News / Africa

Partial Results Give Zimbabwe's Mugabe Decisive Lead

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe addresses a media conference at State house in Harare, July 30, 2013.
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe addresses a media conference at State house in Harare, July 30, 2013.
Anita Powell
The party of Zimbabwe’s longtime President Robert Mugabe took an early and decisive lead in national elections, according to partial official results. 

Zimbabwe's Electoral Commission announced Friday that the ZANU-PF party has won 137 seats, while the MDC party of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has won 48.  One seat was won by an independent.

The figures left Mugabe's party just a few seats short of a two-thirds majority in the 210-seat House of Assembly. Full official results have not yet been released.  The commission has until to Monday to complete the vote counting.

But for many, the large margin and numerous reports of irregularities, intimidation and ballot-tampering cast heavy doubt over this vote.  Tsvangirai has called the election illegitimate, warning it could plunge the nation into a serious crisis. 

Zimbabwe’s opposition has repeatedly asserted that Wednesday’s elections were all but ruined by irregularities that included intimidation of opposition supporters, the busing in of pro-Mugabe voters to opposition districts and government manipulation of the voter roll.  

They also accuse the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of colluding with  Mugabe's ZANU-PF party to rig the vote.
 
On Thursday, Tsvangirai, who is challenging Mugabe for the third time, claimed the poll was “null and void.”  A statement from his Movement for Democratic Change party said they will seek an audit.
 
The opposition’s claims were echoed by the nation’s largest domestic observer mission, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, which cited a litany of problems seen by its 7,000 observers.
 
The head of the African Union observer mission said Friday that the vote was "free, honest and credible."
 
The head of the Electoral Commissions Forum of the Southern African Development Community, however, noted some issues.  In recommendations to ZEC, mission leader Notemba Tjipueja indicated the vote was far from perfect.
 
“There is a need to clean up the voters’ roll so as to ensure accuracy and adherence to legal provisions governing elections, i.e. voters’ roll and inspection. Secondly, ZEC should enhance its poll readiness to ensure timely dispatching of election material to polling stations.  ZEC should intensify voter education on the legal changes introduced by the new constitution. The percentage of excess ballot papers printed should be reduced,” said Tjipueja.
 
One fact that has stirred extra suspicion is that ZANU-PF swept three areas that used to be opposition strongholds: Manicaland, Masvingo and Matabeleland South.
 
Opposition politicians were incredulous when ZANU-PF’s win in those areas was reported. Exiled MDC Treasurer Roy Bennett, speaking in Johannesburg, said he believes the vote was “stolen in broad daylight.”
 
“The numbers just don’t add up, it’s absolutely physically impossible to have a swing when the country of Zimbabwe is going through the hardship that it is," added Bennett. "When the people of Zimbabwe and the energy that they showed in going into these elections, showed that there was an energy from suffering and from suffering from the Mugabe regime, there is absolutely no way that there was a genuine swing by the people’s will.”
 
Mugabe’s government banned most Western observers, but U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the U.S. is watching from afar.
 
"The people of Zimbabwe deserve the right to elect their leaders through peaceful, transparent, credible elections in an atmosphere that's free from violence, intimidation and fear of retribution," she said. "Now the critical test is whether voting tabulation is conducted in a credible manner and whether the outcome truly reflects the will of the people of Zimbabwe. I would say that we commend the people of Zimbabwe for voting peacefully yesterday. ... A peaceful and orderly election day does not by itself guarantee a free and fair outcome. ... We will be watching the situation closely."
 
Over the past decade, Mugabe and his close allies have been slapped with stiff sanctions by the U.S. and other Western nations over allegations they rigged elections and committed major human rights abuses.
 
But Mugabe has remained confident throughout of victory in his fifth run for the presidency.  He has ruled Zimbabwe since its independence in 1980.

The 89-year-old president was pushed into a power-sharing government with Tsvangirai after the violent and disputed 2008 elections.

You May Like

Photogallery Strong Words Start, May End, S. African Xenophobic Attacks

President Jacob Zuma publicly condemned rise in attacks on foreign nationals but critics say leadership has been less than welcoming to foreign residents More

Video Family Waits to Hear Charges Against Reporter Jailed in Iran

Reports in Iran say Jason Rezaian has been charged with espionage, but brother tells VOA indictment has not been made public More

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Action to Stabilize Libya

Amnesty International says multinational concerted humanitarian effort must be enacted to address crisis; decrepit boats continue to bring thousands of new arrivals daily More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
August 03, 2013 6:42 AM
This is a disgrace and moncray to African democracy, Africa is not getting anywhere with that kind of behavior, Robert Mugabe must go, enough is really enough, the voice of the people must be heard. The people of Zimbabwe needs their freedom from Mugabe nonsense. Zimbabwe is not his father farm. Mugabe must go, There are lot of capable Zimbabweans that are able to lead their Country,

by: Steve from: Berkeley
August 02, 2013 1:18 PM
Thuggery and democracy don't mix. Mr Mugabe who was a storied leader turned to the knife, club and corrupt money to take and keep himself in power. Fortunately, old age is catching up with him and it will be surprising if he lasts through this latest farcical election propelled by his goons. There should be no changes made unless this latest election can be proven to be honest without the brutality and vote buying in the past. It is doubtful. Rewarding Mugabe and his coterie is not in the interests of democracy or justice.
He may have bought this election of used intimidation to get voters but it would be best to leave him in the position of he king who insisted on killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

by: Rudy Haugeneder from: Victoria, BC, Canada
August 02, 2013 12:12 PM
It is what free elections are all about -- a wink here, a lost ballot there, and truckloads of cash everywhere to buy advertising, business and industry leaders, entertainers, professionals and laborers, birth citizens and naturalized citizens.
Of course I'm talking about the USA, Britain, the European Union, Russia, India, etc., except in some south American countries where so-called leftist-type leaders actually depended on charisma and culture to win -- and then be attacked by the West as phony elections.
As for Mugabe's landslide, well, he exercised many Western election tactics and bought the election. IT's also the way elections are today won in most AU countries.

by: Gary Jurgens
August 02, 2013 10:32 AM
Not surprised That man BoB can't lose this is Africa he got the power of life and death even it nobody voted for him he would have won! He will be in power till jesus come home !
In Response

by: farai from: south africa
August 02, 2013 2:45 PM
Mugabe was selected by God as he mentioned and the bible testify towards him, "every leader and kingship comes from God"

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs