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Zimbabweans brave cold to vote in crucial election

Zimbabweans voted in large numbers on Wednesday in a fiercely contested election pitting veteran President Robert Mugabe against Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who has vowed to push Africa's oldest leader into retirement after 33 years in power. At one polling station in the eastern province of Manicaland, a key swing region, the line of voters, many wrapped up in blankets amid unseasonably
Residents of the high-density suburb of Mbare in the Zimbabwean capital Harare line up in the early hours to cast their ballots in presidential elections on July 31, 2013.Aaron Ufumeli / EPA

Zimbabweans voted in large numbers on Wednesday in a fiercely contested election pitting veteran President Robert Mugabe against Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who has vowed to push Africa's oldest leader into retirement after 33 years in power.

At one polling station in the eastern province of Manicaland, a key swing region, the line of voters, many wrapped up in blankets amid unseasonably cold weather, stretched for more than half a mile.

"I got up at 4 but still couldn't get the first position in the line," said sawmill worker Clifford Chasakara. "My fingers are numb but I'm sure I can mark the ballot all the same. I'm determined to vote and have my vote counted." 

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