Zimbabwe elections a hot topic in southern Africa

Zimbabwe elections a hot topic in southern Africa

CC image courtesy of Harvey Barrison.

Zimbabweans are at the polls today to vote either for a new leader or to retain president Robert Mugabe and #ZimElection is a hot topic, trending at number one on Twitter in South Africa with Mugabe trending in second place.

The Zimbabwe general election taking place today has been met with concern from people both inside and outside of Zimbabwe’s borders.

Baba Jukwa, the anonymous watchdog who uses Facebook as a platform to expose alleged corruption by government and within the election proceedings, published a letter from a concerned resident of Zimbabwe regarding the ballots.

Baba Jukwa’s Facebook following has grown to 309,000.

“Zimbabwe, please take note of this message from a concerned citizen. Please don’t make a mistake and vote for a wrong MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) as they deliberately used black and white [printing] to confuse people…” wrote Baba Jukwa.

The concerned citizen in question said the ballot papers are “not looking good” because the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front’s (ZANU-PF) name and its candidates names are printed boldly and are clearly visible.

The Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai (MDC-T) and the party’s candidates’ names have apparently been printed so faintly, they’re barely visible.

Furthermore, the concerned citizen said that MDC-T has been printed at the bottom of the ballot.

The photographs used for both MDC-T and MDC apparently look alike. The two logos are also similar, but voters are able to distinguish between the two.

According to a report by the Independent Online (IOL) Jen Paksi, a spokesperson for the United States of America (USA) state department, said yesterday the USA is concerned about allegations of vote-rigging in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe said he would step down if he loses the election, but the opposition claims they have evidence ZANU-PF is rigging the poll.

However, it would seem the election process is running smoothly thus far.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Observer confirmed this through @263Chat on Twitter, which is described as “a crowdsourcing platform for discussing Zimbabwean national issues by Zimbabweans”.

@Chriseldalewis @Radio702 in general voting is going fine. Though some of polling stations opened late.

— SADC observer (@ObserverSADC) July 31, 2013

Mugabe’s ZANU-PF is seemingly having fun with the general election and tweeted:

What a lovely free fair and fun election we are having! It’s a numbers game! We have it in the bag!

— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) July 31, 2013

The turnout at the polls is reportedly very good, much to the satisfaction of Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T, which tweeted:

MMM, the turnout is soooo amazing, lets see, did you vote? Post your picture on this timeline. #crossover #move2more

— MDC Zimbabwe (@mdczimbabwe) July 31, 2013

According to 263Chat, voters began queuing to cast their vote since 2AM this morning:

RT @DailyNewsZim: HARARE – Massive turnout at Zimre Park Primary School with more than 200 voters queing as early as 02:00AM. #ZimElections

— 263Chat (@263Chat) July 31, 2013 

The Twitter user behind @263Chat, calling himself Sir Nigel urged voters who recently registered to carry extra official identification with them:

If you registered recently, please also carry your registration slip + ID/Valid passport just in case #ZimElections #Twimbos #263Chat

— Sir Nigel (@SirNige) July 31, 2013

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