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Twenty13 Zimbabwe Election Race!

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Zimbabwe Elections 2013: Useful information resources

Sokwanele : 28 July 2013


July 31 is election day in Zimbabwe. Sokwanele has provided links to a number of useful election resources via our 2013 election hub page. Please visit where you will find links and details for all of the following resources.

Please share this link with everyone you know in Zimbabwe.

1. Election results maps

Sokwanele has built maps which will display election results as they are released ( We have also provided maps of the 2008 results for house, senate and presidential results. Results for 2008 are currently viewable in map and table format as below.

2008 results mapped

2008 results in a table

Results for 2013 will be added as we receive them, and the maps will be populated with data and analysis automatically. The maps we have built are highly interactive allowing visitors to hover and click to access a wide range of electoral information.

The map below, for example, highlights the 'Battleground' constituencies for 2013. This is based on the margin of victory in 2008 where the darkest colour shows the narrowest margins. The implication is that that these will be areas where competition for the seat will be intense. The lightest colour shows the widest margins of victory. We plan to provide more analyses through mapping for the 2013 elections as results are announced.

2013 electoral battlegrounds based on 2008 margin of victory

2. Identify your candidate

Sokwanele has created a detailed spreadsheet resource allowing users to filter candidate details by province, constituency, political party, gender and name ( This allows visitors to our site to identify their candidates very quickly. It also allows people to examine all of the 2013 election candidates more generally.

3. Find your polling station (add a bookmark to this on your smart phones)

Sokwanele has built a polling station resource that allows people to find their polling station by province, constituency and ward number. Locations are viewable on a map.

This resource has been developed in responsive mode so that it can be viewed on a mobile smart phone. Browse to this link, and bookmark it on your mobile phones now: . This will allow you to identify alternative polling stations on polling day, and share this information with others.

Please note that the locations are approximate and based on the provisional list released by ZEC. Due to the extremely late release of ZEC's final list, we have not been able to include locations for all polling stations on the resource.

4. Support for the Simukai initiative

Simukai ( is an initiative to help Zimbabweans protect their vote in the Presidential elections. Simukai asks Zimbabweans to send an sms to one of two numbers they provide. They ask that voters give them the ID number of the polling station, plus the results when they are released, in a specific format. Sokwanele is supporting this and our polling station resource (above) provides all polling station IDs and gudiance on how to SMS your results at your polling station to Simukai. So please be sure to visit the link provided in 3 above using your phone, bookmark the link, and take the polling station information with you on polling day.

5. Check the voters' roll

Our election hub page provides a link to Visit this link to check if you are on the voters' roll or to report an incident.

6. Party manifestos

Find links to all the main party manifestos. All of these can be downloaded in PDF format from our website.

7. Constituency information

Links to detailed information has also been provided for each constituency. This includes the name and contact details for the Election Officer in charge of elections in each constituency, as provided by ZEC.

8. Twitter feed

A live twitter feed following public discussion about the elctions as they unfold using the main topic hashtags. Sokwanele tweets using #zimelections. You can follow us on Twitter at . We will publish tweets sent in from activists.

9. Blogs, reports, links

Find Sokwanele election blogs plus links to important reports and links to other websites on our hub page too.


All of the above is available by visiting We wish all Zimbabweans a peaceful, free and fair elections.


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Thousands throng MDC-T “Red Power Monday” rally
MDC-T rally

Thousands of supporters at the Harare rally

Tererai Karimakwenda
SW Radio Africa
29 July 2013

Thousands of supporters in red t-shirts thronged the MDC-T’s final election campaign rally in Harare on Monday, where Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said he “forgives” Robert Mugabe and those who have wronged him and hopes the ageing ZANU-PF leader retires peacefully.

Addressing a huge crowd that came out for his last rally before the crucial poll on Wednesday, the MDC-T president appealed to Zimbabweans to also forgive Mugabe and criticized the country’s electoral body for lacking transparency.

“As I stand here before you I am a survivor. I was beaten and incarcerated for no good reason. I was treated like a common criminal but I am not bitter. I have reflected upon everything that has happened to me and to my family and I have forgiven my tormentors,” Tsvangirai told supporters.

He said he did not want to become a prisoner of bitterness and wanted to be free to move forward as he was “a builder not a destroyer”.

Dubbed “Red Power Monday”, the rally was Tsvangirai’s last bid to garner support and allay his supporters’ fears ahead of this week’s harmonized elections.

SW Radio Africa correspondent Simon Muchemwa said there were trucks, minibuses and lorries all over Harare, mobilizing supporters to attend the so-called “Cross Over” rally, which was held at an open space near the Rainbow Towers Hotel, which the party now calls “Freedom Square”.

MDC Red Power Monday rally

According to Muchemwa, Tsvangirai complained that his party had still not been given copies of the voters roll, which the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is supposed to have already distributed in order to allow time for inspection before the poll. The location of all polling stations has also not been revealed by ZEC.

“They are surprised that tents are being pitched up in certain locations in the city but they still don’t know where the polling stations will be. There was also chaos last night as ZEC tried to recruit polling officers. Tsvangirai said ZEC should just retire because of the confusion,” Muchemwa explained.

The police had banned the rally last Friday, claiming they did not have enough personnel to cover the event, as many had been deployed to polling stations around the country to “secure election materials”.

Police Chief Superintendent Titus Chagwedera had said he also feared the rally would “culminate in political violence. But in a u-turn on Saturday he reversed the ban and imposed a strict code of conduct, barring supporters from outside the capital and banning any toy-toying before, during and after the rally.

But according to Muchemwa, thousands of party supporters in MDC-T regalia sang and toy-toyed as they cheered party leaders who addressed the crowd despite the restrictions.

Meanwhile, Robert Mugabe continued campaigning over the weekend with a rally in Harare on Sunday, where he told supporters that Tsvangirai was a “crybaby” and he would be arrested if he revealed poll results before the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced them officially.

“I can tell you in advance that if you breach the rules … the police will arrest you … I don’t care if you are prime minister”, Mugabe is quoted as saying.

The ailing ZANU-PF leader’s rallies have been attended by ZANU-PF supporters and locals who are reportedly forced to participate, with many being bused in from around the country.

The independent Daily News newspaper said: “Scores of those attending are leaving his rallies while he is still speaking soon after getting T-shirts and caps”.

Zimbabweans now hope that the harmonized elections Wednesday will be peaceful and the post-election period will not mirror that of 2008, when hundreds were murdered by ZANU-PF thugs and security forces and thousands were assaulted.


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Zimbabwe’s Elections: Mugabe’s Last Stand

The International Crisis Group has released a damning report about elections due to be held on Wednesday, 31 July.

Via ICG Press Release: Overview:  A return to protracted political crisis, and possibly extensive violence, is likely, as Zimbabwe holds inadequately prepared presidential, parliamentary and local elections on 31 July. Conditions for a free and fair vote do not exist. Confidence in the process and institutions is low. The voters roll is a shambles, security forces unreformed and the media grossly imbalanced. The electoral commission is under-funded and lacked time to prepare. Concerns about rigging are pervasive, strongly disputed results highly likely. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) face severe credibility tests. They must avoid a narrow technical approach. If the vote is deeply flawed, they should declare it illegitimate and press for a re-run after several months of careful preparation or, if that is not possible, facilitate negotiation of a compromise acceptable to the major parties; and strong diplomacy will be needed to forestall extensive violence if the presidential contest moves to a run-off in conditions like 2008, or, if President Robert Mugabe loses at any stage, to ensure a smooth transition

89 years old and 33 years at the helm, President Mugabe seeks to ensure his Zim­bab­­we African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) regains full control of government before embarking on a fraught succession process. Out-manoeuvring both the two rival Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations and SADC, ZANU-PF hardliners, supported by the president, secured a Constitutional Court ruling that confirmed the premature election date, shutting down in the process any prospects of necessary reform, around which there had appeared to be growing convergence between the MDCs and SADC.

