Mugabe denies rigging after re-elected Zimbabwe president

Mugabe denies rigging after re-elected Zimbabwe president
# 12 August 2013 18:45 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has denied charges of rigging the July 31 elections after he and his party scored a landslide victory over the opposition, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

During the general elections, Mugabe won 61 percent of the vote and his Zanu-PF party gained more than 70 percent of the 210 elected seats in the parliament.

In his first public speech after re-election at a rally for the Heroes' Day, Mugabe thanked Zimbabweans for securing and defending the country's heritage by voting overwhelmingly for his party.

The Heroes' Day celebration is extremely relevant to the Zanu- PF as it is the party that participated in the struggle against the white-rule Rhodesia and won the independence of present day Zimbabwe.

The veteran president, who has ruled Zimbabwe since its 1980 independence, was originally expected to be sworn in on Monday. But the inauguration was postponed after his main rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, approached the country's top court to challenge the poll outcome.

According to the law, the court will rule on the case in 14 days and only after that can the new president be sworn in.

Tsvangirai and his MDC-T party is alleging that several irregularities including a "manipulated" voters' roll were used by Mugabe and his party to rig the elections.

But many analysts predict that Tsvangirai's efforts to challenge the results will be fruitless as the African Union (AU), the Southern African Development Union (SADC), and many African states have largely endorsed the election and urged all parties to accept the results.

Tsvangirai, who is demanding an election re-run, said he had prepared a dossier of evidence to support his claims of vote fraud which he will present to SADC and the AU.

Mugabe warned that Tsvangirai and his party should be careful in their poll challenge as they may end up exposing themselves.

Mugabe said after defeat by Tsvangirai's MDC-T party in 2008 polls, his Zanu-PF party regrouped and strategized on how to reclaim power from the MDC-T.

"After our defeat in 2008, we realized that we were dining with thieves. And now we know and we will never give power to thieves," Mugabe said.

The president-elect also promised to revive the economy, particularly in the mining and manufacturing sectors, and to improve working conditions of civil servants and liberation war heroes.

The Mining Promotion Corporation and an exploration company would be set up to coordinate exploration activities in the country, he said.

"The exploration company will build an inventory of bankable mining projects," he said.

He urged Zimbabweans to work for the success of the upcoming United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly to be co-hosted by the country and Zambia in the coming few days.

In the aftermath of the party's victory in national elections, Mugabe urged Zimbabweans to direct their energies to the accelerated development of the country and to remain vigilant in safeguarding the country's national heritage.

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