Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa accused his main rival Nelson Chamisa on Sunday of striking a deal with former leader Robert Mugabe on the eve of an election and cast doubt on Chamisa’s intentions of rebuilding the country.
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.
He made the comments after Mugabe said he would vote for the opposition in Monday’s election.
On the eve of Zimbabwe’s first election since his ouster in a de facto coup, the 94-year-old said he hoped his former allies in the “military government” would be voted out of power.
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 President Emmerson 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.
“Let tomorrow be the voice of the people to say never again shall we experience a period where the army is used to thrust one person into power.”
Monday’s election will see 75-year-old 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.