MASVINGO – A police officer has been pulled from election duties after making a prayer for Zanu PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa to be re-elected.

The incident took place at Boora Primary School, a polling station in Bikita East constituency on Saturday.

The police officer, identified as Constable Masarakubaya, 77, was part of a team including officials from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and agents of various parties who were guarding ballot papers at the school ahead of Monday’s election.

“The team decided to give a prayer before they retire to bed. Constable Marasakubaya duly volunteered to give a prayer,” says an internal police memo seen by ZimLive.com.

“He then gave a prayer with political connotations. In Shona, he said ‘tinoda kuti mwari mutipe mutungamiriri wakanaka sa Cde Mnangagwa ahwine atungamire nyika ino’ [Lord may you give us a good lead like Cde Mnangagwa to win and lead this country].”

The memo says some party agents “felt offended”.

“The party agents then raised a complaint against PC Masarakubaya. This resulted in the concerned member being withdrawn from Boora polling station and was redeployed at Bikita Charge Office,” concludes the memo.

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Zimbabweans vote on Monday for a new President, MPs and local councillors. ZEC distributed ballot papers on Friday to 11,000 polling stations.