WASHINGTON DC —
Hundreds of people, mostly whites from the United Kingdom, have abandoned Zimbabwe in an “avalanche” during the election period, for fear of violence, according to a source with the immigration services of Mozambique, speaking Thursday to the Portuguese news agency, Lusa.
José Marizane, head of the Machipanda border post, the primary land border between Mozambique and Zimbabwe, said that an “extraordinary” number of people have left the neighboring country in the days leading up to the elections in Zimbabwe, and after the polling on July 31.
“In the two days before the elections, a notable number of tourists, the majority British, left Zimbabwe for Mozambique. We registered the same extraordinary movement in the two days after the elections,” José Marizane told Lusa, without supplying figures.
President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party won the presidential, parliamentary and council elections which have been dismissed by Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai as a big farce.
Peace prevailed during the polls but western nations have condemned it as fundamentally flawed. However, the African Union and Southern African Development Community say the elections were free.
“I think that these departures are linked to the electoral process in Zimbabwe,” José Marizane said, adding that never before had that border post registered such unusual levels of movement.
The Zimbabwean police announced that they will not tolerate any incitements of violence in that country following the release of election results Saturday.