The regional body, as well as the AU, might have pressed harder for a postponement; however, in the end, they felt they had little option but to accept the sovereign decision of the newly constituted court. MDC formations favoured a later date but could only cry foul and reluctantly agree to participate, since they know a boycott would be counter-productive and that to remain relevant they must demonstrate they retain popular support.

With the campaign in full swing, ZANU-PF has a strong resource advantage. The MDCs have struggled to raise money but are relatively well organised. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T believes it can win the presidency but fears the electoral commission is being undermined from within and cannot deliver a free, fair, transparent and credible process.

Many expect a Mugabe victory, because “ZANU doesn’t lose elections”, and even if out­­voted, as in the first round in 2008, its hardliners would not give up power. Its strat­­e­gy is to get its supporters to the voting stations and keep the opposition away. Preventing manipulation of the voters roll and tabulation process are critical challenges, as in past polls, though both will potentially have greater scrutiny. The parliamentary vote hinges on 34 swing constituencies in Masvingo and Manicaland provinces, where ZANU-PF seeks to recoup 2008 losses.

Repeated calls from all parties to avert a repeat of the 2008 violence have tempered intimidation tactics, but as campaigning has intensified, incidents have increased, raising fears for what may happen, especially if the presidential contest again goes to a run-off. If the MDCs feel cheated, they are dependent on dispute resolution mechanisms that are untested or have a history of partisanship.

Much resembles 2008, including an atmosphere of intolerance and restricted access, state media bias and lack of confidence in institutions. There are some significant differences: more voter access to information, especially through the internet, social media, mobile phones and satellite news. ZANU-PF no longer has an increasingly frustrated region’s unquestioning loyalty. SADC publicly acknowledges need for reforms, but expectations it would or could ensure a genuine vote are severely compromised, raising questions about its post-31 July role.

Much of the international community is expected to take its cue from the AU and, especially, SADC, but there are concerns the latter may repeat its 2011 performance in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), when it accepted an election replete with violations of its own guidelines. Mugabe’s threat in the 5 July speech that launched his campaign to leave SADC, “if it makes silly decisions”, and hardliner posturing that the organisation and its most powerful member, South Africa, want regime change, highlight ZANU-PF’s continued reliance on brinkmanship.

Though both are aware Zimbabwe is not ready for elections, SADC and the AU have deployed observers, after weakly urging postponement, but thus far not to the swing constituencies or to many rural areas, though the major threat to security and proper tabulation of results comes from the very security forces legally bound to protect the elections. Especially if the presidential contest goes to a run-off, as in 2008, they should seek to include well-trained SADC police and military (whether active duty or retired) in their observer delegations specifically to monitor the conduct of the Zimbabwe military and police.

Pre-election statements by SADC and the AU suggest an atmosphere of calm, but if they are to safeguard the region from a new crisis and help Zimbabwe move toward an adjustment of political power that fairly and efficiently reflects the genuine strengths of the two main camps, they need to be prepared to react promptly and strongly to an unfair vote, an escalation of violence or results rejected by bitterly divided camps.

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Electoral Commission fails to release voters’ roll to parties

By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
29 July 2013

There is still no sign of the voters roll from the Electoral Commission,
just two days before Zimbabweans go to the polls Wednesday.

The MDC formations have raised concern at the electoral body’s failure to
ensure that the voters roll was available to them for auditing well ahead of
the elections.

So far, reports indicate that the Commission has only managed to release
bits and pieces of the important document, to its provincial offices, and
not to the political parties who have been asking for it.

On Sunday, Nelson Chamisa of the MDC-T told the Al Jazeera news service that
the party still had not received important election-related information.

“The voters’ roll has not been availed to us, and we don’t know who is
printing the ballot papers. We don’t know where those ballot papers are
being printed,” Chamisa said.

Senator David Coltart, the Ncube-led MDC legal affairs secretary, said that
by failing to avail the voters’ roll, ZEC was violating the Electoral Act.

In a statement that was also posted on Coltart’s Facebook page, the MDC
said: “Section 21(4) of the Electoral Act states “within a reasonable period
of time after the calling of an election, the Commission shall provide, on
payment of the prescribed fee, to every political party that intends to
contest the election, and to any observer who requests it, one copy of every
voters roll to be used in the election, either in printed or in electronic
form as the party or observer may request.”

“The MDC has repeatedly asked the ZEC to provide us with a voters roll. Last
Friday we wrote to the ZEC asking for a copy of the roll,” but by weekend,
the party said it was still waiting, with no sign of the document.

The statement further stated: “A ‘reasonable period of time after the
calling of an election’ means just that. The election was called on the 13th
June and 6 weeks have since elapsed – and yet we still do not have a copy of
the voters roll.”

The party added that this was “a grossly unreasonable period of time left to
study and use the voters roll.”

“The Commission Voters rolls are meant to be used by political parties the
world over to analyse who is in particular constituencies so that they can
be spoken to and encouraged to vote. That opportunity is now denied us.

“Furthermore in the Zimbabwean context, where rigging has abounded in the
past, it is critically important that parties be given sufficient time to
analyse and audit the voters roll. That right has now been denied us.”

Both MDC formations have accused ZEC of conducting a shambolic electoral
process – which observers say has denied many Zimbabweans of the right to
vote, to ZANU PF’s advantage.

MDC’s elections directorate official, Abednico Moyo, said the absence of the
voters’ roll discredits the electoral process.

Moyo said: “Without a voters’ roll parties cannot reconcile the number of
voters and the ballot papers supplied by ZEC.

“That in itself means the process is discredited and therefore the result of
such a process can only be discredited and contestable,” Moyo added.

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Zuma still blocking decade old Zim election report

By Alex Bell
SW Radio Africa
29 July 2013

South African President Jacob Zuma is still blocking the release of a report
on Zimbabwe’s elections in 2002, despite a High Court order to do so.

The report, which a High Court judge has acknowledged contains enough
information to cast doubts on the legality of that poll, has remained a
closely guarded secret for over ten years.

The Presidency was ordered to hand over the report to the Mail & Guardian
newspaper in February, four years after the paper approached the courts to
have the report released to the public. This was amid widespread speculation
that the report contained evidence showing that the 2002 disputed election
in Zimbabwe was not free or fair.

High Court Judge Joseph Raulinga, who took a ‘judicial peek’ into the
details of the report, ruled in February that there was enough information
to cast doubts, and ordered the President to hand it over within ten days.

But the Presidency then stated its intention to once again appeal. And last
week Zuma’s office took steps to have the appeal heard before a full bench
of the High Court. Judgment was reserved last Wednesday. But if this latest
appeal fails, the Presidency could seek leave to challenge the ruling in the
Supreme Court of Appeal once more, which could conceivably take the matter
back to the Constitutional Court.

Meanwhile, Zuma has said there is a “very, very good atmosphere” in Zimbabwe
ahead of the elections on Wednesday. Speaking during an unrelated press
conference in South Africa on Monday, Zuma said Zimbabwe had done the best
it could in the short time it had had to prepare.

“So we would say to the Zimbabweans, please have your elections in peace so
that they can be declared free and fair, so that the Zimbabweans can then
face the task of reconstructing Zimbabwe and indeed proving that democracy
can come back to Zimbabwe. So we wish them well. We wish all the parties
well in their campaign,” he said.

