Voters in Zimbabwe are going to the polls in the country’s first election without the involvement of long-time leader Robert Mugabe.

The country’s founding president, Mr Mugabe, was ousted last year after almost four decades in power.

The main contenders in the presidential vote are incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa, of the ruling Zanu-PF party, and opposition leader Nelson Chamisa.

Parliamentary and local elections are also taking place on Monday.

Polls give Mr Mnangagwa, thought to be 75, a narrow lead over his 40-year-old rival, who leads the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) Alliance.

On Sunday, Mr Mugabe – who first came to power after independence in 1980 – said he would not vote for his successor.

The country is expecting a high turnout of first-time voters. Younger voters are expected to be key – almost half of those registered are under the age of 35.

Hundreds of international observers have been deployed to ensure the vote goes smoothly, but the opposition has repeatedly alleged irregularities in the voter roll.

They have also expressed concern over the security of ballot papers and voter intimidation in mainly rural areas.

Source : BBC

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