July 31 - Zimbabweans rose early to vote in the country's hotly contested poll pitting President Robert Mugabe against Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who has vowed to push Africa's oldest leader into retirement after 33 years in power. Jessica Gray reports.
Zimbabwe residents in Harare brave unseasonably cool weather and long queues to vote in the country's fiercely contested election. They are choosing between Robert Mugabe, who has been in power for more than 33 years, and current Prime Minister and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Zimbabwe's opinion polls are largely unreliable, making it difficult to predict a winner in a nation that is also no stranger to election violence. The bigger question is whether the loser will accept the result with elections often dogged by logistical problems and claims of vote rigging. Despite this, Zimbabweans are hopeful the poll will herald a more prosperous future. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MAN QUEUING TO VOTE, SAYING: "I would love to have a leader who would create jobs for us. Opportunities for better for us. To better our country." Western observers have been barred from the polls, leaving oversight up to 7,500 regional and domestic monitors.