Mugabe Gives Surprise Speech on Eve of Zimbabwe Election

Former President Robert Mugabe said he would vote for Zimbabwe’s opposition in Monday’s election, turning on one-time allies in the government ahead of the first vote since they ousted him in a de facto coup. 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.

Polls, which are unreliable, give former intelligence chief Mnangagwa only a slim lead over Chamisa, making a runoff on September 8 a possibility. Mugabe, whose 37-year rule came to an end when he was forced to resign in November, told reporters at his mansion in Harare on Sunday that Mnangagwa’s government was unconstitutional and ruled by the gun.

“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 almost an hour. “I said I can’t vote for those who have caused me to be in this situation … so there is Chamisa left.”

Source: Kelvin Malor/www.updghana.com/Ghana