ZANU PF leader President Robert Mugabe was yesterday declared winner of last Wednesday’s presidential election, garnering a massive 61% of the more than three million votes cast.
REPORT BY NDUDUZO TSHUMA
If the 89-year-old Mugabe serves his full term, he will be 94 and would have led Zimbabwe for a continuos period of 38 years.
Announcing the results, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson Justice Rita Makarau said Mugabe had polled 2 110 434 translating to 61,09% of the total votes, with MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai garnering 1 172 349 votes, translating to 33,94% of the total votes cast.
MDC leader Welshman Ncube polled 92 637 votes (2,68% of the total votes) while Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa received 25 416 translating to 0,74% of the votes.
Kissinoti Mukwazhe of the Zimbabwe Democratic Party, who pulled out of the race, still managed to get 0,29% of the total vote, polling 9 931 votes.
Makarau said 3 480 047 had taken part in the national elections.
In 2008, Mugabe polled 1 079 730 meaning that he gained 1 030 704 more voters in this year’s elections.
Tsvangirai’s tally reflected that the MDC-T leader’s popularity had fallen slightly compared to the last poll, as in 2008 he had 23 213 votes more than what he received in this year’s elections.
Makarau paid tribute to the African Union (AU) and Sadc observers for their presence in the country to observe the polls.
She also praised ZEC staff for their “hard work” in ensuring that the elections went on smoothly.
Addressing journalists at the State House in Harare, a day before the elections, Mugabe expressed confidence his party would score a landslide victory.
However, Tsvangirai has dismissed the election as a farce citing irregularities in the polls ranging from the failure by ZEC to provide him and other political parties with electronic copies of the voters’ roll on time and pointing to the alarming number of assisted voters.
Similar sentiments were raised by MDC secretary for legal affairs, David Coltart, who said the electoral process was fraught with irregularities.
Zapu, two weeks ago, submitted complaints to the AU over numerous discrepancies in the voters’ roll, claiming there were more than 21 000 names of people who are more than 100 years old and over 100 duplicated names.
The party said gender for five people could not be established.
The cries of election fraud have so far fallen on deaf ears, with South African President Jacob Zuma challenging Tsvangirai to produce evidence.
Zuma said his country was more worried about violence possibly rocking the elections and was happy that the polls had been peaceful.