Zimbabwe: Mugabe Gets Another Mandate to Rule

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe got another mandate to rule for the next five years after garnering more than 60% of the votes in the just-ended harmonised elections.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) declared him President yesterday.

Mugabe, who has ruled since 1980, got 2 110 434 votes representing 61,09% while his long-time rival MDC-T President, Morgan Tsvangirai garnered 1 172 349 (33,94%).

The other candidates Welshman Ncube, Dumiso Dabengwa and Kisnot Mukwazhe had 2,68%, 0,74% and 0,29% respectively.

According to the new Constitution, aggrieved parties have seven days to raise their concerns when results are announced.

The signs that Mugabe was destined for a crushing victory were evident as early as Thursday when National Assembly results started trickling in showing that Zanu PF had performed better in areas that were MDC-T strongholds in the 2008 elections.

In the national assembly, Zanu PF got 160 constituencies, MDC-T 49 and one independent candidate, Jonathan Samukange who won the Mudzi South constituency.

However, Samukange can defer his celebrations for now as there will be a vote recount as well as in Tsholotsho North won by MDC-T's Sethulo Ndebele.

The recount in Mudzi South and Tsholotsho North would be held on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively after concerns were raised by some losing candidates.

Mugabe's chief election agent Emmerson Mnangagwa said the people had spoken and his party had won the election cleanly.

On Tsvangirai's statements that the election is a farce, Mnangagwa said: "Indeed he is speaking for a minority that voted for him. I believe that if he is an honest politician, he should respect the views and the spirit of the majority."

He said Zanu PF would rule for the next five years, implementing what is contained in its manifesto such as indigenisation, empowerment, development and employment creation.

Mnangagwa said the elections were free, fair and transparent.

"At the moment of defeat, some people failed to be sober in order to direct themselves properly," he said in apparent reference to Tsvangirai's call that the polls were a "farce".

Told that Tsvangirai had indicated that Zanu PF required MDC-T to govern the country, Mnangagwa said with over 60% of the votes, Zanu PF "have the capacity to rule and run the five years both in Parliament and in government".

He continued: "What if MDC-T boycott Parliament? You ask them what they do. We will run the Parliament."

Mnangagwa said the West have to make a climb-down as Zimbabwe had conducted its election in a peaceful manner.

"They [the West] must find a ladder and climb down and respect the views of the people of Zimbabwe. They believe that they are democratic countries and democratic elections have now taken place in Zimbabwe," Mnangagwa said. "What else can they do except to respect democratic processes?"

MDC-T has threatened to roll out mass action in protest against the results.

"They have the freedom to speak their minds, this is why we are a democratic country but whether that will happen or not is something different," Mnangagwa said.

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