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Wednesday, 13 March, 2002, 14:20 GMT
Mugabe wins 'rigged' Zimbabwe poll
Mugabe: President 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.

  • Mugabe: 1, 685,212; Tsvangirai: 1,258,401
  • Official turnout: 3,130,913 or 55.9%
  • High turnout in Zanu-PF's rural strongholds

      Q&A: What next?

  • 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.

    Both Britain and France have rejected the election result, saying it was not free and fair. The United States says it is considering further sanctions.

    'Administrative oversights'

    Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa described the outcome as a "runaway victory" for Mr Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party.

    regional reports from around Zimbabwe
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      1. Harare
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      4. Midlands
      5. Manicaland
      6. Masvingo

    But Mr Tsvangirai alleged "daylight robbery", saying the presidential vote had been "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."

    "They [the people] will have to decide what to do. They are the ones who have been cheated."

    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".

    Most foreign and local observers have said the election was scarred by violence, deeply flawed and unjust.

    Security fears

    There are fears of a violence 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
    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.

    A BBC correspondent says this clearly reflects government concern about a possible backlash if voters believe the election to have been unfair.

    Leading Zimbabwean journalist Basildon Peta told the BBC that people were probably waiting for a cue from their leaders before deciding what to do.

    "There is a lot of unhappiness among those who have been disenfranchised," said Mr Peta, who fled to South Africa fearing for his life before the vote.

    Sanctions call

    British Foreign Minister Jack Straw said Mr Mugabe was bent on achieving "one goal: power at all costs".

    "It is no surprise that this outcome has now been achieved."

    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

    He said if evidence showed Mr Mugabe had "stolen" the election, it would have "enormous implications for the nature of our relationship with Zimbabwe."

    US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Walter Kansteiner called the election flawed and said the United States would consider further sanctions against Mr Mugabe and his government.

    "These failed elections were a tragedy for the people of Zimbabwe," Mr Kansteiner said on a visit to South Africa.

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

    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 Hilary Andersson
    "The international community is crying foul"
    MDC press spokesman Paradzai Munagatiri
    "Our party is going to appeal"
    Zimbabwean Home Affairs Minister, John Nkomo
    "We will look at the accounts of any invited observer"

    Key stories

    The vote



    See also:

    13 Mar 02 | UK Politics
    Straw attacks Mugabe tactics
    12 Mar 02 | Media reports
    Press fears for Zimbabwe's future
    11 Mar 02 | Africa
    In pictures: Zimbabwe votes
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