The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: 'No More Need for Zuma Mediation'

ZANU-PF yesterday said it was no longer necessary for South African President Jacob Zuma to continue mediation in Zimbabwe following last week's successful elections that saw President Mugabe and the revolutionary party winning resoundingly. In an interview yesterday, party spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo said the revolutionary party was of the view that President Zuma's role was no longer necessary.

"We have won the elections as Zanu-PF and President Mugabe's landslide has actually put an end to facilitation, hence there is no need for facilitation in Zimbabwe anymore because the elections went well," he said.

"In fact, I will not be surprised if President Jacob Zuma notifies the Sadc summit in Malawi next week about the issue because we held polls which were very peaceful, free and fair." Zimbabweans last week voted in elections which were described by Sadc and AU observers as free and fair.

MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, who suffered one of the worst defeats since the formation of his party 14 years ago, is disputing the outcome of the polls. Mr Tsvangirai is claiming that the elections were rigged. He said the polls were not free and fair, describing them as a "farce and shame.

The MDC-T leader is alleging that the entire electoral process was fraught with irregularities, which he has so far failed to substantiate. Mr Tsvangirai's outcry contrasted sharply with the endorsement given by the progressive forces and leaders of Sadc countries as well as from across the world, who have congratulated President Mugabe on his resounding victory.

The Sadc leaders who include Presidents Zuma of South Africa, Armando Guebuza of Mozambique, Michael Sata of Zambia, Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia all congratulated President Mugabe for winning the elections.

Mr Tsvangirai said his party was ready to challenge the results in the Constitutional Court.

President Mugabe romped to victory winning 61,09 percent vote in a peaceful plebiscite that also saw Zanu-PF surpassing a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

Mr Tsvangirai polled 33,94 percent while MDC leader Professor Welshman Ncube accounted for 2,68 percent of the vote.

Zapu leader, Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, and Zimbabwe Development Party president Mr Kisinoti Mukwazhe only managed 0,74 percent and 0,29 percent respectively of the total valid vote.

Cde Gumbo dismissed the allegations of election rigging, describing it as nonsensical talk. He said all mechanisms were put in place to ensure that voting was conducted in a free and fair manner.

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