The ZIMBABWE Situation
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Cartoon by Gado
Twenty13 Zimbabwe Election Race!
Zimbabwe Elections 2013:
Useful information resources
Sokwanele : 28 July
July 31 is
election day in Zimbabwe. Sokwanele has provided links to a number of useful
election resources via our 2013 election hub page. Please visit www.sokwanele.com where you will find links
and details for all of the following resources.
share this link with everyone you know in Zimbabwe.
Election results maps
built maps which will display election results as they are released (http://sokwanele.com/zimbabwe-elections).
We have also provided maps of the 2008 results for house, senate and
presidential results. Results for 2008 are currently viewable in map and table
format as below.
2013 will be added as we receive them, and the maps will be populated with data
and analysis automatically. The maps we have built are highly interactive
allowing visitors to hover and click to access a wide range of electoral
The map below,
for example, highlights the 'Battleground' constituencies for 2013. This is
based on the margin of victory in 2008 where the darkest colour shows the
narrowest margins. The implication is that that these will be areas where
competition for the seat will be intense. The lightest colour shows the widest
margins of victory. We plan to provide more analyses through mapping for the
2013 elections as results are announced.
Identify your candidate
created a detailed spreadsheet resource allowing users to filter candidate
details by province, constituency, political party, gender and name (http://www.sokwanele.com/zimbabwe-elections-2013/candidates).
This allows visitors to our site to identify their candidates very quickly. It
also allows people to examine all of the 2013 election candidates more
Find your polling station (add a bookmark to this on your smart
built a polling station resource that allows people to find their polling
station by province, constituency and ward number. Locations are viewable on a
has been developed in responsive mode so that it can be viewed on a mobile smart
phone. Browse to this link, and bookmark it on your mobile phones now: http://www.sokwanele.com/zimbabwe-elections/polling.php
. This will allow you to identify alternative polling stations on polling day,
and share this information with others.
note that the locations are approximate and based on the provisional list
released by ZEC. Due to the extremely late release of ZEC's final list, we have
not been able to include locations for all polling stations on the
Support for the Simukai initiative
Simukai (www.simukai.org) is an initiative to help
Zimbabweans protect their vote in the Presidential elections. Simukai asks
Zimbabweans to send an sms to one of two numbers they provide. They ask that
voters give them the ID number of the polling station, plus the results when
they are released, in a specific format. Sokwanele is supporting this and our
polling station resource (above) provides all polling station IDs and gudiance
on how to SMS your results at your polling station to Simukai. So please be sure
to visit the link provided in 3 above using your phone, bookmark the link, and
take the polling station information with you on polling day.
Check the voters' roll
hub page provides a link to myzimvote.com. Visit this link to check if
you are on the voters' roll or to report an incident.
Find links to
all the main party manifestos. All of these can be downloaded in PDF format from
detailed information has also been provided for each constituency. This includes
the name and contact details for the Election Officer in charge of elections in
each constituency, as provided by ZEC.
A live twitter
feed following public discussion about the elctions as they unfold using the
main topic hashtags. Sokwanele tweets using #zimelections. You can
follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sokwanele . We will
publish tweets sent in from activists.
Blogs, reports, links
election blogs plus links to important reports and links to other websites on
our hub page too.
All of the above is available by visiting www.sokwanele.com. We wish
all Zimbabweans a peaceful, free and fair elections.
Thousands throng MDC-T “Red Power Monday”
Thousands of supporters at the Harare
29 July 2013
Thousands of supporters in red
t-shirts thronged the MDC-T’s final election campaign rally in Harare on Monday,
where Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said he “forgives” Robert Mugabe and
those who have wronged him and hopes the ageing ZANU-PF leader retires
Addressing a huge crowd that came out
for his last rally before the crucial poll on Wednesday, the MDC-T president
appealed to Zimbabweans to also forgive Mugabe and criticized the country’s
electoral body for lacking transparency.
“As I stand here before you I am a
survivor. I was beaten and incarcerated for no good reason. I was treated like a
common criminal but I am not bitter. I have reflected upon everything that has
happened to me and to my family and I have forgiven my tormentors,” Tsvangirai
He said he did not want to become a
prisoner of bitterness and wanted to be free to move forward as he was “a
builder not a destroyer”.
Dubbed “Red Power Monday”, the rally
was Tsvangirai’s last bid to garner support and allay his supporters’ fears
ahead of this week’s harmonized elections.
SW Radio Africa correspondent Simon
Muchemwa said there were trucks, minibuses and lorries all over Harare,
mobilizing supporters to attend the so-called “Cross Over” rally, which was held
at an open space near the Rainbow Towers Hotel, which the party now calls
MDC Red Power Monday
According to Muchemwa, Tsvangirai
complained that his party had still not been given copies of the voters roll,
which the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is supposed to have already
distributed in order to allow time for inspection before the poll. The location
of all polling stations has also not been revealed by ZEC.
“They are surprised that tents are
being pitched up in certain locations in the city but they still don’t know
where the polling stations will be. There was also chaos last night as ZEC tried
to recruit polling officers. Tsvangirai said ZEC should just retire because of
the confusion,” Muchemwa explained.
The police had banned the rally last
Friday, claiming they did not have enough personnel to cover the event, as many
had been deployed to polling stations around the country to “secure election
Police Chief Superintendent Titus
Chagwedera had said he also feared the rally would “culminate in political
violence. But in a u-turn on Saturday he reversed the ban and imposed a strict
code of conduct, barring supporters from outside the capital and banning any
toy-toying before, during and after the rally.
But according to Muchemwa, thousands
of party supporters in MDC-T regalia sang and toy-toyed as they cheered party
leaders who addressed the crowd despite the restrictions.
Meanwhile, Robert Mugabe continued
campaigning over the weekend with a rally in Harare on Sunday, where he told
supporters that Tsvangirai was a “crybaby” and he would be arrested if he
revealed poll results before the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced
“I can tell you in advance that if you
breach the rules … the police will arrest you … I don’t care if you are prime
minister”, Mugabe is quoted as saying.
The ailing ZANU-PF leader’s rallies
have been attended by ZANU-PF supporters and locals who are reportedly forced to
participate, with many being bused in from around the country.
The independent Daily News newspaper
said: “Scores of those attending are leaving his rallies while he is still
speaking soon after getting T-shirts and caps”.
Zimbabweans now hope that the
harmonized elections Wednesday will be peaceful and the post-election period
will not mirror that of 2008, when hundreds were murdered by ZANU-PF thugs and
security forces and thousands were assaulted.
Elections: Mugabe’s Last Stand
The International Crisis Group has released a damning report about
elections due to be held on Wednesday, 31 July.
Via ICG Press Release: Overview: A return to protracted political crisis,
and possibly extensive violence, is likely, as Zimbabwe holds inadequately
prepared presidential, parliamentary and local elections on 31 July. Conditions
for a free and fair vote do not exist. Confidence in the process and
institutions is low. The voters roll is a shambles, security forces unreformed
and the media grossly imbalanced. The electoral commission is under-funded and
lacked time to prepare. Concerns about rigging are pervasive, strongly disputed
results highly likely. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the
African Union (AU) face severe credibility tests. They must avoid a narrow
technical approach. If the vote is deeply flawed, they should declare it
illegitimate and press for a re-run after several months of careful preparation
or, if that is not possible, facilitate negotiation of a compromise acceptable
to the major parties; and strong diplomacy will be needed to forestall extensive
violence if the presidential contest moves to a run-off in conditions like 2008,
or, if President Robert Mugabe loses at any stage, to ensure a smooth
89 years old and 33 years at the helm, President Mugabe seeks to
ensure his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) regains
full control of government before embarking on a fraught succession process.
Out-manoeuvring both the two rival Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
formations and SADC, ZANU-PF hardliners, supported by the president, secured a
Constitutional Court ruling that confirmed the premature election date, shutting
down in the process any prospects of necessary reform, around which there had
appeared to be growing convergence between the MDCs and SADC.
The regional body, as well as the AU, might have pressed harder
for a postponement; however, in the end, they felt they had little option but to
accept the sovereign decision of the newly constituted court. MDC formations
favoured a later date but could only cry foul and reluctantly agree to
participate, since they know a boycott would be counter-productive and that to
remain relevant they must demonstrate they retain popular
With the campaign in full swing, ZANU-PF has a strong resource
advantage. The MDCs have struggled to raise money but are relatively well
organised. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T believes it can win the
presidency but fears the electoral commission is being undermined from within
and cannot deliver a free, fair, transparent and credible
Many expect a Mugabe victory, because “ZANU doesn’t lose
elections”, and even if outvoted, as in the first round in 2008, its
hardliners would not give up power. Its strategy is to get its supporters to
the voting stations and keep the opposition away. Preventing manipulation of the
voters roll and tabulation process are critical challenges, as in past polls,
though both will potentially have greater scrutiny. The parliamentary vote
hinges on 34 swing constituencies in Masvingo and Manicaland provinces, where
ZANU-PF seeks to recoup 2008 losses.
Repeated calls from all parties to avert a repeat of the 2008
violence have tempered intimidation tactics, but as campaigning has intensified,
incidents have increased, raising fears for what may happen, especially if the
presidential contest again goes to a run-off. If the MDCs feel cheated, they are
dependent on dispute resolution mechanisms that are untested or have a history
Much resembles 2008, including an atmosphere of intolerance and
restricted access, state media bias and lack of confidence in institutions.
There are some significant differences: more voter access to information,
especially through the internet, social media, mobile phones and satellite news.
ZANU-PF no longer has an increasingly frustrated region’s unquestioning loyalty.
SADC publicly acknowledges need for reforms, but expectations it would or could
ensure a genuine vote are severely compromised, raising questions about its
post-31 July role.
Much of the international community is expected to take its cue
from the AU and, especially, SADC, but there are concerns the latter may repeat
its 2011 performance in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), when it accepted
an election replete with violations of its own guidelines. Mugabe’s threat in
the 5 July speech that launched his campaign to leave SADC, “if it makes silly
decisions”, and hardliner posturing that the organisation and its most powerful
member, South Africa, want regime change, highlight ZANU-PF’s continued reliance
Though both are aware Zimbabwe is not ready for elections, SADC
and the AU have deployed observers, after weakly urging postponement, but thus
far not to the swing constituencies or to many rural areas, though the major
threat to security and proper tabulation of results comes from the very security
forces legally bound to protect the elections. Especially if the presidential
contest goes to a run-off, as in 2008, they should seek to include well-trained
SADC police and military (whether active duty or retired) in their observer
delegations specifically to monitor the conduct of the Zimbabwe military and
Pre-election statements by SADC and the AU suggest an atmosphere
of calm, but if they are to safeguard the region from a new crisis and help
Zimbabwe move toward an adjustment of political power that fairly and
efficiently reflects the genuine strengths of the two main camps, they need to
be prepared to react promptly and strongly to an unfair vote, an escalation of
violence or results rejected by bitterly divided
Commission fails to release voters’ roll to parties
SW Radio Africa
29 July 2013
There is still no sign of the
voters roll from the Electoral Commission,
just two days before Zimbabweans
go to the polls Wednesday.
The MDC formations have raised concern at the
electoral body’s failure to
ensure that the voters roll was available to
them for auditing well ahead of
So far, reports
indicate that the Commission has only managed to release
bits and pieces of
the important document, to its provincial offices, and
not to the political
parties who have been asking for it.
On Sunday, Nelson Chamisa of the
MDC-T told the Al Jazeera news service that
the party still had not received
important election-related information.
