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Voting in Zim slow

Robert Mugabe will go up against Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in Zimbabwe’s July election.

Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe at a campaign Rally in Harare, Zimbabwe. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News.

ZIMBABWE - Voting is off to a slow start in Zimbabwe's constitutional referendum on Saturday, with short queues seen outside some polling stations. 

The vote is being seen as a "dress rehearsal" to presidential elections in July, which will pit longtime president Robert Mugabe against Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change.

Harare does not look like a city gripped by election fever, as the streets are mainly quiet, banks are closed and many polling stations in the northern suburbs look all but deserted.

Early on Saturday morning there were short queues of around 50 people outside polling tents in the Mbare suburb.

Hundreds of cars massed outside a polling station in Ballantyne Park but they turned out to be attending a sports function.

The official Herald newspaper is warning of what it calls progressive Zimbabweans against voter apathy.