Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe, who was ousted in November, said Sunday that he would not vote for his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa in the presidential election.
“For the first time ever we have now a long list of aspirants to power,” Mugabe said at his Blue Roof private residence in Harare.
“I cannot vote for those who tormented me… I will make my choice among the other 22 (candidates) but it is a long list.”
Media were allowed through the gates of the luxury sprawling mansion where chairs were set up on a formal lawn in front of a blue-tiled pagoda to listen.
Zimbabwe goes to the polls Monday in its first election since Mugabe was forced to resign last November after 37 years in power, with allegations mounting of voter fraud and predictions of a disputed result.
President Mnangagwa, Mugabe’s former ally in the ruling ZANU-PF party, faces opposition leader Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in a landmark vote for the southern African nation.
Zimbabwe’s generals shocked the world last year when they seized control and ushered Mnangagwa to power after Mugabe, 94, tried to position his wife Grace, 53, to be his successor.
In his only previous press interviews since his fall, Mugabe admitted in March that “some errors were done” under his authoritarian rule, and said he thought his country was now “topsy turvy”.
“I never thought (Mnangagwa) would be the man who turned against me,” he added.