Mugabe wins Zim election with more than 60% of votes

Robert Mugabe. (AFP)

Robert Mugabe. (AFP)

Mugabe won more than 2.1-million votes (2 110 434), more than half of the over 3.4-million votes cast on Wednesday. 

Mugabe has got two-thirds power of the Zimbabwean Parliament behind him, with Zanu-PF winning the majority of the National Assembly seats.

Mugabe’s rival MDC-T’s Morgan Tsvangirai was second with 1  172 349 votes.

Mugabe was declared a winner by chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Rita Makarau on Saturday evening in Harare.

This means 89-year-old Mugabe has successfully extended his 33-year rule by another five years. 

Zanu-PF politburo member and Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa was elated.

"Like the chairperson [Makarau] said it was peaceful, free, fair, transparent countrywide. And I’m very, very, very happy that I represent the winner President RG Mugabe."

On threats by the MDC-T’s treasurer Roy Bennett that people should bring the country to a standstill Mnangagwa said Tsvangirai’s party should do the right thing. 

"They have that democratic right to do wrong things. They should have listened to the advice given by the chair of SADC observer mission that they should respect the results. But the route they’re taking is that their political career is buried and buried for good." 

Only Mugabe’s election agent Mnangagwa signed the form V23D, which certifies the acceptance of the results by all parties concerned. Tsvangirai’s election agent Obert Gutu said he refused to sign because he "will not legitimise the monumental fraud. The refusal symbolises the MDC’s total rejection and total contempt of the farce."

Representatives of Dumiso Dabengwa’s Zapu and MDC’s Welshman Ncube did not attend the announcement of the results, an indication that they are also unhappy with the outcome.

Tsvangirai rejected theresults and said he’s approach SADC and the African Union with a report that’ll show evidence of alleged vote-rigging. He vowed to boycott participation in any government institution that will be formed by his arch-rival, Mugabe.

Tsvangirai, who addressed a press briefing at his Highlands home after the party's national council meeting, said the rejection was based on the process and the absence of reforms in the run-up to the July 31 election.

The voters roll, voter registration, the special vote, bussing of people, ballot printing, access to media and the question of assisted voters are some the issues that the MDC strongman highlighted as grounds of rejecting the poll result.

"From the evidence available, discounting all omissions and commissions, the MDC actually won this election," said Tsvangirai.

“The fraudulent and stolen election has plunged Zimbabwe into a political, economic and constitutional crisis.”

In charting the way forward for his MDC, Tsvangirai said his party would call for an audit of the voters roll, the ballot papers, the special votes, voters displacement and the voter registration certificates that were used during this election.

Tsvangirai also said he would approaching the courts to challenge the election results.

Gutu echoed his boss’s unhappiness. “This is a joke. My president Dr Morgan Tsvangirai has made it clear the election is a sham. The election is a joke and does not reflect the will of the people." 

Meanwhile, the ZEC will recount votes from two constituencies, whose results were held back because the defeated candidate requested a recount. "The ZEC has received request for recounting of votes from candidates who participated in National Assembly elections held on July 31 from Mudzi South and Tsholotsho North constituencies," the ZEC said in a statement.

The recount will happen on August 6 and 7.

Police presence increased throughout Zimbabwe on Saturday, with authorities saying the action was simply meant to be vigilant, although people saw this as an intimidating tactic.

Armed anti-riot police were deployed in townships, backed by water cannons. Police presence was also high at an empty piece of land that the MDC-T used as a venue of its final campaign rally and dubbed the “Freedom Square”.

In addition, military police were conducting road blocks in Harare jointly with the police.

Prepared for any eventuality
Police spokesperson chief superintendant Paul Nyathi said the police stood by earlier comments from senior assistant commissioner Charity Charamba that police were prepared for any eventuality and were ready to arrest any perpetrators of violence.

Leader of the smaller MDC faction, Welshman Ncube, also reacted with disappointment of the results, but said his party was still studying reports from the candidates, election and polling agents before issuing a full statement.

"In the meantime we salute and pay tribute to all our candidates across the width and breath of the country who at this moment feel extremely let down by an election outcome that is clearly difficult to comprehend," said party spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube.

The European Union Ambassador Aldo Dell Arriccia expressed concern over the anomalies in the voting process but said they’ll continue to monitor developments in Zimbabwe. 

Mugabe can be inaguarated under law in 48 hours should there be no legal challenge to his victory. The courts have seven days within which to make a ruling on any challenge, then thereafter inaugaration can take place.

Mmanaledi Mataboge

Mmanaledi Mataboge

Mmanaledi Mataboge is the Mail & Guardian's political editor. Raised in a rural village, she later studied journalism in a township where she fell in love with the medium of radio. This former radio presenter and producer previously worked as a senior politics reporter for the Mail & Guardian, and writes on politics, government, and anything that gives the disadvantaged, poor, and the oppressed a voice.
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