“The voters’ roll has not been
availed to us, and we don’t know who is
printing the ballot papers. We don’t
know where those ballot papers are
being printed,” Chamisa
Senator David Coltart, the Ncube-led MDC legal affairs secretary,
by failing to avail the voters’ roll, ZEC was violating the
In a statement that was also posted on Coltart’s Facebook
page, the MDC
said: “Section 21(4) of the Electoral Act states “within a
of time after the calling of an election, the Commission
shall provide, on
payment of the prescribed fee, to every political party
that intends to
contest the election, and to any observer who requests it,
one copy of every
voters roll to be used in the election, either in printed
or in electronic
form as the party or observer may request.”
has repeatedly asked the ZEC to provide us with a voters roll. Last
we wrote to the ZEC asking for a copy of the roll,” but by weekend,
party said it was still waiting, with no sign of the document.
statement further stated: “A ‘reasonable period of time after the
an election’ means just that. The election was called on the 13th
June and 6
weeks have since elapsed – and yet we still do not have a copy of
The party added that this was “a grossly unreasonable period of
time left to
study and use the voters roll.”
“The Commission Voters
rolls are meant to be used by political parties the
world over to analyse
who is in particular constituencies so that they can
be spoken to and
encouraged to vote. That opportunity is now denied us.
the Zimbabwean context, where rigging has abounded in the
past, it is
critically important that parties be given sufficient time to
audit the voters roll. That right has now been denied us.”
formations have accused ZEC of conducting a shambolic electoral
which observers say has denied many Zimbabweans of the right to
ZANU PF’s advantage.
MDC’s elections directorate official, Abednico Moyo,
said the absence of the
voters’ roll discredits the electoral
Moyo said: “Without a voters’ roll parties cannot reconcile the
voters and the ballot papers supplied by ZEC.
itself means the process is discredited and therefore the result of
process can only be discredited and contestable,” Moyo added.
still blocking decade old Zim election report
By Alex Bell
29 July 2013
South African President Jacob Zuma is still
blocking the release of a report
on Zimbabwe’s elections in 2002, despite a
High Court order to do so.
The report, which a High Court judge has
acknowledged contains enough
information to cast doubts on the legality of
that poll, has remained a
closely guarded secret for over ten
The Presidency was ordered to hand over the report to the Mail
newspaper in February, four years after the paper approached
the courts to
have the report released to the public. This was amid
that the report contained evidence showing that the
2002 disputed election
in Zimbabwe was not free or fair.
Judge Joseph Raulinga, who took a ‘judicial peek’ into the
details of the
report, ruled in February that there was enough information
to cast doubts,
and ordered the President to hand it over within ten days.
Presidency then stated its intention to once again appeal. And last
Zuma’s office took steps to have the appeal heard before a full bench
High Court. Judgment was reserved last Wednesday. But if this latest
fails, the Presidency could seek leave to challenge the ruling in the
Supreme Court of Appeal once more, which could conceivably take the matter
back to the Constitutional Court.
Meanwhile, Zuma has said there is a
“very, very good atmosphere” in Zimbabwe
ahead of the elections on
Wednesday. Speaking during an unrelated press
conference in South Africa on
Monday, Zuma said Zimbabwe had done the best
it could in the short time it
had had to prepare.
“So we would say to the Zimbabweans, please have your
elections in peace so
that they can be declared free and fair, so that the
Zimbabweans can then
face the task of reconstructing Zimbabwe and indeed
proving that democracy
can come back to Zimbabwe. So we wish them well. We
wish all the parties
well in their campaign,” he said.
Urges Supporters to Vote For Change in Wednesday's Poll
HARARE — MDC-T President Morgan Tsvangirai on
Monday held his final 2013
election campaign rally urging supporters to go
out in large numbers
Wednesday to vote him into office, promising he will
bring change to the
It was a sea of red in the capital as
tens of thousands of MDC supporters
gathered at the open space near the
Rainbow Towers Hotel, which has been
dubbed the Freedom Square by the MDC-T,
to hear their leader’s last pitch
before the watershed
Tsvangirai said time has come for Zimbabweans to reclaim their
33 years of failed Zanu-PF policies.
The outgoing Prime
Minister said President Robert Mugabe has nothing to fear
if he loses
Wednesday’s election, adding the MDC-T will ensure he has a
He criticised the chaos that has characterized the operations
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission in preparing for the July 31 polls.
a day to go, political parties said were yet to receive the
from the electoral body.
In light of this, Tsvangirai
called for the entire commission to resign.
Despite his complaints
against ZEC, Tsvangirai said he victory was certain
for his party come
Wednesday. He urged all registered voters to be patient
and remain in voting
queues until they cast their ballots.
Tsvangirai pledged to revive the
country’s ailing economy if elected
president into office. He also urged
election observers that are in the
country to be impartial.
finance minister Simba Makoni, who formed an election alliance with
Tsvangirai, also spoke at the rally, urging voters to use the vote to rid
Zimbabwe of the Zanu PF government.
Tsvangirai and his wife Elizabeth
kicked and threw footballs into the crowd
at the end of the rally
the 2008 elections, some Zanu PF supporters reportedly showed their anger
with their party and voted for the MDC in what was then called “bhora
musango” in a campaign that saw supporters supporting a Zanu PF lawmaker but
Mugabe has also been using footballs in his campaign
telling supporters this
time the ball should go into the net and not the
woods as they seek to beat
Tsvangirai's party in the election.
Rallies Supporters in Last Campaign Meeting Ahead of
HARARE — President Robert Mugabe addressed
his last campaign rally at the
National Sports Stadium in Harare Sunday with
a long winding speech on the
history of Zimbabwe, telling supporters to go
out in their numbers to
support his party during Wednesday’s
Mugabe said people should use Wednesday’s vote to reject Prime
Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party saying it was formed to reverse the
the liberation struggle. He said he will suffer a heart attack if
of Harare abandoned him in favour of Tsvangirai.
Bulawayo, have you put behind you the 2008 mistake? I will suffer a
attack if the people of Harare vote the MDC-T again, which has
who have terrorized residents by poor service delivery,
unfairly repossessing residential stands of those who fail to
said Mugabe. “If your stand has been taken away, come back to
the party that
has your wishes and dreams at heart.”
Mugabe's last campaign rally was
not as well attended as his previous
meetings around the country. Some
supporters who tried to leave before he
finished speaking were stopped by
The president described his main rival in Wednesday’s vote,
Tsvangirai, as “an irresponsible cry baby”, warning the MDC leader he
arrest if he announces next week’s election results
He said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is the country’s
and should announce the results.
“What kind of madness
is that? I have never heard such a statement coming
from a Prime Minister,
even in the whole of Africa. Who gave you that right
Mr Tsvangirai when we
have an electoral body that is mandated to do that? I
can warn you in
advance that if you break the law, you will be arrested. He
who breaks the
law will be arrested. We will arrest you Tsvangirai,” said
The Zanu PF leader also said he was concerned by Tsvangirai’s
on African Union Commission chairperson, Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma, after her
remarks that the continental body was happy with
preparations on the ground
for the crucial election.
also took time to respond to questions from local and
journalists after the rally. He said if he wins next week, it
will not be up
to him but Europe’s decision as to whether they want to
relations or not, saying Harare is ready to work with them.
problems between Harare and Europe in particular were stoked by
Minister Tony Blair whom he said was against his agrarian
reforms and took
the message to the European Union that there was no
democracy in Zimbabwe,
adding Mugabe was abusing people’s rights and not
respecting the rule of
law, charges he has and continues to deny.
“It is the British who created
the MDC, it is them who created Tsvangirai as
a political figure and that is
why he never criticises the British despite
their continued desire to loot
the country’s resources,” he Mugabe.
Zimbabweans go to the polls
Wednesday to choose a new leadership to replace
the shaky coalition
government that saw rivals Tsvangirai and Mugabe coming
the disputed 2008 election.
Zimbabwe elections: Voters' roll concerns Sadc
Southern Africa's chief observer to Zimbabwe, Bernard Membe,
says he is
gravely concerned that a voters' roll has not been released two
tightly contested elections.
This is despite the fact
that it is the "most important document" for
Wednesday's election, he
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said it plans to take
to obtain the voters' roll.
The poll ends the coalition
between the MDC and the president's Zanu-PF
President Robert Mugabe, the Zanu-PF candidate, is seeking to
33-year rule and will face Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of
the MDC at
the ballot box.
"With virtually a day to go to the
election, no political party in Zimbabwe
other than Zanu-PF perhaps has got
a copy of the final voters roll” - Tendai
The two long-time
rivals have been sharing power since 2009, under a deal
brokered by the
regional bloc the Southern African Development Community
(Sadc), to end
conflict that marred elections held the previous year.
Mr Membe, Sadc's
chief observer and Tanzania's foreign minister, said the
voters roll was not
a "top secret" document and its release was overdue.
"It has to be made
available for the people to see; for the people to verify
their names; for
the people to know where they're going to vote," he told
the BBC's Focus on
MDC Secretary-General and Finance Minister Tendai Biti
said the party would
take legal action against the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission (Zec) to get a
copy of the roll.
"With virtually a day to
go to the election, no political party in Zimbabwe
other than Zanu-PF
perhaps has got a copy of the final voters roll," he
said, AFP news agency
"Our lawyers are in the process of filing a court application to
obtain a copy of that voters roll," he added.
In June, a
non-governmental organisation, Research and Advocacy Unit,
alleged that the
roll included around one million dead voters or people who
abroad, as well as over 100,000 people aged over 100 years old.
alleges that these "ghost voters" are intended to boost Mr Mugabe's
it wants them to be removed from the voters roll.
Zanu PF with voters’ roll’
July 29, 2013 in News, Politics
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC says political parties, except Zanu
yet to receive the voters’ roll to be used in Wednesday’s crucial
By Elias Mambo
Briefing journalists this morning,
MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti said
it was alarming that only Zanu PF
was in possession of the voters’ roll,
which should have been distributed to
political parties last Thursday.
“We have been asking the Zec (Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission) for the voters’
roll and they referred us to the RG
(Registrar-General)’s office,” Biti
said. “I want to believe that even Zec
is not in possession of the voters’
roll yet it is the electoral managing
Independent electoral organisations claim that the voters’ roll is
shambles and would be used by President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF
to rig the elections.
Mugabe is facing a stiff challenge to his
33-year-old rule from Tsvangirai.
MDC leaders Welshman Ncube and Zapu
president Dumiso Dabengwa are also
eyeing the presidency.
claimed that Zec was yet to release a list of polling stations
the country, two days before the poll.
“How are we going to deploy our
monitors and agents if we do not know how
many polling stations will be
there?” questioned Biti. “What if they
increase the number of polling
stations overnight, how are the agents going
to be accredited when the law
requires that accreditation should take two
He said the MDC-T had notified the African Union and Sadc
observer teams of
the irregularities, including alleged plans to rig the
“The number of polling stations in Harare, which has a population
million, has been decreased to 875 yet in 2008 Harare had 920
“We also have reports that Zec is printing two
million ballots more than the
eight million that has been reported and that
serial numbers of the ballot
papers are being done by police yet we have
Fidelity and government printers
who have the capacity to do
He said the MDC-T would not accept another stolen
“We are not going to accept a stolen election like in 2002 and
2008. We will
not accept such illegality,” Biti said without elaborating
what MDC-T would
do should polls be rigged.
Zec was not available for
PF disrupts MDC-T rallies in Bulilima
The MDC-T says it has been failing to hold rallies in Bulilima
Matabeleland South province for the past three weeks as Zanu
have been disrupting their meetings.
to The Zimbabwean yesterday MDC-T parliamentary candidate for
Norman Mpofu said a group of Zanu (PF) supporters has been
their meeting venues, just few hours before their rallies’ kick
“Zanu (PF) has resorted to dirty tricks here, as their party
by their parliamentary candidate Merthias Ndlovu are
electorate code of conduct by invading every venue we booked
for a rally.
