Pretoria: President Jacob Zuma has congratulated Zanu-PF leader Robert Mugabe on his re-election as president of the Republic of Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on Saturday declared Mugabe the outright winner of that country’s presidential elections.
“President Jacob Zuma extends his profound congratulations to President Robert G Mugabe on his re-election as president of the Republic of Zimbabwe following the successful harmonised elections held on 31 July,” said the Presidency in a statement.
Zuma further urged all political parties in Zimbabwe to accept the outcome of the elections, as election observers reported it to be an expression of the will of the people.
The President also commended the people of Zimbabwe for conducting a peaceful election. He called on Zimbabweans to seize the opportunity to collectively contribute towards building their country, driven by a common desire for peace, stability and prosperity.
President Zuma has reiterated South Africa’s readiness to continue to partner with Zimbabwe “in pursuit of a mutually beneficial cooperation”, the Presidency said.
Announcing the election results on Saturday evening in Harare, ZEC chair Justice Rita Makarau said: “Mugabe, Robert Gabriel, of Zanu-PF party, is therefore declared duly elected president of the Republic of Zimbabwe with effect from today.”
The victory will see the 89-year-old Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, remaining in office for the next five years.
Zimbabwe’s long-time president won 61 percent of the presidential vote, while rival Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) only managed 33 percent.
Zanu-PF won 158 of the 210 parliament seats, giving it a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly, a move which will enable them to make amendments to the new constitution and existing laws.