- URGENT NOTICE - MDC
- Zimbabwe vote extended -
From the MDC, 10
Voting in the presidential
election has been extended for a third day. The High Court has ordered that
polling stations re-open between 7am and 7pm on Monday to cope with the backlog
of those who were unable to vote on the weekend. This extension applies to the
VOLUNTEERS: Please could
those who helped with administrative work on the weekend give another day's
service on Monday.
EMPLOYERS: Please give
time off for those of your employees who acted as polling agents on the
weekend, who are needed for another day's service. Please give time off for
those of your employees who were unable to vote on the
FOOD, FUEL AND VEHICLES:
As on the weekend, there is an urgent need for food, fuel and vehicles for a
third day's polling.
Please contact the
telephone numbers below for further information, or contact those you worked
with on Saturday and Sunday. Please tell as many people as possible about the
extension of the balloting.
ALL OFFERS OF HELP WILL BE
091 241 156; 091 241 157; 04 781
138; 04 781 139; and/or fax 04 781 381
From BBC News, 10
Zimbabwe's High Court has ruled that the bitterly fought
presidential election should continue for a third day, the opposition has said.
Eric Matinenga, a lawyer for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), said the judge had ordered that an extension be granted "not only for
Harare ... but the whole country until close of voting tomorrow." There has been
no immediate reaction from the government, but state television said Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa would appeal to the Supreme Court to strike down the
As the time for the official end of voting passed on Sunday at
1900 local time, thousands of people were still waiting to cast their ballot. Mr
Chinamasa had said those still queuing when polls closed would be allowed to
vote, but that any further extension was unnecessary. Some 5.6 million people
have been eligible to vote in the election, in which President Robert Mugabe
faces a strong challenge to his 22-year rule from MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
The election's registrar general, Tobaiwa Mudede, said that by midday on Sunday,
2.4 million people had cast their vote - less than 50% of those registered.
After the MDC asked the High Court to extend voting into Monday, officials from
the court flew over the busy areas to assess the scale of the queues. The
opposition has alleged that the government has been deliberately slowing the
pace of voting in its urban strongholds to boost the chances of Mr Mugabe being
Casting his vote on Sunday, Mr Tsvangirai renewed his call for
an extension of the vote. "What we would hate is a situation where some people
would be turned away because they were not able to vote. That I think would be a
tragedy for this country." Correspondents say last-minute changes to the
election laws, changes to the voter register and a reduction in the number of
polling stations in urban areas, have slowed the process dramatically. Thousands
of urban voters spent long hours in queues on Saturday, and some spent the night
outside, waiting for polling stations to re-open on Sunday morning. One station
in Harare stayed open all night to cope with the large turnout. Dennis Musodzi,
a teacher who had been waiting at a polling station in Harare's western
Dzivarasekwa township since Saturday, said: "It is frustrating but if the idea
is to discourage us from voting, that is not going to happen. "I am prepared to
spend another day and night here, and I am not making secret what I am here for.
I am waiting to vote for Tsvangirai because I am sick and tired of Mugabe."
International observers have expressed concern about the
delays. Kare Vollan, head of Norway's election observers, said: "There have been
queues of thousands of people waiting outside for many hours and with the speed
that they started today it is not possible to process all those voters over two
days." Despite long queues in Harare, reports suggest voting in other areas is
not as brisk. In the second city of Bulawayo, many polling stations were almost
deserted on Sunday after a busy first day of voting. And in Manicaland, queues
to vote were said to be much shorter than on Saturday, with many polling
stations reporting low turnouts by midday.
After casting his vote on Saturday, Mr Mugabe hit out at his
critics - at home and abroad. "They are supporters of the opposition. It is not
only prejudice, it is bias against the [ruling party], bias against President
Mugabe, and bias in favour of the opposition." In the run-up to the election,
the European Union and United States imposed sanctions on Mr Mugabe and his
aides, citing political violence and manipulation of the election process.
Within the region, the poll is seen as crucial for Zimbabwe's neighbours, as the
country's economic crisis has hit trade - depriving South Africa of
multi-million-dollar foreign investment - and created a new refugee problem. Mr
Mugabe's opponents say misrule and controversial land grabs by his supporters
are largely to blame for the economic crisis.
Court extends Zimbabwe poll into third day
2002 19:24 GMT
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HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's high court has granted an
to hold a third day of voting in a crucial presidential
election after long
delays obstructed voting, an opposition lawyer has
Eric Matinenga, a lawyer for the opposition Movement for Democratic
told reporters that high court judge Ben Hlatshwayo "has ordered that
extension be granted not only for Harare ... but the whole country
close of voting tomorrow".
There was no immediate comment from
the government side. Matinenga said the
government was expected to appeal but
this would not prevent voting going
ahead on Monday.
The MDC, led by
Morgan Tsvangirai, appealed to the court to extend voting
scheduled two days after huge queues built up at polling stations
opposition stronghold of Harare.
Tsvangirai charged that President Robert
Mugabe was deliberately obstructing
the vote to disenfranchise opposition
Zimbabwe court orders third day of polling:
HARARE, March 10 AFP|Published: Monday March 11, 5:48
A Zimbabwe High Court ordered today that voting be extended
for a third day
in landmark presidential elections, an opposition lawyer
He added that the government had vowed to appeal.
Please distribute far and wide in Zim
Urgent message to all
Zimbabwe Votors with Citizenship status pending -
If you were turned
away at a polling station on the grounds that there was a supplementary list on
which your name appeared , do not give up the voting process.
There is an answer due to urgent legal action taken last
Phone one of these numbers urgently
011 601 057
091 237 923
High Court rules that voting deadline should be extended for a
March 10, 2002
MDC today brought an urgent application before the High Court to extend
voting in HARARE PROVINCE for an extra day. Harare Province comprises the cities
of Harare and Chitungwiza. Long, slow queues have been the order of the day over
this election weekend in both Harare and Chitungwiza. The impossibly slow
processing of voters in Harare, where there are Tripartite elections for
President, Mayor and Councillors has been matched in Chitungwiza where there are
Bipartite elections for President and Mayor. Figures by the end of the first day
of voting for the country were as follows:
Estimate of % voted by end Day 1
17 - 25
35 - 50
This afternoon representatives from MDC and Zanu PF joined the Minister of
Justice, Patrick Chinamasa and Judge Dhlatswayo in helicopters which flew over
both Harare and Chitungwiza to assess the number of voters still in queues
across the cities. They touched down in Mabvuku, Tafara, Glen Norah, Glenview,
Budiriro, Kuwadzana, Warren Park and Highlands in Harare and in constituencies
Subsequently Judge Dhlatswayo tonight ruled that voting be extended
COUNTRYWIDE by a day to include Monday March 11, 2002. Quite why the judge has
ruled in favour of extending voting countrywide is unclear as the application
was for Harare Province only and in the rest of the country voting has to all
intents and purposes wound up.
The Zimbabwe Government has reacted to the judgement by giving notice to
appeal and has shut down polling stations across both Chitungwiza and Harare
forcing thousands of voters to leave without casting their votes before
The response to the closing of polling stations tonight has been varied. In
Glenview 7 police used tear gas to disperse voters. In parts of Warren Park
voting continued after 7pm. In other areas voters dispersed peacefully once they
had been advised that voting would continue on Monday morning.
The MDC urges voters to turn out once again in their thousands to cast
their votes in these momentous elections across the country on Monday. Employers
are asked to make sure that employees who have not yet had the opportunity to
cast their votes are given time off to do so on Monday.
10 March, 2002
MDC Vehicles Burnt in Muzarabani
A group of Zanu (PF) youths burnt two vehicles belonging to the MDC outside
Utete Primary School Polling Station in Muzarabani yesterday evening.
A team of 8 MDC polling officers, led by the party's election agent for
Muzarabani District, Timothy Mukwengwe, arrived at Utete Primary School polling
station at 3.00 pm and parked more than 100 meters from the station. Mukwengwe
walked into the station. When he was leaving the station, a group of about 500
Zanu (PF) youths went to the parked vehicles and started attacking them with
stones, but were restrained by the police, who took the keys for both vehicles,
but did not disperse the Zanu (PF) youths. The police advised the MDC team to
remain calm to avoid the wrath of the Zanu (PF) youths.
Meanwhile, Mukwengwe phoned officers at the MDC command base, who alerted
Muzarabani, Centenary, Guruve and Chadereka police stations of the situation and
believed the police would protect the MDC team.
The MDC team had not received any assistance from the police by 7.00pm when
the youth resumed their attack on the vehicles. The MDC officials then fled in
different directions, but Makwengwe, who told the story, hid in the nearby
bushes and watched Zanu (PF) youths set the vehicles alight. He saw a police
vehicle arrive at the scene two hours later. The police vehicle left and came
back later with what Mukwengwe thinks was a coffin. He thinks he saw the police
put a body into the coffin. Makwengwe has not seen any of the other members of
the team, who included Edwin Dzambara, Arthur Gunzvenzve and Sha
The whereabouts of the other seven members are yet to the
More Polling Agents Assaulted
Five MDC polling agents were severely assaulted in Makonde by Zanu (PF)
militia as they were being deployed to Chemundi Primary School Polling Station
on Friday night.
