Mugabe, the revolutionary leader turned Prime Minister and President, had led the country for over three decades but was deposed in a November 2017 military takeover – he insists was a coup.
In a country where campaigning ceases 24-hours to the polls, Mugabe, however, managed to stage a campaign of sorts for the main opposition, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC Alliance) with hours to the vote.
Mugabe called a press conference on July 29 to address issues he had with the government. In a question and answer session, the former leader said since he had been sacked from the ruling Zanu-PF, he was going to vote for the leading opposition candidate, Nelson Chamisa.
“I said I can’t vote a party or those in power who are the people that have brought me to this state. I can’t vote for them. I have said the 2 women presidential candidates don’t offer very much. So what is there? It’s just Chamisa,” he told pressmen at his Blue Roof private residence in the capital, Harare.
In response to Mugabe, the president in a message posted on Twitter said the former president had declared himself a de-facto opposition leader and that he wanted a route back to power using the main opposition.
“Now it is clear to all that Chamisa has forged a deal with Mugabe. We can no longer believe that his intentions are to transform Zimbabwe and rebuild our nation.
“The choice is clear, you either vote for Mugabe under the guise of Chamisa or you vote for a New Zimbabwe under my leadership and Zanu-PF,” Mnangagwa said.
Aside the election of a president, voters were also to vote for lawmakers and for councillors. At the end of proceedings: Emmerson Mnangagwa secured a five-year term in a pool of over twenty candidates whiles Zanu-PF got a two-thirds majority in the legislature