News / Africa

Zimbabwe Court Takes Up Mugabe Re-election Challenge

Zimbabwe's President-Elect Robert Mugabe is seen during the country's celebration of Defense Forces Day in Harare, August, 13, 2013.
Zimbabwe's President-Elect Robert Mugabe is seen during the country's celebration of Defense Forces Day in Harare, August, 13, 2013.
Zimbabwe’s Electoral Court has begun hearing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s challenge of the re-election of President Robert Mugabe in the July 31 polls. 

Mugabe's swearing in has been put on hold and investors have been cautious since the re-election of the 89-year-old leader because of his policy of seizing foreign owned firms.

Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change accuse the Zimbabwe Election Commission of rigging the election for Mugabe's Zanu PF party.  On Wednesday, they were at the Electoral Court to force the commission to produce all election materials.

Lewis Uriri, the lawyer for Tsvangirai, told reporters that the court reserved judgment.

“Clearly time is of essence here," he said. "We need access to those materials to demonstrate beyond doubt that the election was not properly conducted, to demonstrate the will of the people was not reflected in that election.  There must be a reason why they do not want to produce those materials.  That reason is that there are definitely, definitely, definitely, ghosts in those sealed materials that they do not want us access.”

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai speaks at the burial of an activist in Harare, Aug. 14, 2013.MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai speaks at the burial of an activist in Harare, Aug. 14, 2013.
x
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai speaks at the burial of an activist in Harare, Aug. 14, 2013.
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai speaks at the burial of an activist in Harare, Aug. 14, 2013.
The election commission declared that Mugabe defeated Tsvangirai, 61 to 34 percent in the July 31 polls, which Tsvangirai is challenging.  He wants the election commission to produce all election material before the Constitutional Court hears the challenge of Mugabe’s re-election on Saturday.

Since his re-election, Zimbabwe’s stock market has been on a downward fall.
Christopher Mugaga, an economist who heads Econometer Global Capital in Harare, says the stock market will only recover if Mugabe comes clear on the “indigenization” policy that was part of his election campaign.  Indigenization refers to Zimbabwe’s policy of seizing the majority stake of foreign owed companies.

“The indigenization policy itself does not have a fund which is in existence," Mugaga pointed out. "There has been speculation on how they are going to fund or finance the 51 percent stake the government is taking from foreign companies. There is need for Mugabe to see to it that his indigenization policy does not appear as a vendetta or a slogan.  It has to be a policy which should accommodate foreign interests, as you know most capital intensive industries will not accept in any way such a policy.”

This week, Mugabe told delegates honoring the country’s heroes of independence that the “indigenization” policy has not affected this southern African country as critics say.

“Zimbabwe's economy remains one of the most stable economies in the region for now," said Mugabe. "It is government's expectation that indigenous mining experts will take advantage of these opportunities to pursue various empowerment enterprises for our people in line with our indigenization and empowerment policy. Ladies and Gentlemen, comrades and friends, the empowerment agenda remains central to government's priorities," he said.

The election manifesto of Mugabe’s Zanu PF party was “Taking Back The Economy: Indigenize, Empower, Develop and Create Employment.’’  So far, investors seem to be at odds with that, as they are selling off their shares.

A journalist checks his mobile phone outside the Constitutional Court in Harare, Aug. 9, 2013.A journalist checks his mobile phone outside the Constitutional Court in Harare, Aug. 9, 2013.
x
A journalist checks his mobile phone outside the Constitutional Court in Harare, Aug. 9, 2013.
A journalist checks his mobile phone outside the Constitutional Court in Harare, Aug. 9, 2013.
​Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court has until August 23 to decide the election dispute.  A nullification would mean new polls would be called in 60 days.  If the case is dismissed, Mugabe will be sworn in within 48 hours.

Zimbabwe’s election is set to dominate a meeting of Southern African leaders in Malawi. 

In 2008, African leaders refused to recognize an election in which Mugabe claimed victory over Tsvangirai.  They forced the two to form a fragile power-sharing government that ended with the July 31 elections.

The polls were Tsvangirai’s third attempt to defeat Mugabe, Zimbabwe's ruler since 1980.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Drubber from: Harare
August 15, 2013 3:27 AM
It surprises me, Tis Uriri lawyer that definately there are ghost voters in the ballot boxes. I would ask where were your election agents, asi makatora madhongi like what you used to do presenting them as parliamentary candidates. There nothing like ghost voters, your agents signed meaning there were satisfied with all the steps of the electoral process, please do not waste our time

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs