Supporters of Robert Mugabe claim victory in Zimbabwe’s election
Amid allegations of vote rigging Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF is claiming victory in Zimbabwe’s election.
Vocal attacks on the country’s gay population have been a prominent feature of Mugabe’s campaign.
Criticising US President Barack Obama for linking foreign aid to the protection of LGBT rights, days later Mugabe denounced Archbishop Desmond Tutu for opposing homophobia, saying Zimbabwe will “Never, never, never” support homosexuality.
He previously described Archbishop Tutu as “evil”.
On Thursday Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party denounced the election process, branding it a “huge farce”.
“In our view, that election is null and void,” he said, after a senior Zanu-PF source earlier claimed a resounding victory for President Mugabe.
The unnamed senior official said the outcome was already clear and told Reuters: “We’ve taken this election. We’ve buried the MDC. We never had any doubt that we were going to win.”
The official result is still to be released but already Mugabe’s supporters are celebrating.
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) – the country’s leading domestic election monitoring agency – said the credibility of the vote was “seriously compromised” by irregularities on polling day.
It said as many as one million eligible voters were not on the electoral roll, and urban voters, who mainly favour Mr Tsvangirai, had been turned away from polling stations in their thousands.
Robert Mugabe has been the president of Zimbabwe since 1987.
Along with most African countries homosexuality is illegal in Zimbabwe.