Harare, Zimbabwe – President Emmerson Mnangagwa promised to build an “open” and “prosperous” Zimbabwe on the last day of election campaigning, just as his closest challenger Nelson Chamisa told supporters that “victory was certain”.
Zimbabweans will head to the polls on Monday in the first election in nearly four decades where the name of long-time leader Robert Mugabe will not be on the ballot form.
A total of 23 presidential hopefuls are vying for Zimbabwe’s top seat. The results are expected to be released by August 4. If no candidate wins 50 percent plus one of the votes, a runoff will be held on September 8.
As campaigning drew to a close on Saturday, Mnangagwa, of the ruling ZANU-PF party, and Chamisa, of the main opposition MDC alliance, held rival rallies in front of enthusiastic crowds in the capital, Harare.
Tens of thousands of ZANU-PF supporters gathered at the National Sports Stadium, with many arriving by bus from areas outside Harare.
At the venue’s gates, vendors were hard at work selling food and beverages, while supporters were given free t-shirts and caps bearing