Zimbabwe's Mugabe says his election victory is a blow to Western foes

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AFP) - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday declared his recent election victory a blow against Western powers, which he accused of plotting to topple him using the opposition.

"We are very happy that we have dealt the enemy a blow, and the enemy is not (opposition leader Morgan) Tsvangirai," Mr Mugabe said in his first public remarks since winning a landslide victory in elections a week ago.

"Tsvangirai is a mere part of the enemy. The enemy is he who is behind Tsvangirai. Who is behind the (opposition party) MDC? The British and their allies. Those are the ones who were the real enemies." Mr Mugabe has often accused Western powers, particularly Zimbabwe's former colonial master Britain, of harbouring plans to depose him using the opposition as a front.

Zimbabwe's electoral commission declared Mr Mugabe the winner with 61 per cent of the vote, while three-time presidential hopeful Mr Tsvangirai garnered 34 per cent.

Mr Tsvangirai, who has dismissed the elections as a "farce", has demanded a forensic audit of the voters' roll, ballot papers and voter registration certificates.

Mr Mugabe said after the win that he will forge ahead with his indigenisation drive, compelling foreign-owned companies to cede majority shares to local black investors.

"We need to raise the standard of living of our people. But to do that we have to stand firm and all the time take into account our policy of indigenisation and empowerment," he said.

"We need to look at our sectors and see how we can improve.

"With that victory, which is only a continuation of our freedom, our task is to look ahead. What we say we shall do, we do. The immediate past has tended to be retrogressive during the inclusive government."

After seizing hundreds of white-owned farms in a campaign launched in earnest in 2000, Mr Mugabe passed a law in 2007 stating that large foreign-owned entities may be liable to cede 51 per cent of their ownership.

So far, only mines have been targeted.

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