Mugabe: There's only Chamisa; I can't vote for people tormenting me

Mugabe: There's only Chamisa; I can't vote for people tormenting me

Mugabe: There's only Chamisa; I can't vote for people tormenting me

"ZANU-PF is the only party that I have voted for", said Elizabeth Kamhunga, 67, after casting her vote at a school in the Malbereign suburb of Harare. "His endorsement of Nelson Chamisa is a typical indication of Mugabe's kind of politics, which has him at the centre and nothing else".

For all his talk of a "new" Zimbabwe, Mnangagwa's opponents are at pains to remind people that he was a trusted lieutenant of Mugabe for five decades and has failed to deliver on promises of change in the past.

Robert Mugabe has made a last-minute intervention in the Zimbabwean election by urging followers to reject his successor and endorsing the firebrand opposition candidate.

He said: "I hope the choice of voting tomorrow will throw, thrust away the military government and bring us back to constitutionality".

Mugabe said he is entitled to a pension of $467 000 and two houses, but that his Borrowdale mansion - nicknamed Blue Roof - was in the process of collapsing.

"I'll vote for Chamisa because it is a vote for change, it is a vote for the youth".

In a video on his Facebook page, Mr Mnangagwa accused his former boss of striking a deal with the opposition leader, but did not provide any evidence.

"It was a thorough coup d'etat", Mr. Mugabe said, adding it was "utter nonsense" that he wanted Grace as his successor.

Chamisa, meanwhile, said at a news conference that he welcomed the vote of Mugabe or any other Zimbabwean and that "you don't discriminate against voters".

Elections during Mugabe's authoritarian rule were often marred by fraud and violence, and this year's campaign has also been dominated by accusations that the vote would be rigged.

Chamisa, a charismatic speaker who honed his craft in the courtroom and the pulpit, is winning over young and unemployed voters who are frustrated with almost four decades of Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) rule.

Campaigning has been relatively unrestricted and peaceful compared with previous elections, and some analysts point to pressure for the vote to be judged credible to draw a line under the global isolation of the Mugabe era.

Mugabe is still incredible popular in some quarters of Zimbabwe, a country he helped liberate from white minority rule in British-supervised independence elections in 1980.

Mr Mnangagawa faces a 40-year-old lawyer and pastor Nelson Chamisa in the battle for power.

"We can no longer believe that his intentions are to transform Zimbabwe and rebuild our nation", the president said.

About 5.6-million voters are registered to cast their vote for a candidate for president, MPs and representatives in local government.

A run-off vote is scheduled for September 8 if no presidential candidate wins at least 50 percent in the first round.

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