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

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

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.
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