Aug 2 - Zimbabwe subdued after Mugabe claims victory, the opposition calls it a ''farce'' and election observers say it was free and fair. Lily Grimes reports.
The headlines show the scale of disagreement between the two sides in Zimbabwe's presidential election. But the government of Robert Mugabe, Africa's longest serving leader, was claiming a landslide victory before official results were issued. Justice Minister Chinamasa Patrick told media on Friday the result of Wednesday's poll was beyond doubt. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ZIMBABWE JUSTICE MINISTER, CHINAMASA PATRICK, SAYING: "The indications I'm sure all of you now know, the indications from the elections on Wednesday, are that we are going to have a landslide victory. An unprecedented landslide victory.'' But after the last election, when 200 opposition supporters were killed in the wake of a first-round defeat for Mugabe, residents of the capital are hoping for a peaceful poll. The opposition MDC party said it could take to the streets to challenge the results. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RESIDENT OF HARARE, HARUN BADJZA, SAYING: "Everybody, all parties should come together and work together for the success of the country. People must shun violence, whoever is defeated must accept that." The African Union monitoring chief has called Wednesday's polls generally "free and fair." But domestic monitors say they were "seriously compromised" by registration flaws that may have denied up to a million people their vote. And opposition leader, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, denounced the election as a "huge farce.'' Western election observers were barred from entering the country.