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Tsvangirai Urges Supporters to Vote For Change in Wednesday's Poll

Thomas Chiripasi

HARARE — MDC-T President Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday held his final 2013
election campaign rally urging supporters to go out in large numbers
Wednesday to vote him into office, promising he will bring change to the

It was a sea of red in the capital as tens of thousands of MDC supporters
gathered at the open space near the Rainbow Towers Hotel, which has been
dubbed the Freedom Square by the MDC-T, to hear their leader’s last pitch
before the watershed elections.

Tsvangirai said time has come for Zimbabweans to reclaim their lives after
33 years of failed Zanu-PF policies.

The outgoing Prime Minister said President Robert Mugabe has nothing to fear
if he loses Wednesday’s election, adding the MDC-T will ensure he has a
“peaceful retirement”

He criticised the chaos that has characterized the operations of the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission in preparing for the July 31 polls. With only
a day to go,  political parties said were yet to receive the voters roll
from the electoral body.

In light of this, Tsvangirai called for the entire commission to resign.

Despite his complaints against ZEC, Tsvangirai said he victory was certain
for his party come Wednesday. He urged all registered voters to be patient
and remain in voting queues until they cast their ballots.

Tsvangirai pledged to revive the country’s ailing economy if elected
president into office. He also urged election observers that are in the
country to be impartial.

Former finance minister Simba Makoni, who formed an election alliance with
Tsvangirai, also spoke at the rally, urging voters to use the vote to rid
Zimbabwe of the Zanu PF government.

Tsvangirai and his wife Elizabeth kicked and threw footballs into the crowd
at the end of the rally

In the 2008 elections, some Zanu PF supporters reportedly showed their anger
with their party and voted for the MDC in what was then called “bhora
musango” in a campaign that saw supporters supporting a Zanu PF lawmaker but
ditching Mugabe.

Mugabe has also been using footballs in his campaign telling supporters this
time the ball should go into the net and not the woods as they seek to beat
Tsvangirai's party in the election.

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Mugabe Rallies Supporters in Last Campaign Meeting Ahead of Polls


HARARE — President Robert Mugabe addressed his last campaign rally at the
National Sports Stadium in Harare Sunday with a long winding speech on the
history of Zimbabwe, telling supporters to go out in their numbers to
support his party during Wednesday’s ballot.

Mugabe said people should use Wednesday’s vote to reject Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party saying it was formed to reverse the gains of
the liberation struggle. He said he will suffer a heart attack if the people
of Harare abandoned him in favour of Tsvangirai.

“Harare, Bulawayo, have you put behind you the 2008 mistake? I will suffer a
heart attack if the people of Harare vote the MDC-T again, which has
councillors who have terrorized residents by poor service delivery,
corruption and unfairly repossessing residential stands of those who fail to
pay rates,” said Mugabe. “If your stand has been taken away, come back to
the party that has your wishes and dreams at heart.”

Mugabe's last campaign rally was not as well attended as his previous
meetings around the country. Some supporters who tried to leave before he
finished speaking were stopped by the police.

The president described his main rival in Wednesday’s vote, Morgan
Tsvangirai, as “an irresponsible cry baby”, warning the MDC leader he faces
arrest if he announces next week’s election results prematurely.

He said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is the country’s electoral body
and should announce the results.

“What kind of madness is that? I have never heard such a statement coming
from a Prime Minister, even in the whole of Africa. Who gave you that right
Mr Tsvangirai when we have an electoral body that is mandated to do that? I
can warn you in advance that if you break the law, you will be arrested. He
who breaks the law will be arrested. We will arrest you Tsvangirai,” said

The Zanu PF leader also said he was concerned by Tsvangirai’s attack Friday
on African Union Commission chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, after her
remarks that the continental body was happy with preparations on the ground
for the crucial election.

President Mugabe also took time to respond to questions from local and
international journalists after the rally. He said if he wins next week, it
will not be up to him but Europe’s decision as to whether they want to
quickly restore relations or not, saying Harare is ready to work with them.

He said problems between Harare and Europe in particular were stoked by
former Prime Minister Tony Blair whom he said was against his agrarian
reforms and took the message to the European Union that there was no
democracy in Zimbabwe, adding Mugabe was abusing people’s rights and not
respecting the rule of law, charges he has and continues to deny.

“It is the British who created the MDC, it is them who created Tsvangirai as
a political figure and that is why he never criticises the British despite
their continued desire to loot the country’s resources,” he Mugabe.

Zimbabweans go to the polls Wednesday to choose a new leadership to replace
the shaky coalition government that saw rivals Tsvangirai and Mugabe coming
together following the disputed 2008 election.

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Zimbabwe elections: Voters' roll concerns Sadc observer

29 July 2013

Southern Africa's chief observer to Zimbabwe, Bernard Membe, says he is
gravely concerned that a voters' roll has not been released two days before
tightly contested elections.

This is despite the fact that it is the "most important document" for
Wednesday's election, he added.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said it plans to take court action
to obtain the voters' roll.

The poll ends the coalition between the MDC and the president's Zanu-PF

'Ghost voters'

President Robert Mugabe, the Zanu-PF candidate, is seeking to extend his
33-year rule and will face Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC at
the ballot box.

"With virtually a day to go to the election, no political party in Zimbabwe
other than Zanu-PF perhaps has got a copy of the final voters roll” - Tendai

The two long-time rivals have been sharing power since 2009, under a deal
brokered by the regional bloc the Southern African Development Community
(Sadc), to end conflict that marred elections held the previous year.

Mr Membe, Sadc's chief observer and Tanzania's foreign minister, said the
voters roll was not a "top secret" document and its release was overdue.

"It has to be made available for the people to see; for the people to verify
their names; for the people to know where they're going to vote," he told
the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

MDC Secretary-General and Finance Minister Tendai Biti said the party would
take legal action against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to get a
copy of the roll.

"With virtually a day to go to the election, no political party in Zimbabwe
other than Zanu-PF perhaps has got a copy of the final voters roll," he
said, AFP news agency reports.

"Our lawyers are in the process of filing a court application to actually
obtain a copy of that voters roll," he added.

In June, a non-governmental organisation, Research and Advocacy Unit,
alleged that the roll included around one million dead voters or people who
have moved abroad, as well as over 100,000 people aged over 100 years old.

The MDC alleges that these "ghost voters" are intended to boost Mr Mugabe's
vote and it wants them to be removed from the voters roll.

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'Only Zanu PF with voters’ roll’

July 29, 2013 in News, Politics

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC says political parties, except Zanu
PF, are yet to receive the voters’ roll to be used in Wednesday’s crucial

By Elias Mambo

Briefing journalists this morning, MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti said
it was alarming that only Zanu PF was in possession of the voters’ roll,
which should have been distributed to political parties last Thursday.

“We have been asking the Zec (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) for the voters’
roll and they referred us to the RG (Registrar-General)’s office,” Biti
said. “I want to believe that even Zec is not in possession of the voters’
roll yet it is the electoral managing body.”

Independent electoral organisations claim that the voters’ roll is in
shambles and would be used by President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party
to rig the elections.

Mugabe is facing a stiff challenge to his 33-year-old rule from Tsvangirai.
MDC leaders Welshman Ncube and Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa are also
eyeing the presidency.

Biti also claimed that Zec was yet to release a list of polling stations
throughout the country, two days before the poll.

“How are we going to deploy our monitors and agents if we do not know how
many polling stations will be there?” questioned Biti. “What if they
increase the number of polling stations overnight, how are the agents going
to be accredited when the law requires that accreditation should take two
weeks before elections?

He said the MDC-T had notified the African Union and Sadc observer teams of
the irregularities, including alleged plans to rig the polls.

“The number of polling stations in Harare, which has a population of 2,4
million, has been decreased to 875 yet in 2008 Harare had 920 stations,”
Biti said.

