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Zimbabwe's Presidential Candidates Intensify Campaigns

Zimbabwe's three main presidential candidates took their campaigns into the country's heartland on Thursday to drum up support eight days ahead of national elections.

President Robert Mugabe addressed a rally at Murombedzi Growth Point near his village in the Zvimba rural area of Mashonaland West Province.

Reporter Thomas Chiripasi said Mr. Mugabe donated animal-drawn carts and pledged to provide villagers with generators as he often has done in the current campaign.

Opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai took his campaign to traditional strongholds of the ruling ZANU-PF party in Makoni West and Rusape, Manicaland Province.

Supporters sang “Handidzokera sure,” Shona for “no going back,” chanting “Chinja,” or "Change."

Tsvangirai spokesman George Sibotshiwe told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Tsvangirai urged supporters to get out and vote.

Independent presidential candidate Simba Makoni, meanwhile, was in Marondera, Mashonaland East, another ruling party stronghold.

He told some 2,000 supporters he is concerned about the electoral playing field which looks tilted in favor of President Mugabe and the ruling party.

Makoni's spokesman, Denford Magora, told reporter Blessing Zulu that the candidate told the crowd of voters that he alone can solve the problems they face.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...