Mugabe denied meeting MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa after his ouster, let alone funding his campaigns as was widely believed but said he will vote for him anyway, confirming what the young presidential hopeful has been bragging about that he has Mugabe's vote guaranteed.
Zimbabwe's generals shocked the world previous year when they seized control and ushered Mnangagwa to power after Mugabe, 94, tried to position his wife Grace, 53, to be his successor.
The former leader said the military's intervention in November was wrong, adding that the country of 16 million has become less democratic since his removal from power.
Mnangagwa, who did not provide any evidence of his accusations, said in a Facebook post that voting for 40-year-old Chamisa was tantamount to bringing back Mugabe in disguise.
He made the comments after Mugabe said he would vote for the opposition in Monday's election.
The latest polls suggest that a run-off between the main opposition leader Chamisa and Zanu PF's Emmerson Mnangagwa is a serious possibility. "I tried to do my best", he said, as journalists began to drift away.
The election could confirm the country's rehabilitation after years as a pariah under Mr Mugabe and help unlock foreign investment, especially if Western observers, monitoring for the first time since 2002, declare it fair. He said he resigned to avoid "bloodshed".
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