News / Africa

Zimbabwe's Mugabe 'Will Step Down' If He Loses Election

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe speaks during a press conference at State House in Harare, July, 30, 2013.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe speaks during a press conference at State House in Harare, July, 30, 2013.
President Robert Mugabe says he will step down if he loses Zimbabwe's presidential election on Wednesday. More than 6 million Zimbabweans are registered to vote in polls for president, parliament, and other offices. 

President Mugabe, Zimbabwe's ruler since 1980, told journalists ahead of the Wednesday vote that he respects democracy and the rule of law. 

Asked whether he would leave his office if he loses the election to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Mugabe said,  “That is the normal thing.  If you join a competition where there are only two outcomes, you can’t be both.  You either win or lose. If you lose then you must surrender to those who have won.  And this is it.  We will do so.  Yes, comply with the rules.”

However, the president said that he was confident of victory, and did not expect another power-sharing government like the current arrangement between his ZANU-PF party and Tsvangirai's MDC.

“Well, that circumstance is not envisaged this time.  I do not think we will have that same result.  I think we have an outright result. But if it is not an outright, we will discuss.  We don’t foretell.  We will know the actual facts. Let the facts be decided by the voters,” he said.

This is the third time Mugabe has been challenged by Tsvangirai, who also was a candidate in 2002 and 2008.  The 2008 vote degenerated into violence and eventually resulted in the unity government.

  • Residents of Epworth look through a hole in a fence covered in campaign posters, Harare, July 30, 2013.
  • Leader of Zimbabwe's opposition party Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) Morgan Tsvangirai greets supporters at a rally in Harare, July 29, 2013.
  • A poster showing opposition to Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is seen at a final Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) campaign rally in Harare, July 29, 2013.
  • Zimbabwe President and Zanu-PF leader Robert Mugabe addresses party supporters at his last campaign rally in Harare, July 28, 2013.
  • A supporter wears earrings showing Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe as he addresses an election rally in Bulawayo, west of Harare, July 27, 2013.

Preparations for the Wednesday elections have been relatively peaceful, but Tsvangirai’s party said it has lost faith in the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

Two weeks ago, special early voting for security agents became chaotic and stretched into a third day - one more than permitted by Zimbabwe's constitution.  The MDC said the electoral commission inflated the number of agents to increase the vote count for ZANU-PF.

In an opinion piece published Tuesday by the Zimbabwean daily Newsday, Tsvangirai also accused the president and the election commission of preventing thousands of MDC supporters from registering to vote.

Voting Wednesday is due to end at 7 p.m. Zimbabwe time.  The election commission is required by law to release results within five days after the polls close.

You May Like

Report: $60 Billion Leaves Africa Illegally Each Year

Report by a joint UN and African Union panel says African countries need to take concrete measures to stop billions of dollars from illegally being moved out of continent each year More

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Some analysts say Russian Tu-95 bombers were flying near British airspace to warn Britain about an inquest into a murdered Russian spy More

Mugabe Defends Image Amid Controversy at Close of AU Summit

He rejects concerns about how the West might perceive his leadership, saying he's focused on African development More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relationsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
January 31, 2015 10:50 PM
Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Neighborhood Divided Over Conflict

People in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk districts find themselves squarely in the path of advancing Russian-backed rebels, who want to take back the territory they held at the beginning of the conflict last year. Many local residents are afraid, but others would welcome the change, even when a rebel shell lands in their neighborhood. From the Luhansk district, 15 kilometers from where the Ukrainian government marks the front line, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid