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Makoni demands results, seeks Mugabe talks

CONCERN: Makoni seeking urgent talks with President Mugabe
CONCERN: Makoni seeking urgent talks with President Mugabe

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By Lebo Nkatazo

ZIMBABWEAN presidential candidate Simba Makoni on Wednesday added his voice to growing calls for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to release the results of presidential elections held on March 29.

Makoni, a former cabinet minister in President Robert Mugabe’s government, said he wanted to work with all political leaders to find urgent solutions to the country’s economic and political problems.

The former finance minister said he visited the ZEC’s election command centre on Monday this week, but his enquiries about when results would be announced drew a blank.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) which claims its leader Morgan Tsvangirai won the election has gone to the High Court to demand immediate release of the results. A judge said he would deliver judgment on the matter next Monday.

Makoni, who stood as an independent, raised concerns at the ZEC’s dismantling of the command centre before the results have been announced amid indications that Zanu PF is seeking a re-run of the presidential poll, charging the election was flawed.

Zanu PF claims electoral officials colluded with the opposition to undercount President Mugabe’s votes in several areas, and any result the ZEC has – although unlikely to show a clear winner – is unsafe.

On Wednesday, outgoing Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the ZEC had accepted a Zanu PF petition for recounts in at least five parliamentary constituencies. Chinamasa said the commission had rejected seven appeals and nine were pending.

Zanu PF is trying to overturn the result of the parliamentary elections in which it lost control of parliament for the first time, winning 97 seats to the MDC Tsvangirai’s 99. A breakaway faction of the MDC won 10 seats, with one going to an independent in the 210 member chamber.

Makoni said: “The delays have heightened tension among our people. It is not in the best interests of our country. ZEC has not explained the cause of the delay.

“Our votes are not the property of any individual or entity. It is our right to get our results without further delay. ZEC must announce the results immediately.”

Makoni hinted that there would be a run-off but warned that whoever came first in that second round of voting, likely to pit Tsvangirai and Mugabe, would need to form a government of national unity.

He said: “The people have not delivered a winner take all outcome. We have destroyed our country because of our unwillingness to work together.”

He said he was urgently seeking a meeting with Mugabe.

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