Polls have opened in Zimbabwe for the first election since the removal of Robert Mugabe as president by his former ally Emmerson Mnangagwa. The incumbent is facing 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa, a lawyer and pastor who would be Zimbabwe’s youngest ever head of state. In an astonishing intervention Sunday, Mugabe said he would not vote for Mnangagwa, nicknamed the Crocodile, who is widely blamed for masterminding a 1984 massacre of as many as 20,000 rebels in the Matabeland region on Mugabe’s orders. The country has been swamped with international observers ahead of the vote: “This is a critical moment in Zimbabwe’s democratic journey,” said Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the former Liberian president and a leader of one of the international observer missions, adding that “voter enthusiasm… must be matched by an accurate count.” Voting began at 7 a.m. (12 a.m. ET) on Monday and will end at 7 p.m.
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