Obama is our man, says Zanu PF

HARARE - Zanu PF has hailed “democratic” America, with party officials claiming Barack Obama’s win over Republican nominee Mitt Romney is a victory against racists.

Having suffered major attacks by the United States Republican regime led by George Bush (Junior) which slapped sanctions on many top Zanu PF officials, President Robert Mugabe’s party had been silently praying for Obama’s win.

Obama and his Democrats are viewed as less confrontational than the Republicans, whose nominee Romney had promised more of the Bush war years when the US considered Zimbabwe as “an outpost of tyranny” and grouped it with North Korean and Iran as an “axis of evil”.

Heaving a sigh of relief, Zanu PF secretary for administration and minister of State in Mugabe’s office, Didymus Mutasa said Obama’s re-election was good for Zimbabwe.

“Well, I think it is a very positive thing that has happened in the US and the fact that the racist Republicans have been defeated is a very important indication of what democracy should be about,” said Mutasa, one of Mugabe’s loyalists on the US travel and financial sanctions.

“I hope that the non-racist Democratic Party will gather momentum in the US so that the people of the US may rule themselves, govern themselves and get rid of the racist Republicans," Mutasa said.

"We are pleased by the results of the elections. The results may be that close but they are a close indication of what democracy should be."

There had been talk that the US, which has had strained diplomatic relations with Zimbabwe for a decade, would soften its stance and seek more direct talks to end the standoff.

Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Joey Bimha said: "We have diplomatic relations with the Americans, we talk to them, they talk to us, and we hope to continue talking."

Obama’s administration has stated that it will maintain the sanctions regime to curb the excesses of Mugabe’s government, despite the 88-year-old leader's spirited remonstrations that the sanctions have hurt the economy.

Bimha said Zimbabwe was waiting to see if there will be a positive change in Obama’s policy.

"It is too early to tell. He has just been re-elected and we don’t know what he will do. We will wait and see. Time will tell," Bimha told the Daily News.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who enjoys close ties with the US and other Western countries, sent a congratulatory message to Obama last night.

“I had the pleasure of attending the 2012 National Democratic Convention and can testify to the professionalism and expertise in the conduct of your party business in preparation of the just ended election from which many lessons are drawn,” Tsvangirai, often accused by Zanu PF of being a US lackey.

Education minister David Coltart, a member of the Welshman Ncube-led MDC, said in a Twitter post that it was interesting that the US military was nowhere to be seen in the election.

He was referring to threats by some military generals that the army would not respect the Zimbabwe election outcome if Mugabe lost.

Coltart praised the early release of election results, a day after polling.

"We cannot remain the laughing stock of the world by having such poorly run elections,” Coltart said referring to the five-week election results hold-up that followed the March 2008 presidential vote.

"The entire staff of CNN, ABC, Fox, Sky, NBC, CBS would be arrested for treason in Zimbabwe for calling the election early. Ask Tendai Biti!" said Coltart.

Biti was charged for treason in 2008 for allegedly contravening Section 31 (a) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act when he announced election results before the official count was released.

Under Zimbabwean law, only the electoral commission has the power to announce election results, and amendments to the Zimbabwe Electoral Act has prescribed that poll results must be announced within five days. - Gift Phiri

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