Zimbabwe's historic election: A look at the top candidates

Jul 30, 2018, 00:44
Zimbabwe's historic election: A look at the top candidates

Mr Mnangagwa held senior positions in Mr Mugabe's governments as head of internal security and vice president but since coming to power has cast himself as a reformer with his Zimbabwe is "open for business" mantra.

MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday said he welcomed the endorsement of his presidential bid by former President Robert Mugabe who was ousted out of power by the military in November past year. "I'll make my choice among the other 22 [candidates]".

On the eve of Zimbabwe's first election since his ouster in a de facto coup, the 94-year-old said he hoped his former allies in the "military government" would be voted out of power.

But the bulk of his two-hour long missive was a hint at that he would vote for opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa on Monday because ZANU-PF had caused him too much pain.

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Zimbabwe's generals shocked the world a year ago when they seized control and ushered Mnangagwa to power after Mugabe, 94, tried to position his wife Grace, 53, to be his successor.

Mugabe said Zimbabwe was no longer democratic and the country was under a military regime.

"I never thought (Mnangagwa) would be the man who turned against me", he added. "I think it is just Chamisa", he said.

Voter turnout in the presidential elections are expected to be high, with one poll by Afrobarometer indicating 85 percent of people are expected to have their say.

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He swore he would not support the ruling party he controlled for decades at the polls, saying: "I can not vote for ZANU-PF".

He made the comments after Mugabe said he would vote for the opposition in Monday's election.

Zimbabwe's former leader, who appeared to have finally allowed his hair to go gray, spent the final question musing on his legacy, reminding people of his years in prison during the country's fight for liberation and his work raising literacy and education standards.

The MDC on Sunday again raised allegations of a flawed electoral roll, ballot paper malpractice, voter intimidation and bias in the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

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They will be voting in presidential, parliamentary and local elections.