The vehicle in which the five where travelling was stopped at a roadblock
set by the Zanu (PF) militia between Chemundi Township and Chemundi School,
where they were supposed to work as polling agents. They were assaulted through
the night, and only released yesterday morning.
The following morning, Alexio Nyaruswa and another identified only as
Charles, who were the polling agents for the polling station, were force-marched
to the polling station to perform their duties despite the severe injuries they
had sustained during the assault.
The other three: Wancelaus Nyamunokora, Joseph Kandi and Percy Mavaza, went
to report to Chinhoyi Police on Saturday morning, but were arrested and detained
until Sunday, when they proceeded to report the case at the MDC head office.
They have been taken to the Avenues Clinic for treatment.
Polling stations closed before 7.00pm with large queues waiting to
Polling stations at Vainona, Hallingbury and Haig Park primary schools in
Harare were closed for voting at 6.10pm today, with large queues of people
waiting to vote at each station. This is despite the fact that polling stations
are not supposed to close before 7.00pm.
Secretary for Information and Publicity
Violence, arrests reported in Zimbabwe
HARARE, March 10 — The intimidation of voters trying to
President Robert Mugabe continued on Sunday with human rights
the opposition reporting arrests and beatings across the
The independent Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum said at least
had been arrested by Sunday, the second day of voting in the
presidential election, in actions apparently targeting
They included 11 white farmers detained
while helping opposition
election monitors, two Britons and two Americans
arrested on charges of
having illegal radio equipment and dozens of
opposition election monitors.
The forum said police and liberation-war
veterans loyal to Mugabe had
attacked poll monitors in several
One of them was Joseph Dladla, who had his hands tied behind
before being beaten by ruling ZANU-PF party supporters with iron
sticks, the forum said.
South Africa's independent etv
television news showed grim images of
Dladla and other victims of alleged
ruling party attacks.
Their backs were livid with whip marks and some
had gashes on their
heads and arms.
The opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), whose leader
Morgan Tsvangirai has the best chance
since independence in 1980 of
unseating Mugabe, listed attacks around the
''The attacks appear to be systematically implemented and are
aimed at preventing MDC officials from observing the voting process
certain areas, increasing the potential for ZANU officials to distort
ballot,'' the party said in a statement.
It said the homes of
several MDC supporters were firebombed in
Mashonaland West in northern
Zimbabwe, where police arrested several groups
of MDC supporters.
In Harare, police looked on as ZANU-PF militia attacked people
vote in Mbare township, the MDC said.
The party said MDC polling
agents appointed to monitor voting
procedures were arrested and beaten in
Umbanje in rural Manicaland in the
east of the country.
agents were severely beaten and had darts stabbed into their
feet,'' the MDC
said in a summary of political violence.
In other areas, MDC
supporters had their identity cards destroyed to
prevent them voting and
suffered attacks by gangs of ruling party
supporters, the party said.
Sydney Daily Telegraph
Party faithful turn on
ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe's power base
appeared to be crumbling
around him last night as public anger mounted over
the chaotic state of the
country's landmark election. Support from within his
own party was draining
away and there were angry scenes outside polling
stations for a second day
as ruling party servants launched deliberate
stalling tactics aimed at
creating a go-slow in voting.
Movement for Democratic Change was last night seeking
clarification from the
electoral commission as to whether the weekend ballot
would be extended for
two days in order to clear a significant backlog of
voters, many of whom were
made to stand in line for up to 11 hours to cast
hundreds of incidents of ballot-rigging, intimidation and
the MDC had legal papers drawn up ready to launch a
court challenge to
government claims that the election had been free, fair
and conducted in
accordance with the constitution.
But Legal Affairs Minister Patrick
Chinamasa indicated it was unlikely an
extension would be granted. Instead,
he claimed, extra polling stations were
being opened in busy urban areas such
as Harare and officials from less busy
stations redeployed at places where
demand was higher.
Anyone still in a queue at 7pm on Sunday night
Zimbabwean time -- the
official closing time -- would still be allowed to
cast a vote, he said.
Despite the obstacles placed in its way, the MDC
was jubilant at the high
voter turnout, which in some constituencies reached
levels 50 per cent above
those of the June 2000 parliamentary
"Voter intimidation has failed," shadow justice minister David
"Zanu-PF tried to deter people from exercising their democratic
they have not achieved that aim. The voters have turned out in
Australian federal Liberal MP Julie Bishop, who is
observing the election in
remote Matabeleland North province, said large
gangs of intimidating youths
had been roaming the countryside.
seen them in dozens of locations, sometimes the same group, but
groups all over the countryside," she said. "They are one of the
worrying features ... They are out here to make their presence
Although boasting of a pending victory, it was clear that Mr
losing support as respected Zanu founding father Eddison Zvobgo
to call for the formation of a government of national unity. Dr
he hoped Mr Mugabe would accept a dignified exit from power in
event of electoral defeat.
He spoke of Zimbabwe's
controversial land-grab scheme as the "devil which
has spoiled everything",
and referred to unconstitutional legislation that
Mr Mugabe attempted to
drive through last month as having been "bristling
with arrows pointed at the
heart of freedom".
It is understood Dr Zvobgo is far from alone in
turning his back on Mr
Mugabe. A number of Zanu-PF figures have issued
serious signals that they
have had enough.
Dr Zvobgo dismissed threats
made last week by the Government's External
Affairs chief, Didymus Mutasa,
that Zanu-PF would initiate a military coup
to keep Mr Mugabe in power if
opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai won.
Hinting at deep rifts in the
President's political and military circle, Dr
Zvobgo said the party's
official position was that it would abide by the
result and would not
tolerate attempts to subvert it.
"There are plenty of other sources who
strengthen that view," he said. "We
are a democratic people here."
acknowledged that there could yet be a coup attempt, but appeared
that few within the armed forces would actually join it.
"Even if such a
thing happened and succeeded, it would not be permanent," he
Zvobgo's tacit withdrawal of support is a devastating blow for Mr Mugabe.
lawyer by profession, Dr Zvobgo is viewed on both sides of parliament as
man of integrity. In 1963, he announced the formation of the Zanu party
wrote the party's constitution.
He is a former member of the
politburo and has served at ministerial level
in various government
departments for more than 20 years. His constituency
of Masvingo South holds
600,000 registered voters, the third-highest
concentration in the
In an oblique reference to Mr Mugabe's habit of blaming others
Zimbabwe's woes, Dr Zvobgo said: "I am not one who believes in blaming
world for the plight in which we find ourselves. Sure, some factors
beyond our control, but others were within our grasp and we
mismanaged or we hesitated and lost an opportunity."
Zimbabwe:Accused Of Attending Illegal Gathering
Sunday March 10,
2002 6:42 PM
Two British nationals and an American were arrested in
after being accused of attending an illegal
The American was one of about 100 people arrested in Runda and
to appear in court, says Bruce Warton, a spokesman for the
The two Britons had been arrested at the same
gathering, and a lawyer is
trying to get access to them, says Sophia Honey, a
spokeswoman for the
British High Commission.
The diplomats declined to
disclose the names of the detainees or their
elections took place in Zimbabwe this weekend. The run-up to
and polling have been marred by violence, mainly blamed on the
In January the government passed draconian security laws, making
to hold public gatherings without a permit - a move the opposition
aimed at making it difficult for them to campaign.
Two Britons arrested in Zimbabwe
10 March, 2002 15:54
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwean police have arrested
two Britons and two
Americans for carrying illegal radio equipment, Home
Affairs Minister John
Nkomo accused the four, detained on
Friday, of seeking to disrupt the
weekend's election, in which President
Robert Mugabe faces the strongest
challenge to his 22 years in power from
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
"Two Britons and two Americans were
arrested in Ruda, Manicaland (eastern
Zimbabwe), after they were found in
possession of radio communications
equipment," Nkomo said on state
television. He said the equipment used
were armed with security equipment. They are working to cause
to disrupt the elections," he said. The men were not named.
embassy spokesman confirmed the arrest of one American who faces a
attending an illegal gathering. He said he was not aware of a
A spokeswoman for the British High Commission confirmed the
arrest of two
Britons, but gave no further details.
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) launched a legal bid on
Sunday to have
the two-day election extended, saying long voting delays were
tactic to prevent the defeat of Mugabe.
Mugabe has accused Tsvangirai of
being a stooge of the former colonial
ruler, Britain, and Zimbabwe's white
By Lewis Machipisa
Frustration over long queues and delays in voting greeted
voters in Harare again as polling stations reopened on the
second day of
Zimbabwe's fiercely contested presidential
For some, this is the second attempt at the polls in bid to
Includes dormitory town of
Chitungwiza, 20 km south
All 19 MPs from MDC
Mugabe deeply unpopular
because of economic decline
Harare and Chitungwiza mayoral polls also on 9-10
Registered voters in 2000: 800,000
''I came yesterday, but I
never got anywhere near the gate. I am back again
and even if it takes me a
week, I will wait to vote. My vote is my power to
express my anger,'' said a
middle aged woman.
''We are tired. Enough is enough. The government does
Another woman I found at Avondale Primary School polling
station in Harare
where opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai cast his vote
this morning, said
for her, queuing was nothing new.
