Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Saturday that he will proclaim the 2018 election date at the end of May.
Addressing a rally in Mutare, Manicaland province marking the start of the ruling ZANU-PF election campaign, the president said the party will intensify its campaigning once the election date is proclaimed.
According to the country's constitution, the elections must be held between July 21 and August 21. Zimbabwe's parliament last week passed the Electoral Amendment Bill which now awaits presidential assent to become law.
The bill seeks to give legal effect to the bio-metric voter registration system that was done by the national electoral body for the first time. As political parties gear up for the polls, ZANU-PF has finished selecting its candidates while the main opposition party the MDC Alliance is still to conclude candidate selection.
President Mnangagwa, who took over from former president Robert Mugabe in November last year, will fight it out with the youthful leader of MDC Alliance Nelson Chamisa in the presidential poll. As the nation edges towards the polls, voters' roll inspection opened on May 19 and will run until May 29.
About 5.4 million people in Zimbabwe are registered to vote in the elections.