposition candidate Nelson Chamisa has accepted the support of former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe but says Grace Mugabe should leave him alone.

When asked what he felt about Mugabe’s declaration that he would vote for Chamisa, the MDC Alliance leader said: "I will accept any voter with a clear mind and a clean heart." Read more here

New post: Former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe has turned on one-time allies in the ruling Zanu-PF ahead of the first election since they ousted him. In his first press conference since losing power, a frail-looking Mugabe said he would vote for the opposition. 

"I said I can't vote for those who have caused me to be in this situation ... so there is Chamisa left." 

The surprise press conference was held at Mugabe's private residence, and his wife Grace was also present. Read more here

New post: "Are you married?" The frequent question for Fadzayi Mahere, a Zimbabwe opposition politician, isn't from men trying their luck. Instead, people of all genders approach her with the concern that a woman - a single woman - aspires to lead them.

Gender-based prejudices are still rife in this southern African nation, where women traditionally have been cheerleaders for male politicians and the #MeToo movement has hardly registered.

But the female candidates are fighting back with wit, turning the abuse into political capital. Read more here

Independent parliamentary candidate Fadzayi Mahere campaigns on the streets of Harare.

New post: We've compiled a handy list of things you need to know about the Zimbabwe election: Read it here

Harare - Zimbabwe will hold its general elections on July 30, the first since the army forced 94-year-old former president Robert Mugabe to resign last November.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who became president following the military take-over, has promised to deliver on free and fair elections to win over Zimbabwe's critics at home and abroad.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on July 24 rejected the MDC Alliance’s request to demonstrate against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).

On July 11, Zimbabwe's main opposition party marched to the independent election agency for the second time in as many months, demanding reforms it said were vital for a credible vote this month.

As Zimbabweans face the looming election, the government of Zimbabwe has, with effect from July 1, hiked salaries for the security sector.

A data leakage scandal has hit Zimbabwe's election after the ruling party sent personalised, unsolicited campaign messages to potential voters' mobile phones on July 10.

The opposition says thousands of supporters reported receiving the messages. 

Hailemariam Desalegne, the head of the African Union Election Observation Mission, will arrive in Zimbabwe on Tuesday, July 24, as the country prepares for next week's elections.

On June 23 a grenade blast at an election rally in the country's second largest city of Bulawayo killed two people and narrowly missed President Emmerson Mnangagwa. About 50 people were injured in the blast, which exploded as Mnangagwa left the podium after addressing supporters of the ruling ZANU-PF party.

Zimbabwe police have arrested two suspects. 

"I would like to applaud the level of cooperation and support that the joint investigation team has so far received, culminating in two suspects being accounted for," Police chief Godwin Matanga said while addressing police officers in Bulawayo this week. 

"We will never rest until all those behind this heinous act have been accounted for and have their day in court."

Previous elections under Mugabe were marred by violence, intimidation and fraud.

Independent Foreign Service, AFP and Reuters