''We are used to
queuing for sugar, mealie-meal, salt and everything. Even
if the queue is 100
km long, I will wait. We are angry and we want to change
give our money to the government but where is it going?'' she said,
that Friday should be declared a public holiday so that they can
''The opposition party is definitely winning. Our voting is a
formality,'' she added. ''We are determined, we saw Tsvangirai and
spirits have been lifted.''
The wish of the people should
be respected. We are tired of lies. The truth
must be now known to
But what if the ruling party and government
does not accept defeat as some
opposition supporters fear, I asked
''They have no choice but to respect the will of the
"The wish of the people should be respected. We are tired of
lies. The truth
must be now known to everybody. They just have to accept it.
They just have
''If they don't we are going to undress at State
House,'' said one woman.
Another added: ''I will do that if it gets to
that. I will undress to
protest. The will of the people should be
''Why should I be scared? It's a free country. I am a
Zimbabwean, born and
bred in Zimbabwe. I should be free to express my wishes.
So why should I be
The opposition leader cast his vote on
Mr Mugabe on Saturday said he would accept the outcome of
because he would have won the election.
But the big
question is: what if he loses?
Long queues resulted from an almost 50%
reduction in the number of polling
stations in urban areas which are
strongholds of the opposition.
Although authorities said the voting
delays were being caused by a
surprisingly high turnout, the opposition
claims it has been designed by the
government to frustrate urban voters who
support the opposition.
''The intention, of course, is to ensure that you
frustrate as many urban
voters as you can,'' said Mr Tsvangirai.
some polling stations, where people began queuing in the middle of the
as few as 60 people an hour were able to vote.
Both parties are
Zimbabwe votes: Mashonaland
10 March - 1400 GMT, Mashonaland
The second day of voting has
been peaceful and quiet in rural Mashonaland.
The sun burst through in
the afternoon after a cloudy start, but voters have
Main towns: Chinhoyi; Kariba; Bindura;
31/34 MPs from Zanu-PF
Mugabe's strongest area, he was born in
Zvimba, near Chinhoyi
Centre of tobacco industry - big export
Bindura has been one of the most violent areas
Registered voters: 1,641,954
Most polling stations have been
virtually empty, with polling officers
Even so, by midday
today, an average of 1,000 voters had passed through each
of the polling
stations since voting began on Saturday.
There have been some problems
In Hwedza, some 150km south-east of Harare, 25 people were turned
trying to vote twice.
A sizeable number of voters were unable
to cast their ballots, as they were
not registered in the constituency they
were voting in - and for many it was
too expensive for them to return to
their own constituency - sometimes
hundreds of kilometres away.
urban areas the queues have been long - with the polling stations
remain open until the small hours - well after the scheduled end
Many people I spoke to were saying they wanted a change of
was a real mood of optimism among many - even in this area
which is a Mugabe
One 70 year-old man, Simon Kamhembere,
told me: "I voted for the new one".
When I asked who that was, he just said
Party agents for both the main candidates have been present
in all the
polling stations in Marondera, Hwedzo and
Zimbabwe votes: Midlands
1600 9 March, Gweru
Voting is much slower in rural areas
of the Midlands, than in urban centres.
Some polling stations I visited
in rural Mberengwa and Shurugwi were empty
by 1400 local time (1200 GMT),
with just 2-300 people having cast their
Many heavy industries based here
11/16 MPs from
Ethnicity: Shona, Ndebele
Registered voters: 724,659
sharp contrast, polling stations in urban Zvishavane, Gweru, Kwekwe
Redcliff have long queues outside - some up to 2km.
process of voting is very slow, as all voters are being asked to
identity cards and their names are checked off against the list
In most of the urban polling stations I visited, an average of
people had voted by 1400.
Some prospective voters were
turned away because they did not have the
correct identity documents but they
were not very many.
Despite the queues, the atmosphere was generally
peaceful and calm, helped
the wet, cloudy weather.
officials say that one of their polling agents in Gokwe was
morning by men driving a white land rover.
There were representatives of
both main parties in every polling station I
visited but I did not see many
By 1700, I had only encountered two international observers
and not a single
representative of Zimbabwean non-governmental organisations
requested to be allowed to observe the vote.
servants monitoring the poll were out in force.
By Patrick Mwale
Heavily-armed government agents swooped on an election command
Zimbabwe's main opposition here on Saturday, ostensibly searching
of war, as the country's contentious presidential election dragged
The MDC said on Sunday that dozens of police and intelligence
raided the centre at about 2000, and seized 10 two-way
Main towns: Mutare, Rusape
7/14 MPs from
MDC, one from another small opposition party
Dominated by Eastern Highlands
mountain range which forms border with
Chipinge has never voted
Chipinge South MP Wilson Kumbula is running as an
Registered voters: 658 694
The premises in the city's
middle-class suburb of Yeovil, houses the offices
of the MDC's shadow
minister for defence, Giles Mutsekwa.
Party spokesperson Pishai
Muchauraya said police had confiscated the
equipment used to communicate with
polling agents, saying it was not
"They said they would only
return them if we produced the licences, which we
will we do soon because we
have them," he said.
Zimbabwean legislation prohibits ownership of such
gadgets wihout a valid
Mr Muchauraya said the police believed
the MDC was storing weapons at the
centre. "They searched the entire place,
but found nothing, " he said.
"Instead they ended up confiscating the
Their action, he said, was a political ploy to "demonise" the
The raid comes amid opposition claims that police were holding 67
polling agents in Manicaland, accused of an "illegal gathering" last
Police in Ruda, a rural centre, some 120km north-east of Mutare,
confirmed they were holding some MDC activists.
An officer said
they were being held for violating the Public Order and
Security Act, which
prohibits congregations of a political nature without
Government critics say the act was designed to crush any threat
Mugabe's 22-year reign.
The second day of voting has got off to
a slow start, with many polling
stations reporting low turn-outs by
Unlike on Saturday, queues have been much shorter.
spokesperson Francis Mubvuta said 10 people had been arrested in
for canvassing for votes, bribing pollsters and chanting slogans
"We suspect they are opposition supporters because they were
palms," he said.
The MDC uses the open palm as its party
symbol, and a casual wave can be
misconstrued to reflect allegiance to the
Voting so far in the province has almost entirely been
Electoral officials in Mutare said they did not expect
to extend voting
Sunday's 1900 closing deadline, unlike in other centres like
presidential and mayoral elections are running
Zimbabwe votes: Matabeleland
10 March, Bulawayo
Voting has entered its second day in
Zimbabwe but surprisingly most polling
stations were deserted in the second
largest city of Bulawayo.
It now looks like voters decided to turn out in
large numbers on the first
On Saturday night polling stations had
to close very late to clear all the
people who had stood in queues for more
than 10 hours waiting to cast their
Main town: Bulawayo,
Zimbabwe's second city
21/23 MPs from MDC - only region where most rural
areas voted for MDC
Victoria Falls in far north
Mugabe unpopular because
of 1980s massacres
Zapu's Paul Siwela is running on federalist
Less developed than other regions
Registered voters in 2000: one million
Most polling stations I
visited in Bulawayo had very few people. Some had
about five people in the
It is no longer clear whether the government or the electoral
commission will consider extending polling by one day since
in Bulawayo and other areas were not busy.
officer in Bulawayo told me that many people had voted
"We had to close polling stations late to accomodate all
those who were in t
he queues," he said.
However hundreds of people
could not vote as they were turned away at
polling stations. Most of them
were whites who were classified as prohibited
the former Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia, Sir Garfield
Todd and his
Black people of Malawian, Zambian and Mozambican origin
were also turned
away. But the same people voted in previous presidential
In the rural areas such as Nyamandlovu north-west of Bulawayo,
allegations of ballot boxes disappearing and voting commencing
the polling agents from different parties being
A member of the MDC in Nyamandlovu said on Saturday that
voting began at
Muntu polling station without the MDC polling agent.
was also told that a ballot box which had been sealed was opened this
- a violation of the electoral laws which state clearly that once a
box has been sealed, it can not be re-opened.
We expect trouble here
after the results are announced - White farmer,
from the Commonwealth who have been working hard in Matabeleland
polling stations in the rural areas said they would investigate the
of boxes which were allegedly opened after being sealed.
team left for Seafield polling station about 78 km north of
Bulawayo where it
was alleged war veterans were accompanying villagers to
threatening them with death if they voted for the
On Friday the same war veterans tried to erect a
roadblock in the same area
but were dispersed by the police who told them
that what they were doing was
against the law.
"We expect trouble here
after the results are announced," said one white
farmer in Nyamandlovu after
speaking to Commonwealth observers.
Sunday, 10 March, 2002,
Zimbabwe votes: Masvingo
By Energy Bara
On Day Two of the election there have still been long queues
baking sun in urban areas of Masvingo, but in rural constituencies
queues of Saturday have vanished.
"It is clear the ruling
party wants to frustrate urban voters who
traditionally support the
opposition." Thomas Mkuru
In the urban Masvingo central constituencies
voting stopped for nearly two
hours as polling station ran out of ballot
At Mucheke Hall polling station a mechanical problem with the
detection device led to voting being stopped for almost an
Thomas Mkuru told me he had been in a queue for an hour without it
"It is clear the ruling party wants to frustrate urban
traditionally support the opposition," he told me.