“All our rallies had been cleared by police,but they rushed
to every venue a
few minutes before kick-off and start holding their
meetings claiming to
have booked the same venue,” said Mpofu.
added: “For example yesterday our meeting in Gwambe Business Centre
to take place after Zanu (PF) youths led by Ndlovu invaded the venue
in the morning. We notified police but they failed to take action”
contacted Matabeleland South police spokesperson Philisani Ndebele
The Zimbabwean to national spokesperson Charity Charamba, who said
make a follow up”.
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said: “These MDC
people lie too much,
there are just trying to get attention from the western
The disruption of MDC-T rallies in Bulilima comes as about 500
youths on Thursday invaded the venue of party leader Prime Minister
Tsvangirai's rally at Mutoko centre, scaring away people who wanted
attend. Tsvangirai, however, managed to address small crowds of between
and 2 000 at Mutoko centre and in Murehwa in Mashonaland
Zanu PF supporters also invaded Tsvangirai rally venue on Saturday
Chegutu before the MDC-T shifted to an open space.
to win 61% - Survey
GIFT PHIRI, NEWS EDITOR • 29 JULY 2013
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (pictured) has a solid
34-percentage point lead over Zanu PF presidential candidate President
Robert Mugabe in a new survey ahead of the make-or-break election on
The opinion poll by respected US firm, Williams and
Associates of Salem,
found that 61 percent of Zimbabwean voters favour
Tsvangirai compared to 27
percent for Mugabe.
The survey, held
between March 28 and April 5, 2013, was compiled from 800
conducted across the country’s 10 provinces, and has a margin of
plus or minus 3,5 percent.
The majority of Zimbabweans (67 percent) think
that Mugabe, 89, should step
down and let another candidate represent Zanu
“At 61 percent, MDC-T shows it has potential support from across the
political spectrum with the exception of hardcore Mugabe voters,” says the
“The 27 percent favourable for Zanu PF matches the result of
support among his voters in 2008, that is he does not appeal to
outside of his own personal core support.
demonstrates that Zanu PF, with Mugabe at its head should
not win...and this
effect should also filter down, with negative effect to
level. It could be argued then that Zanu PF’s electoral
chances would be
better with a different candidate who might appeal to a
In his campaign speeches, Tsvangirai has been promising a
convincing win in
the July 31 vote against a foe he derides as the epitome
While earlier surveys have
consistently showed that there will be a fierce
battle between Mugabe and
Tsvangirai, the Massachusetts-headquartered
think-tank found that
Tsvangirai, 61, is the best hope of unseating Mugabe
after failing to remove
him through the last two presidential ballots.
Tsvangirai has embarked on
a nationwide tour intended to deepen his support
and improve his poll
The survey found that of the country’s 10 provinces, Tsvangirai
in seven —Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Manicaland,
Central, Mashonaland East, Harare and Bulawayo. Mugabe only
Mashonaland West, Masvingo and Midlands.
past turn-out with the present support levels it is highly
Mugabe could get even close to winning — he lacks critical
mass,” the survey
The major wild card is Mugabe’s health. The veteran ruler insists
from cataracts and treatment is going quite well.
Zimbabwean leader prefers treatment in Singapore because he is
discretion in the tightly controlled Asian State and can lean on
of his friend Mohammed Mahathir, the former Malaysian ruler.
with other high-profile figures around the region such as Nelson
have suffered frailty, Mugabe has not allowed doctors or others
to give much
official information on his own condition.
Beyond vague descriptions of
seeking medical help for a nagging eye problem,
details have been scant,
leading to a frenzied rumour-mill and criticisms of
Mugabe’s health problems, associated with advanced age, have
markets and raised expectations of a change of government.
Mugabe managed to
run 10 energy-sapping rallies across the provinces, albeit
whereas Tsvangirai is projecting an image of youth and
Tsvangirai has continued to capitalise on Zimbabwe’s growing social
economic problems, warning the electorate that they faced a return to
economic hardships if Mugabe was re-elected.
centre-left politician campaigning on a platform of creating a
ending corruption and solving grassroots economic problems,
wants to bring
Western-style progress to Zimbabwe, with free-market
strong social welfare programmes.
Mugabe, known for his radical populism,
nationalism and fierce anti-Western
rhetoric, has called him a puppet of the
Underlining the polarised nature of Zimbabwean politics and the
atmosphere this year, Tsvangirai has accused Mugabe of trying to rig
vote saying he was still to be furnished with important election-related
information on the eve of the poll.
“The voters’ roll has not been
availed to us; we don’t know who is printing
the ballot papers,” Tsvangirai
“We don’t know where those ballot papers are being
But Mugabe has rejected allegations that he is planning to
“We do not want observers to go away with the impression we won
were using violence,” Mugabe said last week.
“That must be
avoided. Let just the numbers talk. I am confident there will
The latest clutch of opinion poll has been disappointing for
preservation’ camp, analysts note.
Mugabe says he will rule Zimbabwe for 'another five years' ahead of
A combatative Robert Mugabe insisted he would win Wednesday’s
rule Zimbabwe for another term despite his advanced years,
declaring: “I can
box you. Ask me after another five years and I will fell
you with one."
By Aislinn Laing, Harare and Peta Thornycroft in
7:00AM BST 29 Jul 2013
As new allegations emerged of
vote-rigging, the 89-year-old president
dismissed his rival to power Morgan
Tsvangirai as a “cry baby” for his
claims that Zanu PF was working with
Zimbabwe’s Electoral Commission (ZEC)
to alter the voters’ roll in their
The elections would be “free and fair” and that his countrymen
“can vote the
way they desire”, he asserted on Sunday.
strongman told The Daily Telegraph that it would be up to the
normalise relations with Zimbabwe should he win this week.
“It’s up to
the West to decide what the nature of the relations they desire
themselves and ourselves will be,” he said.
“We have not offended against
them, nor have we interfered with their own
systems in any way so it’s up to
Mr Mugabe was speaking after his last rally before
elections that will
terminate a five-year coalition government that has
brought a fragile peace
to the troubled country. Polls have suggested that
there is little clear
water between the parties.
During a two-hour
speech, Mr Mugabe called repeatedly for a peaceful vote
but also attacked
“interfering” whites and the MDC as a “creation of the
pledged that his key indigenisation policy, which will see foreign
forced to hand over a majority share to locals, would make the
generation of Zimbabweans “masters of their own destiny”.
Chinese-built, 50,000-capacity National Sports Stadium was
people being bussed in from Zanu PF heartlands in the
countryside. The crowd
was muted save for a few cheers for Mr Mugabe’s
barnstorming attacks on the
West and pledges of indigenisation and youth
asked them: “Are you going to vote Zanu PF? Are you sure you’re
“Yes!” they roared back in response.
“You have to show me you’re with me,
to prove it. But if you’re not, I will
see it on Wednesday,” the president
Meanwhile, at a small soccer stadium in a town 20 miles south
of Harare, MDC
leader Mr Tsvangirai, Mr Mugabe’s erstwhile coalition
15,000 people who sang “Bye, bye, Mugabe, we will miss
you, and shake your
hand, bye bye Mugabe”.
Mr Tsvangirai, accused of
being a “puppet of the West” by Mr Mugabe, told
his audience his rival was a
“puppet of the military”.
“Two days left, only two days left for change.
There will be no fear in our
government,” he said.
“We have been so
traumatised. So many have lost so much but we will create
wealth and we will
re-open the factories.”
Cosmas Ndira, whose brother was killed during the
disputed 2008 elections,
predicted a “landslide” in favour of the
“They (Zanu PF) won’t be able to cheat,” he said. “There are many
voters this time, and we just pray the results will come quickly,
Catherine Musakwa, 30, a single mother of two,
said she hoped the next
government would bring jobs: “I joined the MDC eight
years ago, and so many
have suffered, but we are very close now. We will not
have revenge against
Zanu PF, we just won’t to start to live again and we
want peace,” she said.
On Sunday, police arrested an MDC official who
claimed ballot papers marked
in his party’s favour from the early, special
vote for police on July 14 and
15, were dumped in a rubbish bin outside the
ZEC said they requested Morgan Komichi’s arrest
for contravening electoral
laws because he refused to disclose who handed
him the allegedly dumped
The MDC’s Nelson Chamisa said the
arrest underscored concerns about an
unfair election. “We believe that ZEC
and not Komichi have a lot of
questions to answer,” he said.
Mugabe insisted the election would reflect the true wishes of
“Things are going to be free and fair, we are not forcing
anyone to vote
this way or that way, they can vote the way they desire,” he
described a suggestion by Mr Tsvangirai that he might seek to pre-empt
and avoid the “vote rigging” of previous elections in 2002 and 2008 by
announcing the election results himself as “crazy”.
“That shocked me
because it’s not legal for him to announce the results,” he
said. “I can
warn you in advance that if you break the law, you will be
arrested. We will
arrest you Tsvangirai.”
ITV News uncovers evidence of potential voting fraud
in Zimbabwe's elections
MON 29 JUL 2013
More than 100,000 voters who are apparently over the age
of 100 have been registered to vote.Photo: ITV
ITV News has uncovered
evidence of potential voting fraud, ahead of Wednesday's parliamentary and
presidential elections in Zimbabwe.
The evidence includes
the registration of more than 100-thousand voters who are apparently at least
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is attempting, for a third time, to unseat the
country's controversial leader President Robert Mugabe, who is aiming to extend
his 33 year grip on power.
ITV News Correspondent
Neil Connery reports from Harare.
Read: Robert Mugabe insists
Zimbabwe's elections will be 'free and
to be done at polling stations — Zec
July 29, 2013 in Elections 2013, News,
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has clarified that
counting of votes
will be done at polling stations while announcing of ward,
provincial results for proportional representation will be
done at the
Justice Rita Makarau said after the counting of election
results at polling
stations, they will be transmitted to the ward collation
centre where the
winner for the ward will be announced at that level while
those for the
House of Assembly will be collated at the constituency
after which the winner will be announced.
From constituency level, the
results will then be sent to a provincial
collation centre where
calculations will be done for the apportioning of
seats for the Senate and
60 House of assembly seats reserved for women.
The Zec headquarters will be
seized with the presidential election results
which Makarau said will be
announced within five days of polling.
The Zec chairperson said they
increased the number of polling stations to 9
735 because they anticipate a
high voter turnout while 8.7 million ballots
were printed to cater for 6, 4
million registered voters. Makarau admitted
that the 8,7 million ballots was
a high number considering that its 35% of
the number of registered
She added that the voters’ roll hard copy was ready for collection
Registrar-General office by contesting candidates although the soft
not available. The unavailability of the voters’ roll soft copy
criticism from observers and journalists who argued that it was
to provide a computerized version than printing the
“We are 99% ready for the elections since the ballot papers have
dispatched to provinces while ink and other material is also available.
Voting will start at 7am on July 31 and close at 7pm but those who will be
in the queue until closing of polling will be allowed to vote,” said
heart failure if I lose - Mugabe
Cape Town –
President Robert Mugabe says he would suffer heart failure if
the people of
Harare and Bulawayo did not vote for him in the make-or-break
to be held on Wednesday, a News Day report said on Monday.
party supporters during his last campaign rally in Harare, Mugabe
we going to vote? Yes, but how are you going to vote? Harare,
Harare, Bulawayo, Bulawayo, our big cities. Have we forgotten
"Have we left behind 2008? I will be shocked. I will have heart
failure if I
hear Harare votes for MDC, a party with councillors who have
trouble," Mugabe said.
