|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
|ZPF||MDC||SPOILED||TOTAL ANNOUNCED||MDC %||# REG'D VOTERS||% Voter Turnout|
|MASH WEST (12)|
|MASH EAST (12)|
|MASH CENTRAL (10)|
|Mt Darwin North||29238||2144||652||32724||7%||36,061||90.7%|
|Mt Darwin South||29680||2205||578||33015||7%||39,143||84.3%|
|MAT SOUTH (8)|
|MAT NORTH (7)|
|Bulawayo North East||3794||18669||117||22684||82%||43,502||52.1%|
MEDIA MONITORING PROJECT ZIMBABWE DAILY MEDIA UPDATE FOR MARCH 12th 2002 DAILY PRINT REPORT FOR TUESDAY 12 MARCH, 2002 The Herald continued its speculative numbers game in its lead story predicting a massive presidential election victory for ZANU PF through rehashed, superficial, and inconclusive analysis based on the voter turnout and the country's traditional voting patterns. The story argued- under the misleading headline, 'Counting Starts' - that Mr. Mugabe would win the election because "the ruling party enjoys more than 90% support." in the rural areas where 3.4 million voters out of the country's 5.6 million registered voters lived. Equally speculative was the story 'MDC's wishful thinking goes into overdrive.' Although it challenged the MDC's claim that the numbers of voters in the rural and urban areas had been switched, it failed to provide a breakdown of those figures to support the claim that the rural areas hold the largest number of voters. The story preoccupied itself with past electoral performances and - beyond the rhetoric - provided some useful comparative figures, mainly from the parliamentary election, to support its claim that the ascendant ZANU PF trend seen then was likely to be more pronounced now with the higher rural turnout. The Herald and The Chronicle provided different statistics on the number of people who voted in Matebeleland North. While The Herald listed the figure as 157000, The Chronicle reported that "preliminary figures from the 396 polling stations in the province late yesterday indicated that 203 175 people had voted". Later media reports suggest that The Chronicle was providing its readers with more up to date information. The Daily News (12/3) surprisingly ignored such vital voting information, exposing its skewed news values. Instead, it preferred to lead with an interview with ZANU PF founder member, Eddison Zvobgo, which suggests that it was first carried in The Scotsman newspaper. The paper, which makes only one reference to the source of its story, reports Zvobgo as saying Mr. Mugabe should own up to his mistakes and ".prepare for a dignified exit from power." The story, which is reported as if Mr. Mugabe had lost the poll, echoes the people's sentiments about Zimbabwe's current social, political, and economic crises. Both the private and public press carried a flurry of incidents that marred the country's three days of polling. Reportage remained polarised. The Daily News reported ZANU PF attacks on MDC supporters and voters, while The Herald and Chronicle blamed all electoral disturbances on the MDC. Manyika harasses voters at Chitungwiza polling stations and Abductions, arrests mar presidential poll, The Daily News, are chronicles of how government, ZANU PF and the police either assaulted or arrested perceived MDC supporters or their sympathisers. In contrast, The Herald and Chronicle seemed more pre-occupied with peddling wild conspiracy theories involving MDC members and their "white sympathisers". Even those who were allegedly caught trying to vote twice during polling in Harare and Chitungwiza were labelled as MDC. South African whites were not spared either. The Herald, citing unspecified reports, said "there have been reports of heavy movement of whites in vehicles with South African registration numbers" in the country "believed to be mercenaries" and bent on "causing disturbances during the announcement of election results". Despite these alleged activities, the public Press seized on initial statements of observers to reinforce the impression that the election was free and fair: AU, SADC observers hail election process in Masvingo. However, it ignored a report carried in The Daily News about the EU's preliminary sentiments that the election was not free and fair. The private and public press reported the refusal by High Court Judge, Judge President Paddington Garwe, to extend voting in Harare and Chitungwiza for a second day "because the court had no jurisdiction to interfere in the administrative matters" of the Registrar-General's office. This sounded uncomfortably similar to government attacks on the High Court ruling of March 10th by Justice Hlatshwayo extending voting in Harare and Chitungwiza, reported uncritically in The Herald. The front-page story only looked at the inconvenience the order had caused government and not the electorate. The story also carried at length the observations of Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo, including his attack on the High Court order first carried in the electronic media the previous day. In reference to the ruling, The Herald quoted Moyo saying: "What