“We also have reports that Zec is printing two million ballots more than the
eight million that has been reported and that serial numbers of the ballot
papers are being done by police yet we have Fidelity and government printers
who have the capacity to do that.”

He said the MDC-T would not accept another stolen election.

“We are not going to accept a stolen election like in 2002 and 2008. We will
not accept such illegality,” Biti said without elaborating what MDC-T would
do should polls be rigged.

Zec was not available for comment.

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Zanu PF disrupts MDC-T rallies in Bulilima


by Gladys Ncube

The MDC-T says it has been failing to hold rallies in Bulilima district in
Matabeleland South province for the past three weeks as Zanu (PF) supporters
have been disrupting their meetings.

Speaking to The Zimbabwean yesterday MDC-T parliamentary candidate for
Bulilima East Norman Mpofu said a group of Zanu (PF) supporters has been
invading all their meeting venues, just few hours before their rallies’ kick
off time.

“Zanu (PF) has resorted to dirty tricks here, as their party supporters led
by their parliamentary candidate Merthias Ndlovu are violating the
electorate code of conduct by invading every venue we booked for a rally.

“All our rallies had been cleared by police,but they rushed to every venue a
few minutes before kick-off and start holding their meetings claiming to
have booked the same venue,” said Mpofu.

Mpofu added: “For example yesterday our meeting in Gwambe Business Centre
failed to take place after Zanu (PF) youths led by Ndlovu invaded the venue
early in the morning. We notified police but they failed to take action”

When contacted Matabeleland South police spokesperson Philisani Ndebele
referred The Zimbabwean to national spokesperson Charity Charamba, who said
“she will make a follow up”.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said: “These MDC people lie too much,
there are just trying to get attention from the western masters.”

The disruption of MDC-T rallies in Bulilima comes as about 500 Zanu-PF
youths on Thursday invaded the venue of party leader Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai's rally at Mutoko centre, scaring away people who wanted to
attend. Tsvangirai, however, managed to address small crowds of between 500
and 2 000 at Mutoko centre and in Murehwa in Mashonaland East.

Zanu PF supporters also invaded Tsvangirai rally venue on Saturday in
Chegutu before the MDC-T shifted to an open space.

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Tsvangirai to win 61% - Survey


HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (pictured) has a solid
34-percentage point lead over Zanu PF presidential candidate President
Robert Mugabe in a new survey ahead of the make-or-break election on

The opinion poll by respected US firm, Williams and Associates of Salem,
found that 61 percent of Zimbabwean voters favour Tsvangirai compared to 27
percent for Mugabe.

The survey, held between March 28 and April 5, 2013, was compiled from 800
interviews conducted across the country’s 10 provinces, and has a margin of
error of plus or minus 3,5 percent.

The majority of Zimbabweans (67 percent) think that Mugabe, 89, should step
down and let another candidate represent Zanu PF.

“At 61 percent, MDC-T shows it has potential support from across the
political spectrum with the exception of hardcore Mugabe voters,” says the

“The 27 percent favourable for Zanu PF matches the result of Mugabe’s
support among his voters in 2008, that is he does not appeal to voters
outside of his own personal core support.

“Polling clearly demonstrates that Zanu PF, with Mugabe at its head should
not win...and this effect should also filter down, with negative effect to
the parliamentary level. It could be argued then that Zanu PF’s electoral
chances would be better with a different candidate who might appeal to a
wider voter group.”

In his campaign speeches, Tsvangirai has been promising a convincing win in
the July 31  vote against a foe he derides as the epitome of Zimbabwe’s
economic disaster.

While earlier surveys have consistently showed that there will be a fierce
battle between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, the Massachusetts-headquartered
think-tank found that Tsvangirai, 61, is the best hope of unseating Mugabe
after failing to remove him through the last two presidential ballots.

Tsvangirai has embarked on a nationwide tour intended to deepen his support
and improve his poll standing.

The survey found that of the country’s 10 provinces, Tsvangirai leads Mugabe
in seven —Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Manicaland, Mashonaland
Central,  Mashonaland East, Harare and Bulawayo. Mugabe only leads in
Mashonaland West, Masvingo and Midlands.

“By contrasting past turn-out with the present support levels it is highly
unlikely that Mugabe could get even close to winning — he lacks critical
mass,” the survey says.

The major wild card is Mugabe’s health. The veteran ruler insists he suffers
from cataracts and treatment is going quite well.

The Zimbabwean leader prefers treatment in Singapore because he is
guaranteed discretion in the tightly controlled Asian State and can lean on
the counsel of his friend Mohammed Mahathir, the former Malaysian ruler.

In contrast with other high-profile figures around the region such as Nelson
Mandela who have suffered frailty, Mugabe has not allowed doctors or others
to give much official information on his own condition.

Beyond vague descriptions of seeking medical help for a nagging eye problem,
details have been scant, leading to a frenzied rumour-mill and criticisms of
excessive secrecy.

Mugabe’s health problems, associated with advanced age, have played into
markets and raised expectations of a change of government. Mugabe managed to
run 10 energy-sapping rallies across the provinces, albeit scaled back,
whereas Tsvangirai is projecting an image of youth and zest.

Tsvangirai has continued to capitalise on Zimbabwe’s growing social and
economic problems, warning the electorate that they faced a return to
economic hardships if Mugabe was re-elected.

Tsvangirai, a centre-left politician campaigning on a platform of creating a
million jobs, ending corruption and solving grassroots economic problems,
wants to bring Western-style progress to Zimbabwe, with free-market
economics alongside strong social welfare programmes.

Mugabe, known for his radical populism, nationalism and fierce anti-Western
rhetoric, has called him a puppet of the West.

Underlining the polarised nature of Zimbabwean politics and the tense
atmosphere this year, Tsvangirai has accused Mugabe of trying to rig the
vote saying he was still to be furnished with important election-related
information on the eve of the poll.

“The voters’ roll has not been availed to us; we don’t know who is printing
the ballot papers,” Tsvangirai said.

“We don’t know where those ballot papers are being printed.”

But Mugabe has rejected allegations that he is planning to rig.

“We do not want observers to go away with the impression we won because we
were using violence,” Mugabe said last week.

“That must be avoided. Let just the numbers talk. I am confident there will
be minimal violence.”

The latest clutch of opinion poll has been disappointing for the ‘regime
preservation’ camp, analysts note.

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Robert Mugabe says he will rule Zimbabwe for 'another five years' ahead of vote

A combatative Robert Mugabe insisted he would win Wednesday’s election and
rule Zimbabwe for another term despite his advanced years, declaring: “I can
box you. Ask me after another five years and I will fell you with one."

By Aislinn Laing, Harare and Peta Thornycroft in Chitungwisa
7:00AM BST 29 Jul 2013

As new allegations emerged of vote-rigging, the 89-year-old president
dismissed his rival to power Morgan Tsvangirai as a “cry baby” for his
claims that Zanu PF was working with Zimbabwe’s Electoral Commission (ZEC)
to alter the voters’ roll in their favour.

The elections would be “free and fair” and that his countrymen “can vote the
way they desire”, he asserted on Sunday.

The veteran strongman told The Daily Telegraph that it would be up to the
West to normalise relations with Zimbabwe should he win this week.

“It’s up to the West to decide what the nature of the relations they desire
between themselves and ourselves will be,” he said.

“We have not offended against them, nor have we interfered with their own
systems in any way so it’s up to them really.”

Mr Mugabe was speaking after his last rally before elections that will
terminate a five-year coalition government that has brought a fragile peace
to the troubled country. Polls have suggested that there is little clear
water between the parties.

