On Eve of Zimbabwe’s Election, Mugabe Rails Against an Old Friend

Millions of Zimbabweans will tomorrow Monday July 30 queue up to decide on their next President, for the first time in 37 years without long term leader Robert Mugabe's name on the ballot paper.

The latest polls suggest that a run-off between the main opposition leader Chamisa and Zanu PF's Emmerson Mnangagwa is a serious possibility.

"For the first time ever we have now a long list of aspirants to power", Mugabe said, vowing, "I can not vote for those who tormented me..."

"But surprisingly these guys (Zanu PF) were giving me their old man after seeing that he failed the country".

The election will see 75-year-old President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a long-time Mugabe ally, face 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa, a lawyer and pastor who is vying to become Zimbabwe's youngest head of state. I wish to meet him if he wins.

"I was regarded now as an enemy but if a coup was to project the outcome that I am treated now, as an opponent, opponent of those in government; persons will not be allowed to visit me if anyone came and was allowed to pass through the gate afterwards, he was asked what we discussed, "what did he say"..." "And let us accept the verdict".

Overtime, repression of the opposition, alleged vote-rigging, violent land seizures from white farmers arose.

Mugabe spoke slowly but appeared in good health sitting in a blue-tiled pagoda set on a lawn outside the sprawling luxury mansion in the upmarket suburb of Harare. In a breathtaking statement, he asserted that his stay in power had been free from meddling: "It was not the army that ensured I remained in power".

He blamed "evil and malicious characters" for his resignation, which was met with a joyous outpouring by thousands of people in the capital, Harare, and elsewhere. First violation will result in booking of case and attract Rs 25,000 penalty, whereas the second time Rs 50,000 fine would be slapped.

Mr Mugabe said: "I hope the choice of voting tomorrow will throw, thrust away the military government and bring us back to constitutionality".

"I can not vote for those who tormented me. The more the merrier", Chamisa said in response to a question about Mugabe's endorsement.