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Eleven presidential candidates have been cleared by the electoral authorities to contest in this year's elections.
On Saturday, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is also leader of the ruling ZANU PF party, launched his party's election campaign in preparation for the Aug. 23 elections. He came to power in 2017 and is seeking a second five-year term as president
Addressing thousands of supporters who had congregated for the ruling party's first rally in Chipinge, about 440 km from the capital Harare, Mnangagwa urged his supporters to vote for the ruling party that brought independence to the southern African nation. He noted that his administration had managed to fulfill many of its promises.
"We resolved the fuel crisis, we resolved electricity shortages," Mnangagwa said, adding that under his leadership, Zimbabwe has managed to address the food security issue.
"In a short period of time we have grown our agriculture from a US$3.8 billion industry to 8 billion," he said, noting that Zimbabwe will continue the self-sufficiency path by locally mobilizing resources to build infrastructure such as roads.
Zimbabwean former Foreign Affairs minister Walter Mzembi announcing his colleague and fellow ex-minister Saviour Kasukuwere's entry into the 23 August presidential election fray. Kasukuwere will battle it out with President Emmerson Mnangagwa and main opposition CCC leader Nelson… pic.twitter.com/Uc1dCd5lv2
The sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe over two decades ago by Western countries must not stop Zimbabweans from developing their country, Mnangagwa said, calling on Zimbabweans to observe peace as they head to the polls.
As the elections approach, Mnangagwa urged his supporters to garner support for the ruling party in urban councils where the opposition had an edge in previous elections.
According to the Zimbabwe Election Commission, 11 presidential candidates have been cleared by the electoral body to contest in this year's elections, which will also see voters choosing members of the parliament and local council representatives.