Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe Monday told those challenging his July 31 election victory that they could “go hang.”
The 89 year-old ruler, making his first public speech, since he defeated long time foe, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai said his win was a victory against the West and their puppets.
“Those who were hurt by defeat can go hang if they so wish,” said President Mugabe in a speech delivered during commemorations to honour the country’s liberation war heroes.
“Even if they die, dogs will not eat their flesh,” he added. “Never will we go back on our victory.”
Last Friday, Mr Tsvangirai who is also the outgoing Prime Minister in a coalition government with his rival filed a court petition seeking to have the results of the controversial elections set aside.
He accused President Mugabe’s Zanu PF party of paying an Israeli company $10 million to manipulate the vote in its favour.
Mr Tsvangirai also listed a number of irregularities, which he said compromised the election.
The legal wrangle would delay Mr Mugabe’s inauguration by at least 14 days.
However, the Zanu PF leader in power since 1980, appeared unmoved by the growing criticism over the way the elections were conducted.
“We are delivering democracy on a platter,” he said. “We say take it or leave it, but the people have delivered democracy.”
Mr Tsvangirai and members of his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) did not attend the celebrations.
MDC said it was staying away from the annual event to protest against the “stolen” elections.
Election observer mission endorsed the elections as free and fair but neighbouring Botswana has called on the Southern African Development Community has called on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to audit the polls saying its observers recorded a number of anomalies.
SADC leaders would meet in Malawi this weekend but it is unlikely that Zimbabwe would be on the agenda.