by Richard Nyamanhindi – SANF 08 No 21
As Zimbabweans vote in the harmonized elections, President Robert Mugabe has reiterated that he will accept any outcome in the election.
Mugabe said this while addressing journalists after casting his vote at Mhofu Primary School in the suburb of Highfield in Harare.
He said that there was no need for him to refute the election results even if Morgan Tsvangirai or any other candidates for that matter were to win in this historic election.
“We have never rejected any win by the MDC or by anyone, never ever. We have accepted that so and so has won. In 1980, 1985, 1995 to this day we are not in the habit of cheating. Unfortunately the MDC has the tendency of talking about rigging, we do not rig elections.
“We have a sense of honesty, I cannot live with my conscience if I am to cheat, especially when the people are there supporting us. If the people stop supporting you then you should leave politics.”
Mugabe said the MDC is a recent entrant on the political scene and because of that they come up with different psychosomatic interpretations when it comes to elections.
“We are not liars and we have not been liars before, but now you have lies being told about us. They are saying the election environment is not conducive. It is the most conducive that you can get in any election, in Africa or any developing countries including America.”
As far as a run-off is concerned, Mugabe said that he was not used to boxing matches where one goes from round one to round two.
“We just knock each other out in the first round and that’s all and that is what we have done in the past and that’s what we are going to do in this election.”
Mugabe is being challenged by Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC party and former-finance minister and independent presidential candidate Simba Makoni.
Makoni was one of the early voters in Mandara but complained that the polling station opened late and ballot casting was slow. He however, said that he was confident to win the election.
“I feel good, I voted for the best candidate, I voted for Simba Makoni,” he said.
Tsvangirai voted at Avondale Primary School where he assured the journalist present that he was sure of victory and come Monday or Tuesday he will be the next president. “Victory is assured in spite of the regime’s attempt to subvert the will of the people,” he said.
Queues started forming as early as 4am at many polling stations in Harare, with voters determined to cast their ballots quickly although confronted with four ballot papers and four separate boxes, for local council, national assembly, senate and presidential polls.
Voting took place peacefully in all provinces with the police confirming that there has been no report of major cases of political violence.
With a grueling campaign that began in February it has become so difficult to predict the winner of this election. However, Mugabe’s party ZANU PF enjoys support in the rural areas, while Tsvangirai’s MDC has urban support.
Polling stations closed on time on Saturday evening and counting of votes took place at each polling station in the presence of party representatives. Results were posted at each polling station before being forward to the Ward and Constituency levels for tallying.
Some preliminary results are expected on Monday. For the presidential candidates more than 50 percent of the vote is needed to avoid a run-off in three weeks’ time.