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Wednesday, 13 March, 2002, 11:50 GMT
Mugabe wins 'rigged' Zimbabwe poll
President Robert Mugabe greets his supporters
Mugabe has led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has won a fifth term in office amid accusations of ballot irregularities and ruling party violence.

Final result
1,685,212 votes
Tsvangirai: 1,258,401 votes
He defeated rival Morgan Tsvangirai by a substantial margin in a presidential election described by some foreign and local observers as deeply flawed and unjust.

With all votes counted, Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede said Mr Mugabe had received about 54% of the vote, with Mr Tsvangirai getting 40%. Three minor candidates received 6% between them.

The three-day election saw higher turnouts in Mr Mugabe's rural strongholds than in the towns and cities, where many faced massive delays when trying to vote - fuelling claims that opposition supporters had been intimidated and prevented from voting.

MDC candidate Morgan Tsvangirai
Tsvangirai says Mugabe stole the vote through systematic cheating
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa described the result as a "runaway victory" for Mr Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party.

But Mr Tsvangirai rejected the election result, saying the presidential vote was "massively rigged" and that one million voters had been disenfranchised.

He added: "We have been cheated of the right to freely and democratically elect the president of our choice."

A spokesman for the MDC's London office called on the international community to refuse to accept the legitimacy of President Mugabe's government.

South African observers declared the election "legitimate", however.

Mission leader Samuel Motsuenyane blamed the difficulties faced by some voters on "administrative oversights".

Security fears

There are fears of a violent backlash by opposition supporters in the aftermath of the vote. Security forces have been put on high alert and police have set up roadblocks on the main approach roads to the capital, Harare.


As a young Zimbabwean studying in the UK, I am totally and utterly gutted by the result of the election

Samantha Garikayi, London
arrow Click here to tell us your views

Dozens of heavily armed soldiers have taken up positions around the MDC's office in Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo.

Ahead of the result, Kare Vollan, the head of the Norwegian observer mission, said the election was severely flawed.

He said the mission, the largest European delegation, found flaws with every step of the electoral process from voter registration and campaigning to the vote itself.

Reginald Matchaba-Hove, chairman of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) - a coalition of non-governmental organisations - said: "The election is total confusion and chaos... there is no way these elections can be described as substantially free and fair."

The Home Affairs Minister, John Nkomo, has rejected these assessments.

Sanctions call

The United States has said the election was "seriously flawed" and riddled with irregularities.

Australia and Britain led an unsuccessful call for Commonwealth sanctions against Mr Mugabe before the election because of violence during the campaign.

A Zimbabwean election official empties a ballot box on a table for verification and vote count  in Harare
The government says the election was free and fair
And New Zealand said on Wednesday it was ready to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe if the Commonwealth decided not to suspend the country after the vote, which it said was clearly manipulated.

The human rights organisation, Amnesty International, said it was deeply worried about almost 1,500 opposition polling station officials and independent election observers who had been detained during the election.

It demanded their release, adding: "We are deeply concerned for the safety of those arrested in the light of the well-established pattern of disappearances, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by Zimbabwean security forces."

Mr Mugabe, 78, became prime minister after Zimbabwe achieved independence from Britain in 1980 and has ruled the country ever since.

The BBC's Jane Hughes
"The country's troubles are clearly not over"
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai
"This election does not reflect the true will of the people of Zimbabwe"
Zimbabwean Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo
"We will look at the comments of any invited observer"
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
"The government of Zimbabwe was striving for power at all costs"

Key stories

The vote



See also:

12 Mar 02 | Media reports
Press fears for Zimbabwe's future
11 Mar 02 | Africa
E-mailers' voting resolve
11 Mar 02 | Africa
Zimbabwe election in quotes
11 Mar 02 | Africa
In pictures: Zimbabwe votes
13 Mar 02 | Africa
Mugabe's challenge
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