Polls: Social media keeps people updated

PEOPLE across the country were yesterday afforded an opportunity to follow what was happening at different polling stations in Zimbabwe as social media platforms — including Facebook, Twitter and some websites — streamed live what was transpiring during the harmonised elections.

SENIOR REPORTER

For the first time in post-independence Zimbabwe, citizens have used new multimedia technology to capture and share events at various polling stations live.

What was happening at polling stations in places including Harare, Bulawayo, Kwekwe, Rushinga and Zaka was widely made available as new multi-media technology gadgets were used to capture and disseminate information on the spur of the moment.

One was able to capture the mood at the polling stations through tweets such as “hundreds wrapped in blankets, jerseys and coats; lines moving, albeit slowly” and “others queue at a church complex to vote; people are relaxed, smiling and mostly friendly”.

The use of social media has enabled people to transcend geographical boundaries and other information access hindrances as some people posted on social networks challenges and hiccups experienced at some polling stations.

An organisation with the name Zim Elections 2013 posted on Twitter that at Kamanika Primary School in Rushinga’s Ward 18, voting started at 7 o’clock in the morning “in the absence of MDC-T election agents”.

There were also reports of over 45 people in Zaka who were assisted to vote “but not by the person of their choice” as provided for in the Electoral Act.

The Electoral Resource Centre twitted that President Robert Mugabe cast his vote at Mhofu Primary School in Highfield and spent “approximately two minutes in the voting booth”.

Most reports indicated that voting was conducted peacefully although there were widespread complaints over delays at some polling stations.

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