Election in Mugabe's homeland

With so much of the attention in Harare, Al Jazeera captures the vote from its outskirts.


Zvimba district, Zimbabwe - They came in their thousands. Wrapped in blankets, and tightly covered in woolen scarves, Zimbabweans braved an icy winter's morning on Wednesday to vote in an election touted as among the most important, and closest in the country's history.

Voting across the country took place without any major incident, polling stations opened on time in most places and as the vote neared completion, electoral officials, observers and even the main opposition party, the MDC-T, expressed relative satisfaction with the proceedings.

Voter turnout in the urban areas, traditional strongholds of the opposition, was high, fueling speculation that these elections would work in Morgan Tsvangirai's favour.

But the morning after, old questions over the vote's credibility began to resurface.

Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the MDC-T party called the elections "a huge farce" and described the process as "null and void".

The vote might have been peaceful, say local observers but the irregularities run far and deep.

Over 70 percent of Zimbabweans live in the rural areas and with attention almost entirely focussed on electoral fraud and the urban vote, it is on the city outskirts and in the rural villages where the real battle for the country's soul, was always likely to take place.

Al Jazeera travelled to President Robert Mugabe's home district, Zvimba in Mashonaland West, to capture the mood mostly outside the lens of foreign media.