happened yesterday (Sunday) was the court basically usurping the powers of the Registrar-General. That is something that must not be tolerated." He also attacked the judge's decision to protect the execution of the order from any appeal and said the ruling party would seek legal remedy through Parliament. It was only in The Daily News article, Manyika harasses voters at Chitungwiza polling stations, which raised concerns that the belated opening of polling stations in Harare and Chitungwiza by the Registrar-General could jeopardise the fairness of the whole election. Moreover, it quoted residents from these areas as saying they had failed to vote because of the delays. DAILY ELECTRONIC REPORT FOR MONDAY, MARCH 11TH 2002 Voting Day 3 ZBC continued to seek comment from government on its response to the High Court ruling extending voting by one day. Information Minister Jonathan Moyo was quoted in the morning and afternoon ZTV bulletins saying the High Court ruling was an "unnecessary order". He stated: ".The high court should not be allowed to direct that the Registrar General should do this or that, at this or that time. Therefore we are in fact appealing against this judgment. What is worse about it is that the judge ruled that his order could not be suspended by noting an appeal.this has been a trend that has been taking in the high court recently. And it is, has been a trend that is not in the interest of justice.Legally it is wrong, wrong, wrong anytime for judges to think that they will direct the Registrar-General. It is wrong. "I think that we need to review our constitutional legal processes, institutional process and understand that they are bodies which should do certain things and they must be allowed to exercise those powers.It is wrong to have a court directing the registrar general what to do and when to do it.Don't expect us to praise the wrong way of doing the right thing. No I don't expect us to do that." At 7.09pm the Election Directorate was on television announcing that they had instructed the closure of voting in Harare and Chitungwiza at 7pm stating that they were abiding by the court ruling. There was no clarity as to whether the queues had disappeared when the directorate ordered the closure, or whether those who were already queuing were allowed to vote. It was only during SW Radio Africa's Newsreeel, that the public was told that some polling stations in Harare had about 1000 people queuing to vote and that in Glen View the police fired tear gas to disperse voters. The Election Directorate ordered ballot boxes to be taken to counting centres despite the fact that there was a pending case filed by the MDC seeking a further extension of the voting by another day. ZBC (ZTV & 3FM, 8pm) reported that voting restarted late in Harare and Chitungwiza as polling officers were awaiting instructions from the Election Directorate. In its response in the same bulletin the directorate gave the excuse that voting was delayed because they had to locate polling officers and deal with other logistical problems. However, footage of ZTV reports showed that polling officers manned some polling stations. No comment was sought from the MDC or the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) on the delays voting. SW Radio Africa reported that while the government had said it would extend voting in Harare and Chitungwiza, some of the polling stations such as Mount Pleasant and Alexandra Park were closed. Contrary to Nzuwa's earlier claims on ZTV that all those who wanted to vote had been given the opportunity to do so, the station quoted an unidentified caller who complained that he did not vote because queues were too long. The station went further to quote a spokesman of the Commonwealth Observer team who confirmed that polling stations in Harare had remained closed in the morning despite the High Court ruling. However, the spokesman refused to comment on allegations of election irregularities. SW Radio Africa also reported the arrest of four US diplomats in Chinhoyi and quoted US embassy spokesman Bruce Wharton as saying the embassy would take official action. ZBC ignored the report and instead chose to report the arrest of white people in Nyanga who were accused of violating the Broadcasting Services Act and were allegedly found in possession of three radios and other "broadcasting" equipment. One of those arrested was quoted saying that they worked for a timber company and that the three radios, which were licensed, were used for communication purposes especially in cases of fire. The state broadcaster linked the arrests to an earlier, unrelated incident in which other white people had been detained for allegedly holding an illegal gathering in the Honde Valley. The intention was to present a picture that the white community was involved in clandestine activities. There was confusion following the High Court order instructing the extension of voting nationwide. Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa was quoted on ZTV stating that the government would extend voting in Harare and Chitungwiza and not throughout the country. However, there seemed to have been a lack of communication between his office and presiding officers around the country because 3FM (8pm) reported that in Mashonaland West some people began voting on the third day following the ruling before they were later ordered to stop. How the election directorate, which claimed to have had problems locating polling officers in Harare, managed to get officers for Mashonaland West remains a mystery. The station did not state whether the votes would be included for counting. No comment was sought from the election directorate on the issue. ESC Chairman Sobusa Gula Ndebele was invited to ZTV's election studio at Mukwati building to comment on the election. The interviewer, Obriel Mpofu, attempted to get Ndebele to endorse the electoral process, but Ndebele responded cautiously. For example, when asked to comment on whether the election was free and fair Ndebele stated that he would wait for his commission's report and other observers' reports before making any judgment. Radio Zimbabwe (8pm) went on to legitimize the electoral process when it reported that "most foreign election observer reports say the election was conducted fairly and in peace". The Nigerian and Japanese observer teams were quoted. African National Congress observer, Joyce Gali, was quoted as having said the process was transparent and that they had learnt some lessons they would implement back home. SW Radio Africa on the other hand, continued to highlight irregularities in the whole voting process. It reported that in Chimanimani ZANU PF militia set up roadblocks and were harassing people in the area. Other stories included a report that MDC officials escorting ballot boxes to counting centers had been arrested and that ZANU PF militia were harassing white people suspected to be MDC supporters. The station also reported that at one polling station at Shamu, 40km from Mutare, the militia closed the station at 2pm, March 10th. The station also reported that in Mutasa 137 MDC polling agents were arrested and voting in the area proceeded without them. SW Radio Africa reported irregularities and intimidation of voters in Banket, Marondera, Harare, and Ruwa. The reports relied mainly on MDC officials. There were also attempts by ZBC (ZTV & 3FM, 8pm) to present the High Court ruling as having caused problems in Harare and Chitungwiza after alleged MDC supporters were arrested for trying to vote twice. ZTV quoted a police spokesman stating that those arrested would be charged with violating the electoral law. Viewers were shown some of the accused persons. SW Radio Africa quoted ZESN Deputy Spokesperson Tawanda Hondora saying that he spoke to four relatives of those who were arrested and they claimed that those arrested for trying to vote twice did not even go through the voting process but were "shepherded into a polling station by the police" and were then arrested. No comment was sought from the police. Radio 3FM and ZTV reported the arrest of MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube as the last item in their 8pm bulletins. Both reports created the impression that Ncube was fleeing the country into Botswana when he was arrested. No comment was sought from the MDC. The story was headline news in SW Radio Africa's Newsreel. MDC's David Coltart was quoted commenting on the arrest. The report also stated that the police searched the residence of MDC official Tendai Biti whose whereabouts were unknown.
|British calls grow for action over 'flawed' Zimbabwe election|
The Government is facing demands to take action against Zimbabwe after Robert Mugabe claimed victory in the African state's presidential elections.
Politicians across the political spectrum lined up to call on ministers to reject the results of the ballot after foreign observers said the poll was "flawed" at every stage.
Shadow foreign secretary Michael Ancram said the election had been "stolen" by Mr Mugabe and called on Britain to take steps to ensure that the result was rejected by international community.
"The murder, torture and intimidation which have been in evidence for the last few months have all clearly been designed to rig this election," he said.
"The British Government should begin immediately to build a coalition with the objective of seeing democracy restored in Zimbabwe and Mugabe's evil and corrupt regime removed."
The chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs committee, Labour MP Donald Anderson, said the conduct of the election had clearly been "intimidatory" and the result rejected by independent foreign monitors.
"The focus is now on the international community, the EU, the Commonwealth, the States, to see, having listened to the observers, what action we take in the case of further sanctions." he said.
Conservative former foreign secretary Lord Carrington, who chaired the Lancaster House talks which ushered in majority rule more than 20 years ago, said that it was now up to the Commonwealth to act.
