Chamisa is better, Mugabe speaks

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa

"I must say very clearly that I can not vote for those who have tormented me", Mugabe said of the current leaders of ZANU-PF, the party he led from Zimbabwe's independence in 1980 until former allies of his forced him to resign last November.

This was too much for army generals who rolled military vehicles through the streets of Harare and kept Mugabe under house arrest until he resigned facing imminent impeachment. He however, denied the claims that he has ever met Chamisa since his ouster indicating that he only met late MDC T Leader Morgan Tsdvangirai some time.

Mugabe, who has backed a new political party that is part of a coalition supporting Chamisa, said of him: "He seems to be doing well at his rallies ..."

The election could confirm the country's rehabilitation after years as a pariah under Mr Mugabe and help unlock foreign investment, especially if Western observers, monitoring for the first time since 2002, declare it fair.

Zimbabwe's military generals shocked the world past year when they seized control and ushered Mnangagwa to power after Mugabe, 94, allegedly tried to position his wife Grace, 53, to be his successor.

"I hope the choice of voting tomorrow will throw, thrust away the military government and bring us back to constitutionality", said a frail-looking Mugabe, in a rambling off the cuff speech that lasted nearly an hour.

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

Deposed former Zanu PF members Kudakwashe Bhasikiti and Sandi Moyo as well as other Alliance members took turns to remind supporters that they must return to polling stations after voting.

Chamisa mocked President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his deputy, Constantino Chiwenga for attending apostolic church events in garments seeking votes labelling them as "sheep in wolves clothing".

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

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.

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.

"Let tomorrow be the voice of the people to say never again shall we experience a period where the army is used to thrust one person into power".

Chamisa's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has already cast doubt on the election process, accusing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of bias.

Addressing a press conference at his blue roof mansion in the plush Harare suburb of Borrowdale, Mugabe said people should respect the outcome of tomorrow's election.

With 5.6 million registered voters, the results of the presidential, parliamentary and local elections are due by August 4.

If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff will be held on September 8.

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