PoliticsElections‪Eyes on Zimbabwe's economy, as Mugabe heads for landslide‬ election win


Posted on Friday, 02 August 2013 14:13

‪Eyes on Zimbabwe's economy, as Mugabe heads for landslide‬ election win

By Janet Shoko

Photo©ReutersZimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF are headed for a massive victory as partial results from Wednesday's point to a two thirds majority.


However, his main rival MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai has rejected the outcome and warned that the southern African country could plunge back to the "dark past", a situation he predicted Mugabe would not be able to rescue.

By mid-morning Friday, Mugabe's Zanu PF party had stormed ahead, winning 52 of 62 parliamentary seats announced so far.

Zanu PF's performance has surprised many, as a tightly contested election was expected.

Regional observers have endorsed the election as peaceful, credible and free, but have shied away from pronouncing it fair.

News of Mugabe's victory is likely to rock the southern African nation's economy, as under Mugabe, it plunged significantly, with inflation at record highs of over a trillion percent.

The country's gross domestic product fell to 1957 levels, as shops ran out of goods and basic commodities became scarce.

Mugabe's campaign rhetoric has not helped issues either, he campaigned on a platform of resuscitating the local currency, which was replaced by the US dollar, after it became virtually useless.

In what is seen as a flexing of muscles, Justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa, a staunch Mugabe ally, on Friday described the country's adoption of the US dollar as a retreat, raising fears that the re-introduction of the Zimbabwean dollar was imminent.

"The adoption of the enemy's currency was a strategic retreat," he told a press conference at the Zanu PF headquarters in Harare.

"Indigenisation and empowerment is a process. We now own the land, but in business, it's a British economy."

The Zimbabwean leader has also campaigned on a black empowerment platform, raising fears that he wanted to grab companies in a similar fashion to the violent land grabs of 2000 that saw Zimbabwe's agriculture virtually collapse.

Millions of Zimbabweans fled to neighbouring South Africa as the country's economy collapsed.

Despite it steadying over the past few years, Zimbabwe's economy has not grown as expected, with many blaming Mugabe's leadership.

Mugabe's rival, Tsvangirai has dismissed the elections as "null and void" warning the country risked spiralling into chaos.

"Once again, Zimbabweans have been short-changed and they will have to bear the economic, political and social consequences undertaken by Mugabe and Zanu PF," he said.

"We know that at the end of the day, Mugabe and Zanu PF will not be able to put food on the table for Zimbabweans."

South African President Jacob Zuma has challenged Tsvangirai to produce evidence of rigging.


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