Zimbabwe election: Mugabe refuses to back successor Mnangagwa | 2018-07-30 | daily-sun.com

Zimbabwe election: Mugabe refuses to back successor Mnangagwa


30th July, 2018 10:41:06 printer

Zimbabwe election: Mugabe refuses to back successor Mnangagwa


Zimbabwe's ex-president Robert Mugabe says he will not vote for his successor and former ally in Monday's elections.


In a surprise speech, Mr Mugabe said he could not support Zanu-PF's Emmerson Mnangagwa after being forced from office by the "party I founded".


"I cannot vote for those who tormented me," he said. He added that he had not chosen among the other candidates but wished the main opposition leader well.


Mr Mugabe was ousted last year after almost four decades as leader.


Mr Mnangagwa's main challenger is the candidate from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Nelson Chamisa.


Mr Mugabe also denied that, as president, he had planned to hand the leadership to his wife, Grace, saying it was "utter nonsense".


He suggested that ex-defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi should have taken over.


What is happening on Monday?


More than five million Zimbabweans are preparing to go to the polls to vote in presidential, parliamentary and local elections. There are 23 candidates on the presidential ballot.


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


The impoverished country, which has known decades of repressive rule, faces severe economic challenges.


These include issues of investment, education, healthcare and jobs - some estimates suggest that the unemployment rate in Zimbabwe is as high as 90%.


The frontrunners in addressing these challenges are Zanu-PF's President Mnangagwa, 75, and the MDC's Mr Chamisa, 40.


An opinion poll last week saw the MDC close the gap with Zanu-PF from 11 percentage points to three, with 20% of voters undecided. It was only the second of two opinion polls.


Election in numbers


5,635,706 people have re-registered to a new voters' roll; the opposition still has doubts about its accuracy


43.5% of registered voters are under 35


10,985 polling stations


16 years since EU and US observers were allowed to monitor elections