Zuma endorses Zimbabwe's poll outcome, All urged to accept result, China, Kenya echo facilitator’s sentiments, MDC-T leader gangs up with handlersAugust 5, 2013
By Daniel Nemukuyu and Zvamaida MurwiraCde Zuma
SADC facilitator Cde Jacob Zuma, Kenyan President Mr Uhuru Kenyatta and the Chinese government have congratulated President Mugabe and Zanu-PF on their landslide victory in the just-ended harmonised elections and urged all parties to accept the result. Cde Zuma said the result should be respected as observers said it was an expression of the will of the people.
The UN, AU, Sadc, Comesa and other observer groups from Africa have endorsed the elections while the United States, Britain and its dominion Australia — who were not invited to observe — have joined MDC-T in condemning the election.
This has effectively put MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and his Western sponsors on one side, and Africa and Zanu-PF on another side aping the contestation in Zimbabwe over the past decade.
A Sadc diplomat, who declined to be named, said the issue was no longer just about Zimbabwe.
"It’s now Africa versus Britain, the US and Australia. What is now on trial is Africa’s own verdict over its own poll versus European interests," he said.
Analysts say Britain, the US and Australia — who are still to remove their sanctions regimes — were trying to defend their stance by parroting the MDC-T claims, yet the sanctions regimes, along with the pirate broadcasts they have since intensified, were the major outstanding GPA issue.
British ambassador to Zimbabwe Ms Deborah Bronnert yesterday told SkyNews that: “We have some very serious concerns about both the failures of very important reforms before the elections, but also some issues about the conduct of the elections on the day itself.”
Australian foreign minister Bob Carr yesterday called for a rerun saying without a new election, Australia won’t lift its sanctions regime.
EU ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Aldo Dell’Ariccia differed with the hawks, saying the EU was for dialogue, and its relationship with Zimbabwe would depend on how Zanu-PF uses its two-thirds Parliamentary majority, particularly where the Constitution is concerned.
President Mugabe won the election with 61,09 percent of the votes, while his main rival Mr Tsvangirai (MDC-T) polled 33,94 percent.
Professor Welshman Ncube of MDC accounted for 2,68 percent, while Zapu leader Dr Dumiso Dabengwa and Mr Kisinoti Mukwazhe of the Zimbabwe Development Party got 0,74 percent and 0,29 percent respectively.
In a statement released through his International Relations and Co-operation spokesperson Mr Clayson Monyela, Cde Zuma described the election as a success.
“HE (His Excellency) President Jacob Zuma extends his profound congratulations to HE President Robert G Mugabe on his re-election as President of the Republic of Zimbabwe following the successful harmonised elections held on 31 July 2013.
“President Zuma urges all political parties in Zimbabwe to accept the outcome of the elections as election observers reported it to be an expression of the will of the people.”
Cde Zuma commended Zimbabweans for conducting a peaceful election and urged them to unite and work together towards the country’s development.
“He also encouraged the people of Zimbabwe to seize this opportunity to collectively contribute towards building their country driven by a common desire for peace, stability and prosperity,” said Mr Monyela.
Mr Zuma said South Africa was ready to continue partnering Zimbabwe in pursuit of mutually beneficial co-operation.
Mr Kenyatta also congratulated President Mugabe on his resounding win.
“My congratulations go out to President Robert Mugabe on his re-election in the just concluded Zimbabwe general election,” he said.
President Kenyatta hailed the good relations between Kenya and Zimbabwe, saying he looked forward to deepening the historical ties.
Asian powerhouse, China also joined in, congratulating the country for holding a peaceful poll.
“China congratulates Zimbabwe for the success of the election,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying was quoted as saying.
She urged the international community to respect the choice made by the people of Zimbabwe.
China is among the few countries which the Zimbabwean Government allowed to send observers to the harmonised elections last Wednesday.
The Chinese observer mission, which was led by former envoy on African Affairs Liu Guijin, described the election as peaceful, orderly and credible.
Other local and international observers from the African Union and Sadc have certified the polls as reflecting the will of the people and as free and fair.
Only the Tsvangirai-led MDC and two Western-sponsored non-governmental organisations, including the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, are disputing the poll outcome, alleging unproven vote-rigging.
Meanwhile, Government has dismissed claims that South Africa is set to reintroduce visa requirements for Zimbabweans as part of measures to reduce the influx of people crossing into that country.
Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi said Zimbabwe was not aware of such a development.
The social media has been awash with reports that South Africa was set to reintroduce visa requirements for Zimbabweans as part of measures to shut out Zimbabweans.
But Minister Mohadi said no such communication was extended to the Government.
“I am not aware of that, I do not know anything about that,” he said.
“I do not have information to that effect unless it was done during the time I was out of office during elections.”
South Africa scrapped visa requirements for Zimbabweans in 2010 in part fulfilment of a Sadc Protocol on the Facilitation of Movement of Persons signed in 2005 in Gaborone, Botswana.
Authorities said the relaxation of visa rules was to facilitate the legal movement of people between South Africa and Zimbabwe and strengthen efforts to fight human trafficking, human smuggling and other cross-border crimes.
South Africa is Zimbabwe’s biggest trading partner in Africa.http://www.herald.co.zw/zuma-endorses-poll-outcome-all-urged-to-accept-result-china-kenya-echo-facilitators-sentiments-mdc-t-leader-gangs-up-with-handlers/