Laptops and mobile phones were also confiscated. The opposition in Zimbabwe condemned the arrests as another attempt at intimidation by the government.
On Wednesday, around 6.5 million eligible voters in Zimbabwe were called upon under sometimes chaotic circumstances to vote on the future president and parliament. There were hours of delays at many polling stations because ballot papers were not delivered on time. Some polling stations therefore remained open on Thursday. It was initially unclear when the first reliable results could be expected. The electoral commission has until Monday to announce the official result.
In the country in southern Africa with around 16 million inhabitants, there are repeated allegations of election manipulation and violence. From 1980 to 2017, long-term ruler Robert Mugabe led the country in various positions, most recently with an increasingly heavy hand. Former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa came to power after being overthrown by the military. The election a year later, which Mnangagwa won, was also marred by violence and repression. Mnangagwa is seeking a second term. Zimbabwe’s economy is in a deep crisis with high unemployment and runaway inflation.