Chivi north and Masvingo north constituencies all was quiet with
presiding officer saying it was not a busy day.
In Masvingo province as a
whole, 284,559 people had cast their votes by 1100
highest turnout was reported in Zaka east constituency - which had
a high level of political violence - and saw 30,000 votes by 1100.
Sunday, 10 March, 2002, 17:02 GMT
In pictures: Zimbabwe vote, day
Long queues have formed at polling stations in the
Zimbabwean capital, Harare, on the second day of the country's presidential
Voters came prepared: Some decided to sleep outside
polling stations overnight on Saturday
Tempers are starting to fray as voters become
frustrated by the delays
Some found that their names had been struck off the
The opposition has been pressing for an extension to
allow everyone the chance to vote
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai cast his vote on
his 50th birthday
The long wait is taking it
But nonetheless people are determined to have their
Invasions And Security Report
10 March 2002
report does not purport to cover all the incidents that are taking place in the
commercial farming areas. Communication problems and the fear of reprisals
prevent farmers from reporting all that happens. Farmers names, and in some
cases farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of
from Raffingora/Banket 2 pm. This
morning a lawyer was able to visit with Seddon Fox who was arrested last night
and is being held in Chinhoyi. He was also able to visit Geoff Kirkman who is
under police guard in hospital. He then proceeded to visit the ten men in
Banket. Another two people Denise Peale and her son Grant were arrested this
morning and are said to be being detained at Banket. This brings to 14 the
number of persons arrested – all are due to appear in court
morning there was searching from farmhouse to farmhouse of farmers on a list of
resource people in the Election Support
A number of
families of farmers on the list were evacuated when they realised that Police
Support Unit were intent arresting everyone on the list – this is at
least 25 of 50
persons in the MDC Election
Support Network were arrested and are detained in Ruda police station (Honde
valley) in Manicaland. 2 of these are said to be foreign nationals – one United
States and one British. Lawyers and Observers have visited. This followed an
incident were a small meeting was disrupted by members of the Army who set upon
the group assaulting quite a number, some of whom were detained and later
Yesterdays' voting in our area was by and large uneventful. In the Commercial
farming area it was evident, despite the presence of many Squatter/war vets,
that there was a desire by the voters to cast their Ballot. By all reports from
Chiweshi Communal Area a similar situation pertained without hostility towards
the opposition election officials.
four incident reports, two of which concerned the collaboration of the presiding
officer and staff with war vets, allowing them to station themselves within the
bounds of the polling station. In one case one war vet leader has remained
inside the polling station all of yesterday and appeared to be in the building
with the ballot box last night as well.
report of significance was a village headman who had obtained official and
pre-marked (ZANU-PF) ballot papers who demanded the voter to return to him the
"official official" ballot paper (blank) after posting the pre-marked paper, to
continue the cycle. It was reported (still to be confirmed) that he was arrested
Darwendale area was generally pretty quiet throughout day one. The turnout is
good, with a lot of people queuing for hours to cast their vote. The pace of
voting, as with the rest of the country, was slow, but people were determined,
and there was no voter apathy. Some youths were trying to go from farm to farm,
trying to force voters to go to predetermined stations, and not to that of their
choice, this was not widespread.
Member of Parliament
Hon. I. Chombo visited the area – he is alleged to have threatened some members
of the white community. Some farmers who were working were forced to stop, to
allow the labour to go and vote, although the farmers concerned had already made
the necessary arrangements for them to go at a later stage. Simply an
Later in the day, and
more toward Banket, the youth started threatening monitors and roving farmers.
Isolated incidents of stone throwing occurred. One farmer monitoring a station
in Maryland was threatened with death/violence if he was too close today-he
continues to do his bit from a distance. I know of one roadblock by party
members in the North Banket area, today. I believe that the majority of people
Hwedza, on Chakadenga farm primary school ZANU PF supporters arrived at
approximately 6 pm and began to trash the polling booth and beat up workers. 225
workers were forced to go to the war vets base and to sing military songs and
were told where to put their X.
worker reported to the farm owner that the mob had told him that they were
taking a farm guard to their torture chamber.
Police were notified but are still to respond. The poling station has since been moved to
Chop chop store a notorious war vet base in the area.
farmer’s vehicle was hijacked and used to transport War veterans forcing people
to go and vote.
vets at seven stations where hurling abuse at the election officials present.
The leader of the group went so far as to smash a booth on the floor. All this
was done in full view of the election observers.
and surrounding areas are generally quiet, and had low voter turnout possibly
due to fears of reprisals and intimidation.
Lions Den -
queues at polling station, spilling over into today (Sunday). All others little
or no turnout today. Doma - yesterday
went well with a good code of conduct at all stations and today very quiet right
through the district. Poor voter turnout.
there has been trouble at some Polling booths with interference of voters. Some
areas still a bit hot.
on Tavoy Farm, one MDC polling agent and two farm workers were beaten up badly
and are in Karoi hospital.
on Nyamambizi, group of youths are stopping voters from entering the polling
station. There has been good response from observers in the area, but the police
are unwilling to help.
Den - Farmers Neil Saywood, David
Saywood and Thomas High, along with businessmen Darren Goldhawk Anton Voorn were
last night assisting the MDC to put up campaign posters and distribute leaflets
in and around Karoi, Mashonaland West.
returning from Chikangwe Township, Anton Voorn and Darren Goldhawk were racially
abused by unidentified persons and an object was thrown at Voorn's vehicle. As a
result they drove to the Zimbabwe Republic Police station to report the
at the police station, Voorn and Goldhawk were confronted by ZANU PF supporters
and war veterans. Voorn and Goldhawk were assaulted outside the front of the
station. Voorn was attacked with fists and Goldhawk sustained cuts on the side
of his neck inflicted with an empty bottle. Goldhawk's cellphone was stolen,
whilst some of Voorn's property was also stolen. After some time armed Policemen
defused the situation.
A call for
assistance was sent out and some members of the community congregated
at the police station including others who had been putting up posters. An
unpleasant incident occurred at the charge office resulting in
community members being racially
abused in the presence of the Police.
The five men
have been charged with Malicious Injury to Property for allegedly defacing a
road sign approximately 35kms North of Karoi. They are also alleged to have
‘assaulted’ a man by spray-painting his head and body. Warned and Cautioned statements have today
been signed by the five accused in the presence of their Lawyers. They are all
denying the Charges.
addition, Neil Saywood has been charged with being in possession of two
catapults in contravention of Section 14 of the Public Order and Security Act.
The five men appeared in court on 8th
March and were released on Z$ 50 000 bail and from Monday will report 3 times a
week until they appear in court.
- Friday afternoon two farmers drove
monitors from Banket to Raffingora to monitor the polling booths. When at 6pm
two farmers had not reported back from Chininga polling station, a group of
farmers went down to look for them and found that Zanu PF members had abducted
the two farmers, taken their keys and hand held radios away from them and were
making them dance and sing. Two other farmers were ambushed and included with
the first two.
meantime farmers had taken up strategic positions along the road down to
Chininga and a small group went in to negotiate. During the evening Support Unit
arrived with a blue saloon carrying Zanu PF officials. Police decided to arrest
11 of the farmers on unspecified charges. One of the farmers has since been
moved ‘under custody’ to a Chinhoyi cottage clinic as he is recovering from
Heart surgery. Yesterday
a Lawyer was denied access but was told they are due to be charged for
contravening the electoral act.
afternoon Police Support Unit arrested another farmer in the area and seized
three farm radios and a computer. He is being held in Chinhoyi He was taken
through to Chinhoyi with his computer and farm radios where he was detained in
the cells over night. Although no formal charges were laid, the police were
talking about laying a charge against him under the Electoral
A list was taken from a farmer
arrested at the Chininga polling station on Friday. The list was prepared with a
view to providing the farming communities, with an organised plan in case of an
emergency. It detailed a list of functions and duties of members. All of those
arrested in the area were resource persons.
detailed: - Mobile medical centre; negotiation team in case of problems; support
command centre; safe houses; food supply collection points and nominated farmers
to move monitors to polling booths and ensure that they have food
This is a normal procedure, which we
always carry out during periods of national or district emergency. A number of
families of farmers on the list were evacuated when they realised that Police
Support Unit were intent arresting everyone on the list.
Some of our
polling booths became very volatile yesterday and the farmer on Manga Farm was
forced to evacuate when Kangachepi and a group of Zanu PF youth became
aggressive at the farm.
WEST (SOUTH) – no report
no report received
were 8 voting stations to cater for this small area - voting quiet at 10.30
Saturday. Mandindindi School polling station is Hashu homestead. Farmer
occupants of Guburie farm were woken at 2.00am Friday with flashing lights and
hooting by the polling agents. Farmer
advised them to go find the school. At Sino Cement - voting slow to start -
papers not there, no inkpad, very Few people voted, and the procedure was very
slow, and at a standstill by 2.00pm.
Grainthorpe homestead - voting started slowly, very few people voting, by
3.oo pm all polling agents sitting on the verandah of the derelict Farmhouse.
