Mugabe: Brit Bribes Swayed Election

'We are being bought like livestock,' Zimbabwean leader says
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2008 9:02 AM CDT
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe greets children at a children's party in Harare, Thursday, April, 17, 2008.   (AP Photo/str)
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(Newser) – In his first speech since his maybe-final election defeat, Robert Mugabe accused Britain of bribing Zimbabwe’s voters, Reuters reports. “Down with the British. Down with the thieves who want to steal our country,” he told a cheering crowd of 15,000. Britain’s Gordon Brown has been among Mugabe’s loudest international critics, demanding the president release results from the March 29 election.

Mugabe, who has long cast London as his opponent, spoke to commemorate Zimbabwe’s independence from British rule. “Today they have perfected their tactics… by using money literally to buy some people to turn against their government,” he said. “We are being bought like livestock.” Mugabe has acknowledged that he got fewer votes in the election, but says his opponent didn’t win by enough to prevent a runoff.