Sadc chairperson President Joyce Banda of Malawi has congratulated President Mugabe and Zanu-PF for resoundingly winning the July 31 harmonised elections. President Banda, is set to assume the chair of Sadc when the block meets for its 33rd Ordinary Summit in Lilongwe next weekend. Malawi Broadcasting Corporation reported on Thursday that President Banda signed and wired a congratulatory message to President Mugabe.
President Mugabe won over 61 percent of the vote compared with 33,94 percent for Mr Tsvangirai, who had been Prime Minister in a tense power-sharing arrangement with the President.
Incumbent Sadc chairperson President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique, Troika chairperson President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and GPA facilitator President Jacob Zuma, along with the Sadc Election Obserbver Mission and Sadc Parliamentary Forum, have since endorsed the elections as free and fair.
President Banda spoke as several African leaders yesterday sent congratulatory messages to President Mugabe and Zanu-PF.
The leaders of Lesotho, Eritrea, Benin, South Sudan and founding president of the Republic of Namibia have added their voices to the chorus of world leaders who have welcomed Zanu-PF’s victory.
King Letsie III of Lesotho described President Mugabe’s re-election as a clear demonstration of the confidence and trust that Zimbabweans have in his leadership.
He assured President Mugabe of Lesotho’s unwavering commitment to working closely with Zimbabwe in further strengthen the fruitful co-operation in Sadc and maintaining the long-standing friendship between the two countries.
President Boni Yayi of Benin who addressed President Mugabe as Mr President and Elder, said Zanu PF’s victory will allow the President to continue the noble and exciting mission of nation building in social harmony.
President Yayi said the resounding victory was a sign of the confidence Zimbabweans have in President Mugabe and that it proves that the majority of Zimbabweans recognise President Mugabe’s qualities.
South Sudan leader Salva Kiir Mayardyt extended his country’s congratulations describing President Mugabe’s re-election as an impressive victory.
Namibia’s founding president; Cde Sam Nujoma said Zanu-PF’s victory was also a victory for SWAPO and Namibians.
He saluted Zimbabweans for showing resilience as demonstrated by their adherence to Zanu-PF’s clarion call to continue the economic struggle.
He said President Mugabe and Zanu-PF’s re-election was a sign of the trust that Zimbabweans have in the party and its leadership to defend the hard-won freedom and independence against the neo-colonial onslaught whose purpose is to enslave Zimbabwe and the rest of the continent with the aim of continuing to exploit the continent’s abundant natural resources
Several African countries, among them South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Lesotho the Democratic Republic of Congo, have congratulated President Mugabe.
However, Botswana, that also stands accused of funding the MDC-T, is so far the only country contesting the vote together with Mr Tsvangirai, calling for fresh elections following what he described as “political theft”.
The US Secretary of State John Kerry is also questioning the validity of President Mugabe’s victory, saying the voting process was “deeply flawed” because of irregularities in the voters’ roll, unequal access to the parties for State media, a lack of political reforms as mandated by the constitution, among other issues.
He cited “the balance of evidence,” although the United States was barred from monitoring the vote.
However, the elections have been endorsed by Sadc, AU, Comesa, Chinese observer groups among others.
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