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Zimbabwe's ruling party plays up youthful Mugabe images

Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party is facing criticism for playing up the past in its election campaign by using youthful images of leader Robert Mugagbe as the 89-year-old seeks re-election.

Robert Mugabe, 89, seeking re-election in Zimbabwe

Election campaign posters are pictured near Zimbabweans walking on a street blocked by uncollected garbage in Harare. President Robert Mugabe is seeking re-election after 33 years as leader of the now economically struggling nation. (Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters)

Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party is facing criticism for playing up the past in its election campaign by using youthful images of 89-year-old leader Robert Mugabe.

"There's been a spirited attempt to package him as a relatively young, energetic leader who still has vigour to sustain a rigorous election campaign around the country — who still has a vision of some sort," said Dumisani Muleya, editor of the Zimbabwe Independent.

Mugabe, who has been at the helm of the country since 1980, is seeking to extend his 33-year run as leader. Mugabe has said he will step down if he loses the election, which is set to take place Wednesday.

His supporters are lobbying for his re-election, but opponents tell CBC's Mike Finnerty that Mugabe's time is past.

Listen as CBC's The Current explores some of the issues around the ruling party — and the opposition — as voters prepare to head to the polls.

With files from The Associated Press