Skip to main content

Zuma congratulates Mugabe on win; US, UK, Australia question election results

By Columbus S. Mavhunga and Faith Karimi, CNN
August 5, 2013 -- Updated 1356 GMT (2156 HKT)
Robert Mugabe has been the leader of Zimbabwe in southern Africa since 1980 and is the country's only leader since it gained independence from Britain. He was declared victor for his seventh term as president of Zimbabwe on Saturday, August 3, according to the head of the country's Election Commission. Allegations of voter fraud have surfaced for this most recent vote, and tensions were already high due to a troubled 2008 vote. That election left Mugabe as the only candidate after Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai dropped out amid election fraud, violence and arrests targeting his party and supporters. Robert Mugabe has been the leader of Zimbabwe in southern Africa since 1980 and is the country's only leader since it gained independence from Britain. He was declared victor for his seventh term as president of Zimbabwe on Saturday, August 3, according to the head of the country's Election Commission. Allegations of voter fraud have surfaced for this most recent vote, and tensions were already high due to a troubled 2008 vote. That election left Mugabe as the only candidate after Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai dropped out amid election fraud, violence and arrests targeting his party and supporters.
HIDE CAPTION
Political life and career of Robert Mugabe
Political life and career of Robert Mugabe
Political life and career of Robert Mugabe
Political life and career of Robert Mugabe
Political life and career of Robert Mugabe
Political life and career of Robert Mugabe
Political life and career of Robert Mugabe
Political life and career of Robert Mugabe
Political life and career of Robert Mugabe
Political life and career of Robert Mugabe
Political life and career of Robert Mugabe
Political life and career of Robert Mugabe
Political life and career of Robert Mugabe
Political life and career of Robert Mugabe
Political life and career of Robert Mugabe
Political life and career of Robert Mugabe
Political life and career of Robert Mugabe
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tsvangirai says he'll mount legal challenge
  • Zuma: Election reflected will of the people
  • US says it didn't
  • Australia's foreign minister called for a "re-run"

Harare, Zimbabwe (CNN) -- South African President Jacob Zuma congratulated Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe on his re-election, urging opposition groups Sunday to accept the results of "the successful harmonised elections."

Zuma's stance appears to be at odds with the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, all of whom have called into question Wednesday's presidential and primary polls.

Zimbabwe's election commission said 89-year-old Mugabe won 61% of the vote, besting Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's 34%, to lead the nation for another five years. Mugabe has been the only leader an independent Zimbabwe has ever known.

Tsvangirai, 61, called the balloting "a fraudulent and a stolen election" -- and said he plans to mount a court challenge.

Mugabe win; Zimbabwe prospects dim

Will of the people?

In his statement Sunday, Zuma said all parties should accept the election's results because "election observers reported it to be an expression of the will of the people."

Election observers and foreign officials raised doubts Saturday about the way the election was conducted, though some of them noted it was peaceful -- in contrast to the last election, in 2008, where post-vote violence left at last 200 people dead and thousands injured.

Fast Facts: Robert Mugabe

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, in a statement Saturday, criticized "the culmination of a deeply flawed process."

"In light of substantial irregularities reported by domestic and regional observers, the United States does not believe the results announced today represent a credible expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people," Kerry said.

Credibility questioned

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, meanwhile, commended the peaceful nature of the vote, but expressed concern over how it was conducted.

The reported irregularities "call into serious question the credibility of the election," Hague said.

On Sunday, Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr called for a do-over.

"These appear to have disenfranchised large numbers of voters and raised doubts about the credibility of the election results," he said in a statement.

"Given our doubts about the results, Australia calls for a re-run of the elections based on a verified and agreed voters roll."

With his controversial win, Mugabe is set to see his time in power extended to 38 years.

Fast Facts: Morgan Tsvangirai

Long reign

Tsvangirai ran unsuccessfully against Mugabe in 2002 and was later arrested several times, jailed on charges of treason and severely beaten in police custody.

He faced off against Mugabe in the last election and won more votes than the president, though not enough to avoid a runoff.

Violence broke out, and Tsvangirai then pulled out of the runoff claiming widespread voter intimidation and the torture, mutilation and murder of his supporters.

Months later, after international pressure and successful negotiations, Mugabe and Tsvangirai signed an agreement giving Tsvangirai the post of prime minister in a Mugabe-led government. It has been an uneasy coalition ever since, one that included a brief boycott of the coalition by the MDC over the arrest of a party leader.

Journalist Columbus S. Mavhunga reported this story from Harare, and Faith Karimi reported and wrote from London.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
ITN's Dan Rivers reports from the hospital where those injured by an attack in Gaza were being treated.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1808 GMT (0208 HKT)
Flight attendants are wearing black ribbons to show solidarity with fallen colleagues in "a tribute to those who never made it home."
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2016 GMT (0416 HKT)
Hamas: "Lift the siege." Israel: "End the rockets." The two sides' demands will be difficult to reconcile.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 0804 GMT (1604 HKT)
When the Costa Concordia and its salvage convoy finally depart Giglio, the residents will breathe a sigh of relief -- and shed a tear.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 2053 GMT (0453 HKT)
CNN's Richard Quest speaks to Malaysia Airlines' Hugh Dunleavy about how the airline industry needs to react to MH17.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 2042 GMT (0442 HKT)
From Maastricht to Melbourne, and baroque theaters to block-long warehouses, these stores make bookish travelers look stylish.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1857 GMT (0257 HKT)
A nun, an AIDS researcher, an athlete and a family traveling on summer vacation. These were some of the victims aboard MH17.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 0021 GMT (0821 HKT)
Prince George isn't your average one year old. He started walking before he was one. Oh, and, he's going to be king -- of 16 countries.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 0621 GMT (1421 HKT)
In an ambitious plan to upgrade urban India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will build 100 "smart cities" across the country.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1317 GMT (2117 HKT)
After just one day of competition, a new sport has emerged at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow: snapping selfies with the Queen.
ADVERTISEMENT