A number of polling stations in Harare and Bulawayo failed open in time, a move which a analysts say in meant to frustrate urban voters who are known for supporting opposition parties.

As if to support that school of thought, and surprisingly polling stations in rural areas reportedly opened on time. Rural areas are traditionally ZANU PF strongholds.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) confirmed the delays in opening times in Harare and Bulawayo, but attributed the delays to late printing times due to court cases.

However, analysts say ZEC is not telling the truth having indicated that everything was in place.

One voter, who spoke to this publication at Domboramwari High School who declined to be named expressed dismay over the delay which saw the polling station opening at around past 10 in the morning.

“ZEC is playing mind games with voters, how can they be late to open while polling stations in rural areas opened on time, despite the geographical distance,” said the voter.

Another voter, who only identified herself as Chiratidzo echoed same sentiments.

“This is another form of vote rigging, how can they open this late, when polling stations in far as Muzarabani opened early.

“They want more people in rural areas to vote because it is ZANU PF strongholds,” she said.

A number of voters were very angry with the delays.

Political commentator Elder Mabhunu says ZEC delayed opening polling stations in Harare and Bulawayo so that they frustrate the voters who are predominantly opposition parties supporters.

But ZEC says the delays are beyond its control, below is a statement by the electoral management body:

Delays in the opening have largely been caused by delays in printing of the ballot paper arising from numerous Court challenges.

This has been the case with Harare and Bulawayo provinces.

The public is advised that all polling stations that opened late for reasons beyond the control of the presiding officer will remain open to cater for the period of the delay, keeping in mind that the polling station must remain open for a continuous period of at least 12 hours on polling day.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission takes this opportunity to thank the people of Zimbabwe for the political tolerance and maturity that has been exhibited thus far.

We urge all voters at polling stations where delays are being experienced to remain patient as we work tirelessly to ensure delivery of the required material so that they exercise their right to vote.

ZEC implores on all ctizens of all political persuasions to continue to exercise tolerance and respect for each other so that we can collectively deliver a free, fair and credible.”