Zimbabwe’s political parties wrap up campaigns

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The two main candidates in Zimbabwe’s Presidential election have addressed large crowds of supporters in the capital Harare, on the last day of campaigning. Monday’s poll is the first since former President Robert Mugabe was ousted out of power in November last year.

Mugabe’s successor and former close colleague Emmerson Mnangagwa is hoping to legitimise his rule. He has urged Zimbabweans to head to the polls in their numbers to vote for his party.

Mnangagwa was addressing party supporters at the National Sports Stadium in Harare at a final rally. The run-up to this election has not been without its colourful features, including church prophecies and dead people registered to vote.

Mnangagwa says victory will only be certain if Zimbabweans play their part.

“Upon winning the election last year November, I have made succession to serve, I’ve met traditional leaders, church leaders, captained societies, war veterans, women of our country, the youth of our country, the students of our country we’ve been peaceful, respectful and dignified what is wanted now is only push for Monday to vote for ZANU PF so we can have the tumulus victory in history of this country.”

Thousands of MDC Alliance members spent their Saturday afternoon at Freedom Square in Harare, the final rally of the party. Many of them, who are young people, say they hope for change in their country which will see the youth getting employment opportunities through a sustainable economy.

Leader, Nelson Chamisa says he is ready to be part of the change that will see a prosperous Zimbabwe within SADeC.  He says  Monday’s elections are dedicated to the founding father of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai.

“You have had a raw deal – this area is very important from a historical point of view. The liberation struggle was located in this province…the road is pathetic, dusty road. Morgan Tsvangirai did a lot of work. That’s why I’m coming here as a tribute to Doctor Morgan Tsvangirai.”

Those who attended the rally hope for change.  “I wish that our president, Nelson Chamisa that he is going to create more employment for the youth so that we can be employed,” says one of the people attending the rally.

Zimbabwe’s second largest city of Bulawayo saw the final push as the competing parties threw their last dice ahead of Monday’s historic elections. Traditionally Bulawayo has been the centre of the opposition but the various splinter groups from the opposition MDC may impact on which party emerges victorious.

The breakaway MDC T led by Thokozani Khupe also held its final rally.

“I’m more than the word confident because I have been going around having conversations with the people, telling them what I intend to do for them when I’m elected as a president. I’ve had a good reception in all the provinces so I am very confident that we are ready to go. The reason I am here today asking to be voted for is because I think I can make a difference.”

Abongile Dumako and Busi Chimombe