President Emmerson Mnangagwa, 80, who seeks a second term, used his presidential powers to extend balloting to Thursday night at dozens of polling stations after voting was delayed by up to 10 hours in many areas.
His main challenger, Nelson Chamisa, a 45-year-old lawyer who narrowly lost a disputed election in 2018, described the voting as a sham, saying the delays were aimed at disenfranchising voters in his urban strongholds.
Ballot papers were still being printed late Wednesday, hours after voting should have closed. At other polling stations, counting of ballots began. Some frustrated voters slept at polling stations in the capital, Harare, snuggling under blankets or lighting fires to keep warm.