Malawi President Joyce Banda has ignored Western pressure to alienate Zimbabwe’s long time ruler Robert Mugabe and a has congratulated Mugabe on being re-elected as leader of Zimbabwe
Banda, set to assume the chairperson role of SADC later this months, sent a signed congratulatory message to Mugabe on his re-election into office, effectively endorsing the quasi-nonagenarian as the people of Zimbabwe made their choice.
State broadcaster Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) reported on Thursday that Banda has signed and wired a congratulatory message to Mugabe.
The 89-year-old Zanu-PF leader won 61 per cent of the vote, compared with 33 per cent for Movement for Democratic Change opposition leader Mr Tsvangirai, who had been prime minister in a tense power-sharing deal with the president. Mugabe will now officially be given another five-year term in office after holding power for over three decades.
Botswana is so far the only country contesting the Zimbabwe vote which Tsvangirai rejected the results as fraudulent, calling for fresh elections following what he described as “political theft”.
Mugabe’s win provoked ripples of concern across other parts of the globe.
The US Secretary of State John Kerry questioning the validity of Mugabe’s victory, said the voting process was “deeply flawed” because of irregularities in the voters’ roll, unequal access to the parties for state media, a lack of political reforms as mandated by the constitution, among other issues. He cited “the balance of evidence,” although the United States was barred from monitoring the vote.
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has admitted that the election had serious flaws with thousands barred from voting and similar numbers being assisted voters, that is influenced voters.