During a two-hour speech, Mr Mugabe called repeatedly for a peaceful vote
but also attacked “interfering” whites and the MDC as a “creation of the

He pledged that his key indigenisation policy, which will see foreign
companies forced to hand over a majority share to locals, would make the
next generation of Zimbabweans “masters of their own destiny”.

Harare’s Chinese-built, 50,000-capacity National Sports Stadium was
half-full despite people being bussed in from Zanu PF heartlands in the
countryside. The crowd was muted save for a few cheers for Mr Mugabe’s
barnstorming attacks on the West and pledges of indigenisation and youth

Mr Mugabe asked them: “Are you going to vote Zanu PF? Are you sure you’re
with me?” “Yes!” they roared back in response.

“You have to show me you’re with me, to prove it. But if you’re not, I will
see it on Wednesday,” the president responded.

Meanwhile, at a small soccer stadium in a town 20 miles south of Harare, MDC
leader Mr Tsvangirai, Mr Mugabe’s erstwhile coalition partner, addressed
15,000 people who sang “Bye, bye, Mugabe, we will miss you, and shake your
hand, bye bye Mugabe”.

Mr Tsvangirai, accused of being a “puppet of the West” by Mr Mugabe, told
his audience his rival was a “puppet of the military”.

“Two days left, only two days left for change. There will be no fear in our
government,” he said.

“We have been so traumatised. So many have lost so much but we will create
wealth and we will re-open the factories.”

Cosmas Ndira, whose brother was killed during the disputed 2008 elections,
predicted a “landslide” in favour of the MDC.

“They (Zanu PF) won’t be able to cheat,” he said. “There are many first time
voters this time, and we just pray the results will come quickly, not like
last time.”

Catherine Musakwa, 30, a single mother of two, said she hoped the next
government would bring jobs: “I joined the MDC eight years ago, and so many
have suffered, but we are very close now. We will not have revenge against
Zanu PF, we just won’t to start to live again and we want peace,” she said.

On Sunday, police arrested an MDC official who claimed ballot papers marked
in his party’s favour from the early, special vote for police on July 14 and
15, were dumped in a rubbish bin outside the election headquarters.

ZEC said they requested Morgan Komichi’s arrest for contravening electoral
laws because he refused to disclose who handed him the allegedly dumped

The MDC’s Nelson Chamisa said the arrest underscored concerns about an
unfair election. “We believe that ZEC and not Komichi have a lot of
questions to answer,” he said.

But Mr Mugabe insisted the election would reflect the true wishes of
Zimbabweans. “Things are going to be free and fair, we are not forcing
anyone to vote this way or that way, they can vote the way they desire,” he

He described a suggestion by Mr Tsvangirai that he might seek to pre-empt
ZEC and avoid the “vote rigging” of previous elections in 2002 and 2008 by
announcing the election results himself as “crazy”.

“That shocked me because it’s not legal for him to announce the results,” he
said. “I can warn you in advance that if you break the law, you will be
arrested. We will arrest you Tsvangirai.”

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ITV News uncovers evidence of potential voting fraud in Zimbabwe's elections
 8:04PM, MON 29 JUL 2013
More than 100,000 voters who are apparently over the age of 100 have been registered to vote.Photo: ITV News

ITV News has uncovered evidence of potential voting fraud, ahead of Wednesday's parliamentary and presidential elections in Zimbabwe.

The evidence includes the registration of more than 100-thousand voters who are apparently at least 100-years-old.

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is attempting, for a third time, to unseat the country's controversial leader President Robert Mugabe, who is aiming to extend his 33 year grip on power.

ITV News Correspondent Neil Connery reports from Harare.

Read: Robert Mugabe insists Zimbabwe's elections will be 'free and fair'

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Counting to be done at polling stations — Zec

July 29, 2013 in Elections 2013, News, Politics

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has clarified that counting of votes
will be done at polling stations while announcing of ward, constituency and
provincial results for proportional representation will be done at the
respective areas.

Brian Chitemba
Zec chairperson Justice Rita Makarau said after the counting of election
results at polling stations, they will be transmitted to the ward collation
centre where the winner for the ward will be announced at that level while
those for the House of Assembly will be collated at the constituency
collation centre after which the winner will be announced.
From constituency level, the results will then be sent to a provincial
collation centre where calculations will be done for the apportioning of
seats for the Senate and 60 House of assembly seats reserved for women.
The Zec headquarters will be seized with the presidential election results
which Makarau said will be announced within five days of polling.
The Zec chairperson said they increased the number of polling stations to 9
735 because they anticipate a high voter turnout while 8.7 million ballots
were printed to cater for 6, 4 million registered voters. Makarau admitted
that the 8,7 million ballots was a high number considering that its 35% of
the number of registered voters.
She added that the voters’ roll hard copy was ready for collection from the
Registrar-General office by contesting candidates although the soft copy was
not available. The unavailability of the voters’ roll soft copy attracted
criticism from observers and journalists who argued that it was much easier
to provide a computerized version than printing the register.
“We are 99% ready for the elections since the ballot papers have been
dispatched to provinces while ink and other material is also available.
Voting will start at 7am on July 31 and close at 7pm but those who will be
in the queue until closing of polling will be allowed to vote,” said

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I'll suffer heart failure if I lose - Mugabe

2013-07-29 14:03

Cape Town – President Robert Mugabe says he would suffer heart failure if
the people of Harare and Bulawayo did not vote for him in the make-or-break
elections set to be held on Wednesday, a News Day report said on Monday.

Addressing party supporters during his last campaign rally in Harare, Mugabe
said: "Are we going to vote? Yes, but how are you going to vote? Harare,
Harare, Harare, Bulawayo, Bulawayo, our big cities. Have we forgotten 2008?"

"Have we left behind 2008? I will be shocked. I will have heart failure if I
hear Harare votes for MDC, a party with councillors who have caused
trouble," Mugabe said.

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Tsvangirai gets his third crack at dethroning Mugabe

29 JUL 2013 08:56 SUSAN NJANJI

After losing against President Robert Mugabe in three consecutive elections,
can Morgan Tsvangirai outmanoeuvre Zimbabwe's head on July 31?

This Wednesday, Morgan Tsvangirai will get his third crack at dethroning
Zimbabwe's veteran leader Robert Mugabe. It may be his last.

In 14 years at the helm of the Movement for Democratic Change, the
61-year-old ex-trade unionist, has made his party the only credible
alternative to Mugabe's Zanu-PF.

In consecutive elections in 2002, 2005 and 2008 Tsvangirai has run Mugabe

Last time out he won 47.9% of the vote to Mugabe's 43.2%.

In a fair race, he may well have won outright. But an orgy of violence
against allies forced him out of the hunt before the final round of voting.

For his troubles Tsvangirai has been arrested repeatedly, been charged with
treason and faced four suspected assassination attempts.

In 1997 assailants tried to throw him out of his office window. His
bodyguard was killed and his wife died in a suspicious car crash that also
hospitalised him.

Outmanoeuvred by Mugabe
Tsvangirai retains a strong following among urbanites and Zimbabweans in
rural of the western part of the country.

But even among supporters, there is a lingering sense that Tsvangirai has
repeatedly been outmanoeuvred by Mugabe, even when the international
community forced Mugabe to accept him as prime minister.

After more than four years of a forced unity government, most meaningful
levers of power – from the security services to the judiciary – remain under
Mugabe's control.

Tsvangirai has been criticised for offering Mugabe legitimacy by
participating in polls that have repeatedly been rigged – and for failing to
mobilise mass protests that could shift the terrain in his favour.

And on his watch, the MDC has split into two rival factions, draining energy
and valuable votes.

Tsvangirai has managed to forge an alliance with Simba Makoni, a former
finance minister and senior official of Mugabe's party, who came third in
the first round of the 2008 elections.

