Zimbabwe opposition leader claims he is on course for election win

Zimbabwe's youth hope election outcome will end biting unemployment

Zimbabwe's former president Robert Mugabe spoke slowly, but appeared in good health sitting in a blue-tiled pagoda outside his sprawling luxury mansion in Harare.

Zimbabwe's former president Robert Mugabe, who was ousted in November, has said he would not vote for his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa in the presidential election.

Monday's elections will be the first without Mugabe at the helm and less than a year before he was forced to resign in the wake of a military takeover.

"Awaiting ZEC to perform their constitutional duty to officially announce the people's election results and we are ready to form the next government", said Chamisa, who is vying to become Zimbabwe's youngest head of state, on his official Twitter feed.

The former president Mr Mugabe announced he was stepping down as leader in November 2017 at the age of 93, after the army took control of the country on 22 November - and these are the first elections to take place since this happened.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Mugabe's former ally in the ruling ZANU-PF party, faces opposition leader Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the landmark vote for the southern African nation.

Zimbabwe's generals shocked the world past year when they seized control and ushered Mnangagwa to power after Mugabe allegedly tried to position his wife Grace, 53, to be his successor.

"I hope the voting which will be done tomorrow will reform, will trash away military form of government and bring us back to constitutionality". After voting, Chamisa said his victory is a foregone conclusion.

Mugabe added that the world was made to believe that the military intervention was not a coup yet in actual fact it was, further rubbishing allegations that against he was positioning his wife Grace to succeed him.

"I must say clearly I can not vote for those who have tormented me".

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The election is Zimbabwe's first without Mugabe, who led ZANU-PF to power on independence from Britain in 1980 and clung to power for 37 years.

Mugabe said he would like to meet Chamisa should he win.

Campaigning has been relatively unrestricted and peaceful compared with previous elections, and some analysts point to pressure for the vote to be judged credible to draw a line under the worldwide isolation of the Mugabe era.

"We need peace and we need everyone to be comfortable to go out and exercise their right to vote without fear", said Priscilla Chigumba, a judge who chairs the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

An elections officer applies indelible ink to a voter finger during early morning voting in Kwekwe as Zimbabwe conducts a general election on July 30, 2018.

Polling in Zimbabwe is uncertain, but a recent Afrobarometer survey of 2,400 people put Mnangagwa on 40% and Chamisa on 37%, with 20% undecided.

Chamisa on Monday said there was an attempt to "suppress and frustrate" the vote in urban areas where he has strong support.

With 5.6 million registered voters, the results of the presidential, parliamentary and local elections are due by August 4.

The country's founding president, Mr Mugabe was ousted in a coup past year after nearly four decades in power. "We must have a democratic constitution because that is what we fought for", he said.

A run-off will be held in September if neither candidate wins outright.

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