Mashudu Netsianda Senior Reporter
SOUTH African President Jacob Zuma yesterday congratulated President Mugabe for his re-election in a successful vote, calling on MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai to accept the result. President Mugabe romped to victory winning 61,09 percent vote in a peaceful plebiscite that also saw Zanu-PF surpassing a two-thirds majority in Parliament.
Mr Tsvangirai polled 33,94 percent while MDC leader Professor Welshman Ncube accounted for 2,68 percent of the vote. Zapu leader, Dr Dumiso Dabengwa and Zimbabwe Development Party president, Mr Kisinoti Mukwazhe only managed 0,74 percent and 0,29 percent of the total vote respectively.
In a statement issued by South Africa’s International Relations Department, President Zuma said he was extending his profound congratulations to his Zimbabwean counterpart and urged all political parties in Zimbabwe to accept the outcome of the elections as election observers reported it to be an expression of the will of the people.
“President Zuma urges all political parties in Zimbabwe to accept the outcome of the elections as election observers reported it to be an expression of the will of the people,” read the statement.
President Zuma described the harmonised elections as free and fair and called for peace in the country.
He also encouraged the people of Zimbabwe to seize the opportunity to collectively contribute towards building their country driven by a common desire for peace, stability and prosperity.
President Zuma took over as Sadc facilitator of Zimbabwe’s Global Political Agreement from former South African president Mr Thabo Mbeki.
President Mugabe and Zanu-PF’s emphatic victory is being disputed by his main rival Mr Tsvangirai who described the election as a “farce and shame.”
At a Press conference on Saturday, Mr Tsvangirai said he would “not legitimise the illegitimate”, claiming that victory was stolen from his party by alleged massive voter fraud orchestrated by Zanu-PF.
“This fraudulent election has plunged Zimbabwe into a constitutional, political and economic crisis,” he said.
“I hope that every Zimbabwean knows that we have to resolve this crisis. How long will it take? I don’t know.”
Mr Tsvangirai called for a “forensic” audit of the voters’ roll and pledged to hand a dossier of evidence of “vote-rigging, intimidation and ballot stuffing” to regional bodies – the African Union and the Southern African Development Community who have both endorsed the elections as free and fair.
Zanu-PF spokesperson, Cde Rugare Gumbo, said: “Our opponents don’t know what hit them. In fact, there has been no election violence so far.
Cde Gumbo said people voted for Zanu-PF because of its indigenisation and empowerment policy.
“It is good that the world now realises that Zanu-PF policies are meant to better the people’s lives. We are happy that the international community is gradually realising the difference we are trying to make in the lives of our people,” Cde Gumbo said.
The United Nations Secretary General Mr Ban Ki-Moon has also endorsed the polls.
Mr Ban Ki-Moon commended Zimbabweans for participating in what he has described as a broadly peaceful election. He said by voting in the elections, the people had exercised their democratic right.
The UN secretary general said those with complaints should take them through the right legal channels.
“The United Nations encourages the country’s leadership to govern responsibly, inclusively and to pursue policies and reforms that could serve to deepen democratic governance. The leadership should also spur economic recovery that would benefit all Zimbabweans” said Mr Ban Ki-Moon.