Zimbabwe’s long-time President Robert Mugabe Thursday blasted the Western nations that have criticised his election into another five-year term, while congratulating his compatriots over the ‘success’ of the 31 July elections in the country.
“We had free and fair elections, well done Zimbabwe,” Mugabe said. “Except for a few dishonest Western countries, our elections have been declared free, fair and credible,” Mugabe said in his acceptance speech at the inauguration in the capital city of Harare.
“Zimbabwean democracy demands that Zimbabweans choose a government, it’s our right, we fought for it. The days of colonialism are gone and gone forever. We cannot be bought, we belong to Africa.
“Today it is Britain, Australia, Canada and America that want to tell us our elections were not fair and credible. Who are they, we ask. Who gave them the the ability to see better than us?” the local Newsday newspaper quoted President Mugabe to have queried.
He also scoffed at the sanctions that remain in place against his country, saying: “We have been on sanctions for over a decade and most likely will remain so for longer.”
The Zimbabwean leader said his country would use its abundant resources to bust sanctions, and that the mining sector would play a central role in rebuilding the economy.
PANA recalled that leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) who met last weekend in Malawi have called for the lifting of the sanctions, after endorsing Mugabe’s re-election.
In comments that will further infuriate the West, President Mugabe lambasted the supporters of same sex marriage.
‘Same sex marriage is filthy, let’s not offend nature,” he declared.
President Mugabe was sworn in by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku amid wild jubilation by supporters of the ruling ZANU PF.
The swearing in, which took place at the National Stadium in Harare, was attended by some African heads of state, though the number is far less than the 40 which the government had said would attend.
African leaders in attendance include Presidents Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo; Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia.
South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Swaziland were represented by either their Vice Presidents or Prime Ministers.
There were also former Presidents like Thabo Mbeki (South Africa); Kenneth Kaunda (Zambia) and Sam Nujoma (Namibia).
The two formations of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) boycotted the event in protest at against the President’s victory, which they alleged was rigged.