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Grace Mugabe confident ahead of polls

Zim’s first lady is confident Mugabe will win the elections despite early allegations of vote-rigging.

Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe. Picture: EWN

ZIMBABWE - Addressing a rally with her husband on Friday, Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe has told party supporters she has no plans to vacate the state house.

President Robert Mugabe called elections for 31 July, despite opposition from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The MDC fears the polls will be rigged.

Earlier in the week, Zimbabwean police denied claims that the size of the police force had been artificially inflated ahead of a special voting weekend.

Police bosses requested over 69,000 voting slips, but the MDC said it believed the number of officers in Zimbabwe was considerably less.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti says salaries were paid to only 38,000 police officers each month.

However, police spokesperson Charity Charamba said the force was beefed up by including members of the special constabulary.

She says these constables, who are civilians with the right to perform police duties, have been involved in all elections since 1980.

The election commissioner said anyone who doubts that these are not real police officers should bring evidence.

Meanwhile, Mugabe has dramatically cut down his rally schedule ahead of this month's elections.

The 89-year-old Zanu-PF leader will address just 10 rallies, while his main rival Morgan Tsvangirai will speak at 60 across the country.