Guinea Fowl School: Voting not started
by 10.00 am due to lack of ink. It is understood that at Somabhula the story was
the same - no ink, no papers, and voting only started at about 11.00. People were determined to vote, good
atmosphere. No known violence, all very quiet.
was assaulted by war veterans who hit him with a knobkerrie in the back.
Kwekwe – a group
of 12 – 14 ZANU PF youths broke into the farmhouse on Dunlop Farm Friday night
and set the house alight. The owner was away at the time. The house has been
razed to the ground.
– there is a good turn out of voters in this area and Lalapanzi.
Bridge is being reasonably well monitored
for the first time. A network is in
place and all mobile and stationary polling stations have 3 opposition polling
agents deployed, with back-up from the community at large. Voter turn out has
been good, with much enthusiasm.
On Saturday Shashe
Primary School, western Beit Bridge, had its MDC polling agents turned away from
the polling station by the presiding officer for lack of accreditation. They were unable to watch the sealing of the
ballot boxes as a result. The agents were accredited at 9am by the MDC District
Chairman, and voting continued unhindered thereafter. The station was manned all day by two well
known Zanu-PF War Veterans who watched voters come and go, and one of the
policemen on duty was openly and vociferously a supporter of ZANU-PF. The wife of the local ZANU-PF MP, Mrs Mohadi,
arrived and drove right up to the door of the polling station, entered with four
men, and left again about 5 minutes later.
The reason for her visit was not
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To: All Area
Presidential Elections – day 2 March 10 2002
Newsletter from Southern Support Centre
The following interesting
reports have been received from right around the Southern part of the country,
which is our area of responsibility:
: Our man down there continues
to do the most amazing work down there.
65 vehicles mobilised in a massive exercise. Despite this, the authorities either participated actively in, or
turned a blind eye to, harassment on a wide scale, which resulted in seven
mobiles yesterday not being monitored at all.
The important thing in such scenarios is of course to accurately record
every detail, to advise local monitors and try to get them to actively
participate, and to resume monitoring as soon as possible.
Masvingo: This is a very busy area with eleven
constituencies. At least one very
obvious case of rigging, where a mobile
arrived very late, and the presiding officer said he had gone elsewhere to a
re-settlement area but only obtained seven votes. When asked to verify this by production of the ballot books, he
refused. Meanwhile, outside a policeman
was overheard talking on his radio asking for additional books. One imagines that the box must have been
stuffed with fraudulent papers. The
monitors have been advised and invited to take up the issue directly with the
presiding officer. What did the police
do when it was reported to them – they confiscated all our information. What a joke. This evening buses are deploying voters to two mobiles which are
only four kms apart, but in different constituencies.
Zvishavane: Late last night reports came in that 200
militia had been mobilised and were poised to ‘attack’ an MDC stronghold where SEKAI HOLLAND
was. We have no further information on
this, but presume that no news is good news.
Bridge: One vehicle was missing
overnight. Generally things are OK but
we have not had contact since this morning.
North and South: Mobile 3
gave cause for concern because the polling agents seemed to have
disappeared. However when they were
replaced today, it was found that we had two agents there all along, only they
had not made themselves known. The
vehicle that was impounded yesterday for doing nothing wrong is still with the
police and they will not release it.
We have had no reports back
since early this morning, but all seems to be well.
Umzingwane: All is quiet and well organised here,
although the authorities have refused to divulge plans of when they are moving
the statics. This makes planning very
/ Umguza: Last night the Bulawayo reaction team received an urgent call for
assistance 4 kms out of Bulawayo.
Ballot boxes had been moved to a police station that did not have a door,
and there was a possibility of them being taken by a violent bunch of lawless
thugs who had assembled. Predictably
the police did nothing, saying it was political. Too true. However it was
later diffused with only minor injuries.
Once we have a new Government perhaps they could send a door to this
station. In Nyamandhlovu several
stations have been attacked by war veterans resulting in their closure, and of
course this means that the box has been unguarded for some time. In all cases the monitors, lawyers, etc have
been called in and the situation carefully recorded.
Tsholotsho: There has
generally been a quiet day with a low turnout.
Nkayi: Contact with this team has been very
difficult. Telephones are inefficient
and mobiles do not work at all. There
have been several vehicle problems, mostly mechanical, but these have all been
replaced. Having initially been
concerned about this area, there seem to have been no more problems than
usual. Voter turnout has been high,
which is good news. Despite intense
intimidation this is ‘our area’.
Lupane: Flights over this area reveal empty villages
with most people at the polling stations.
At one booth the polling agents have a tummy bug which has resulted in
evacuation – no pun intended. Another booth was in the wrong
constituency. At yet another the keys
could not be found so voting was delayed a couple of hours.
Binga: A government vehicle, unescorted, was seen
driving down the road with four or five ballot boxes on it. No further information. The polling officer in certain instances
has been most obstructive.
East and West: Numerous
irregularites have been reported.
Bulbs in the UV lights have caused problems resulting in suspension of
voting. Polling agents have been
frustrated in several instances, whilst ZANU PF and other thugs have been given
illegal access to polling stations, sometimes when accredited agents of ours
have been denied access. There have
been numerous cases of contaminated hands resulting possibly from ‘Super Cools’ which have been
deliberately distributed to those in the queue. Generally the scene has been one of harassment by War Veterans
and ZANU PF including the police.
Entire sections of the voters roll were missing in some polling booths
so voters were turned away. Police and
CIO are becoming more active by the hour, stopping, searching, questioning
etc. All a sign of their 11th hour
desperation. Young children have been
beaten by the police for making a fire out of ZANU PF posters. Electric cable lengths were off-loaded into
a classroom and later Government officials arrived.
(Bulilimangwe North and South): A driver was arrested after his employer’s empty holster was
found under the seat of the car. The
fuss made over this was ridiculous, It
is no offence to have a piece of leather under the seat of your car. When the farmer went to the police station
he was also temporarily detained.
South: There are four constituencies
here, and the organisation has been very good.
There have been no serious incidents.
Helicopters have flown over the polling stations, only to be greeted
with a sea of open hands. The feeling
is strongly in favour of MDC.
Matobo/Kezi: All is generally well in this constituency. Our two co-ordinators are ensconced in the
honeymoon suite of the Omadu Hotel.
Lovely. Couldn’t have happened
to two nicer guys.
There has generally been a
higher level of turnout than expected.
This augurs well. There has
also been significant support for the MDC throughout. Even to the North there are encouraging reports. In Mashonaland East our agents were
deployed successfully to every corner, including the ‘Taliban’
territories. And the support for the
MDC is apparent even in these places.
We are entering the final and most important stage. As the election has progressed, ZANU PF has
become more desperate by the hour, and will try anything. We are certainly expecting more
violence. In Raffingora the MDC control
centre has been raided by the police.
You really need to take every precaution. If possible, move your location, periodically, if not today,
then tomorrow. But at the very least take every single precaution in particular
the backing up of all information and retention elsewhere. This is not to be taken lightly. Remember how desperate they are.
Please ensure that every single ballot box, both mobile and static, is
escorted right to the counting halls.
Many of us, I am sure, will have to work right through the night.
The High Court was petitioned today on the voting rights issue and on
the extension of the polling days.
Judgement has been reserved. As
soon as we have news, we will let you know.
The returns from each polling station are very important. Please collect these from every agent and
get them back to us a.s.a.p.
All things considered, we are extremely happy so far. Well done to all of you, congratulations
and good luck. Keep it going, we’re almost there. And for those few who get to bed tonight –
Zimbabwean Authorities Meet to React to Vote Extension
HARARE, March 11 (Xinhuanet) -- A senior
official said early Monday that officials are still
meeting to decide a reaction to the High Court ruling for
extension of voting time.
The official, who refused to be
identified, told Xinhua in a
telephone interview that Justice Minister
National Election Directorate chairman Mariyawanda Nzuwa
the meeting that started late on Sunday.
However, he declined
to give further details.
Earlier Sunday night, the Harare Province High
voting in a two-day weekend presidential poll would be extended
another day due to a massive turnout throughout the country.
Ben Hlatshwayo of the high court made the ruling after
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) made an urgent
application for the
voting process to be extended by at least two
The High Court said
it arrived at the decision after judges
were taken on a helicopter inspection
ride of the long queues at
polling stations in Harare.
afternoon, election officials said only 2.5 million
people out of 5.6 million
registered voters had cast their ballots.
In Harare, the figure was
slightly above 200,000 people out of
more than 800,000 registered voters who
had cast their ballots.
Eric Matinenga, a lawyer for the MDC, said the
ordered that an extension be granted "not only for Harare ...
the whole country until close of voting tomorrow".
There has been
no immediate reaction from the government, but
state television said Justice
Minister Chinamasa would appeal to
the Supreme Court to strike down the
Chinamasa had said those still queuing when polls closed
be allowed to vote, but that any further extension was
The MDC, whose leader Morgan Tsvangirai is the chief
of incumbent President Robert Mugabe in the election, had
accused the government of trying to rig the poll by reducing
number of polling stations in urban areas, especially the
Harare, where it draws much of its support, to prevent people
Casting his vote on Sunday, Tsvangirai renewed his call
extension of the vote.