Tsvangirai gets his third
crack at dethroning Mugabe
29 JUL 2013 08:56 SUSAN NJANJI
losing against President Robert Mugabe in three consecutive elections,
Morgan Tsvangirai outmanoeuvre Zimbabwe's head on July 31?
Wednesday, Morgan Tsvangirai will get his third crack at dethroning
Zimbabwe's veteran leader Robert Mugabe. It may be his last.
years at the helm of the Movement for Democratic Change, the
ex-trade unionist, has made his party the only credible
In consecutive elections in 2002, 2005 and 2008
Tsvangirai has run Mugabe
Last time out he won 47.9% of the
vote to Mugabe's 43.2%.
In a fair race, he may well have won outright.
But an orgy of violence
against allies forced him out of the hunt before the
final round of voting.
For his troubles Tsvangirai has been arrested
repeatedly, been charged with
treason and faced four suspected assassination
In 1997 assailants tried to throw him out of his office window.
bodyguard was killed and his wife died in a suspicious car crash that
Outmanoeuvred by Mugabe
a strong following among urbanites and Zimbabweans in
rural of the western
part of the country.
But even among supporters, there is a lingering
sense that Tsvangirai has
repeatedly been outmanoeuvred by Mugabe, even when
community forced Mugabe to accept him as prime
After more than four years of a forced unity government, most
levers of power – from the security services to the judiciary –
Tsvangirai has been criticised for
offering Mugabe legitimacy by
participating in polls that have repeatedly
been rigged – and for failing to
mobilise mass protests that could shift the
terrain in his favour.
And on his watch, the MDC has split into two rival
factions, draining energy
and valuable votes.
Tsvangirai has managed
to forge an alliance with Simba Makoni, a former
finance minister and senior
official of Mugabe's party, who came third in
the first round of the 2008
"This will be a do-or-die election for him," said Eldred
political scientist at the University of
"After being at the helm of the party since September 1999, if
then surely he must consider dropping the hat for someone
Scandal surrounding his love life
While he is widely seen as a
champion of democracy, recent scandals
surrounding his love life, including
a public divorce, have put a dent in
distracted by a whole lot of things, including personal issues",
analyst Moeletsi Mbeki, who has known Tsvangirai since the 1980s.
does little to help strengthen his fight, especially facing a "very
adversary" like Mugabe.
"Morgan has been learning on the job while
fighting against ... Mugabe [who]
is the one of the cleverest politicians in
Mbeki thinks that "in fact Morgan has done reasonably well given
the lack of
experience he started off with".
non-smoking Tsvangirai rose to political prominence via the
After working for 10 years at Bindura Nickel Mine he became
leader of the
country's largest labour federation, spearheading national
strikes in the
1990s against Mugabe's economic policies.
Tsvangirai was born in 1952, the son of a bricklayer in the southern
Gutu, as the oldest of nine children.
He grew up in the
eastern district of Buhera but family poverty forced him
to quit school
early and earn a living to enable his younger siblings to get
Unlike most of Zimbabwe's politicians of his age and older,
not take part in the Chimurenga liberation war against white
He was 28 when Zimbabwe won independence from Britain in
Under Mugabe's rule, he was detained twice for his political
was twice cleared of treason charges.
In March 2007, he
was among dozens of opposition activists assaulted by
police as they tried
to stage an anti-government rally, and suffered head
three weeks after taking office as the premier, his first wife Susan
a car crash that also left him hospitalised.
There are increasing signs
his long struggle has taken its toll.
"I don't have the 'I-will-not-go'
attitude. When my days are done, I will go
and leave these young ones [to
it]," Tsvangirai told thousands of supporters
on Sunday. – AFP
not his own man: Tsvangirai
BRIDGET MANANAVIRE • 29 JULY 2013
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has accused President
Mugabe of being used by hardliners in the security structures of the
to prolong his stay in power.
In an address to a huge rally
in Chitungwiza yesterday, Tsvangirai said
Mugabe was hostage to some
individuals in the security structures who are
forcing him to
“Do you want democracy or military rule?” Tsvangirai
“In 2008 we beat Mugabe, he agreed on his own and he got to a
point where he
said, ‘guys, let me accept defeat’, but was told, ‘no,
mudhara (old man) you
ain’t going anywhere, you’ll will stay there, let’s
see what we can
“They took five weeks to announce results
whose outcome was that Tsvangirai
has won but not enough to scoop the
presidency. What does that mean? It
means Mugabe is not his own man, there
are people who are handlers behind
him, he is a puppet........... And he
Tsvangirai continued: “Now we have that critical challenge,
that those same
people who forced Mugabe to stay in office are saying ‘we
Tsvangirai because he is MDC and we don’t want vice president
because she is a woman’, that’s the challenge we have on 31
July; the people
versus those who want to subvert the will of the
“But I want to tell you now, there is no one who will stand in
the way of
people’s wishes,” Tsvangirai said.
Unlike Mugabe who has
ruled the country for the past 33 years and wants to
rule for five more
years, Tsvangirai said he will relinquish power to
calls me a cry baby, I am not a cry baby, Mai Makone, I don’t have a
handiende (I will not go) attitude,” the MDC leader said. “If my days are
done I will go and leave for these young men.
“After all this
struggle, having lost so much in my life, having been
and detained, why should I allow such a condition to
prevail to another
Zimbabwean? That’s not my philosophy, I don’t believe in
that, but I want to
assure you that come August 1, Zimbabwe will become a
Tsvangirai also challenged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
(Zec) to prove
“Now I hear that Zec has changed the
law, saying they will no longer count
our votes at polling stations. I want
to tell Zec that we will not allow any
ballot to be moved from any polling
station before being counted,” said
The premier said he
was going to brief the observers on the irregularities,
giving Zec up to
today to “rectify the anomalies”.
Zimbabwe PM: No Trust in Free and Fair Poll
By GILLIAN GOTORA
HARARE, Zimbabwe July 29, 2013 (AP)
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Monday he doesn't trust the
electoral body to conduct free and fair elections on
Wednesday and called
for their resignation.
Speaking to more than 50,000 supporters at his
last rally in downtown
Harare, Tsvangirai said he feared the same
vote-rigging that marred previous
violent and disputed elections in 2008. He
said the state Electoral
Commission had shown its lack of preparedness after
chaos marked early
voting on July 14 and 15 for uniformed services on duty
"They are not up to the responsibility. I say to them, just do
thing and go," he said.
Tsvangirai, 61, faces long-time
President Robert Mugabe, 89, and two other
minor candidates in presidential
He warned of political unrest if people are turned away from the
if rigging is suspected.
"There is potential of unrest if
people are not given chance to vote and
results don't reflect their will,"
Tsvangirai told The Associated Press
Later Monday, head of the state
Electoral Commission, Judge Rita Makarau,
defended the electoral body and
said it was ready to hold to credible
Makarau said the
commission has established 9, 735 polling stations across
the country. She
said the printing of ballot papers, one day away from
voting, is now "99
percent complete" and voters' lists are being dispatched
Polling stations will be open until everyone in line has cast
"It is our duty to serve everyone. No voter
will be turned away," Makarau
Tsvangirai told his supporters on
Monday that "Zimbabweans has been
short-changed" by the way polls were being
administered by the electoral
"Don't dare do it again, I don't
respect deliberate attempts to subvert the
people's will," Tsvangirai said.
"No one will get away with stealing from
on Wednesday will be the Tsvangirai's third attempt at the
presidency since 2002.
He claims Mugabe rigged the elections contested by
him. The disputed and
violent poll in 2008 led to an acrimonious coalition
with Mugabe that was
brokered by the leaders of neighboring
"Mugabe lost in 2008 but found a way to come back through the
back door, but
this time there will be no coalition," Tsvangirai
About 13,210 election observers have been accredited to monitor the
some 800 of them from neighboring African counties and the
African Union headed by former Nigerian President Olusegun
respected African elder statesman, according to electoral
She said ballots will be counted at polling
stations and will be displayed
outside each voting post.
officials were expected to be "firm on the ground" by the end of
No campaigning is allowed Tuesday, the day before the
questions loom amid Mugabe re-election bid
Sapa-AFP | 29 July, 2013
A victory for Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe’s presidential
elections this week
would raise the prospect of him ruling well into his
90s, enflaming a
succession battle that already quietly
You don’t rule a country — especially one as volatile as
Zimbabwe — for 33
years without knowing a thing or two about seeing off
Since taking up the reins of a newly independent Zimbabwe in
has for three decades deftly brushed aside opponents and, with
consolidated, kept subordinates in their place.
He started with
Joshua Nkomo, a man many considered to be the father of the
Mugabe’s ZANU and Nkomo’s ZAPU kicked out the white-minority
after a long bush war. A brief co-habitation followed.
ultimately it was Nkomo who fled the country, accused — with the aid of
suspect intelligence operations — of plotting a coup.
His supporters in
Matabeleland were brutally crushed by North Korean trained
forces, in a
operation that killed around 20 000 people and become known as
the early rain that washes away the chaff.
Since then a series of
elections saw Mugabe retain power by hook or crook,
repeatedly seeing off
Morgan Tsvangirai, who he will again face on
doubt the vote will be free and fair, and few doubt the
perhaps the fiercest battle will take place behind the scenes.
his rule, Mugabe has steadfastly refused to name a successor.
The lack of
a clear a clear heir has in recent years spelt jockeying within
between two camps, one led by Vice President Joice Mujuru and the
hardline Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
After losing the first
round of the 2008 elections, there were reports that
Mugabe was prepared to
accept defeat, but was pushed by allies in the
security forces to hang
It was the military that reportedly led the violent campaign in the
to the run-off election which Tsvangirai boycotted following the
some 200 of his supporters.
Wrapping up his election
campaign on Sunday, Mugabe showed no sign of
changing tack, claiming he
would have the energy to run in 2018.
His failure to pick and groom a
successor “means he cannot trust anyone in
ZANU-PF”, according to
Shakespeare Hamauswa of the University of Zimbabwe.
As a result, if he is
handed back power on Wednesday he likely continue to
recycle the stalwarts
who have served him for decades and a playbook that
has served him
throughout his political life.
Born on February 21, 1924, at a Jesuit
mission northwest of the capital
Harare, Mugabe was described as a studious
child. He qualified as a teacher
at the age of 17.
He took his first
steps in politics while studying at Fort Hare University
in South Africa,
where he met many of southern Africa’s future black
He taught in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and later in Ghana —
was profoundly influenced by the country’s founder president Kwame
It was also there where he met his first wife Sally.
member of various nationalist parties which were banned by the
white-minority government, Mugabe was detained in 1964 and spent the next 10
years in prison camps or jail.
But he used his incarceration to
gather three degrees, including a law
degree from London, via
He also used that time to consolidate his position in the
National Union and emerged from prison in November 1974 as
the party leader.
He skipped the border for Mozambique, from where his
banned party staged a
guerrilla war against the white minority colonial
Economic sanctions and war forced Rhodesian leader Ian
Smith to negotiate.
After that ZANU, which drew most of its support from
the ethnic Shona
majority, swept to power in the 1980 election.
2000 Mugabe launched controversial land reforms, driving thousands of
farmers off their land.
Some of the white farmers were accused of joining
forces with his Western
foes in a campaign to topple him, using the
opposition MDC as a front.
