Mugabe: 'I can't vote for Zanu-PF' in Zimbabwe election


Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe has emerged to address the nation hours before Monday's historic election, declaring: 'I will not vote for those who have illegally taken power'.

Addressing thousands of supporters at Chipadze Stadium in Bindura yesterday, Chamisa alluded that Mugabe chose him out of the entire 23 presidential candidates in Monday's polls.

He was coy about endorsing a candidate ahead of the election in which the former deputy he fired, President Emmerson Mnangagawa, faces 40-year-old lawyer and pastor Nelson Chamisa. "I will make my choice among the other 22 (candidates) but it is a long list", he added at a press conference in Harare.

"I can not vote for those who tormented me", he said.

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He said the many observers who have visited the country to witness Zimbabwe's electoral processes will learn something from Zimbabwe's democratic processes.

Though he became increasingly unpopular with most Zimbabweans as mismanagement and corruption sent the economy into decline, he retains support in his rural heartland where supporters remain bitter about the manner of his removal.

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. He said he resigned "to avoid bloodshed" and "to avoid conflict between the army and the people".

Now that its clear to all that Chamisa has forged a deal with Mugabe.

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"Mr. Mugabe's wishes are his wishes. I think it is just Chamisa", he said.

Elections under Mugabe were often undermined by violence, rigging and voter intimidation.

Mugabe defended Zimbabwe's election commission after Chamisa and the opposition raised concerns that the vote will be flawed, saying that "it acts quite freely".

Zimbabwe opposition challenger Nelson Chamisa participates in a church service in Harare on Sunday. 'I can not vote for Zanu-PF, ' the ruling party he long controlled. But there is consensus that the process has been better than before.

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Like his rival, he has promised to transform a country which has been paralysed for two decades.