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Wednesday, 13 March, 2002, 17:53 GMT
Rival rejects Mugabe win
Zanu supporters
Mugabe supporters are accused of "massive rigging"
Zimbabwe's defeated opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has said the presidential election was rigged and that Robert Mugabe's win is "daylight robbery".

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

  • Mr Tsvangirai was speaking after results showed Mr Mugabe had won a fifth term in office, defeating his rival by a substantial margin.

    The US and Britain have led international condemnation of the result, which followed widespread accusations of ballot irregularities and violence by the ruling Zanu-PF party.

    Most foreign and local observers have said the vote was deeply flawed and unjust, but teams from South Africa and Nigeria are describing the ballot as "legitimate".

    MDC candidate Morgan Tsvangirai
    Tsvangirai says Mugabe stole the vote through systematic cheating
    The Organisation of African Unity (OAU) observer team in Zimbabwe said that "in general the elections were transparent, credible, free and fair".

    UN Secretary General Kofi Annan expressed anxiety at the situation, and called on Zimbabweans to remain calm and avoid acts of violence and retribution.

    'African dignity'

    Mr Tsvangirai said a million voters had been disenfranchised, and that people were seething with anger.

    "We have been cheated of the right to freely and democratically elect the president of our choice," he said.

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

    regional reports from around Zimbabwe
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    "We foresaw electoral fraud but not daylight robbery."

    But he stressed that his party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), was not seeking a confrontation with the state.

    Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said the result was a blow to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a leading critic of Mr Mugabe.

    "It is a wonderful result for Zimbabwe and Africans, a reaffirmation of African dignity and independence in the face of [attempts by] the likes of Tony Blair to recolonise us."

    Security fears

    Because of fears of violence by opposition supporters, security forces have been put on high alert and police have set up roadblocks on the main approach roads to the capital, Harare.

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

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

    Samantha Garikayi, London
    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.

    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."

    Sanctions threat

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

    We believe that in fact the voice of the people of Zimbabwe was not fairly heard

    US Assistant Secretary of State Walter Kansteiner
    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.

    South African observers mission leader Samuel Motsuenyane blamed the difficulties faced by some voters on "administrative oversights".

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

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

    Robert Mugabe
    Mr Mugabe led Zimbabwe to independence
    US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Walter Kansteiner said: "These failed elections were a tragedy for the people of Zimbabwe."

    The United States would consider further sanctions against Mr Mugabe and his government, he added.

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

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

    The BBC's Gavin Hewitt
    "The election has been marked by fraud"
    Zimbabwean Home Affairs Minister, John Nkomo
    "We will look at the accounts of observers"
    The MDC's Michael Ndlovu
    "Most of the people in the OAU are dictators themselves"
    Joel Neitshitezhe, South African spokesman
    "We need to work with the Zimbabwe government"

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    13 Mar 02 | UK Politics
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