Zimbabwe's Mugabe backs opposition on eve of election

Robert Mugabe: I won't vote for Zanu-PF in Zimbabwe election

I wish to meet him if he wins.

Robert Mugabe says he was also told that he was entitled to two houses at a resort but claims government has refused to pay him for those residences. "And let us accept the verdict".

It was the first time that Mugabe has spoken about his choice on the candidates - Zanu-PF's Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, and 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa of the MDC Alliance.

The lawyer and pastor emerged to lead the main opposition party after the death earlier this year of its leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who for years had been Mugabe's top challenger in elections.

He said the many observers who have visited the country to witness Zimbabwe's electoral processes will learn something from Zimbabwe's democratic processes. What began with optimism crumbled into repression, alleged vote-rigging, intimidation of the opposition, violent land seizures from white farmers and years of worldwide sanctions.

"If Mugabe is able to go to my inauguration that is good news", Chamisa said in response to Mugabe's remarks.

Robert Mugabe: I won't vote for Zanu-PF in Zimbabwe election
Mugabe speaks out: 'I won't vote for Zanu-PF. And it was a coup'

Zimbabwe's generals shocked the world a year ago when they seized control and ushered Mnangagwa to power after Mugabe, 94, tried to position his wife Grace, 53, to be his successor.

But he blamed "evil and malicious characters" for his removal from power, which was met with a joyous outpouring by thousands in the capital, Harare.

The former first lady's political ambitions were beleived by many to be the catalyst for the army's decision to intervene in November. "I think it is just Chamisa", he said. "I was a fool to have him next to me", he said of Mnangagwa, whom he accused of conniving with the military chief to pull off a "coup".

But Mr Chamisa, 40, who has performed strongly on the campaign trail, hopes to tap into a young population that could vote for change as Zanu-PF has ruled since the country's independence from British colonial rule in 1980.

While Mugabe, who has largely remained quiet in his Harare home since leaving power, is speaking of the past, Zimbabweans are already impatient for the future - and Monday's vote.

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