Lilongwe, Malawi — PRESIDENT Mugabe says the West's refusal to accept the results of the July harmonised elections had nothing to do with credibility of the polls, but personal dislike of the person of Robert Mugabe and his pro-people policies. Speaking to journalists on after arrival at Kamuzu International Airport here yesterday, President Mugabe said he was happy to be in Lilongwe as Zimbabwe was a friend of Malawi.
"The West wants to think for us and take decisions for us and give us direction. What we decide as the correct course, they will not agree with us unless the decision serves their interests.
"In this case it is Robert Mugabe they don't like, who is a Zimbabwean, an Africa and also friend of Malawi," he said
President Mugabe said he was in Malawi for the routine Sadc meeting to put heads together with other leaders to move the regional bloc forward.
"We have come to Sadc, it's our ordinary meeting held once a year. We come to review decisions made in previous meetings and where necessary, make new decisions.
"In this meeting we are reviewing decisions made last year and charting the way forward and also to bestow the burden of holding the organisation together on Malawi. President Banda becomes our new person for the next year."
Zimbabwe held widely-hailed harmonised elections on July 31 that saw President Mugabe romping to victory with 61,09 percent of the vote to MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai's 33,94 percent.
Zanu-PF clinched 160 seats out of the 210 National Assembly constituencies to give the revolutionary party a crushing 76 percent dominance in the Lower House.
After factoring in 60 women's quota seats elected by proportional representation of six for each of the 10 provinces, the final composition of the 270-member National Assembly comes to 197 seats for Zanu-PF, 70 for MDC-T, two for MDC, and one independent, giving Zanu-PF just under 73 percent of the total seats in the National Assembly, but well over the two thirds majority of 180 seats.
Zanu-PF also made a near clean sweep of councils after winning 1 493 wards against a mere 442 for MDC-T.
The elections have been endorsed by observers drawn from the African Union, Sadc, Comesa, the African Caribbean and Pacific countries with MDC-T and its handlers -- the US, Britain and its dominion Australia -- casting aspersions on the elections and in so doing aping the contestation in Zimbabwe over the past decade that put Zimbabwe, President Mugabe, Zanu-PF and Zimbabwe on one hand, and MDC-T and its Western allies on the other.
Sadc chairperson President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique, incoming chairperson and host president Cde Joyce Banda, Troika chairperson Cde Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, the 573-member Sadc Election Observer Mission that was led by Tanzanian Foreign Minister Bernard Membe, the Sadc Parliamentary Forum, the Sadc Electoral Commissions Forum consisting of electoral bodies from 10 member-states that was led by Advocate Notemba Tjipuejan, have all endorsed the elections as free and fair and in conformity with regional principles and guidelines on the conduct of democratic elections.
Of the 15 Sadc member-states, 12 have endorsed the elections among them Angola, the DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia, leaving only the suspended Madagascar, and the client regime in Botswana which has followed tradition by siding with the West on Zimbabwe as it has always done on other African issues.
The 33rd Ordinary Summit of Sadc Heads of State and Government opens at the Bingu waMutharika International Conference Centre here this morning with regional leaders expected to be seized with a wide range of issues including the appointment of a new leadership for the secretariat.
Despite attempts by quasi-political groups masquerading as NGOs to have Zimbabwe on the agenda, sources close to developments say Zimbabwe will only receive passing mention in line with the bloc's tradition of congratulating member states that would have held elections in between summits.
President Mugabe, who left Harare yesterday afternoon and was seen off at the Harare International Airport by Vice President Mujuru, Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and senior Government officials. Cde Mujuru is the Acting President.
Cde Mugabe was accompanied by Justice and Legal Afairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa and arrived here yesterday evening. He was welcomed at Kamuzu International Airport by host President Joyce Banda and her spouse Justice Banda, Foreign Affairs Minister Samuel Mumbengegwi, Ambassadors Thandiwe Dumbutshena (Malawi) and Tommy Mandigora (Botswana), Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Mike Bimha, permanent secretaries Ambassador Joey Bimha (Foreign Affairs) and Mr Willard Manngo (Finance) - all of whom were part of the advance team, and embassy staff.
On arrival, the President inspected a guard of honour mounted by the Malawi Defence Forces, and was treated to traditional dances before being whisked to his villa.