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Mnagagwa withdrew Mugabe’s security on eve of election - reports

The close security aides were reportedly recalled on Sunday night shortly after Mugabe addressed a press conference, where he declared that he would not vote for his 'Zanu-PF tormentors'.

Former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe (C) his daughter Bona (C) and wife Grace cast their votes at a polling station at a primary school in the Highfield district of Harare during the country's general elections on July 30, 2018. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – Local media in Zimbabwe is reporting that President Emmerson Mnangagwa withdrew his predecessor Robert Mugabe’s security detail on the eve of Monday's general election, in a suspected act of vengeance after the former leader threw his weight behind opposition MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa.

The close security aides were reportedly recalled on Sunday night shortly after Mugabe addressed a press conference at his Blue Roof mansion in Harare, where he declared that he would not vote for his "Zanu-PF tormentors".

National Patriotic Front official Jealousy Mawarire, who has emerged as Mugabe’s de facto spokesperson, has confirmed on Twitter that Mugabe’s state security officers had been recalled.

Millions of Zimbabweans cast their ballots in historic elections on Monday widely seen as a race between Mnangagwa and Chamisa.

Former President Jacob Zuma's International Relations advisor, Lindiwe Zulu, is in Zimbabwe.

She's applauded the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission for what she calls an "excellent job".

In 2013, Mugabe called Zulu a "streetwalker" and a "stupid, idiotic woman" but she says that she holds no grudge.

"I’m not bitter about it. For me it’s gone past and the bottom line is that the old man was able to apologise for that, so it’s over. The Zimbabweans right now want a leader that’s going to respond to their needs."

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)