"What we would hate is a situation where
some people would be
turned away because they were not able to vote. That, I
would be a tragedy for this country," the opposition leader
Observers say last-minute changes to the election laws,
to the voter register and a reduction in the number of
stations in urban areas, have slowed the process dramatically.
They say the Zimbabwean authorities are reluctant to extend the
because the extension may be helpful for the MDC.
Voting started on
Saturday and was supposed to end on Sunday at
7 p.m. (1700 GMT), but long
queues were still visible by that time.
Mugabe, who is seeking another
six-year term as president,
voiced confidence in the election outcome as he
cast his vote at a
primary school in Highfield, a suburb of the
"I will accept it, more than accept it, because I will have
The 78-year-old veteran leader urged Zimbabweans to vote
for another term so as to enable him to speed up the land reform
their interests and to maintain the national independence for a
In his counterattack, Tsvangirai, who celebrated his
birthday on Sunday, challenged Mugabe by advocating change
democracy and economic development among his supporters, who
mostly urban workers, middle class and peasants.
leader had focused his campaign activities on
the serious economic situation
in the country, pledging that he
will implement economic stabilization and
recovery plan to halt
the country from plunging into deeper recession.
He told voters it was better to join one long queue now and
future than to continue to queue for mealie meal -- a
staple food in
by Xiong Sihao, Zhang Dacheng
Voters defy Mugabe thugs
The HeraldSun (AU):
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's power base
appeared to be crumbling after Zimbabwe's estimated 5.6 million voters turned
out in force for the weekend's presidential election.
They defied intimidation from thugs and attempts by officials to
stall the voting process.
There were angry scenes outside polling stations for a second day yesterday
as long lines of people waited to vote but were deliberately obstructed by
The three-nation Commonwealth reporting team of Australia, Nigeria and South
Africa is now waiting to see whether Mr Mugabe tries to retain his grip on
power, despite a high turnout of supporters of the opposition Movement for
Australian federal Liberal MP Julie Bishop, in remote Matabeleland North
province as an election observer, said large gangs of intimidating youths had
been roaming the countryside.
"We've seen them in dozens of locations, sometimes the same group, but
different groups all over the countryside," she said. "They are one of the more
worrying features ... they are out here to make their presence felt."
But MDC officials were jubilant yesterday, and said that "voter intimidation
has failed". Opposition justice spokesman David Coltart said: "Zanu-PF tried to
deter people from exercising their democratic right, but they have not achieved
that aim. The voters have turned out in massive numbers."
There were calls yesterday for the election to be extended by two days to
allow hundreds of thousands of frustrated voters to cast their ballots, but
Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa said it was unlikely such an extension
would be granted.
Instead, he claimed, extra polling stations were being opened in busy urban
areas such as the capital, Harare, and officials from less busy stations
redeployed at places where demand was higher.
Anyone still standing in a queue at 7pm on Sunday -- the official closing
time -- would be allowed to cast their vote, he said.
Mr Mugabe's tenuous hold on power was made clear when government MP Eddison
Zvobgo broke ranks to call for Mr Mugabe's exit in the event of his defeat.
Dr Zvobgo said the unconstitutional legislation Mr Mugabe tried to implement
last month -- legislation designed to prop up his Government's hold on the
country's rule -- was "bristling with arrows pointed at the heart of freedom".
He conceded there could be a coup attempt to keep Mr Mugabe in power if MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai won.
UK targets Mugabe's so-called white Svengali
London Sunday Times
March 10 2002 at 08:37PM
London - A millionaire
businessman who manages a galaxy of sports stars is
being targeted by UK
intelligence services to hunt the hidden assets of
Security agencies believe John Bredenkamp, an alleged arms
dealer, may know
where some of the president's fortune is hidden. Mugabe has
channelled millions of pounds from the sale of African diamonds
offshore bank accounts in the Bahamas and into Malaysia.
European Union is attempting to trace the cash and freeze the
assets of Harare's political and military elite, in accordance
sanctions introduced last month.
Bredenkamp is an entrepreneur
with a colourful past who runs an empire of
offshore companies from a country
house in Berkshire. He was named in
parliament last year as an arms supplier
to African countries.
A former Rhodesian rugby captain, Bredenkamp owns a
management company Masters International, which promotes
stars such as Mike
Catt, the England rugby international, Alan Donald, the
cricketer, Graeme Hick, the Zimbabwe-born England batsman, and
the former rugby captain of Wales.
UK and US intelligence
agencies have taken an interest in Bredenkamp for
years because his dealings
in Zimbabwe have brought him into contact with
its ruling elite.
said to be particularly close to Emmerson Mnangagwa, the millionaire
tipped to be Mugabe's successor as leader of the ruling Zanu-PF
Mnangagwa is chairman of the Harare-based holding company that
The precise nature of Bredenkamp's relationship with
Mugabe is shrouded in
mystery: some call him Mugabe's "white
This weekend a spokesperson for Bredenkamp said the
entrepreneur had not met
or spoken to Mugabe for 18 years and claimed the
intelligence services might
be singling out Bredenkamp because of false
rumours that he was "in the
pocket" of the Zimbabwean government.
is seen to be close to Mugabe and therefore it is likely he was involved
arranging or fostering his wealth abroad. It is all hearsay,"
The UK's foreign office has long taken an
interest in Bredenkamp. In an
answer to a parliamentary question two weeks
ago, Ben Bradshaw, the foreign
office minister, said: "We are aware of past
arms dealing activities by
Bredenkamp. If any person has any information
about sanctions breaking, they
should inform the relevant UK
A Dutch national born in Zimbabwe, Bredenkamp was a key
figure behind Ian
Smith, helping to supply arms to the beleaguered white
minority regime in
its battle with guerrilla forces led by
More than 20 years later he has apparently swapped sides and is
now seen as
one of the most influential white men in Zimbabwe.
since he was a young man, Bredenkamp has been a go-getter. In 1994, a
4 documentary examined allegations that he was involved in a P80
shipment of anti-personnel mines to Saddam Hussein. He has denied
Bredenkamp captained Rhodesia's national rugby team and
married a former
Miss South Africa. He created one of the world's biggest
which he sold for P70 million in the early 1990s. He owns
a Gulfstream jet,
has a manor house in Berkshire and is a neighbour to
Thatcher in exclusive Chester Square in central
A rich list published last year placed him as the 48th richest
person in the
UK, worth an estimated P550 million. He has spent heavily on
projects in Mozambique, where he recently acquired a hotel and owns
islands. His interests in properties, commodities and investment
estimated to generate about P250 million a year.
Masters International in 1994, initially to promote his
friend Nick Price,
the Zimbabwean golfer. In 1996 he unsuccessfully bid to
take over Nottingham
Forest Football Club.
Former business acquaintances say that for decades
he was close to the UK
and US security services. But since the troubles in
relationship has changed.
Last year in the house of
commons he was accused of arms dealing by Paul
Farrelly, a Labour MP, who
said: "Bredenkamp appears to break no UK laws,
nor embargoes, nor
restrictions - however formal or informal - by ostensibly
keeping all his
African arms dealing activities offshore."
From the voting people :
Here are a few observations I have received of a will of a people who are trying
to say "Enough is enough" as a stubborn tyrant persists. It's worth reading
these courageous truths......
I have just
come back from by 'driving' job - dropping MDC polling agents
at 5.30am for
the change over for the mornings polling, and taking back the
slept the night with the polling boxes. Both stations that I am
only registered 1300 voters yesterday - this is out of the 40
000 that are
supposed to have been processed - and one of them continued
voting till 1am
in the morning!!!. People have been sleeping outside the
stations and are
looking pretty ragged this morning - they say there are
CIO agents in the
Today is Tsvangirai's 50th birthday - what will it bring?
skies are grey again this morning - change in weather, change
I have enclosed the following report from one of my
friends who was working
at the central control centre - gives a picture of
the frustrations that
are being experienced.
"So I think I must have slept 5 hours last night, and then
I go into my 8
hour phone answering shift for the Human Rights Forum's rapid
which I am really glad I did, and which also really
frustrated me. To be
right there for all the people calling in with reports
..the many many who told us that in
10 hours only a couple of 100 people
had been able to cast their vote at
their station - with 1000s queuing
stations in Harare are averaging
around 20 voters per hour - each
constituency has 40 000 people, and for many
of those there are only a
couple of polling stations. The math will never add
up with the speed (or
lack of same) they are working with.
reports of riot police coming in, and unprovoked attacking queues
in high density suburbs - not being able to get hold of the
monitors, or the news room, at least not quickly enough to
there, quickly quickly - go see what's going on!
..Many calls of people
having been struck off the voters roll, or people
being told after having
queued for hours and hours that they have been
queuing in the wrong
constituency, although this is where they registered
and voted last time.
Most of the day I have felt that he has done it - he has
stolen our chance
of justice. The full number of people aren't going to vote.
The question is
will they take it easily or will they demand their rights? We
wait and see
what tomorrow brings. Elections may be extended one or two days,
polling stations are staying open until their queues are finished
but many people started leaving going home around 8 when they
over (stations closed, and then
militia have begun attacking rural polling stations as the ballot
A last desperate attempt to 'fix' the boxes before they go for
Gokwe polling station was attacked last night by ZanuPF
Polling agents and voters alike were assaulted.
