Zimbabweans are voting in presidential and parliamentary elections after a campaign dominated by the country’s soaring inflation, where the opposition is seeking to end the 43-year rule of the Zanu-PF party.
The day has been declared a holiday to allow the 6.62 million registered voters a chance cast a ballot.
resident Emmerson Mnangagwa faces 10 challengers, including Nelson Chamisa of the main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).
Even before polling stations opened, long lines had already started to form in Mbare, a township in the outskirts of capital Harare.
Some told the BBC they were excited to exercise their rights.
The country’s economy is in ruins but a government spokesman said he believed Zimbabweans wanted to give President Emmerson Mnangagwa another term in office.
The campaign has been marked by the arrests of activists from the opposition Citizens’ Coalition for Change, which has been given little exposure on state media.
But earlier this week the party’s candidate for president, Nelson Chamisa, told the BBC he was confident of victory.
Up to 6.5 million are expected to turn out in an election between the old guard and the younger generation eager for change.
Police have warned voters to leave the polling stations after casting their ballot, after some NGOs urged Zimbabweans to defend their vote against manipulation.
Polling will close at 19:00 local time.
Credit: BBC News