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People in Zimbabwe are voting in an election that will decide whether President Robert Mugabe, in power since 1980, wins a sixth term in office.

His challengers are Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC opposition party and Simba Makoni, a defector from Mr Mugabe’s Zanu-PF now standing as a independent. On the eve of the election, the president said the being a puppet of the former colonial power, Britain. The MDC says the poll will be rigged – a charge denied by the government. Zimbabwe’s security forces have been put on full alert amid fears of violence after the election.

Mugabe’s warning
Polling stations across Zimbabwe opened at 0500 GMT and are due to close at 1700 GMT. Nearly six million voters are eligible to cast their ballots. On Friday, President Mugabe wrapped up his campaigning at a rally outside Harare with a fresh broadside against Britain and the MDC. “This is a vote against the British,” he told a crowd of 6,000 supporters, calling the MDC “a puppet, a mouthpiece of the British”.

The MDC says it is fighting to save Zimbabwe’s economy. The country has the world’s highest inflation rate, at more than 100,000%, and just one adult in five is believed to have a regular job. (Continue Reading…)

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