A MDC polling
agent in Hurungwe was killed others fled.
Polling stations in Kariba and
Zvimba are now without MDC polling agents at
News of others
is coming in.
Voting in Harare continues at snails pace
wait in queues miles long
determined to bring change.
The clouds have
cleared and the sun shines from a brilliant sky
I have spent the last hour in
the garden spraying water
on the wilting vegetable garden filled with new
beds of aubergines and
The birds flit in and out of the rainbow
fringe of the spray
and the warm fragrance of thyme and origano and mint fill
So much peace in so much chaos
I woke this morning with
the feeling something is lifting
Its still with
Well they know they have
lost the ballot
but they are not going to give up.
Local observers are
being arrested all over the country
White drivers in the rural areas have
been told not to move out of the
centres as they will be arrested
a rumour that the warvets went into Chininguisa and BURNT 6
The 22 thousand votes that people stood all day and night to
- they knew they were MDC
An account of my day at
On Saturday 10th March, at 6.50am, I set out for
Primary School which is 5 minutes away from my
house, to go and cast my vote.
On arrival I was way around the block (in the queue)
entrance gate, but consoled myself that I
would be done by approx 9.30am.
Little did I know that
I, "King Richard" (who would not even queue up
petrol/sugar/mealie meal/rice etc) was in for a long
haul. To cut a
long story short, we patiently snaked
our way around the school perimeter
fence and on
reaching the school gate, at approx 10am, which in my
opinion is about 150 - 200 metres from the hall
were the polling booths were,
I triumphantly cast my
vote at 5.20pm (7hrs later!!! total waiting time
hours). A note to make is that what was a single file
at the back,
became 2-3deep at the front, as family
and friends called cronies at home to
'pull in' on
nearing the front, and the police/monitors not trying
a single file system.
It is important to note that Zimbabweans of
colours were in the queue, waiting patiently, with
chairs, eats &
cooler boxes with various beverages
(some of a mildly intoxicating nature as
camouflaged albeit, making the best of a very
frustrating wait. In
my opinion and of those around
me, leaving was not an option.
also fair to note that I personally saw no
or dodgy activities
going on, but experienced a tiresome 10 hour
with alot of other people. The wisdom to have the
& council elections at the same time,
slowed the process down somewhat,
but in this age of
computers, to still have this manual process
the mind. THE PROCESS IS VERY SLOW. Note: for the
parliamentary elections, Harare had 260 odd polling
stations but for
this one there are 167.
Friends I send you this note to share with you my
experience, which definitely differs from that of
voters in; Mbare,
Budiriro, Luveve, Entumbane
Highfields etc. We await the outcome and whatever
is, we pray for sanity to prevail and for us as a
people and a nation
to move forward for our own sake
but mainly that all our children can have a
this great land, (and hopefully for all y'all to COME
AFRICA CORRESPONDENT Newsday,
By Samson Mulugeta
Harare, Zimbabwe - Thousands of frustrated
Zimbabweans stood for up to 10 hours in long lines at polling stations
yesterday, waiting to vote in an election that could end President Robert
Mugabe's 22-year reign - or could shove this nation into civil
In urban areas, where Mugabe's opponent has strong support, the
government had sharply cut the number of polling stations. In such anti-Mugabe
strongholds, officials appeared to slow down the voting process, keeping vote
Some voting lines in Harare extended for up to a mile.
Frustrated people shoved, shouted, begged, and in one case broke down a fence to
a polling station, in determination to cast their votes. Police held crowds at
bay, and beat or tear-gassed those who stepped out of line.
"I'm going to
stick it out," said Moses Mlambo, 29, an accountant who joined the line at 11
a.m. at Queen Elizabeth Girl's High School. He had not voted by 10 p.m., three
hours after the official closing time. "I would rather suffer for one more day
rather than suffer for another six years under this government," he
Independent election observers warned of a danger of violence by
people denied a chance to vote. "The current polling exercise has become a
crisis that can quickly explode unless it is better managed and polling days are
extended," said Reginald Matchaba-Hove, chairman of the Zimbabwe Election
National election registrar Mariyawanda Nzuwah told a
news conference that polling hours would be extended yesterday and today until
everyone in line had voted.
The number of polling stations in the cities
was cut Tuesday by an electoral law that Mugabe installed by decree after the
Supreme Court had ruled it unconstitutional. The decree cut the numbers of
polling places by half in many urban areas, and by more than a third in others,
election observers said. The law aimed directly to cut the vote for Mugabe's
opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said
At Dombo Tombo, a low-income neighborhood 50 miles
outside Harare, a massive queue formed outside the polling station at a public
library. Hawkers peddled fruit to the crowd. Exhausted mothers flopped on the
ground, cradling sleeping babies in the midday sun. Those near the front had
staked their place by showing up at 2 a.m.
But officials processed the
voters slowly. By 4 p.m., nine hours after the polls opened, only 950 of 20,000
registered voters had cast ballots, said polling agents representing the two
"The intention, of course, is that you frustrate as
many voters as you can. Mugabe is trying to move the goal posts to
disenfranchise people, these people he thinks will vote against him," Tsvangirai
said. He demanded that the government extend the voting beyond its scheduled
In contrast to the cities, voting moved briskly in
rural areas where Mugabe's party, the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU-PF)
has traditionally been strong. In Marondera, a rural area, several farm workers
said in interviews that ZANU-PF members had beaten them and threatened more harm
if they did not vote for Mugabe.
A worker named Elias said ZANU-PF
toughs had rounded up 150 black farmers and held them through a rain-soaked
night at their "militia camp," keeping them awake with party slogans and
doctrinal lectures. In the morning, the workers were marched to a polling
station and made to vote as the militia men watched, he said.
a.m., a dishevelled and bleary eyed Peace Savngweme headed home after voting in
Marondera. He had spent the night in the bush out of fear of the ZANU-PF
Asked whom he voted for, he couldn't bring himself to speak, but
silently mouthed "change," the slogan of the opposition MDC party.
'I don't care if they beat me. I'm going to vote for
author/source: Observer (UK)
Andrew Meldrum watches as millions defy brutal attacks to
vote. The poll could spell the end for Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's embattled
Across thousands of miles, the people of Zimbabwe emerged from their
homes before dawn yesterday and lit small cooking fires in the African darkness.
Then they set off, from mud huts in rural areas and shanty towns in the
cities, determined to meet their date with destiny. After months of harassment,
violence and murder by the regime they backed against white rule more than two
decades ago, the people formed huge queues around the polling stations set up,
supposedly, to let them decide whether Robert Gabriel Mugabe - former teacher,
guerrilla fighter and Zimbabwe's President - should be allowed to continue in
power. It had been a long and painful journey to the polls. And even the simple
act of placing a vote in a ballot box proved dangerous in Mugabe's Zimbabwe. The
people have been terrorised for weeks by youths paid from the coffers of the
ruling elite, and the army and riot police swelled their ranks yesterday amid
fears that the prospect of defeat would provoke an outpouring of
In Harare, the capital, the pace of voting was so slow that
many believed bureaucratic obstacles were being put in their way to prevent them
ousting Mugabe. Riot police fired tear gas and bludgeoned voters with clubs
after disturbances caused by the slow pace of voting. Mugabe had left nothing to
chance. In the hours before voting began, a wave of violence swept the country.
Polling agents from the MDC opposition were beaten by thugs loyal to Mugabe's
regime. The militia of the ruling party had established bases near polling
stations throughout the rural areas and some cities to intimidate people into
voting for Mugabe. In the Hwedza area, 80 kilometres east of the capital, the
militia dismantled a polling station at Lustleigh School and moved it on to
their base. They then abducted 150 farmworkers and beat them in a 're-education
session' through the night. One farmworker ran from the militia camp and slept
in the bush. 'I went back to that camp this morning in order to vote,' he said.
'I voted for the MDC.'
MDC polling agents were attacked, abducted, fired
upon and beaten in the provinces of Manicaland, Matabeleland North, Midlands and
Mashonaland West, East and Central. Commonwealth observers reported 'disturbing'
violence against the opposition. J J Kundembe was attacked by a group of 20
militants from the ruling Zanu PF party. 'I was staring death in the face,' said
Kundembe, nursing head wounds. 'I had nowhere to run. With intimidation people
will never vote for this government again. It was all pre-arranged. I am going
back in the morning. I want to change the system.' In another incident, a group
of 12 white farmers travelling to vote were seized by Mugabe's militia, beaten
and forced to sing songs in praise of the President. When the police arrived,
they arrested the farmers for causing a disturbance. They were still being held
in cells last night.
In case the violence was not enough to scare people
from voting, hundreds of polling stations were closed, creating a huge backlog
of queues and prompting the Opposition to call for an extension to voting, which
officially closes tonight. A cumbersome voting process, established only last
week, was allowing only a handful of people to cast their ballots each hour.
Presiding officers at Harare polling stations revealed that only 50-80 people
are voting each hour while thousands wait outside in increasingly restive
queues. Driving through Highfield township, I saw two schools that had been
polling stations in the June 2000 parliamentary elections but were now closed.
Finally I saw a throng of people and found the Kwayedza school polling station.
