Zimbabwe's president courts white voters ahead of election

Zimbabwe's president courts white voters ahead of election

It's a week away from make-or-break general elections in Zimbabwe and the two front runners‚ incumbent president Emmerson Mnangagwa‚ 75‚ of Zanu PF and closest challenger from the MDC Alliance Nelson Chamisa‚ 40‚ are not leaving anything to chance.

Critics say yesterday's meeting was organised by whites who have long-held business links with the ruling Zanu-PF party.

Under his predecessor Robert Mugabe, white farmers were evicted in favour of landless black people from 2000 by a controversial policy that wrecked agriculture and triggered an economic collapse.

But Mnangagwa, a 75-year-old former Mugabe ally, has pledged to fix racial divisions and end the violent seizure of white-owned commercial farms, a policy that Mugabe said was meant to redress post-colonial imbalances.

Zimbabwe's president courts white voters ahead of election
Zimbabwe's president courts white voters ahead of election

Mnangagwa said his government was "racially blind" and needed the expertise of everyone across the economy. All that is required is more of such interaction with the farmers' organisations. We will downsize it and we forget that he is the vice president.

"If you were born here, you were born here, you are a citizen, you have the same documentation like everybody else", he said. A farmer - a black farmer, a white farmer - is a Zimbabwean farmer...

Mnangagwa, who came to power when Mugabe was removed in a de facto coup in November, is on the campaign trail ahead of what is expected to be a tight contest with his main rival, Nelson Chamisa, the 40-year-old leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance, speaking to reporters after meeting former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan in Harare says Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is biased towards the ruling Zanu PF, July 20, 2018. In order to do this he needs the help of Western donors who want to see the issue of white-owned land addressed.

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