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Zimbabwe opposition warns of election violence, saying “The Crocodile has not changed”

Zimbabwe’s main opposition party has warned that the country’s long-awaited general election could be marred by violence and intimidation, accusing the ruling Zanu-PF of failing to make any meaningful changes since the fall of long-time leader Robert Mugabe.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said it was concerned that President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who came to power in a 2017 coup, had failed to make a break with the past, accusing him of favouring Zanu-PF ahead of the July 30 poll.

“The crocodile has not changed its spots,” the MDC said in a statement, referring to Mnangagwa’s nickname.

The opposition accused Zanu-PF of using state resources to help its campaign, and warned that the security forces had been deployed to intimidate and harass its supporters.

The MDC said its supporters have been threatened with violence and arrested, and accused the security forces of preventing the party from holding rallies.

The party has also accused the government of using administrative measures, such as voter registration delays, to skew the process in Zanu-PF’s favour.

The government denies that it is manipulating the election process, and says it is committed to a free and fair vote.