"This will be a do-or-die election for him," said Eldred Masunungure, a
political scientist at the University of Zimbabwe.

"After being at the helm of the party since September 1999, if he loses,
then surely he must consider dropping the hat for someone else."

Scandal surrounding his love life
While he is widely seen as a champion of democracy, recent scandals
surrounding his love life, including a public divorce, have put a dent in
his popularity.

He "gets distracted by a whole lot of things, including personal issues",
said analyst Moeletsi Mbeki, who has known Tsvangirai since the 1980s.

This does little to help strengthen his fight, especially facing a "very
powerful adversary" like Mugabe.

"Morgan has been learning on the job while fighting against ... Mugabe [who]
is the one of the cleverest politicians in Africa."

Mbeki thinks that "in fact Morgan has done reasonably well given the lack of
experience he started off with".

The teetotal, non-smoking Tsvangirai rose to political prominence via the
trade union movement.

After working for 10 years at Bindura Nickel Mine he became leader of the
country's largest labour federation, spearheading national strikes in the
1990s against Mugabe's economic policies.

Treason charges
Tsvangirai was born in 1952, the son of a bricklayer in the southern town of
Gutu, as the oldest of nine children.

He grew up in the eastern district of Buhera but family poverty forced him
to quit school early and earn a living to enable his younger siblings to get
an education.

Unlike most of Zimbabwe's politicians of his age and older, Tsvangirai did
not take part in the Chimurenga liberation war against white colonial rule.

He was 28 when Zimbabwe won independence from Britain in 1980.

Under Mugabe's rule, he was detained twice for his political activism and
was twice cleared of treason charges.

In March 2007, he was among dozens of opposition activists assaulted by
police as they tried to stage an anti-government rally, and suffered head

Just three weeks after taking office as the premier, his first wife Susan
died in a car crash that also left him hospitalised.

There are increasing signs his long struggle has taken its toll.

"I don't have the 'I-will-not-go' attitude. When my days are done, I will go
and leave these young ones [to it]," Tsvangirai told thousands of supporters
on Sunday. – AFP

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Mugabe not his own man: Tsvangirai


HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has accused President Robert
Mugabe of being used by hardliners in the security structures of the country
to prolong his stay in power.

In an address to a huge rally in Chitungwiza yesterday, Tsvangirai said
Mugabe was hostage to some individuals in the security structures who are
forcing him to stay.

“Do you want democracy or military rule?” Tsvangirai asked.

“In 2008 we beat Mugabe, he agreed on his own and he got to a point where he
said, ‘guys, let me accept defeat’, but was told, ‘no, mudhara (old man) you
ain’t going anywhere, you’ll will stay there, let’s see what we can

“They took five weeks to announce results whose outcome was that Tsvangirai
has won but not enough to scoop the presidency. What does that mean? It
means Mugabe is not his own man, there are people who are handlers behind
him, he is a puppet........... And he knows it.”

Tsvangirai continued: “Now we have that critical challenge, that those same
people who forced Mugabe to stay in office are saying ‘we don’t want
Tsvangirai because he is MDC and we don’t want vice president (Joice) Mujuru
because she is a woman’, that’s the challenge we have on 31 July; the people
versus those who want to subvert the will of the people.

“But I want to tell you now, there is no one who will stand in the way of
people’s wishes,” Tsvangirai said.

Unlike Mugabe who has ruled the country for the past 33 years and wants to
rule for five more years, Tsvangirai said he will relinquish power to

“Mugabe calls me a cry baby, I am not a cry baby, Mai Makone, I don’t have a
handiende (I will not go) attitude,” the MDC leader said. “If my days are
done I will go and leave for these young men.

“After all this struggle, having lost so much in my life, having been
brutalised, arrested and detained, why should I allow such a condition to
prevail to another Zimbabwean? That’s not my philosophy, I don’t believe in
that, but I want to assure you that come August 1, Zimbabwe will become a
democratic country.”

Tsvangirai also challenged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to prove
its independence.

“Now I hear that Zec has changed the law, saying they will no longer count
our votes at polling stations. I want to tell Zec that we will not allow any
ballot to be moved from any polling station before being counted,” said

The premier said he was going to brief the observers on the irregularities,
giving Zec up to today to “rectify the anomalies”.

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Zimbabwe PM: No Trust in Free and Fair Poll

By GILLIAN GOTORA Associated Press
HARARE, Zimbabwe July 29, 2013 (AP)

Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Monday he doesn't trust the
nation's state electoral body to conduct free and fair elections on
Wednesday and called for their resignation.

Speaking to more than 50,000 supporters at his last rally in downtown
Harare, Tsvangirai said he feared the same vote-rigging that marred previous
violent and disputed elections in 2008. He said the state Electoral
Commission had shown its lack of preparedness after chaos marked early
voting on July 14 and 15 for uniformed services on duty July 31.

"They are not up to the responsibility. I say to them, just do the honorable
thing and go," he said.

Tsvangirai, 61, faces long-time President Robert Mugabe, 89, and two other
minor candidates in presidential polls.

He warned of political unrest if people are turned away from the polls and
if rigging is suspected.

"There is potential of unrest if people are not given chance to vote and
results don't reflect their will," Tsvangirai told The Associated Press

Later Monday, head of the state Electoral Commission, Judge Rita Makarau,
defended the electoral body and said it was ready to hold to credible

Makarau said the commission has established 9, 735 polling stations across
the country. She said the printing of ballot papers, one day away from
voting, is now "99 percent complete" and voters' lists are being dispatched
to the provinces.

Polling stations will be open until everyone in line has cast their ballot,
she said.

"It is our duty to serve everyone. No voter will be turned away," Makarau

Tsvangirai told his supporters on Monday that "Zimbabweans has been
short-changed" by the way polls were being administered by the electoral

"Don't dare do it again, I don't respect deliberate attempts to subvert the
people's will," Tsvangirai said. "No one will get away with stealing from
the people."

The elections on Wednesday will be the Tsvangirai's third attempt at the
nation's presidency since 2002.

He claims Mugabe rigged the elections contested by him. The disputed and
violent poll in 2008 led to an acrimonious coalition with Mugabe that was
brokered by the leaders of neighboring countries.

"Mugabe lost in 2008 but found a way to come back through the back door, but
this time there will be no coalition," Tsvangirai said.

About 13,210 election observers have been accredited to monitor the vote,
some 800 of them from neighboring African counties and the continent-wide
African Union headed by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, a
respected African elder statesman, according to electoral commission chair

She said ballots will be counted at polling stations and will be displayed
outside each voting post.

All polling officials were expected to be "firm on the ground" by the end of

No campaigning is allowed Tuesday, the day before the national vote.

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Succession questions loom amid Mugabe re-election bid

Sapa-AFP | 29 July, 2013 08:24

A victory for Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe’s presidential elections this week
would raise the prospect of him ruling well into his 90s, enflaming a
succession battle that already quietly rages.

You don’t rule a country — especially one as volatile as Zimbabwe — for 33
years without knowing a thing or two about seeing off rivals.

Since taking up the reins of a newly independent Zimbabwe in 1980, Mugabe
has for three decades deftly brushed aside opponents and, with power
consolidated, kept subordinates in their place.

He started with Joshua Nkomo, a man many considered to be the father of the
modern nation.

Mugabe’s ZANU and Nkomo’s ZAPU kicked out the white-minority government
after a long bush war. A brief co-habitation followed.

But ultimately it was Nkomo who fled the country, accused — with the aid of
some suspect intelligence operations — of plotting a coup.

His supporters in Matabeleland were brutally crushed by North Korean trained
forces, in a operation that killed around 20 000 people and become known as
Gukurahundi — the early rain that washes away the chaff.

