HomeLocal NewsMugabe battles to restore legitimacy

Mugabe battles to restore legitimacy

THE Zanu PF politburo wants to make President Robert Mugabe’s inauguration a major event in the aftermath of last week’s disputed poll outcome.

Brian Chitemba

Mugabe seeks to reassert his legitimacy following the sham June 2008 presidential election in which he contested alone after MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out citing political violence and intimidation against his supporters.

Mugabe secured an unlikely 61,09% of the vote while MDC-T leader, outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai got 33,94%. The politburo on Wednesday reviewed the party’s performance in the elections and also discussed the economy.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo yesterday confirmed the politburo discussed Mugabe’s inauguration preparations while chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo presented an elections report.

While Mugabe is anxious over his inaugration to restore legitimacy, the row over election results has spoiled the party and delayed the event as Tsvangirai is today set to file a Constitutional Court (Concourt) petition challenging his victory.

The new constitution stipulates that in the event of an electoral petition being filed, the Concourt has to settle the matter within 14 days and the president-elect should be sworn in within 48 hours of the ruling.

In the event the Concourt nullifies the results, fresh polls would have to be held within 60 days of the determination.

Tsvangirai is challenging Mugabe’s victory alleging the elections were rigged through manipulation of the voters’ roll and use of fake registration slips, among a cocktail of illegalities.

MDC-T yesterday approached the Electoral Court seeking an order compelling the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to give details of the number of people who voted at every polling station, as well as details of all assisted voters, persons turned away from polling stations and those who voted during the special vote.

In addition, the party wants access to all election materials used, and wants to know how many ballot papers were printed, by who and spoiled. It also wants to know how many people voted using registration slips.

Mujuru, the sources said, was unhappy that her arch-rival, Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, was receiving credit for mobilising the party’s campaign material, undermining her bid in the race to succeed Mugabe, who is likely to retire before finishing his seventh term due to old age and ill-health.

Mujuru used her position to give “advice” to her colleagues but sources said it was an ulterior move to silence her competitors from stealing her glory for masterminding the victory.

“She (Mujuru) said the party won as a team, therefore no one should go about claiming their contribution was more vital in last week’s victory,” said the source.

Party insiders said Mnangagwa provided the party regalia, while Saviour Kasukuwere claims his controversial indigenisation drive had won the vote and Jonathan Moyo is gloating for authoring the “winning” manifesto. However, he lost his own seat in the process.

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