President Robert Mugabe won Zimbabwe's presidential election on Saturday 31 July, 2013, beating his closest rival, the former Prime Minister in the coalition government Morgan Tsvangirai.
The peaceful elections were the first since the formation of a coalition government between Mugabe's Zanu PF party and Tsvangirai's The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The coalition was formed following the last disputed and bloody elections in 2008.
Mugabe, who is 89 years old and has been in power for 33 years, will continue to rule the country for the next five years. Election observer missions from the African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) have endorsed Mugabe's victory amid claims of massive electoral fraud coming from the opposition.
Botswana, however, is the only African country that has called for an independent audit into the election. Some SADCC members have qualified their endorsements by arguing that the election was free “but not necessarily fair.”
The election took place despite protests from Mugabe's coalition partners and Zimbabwean citizens after he unilaterally declared 31 July, 2013 as the date the country will hold elections. The Constitutional Court ordered Robert Mugabe to hold elections by 31 July following a successful application by Jealousy Mawarire, director of the Centre for Elections and Democracy in Southern Africa (CEDSA).
A Zambian based in the the UK and the founder of CrossFire Radio, Mueti Moomba (@Muweight) wondered who voted for the 89-year-old leader:
— mueti moomba (@Muweight) August 3, 2013
Zimbabwean social entrepreneur Sir Nigel (@SirNige) has not not given up hope:
— Sir Nigel (@SirNige) August 6, 2013
Andiva (@AndyAndiva) from Kenya blamed the opposition MDC for participating in a flawed election:
so why did MDC participate in the elections with knowledge it was flawed from the onset? #Zimbabwedecides
— Andiva (@AndyAndiva) August 3, 2013
South African author and brand advisor Thebe Ikafaleng (@ThebeIkafaleng) quoted Tendai Biti, the Secretary General for MDC, making fun of those arguing that the presence of two million dead people on the voters’ roll did not cost the opposition:
“They admit there's 2m people who are dead on the voters’ roll, but ‘because they're dead, they can't vote'.” Tendai Biti. #ZimbabweDecides.
— Thebe Ikalafeng (@ThebeIkalafeng) July 31, 2013
Zim Elections (@ZimElections) showed the seriousness of dead voters’ problem:
75% of the 59 ID discovered at Polling stations in Chegutu town since last week Wednesday belong to dead people. #ZimElections
— ZimElections2013 (@Zimelections13) August 6, 2013
rakim allah (@LDaviano) commented on the same issue of “dead voters”:
Might be traumatising to hv more dead people voting than the living#zim elections
— rakim allah (@LDaviano) August 6, 2013
Al Jazeera's Azad Essa (@azadessa) questioned the African Union's assessment of the election:
There were 9700 polling stations. The AU [African Union] visited 350. Is that an acceptable sample size to pass judgement? #zimelections
— Azad Essa (@azadessa) August 3, 2013
Investigative journalist and film maker Stanley Kwenda (@stanleykwanda) noted that participation of police could have intimidated illiterate voters:
#Zimbabwedecides involvement of police & electoral officers in assisting illiterate voters could have intimidated voters
— stanley kwenda (@stanleykwenda) August 2, 2013
South African businessman Another_craig (@@Another_craig) tweeted about reports of a 135-year-old soldier who “voted” in the election:
So apparently, a 135 year old soldier actually voted in #Zimelections last week. Ah, the benefit of regular exercise.
— Craig (@Another_craig) August 6, 2013
Replying to @Another_craig, South African entrepreneur Sello Rabele (@sellorabs) wrote that he wishes to be a soldier when he grows up:
— Sello Rabele (@sellorabs) August 6, 2013
arnold chamunogwa (@chamunogwa) was not surprised that the ruling party rigged. He is surprised by something else:
— arnold chamunogwa (@chamunogwa) August 2, 2013
Akuzike Polela (@Mulengi) from Zambia noted that Morgan Tsvangirai has one African friend:
Botswana speaks different word on Zim elections. Morgan has ONE African friend so far.
— Akuzike Polela (@Mulengi) August 6, 2013
Zimbabwean Kudzai (@shuestrait) would like to see Zimbabweans living in the country decide what is good for their country:
Only Zimbos [Zimbabweans] know whts gud for Zimbabweans..Resident Zimbabweans nt ppl in the diaspora & some state secretary from the US or UK..#ZimDecides
— kudzai (@shuestrait) August 5, 2013
Kenyan David Ogara (@david_ogara) came to a bitter conclusion about elections in Africa:
So MUGABE 89 is President elect Zimbabwe…..Presidential elections are meaningless in Africa……
— David Ogara (@david_ogara) August 2, 2013