Since then a series of elections saw Mugabe retain power by hook or crook,
repeatedly seeing off Morgan Tsvangirai, who he will again face on

Again critics doubt the vote will be free and fair, and few doubt the

But perhaps the fiercest battle will take place behind the scenes.

Throughout his rule, Mugabe has steadfastly refused to name a successor.

The lack of a clear a clear heir has in recent years spelt jockeying within
ZANU-PF between two camps, one led by Vice President Joice Mujuru and the
other by hardline Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

After losing the first round of the 2008 elections, there were reports that
Mugabe was prepared to accept defeat, but was pushed by allies in the
security forces to hang on.

It was the military that reportedly led the violent campaign in the lead up
to the run-off election which Tsvangirai boycotted following the killing of
some 200 of his supporters.

Wrapping up his election campaign on Sunday, Mugabe showed no sign of
changing tack, claiming he would have the energy to run in 2018.

His failure to pick and groom a successor “means he cannot trust anyone in
ZANU-PF”, according to Shakespeare Hamauswa of the University of Zimbabwe.

As a result, if he is handed back power on Wednesday he likely continue to
recycle the stalwarts who have served him for decades and a playbook that
has served him throughout his political life.

Born on February 21, 1924, at a Jesuit mission northwest of the capital
Harare, Mugabe was described as a studious child. He qualified as a teacher
at the age of 17.

He took his first steps in politics while studying at Fort Hare University
in South Africa, where he met many of southern Africa’s future black
nationalist leaders.

He taught in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and later in Ghana — where he
was profoundly influenced by the country’s founder president Kwame Nkrumah.
It was also there where he met his first wife Sally.

As a member of various nationalist parties which were banned by the
white-minority government, Mugabe was detained in 1964 and spent the next 10
years in prison camps or jail.

But he used his incarceration to gather three degrees, including a law
degree from London, via correspondence.

He also used that time to consolidate his position in the Zimbabwe African
National Union and emerged from prison in November 1974 as the party leader.

He skipped the border for Mozambique, from where his banned party staged a
guerrilla war against the white minority colonial Rhodesian regime.

Economic sanctions and war forced Rhodesian leader Ian Smith to negotiate.

After that ZANU, which drew most of its support from the ethnic Shona
majority, swept to power in the 1980 election.

In 2000 Mugabe launched controversial land reforms, driving thousands of
white farmers off their land.

Some of the white farmers were accused of joining forces with his Western
foes in a campaign to topple him, using the opposition MDC as a front.

The white farmers were replaced by hundreds of thousands of black farmers
including his cronies and army veterans.

The chaotic process plunged the former regional breadbasket into a
decade-long crisis, with most rural dwellers relying on food handouts.

Under pressure to end the crushing economic decline, Mugabe entered into an
agreement with Tsvangirai to form a unity government.

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Komichi to be charged over stray ballot paper

29/07/2013 00:00:00
     by Staff Reporter

POLICE have vowed to press criminal charges against MDC-T deputy chairman
Morgan Komichi who was arrested Sunday after he produced a stray ballot
paper cast in his party’s favour to back claims of vote rigging by his

Speaking during a press briefing at the Police General Headquarters the same
day, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba
insisted that Komichi, who is deputy minister of Transport, would remain
their prime suspect until he reveals the source of the document.

Komichi, who is also the MDC-T’s elections chief, last week, took the ballot
paper to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), claiming it was handed to
his party by a party sympathiser who preferred to remain anonymous.

He claimed the document was picked from a dust bin at the Harare
International Conference Centre where ZEC has established its national
command centre.

The MDC-T further claims it is in possession of “several” more stray ballot
papers dumped after the July 14-15 special voting exercise by some members
of the uniformed forces and ZEC personnel.

ZEC has since denied being responsible for any leaks and further questioned
the credibility of the MDC-T official’s claims.
But police said they were taking the matter seriously as it had the
potential dent the credibility of the July 31 harmonised election, which has
already generated a lot of controversy.

“The police would like to establish how the so-called special ballot paper
ends up in a dustbin and the whereabouts of the rest of the alleged lost
envelops," Charamba said.

“Our preliminary investigations have since established that the said police
officer whose special ballot paper was allegedly found in the dust bin never
cast his vote.

“He was scientifically tested by ZEC officials to this effect and a sworn
affidavit statement has since been obtained from the police officer and the
ZEC official who conducted the ultra vialate light test.”

“In this regard,” Charamba continued, “Mr Komichi … is assisting police with
investigations so that he reveals the identity of the person who gave him
the ballot paper with a view of getting to the bottom of this matter.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police would like to urge Zimbabweans to desist from
interfering with the electoral process with a view to discrediting the
harmonised elections.

“Political parties should therefore be warned that the Zimbabwe Republic
Police shall arrest all individuals who stage manage events and or
occurrences in order to portray that the obtaining environment is not
conducive for holding free and fair elections. As Zimbabwe Republic Police,
we are determined to see the fruition of a free and fair elections.”

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Q&A: Can Zimbabwe's economy survive?
Al Jazeera speaks with Zimbabwe's Finance Minister on the challenges of taking on "the hardest job in Africa".
 Last Modified: 29 Jul 2013 11:19
Tendai Biti says Zimbabwe has 'raped government' to pay for these elections [Azad Essa/Al Jazeera]

Harare, Zimbabwe - When Tendai Biti took over Zimbabwe's Ministry of Finance in 2009, the country was in tatters.

With inflation sitting at 231 million percent following economic sanctions, mass economic mismanagement and the shock effects of Zanu-PF's fast-track land reform programme, Zimbabwe was in the midst of an economic meltdown.

Biti - a senior member of the Movement of Democratic Change (MDC), a coalition partner of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF in a government of national unity, formed after the contested election results of the 2008 presidential poll - had the arduous task of rebuilding a country sitting on the brink.

The Ministry of Finance promptly scrapped the Zimbabwe dollar and adopted a multiple currency system, including the US dollar, which contained the country's runaway inflation that had all but emptied the country of fuel and food supplies.

Five years later, inflation is under control at 5.9 percent.

With the government of national unity's parliamentary term expiring in June 2013, and Mugabe adamant that foreign western donors would have no hand in funding or monitoring the election, Zimbabwe was forced to raise funds from its own resources.

Al Jazeera's Azad Essa spoke with Tendai Biti about funding the elections, working with Zanu-PF, and being Zimbabwe's finance minister - one of the toughest jobs in the world.

Here is an excerpt of the interview.

Azad Essa: Zimbabwe is paying for its own election. How is this going to happen?

Tendai Biti: It has already happened. We have managed to pay for our own elections. We have basically frozen government. We have squeezed government so that all our obligations in terms of the budget have been suspended, in order to create fiscal space to cover the budget. In fact, we have basically raped government in order to finance this election.

There was opportunity to get money from the UN, from the international community, but our colleagues at Zanu-PF frustrated that. What we have done then is to behave as if Zimbabwe starts and ends on July 31, 2013. This is regrettable, but this is what we have done.

AE: What were the challenges in securing these funds?

TB: Difficulties were there; this is a small economy. Also in the first quarter of the year, we lost three points in our GDP. I have also just revised the anticipated growth rate of the country. The election comes shortly on the heels of the referendum in March - which came on the heels of the census in September-December 2012.

Basically, we have had three elections in the past six months - by another name. Quite clearly, these kinds of things, for any country, puts [on] tremendous fiscal pressure. We have had a situation of high demand, huge expectations but total absence of fiscal legroom. The bottom line is that it has not been easy.

AE: This insistence to pay for the elections. Will this put Zimbabwe back?

