Zimbabwe stocks plunge 11% after Mugabe election

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HARARE (AFP) –  The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange’s top index fell 11 percent on Monday, the first day of trading after the results of disputed elections which enabled Robert Mugabe to extend his 33-year rule.

Several foreign-owned stocks registered steep losses, with South Africa-based clothing chain Edgars and hotel group African Sun losing more than 25 percent.

Amid fears foreign banks could become the next target for Mugabe’s indigenisation efforts, Barclays local listing had fallen by 15 percent on Friday, but the fall was arrested in Monday trading.

“This is indicative of the widespread concern that the election results are not going to inspire the anticipated economic recovery,” said Eric Bloch, an economist based in the second city of Bulawayo.

Zimbabwe’s electoral commission declared Mugabe winner with 61 percent of the vote while his long-time rival Morgan Tsvangirai garnered 34 percent.

Tsvangirai has dismissed the elections as “a farce.”

The elections were to end a shaky power-sharing government formed four years ago by Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

The compromise government was meant to stop a tip into conflict following a bloody presidential run-off election in 2008 and revive the country’s economy but its work was hampered by frequent haggling and charges of rights abuses.

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