Stories by Hamza Mohamed of Al Jazeera

What to know about Zimbabwe's landmark election

Millions of Zimbabweans are voting today in the first election since 1980 without former president Robert Mugabe on the ballot.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, Mugabe's former vice-president whose nickname is "the crocodile", is now president and the ruling ZANU-PF party's presidential candidate. Mnangagwa and Nelson Chamisa, head of the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance, are widely seen as the top challengers.

Zimbabwe's youth cautiously optimistic election will bring change

Boys wait to wash dishes in a suburb of Harare. Photo: Luis Tato/AFP/Getty Images

HARARE — For the first time in their lives, young Zimbabweans will be able to vote Monday in a closely contested election without Robert Mugabe on the ballot.

The bigger picture: More than 20 candidates — all first-time contenders — are running for the top post, each promising jobs and better living standards. Many of the youth say the promise of better employment prospects will drive them to the voting booths on election day.

Election season boosts businesses in cash-strapped Zimbabwe

Street sellers benefit from the high demand for flags and party scarfs before the vote [Hamza Mohammed/Al Jazeera]

HARARE — Election season is providing a much-needed economic boost in Zimbabwe, where a cash shortage has been strangling already hard-pressed businesses.

What’s happening: Hotels have seen a surge in customers amid growing international interest in the landmark election following last year's resignation of decades-long President Robert Mugabe in the wake of a military intervention. The car rental industry is also among the beneficiaries ahead of the July 30 vote, as are entrepreneurs selling election paraphernalia.