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Mugabe Wins Zimbabwe Poll as Tsvangirai Seeks SADC Help

  • Thomas Chiripasi
  • Irwin  Chifera

President Robert Mugabe voting in Harare's Highfield suburb Wednesday with his wife, Grace, and daughter Bona

President Robert Mugabe voting in Harare's Highfield suburb Wednesday with his wife, Grace, and daughter Bona

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has officially declared Zanu PF leader Robert Mugabe winner of the just-ended presidential election after garnering 2 million votes compared to his rival Morgan Tsvangirai who got only 1.2 million votes.

The former freedom fighter and the first person in the world to be elected president at the age of 89, got 61 percent of the total vote in Wednesday’s presidential poll.

Mr. Mugabe polled 2,11 434 votes, Tsvangirai got 1,172 349 (33.9%), Professor Welshman Ncube of the MDC amassed a total of 92, 637 (2.68%) and Dumiso Dabengwa of Zapu settled for fourth place with 25 416 (0.74%).

Marked Ballot

Marked Ballot

A total number of 3.9 million people voted in the general election.

Mr. Mugabe secured the two-thirds majority his party needs to change the constitution as his main rival urged African leaders to overturn what he said was a fraudulent vote.

Zanu-PF won 158 of the 210 seats in parliament, compared with 49 for the MDC-T and one seat for an independent candidate, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said in a statement distributed in Harare. Two constituencies will be recounted on August 6 and 7.

Obert Gutu, who was representing Mr. Tsvangirai when the ZEC chairperson Rita Makarau declared Mr. Mugabe duly elected president, immediately dismissed the results repeating the MDC-T leader’s statement earlier in the week that the poll was a big farce.

But Mr. Mugabe’s chief election agent Mr. Emmerson Mnangagwa welcomed the results saying his country will govern for the next five years. He urged the MDC-T to accept the results.

“We are now going to implement our indigenization and empowerment policy as a guideline to guide and govern for the next five years.”

Though it has been endorsed by some observer missions, the general election was marred by several irregularities which led to MDC rejecting the outcome.

At the same time, the MDC founding president Saturday urged Southern African Development Community and the African Union to convene a special summit to discuss Zimbabwe’s general election.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai

Mr. Tsvangirai told a news conference soon after a meeting of his party’s national council that he was not accepting the outcome of polls.

The premier said he will not legitimise an illegitimate process.

He also called for a forensic audit of ballot papers that were used in the general election as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission says it printed over 8 million ballot papers yet there were only 6.4 million registered voters.

The prime minister said his party will now pursue all avenues, legal and political, to resolve the poll dispute although he said he does not have confidence in the courts since some of its judges were unilaterally appointed by Mr. Mugabe a few days before the elections.

As a result of the disputed elections, he said Zimbabwe has been plunged into a new political and economic crisis.

The prime minister said his party will not form another unity government with Zanu PF, adding that his party members will not be party of any state institutions.

Asked whether MDC-T members who won in parliamentary elections will go to parliament, Mr. Tsvangirai said his party is yet to take a position on that issue.

President Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist since 1980. This is his 7th term.