"If the general feeling and evidence is that this election was unfair, then the Commonwealth really ceases to have much meaning if they're going to go on having those members, a President and a Government that does that sort of thing," he said.
In Zimbabwe, the army was on high alert after the opposition Movement for Democratic Change rejected the election result.
Story filed: 12:19 Wednesday 13th March 2002
|Observers say election should be 'legitimate'|
South African observers say the Zimbabwe election should be considered legitimate.
The government declared President Robert Mugabe the winner of the most bitter presidential election in Zimbabwe's history.
The 50-strong delegation acknowledged there was violence during the campaign, some voters were turned away and new election laws "threaten the integrity of the electoral process."
But Sam Motsuenyane, head of the mission team, called most of the problems "administrative oversights."
South Africa has consistently sought to deflect criticism of President Mugabe's government and helped block Commonwealth sanctions.
President Mugabe defeated former trade union leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who presented the first real electoral challenge to the president since he led Zimbabwe to independence 22 years ago.
According to preliminary results, Mugabe has won about 54 percent of the vote, while Tsvangirai has 40 percent. There were 1,685,212 votes for Mugabe and 1,258,401 for Tsvangirai. Election officials said 3,130,913 people voted out of 5,647,812 registered.
"We hereby declare Robert Gabrielle Mugabe has received the majority of votes cast," Tobaiwa Mudede, the registrar-general of the state electoral directorate said. The victory gives Mugabe a fifth, six-year term. The results still have to be certified to be official.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change have rejected the results.
"It is the biggest electoral fraud I have ever witnessed in my life," Mr Tsvangirai told a press conference. The election "does not reflect the true will of the people of Zimbabwe and is consequently illegitimate in the eyes of the people."
Story filed: 12:03 Wednesday 13th March 2002
I would have liked to be the first to CONGRATULATE : “ President of the Democratic Republic Of Zimbabwe
Mr Morgan Tsvangirai “ BUT SAD….. We all have to face the fact… but look around you, what do you see ?
I was last in Zimbabwe I January 2002, people is starving…. There is no jobs course leak of US / £ currency,
Kids is no longer going to school course they can’t pay the fees… how can anybody believe that the vote for Mugabe
Is true…. It is with out doubt FIGGELT. I have seen things going the wrong way, I stayed I Zimbabwe from 1995 to
2001, I am married to a black Zimbabwean ad therefore I also have 3 lovely mixet kids, YES… I am white, or my skin is
… but in my mind I am your “BROTHER” THIS IS A WERY SAD DAY FOR ALL OF US, TEARS WILL RUN
If anybody think that things in Zimbabwe is bad.. just wait… it is only the beginning. How will MUGABE feed his people
With out currency to buy maize from outside….. in some years to go there will only be bicycles in Zimbabwe, cause of the leek of fuel, no currency no fuel, and the worst is that kids will not be educated and that way Zimbabwe will only go longer down the hill, the country cant stand another 6 years, I don’t want to see Zimbabwe as another Ethiopia, or so. But face it, it was easy for MUGABE to win at the countryside… what he did was to create at situation with no food in the country ahead of the election, then “ who will not accept Z$ 1.000,- to go and vote for ZANU” course you will have to feed your family, IF I was at poor Zimbabwean with out ways to feed my family, I would also accept the 1.000 Z$. I would have liked to go back to Zimbabwe after the election, but now I will have to wait another 6 years ???? some of you will say: THAT is fine with us, we don’t need the white man here, but remember that I am married to your sister, my kids I carrying your blood…. The only different between us is, that Europe don’t have as mouths sunshine as Zimbabwe???
Zimbabwe… I feel with you, I pray for you….. tell me what to do and I will tray by all means.
|Wednesday, 13 March, 2002, 18:23 GMT
Election aftermath in pictures
Following the controversial election results in Zimbabwe, supporters of Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party poured out onto the streets to celebrate.
But Mr Mugabe's opponents, especially supporters of the main opposition party led by Morgan Tvangirai, questioned the legitimacy of the result.