Chamisa is better, Mugabe speaks

Zimbabwe election

The former autocrat's decision not to back the party he led to victory in Zimbabwe's independence war and for 37 years as president is the latest twist in an extraordinary election that will determine the former British colony's future for decades.

"I must say clearly, I can't vote for people who have tormented me".

"The former President said former minister of Information Communication Technology, referring to me, is a better candidate to run the country", he said.

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

When asked by the BBC's Fergal Keane if he would like to see Mr Chamisa gain power in Zimbabwe, Mr Mugabe, 94, indicated that he was the only viable candidate. "Definitely not. I wish to meet him if he wins", he told reporters.

More than five million Zimbabweans have registered to take part in the first election since 1980 without Mugabe's name on the ballot. First-time voters under 30 are expected to carry the election, which could represent a new tide in Zimbabwean politics, reports BBC Africa.

Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe said he will be voting for Zimbabwe's opposition in the 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.

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

The country is expecting a high turnout of first-time voters on Monday, where the youth vote is expected to be key, with nearly half of those registered being under the age of 35.

The most recent survey conducted by a research organization, Afro Barometer, put Mr Mnangagwa ahead of the rest of the candidates with 40%, followed by projected closest rival Mr Chamisa at 37%.

Chamisa's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has already cast doubt on the election process, accusing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of bias. It was only the second of two opinion polls.

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