Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa accuses rival Chamisa of striking deal with Mugabe

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President Emmerson Mnangagwa has responded after the founding father of Zanu-PF and Independent Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, publicly scorned and dismissed the new government as nothing more that a rogue and unconstitutional military regime that deserve to be booted out of power when Zimbabweans vote on Monday, 30 July, 2018.

Mugabe, who was removed after the intervention of the army in November, said: "We must have constitutionality".

"I can not vote for those who have tormented me. I can't. I will choose among the 22 [other candidates]", Mugabe said.

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

But the bulk of his two-hour long missive was a hint at that he would vote for opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa on Monday because ZANU-PF had caused him too much pain.

Mr Mugabe also denied that, as president, he had planned to hand the leadership to his wife, Grace, saying it was "utter nonsense", and suggested that ex-defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi should have taken over.

Mugabe, one of the last "Big Men" of African politics, still looms large over Zimbabwean politics and he may yet influence the first vote without his name on the ballot paper since the country gained independence from Britain in 1980.

"I can't vote for ZANU-PF". He says he resigned to avoid "bloodshed". "The more the merrier", Chamisa said in response to a question about Mugabe's endorsement.

Mnangagwa, who did not provide any evidence of his accusations, said in a Facebook post that voting for 40-year-old Chamisa was tantamount to bringing back Mugabe in disguise.

Mnangagwa, 75, who promises a fresh start for the country, is the front-runner with the advantage of covert military support, a loyal state media and a ruling party that controls government resources.

Chamisa is Zimbabwe's youngest ever presidential candidate.

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

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