POLL LIKELY TO BE A TWO HORSE RACE
The first Zimbabwean general elections without former president Robert Mugabe takes place on Monday.
In front is president Emmerson Mnangagwa of ZANU-PF and the youthful opposition leader Nelson Machisa of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Mnangagwa was chosen as the ZANU-PF candidate shortly after taking office following a military coup d’etat which deposed Mugabe in November 2017.
Machisa replaced former MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai who died on February 14 this year.
With the eyes of the world firmly on Zimbabwe this weekend leading to the polls on Monday, the elections present what is seen as a litmus test on whether the Zanu-PF government has truly transformed from its troubled history of political and economic challenges.
Zim elections have over the years been characterized by violence and intimidation but so far
there has not been any major violent incident bar a bomb blast at a Zanu-PF election rally at the White City stadium on June 23, which killed two people.
But despite a relatively peaceful period prior the elections, there has been other serious concerns raised over the security of the ballot papers ahead of the polls.
The SADC observer mission has also expressed fears about the legitimacy of the process.