First Zimbabwe recount goes to Mugabe

The first result in a recount of 23 seats in Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections gave victory to president Robert Mugabe's ruling party today.

The recount in a Harare suburb was the only one demanded by the opposition MDC party.

The results showed just a one-vote difference from the original count from the poll giving the seat to Mugabe's ZANU-PF party with 6,194 votes to 5,931 for the MDC.

No further results from the recount were released. Most of the other seats involved were won by the MDC and the recount could prove pivotal for the ruling party which lost control of parliament for the first time by a small margin.

Presidential results from the March 29 election - which opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is widely believed to have won - have still to be released.

Meanwhile the state mouthpiece Herald newspaper raised the first prospect of a "unity government", seen as preparing the ground for Mugabe to stay in control and perhaps even the scrapping of the March presidential election ahead of a new ballot.

Columnist Obediah Mazombwe called a unity government negotiated by regional leaders of the 14-nation Southern African Development Community as "the most viable and safest way forward."

He said regional leaders, along with "the progressive international community," could bring together key players: Mugabe's party, the opposition, Britain and the United States.

"The situation in Zimbabwe is dire, but all is not lost. Whilst the ruling party must stop behaving like a wounded buffalo, the opposition must stop its hysterics and lapses into delusion," he said.

"The West, particularly the Anglo-American establishment, should stop insisting that President Mugabe and ZANU-PF cannot be part of a future prosperous Zimbabwe," he said.

Under a transitional arrangement, the resumption of critical Western financial assistance could be negotiated, Mazombwe said.

Mr Tsvangirai and other opposition leaders, now in "virtual exile," should be guaranteed their safety and "come home and start playing a constructive national role."

A unity government would then be expected to reform the nation's constitution and organise fresh elections under regional and international supervision, he said.

Mr Tsvangirai's insists the MDC won the polls outright and has rejected earlier calls by independent civic groups for an alliance with Mugabe to break the month-long political deadlock.

Mr Tsvangirai today met Mozambican ex-President Joaquim Chissano and opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama as part of his tour of the continent to rally support among African leaders and increase pressure on Mugabe to concede defeat.

South African President Thabo Mbeki - appointed by regional leaders as the chief mediator on Zimbabwe - has come under increasing criticism for his refusal to take a stronger stance on Mugabe.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there