Zimbabwe: Mugabe claims ‘sweeping victory’

rboert_mugabe2.jpgRobert Mugabe has said he is heading for a "sweeping victory" in the
unopposed run-off election to choose Zimbabwe’s president.

Mr Mugabe said returns suggested that he had won all constituencies in the opposition stronghold of Harare.

He was the only candidate after the opposition boycotted the vote amid reports of violence and intimidation.

African observers of the poll called on Sunday for fresh elections to be held, saying the vote was not free or fair.


Crucial reaction

"The
returns show that we are winning convincingly, that we have won in all
the 26 constituencies in Harare, an MDC stronghold where we won in only
one constituency in March. That is the trend," Mr Mugabe said in
footage broadcast on state television.

It is thought he will be sworn in as president on Sunday, even though official results are yet to be published.

Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), announced he was pulling out of the election last Sunday.

But his name remained on ballot papers after Zimbabwe’s electoral authorities refused to accept his decision.

The
BBC’s Peter Biles, in Johannesburg, says the expectation is that Mr
Mugabe will want to declare victory before leaving for a summit of
African Union leaders that opens in Egypt on Monday.

The reaction of Zimbabwe’s neighbours in southern Africa will be crucial, our correspondent says.

An
observer team from the Pan-African Parliament on Sunday called on
regional grouping Sadc and the African Union to facilitate talks
between the government and opposition.