HARARE: A defiant Robert Mugabe on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) told those upset by his disputed landslide election win to “go hang,” declaring that his victory would never be overturned.
The 89-year-old vowed never to let go of his victory, after his opponent Morgan Tsvangirai lodged a petition in court challenging the election outcome.
“Those who were hurt by defeat can go hang if they so wish,” Mugabe told thousands at a rally to honor heroes of the country’s liberation wars.
“If they die, even dogs will not sniff at their corpses,” he said in a punchy first public address after the July 31 vote.
“Never will we go back on our victory.”
Mugabe was declared the winner with 61 percent of the ballots, against Tsvangirai’s 34 percent.
He insisted that the Zimbabwean people’s choice in government was clear.
“We are delivering democracy on a platter. We say take it or leave it, but the people have delivered democracy,” he said.
Tsvangirai meanwhile vowed to expose “glaring evidence of the stolen vote” through his court bid.
His lawyers on Friday filed a petition at the Constitutional Court challenging the poll, which extended Mugabe’s 33-year rule by another five years.
“All I can see is a nation in mourning over the audacity of so few to steal from so many,” Tsvangirai said in a statement.
But “the thief left so much evidence at the scene of crime as we shall expose in the people’s petition that we filed last week.”
The elections ended a shaky power-sharing government formed by Mugabe and Tsvangirai to avoid a tip into conflict in the aftermath of a bloody runoff election in 2008.
Mugabe labelled Tsvangirai a “thief,” claiming that the opposition leader did not deserve to share power with him after the 2008 runoff.