Kenyan and Tanzanian president congratulate Mugabe

THE leaders of Kenya and Tanzania have congratulated President Robert Mugabe on his election victory, joining regional economic power house South Africa in endorsing a poll dismissed by the opposition as a “huge farce”.

Mugabe who was seeking a seventh five-year term as President was declared the winner at the weekend with about 61 percent of the vote, emphatically beating rival Morgan Tsvangirai who won 34 percent of the ballot.

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Tanzania president, Jakaya Kikwete, who heads the SADC organ on defence and security which held a number of meetings on Zimbabwe in the run-up to the polls, said Mugabe’s re-election was a clear “testimony of the confidence and trust the people of Zimbabwe bestowed upon him”.

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“Under your able leadership, Zimbabwe has recorded tremendous socio-economic developments, despite some challenges,” Kikwete said in his message.

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“Thus, we look forward for greater progress and prosperity for the people of Zimbabwe as well as your continued invaluable contribution to our region and the continent through the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU).”

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President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya also commended Mugabe on his “successful” re-election and urged the opposition to accept the result.

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The Kenyan leader said the mandate bestowed on Mugabe “reflects the high regard and confidence (Zimbabweans) have on his leadership.

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“The mandate bestowed upon Your Excellency by the citizens of the Republic of Zimbabwe reflects the high regard and confidence in Your Excellency’s leadership,” he said.