Mugabe to reveal preferred candidate?

Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is expected to address the media at his Blue Roof Residence in Harare.

Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe ahead of his press conference at his Blue Roof Residence in Harare. Picture: Clement Manyathela/EWN.

HARARE - Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is expected to address the media at his Blue Roof Residence in Harare.

The address comes as Zimbabweans prepare for Monday’s historic elections without Mugabe, the first time since independence.

The run-up to the presidential and parliamentary election has been peaceful compared to previous polls but there are reports of intimidation and coercion in rural constituencies, and state media is biased towards the ruling Zanu–PF party.

A run-off will be held in September if neither candidate wins outright.

Mugabe has been quite recently as presidential hopefuls campaigned for the elections.

So, this sudden press briefing, a day before elections, is raising speculation that Mugabe may want to endorse his preferred candidate.

On Saturday, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa acknowledged Mugabe’s support, telling supporters the former president is a citizen of the country who will hand over power to him next week.

Scores of Journalists are now gathered at Mugabe’s Blue Roof mansion waiting for the former leader to address the nation.

The election could confirm the country’s rehabilitation after years as a pariah under Mugabe and help unlock foreign investment, especially if Western observers, monitoring for the first time since 2002, declare it fair.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)