For the first time after former president, Robert Mugabe’s removal, Zimbabweans began voting on Monday to usher in a new democratically elected government.
In the race for the country’s top job, 75-year-old President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a long-time Mugabe ally, face 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa, a lawyer and pastor who is vying to become Zimbabwe’s youngest head of state.
Polls give former intelligence chief Mnangagwa, who took over as president after the army ousted Mugabe in a bloodless coup in November, only a slim lead over Chamisa.
There will be a runoff on Sept. 8 if no candidate wins more than half the votes.
Whoever wins will face the mammoth task of putting Zimbabwe back on track after 37 years of Mugabe rule that was tainted by corruption, mismanagement and diplomatic isolation, sending one of Africa’s most promising economies into crisis.