Zanu-PF members demand recount
Robert Mugabe’s party has won a two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament.
HARARE - As Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) mulls its legal options in response to last week's presidential poll, two losing members of President Robert Mugabe's party have demanded a recount in their constituencies.
On Wednesday, the 89-year-old Zanu-PF leader won a seventh term as the country's leader amid calls of vote-rigging and intimidation of voters.
On Thursday, the Zanu-PF unofficially claimed it had won the elections despite the official results only being due out today.
It was revealed on Saturday that Mugabe's party won the vote by winning a two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament, with 160 votes compared to 49 for the MDC.
The majority means that Mugabe's party can now change the new constitution, which had introduced a bill of rights and imposed presidential term limits.
According to legal watchdog Veritas, a recount has to be demanded within 48 hours of the announcement of the results.
The two losing Zanu-PF candidates are Jonathan Moyo, who lost his seat to the MDC's Roselyn Nkomo in Tsholotsho North, and Eric Navaya who lost to independent candidate Jonathan Samkange.
Moyo's chief election officer is complaining a ballot box was opened by a presiding officer while he was on his own.
The recount will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, and could further whittle down the total number of MDC seats in parliament.
Tsvangirai has denounced the elections as a monumental fraud and has called for a forensic audit.
Those hoping the July 31 farce has resolved Zim crisis is dreaming. The crisis is actually escalating. It's going to be a long haul.
- Morgan Tsvangirai (@mrtsvangirai) August 4, 2013
He has raised concerns about the high number of voters prevented from registering to vote and then from actually voting on Election Day.
The party is also concerned about the reportedly large number of voters being 'helped' to vote in the rural areas despite Zimbabwe's record literacy rates.
Tsvangirai has said Zimbabwe is in national mourning as a result of Zanu-PF's victory.
He will give a dossier of irregularities to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) whose observer mission to the election called it peaceful and free but stopped short of calling it fair.
The election has been given the thumbs down by countries that imposed sanctions on Mugabe for stealing polls in 2002 and 2008.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged both rivals to send "clear messages of calm" to supporters as tensions mount.
The SADC has also implored "all Zimbabweans to exercise restraint, patience and calm".
Moon stressed that concerns which have been raised about certain aspects of the electoral process should be addressed through established channels which respect and uphold the will of the people of Zimbabwe.
CONGRATS FROM ZUMA
Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma has congratulated his Zimbabwean counterpart on his re-election.
In a statement, Zuma urged all parties to accept the outcome of the election as observers had reported it to be an expression of the will of the people.
He commended Zimbabwe for conducting a peaceful election.