The white farmers were replaced by hundreds of
thousands of black farmers
including his cronies and army
The chaotic process plunged the former regional breadbasket
decade-long crisis, with most rural dwellers relying on food
Under pressure to end the crushing economic decline, Mugabe
entered into an
agreement with Tsvangirai to form a unity government.
to be charged over stray ballot paper
POLICE have vowed to press criminal charges against MDC-T
Morgan Komichi who was arrested Sunday after he produced a
paper cast in his party’s favour to back claims of vote rigging
Speaking during a press briefing at the Police General
Headquarters the same
day, national police spokesperson Assistant
Commissioner Charity Charamba
insisted that Komichi, who is deputy minister
of Transport, would remain
their prime suspect until he reveals the source
of the document.
Komichi, who is also the MDC-T’s elections chief, last
week, took the ballot
paper to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC),
claiming it was handed to
his party by a party sympathiser who preferred to
He claimed the document was picked from a dust bin at
International Conference Centre where ZEC has established its
The MDC-T further claims it is in possession
of “several” more stray ballot
papers dumped after the July 14-15 special
voting exercise by some members
of the uniformed forces and ZEC
ZEC has since denied being responsible for any leaks and
the credibility of the MDC-T official’s claims.
police said they were taking the matter seriously as it had the
dent the credibility of the July 31 harmonised election, which has
generated a lot of controversy.
“The police would like to establish how
the so-called special ballot paper
ends up in a dustbin and the whereabouts
of the rest of the alleged lost
envelops," Charamba said.
preliminary investigations have since established that the said police
officer whose special ballot paper was allegedly found in the dust bin never
cast his vote.
“He was scientifically tested by ZEC officials to this
effect and a sworn
affidavit statement has since been obtained from the
police officer and the
ZEC official who conducted the ultra vialate light
“In this regard,” Charamba continued, “Mr Komichi … is assisting
investigations so that he reveals the identity of the person who
the ballot paper with a view of getting to the bottom of this
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police would like to urge Zimbabweans to
interfering with the electoral process with a view to
“Political parties should
therefore be warned that the Zimbabwe Republic
Police shall arrest all
individuals who stage manage events and or
occurrences in order to portray
that the obtaining environment is not
conducive for holding free and fair
elections. As Zimbabwe Republic Police,
we are determined to see the
fruition of a free and fair elections.”
Q&A: Can Zimbabwe's
Al Jazeera speaks with
Zimbabwe's Finance Minister on the challenges of taking on "the hardest job in
- When Tendai Biti took over Zimbabwe's
Ministry of Finance in 2009, the country was in tatters.
With inflation sitting
at 231 million percent following economic sanctions, mass economic
mismanagement and the shock effects of Zanu-PF's fast-track land reform
programme, Zimbabwe was in the midst of an economic meltdown.
Biti - a senior member of
the Movement of Democratic Change (MDC), a coalition partner of President Robert
Mugabe's Zanu-PF in a government of national unity, formed after the contested
election results of the 2008 presidential poll - had the arduous task of
rebuilding a country sitting on the brink.
The Ministry of Finance
promptly scrapped the Zimbabwe dollar and adopted a multiple currency system,
including the US dollar, which contained the country's runaway inflation that
had all but emptied the country of fuel and food supplies.
Five years later, inflation
is under control at 5.9 percent.
With the government of
national unity's parliamentary term expiring in June 2013, and Mugabe adamant
that foreign western donors would have no hand in funding or monitoring the
election, Zimbabwe was forced to raise funds from its own
Al Jazeera's Azad Essa spoke
with Tendai Biti about funding the elections, working with Zanu-PF, and being
Zimbabwe's finance minister - one of the toughest jobs in the
Here is an excerpt of the
Azad Essa: Zimbabwe
is paying for its own election. How is this going to
Biti: It has already happened. We have managed to
pay for our own elections. We have basically frozen government. We have squeezed
government so that all our obligations in terms of the budget have been
suspended, in order to create fiscal space to cover the budget. In fact, we have
basically raped government in order to finance this election.
There was opportunity to get
money from the UN, from the international community, but our colleagues at
Zanu-PF frustrated that. What we have done then is to behave as if Zimbabwe
starts and ends on July 31, 2013. This is regrettable, but this is what we have
AE: What were the
challenges in securing these funds?
were there; this is a small economy. Also in the first quarter of the year, we
lost three points in our GDP. I have also just revised the anticipated growth
rate of the country. The election comes shortly on the heels of the referendum
in March - which came on the heels of the census in September-December
Basically, we have had three
elections in the past six months - by another name. Quite clearly, these kinds
of things, for any country, puts [on] tremendous fiscal pressure. We have had a
situation of high demand, huge expectations but total absence of fiscal legroom.
The bottom line is that it has not been easy.
AE: This insistence
to pay for the elections. Will this put Zimbabwe
TB: Of course it
will. We have had to use expenditure that we would have otherwise gone to
productive and utilitarian sectors, like social delivery. But if we have the
correct outcome - if the MDC wins, because the MDC is the only party that can
restore legitimacy and credibility with the international
The only party that are
prepared to deal with that, that understands business, is the MDC. And if the
MDC wins, as we expect, then the turn-around and the rebound, would be as rapid
as it would be amazing.
AE: Moving to the elections. What is the likelihood that
these elections will be free and fair?
TB: I have said
it and I have said it again and I am beginning to sound like a broken record
now, but these elections are illegal, illegitimate, immoral, unfree and
AE: Why? The African
Union is saying that they will be legitimate...
TB: With all due
respect to [AU chair] Nkosanaza Zuma and the African Union, this is the only
election where its credibility is pronounced before the actual elections is
being held. This does not happen anywhere in the world.
You don't have to be a
rocket scientist to observe the kid of atrocities that we are going through.
There are a number of irregularities. We have not been given the space in the
media... as I'm speaking to you, they have banned our rallies, they have banned
bulk SMS service in the country. They have blocked us from accessing our
Facebook accounts. And we still do not have, at this late stage, access to the
voters' roll. Where in the world does that happen? With three days to go before
the elections, we don't have a final list of the polling stations, so we don't
know where people are going to the polling stations. So it's a dog's breakfast,
but one which [even] my dog, Jonathan, will also not consume.
AE: Some say you
are claiming the elections are unfair because you are not prepared for
TB: We were the
first party to hold primaries in this country. We were the first party to
document the agenda for real transformation. We were the first to hold a
campaign rally. You have seen the huge numbers of people who have attended our
rallies. So there is no question of us being afraid of this election. We are
talking about facts. We are not a Mickey Mouse party. We are the biggest party
in this country.
AE: Let's talk about your role as Minister of Finance. You
took on a very difficult job. How do you measure your
TB: Again, let's
talk facts. When I came in, there was absolutely no food in the supermarkets.
Inflation was 500 million percent. GDP growth rate in 2008 was minus 14 percent.
We also had more than 14 years of successive GDP declines. From minus 2.7
percent in 1997 to minus 14 percent in 2008.
The economy had shrunk by 60
percent of its value between 2000-2008. [But] our growth was 5.7 percent in 2009
and between 2010-2011, the averge growth rate in real terms was 9.7 percent. In
fact, we were the fastest growing economy in the world for those two years.
Inflation is on average around three percent.
There is food in the
country. You are sleeping in a normal hotel. Hospitals and schools are
So what we have done is
nothing short of a miracle.
AE: How were you
able to do this?
TB: It was
because of MDC credibility. My credibility. People trust me, people trust the
MDC. It was a case of business and labour trusting me and my party. We had the
plan and then had the discipline to implement our plan.
Zanu-PF says this is western
conspiracy, that sanctions disabled the country. As soon as the MDC had some
type of power, western powers came back to the country.
Let's take inflation - this
is not caused by external intervention. You can have Chinese and British on your
side, but unless you do some fundamentals right, you won't get it right. So
economic management and mismanagement has everything to do with the self-induced
policy distortions and Zanu-PF are the grand masters of self-induced policy
madness and macro-economic insanity.
Some say that Harare has not
been governed as well as it should have been [under the MDC's
The MDC is paying the price
of things that were not done by the Zanu-PF government over the last 33
AE: What is the
policy of MDC with regards to indigenisation?
TB: We don't
believe in an elitist model that seeks to grab things and assets by elites, a
predatory faction, of Zanu-PF. We believe in genuine empowerment, and we believe
that, right now, the cake is so small, the Zimbabawean economy is in the red.
And we'd rather own 10 percent of an elephant than 100 percent of a
At this moment in time, this
economy has to be expanded. And you expand it by creating jobs, creating new
industries, by getting foreign direct investment, by mobilising domestic
investment, by promoting small enterprises ... you create genuine empowerment by
looking at the whole gamut of governance and not predatory accumulation, which
is another name for Zanu-PF indigenisation.
AE: How would the
MDC plan on addressing the issue of redress which is what Zanu-PF argues all of
this is about?
TB: Our plan is
very clear. This country needs a plan of sustainable programmes of real
reconstruction and development. We require huge resources to attend to the
infrastructure needed but we are going to require a really consistent
We also require
re-engagement with the international community and [to] improve our
competitiveness. It is difficult to attain loans as a country because of the
risks associated with the country. We have so many structural issues to attend
to and it is a huge arena of problems and, trust me, my friend, Zanu-PF does not
even know that it is
Is Zimbabwe heading towards another disputed
29 July 2013
By Brian Raftopoulos
As Zimbabwe's elections on 31 July approach, the Southern African
Development Community is under pressure to complete its mandate from
In September 2008 the three major political parties in Zimbabwe entered an
inclusive government following a contested election in June that year. The
Global Political Agreement (GPA), as it was called, was facilitated by the
Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the facilitation was led by
the South African government.
After nearly five years under a very problematic and intensely contested
inclusive arrangement, the people of Zimbabwe face another election on the 31st
July in a battle for the presidency, parliament and council representatives. The
setting of the election date was announced unilaterally by President Mugabe,
following a decision by the constitutional court clearly directed by Mugabe's
This was contrary to the terms of the GPA which set out that this decision
would be made by consensus of the three political parties, Zanu PF, MDC-T and
the smaller MDC formation. Mugabe's failure to abide by the terms of the GPA on
this issue represented the latest in a long list of infringements by his party
on the terms of the agreement.
Many of the key reforms envisaged under the GPA, such as media reform,
substantive changes in the electoral laws and security sector realignment were
blocked by Mugabe's party in the last five years. The latter issue was
particularly important given the fact that the security establishment
effectively blocked the MDCs from translating their electoral victory into state
power in 2008.
As a result, the forthcoming election is taking place under conditions which
once again bode ill for the conduct of a free and fair plebiscite. The
combination of a shortened voter registration period and a voter's roll which,
according to recent reports contains serious irregularities, point to further
problems around the electoral process. The chaos surrounding the recently
conducted special vote for the security forces provided yet another indication
of the lack of readiness of the national electoral body for the July
The current state of unreadiness for the election has also been a cause of
continuous concern for SADC. Since 2011 a series of SADC summits has pushed the
GPA partners to implement all the political reforms set out in the GPA. At its
June summit in Maputo the SADC facilitator on Zimbabwe, South African President
Zuma, once again stressed the need for all matters agreed on under the GPA to be
implemented speedily in order to ensure adequate preparations for a level
playing field for the forthcoming elections.
Among the range of issues raised by Zuma in his report was the key point that
security sector realignment could not be postponed any longer. The summit also
called on the Zimbabwe parties to seek an extension of the election date from
the Zimbabwe constitutional court, in order to ensure greater readiness for the
election. Once again Zanu PF ensured the constitutional court decision endorsed
the 31 July election date. In response to the recent disorganised special vote
process, SADC stated that it wished its advice had been heeded on the need for a
There have clearly been tensions between Mugabe and his SADC colleagues over
the problems of implementing the GPA. Mugabe's recent attacks on one of the SADC
facilitatiors, Lindiwe Zulu, over her alleged criticisms of the electoral
process, point to some longer terms problems that Mugabe's party have had with
Additionally the growing convergence between SADC and the EU since the
beginning of 2013 over the conditions for a free and fair election, have
triggered concerns in Zanu PF. For much of the 2000's including the period of
the inclusive government, Mugabe has skillfully used the division between SADC
and the West over the sanctions imposed by the latter in the early 2000's on the
Mugabe regime, to maintain the support of the region. The gradual movement away
from the sanctions position by the EU, from 2012, and the clear movement of the
EU towards an EU-Zimbabwe re-engagement dependent on the status of the upcoming
election have closed the ground between the EU and SADC.
