People waiting outside a polling station in Highfields Harare (photo:M.Chibaya).

People waiting outside a polling station in Highfields Harare (photo:M.Chibaya).

Church bodies Wednesday hailed Zimbabweans for starting ongoing elections in Zimbabwe in a peaceful way.

Speaking in an interview, Reverend Solomon Zwana the secretary general of Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), said his organisation, which has deployed observers across the ten provinces of the country, is happy with the peace that is prevailing across the country.

“Generally we are happy with the peace that is prevailing in the country. We are grateful because this is what we have been prevailing for,” Zwana said.

There are 6.4 million voters in the nation, which is slightly larger than Germany. Zimbabwe has 12.9 million people.

Voting officials at one suburban Harare shopping centre said their line of at least 1,000 people was expected to move more quickly as staff became more proficient in finding names on pages and pages of lists of voters, and verifying identity documents.

Union for Development of the Apostolic Churches in Zimbabwe Africa (UDACIZA), through Reverend Edison Tsvakai, said everything is going well.

“We are in Mashonaland East at the moment in the morning we were in Harare though the queues were long they have no disappeared. Things are going on well,” Tsvakai said.

After a violent poll in June 2008 that resulted in the death of close to 200 MDC-T supporters, there has been fears of violent polls in Zimbabwe. Churches have held various prayer and church meetings for peace to prevail in Zimbabwe.

The official state election body has admitted that administrative, logistical and funding problems have hindered voting arrangements, but said they had been resolved and voting was ready to go ahead at more than 9,000 polling stations across the country.