The decision to extend voting in selected wards by a day after the late distribution of ballot papers, which resulted in delayed polling, has not been well received by the opposition in Zimbabwe.

President Emerson Mnangagwa issued a presidential proclamation on Wednesday directing that the affected polling stations operate for an additional 24 hours.

It was a smooth opening at some polling stations on Wednesday, with the majority of those visited by the nbc opening on time.

But in areas where polling stations opened late, long lines could be observed as people waited to vote.

The reason some polling stations did not open on time was due to a delay in the printing of some ballot papers.

This delay was the reason for the presidential proclamation, which was not welcomed by the opposition party.

Fadzayi Mahere is the spokesperson of the opposition CCC, and she spoke to the media on Thursday.

Mahere has accused the country's electoral body of not handling the ongoing general elections professionally.

"The only challenge we have is the attempt to suppress the vote, especially in Harare and Bulawayo. We have also seen a number of electoral malpractices attempted by ZEC. I say attempted because our polling agents were on hand to stop the rig. Despite the odds, we are doing extremely well. Any objective observer can see that the playing field is not free and fair, and the credibility of the election has been called into serious question. We can't have a situation where voting only starts at 11, resulting in people voting late into the night."

As per Zimbabwean law, the voting process is expected to occur within a single day.

Mnangagwa's announcement encompasses 40 wards, 11 of which are located in the capital city, Harare, boasting the highest count of registered voters.

Mahere says her party and its supporters are disjointed within the country's electoral body.

"We are disappointed and feel let down by the incompetence that was exhibited by ZEC yesterday—the lack of professionalism, the lack of efficiency, the basic errors that were made—how do you print the ballot on the very day, how do you fail to ensure that the correct postal ballot has gone to the correct polling station?

Despite numerous attempts, the nbc News team's efforts to elicit a response from the ZEC have been futile.



Emil Seibeb