The pressure is therefore on the regional body to carry out the mandate that
it set itself when the facilitation began in 2007. In that year the SADC
mediation set out to establish conditions for a generally acceptable election in
Zimbabwe and to “ensure that everybody concerned accepts that the results of the
elections as truly representative of the will of the people.” The facilitator at
that time, the then South African President Thabo Mbeki, was keen to keep the
West at bay and to push for an African solution to an African problem. That task
remains to be completed in Zimbabwe, and the stakes in the forthcoming elections
are high not only for Zimbabweans, but also for the credibility of SADC.
A full range of election posters can be viewed on the Solidarity Peace
Trust website here: http://bit.ly/1bVVutX
For further information, please contact Selvan Chetty - Deputy
Director, Solidarity Peace Trust
Tel: +27 (39) 682 5869
Fax: +27 (39) 682
49 Aiken Street
Kwazulu-Natal South Coast
Nyoka & Kunyepa - Out With a Bang
Nyoka & Kunyepa - Out With a Bang
London Protest at Zimbabwe Election Rigging
Notice from the Zimbabwe Vigil – 29th July
London Protest at
Zimbabwe Election Rigging
Zimbabwean exiles and
supporters are to protest outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London on Wednesday
31st July – Zimbabwe’s Election Day – against the rigging of the vote
by Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.
Mugabe controls all
levers of power from the election commission (and the electoral roll) to the
judiciary, the security services and the broadcasting
The Zimbabwe Vigil,
which has been protesting outside the Embassy every Saturday for the past eleven
years, is being joined in this protest for free and fair elections by Action for
Southern Africa, the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement, and by the Trades
Mugabe has refused to
implement reforms agreed with the regional body the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) after the stolen elections of 2008. The Vigil believes there
must be new elections organised by SADC in keeping with the agreed roadmap and
their election guidelines.
Timetable for the
12 noon: meet outside
the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London WC2R 0JR. Nearest station: Charing
2 pm: visit the South
African High Commission to present a petition calling for new elections in
The protest will end
at 6 pm.
President Mugabe will
be showing how to stuff ballot boxes
singing and dancing
Tapa 07940 793 090, Fungayi Mabhunu 07746 552 597, Rose Benton 07970
996 003, 07932 193 467
The Vigil, outside
the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00
to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The
Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until
internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk
Hot Seat: Debate ZANU PF’s Cairo Mhandu and
MDC-T’s Luke Tamborinyoka
GONDA: First of all Mr Tamborinyoka
can you tell us how the campaigning is going?
TAMBORINYOKA: For the MDC it is going
on very well; for our president Morgan Tsvangirai it is going on very well. It
is very clear that the people are going to restate their position of 2008 which
is to make sure that Morgan Tsvangirai becomes president of this country.
There’s a national mood for change, it’s very encouraging.
GONDA: Mr Mhandu – how’s the Zanu PF
MHANDU: Zanu PF’s campaign is going on
very, very well. In a peaceful, free and fair environment, no scenes of chaos.
We are campaigning to the extent that people are accepting us as they know our
GONDA: Right and Mr Tamborinyoka your
party, the MDC-T, has alleged that Zanu PF is using an Israeli company called
Nikuv to manipulate the voters roll. Can you elaborate on
TAMBORINYOKA: It is now in the public
domain that what Zanu PF wants and is angling for is a peaceful but rigged
election. What we are seeing are shenanigans with the controversial ZEC
Secretariat which took five weeks to announce the results of the 2008 appearing
to be at the centre of the shenanigans. What is very clear Violet is that there
was undeserved chaos during the voting of about 69000 security officers. The
question that comes to mind is since ZEC cannot hold an election for 69000
people yet they now want to put an extension of a third day or more so a mere
69000, are these people ready for an election of 6.2 million registered voters?
That is the question. And what started the shenanigans is when a lot of people,
especially in urban areas were disenfranchised and were not allowed to register
GONDA: But what about on this specific
issue of this Israeli company Nikuv, what evidence do you
TAMBORINYOKA: What you must know is
that the MDC has supporters across the spectrum. We have supporters across the
spectrum and people who are involved in these shenanigans actually telling us
that there are plans to tamper with the voters roll.
GONDA: Major Mhandu what can you say
about this? Luke Tamborinyoka says Zanu PF is angling for a peaceful election
but that you are going to rig the elections. What can you say about
MHANDU: Those are false allegations
and if he has any evidence to that effect I think he should prove to the
Zimbabweans. We have never rigged elections and we will never rig elections. You
can see by the attendance of our supporters in all the rallies that his
excellency president comrade Robert Mugabe addressed, the attendance has been to
full capacity. People have been attending on their own without any force,
without any inducement but attending willingly.
GONDA: But what about allegations from
the MDC-T and also from organizations such as the Research and Advocacy Unit who
say that the voters roll seems to have been inflated with ghost voters and that
in some constituencies you have more registered voters than people who actually
live in those constituencies. What can you say about this Major
MHANDU: Voter registration and the
constituencies, all our constituencies, the 210 national constituencies, they
are not the same in terms of population, they differ. The other constituencies
have got more people the other constituencies have got less people but we cannot
say all constituencies should have equal number of registered voters, it is very
impossible and we, if anyone – those non governmental organizations, or
constituents or even the MDC-T, if they have got any evidence, if they have got
any evidence to prove that Zanu PF intends to rig elections, please then come
out and say this to the Zimbabweans how they have heard of such unethical way,
we have never done that, we will never to do that because we are a peoples’
GONDA: Mr Tamborinyoka what can you
say about this? Where is the evidence and why haven’t you submitted your
evidence to the ZEC for example?
TAMBORINYOKA: We have referred to ZEC.
I cannot go into the specifics but what I can tell you is some of these issues
are issues that were brought to the attention of ZEC, we have written many
letters to ZEC and these were some of the issues that we undertake. But also to
say I think it is in the public domain that even in the primary elections of
Zanu PF, the other guys, you could see that some of the disagreements in Zanu PF
are arising out of allegations of vote rigging. This is a party Violet which
rigs its own elections. This is a party that has rigged its own elections. We
have seen some of the Zanu PF candidates disputing some of the figures being
peddled by those who are saying that they have won. Figures of 25000 versus
figures of 13000 and we have heard Zanu PF candidates themselves making
allegations of vote rigging against other candidates who are said to have won
these elections. So I’m just saying that allegations of vote rigging are not
mere allegations, these are things that are being said by other members of Zanu
PF itself. And of course comrade Mhandu is saying that president Mugabe has a
lot of supporters, he is addressing crowds – everyone in Zimbabwe knows that
president Mugabe addresses bussed crowds. These are fake crowds. He can hold two
rallies a day which he is not able to do now because of his age, he’s now merely
holding one provincial rally. He can hold three rallies but he will be
addressing the same people – bussed, shops closed, schools closed. Zanu PF has
no capacity to address a genuine crowd which genuine crowds are being addressed
by Morgan Tsvangirai, the man who won the 2008 election and who is going on to
win this particular election as well.
GONDA: Major Mhandu can you respond?
You are addressing fake crowds and some of them are bussed?
MHANDU: If we see Zimbabweans
attending his excellency’s rallies, our rallies and we actually see the people
and someone says they are fake then I don’t understand.
GONDA: I think Mr Tamborinyoka is
saying that you are bussing in people to these rallies, that these are not
genuine Zanu PF supporters but people from schools that are being forced to go
to these rallies.
MHANDU: I can give a specific example
of a certain party that I have seen bussing people, for example the MDC in
Mvurwi, when they came to Mvurwi I was actually there. There was a convoy of
vehicles that do not stay in that particular area. It was almost the whole
country was there. All the vehicles used by former MPs of the MDC, they came to
Mvurwi so I think that’s the fact that he’s talking about. We normally organize
our local provincial membership, provincial executive, provincial membership
that includes the district, the cells and the branches to attend in that
particular province, to attend his excellency’s rallies. We don’t bus people
from another province to another province.
GONDA: Mr Mhandu what is your party
offering Zimbabweans that is different from what the MDC-T for example is
MHANDU: We have actually released our
manifesto with all the offers that we are going to extend or continue to give to
the Zimbabweans – to empower them as we have been doing before. It is not a new
programme – to empower the youth, to empower the women, to empower the farmers,
to empower the indigenous people of Zimbabwe.
GONDA: Yes how are you going to do
that that’s different from what, from the promises that you’ve made in the
MHANDU: We will do it using our own
resources. Zimbabwe’s rich of resources so we’ll use our own resources to
empower our own people.
GONDA: How exactly, how exactly are
you going to do this?
MHANDU: We are going to use government
departments or government ministries, once we are in power next week on the
1st of August, then we use
our own ministries to reach to the people.
GONDA: Yes Major Mhandu this is just
sounding like it’s rhetorical. We have heard these promises in the past but what
tangible evidence can you give Zimbabweans right now that Zanu PF is going to
deliver on its promises?
MHANDU: We, number one we have
community ownership trust that has been established, we have the land reform
programme – our people are now enjoying farming although there was this
inclusive government the support for the farmers has been locked up by the
minister of Finance and we have empowered the youth projects by giving them
funds through selected banks to start their own projects – there are a lot of
GONDA: Mr Tamborinyoka what is your
party promising Zimbabweans?
TAMBORINYOKA: Our party Violet last
year launched JUICE which was our jobs plan and this year we have launched our
policy document and also we have launched our manifesto. Basically there are
several key canons that we are speaking to: we are speaking to a change of the
governance culture in the country, we are talking about a plan to create jobs,
we are talking about infrastructure rehabilitation, we are talking about
rejoining the family of nations once again, we are talking about social services
for the people of Zimbabwe. These are some of the key canons that we are
speaking to in this particular election that we are promising the
GONDA: How do you plan to create jobs
in a country that is bankrupt?
TAMBORINYOKA: We are saying to
ourselves that merely by creating a new governance culture, a new governance
culture in the country we are also going to be attracting investments and also
going to make sure that we revive all those industries that have folded as a
result of the so-called indigenization plan by Zanu PF. We are also talking
about infrastructure rehabilitation. Merely reviving our infrastructure,
creating our roads, creating our railways system, we will create a lot of jobs
in the country.
GONDA: How different are your policies
from Zanu PF especially to do with the land and
TAMBORINYOKA: What we are simply
saying Violet is that we must grow the cake rather than share the small cake –
we must grow the economy. It is not about sharing what is there in the country,
it is not about indigenizing existing companies, it is about enlarging the cake,
making sure that we grow this particular economy. Our differences with Zanu PF
is Zanu PF say let us share what is there. Our difference with Zanu PF is that
Zanu PF does not focus on productivity. For Zanu PF it is a matter of people
just entering into farms – now we have a situation where we are having to import
food from Zambia, of all countries. A few years ago we were actually exporting,
we were the bread basket in the region, now we are having to import maize from
Zambia but at the same time we have people who took over these farms – the
production story, the productivity story is a story that has trashed the people
of Zanu PF who have occupied these farms.
GONDA: Well you had four years, four,
five years in the unity government, how come you were not able to implement your
policies during this period?
