Harare — Zimbabwe’s ruling party is growing increasingly nervous that it could lose power in its first election without Robert Mugabe at its helm against an opposition emboldened by the end of his 37-year rule. Three members of the Zanu-PF’s politburo, its most senior decision-making body, said the party is concerned that large rallies in rural areas show the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and six smaller allied parties are gaining momentum. Mugabe’s replacement, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, has loosened control of the country, allowing more room for campaigning and freedom of expression. The election will pit the MDC’s Nelson Chamisa, who is only 40, a lawyer, against Mnangagwa, a former intelligence chief. With more than a third of the population between 15 and 34, and an economy that’s halved in size since 2000, there is a "a desire for change", said Takavafira Zhou, a political scientist at the Great Zimbabwe University in the central city of Masvingo. "The asc...

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