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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
speaks on Zim polls, 'chaotic' land reform
Everson Shava, NewsDay
August 28, 2013
African president Thabo Mbeki says MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai
was wrong to prematurely withdraw
his presidential election
petition, saying the court challenge would have provided the
regional bloc, Sadc, with an opportunity to scrutinise the alleged
Mbeki made the
remarks during a Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute presentation
at the University of South Africa in Pretoria last Friday, a day
after attending President Robert Mugabe’s inauguration
He said Tsvangirai
withdrew his petition when Sadc was still to make a determination
on the way the elections were conducted although the regional bloc
had subtly endorsed the polls as “free and peaceful”.
Mbeki said the
regional bloc had wanted to use Tsvangirai’s evidence as a
case study for future elections in the region.
decided to go to court to contest the elections and suddenly they
withdrew,” Mbeki said.
I was pleased that they submitted the petition. I was pleased that
it would give us the opportunity to scrutinise the election. I was
disappointed when they withdrew the petition because it denied us
the opportunity to do so.”
Mugabe won the
polls by 61% votes, but Tsvangirai immediately challenged
the poll outcome citing several irregularities.
The MDC-T leader
later filed a Constitutional Court application challenging Mugabe’s
victory, but withdrew the petition arguing that the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission had denied him access to the poll material which he wanted
to support his case.
later understood why they withdrew the petition. They made various
allegations and did not provide the court with written evidence,”
Constitutional Court prosecuted the petition and dismissed it.
Mbeki also took
a swipe at Mugabe’s chaotic land reform programme, saying
the Zanu-PF leader had “set a bad example which we don’t
want any country in Africa to follow”.
the land reform was done offended other players in the world. I
told them (Mugabe and Zanu-PF), they could not listen; they did
what they wanted with their own country. They set a bad example
which we don’t want any country in Africa to follow. So they
must pay a price. I think this is the reason why, apart from diamonds,
there is too much attention on Zimbabwe,” he said.
The former South
African leader also blasted the West for refusing to endorse the
Zimbabwean polls when Africa had done so, claiming such actions
were tantamount to undermining the integrity of Africa.
indeed there were problems, but we did not need Washington, Brussels
and London to say Africans were wrong in endorsing the elections.
I know why the special interest in Zimbabwe, a small country by
any standards. Zimbabwe has been on the frontline in calling for
Africa to determine its future. It’s high time Zimbabwe should
be supported in order to put to an end to that African contempt.”
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