A ‘cabal of criminals’ win sham poll

HARARE - On June 29, Britain and the United States were considering imposing fresh sanctions on Zimbabwe after Robert Mugabe was declared winner of an illegal and fraudulent one-candidate presidential run-off vote boycotted by his rival Morgan Tsvangirai.

Italy and Germany added their weight, with Rome threatening to recall its ambassador to Zimbabwe while Berlin has instructed Gieseck Devrient, a company supplying Harare with paper to print money, to stop forthwith.

‘These elections were not free and fair,’ Marwick Khumalo, head of the PAP observer team, said.

South Africa, the region’s major power, said it was too early to pass judgment on the poll.

Hardly two hours after the announcement of the results, Mugabe was inaugurated, taking an oath of office at State House before immediately flying out to Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt where African heads of State are meeting for a summit where the Zimbabwe crisis is top of the agenda.

‘The world has condemned this process as illegitimate and indeed Zimbabweans cannot lend any legitimacy to this process,’ Tsvangirai told The Zimbabwean. ‘The point for him is to step up as a State man like (Nelson) Mandela. This is not good for his legacy.’

Tsvangirai refused to attend Mugabe’s inauguration. According to preliminary figures, Mugabe had 85.5 percent of the vote, overturning the 43.2 percent he polled on March 29. Tsvangirai won the March 29 poll with 47.3 percent, short of the 50 percent required to be declared president. There were 2,150,269  votes for Mugabe and 233,000 for Tsvangirai.

The commission claimed turnout was 42,3 percent, almost exactly the same as the March 29 vote. Zanu (PF) also won in two by-elections held concurrently with the presidential election run-off.

Mugabe’s Information minister, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, who polled 1,555 votes, has lost the Mpopoma-Pelandaba poll to MDC (Tsvangirai) candidate Samuel Khumalo who polled 3,795. Milford Gwetu of the Arthur Mutambara led MDC polled 646, Chamunorwa Mahachi (Independent) 16, Fungai Mutukwa (Independent) 22, Samuel Ndlovu (UPP) 60, Leonard Nkala (PUMA) 18, Job Sibanda (Independent) 172.

In Gwanda South, Zanu (PF)’s Shakespear Mlilo polled 7,850 beating Nephat Mdlongwa of MDC (Tsvangirai) who garnered 1,198 votes, while Elizabeth Ndlovu of the MDC (Mutambara) polled 676.

In Redcliff, Zanu (PF)’s Isheunesu Muza won the poll with  6,661 votes. The MDC (Tsvangirai) was punished in Redcliff for fielding two candidates,  Aaron Chinhara who polled 3,189 and Tapera Hlongeni who got 2,096 votes. Pezuru Karigambe MDC (Mutambara) polled 210 votes in the Redcliff poll.

The results take the Zanu (PF) parliamentary tally to 99 seats in the House of Assembly, while the MDC parliamentary caucus in Parliament now has 110 seats. Professor Jonathan Moyo, an independent, holds the other seat in the 210 seat Lower House.

Gordon Brown called the Mugabe regime a ‘cabal of criminals.’ The United States has also threatened to toughen sanctions on Zimbabwe and push for the U.N. Security Council to take measures against Mugabe’s government. Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has urged the AU to send troops into Zimbabwe to restore democracy.

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