Zimbabwe vote for new leader after 37 years of Mugabe
The long awaited Presidential election in Zimbabwe is today. And voters filed out from early in the day to cast their votes of ‘change’; the very first ballot since over 37 years ago which did not contain Robert Mugabe. To them, whoever wins the election, between incumbent president Emmerson Mnangagwa and the opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, Zimbabwe is going to experience change after Mugabe.
The BBC reports that so far, election day has gone smoothly across much of Zimbabwe. A fact that no-one in this turbulent country takes for granted.
“Voters, glad to see the back of Robert Mugabe, are talking about the need for change. For a fresh start”
The former ruler has thrown his now failing weight on Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance (MDC). Mnangagwa of the ruling party, Zanu-PF, is using Mugabe’s support for Chamisa as a leash to attack his credibility.
Mnangagwa has asked Zimbabweans to shun the opposition candidate because he is an extension of the former leader.
Although Mnangagwa is highly projected to win, there is a significant groundswell of support for the opposition MDC Alliance.
Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75:
Known as “the crocodile” because of his political shrewdness – his Zanu-PF faction is “Lacoste”
Accused of masterminding attacks on opposition supporters after 2008 election
Says he will deliver jobs, and seen as open to economic reforms
Survived several alleged assassination attempts, blamed on Mugabe supporters
Nelson Chamisa, 40:
His skull was fractured when beaten up by state security agents in 2007
Became an MP at 25, a cabinet minister at 31 and could be the youngest president at 40
A recently qualified pastor, he has been using the hashtag #GodIsInIt for his campaign
Witty and humorous orator – his rallies and news conferences are accompanied by much laughter