TAMBORINYOKA: The MDC in the last four
and a half years was in government Violet but it was not the government. One of
the main reasons why the MDC entered this government was to give time out to the
people of Zimbabwe, to give reprieve to people of Zimbabwe and I can tell you
that our record in government in the past four and a half years speaks for
itself. If you ask any Zimbabwean they will tell you the story of four years ago
– that everyone was a poor zillionaire, they will tell you that the shops were
empty, they will tell you that hospitals were closed, they will tell you that
schools were closed and they will tell you that as a result of the MDC’s
participation in this inclusive government, we gave Zimbabweans time out. And
that is why you will find the people of Zimbabwe singing the song (inaudible) It
was as a result of the MDC’s participation in this inclusive government that we
gave them all over Zimbabwe reprieve and time out and I can tell you that the
people of Zimbabwe including president Robert Mugabe and most of our cousins in
Zanu PF enjoy that after Morgan Tsvangirai joined the inclusive government in
GONDA: Major Mhandu do you
MHANDU: No I do not agree with that.
The first person to introduce multi currency, the dollar, US dollar is minster
Patrick Chinamasa who was then the minister of Finance. He was the first person
to introduce the multi currency, through Zanu PF, through minister Chinamasa. So
we cannot say it is the MDC who brought the dollar for two, it was Mr Chinamasa
who was then minister of Finance.
GONDA: Mr Tamborinyoka what can you
say about that?
TAMBORINYOKA: You will recall Violet
that in 2009 it was Zanu PF which gave us this culture of zillions and gave us
this culture of trillions and you will recall that even when minister Chinamasa
is said to have introduced the US currency, the people of Zimbabwe themselves
had moved away from the Zim dollar because it was no longer practical to
continue to trade with the Zim dollar. The market had already shifted from the
GONDA: Major Mhandu a lot of people
are saying that president Mugabe is 89 years old, he’s old, he’s frequently seen
in meetings sleeping and that he doesn’t have what it takes to be a leader any
more. What can you say about this?
MHANDU: I will disagree with those who
are of that opinion. Experience comes with age. I wouldn’t agree with anyone who
says at 89 if you see or hear what his excellency has been saying, even before
the liberation struggle in 1980, he has been persistent and consistent even up
to now. To say because of age he no longer is capable, is incapable of leading
the nation, that is fools. Experience comes with age, I think you agree with me
GONDA: So what new ideas can he bring
this time around that we haven’t seen in the last 33 years?
MHANDU: We will continue with our
programme that we have put together in our manifesto, it is a matter with
continuing with our programme.
GONDA: And what programme is
MHANDU: It’s not empowerment,
education, infrastructural development, all those things. Indigenization, we
will continue with our programme, it’s not like we are starting from nowhere, we
are different from those who are starting to get into politics or who intend to
get into the government which they will never do.
GONDA: Mr Tamborinyoka what can you
say about this? Major Mhandu is saying age is nothing but a
TAMBORINYOKA: Major Mhandu is saying
that for example, he has just said there are people who want to get into
government but we have never been in government, we are talking about people who
have been in government for the past four and a half years but I also want to
say Violet that president Mugabe’s age is an election issue, president Mugabe’s
age is a real election issue. The is the brave 21st century and there is no way a sane
electorate could elect a ninety year old for a five year term – there is no way
a ninety year old can understand the brave 21st century. President Mugabe is out of his time
and Major Mhandu was just talking about, I’ve heard him talking abou, who
collapsed all this infrastructure. It is Zanu PF. There is no way you can expect
the same party which destroyed Zimbabwe, which destroyed the economy to be able
to rebuild it again. It is like expecting a mosquito to cure
GONDA: Major Mhandu what can you say
about this? You are accused of, your party’s accused of destroying the
Zimbabwean economy and that people like Luke Tamborinyoka has said that you have
no new ideas to resuscitate the economy. What can you say about
MHANDU: I do not agree with Mr
Tamborinyoka. What I can say is from our experience since 1980 when we took over
from Ian Smith things have been going on very well. When these people started to
create this thing called MDC – that is where sabotage came in and that’s the
thing that came in to sabotage our economy against Zanu PF policies by going the
other direction instead of building, giving constructive criticism to the
governing authorities they were actually conniving with the enemy to make sure
the downfall of the Zimbabwean economy so that when the people feel the pinch on
the economy then they can take over the government but they failed, they failed
and they continue to do that. That is why I said that age comes with
TAMBORINYOKA: But Violet,
GONDA: Yes? Go on.
TAMBORINYOKA: The danger is to think
that age always come accompanied by other things is very misplaced. Most of the
time, and especially in president Mugabe’s case, age has come alone without
wisdom, and without experience. We are continuing to hear, he is like an old
record stuck in the same groove, we are continuing to hear what we heard in
1980, what we heard in 1985, what we heard in 1990, what we heard in
19-whatever, the Zanu PF song is the same and they continue to see enemies,
imaginary enemies elsewhere and not within Zanu PF and to think that the MDC is
an enemy of the people like what Major Mhandu was just saying it is the most
ridiculous thing I have ever heard. They lose the last election, we are talking
about a party here which won an election, a party which the majority of
Zimbabweans believe is going to give them hope and progress. So which people is
Major Mhandu talking about when he is saying have been betrayed by the MDC are
the same people who voted Morgan Tsvangirai overwhelmingly into office in
GONDA: Mr Tamborinyoka, what about
that specific allegation that he made that the MDC has been sabotaging efforts
by Zanu PF and that you are just trying to de-campaign them, so what can you say
about that? Or discredit Zanu PF?
TAMBORINYOKA: It is ridiculous to say
they, sabotaging what? That is the usual Zanu PF mantra – the same words –
de-campaigning, enemy of the people with no iota of evidence. What is it that
Zanu PF wanted to do which was sabotaged by the MDC? What is it, just one
example of what Zanu PF wanted to do in the interests of the people and which
the MDC sabotaged? It is just useless words, words just thrown in with no
apparent meaning, this is your Zanu PF language and Major Mhandu is just proving
that he’s a typical Zanu PF person – just making blanket allegations in the name
of the people which people have since Zanu PF and are now supporting the
GONDA: Major Mhandu do you have any
evidence or any examples that you can give to show that it is the MDC that
MHANDU: That is
MHANDU: Thank you Violet for giving me
that chance. You remember when the British failed to pay, when the British
failed to compensate farmers and they took it upon themselves to embark on the
land reform programme, most of the former white farmers supported MDC. You even
saw it on the television, supporting MDC-T, thinking that they will eventually
get into government and reverse the whole programme – that was part of sabotage
but they failed. They now embrace it because they have seen that the people of
Zimbabwe have embraced it. That is why, I’m not attacking MDC, but I’m saying
conniving with the enemy.
GONDA: Mr Tamborinyoka, you connived
with the enemies, and in this case, white commercial farmers?
TAMBORINYOKA: I have never seen such a
primitive and racist remark. The way Major Mhandu says is as if there are no
white Zimbabweans, it’s as if there are no white Zimbabweans. In fact talk about
the issue of farms, it is no longer about compensation which he wants to take us
to but to say that the whites were conniving with the MDC as if these whites are
not Zimbabweans and there was no connivance whatsoever, no conspiracy
whatsoever, the real story of the farms is the story of productivity. The real
story of the farms is what have these so-called farmers, some of them now
multiple farm owners done productive in these lands? This has nothing to do
about race, this has nothing to do about race whatsoever and I can tell you
there are many white people who are also Zimbabwean and to continue to talk
about race in this day and age is primitive to say the least.
GONDA: What is your party going to do
with the personal attacks on your leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai by
president Mugabe and others?
TAMBORINYOKA: We have heard that story
before; it is not going to distract people of Zimbabwe from having faith in the
man who gave them reprieve and who gave them time out in 2008. We’re not going
to sink to the gutter Violet, we’re not going to talk, to sink in sewerage as
these people are always doing. Let’s talk issues – this election is about
issues, it’s about policies – it is not about Morgan Tsvangirai or any of these
allegations that they want to concoct against him. So we shall not be distracted
from the key issues that confront the people of Zimbabwe in this
GONDA: But do you think the electorate
would appreciate an apology from Mr Tsvangirai in terms of how he has conducted
his personal life since his wife died?
TAMBORINYOKA: What are you talking
GONDA: Well as we have said, as I said
earlier on that president Mugabe and his wife for example have in recent days
been mocking prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai about his personal life, so then
I’m asking you that do you think that the prime minister should apologise to the
public for example…
TAMBORINYOKA: I think Violet you are
just trying to rewind an old story. The prime minister last year, early last
year issued a public statement about his love life, he issued a public statement
saying that he had found the one he loved and he issued a public statement
saying that if ever there was anyone who was hurt as he tried to search for a
wife for himself then he did express his apologies to any Zimbabwean who felt
aggrieved as he searched for his wife. He has already done that last year but
you see the problem Violet, the problem Violet is there are other people who
have no yardstick whatsoever to make any accusations against prime minister
Morgan Tsvangirai who has since said that if there was anyone who was aggrieved
by whatever he did as he tried to search for a new wife then he sends his
apologies but we have cases Violet, we have a case, not cases, of a president
who fell in love with his secretary and had a child with her while his wife was
dying of a kidney ailment.
GONDA: Major Mhandu what can you say
MHANDU: In the first place I would
like to say I was not trying to be racial when I said former white commercial
farmers because these were the people who had farms, no blacks had farms,
otherwise they had what they called African Purchase Areas and about
productivity from these new resettled farmers – how do you expect a new farmer
or a resettled farmer to produce when the person who is holding the national
purse who is the minister of Finance does not at all support terms of finance or
funding the production or the productivity in those farms? How do you expect a
TAMBORINYOKA: Can I answer that one
MHANDU: Can you give me time? I gave
you time. How do you expect a person who is holding the national purse who is
not supporting a farmer and you expect that farmer to produce and feed the
nation. Just wait until after next week when Zanu PF gets into government you’ll
see how farmers are going to produce to feed the nation and actually to export.
Zimbabweans are hard working people, they can produce provided their government
supports them and this is where Zanu PF comes in. Then…
GONDA: Before you go to the question
that I asked you, let’s bring in Mr Tamborinyoka to respond to the specific
issue that you have raised.
TAMBORINYOKA: Violet Major Mhandu is
talking about one Tendai Biti who does not have anything in his national purse
and in any case Biti only became minister of finance in 2009, nine years after
these so-called farmers, cell phone farmers of Zanu PF occupied these farms and
for nine years Zanu PF had the minister of finance, did he expect Biti to, who
was broke anyway and still remained broke in actual fact there’s no money for
elections, they want us to prioritise commercial farmers who have been on the
farms for nine years with Zanu PH holding the finance ministry. In the ninth
year they still expected to be, so it’s not like these people occupied these
farms in 2009 when Biti became finance minister. They occupied these farms in
2000, nine years later they still expected money to be doled out by a government
just like that and these are supposed to be commercial farmers who are supposed
to farm. Can someone just give us a break.
GONDA: Major Mhandu let me come back
to my earlier question – is it fair that president Mugabe is using the prime
minister’s personal life as an election gimmick or a campaign
MHANDU: If I can go back to my fellow
Mr Tamborinyoka – between 2000 and 2008 when there was a Zanu PF government, our
farmers were producing. Things became worse from 2009 when the inclusive
government was inaugurated that is when the farmers started to fail to produce.
