Zimbabwe pastor who led protests concedes

A Zimbabwean pastor who was prosecuted for leading large anti-government protests when Robert Mugabe was leader has conceded defeat in his bid to be elected as a ward councillor in the capital, Harare.

Evan Mawarire, who had launched the #ThisFlag protest campaign on social media, congratulated Jacob Mafume, a candidate from an opposition coalition led by the Movement for Democratic Change party. Mawarire ran as an independent.

The pastor was acquitted of subversion soon after the resignation of Mugabe following a military takeover in November. The judge who threw out the case against him was Priscilla Chigumba, who is overseeing Zimbabwe's election as head of the electoral commission.

The first election results are expected on Tuesday afternoon. President Emmerson Mnangagwa and top opposition leader Nelson Chamisa both have expressed optimism about the results.

* To follow the latest on the Zimbabwe elections SIGN UP TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook