Magaya, Angel and Makandiwa
POLLS have opened in the first Zimbabwean elections since former president Robert Mugabe was ousted in a military coup. As voters race to cast their ballots, some prophets are predicting the outcome of the first election without Mugabe.
The run-up to the election has been peppered with some colourful features.
One hugely popular church, Johane Marange Apolistic church in the Marange district, has foretold victory for Mr Mnangagwa.
The church draws a crowd of about 250,000, including Mr Mnangagwa himself who donned flowing white robes when he attended the church annual festival this month.
The Johane Marange Apostolic Church not only prophesied that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory in the July 30 polls was certain, but that his victory was “guaranteed”.
Zimbabwe election 2018: About 5.5 million people have registered to vote, half of which are under 35
Opposition leader and pastor Mr Chamisa, of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance, has also done his bit to rally support from Christians.
The hashtag #Godisinit has been used on Twitter to boost support.
Mr Chamisa also held a fast last week for those who wished to join and a national day of prayer on Sunday ahead of today’s vote.
There have been other spiritual or superstitious influences at play, evident in the list of prohibited symbols released by the electoral commission.
Zimbabwe election 2018: Emmerson Mnangagwa as a rally
The list outlines which symbols are outlawed for use by any party and includes the Big Five (elephants, leopards, lions, buffaloes and rhinos) as well as owls, snakes or birds of prey.
They’re also banned from using the flame lily (Zimbabwe’s national flower), axes, swords and laurel wreaths.
Some of the images, like owls and snakes, are symbolic of local beliefs such as witchcraft or ancestral spirits.
But the time for rallying is over now and Zimbabweans across the country are flocking to polling stations.
Mr Chamisa was spotted casting his vote this morning.
Zimbabwe election 2018: Nelson Chamisa casting his vote this morning
And Mr Mnangagwa tweeted earlier: “On Election Day, let us vote with peace in our hearts. Let us be respectful, tolerant and love one another.
“Let us remember that no matter who we support, we are all brothers and sisters.”
Voters will not only vote for a new president today, they will also elect an MP and councillor.
Polls close at 7pm local time (6pm BST).
Results are expected to start coming in throughout the course of the night but Zimbabwean law allows five days before results are announced.