However through hard work and other means from the new farmers they have been
able to produce for example tobacco, to export tobacco to a certain reasonable
levels without the support of the minister of finance, without the support of
the inclusive government. Then on the personal life of the leadership I have no
TAMBORINYOKA: These people are
supposed to be commercial farmers. Surely can somebody explain to me how a
commercial farmer, somebody who farms at a commercial scale expect government to
continue to dole out resources to them nine years after they have gotten into a
farm. Major Mhandu was just saying that they were receiving handouts from
government and in 2009 those handouts stopped – surely how does the commercial
farmer expect government to spend ten years doling out money to him when they
are farming commercially. Surely if you are farming commercially you should get
assistance initially, you are supposed to look after yourself. How do you expect
in the tenth year to have government to continue to dole out resources to
GONDA: I just have one final question
to ask you both and I will start with the Zanu PF side – will you accept an MDC
victory? Major Mhandu will your party accept an MDC-T victory?
MHANDU: I will accept a Zanu PF
GONDA: Yes but I’m asking you
specifically if what will happen if prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai was to win
and his party was to win, would Zanu PF accept defeat?
MHANDU: I can’t even imagine
GONDA: But can you answer my question?
MHANDU: I’m answering you
GONDA: Yes but what will happen if
what happened in 2008.
MHANDU: You want me to answer the way
you want? I’m saying, I’m saying I don’t foresee MDC-T winning any election. You
can even ask Tamborinyoka…
TAMBORINYOKA: MDC won the election of
2008, it’s not even hypothetical. We have done it before and we are going do it
again. We won an election in 2008 and president Mugabe is president because of
an arrangement by SADC not by popular vote.
MHANDU: Please Tamborinyoka make the
gesture please phone me and congratulate.
GONDA: Mr Tamborinyoka what about your
party – will you accept a Zanu PF victory?
TAMBORINYOKA: It’s a hypothetical
question – it’s highly unlikely but you see, in the name of a civilized party
whoever wins in a free and fair environment must be congratulated and I can tell
you we won an election last year and the mood in Zimbabwe is a mood for change
and transformation. We are going to resoundingly beat the old man and beat Zanu
PF come next Wednesday and Major Mhandu must call me and congratulate
MHANDU: That is now more
GONDA: So are we heading for a second
GNU because it would appear that the main parties will not accept if they lose
so do you think we are heading for a second GNU, another coalition
MHANDU: There’s no second GNU, there’s
nothing like that, definitely. Violet I can promise you, I’m promising you next
Thursday my young brother will definitely phone me to
TAMBORINYOKA: We are tired of a donkey
and a horse relationship and you know the horse I’m talking about, young and
energetic and you know the donkey I’m talking about Violet. We appeal to the
guarantors of the inclusive government, we appeal to SADC and African Union to
respect the people’s view and to please not allow one who would have been
treated in an election as happened in 2008 to come back through the back door as
GONDA: Thank you very much Mr Luke
Tamborinyoka and Major Cairo Mhandu for talking to us.
Factbox - How Zimbabwe election voting system works
Reuters – 3 hours
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe holds presidential and parliamentary
on July 31 in which Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai will try for
time to unseat veteran President Robert Mugabe, who is seeking to
33-year grip on power.
Below are five facts about the
* Zimbabwe has 6.4 million registered voters who are expected to
ballots at 9,735 polling stations dotted around the southern
* Voters directly elect a president, 210 members of
parliament and more than
9,000 councillors. Sixty women will be appointed
representation to the Lower House of Parliament while
60 people will be
appointed in the Upper Senate via the same system.
Voting starts at 0500 GMT and ends at 1700 GMT. Vote tallying and counting
starts immediately after the close of polls and results for council,
parliament and president are posted outside each polling station.
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) will announce winners for
their constituencies, while results for president will be
announced at the
commission's headquarters in Harare within five days of
presidential candidate requires 50 percent plus one vote for an outright
win. In the event no candidate gets that, a run-off will be held on
September 11 between the top two contestants.
Timeline - Zimbabwe's tempestuous democracy
Reuters – 3 hours
HARARE (Reuters) - Following are some key events in the recent
Zimbabwe, which goes to the polls on July 31 in an electoral
between veteran leader Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai, his
nemesis of the last 15 years.
1980 - ZANU-PF wins
independence elections, leading to Mugabe's installation
as prime minister
on April 18. Veteran nationalist rival Joshua Nkomo takes
1983 - Mugabe deploys North Korean-trained 5th Brigade in
of Matabeleland to crush rebellion by guerrillas loyal to
forces are accused of killing thousands of
1998 - An economic crisis marked by high interest rates and
provokes riots and massive support for the Zimbabwean Congress of
Unions headed by Tsvangirai.
1999 - The Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) is formed and Tsvangirai is
Thousands of independence war veterans, backed by the government,
hundreds of white-owned farms, saying the land was illegally seized by
2002 - Mugabe wins six-year term in election against
condemn poll as flawed and unfair. The Commonwealth
Zimbabwe and the European Union imposes travel bans
and assets freezes on
2007 - Tsvangirai and several MDC
officials are severely assaulted by police
in a crackdown on a pro-democracy
2008 - Mugabe loses a first-round contest, paying the price for an
crisis marked by food shortages, a cholera outbreak and inflation
500 billion percent.
Tsvangirai boycotts the runoff because
of widespread violence aimed at his
2009 - Under pressure
from the 15-nation Southern African Development
Community (SADC), Mugabe and
Tsvangiari form a unity government, with Mugabe
retaining the presidency and
Tsvangirai becoming prime minister.
2013 - A new constitution agreed by
Mugabe and Tsvangirai is approved,
paving the way for elections at the end
must stop its dirty dealings
On the eve of yet another unfair election,
Britain should reconsider
asset-freezes on Mugabe's helpers
7:50PM BST 29 Jul 2013
The spectacle of Robert
Mugabe standing for re‑election in Zimbabwe at the
age of 89, having spent
33 years reducing his country to beggary and ruin,
almost defies parody.
None the less, this most shameless of ossified
autocrats will seek to foist
himself upon his compatriots yet again in
form, Mr Mugabe has done his utmost to slant the contest in his
unilaterally fixed the date for what his opponents consider an
election, broke an agreement to reform Zimbabwe’s deeply compromised
machinery for holding the poll, and allowed his acolytes to compile a
shambolic voters’ register. An astonishing number of people who are even
older than the president have somehow made it on to the list; remarkably few
young Zimbabweans, who are more likely to vote against Mr Mugabe, have been
Morgan Tsvangirai, Mr Mugabe’s leading opponent, says that
more than 100,000
centenarians are on the voters’ roll – in a country where
life expectancy is
below 50. If the past is any guide, this mysterious
legion of Zimbabweans
born before the First World War will somehow manage to
vote. Put bluntly,
the arrangements for this election amount to a rigger’s
In among all this, The Daily Telegraph discloses today that a
sold fuel to the regime also paid $160,000 to three children
of Gideon Gono,
the governor of the Reserve Bank. This hyperactive central
banker is the
architect of Mr Mugabe’s brand of economic management, notably
and always disastrous practice of printing money to fund a
government. Mr Gono acknowledges that Ravenscourt Corporation made
payments to his children in Australia, but says the Reserve Bank
the company. Asked to provide the proof, Mr Gono said he was not
supply documents, but that they were available for inspection in
Meanwhile, Ravenscourt said that its UK account was examined by the
Financial Services Authority and no freeze was imposed.
In March, Mr
Gono was knocked off the European Union’s “sanctions list”.
the Foreign Secretary, unwisely agreed to lift a travel ban
on 81 members of Mr Mugabe’s regime. In theory, they are
now free to visit
Britain and hold assets here. On the eve of yet another
election, that was clearly a mistake. Unless Mr Gono can
documents showing that he reimbursed Ravenscourt’s payments to
our Government should press for his name to return to the
stacked against Morgan Tsvangirai as Robert Mugabe scents victory in
Odds stacked against Tsvangirai as opposition candidates are
fake voter registration appears widespread
CENDROWICZ MONDAY 29 JULY 2013
Robert Mugabe looks like he can smell
victory again. Campaigning before
Wednesday’s election, Zimbabwe’s strongman
president is on vintage form as
he rages against imperialism, homosexuals,
and his main opponent, Morgan
Tsvangirai, whom he variously depicts as a
frog, a python and a dog.
“Tsvangirai is a coward, more like my late
Uncle Shoniwa’s dog which used to
run away from game when we went hunting,”
he says during a two-hour address
at the National Sports stadium outside the
Yet in Harare itself, where Mr Mugabe has always polled
poorly, a sense of
weary inevitability hangs thick. Mr Mugabe was widely
seen to have stolen
the past two elections, which both descended into brutal
Mr Tsvangirai, who is also the country’s Prime Minister, has
warned that the
country cannot afford a repeat performance. “Mugabe stole an
2002, he stole the election in 2008. This time we want to tell
him that he
will not steal again,” he told supporters on Sunday in Chinhoyi,
miles north-west of Harare.
But the odds seem stacked against
61-year-old Tsvangirai replacing the
89-year-old Mugabe, who has held power
continuously in the 33 years since
Zimbabwe secured its independence from
Britain. While there are few signs
yet of the violent rampages by Mr
Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party activists, other
forms of vote-rigging tricks are
rife: the media is tightly controlled,
opposition candidates have been
harassed, and fake voter registrations are
absence of violence is partly thanks to Mr Tsvangirai and his
Democratic Change being co-opted into the political
establishment. Since the
chaotic 2008 elections, when Mr Tsvangirai agreed
to an awkward unity
government, key economic reforms have been rolled out.
measuring 231,000,000 per cent in 2008, was at 2.2 per cent in
according to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, mainly due to
adopting the American dollar. The economy, which halved in size in
decade leading to 2009, grew by 10.6 per cent in 2011, though it slowed
4.4 per cent last year, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Unemployment is still estimated at 80 per cent and millions are still
dependent on food aid.
In 2008, Zimbabwe suffered mass emigration, a
cholera epidemic, and the
schooling system was facing total collapse, with
just 26 teaching days in
that year. Now the country has reopened hospitals
and clinics, beaten the
cholera, brought clean water to people in cities,
and restored the teaching
The coalition also ushered in a new
constitution earlier this year, a
pre-condition for the US and EU to lift
its myriad sanctions against the
Despite these improvements,
Mr Tsvangirai has come under fire from many,
including his own supporters.
His government has failed to reform the
country’s bastions of real power -
the military, the police and the courts –
where Zanu-PF still retains
There is widespread anger that digging rights to recently
mines have been sold to Chinese and Russian corporations
in shady deals. And
growth remains delicate, with employment still elusive
for many Zimbabweans.
The pace of change has been too slow for many, who say
Mr Tsvangirai has
tarnished his reputation by co-operating with Mr
Mr Tsvangirai’s character has also been questioned, thanks to
scandals. Last September, he was forced to cancel his high-profile
because a judge ruled he was married to another woman. Mr Tsvangirai
Elizabeth Macheka, 35, went ahead with a lavish ceremony but did not
the legal marriage register after a judge warned that it could lead to
But for Mr Tsvangirai and his supporters, vote
rigging is their biggest
obstacle. He has accused the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission of printing eight
million ballots, instead of 6.2 million, the
number of registered voters. On
Sunday, Mr Tsvangirai’s poll organiser was
arrested after he reported
ballots marked for his candidate had been found
in a dustbin.
David Coltart, the outgoing Education Minister, says
figures would put Mr Tsvangirai at about 58 per cent and Mr
Mugabe at about
32 per cent. “Victory would never be in doubt [if] the
election were really
free from fear, but it has never really been from the
very beginning,” he
“They are falsifying electoral rolls, which
means they can justify stuffing
the ballot box. This has been brazen.” The
risk of another flawed election,
Mr Coltart warns, could be disastrous.
“Sham polls would likely reverse all
the progress we have made,” he says.
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