UK wants independent probe into Zim vote

LONDON - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has slammed critical Western nations as “vile” in an inauguration address after being sworn as president for another five years.

Britain said the result of the Zimbabwe election was not credible without an independent investigation of alleged vote-rigging, as Mugabe was sworn in for another term as president on Thursday.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai launched the legal challenge, alleging up to a million eligible voters were excluded and demanding that electoral rolls be released.

He condemned the election as “a farce”, but in a surprise U-turn last week, Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) withdrew the petition, saying he would not get a fair hearing.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said: “I am extremely concerned that the MDC-T had to withdraw its legal challenge due to concerns over the independence of the judiciary.

“I strongly believe that an independent investigation of any allegations of election irregularities would be required for the election result to be deemed credible.”

Hague reiterated that he had “grave concerns” over the conduct of the election and the “flaws” highlighted in the initial assessments of the the South African Development Community (Sadc) and African Union (AU) observation missions.

“There is strong evidence that these elections fell short of Sadc’s own guidelines and the Zimbabwean electoral law,” he said in a statement.

“We are concerned about the potential implications for the region.”

Mugabe, 89, ushered in a new five-year term in a 60 000-capacity stadium in a ceremony to which a few African leaders attended.

The European Union will review relations with Zimbabwe given its “serious concerns” about the conduct of the southern African state’s election, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said yesterday.

The EU’s verdict on the fairness of the elections will be crucial to a decision on whether it continues to ease sanctions against Zimbabwe. Ashton did not broach the issue of such sanctions in her statement.

The United States said earlier this week it believed the vote was flawed and did not plan to loosen sanctions.

Ashton said the 28-member EU shared the “serious concerns” raised in the initial assessment of the election by the Southern African Development Community, African Union and domestic observers.

“The EU underlines the importance and need to continue strengthening reforms to ensure that future elections are fully transparent and credible as well as peaceful,” she said.

“The EU will review its relations with Zimbabwe, taking account of all these factors.”

Comments (17)

so in the eyes of the western countries elections only become credible when their proxies win .....alas talk of double standards.

trust nzou - 23 August 2013

It is now all too obvious who was behind Tsvangirai's baseless constitutional court challenge. Not least the fact the he copied the unsubstantiated claim made by their ambassador about 10,000 assisted voters out of 17,000 at an unidentified constituency. Why else would they express disappointment that the MDC-T withdrew their challenge if they did not have a stake in it? What other country would say that about another country's elections? The puppet has disappointed his master.

Dzvinyangoma - 23 August 2013

Mugabe would have gone down in history as one the greatest statesmen of our time but instead he will be remembered as the greatest tyrant and dictator in our history. "Who is your Master Dzinyangoma?"

Fairfield - 23 August 2013

Regrettably African leadership fights her own people through pretext of blaming the west for all her political deficiencies.

Fairfield - 23 August 2013

Some people bring happiness whenever they go. him and his party will always be remembered as wicked. this leadership was designed as a principality that will never last. they end will be in the dust bin of history. as for you dzvinyangoma pray that you will not be caught up with them

ATZ - 23 August 2013

Taura hako Fairfield. This old man will die a villain instead of hero. I hope all those who praise daylight robbery and determination to self rule denied the majority of Zimbabeans by a cabal of thieves and psychopaths hell bent on causing further hemorrhage to a dead economy will soon realise that the next five years are going to be full of agony and real pain. 33 years of wantom destruction and the sick old man now promises streets of Zimbabwe lined with diamonds and gold to alleviate poverty. Shame we are now a laughing stock of the world. 90 year old who steals what morals will you teach the future generation

Vongai - 23 August 2013

Like it or not Bob ndivo vatove panyanga.

crocodile squad - 23 August 2013

For these westerners, it might not even be an issue of liking Tsvangson, but mere hatred of Bob. He is proving too difficult to remove. It seems the EU will come up with more sanctions at the expense of every one of us irrespective of political affiliation. Time for Tsvangson to join forces with all Zimbabweans and shame these colonisers as he still has a good chance come 2018

Bambazonke - 23 August 2013

God will make a way where it seems to be no way.

zimbabwe - 23 August 2013

People will never solve a crisis that is impossible to deal with but God knew us before we were bore born and he knows our future. We do not know what God is thinking!!!!! he is listening to his people(ZIMBABWEANS). his eyes open and ears listening. he's looking at every one of us whether good or bad and shall reward us accordingly. don't be fooled, for whatever a man saws that he shall.

zimbabwe - 23 August 2013

FOR WHAT EVER A MAN SAWS THAT HE SHALL ALSO REAP!!!!!!!!!!

zimbabwe - 23 August 2013

Pease African leaders learn to say the truth to yourselves and to each other.The truth will set us free from all the problems that our continent faces.Dont try to put out fire by pouring petrol.Those who say the truth have less problems than those who do not say the truth.

chimwango - 23 August 2013

Mugabe and his family decided to go on vacation to celebrate the big Nikuc Win. Dis-grace, his wife, John, his son and Sarah his daughter wanted to go to the Bahamas but Bob wanted to go to Dubai. So the 4 decided to vote and the result was as follows: Bahamas: 3 Dubai: 68

Chivula Mapoti - 23 August 2013

When the MDC was stated they called for targeted sanctions against ZANU leaders knowing very well these sacntion were in turn going to affect the ordinary Zimbabwean to make suffer and force them to hate and remove the leadership, so when it comes to ripping what you saw, the MDC is certainly ripping what they have sawn. They so many voting irregularities in other countries but so long the winner is a western supporter they will call it fair. there is no gain without sacrifice, we will go hungry now than let future generations toil as slaves. 1) Country with ZANU, Zimbabweans (black Africans) will get to own Zimbabwe's massive natural resources including diamonds, gold, platinum, uranium, chromium, iron ore and probably the best farming ground on the African continent. We will be both owners and work for ourselves. Many African countries including the golden boy next door South Africa will take note and follow suite. 2) Country with MDC. Its a free for all. He's said he would liberalise the ownership structures with the result that Western corporations will own all our mineral wealth, the west will own our best farmland as before and black Zimbabweans will go back to being cheap black labour. Thats Tsvangirai's idea of employment creation!!! Pick your poison

mytruezim - 23 August 2013

WHY IS ZANU PF AFRAID OF GIVING US VOTING MATERIAL IF THEY HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE? YET 2008 YOU WERE QUICK TO OPEN BOXES TO FIX A RERUN. WHAT ARE WE CREATING FOR OUR FUTURE ELECTIONS? PLEASE DO NOT CREATE A SITUATION OF THE PEOPLE'S POWER WILL COME IN LIKE EGYPT, TUNISIA, SYRIA, LIBYA, SOMALIA. CIVIL WAR. NO. IT CAN NOT BE NOW. WE NEED TO HAVE FAITH IN ELECTIONS. TODAY YOU MIGHT BE CELEBRATING "THIS FRAUD" BUT THE EFFECTS ARE COMING 0, 2 5 ,10 , 20 50 YEARS . WE DO NOT WANT WARS LETS HAVE CREDIBLE VOTING ZIMBABWE. ONE SHOULD ACCEPT THE PEOPLE'S WILL. OPEN LETS AUDIT THE VOTE. COURTS BE COURTS NOT PARTY ELECTORAL AGENTS. COURTS ARE THERE FOREVER IN ANY GVT.

GUMBOREHOHWA - 24 August 2013

The west saY they fall short of SADC standards yet SADC endorses the elections. Does the west think for SADC let SADC judge and endorse who complies.

Viva - 24 August 2013

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