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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe sworn in as president and slams 'vile' Western nations
    ABC News

    August 23, 2013

    Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe has slammed critical Western nations as "vile" after being sworn as president for another five years.

    The 89-year-old made the comments during his inauguration address on Thursday amid criticism his re-election in a July vote was not credible.

    "As for the odd Western countries who happen to hold a different, negative view of our electoral process ... we dismiss them as the vile ones whose moral turpitude we must mourn," Mr Mugabe said.

    Mr Mugabe, who has ruled the country since gaining independence from Britain in 1980, told critics of his re-election to "go hang" and vowed to press ahead with nationalist policies forcing foreign firms to turn over majority stakes to black Zimbabweans.

    He took his new oath of office before Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku at a ceremony held in a 60,000-seater football stadium in Harare witnessed by thousands of cheering supporters, diplomats and delegations from the region.

    Promising better conditions he said: "The mining sector will be the centrepiece of our economic recovery and growth."

    "It should generate growth spurts across sector, reignite that economic miracle which must now happen," he added.

    His long-time rival and opponent in the last three elections, Morgan Tsvangirai, boycotted the ceremony.

    He has denounced the July 31 election as a "huge fraud" and a "coup by ballot", alleging massive rigging by Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.

    Mugabe and his ruling party have rejected these allegations.

    This will be Mr Mugabe's fifth term as president of the southern African state.

    Sanctions imposed by the West

    Mr Mugabe and senior officials from his ruling Zanu-PF party are the target of sanctions imposed by governments in the West, which has accused them of staying in power through massive human rights violations and vote rigging.

    Britain has said Mr Mugabe's re-election could not be deemed credible without an independent investigation into allegations of voting irregularities.

    US officials this week said the election was flawed and Washington had no plans to loosen sanctions until there were signs of change in the country.

    The European Union will review relations with Zimbabwe given its "serious concerns" about the election, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Thursday.

    The EU's verdict on the fairness of the elections will be crucial to a decision on whether it continues to ease sanctions.

    Soon after the July 31 vote, which went ahead peacefully in contrast to the 2008 election, domestic monitors from the Zimbabwe Election Support Network said registration flaws may have disenfranchised up to a million people out of 6.4 million registered voters.

    But observer missions from the regional 15-nation Southern African Development Community and the African Union broadly endorsed the vote as free and peaceful and called on all parties to accept its results.

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