President Robert Mugabe on Monday told MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and those backing him in disputing the July 31 election result to 'go hang'.
Officiating at the national shrine where he led commemorations to mark Heroes Day, Mr. Mugabe said “never will we go back on our victory” in apparent reference to the court challenge by Mr. Tsvangirai and his party who have described the election as a sham.
This was President Mugabe’s first public address since his landslide victory in the election that the United States, Britain and Australia have dismissed as not reflecting the will of the Zimbabwean people.
Mr. Mugabe vowed in front of thousands gathered to remember the country’s fallen heroes that he would never to let go of his victory for anything or anyone.
“Those who were hurt by defeat can go hang if they so wish,” said Mr. Mugabe told thousands at a rally to honour heroes of the country’s liberation wars. “Never will we go back on our victory.”
He said the election outcome showed that the people’s choice in government was clear.
“We are delivering democracy on a platter. We say take it or leave it, but the people have delivered democracy.”
Mr. Mugabe praised the Southern African Development Community and the African Union for their continued support of Harare while renewing his call for the reform of the United Nations Security Council.
He said he will proceed to form a new government that will deliver on Zanu PF’s election promises, including the controversial empowerment program that critics charge has resulted in investors holding onto their money fearing to lose majority stakes to black Zimbabweans.
The 89-year old was declared the winner in the July election with 61 per cent of the ballots, against Mr. Tsvangirai’s 34 per cent.
Mr. Mugabe once took aim at the West for allegedly interfering in the country’s internal affairs, especially after the disputed poll.
He said the elections were peaceful showing that democracy was at work in Zimbabwe.
Mr. Tsvangirai and his party boycotted Monday’s celebrations in protest of the election result.
Outgoing deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara was the only notable opposition figure at the event that was also shunned by several Western diplomats.
mdc-t leader Morgan Tsvangirai says ZANU PF has betrayed liberation war heroes who fought for everyone’s right to vote by allegedly cheating his party out of victory in the just-ended elections.
In a statement released today, the MDC leader says most ZANU PF members who are said to have won are ashamed to celebrate their; quote “so-called victory,” adding, the whole nation is in mourning.
MDC-T spokesman Joel Gabhuza tells V-O-A reporter Sithandekile Mhlanga his party is unfazed by the criticism it received from president Mugabe in his Heroes Day speech at the heroes acre, and will expose his, quote “null and void victory” in court.