Zimbabwe

Zim's Mugabe rejects West's criticism

2013-08-07 21:02

Special Report

Zim cops: Gas cylinder, not tear gas behind stampede
Zim cops: Gas cylinder, not tear gas behind stampede

Police in Zimbabwe claim an explosion from a gas cylinder belonging to a vendor of fresh French fries caused a stampede at a church rally that left 11 dead, a report says.

Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday defiantly rejected Western criticism of his disputed re-election and vowed to press ahead with nationalist economic policies transferring majority stakes in foreign-owned firms to blacks.

In his first public comments since he was declared winner of a 31 July election that his main rival Morgan Tsvangirai rejects as fraudulent, Mugabe, Africa's oldest leader at 89, said 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) in the southern African state. Tsvangirai has said his MDC will challenge the election outcome in court, alleging massive vote-rigging and intimidation by Zanu-PF.

Addressing Zanu-PF's politburo in Harare, the veteran Zimbabwean president, who has ruled the former Rhodesia since independence in 1980, said Western governments had pledged to consider lifting sanctions if the elections were free and fair.

"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," he added.

While election observers from the African Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) broadly approved the July 31 presidential and parliamentary elections, the vote has met serious questioning from the West.

The United States, which maintains sanctions against Mugabe, has said it does not believe his re-election was credible. The European Union, which has been looking at easing sanctions, has also expressed concerns over alleged serious flaws in the vote.

Mugabe, flanked by his deputy Joice Mujuru and party national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo at the politburo meeting, indicated his critics should not expect any let-up in economic nationalism policies that have also earned Western disapproval.

"All the time we must take into account our policy of indigenisation and empowerment," he said, referring to policies aimed at increasing black ownership of the economy that have already targeted foreign-owned mining companies and banks.

"Our task is to look ahead. What we say we shall do, we will do," added Mugabe, looking dapper in a grey suit and a light blue shirt and matching dotted tie.

Blames MDC

The Zimbabwe stock exchange's main Industrial Index shed one percent on Wednesday, following a 1.7% fall on Tuesday and an 11% drop on Monday, the first trading day after Mugabe's re-election was formerly announced by the country's election commission at the weekend.

Investors fear that Zanu-PF's boosted majority - it now controls more than two-thirds of the seats in the Zimbabwean parliament - could embolden it to pursue even more radical economic nationalism of the kind that led to the violent seizure of white-owned farms after 2000.

Last week's election, criticised as "seriously compromised" by independent domestic observers in Zimbabwe, ended a fractious unity government between Mugabe's party and Tsvangirai's MDC that was brokered by SADC after violence marred a 2008 vote.

Many had credited this unity government with achieving a measure of economic revival after a decade of recesssion.

But Mugabe presented a different view, calling "the immediate past... retrogressive because of the inclusive government". "We must now raise the standard of living of our people," he added.

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.

The constitution says the courts must rule on the case within 14 days. Mugabe will be sworn in only after the courts give the all-clear to any legal challenges, this being the most likely expected outcome given Zanu-PF's dominance of the judiciary and the institutions of state in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe, re-elected for a fresh five-year term after 33 years in power, showed no signs of ill health. He has been the subject of health rumours because of numerous visits to Singapore in the last three years for medical checks.

He travelled to Singapore in June for another check up just weeks before the 31 July elections.

- Reuters

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
148 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong focus on social interaction and connecting with your friends. You may have the need to expand and connect with a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.