Published: Mon, July 30, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Mugabe refuses to endorse Zanu PF because they ‘tormented’ him

Mugabe refuses to endorse Zanu PF because they ‘tormented’ him

Zimbabwe goes to the polls Monday in its first election since Mr Mugabe was forced by the military to resign after 37 years in power, with allegations mounting of voter fraud and predictions of a disputed result.

Polls, which are not entirely reliable, have only given former intelligence chief Mr Mnangagwa only a slim lead over his much younger rival.

Mugabe said he has not met Chamisa and has never worked with him.

Although a total of 22 candidates - after Devine Hove, leader of little known National Alliance of Patriotic and Democratic Republicans, pulled out - are battling it out, analysts have argued that the race is squarely between Mnangagwa and Chamisa.

"I have during all this time liked our return to conditionality, our return to legality, an environment in which our people are free", Mugabe told reporters.

"The sudden & arbitrary withdrawal of security details from President Mugabe's residency after he said he is voting for #NelsonChamisa; not for his "tormentors" proves ZIMBABWE IS NOW UNDER ARBITRARY RULE".

"I was sacked, from the party I founded, ZANU-PF".

Many in Zimbabwe knew no other leader but Mr Mugabe, who led the country for 37 years and since independence from white minority rule in 1980.

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. He said he wished whoever wins well.

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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 worldwide isolation of the Mugabe era.

"Mr. Mugabe's wishes are his wishes".

He denied having a hand in the 2015 disappearance of activist, Itai Dzamara saying "I did not see the harm he had done".

Elections under Mugabe were often undermined by violence, rigging and voter intimidation. But there is consensus that the process has been better than before.

Mnangagwa has welcomed in foreign media and global observers from the European Union, the United States and the Commonwealth, while opposition parties have been allowed to campaign freely. Instead, he endorsed the opposition candidate Nelson Chamisa.

The survey indicated that 20% of the people who responded to the survey were undecided.

Back in 2008, ZEC also attracted worldwide ridicule for declaring that year's election free and fair after then opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of the presidential run-off when more than 200 of his MDC supporters were killed.

"It has also opened up the political space, allowing more contestants in the pending elections", he said.

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