Zimbabweans prepare to cast votes in tense presidential poll
HARARE (AFP) - Crisis-weary Zimbabweans flocked to cast their ballots on Wednesday in a fiercely contested election overshadowed by accusations of vote-rigging as President Robert Mugabe bids to extend his 33-year rule.
The 89-year-old firebrand, Africa's oldest leader, is running for office for the seventh and perhaps final time, after a series of violent crackdowns, economic crises and suspect elections.
"I am sure people will vote freely and fairly, there is no pressure being exerted on anyone," he said as he cast his vote in a Harare suburb. "So far so good."
The veteran leader, a hero of Africa's liberation movement for his fight against white minority rule who then became an international pariah, had vowed on Tuesday that he would step down if he loses.