13 Aug 2013

Mugabe promises to never renege on victory

9:15 am on 13 August 2013

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe says the people have delivered democracy and the Zanu-PF party will never renege on its victory.

At a Heroes Day commemoration on Monday, Mr Mugabe rejected opposition claims he had stolen the election and told his opponents they could 'go hang' if they do not like the result.

He made his first speech since the vote at the Heroes Day commemoration, and his words conjured up the revolutionary spirit.

Mr Mugabe won 61% of the vote in the election on 31 July. Prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai came second with 35% and Welshman Ncube third with 3%, according to official results.

The president's Zanu-PF party also won 160 of the 210 seats in parliament.

The BBC reports Mr Mugabe called for celebrations.

"Those who lost elections may commit suicide if they so wish. Even if they die, dogs will not sniff their corpses," he said.

"We are delivering democracy on a platter. We say take it or leave it, but the people have delivered democracy."

Zimbabwe's Western detractors had been "put to shame", he added. "Never will we go back on our victory."

Non-governmental organisations had been used to rig elections in 2008, he claimed, but Zanu-PF had never stopped planning since then and had "buried thieves in our midst".

"We found we were dining with and sharing our bed with thieves. We will never give thieves the power to rule."

The BBC reports Mr Tsvangirai's party, the Movement for Democratic Change, boycotted the speech.