Robert Mugabe’s re-election results are not credible, warns John Kerry

'Fraudulent and stolen' election will affect economy

Zimbabwe could be plunged back to pariah status after the United States followed the European Union and Britain in criticising the “flawed” re-election of President Robert Mugabe, saying the result was tainted by “substantial electoral irregularities”.

Mr Mugabe, 89, was confirmed as the winner in Wednesday’s presidential election with 61 per cent of the vote. His Zanu-PF party also won 142 seats in the 210-seat parliament, securing the two-thirds majority needed to change the constitution. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which took 34 per cent of the vote, said the elections were ‘’fraudulent and stolen’’ and promised to take legal action.

US Secretary of State John Kerry echoed Mr Tsvangirai’s concerns. “The United States does not believe that the results announced today represent a credible expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people,” Mr Kerry said.

Australia joined chorus of disapproval, with Foreign Minister Bob Carr calling for a re-run of the election.

Mr Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s only leader since independence in 1980, has overseen brutal attacks on opponents, property seizures, economic devastation and international isolation, notably through wide-ranging sanctions against the regime. But, since forming a power-sharing government with Zanu-PF in 2009, Mr Tsvangirai is credited with helping steer the country back to global respectability, resulting in some of the sanctions being eased.

While there are no threats yet to re-impose sanctions, Mr Mugabe and his incoming administration are unlikely to be welcomed in the West.

Western observers were barred from monitoring the polls but observer missions from the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) both gave qualified approval to the elections. One influential report by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), a local observer group with 7,000 monitors, says the electoral rolls were doctored, disenfranchising up to a million people.

 Questions are also being asked in the wake of newspaper reports that Mr Mugabe rigged the elections using hundreds of millions of dollars siphoned from the country’s diamond industry. Rumours were rife for years of shady deals between the Chinese mining companies and ZANU-PF officials, and The Sunday Times claims to have seen secret documents allegedly showing the party using the money to hire an Israel-based firm to rig the electoral roll.

The mounting criticism about the election is also expected to affect the country’s fragile economic recovery, with the incoming administration likely to take a harder line on foreign investors. Mugabe’s indigenisation policy aimed at seizing majority stakes in foreign firms has been partly held back by Mr Tsvangirai, but the ZANU-PF victory could mean a roll out of new measures – and an exodus of foreign business.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Emily McDowell Card that reads:
artCancer survivor Emily McDowell kicks back at the clichés
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvBadalamenti on board for third series
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Standing room only: the terraces at Villa Park in 1935
football
Sport
Ben Stokes celebrates with his team mates after bowling Brendon McCullum
sportEngland vs New Zealand report
News
Amal Clooney has joined the legal team defending 'The Hooden Men'
people
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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine