Mugabe rejects Western criticism over vote

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In first public comments since he was declared winner, Zimbabwean leader says UK and its allies backed his opponent.

Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean President, has rejected Western criticism of his unclear re-election and promised to press ahead with Mugabenationalist economic policies transferring majority stakes in foreign-owned firms to blacks.

Leaked intelligence documents revealed yesterday that Mugabe used £500million of ‘diamond money’ to rig the just concluded Zimbabwe elections.

The documents, dated June 3, detail how diamond companies pumped cash into a secret fund controlled by Mugabe’s party Zanu-PF. The money was then used to pay an Israeli firm to rig the electoral roll and ‘secure 50 per cent of the adult vote’ for Mugabe.

The slush fund was used to give Mugabe the support of one million ‘ghosts’ (voters who are dead) and 116,000 voters aged over 100.

According to the Sunday Times, Joseph Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, allegedly gave £56million to the war chest and the government of Equatorial Guinea gave £61million. The paper quoted a political adviser with links to the government, who said: ‘Zanu-PF created millions of ghost voters they used to swing the elections in their favour.’

Robert Mugabe ,In his first public comments since he was declared winner of a July 31, 2013 election that his main rival Morgan Tsvangirai has called fraudulent, Mugabe, Africa’s oldest leader at 89, said on Wednesday that his ZANU-PF party’s victory had “dealt the enemy a blow”.

He identified this enemy as “the British and their allies” whom he said had backed Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). “But now they, even as the whole of Africa is sending us messages of congratulations to say ‘well done’, they say the elections were not free. And where are they talking? London and Washington and Ottawa,” added the veteran leader, who has been in power since independence from Britain in 1980. He welcomes the decision of the main opposition leader, Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai to avail himself of these avenues of peaceful and legal redress instead of resorting to unlawful actions that could lead Zimbabwe down the road of political instability again.

Tsvangirai, in his statement said his MDC will challenge the election outcome in court, alleging massive vote-rigging and intimidation by ZANU-PF. Tsvangirai, who has vowed his MDC will not participate in any government formed by Mugabe following this election, is expected to present a legal challenge to the results by Friday.

Election observers from the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) broadly approved the July 31 presidential and parliamentary elections, but the conduct of the vote has been criticised by Western nations.

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