More than 4,000 people were queuing in the baking midday sun. 'I have been
waiting here since 4 am and I want to vote, but this line is not moving,' said
Barnabas Mutandwa. 'I am not leaving here until I vote.'
Soon I was
surrounded by 30 young township toughs, mothers with babies on their backs and a
toothless old woman. They all wanted to tell me how long they had waited in the
queue, why they wanted to vote - and why they wanted to vote against Robert
Mugabe. 'We are hungry. We cannot get food,' said the mother. 'We cannot get
jobs,' said a youth. 'My son has been beaten,' said the old woman. 'They must
keep these polls open 24 hours a day until we all have voted,' shouted a pretty
young woman, forcing her way closer to me. 'We want our right to vote!' Others
cheered her and shouted in approval. Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the MDC
(Movement for Democratic Change), who has been widely tipped to emerge as the
country's new leader if the vote was free and fair, urged the people of Zimbabwe
not to give up without voting. 'I know you are tired,' he said shortly before
voting. 'I know you are scared and I know you are hungry. But have courage
people of Zimbabwe, the darkest hour is always before the dawn.'
was building last night in the slow-moving queues, and many believe the
frustration in Harare could provoke an outbreak of spontaneous anti-government
violence and a swiftly brutal government response. 'This is just what the
government wants,' said an international observer. 'They want frustrated voters
to become angry and riot. Then they can move in with the riot police and
disperse them, and the voting is over.' At another Harare polling station
yesterday the people watched sullenly and silently as Mugabe was whisked inside
by armed guards to place his vote. 'I will accept the result,' said Mugabe, 78.
'I will most certainly accept the result, because I will have won.' The
President then drove off in his armoured black Mercedes in a convoy of more than
20 vehicles, including two trucks of army men bristling with guns.
in the queue remained behind, still waiting to vote. 'Tell the observers to come
here and see us,' said a young man, pulling me aside. 'Tell them to see how they
are trying to discourage us from voting.' Tawanda Mavuta, a middle-aged women,
had been subsisting on two cobs of maize a day. 'The Zanu PF militia have come
to my house four times in the past two weeks. They write down my name and my ID
numbers and they ask me lots of questions. They say I must vote for Mugabe. They
say if I vote for Tsvangirai they will know it and come back and beat me, maybe
kill me. I don't care. I am fed up with this. I am going to vote for
Since the European Union pulled its observer mission out of
Zimbabwe two weeks ago, there are very few international observers here. The
Commonwealth, with 51 observers, is the most serious mission. One Commonwealth
observer was ashen-faced yesterday after travelling through the Midlands
province where state-sponsored violence had been widespread. 'I saw opposition
supporters whose bodies were flayed and men who were castrated,' he said. 'It
was unimaginably horrific. I had trouble sleeping last night.' The millions of
Zimbabweans queuing to vote last night appeared willing to queue for as long as
it takes to ensure they have their say in the future of a country that was once
one of the most prosperous in Africa. They do not want much: just to vote and to
have their votes counted fairly. Last night there was still no sign that Mugabe
agreed with the wishes of his people.
Oh what a day! We started in the queue to vote
at 9 a.m. It was really hot and the queue was over 2 kms long - and not in
single file either! Some people had arrived at 2.a.m. and the slowness of it
all - you wouldn't credit it!
B. became rather unwell as the morning drew
on, so I took him home and had to return to start over again. No shade, no
means to get to a toilet without vacating your position and having to land up at
the end of the queue again. So I stuck it out until 6 p.m. but got very little
closer. Eventually, I had to get some water as I was feeling light headed and
dizzy, so headed off and was stopped by some police officers who wanted to know
if 'I had given up'. One of the woman constables pointed to my somewhat
protruding stomach and told them it was obvious I was pregnant (at my age??? If
that's so, some doctor is going to be well and truly sued!) and offered to help
me to the front of the queue and get me straight in to vote. I didn't argue on
that one - not after all those hours and with only 10 minutes to before the
polls closed for the night, I made it inside - ONLY TO FIND OUT THEY HAD CHANGED
OUR POLLING POSITION TO GREYSTONE PARK AREA! My God I was so frustrated, but
kept my face straight and determined to get to Greystone park the next day. The
pregnancy at over 60 years of age, still tickles me pink and it's great to have
We had many laughs today actually. Thousands and
thousands of folk all jumbled together in the intense heat, talking away to each
other ten to the dozen and all with hope on their faces and a prayer in their
hearts. ZANU and MDC together and both looking for 'change'. Almost a festive
air in spite of the threat that marred some of the polling areas. There was
hardly any sign of our MDC polling managers, as many had been very seriously
beaten by ZANU during the night and early morning, with some of them being
abducted, but it didn't stop the people who came like giant tidal waves from
everywhere to every spot in search of where to vote. That in itself is the
biggest indication of determination we have ever seen. Just to see them was
enough to make us feel that whoever wins on Monday, nothing will happen
thereafter. There are just too many of us to dare it. That's the answer to our
many prayers both here and from yourselves.
So, it's back to another polling booth some miles
away, to try again. It may be a ploy to stop us voting, but it can't stop what
we are yearning for and going out to find it - freedom and peace and some sanity
once again in our beautiful land. It was just wonderful watching how people
shared their drink and their food, to keep us standing and waiting for our
turn. Black and white and coloured - of all creeds and political affiliation,
uniting together in a massive tide of humanity, encouraging each other to just
keep on waiting and trying, regardless of whether they had a vote or not. It
was a show of utter solidarity between all races and it was a miracle in
itself. Yes, there were armoured tanks and rockets on display in the city, but
nobody paid the slightest attention to them, but carried on - a solid stream of
patient humanity - to do their duty. We know there has been a lot of rigging
and there are ballot boxes already stuffed with votes for Mugabe and hidden
away. No MDC to count in safety and doubtless the results will show a victory
for Mugabe if he has calculated well and done his intimidation to the hilt - but
the fact remains, the atmosphere was electric and the vision of the biggest turn
out in political history of this country by the people - many of whom travelled
by foot for many miles to reach their polling booths. Many more camped in the
rain overnight. Thousands were turned away, only to come back and join the
queues again, patiently, stoically determined to show solidarity with the many
others. Exhausting, exhilarating and exciting. I wouldn't have missed it for
the world. Yet how I dreaded it when I woke up this morning after seeing the
ghastly news of continued cruelty torture and brutality.
There's a long way to go, but I think we have
covered the first vital journey towards a hopeful start to a new future. If we
lose, then Tsvangirai will be endangered, but I think the Government knows that
would be an extremely unwise move. Let's keep on praying.
Dear Zimbo on foreign soil,
I am sending you this email as I know you
would have loved to be with us in
the queue's today. Please read the email
and send it on to people who voted
and to those who wished they were home to
vote. This way those who voted can
sample the mood in the queue and the
innovative way people had of discussing
issues without really doing
I went home to Bulawayo to vote and began to queue at Henry Low
chatted with an old friend in the queue - he said he had been deep
North the day before and had spoken with a man who attended a ZANU
The man had told him that he was very happy to have received a cap
he would now vote ZANU PF. My friend was incensed by this vote
determined to vote for change!
That queue hardly moved so
we left it to go to Coghlan School. A lady behind
me was telling her friend
that she had saved up to get a dish and DSTV for
the month so that she would
be able to 'know what was going on in Zimbabwe'.
A colored man chatted
with me about his father who is 82 and a real handful.
He is forgetful and as
single-minded as a child, and only worries about his
own comfort. I wondered
where this was leading .... How can I go and put my
X next to vote in a 78
year man and expect that he will rule me justly for
the next 6
Voting is in full swing for the
people of Zimbabwe!
The statement below was issued by
Mudede, Registrar General of Elections on Saturday 9 March.
Given the high turnout and slow
process, especially in the urban centres, point number 7 is of particular
interest. Any one who arrives at the polling station before 7pm will be able to
vote. Therefore, don't be discouraged by long queues-everyone will have a
ZIMBABWE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
2002 PRESS STATEMENT
The Registrar General of Elections
Mr Tobiwa Mudede has issued the following press statement:
Presidng Officers should in
accordance with the law allow accredited journalists into the polling stations.
The accredited journalists are not
allowed to take photographs of voters casting their vote inside the polling
The accredited journalists who
want to enter polling stations are not allowed to use their cell phones within
the polling station.
Journalists are also not allowed to
ask people whom they wish to vote for, or whom they will have voted for, because
this compromises the secrecy of those peoples' vote.
Persons or companies who have set
up their own communication systems against the laws of Zimbabwe run the risk of
being arrested by the Police for breaching the laws of Zimbabwe.
2. Persons who have lost
citizenship and are disqualified from voting:
Persons who have lost citizenship
and are disqualified from voting are advised not to create problems at the
polling stations by trying to vote.
I am also warning those who are
using abusive language against Electoral Officials to desist from such conduct
because the Police have been instructed to remove anyone found hurling insults
against Electoral Officers within a polling station or within the hundred metre
I am informed that there are some
unaccredited persons masquerading as either election agents, polling agents,
local, regional or international observers. These unaccredited persons should
not be permitted to enter polling stations and are strongly advised against
pushing their way into thep olling station, because they run the risk of being
arrested by the police.