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
April 21, 2014 -- Updated 1410 GMT (2210 HKT)
In South Korea, volunteer divers are risking their lives to rescue victims of the sunken ferry.
April 23, 2014 -- Updated 0101 GMT (0901 HKT)
Park Jee Young, 22, helped passengers escape as the Sewol ferry sank -- giving out life jackets while refusing to wear one herself.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 1643 GMT (0043 HKT)
What did outgoing manager David Moyes get wrong in his six months with English Premier League football team Manchester United?
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 2125 GMT (0525 HKT)
In honor of Shakespeare's birthday, here are 15 of the world's most amazing theaters.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 1734 GMT (0134 HKT)
CNN exclusive: Australian officials are hammering out a new agreement for widening the Flight 370 search area.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 1228 GMT (2028 HKT)
Malaysian officials sent to brief Chinese families are armed with little to no information.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 1545 GMT (2345 HKT)
When a team of Indian surgeons opened up the stomach of a 63-year-old man, they had no idea they'd extract a fortune.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 0701 GMT (1501 HKT)
Do these photos CNN of gun-toting men wearing green uniforms prove Russian forces are in eastern Ukraine?
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 2306 GMT (0706 HKT)
If the Duchess wears it, then your fashion career is sorted for life.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 0130 GMT (0930 HKT)
Tucked away near the border with Cameroon, this poor corner of Nigeria is no stranger to such brazen, violent acts.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 1234 GMT (2034 HKT)
An infant mountain Gorilla sits in the dense jungle canopy on the edge of Uganda's Bwindi National Park in this 29, January 2007 photo. Bwindi, or the 'Impenetrable Forest' as it is known to many tourists is home to the majority of Uganda's rare and endangered mountain gorilla population where plans are underway to habituate two more gorilla family groups to counter growing demand from a flourishing gorilla trek tourism business, a major source of income for the Uganda tourism Authority. AFP PHOTO / STUART PRICE. (Photo credit should read STUART PRICE/AFP/Getty Images)
Tthe constant threat of poaching, deforestation and human diseases means the world's mountain gorillas could be completely wiped out.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 1303 GMT (2103 HKT)
Prince George takes a special interest in an Australian animal on a zoo trip.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 0202 GMT (1002 HKT)
How could a teenage stowaway survive hours in a jet's sub-zero wheel well at 38,000 feet?
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 1628 GMT (0028 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 1058 GMT (1858 HKT)
See what life is like for superyacht stewardesses-in-training. One thing's for certain -- they can never say "no."
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 0257 GMT (1057 HKT)
Home of Bruce Lee, divine dim sum, lofty buildings, loftier real estate prices and easy access to the great outdoors.
ADVERTISEMENT