Morgan urges Mugabe to concede defeat

HARARE - Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has urged President Mugabe to concede defeat in presidential elections held eight days ago to allow him to move on with the business of rebuilding and reconstructing crisis-shattered Zimbabwe.

Addressing a press briefing in Harare Sunday, Tsvangirai maintained that he had won an outright majority and there was no need of a run-off as Zanu (PF) has said through the official media.

I am calling on President Mugabe to begin a dialogue with me, to begin the process of a peaceful, orderly and democratic transition, Tsvangirai said.

In making this call, I believe it is in the interests of the people and the future of this country not to create conditions of anxiety and instability.

I want to say to President Robert Mugabe: Please rest your mind, the new Zimbabwe guarantees your safety’.

Tsvangirai told reporters he was installing an all inclusive broad-based government.

On our part, we have started consultations to put in place an inclusive government of national unity. Our victory is not for the MDC but for every Zimbabwe where everyone is shareholder.

Tsvangirai spoke as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announced the final tally of Senate election results, with Zanu (PF) finishing the race with 30 seats and the MDC with 30 seats as well. Out of 93 Senate seats, 60 are elected, with six Senators per province. The composition of the 93 member Senate comprises 18 chiefs, 10 provincial Governors appointed by the new President and five appointed by the new President.

The Zimbabwean heard that 16 Chiefs were elected by the eight non-metropolitan provinces last Monday. Together with the President and Deputy President of the Council of Chiefs, who are ex officio Senators, they make the number of Chiefs in the Senate 18.

ZEC has already announced House of Assembly results with the  MDC [Tsvangirai] with 99, Zanu (PF) 97, MDC [Mutambara] 10 and Professor Jonathan Moyo, an independent MP retaining his seat in Tsholotsho, accounting for all 207 contested seats.  There are still three seats that will have to be filled by by-election, the polls having been called off because candidates died before polling day.  The new House of Assembly will comprise 210 elected seats with no appointed seats.

There are also the council election results which have already been officially declared by ZEC officials at ward level.  These will not be announced from the National Command Centre, but will be published in the press as required by the Electoral Act.

The ZEC is still holding on to the presidential election results. But Tsvangirai said: We won the election without a need for a run-off.

He said the court challenge they had filed in the High Court seeking to compel the ZEC to announce presidential election results in four hours has been deferred to Sunday. The MDC leader said MDC lawyers seeking to serve papers to the High Court were barred from getting into court by riot police and youth militia, who threatened to shoot them if they defied warnings not to get into court.   

Tsvangirai said he will resist a run-off claiming Zanu (PF) was preparing for war.

In the run-off, violence will be a new weapon to reverse the people’s victory, Tsvangirai said. Zanu (PF) is preparing a war against the people of Zimbabwe such as we witnessed in 2000.

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