Deposed tyrant Robert Mugabe votes in first election since his removal

Former president Robert Mugabe, 94, cast his vote in Harare in Zimbabwe's first election that does not include his name on the ballot paper. Picture: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Harare – Former president Robert Mugabe, 94, cast his vote in a Harare township on Monday in Zimbabwe’s first election that does not include his name on the ballot paper.

A frail Mugabe, accompanied by his wife, Grace, shuffled into the polling booth and spent several minutes filling in his ballot paper with the help of an assistant. A huge crowd gathered outside, some cheering, many booing.

Mugabe was removed last November in a de facto coup that brought his former ally Emmerson Mnangagwa to power. Mnangagwa is the favourite in Monday’s vote.

Zimbabweans voted on Monday in the first election since the removal of former president Robert Mugabe, a watershed moment they hope will rid the country of its pariah status and spark a recovery in its failed economy.

The election pits 75-year-old President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a long-time Mugabe ally, against 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa, a lawyer and pastor vying to become Zimbabwe’s youngest head of state.