TB: Of course it will. We have had to use expenditure that we would have otherwise gone to productive and utilitarian sectors, like social delivery. But if we have the correct outcome - if the MDC wins, because the MDC is the only party that can restore legitimacy and credibility with the international community.

The only party that are prepared to deal with that, that understands business, is the MDC. And if the MDC wins, as we expect, then the turn-around and the rebound, would be as rapid as it would be amazing.

AE: Moving to the elections. What is the likelihood that these elections will be free and fair?

TB: I have said it and I have said it again and I am beginning to sound like a broken record now, but these elections are illegal, illegitimate, immoral, unfree and unfair.

AE: Why? The African Union is saying that they will be legitimate...

TB: With all due respect to [AU chair] Nkosanaza Zuma and the African Union, this is the only election where its credibility is pronounced before the actual elections is being held. This does not happen anywhere in the world.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to observe the kid of atrocities that we are going through. There are a number of irregularities. We have not been given the space in the media... as I'm speaking to you, they have banned our rallies, they have banned bulk SMS service in the country. They have blocked us from accessing our Facebook accounts. And we still do not have, at this late stage, access to the voters' roll. Where in the world does that happen? With three days to go before the elections, we don't have a final list of the polling stations, so we don't know where people are going to the polling stations. So it's a dog's breakfast, but one which [even] my dog, Jonathan, will also not consume.

AE: Some say you are claiming the elections are unfair because you are not prepared for elections...

TB: We were the first party to hold primaries in this country. We were the first party to document the agenda for real transformation. We were the first to hold a campaign rally. You have seen the huge numbers of people who have attended our rallies. So there is no question of us being afraid of this election. We are talking about facts. We are not a Mickey Mouse party. We are the biggest party in this country.

AE: Let's talk about your role as Minister of Finance. You took on a very difficult job. How do you measure your success?

TB: Again, let's talk facts. When I came in, there was absolutely no food in the supermarkets. Inflation was 500 million percent. GDP growth rate in 2008 was minus 14 percent. We also had more than 14 years of successive GDP declines. From minus 2.7 percent in 1997 to minus 14 percent in 2008.

The economy had shrunk by 60 percent of its value between 2000-2008. [But] our growth was 5.7 percent in 2009 and between 2010-2011, the averge growth rate in real terms was 9.7 percent. In fact, we were the fastest growing economy in the world for those two years. Inflation is on average around three percent.

There is food in the country. You are sleeping in a normal hotel. Hospitals and schools are functioning.

So what we have done is nothing short of a miracle.

AE: How were you able to do this?

TB: It was because of MDC credibility. My credibility. People trust me, people trust the MDC. It was a case of business and labour trusting me and my party. We had the plan and then had the discipline to implement our plan.

Zanu-PF says this is western conspiracy, that sanctions disabled the country. As soon as the MDC had some type of power, western powers came back to the country.

Let's take inflation - this is not caused by external intervention. You can have Chinese and British on your side, but unless you do some fundamentals right, you won't get it right. So economic management and mismanagement has everything to do with the self-induced policy distortions and Zanu-PF are the grand masters of self-induced policy madness and macro-economic insanity.

Some say that Harare has not been governed as well as it should have been [under the MDC's watch].

The MDC is paying the price of things that were not done by the Zanu-PF government over the last 33 years.

AE: What is the policy of MDC with regards to indigenisation?

TB: We don't believe in an elitist model that seeks to grab things and assets by elites, a predatory faction, of Zanu-PF. We believe in genuine empowerment, and we believe that, right now, the cake is so small, the Zimbabawean economy is in the red. And we'd rather own 10 percent of an elephant than 100 percent of a rat.

At this moment in time, this economy has to be expanded. And you expand it by creating jobs, creating new industries, by getting foreign direct investment, by mobilising domestic investment, by promoting small enterprises ... you create genuine empowerment by looking at the whole gamut of governance and not predatory accumulation, which is another name for Zanu-PF indigenisation.

AE: How would the MDC plan on addressing the issue of redress which is what Zanu-PF argues all of this is about?

TB: Our plan is very clear. This country needs a plan of sustainable programmes of real reconstruction and development. We require huge resources to attend to the infrastructure needed but we are going to require a really consistent macro-economic policy.

We also require re-engagement with the international community and [to] improve our competitiveness. It is difficult to attain loans as a country because of the risks associated with the country. We have so many structural issues to attend to and it is a huge arena of problems and, trust me, my friend, Zanu-PF does not even know that it is lost.

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Is Zimbabwe heading towards another disputed election?

Solidarity Peace Trust Logo

Solidarity Peace Trust

29 July 2013

By Brian Raftopoulos

As Zimbabwe's elections on 31 July approach, the Southern African Development Community is under pressure to complete its mandate from 2007.

In September 2008 the three major political parties in Zimbabwe entered an inclusive government following a contested election in June that year. The Global Political Agreement (GPA), as it was called, was facilitated by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the facilitation was led by the South African government.

After nearly five years under a very problematic and intensely contested inclusive arrangement, the people of Zimbabwe face another election on the 31st July in a battle for the presidency, parliament and council representatives. The setting of the election date was announced unilaterally by President Mugabe, following a decision by the constitutional court clearly directed by Mugabe's party.

This was contrary to the terms of the GPA which set out that this decision would be made by consensus of the three political parties, Zanu PF, MDC-T and the smaller MDC formation. Mugabe's failure to abide by the terms of the GPA on this issue represented the latest in a long list of infringements by his party on the terms of the agreement.

Many of the key reforms envisaged under the GPA, such as media reform, substantive changes in the electoral laws and security sector realignment were blocked by Mugabe's party in the last five years. The latter issue was particularly important given the fact that the security establishment effectively blocked the MDCs from translating their electoral victory into state power in 2008.

As a result, the forthcoming election is taking place under conditions which once again bode ill for the conduct of a free and fair plebiscite. The combination of a shortened voter registration period and a voter's roll which, according to recent reports contains serious irregularities, point to further problems around the electoral process. The chaos surrounding the recently conducted special vote for the security forces provided yet another indication of the lack of readiness of the national electoral body for the July election.

The current state of unreadiness for the election has also been a cause of continuous concern for SADC. Since 2011 a series of SADC summits has pushed the GPA partners to implement all the political reforms set out in the GPA. At its June summit in Maputo the SADC facilitator on Zimbabwe, South African President Zuma, once again stressed the need for all matters agreed on under the GPA to be implemented speedily in order to ensure adequate preparations for a level playing field for the forthcoming elections.

Among the range of issues raised by Zuma in his report was the key point that security sector realignment could not be postponed any longer. The summit also called on the Zimbabwe parties to seek an extension of the election date from the Zimbabwe constitutional court, in order to ensure greater readiness for the election. Once again Zanu PF ensured the constitutional court decision endorsed the 31 July election date. In response to the recent disorganised special vote process, SADC stated that it wished its advice had been heeded on the need for a delay.

There have clearly been tensions between Mugabe and his SADC colleagues over the problems of implementing the GPA. Mugabe's recent attacks on one of the SADC facilitatiors, Lindiwe Zulu, over her alleged criticisms of the electoral process, point to some longer terms problems that Mugabe's party have had with Zuma's arbitration.

Additionally the growing convergence between SADC and the EU since the beginning of 2013 over the conditions for a free and fair election, have triggered concerns in Zanu PF. For much of the 2000's including the period of the inclusive government, Mugabe has skillfully used the division between SADC and the West over the sanctions imposed by the latter in the early 2000's on the Mugabe regime, to maintain the support of the region. The gradual movement away from the sanctions position by the EU, from 2012, and the clear movement of the EU towards an EU-Zimbabwe re-engagement dependent on the status of the upcoming election have closed the ground between the EU and SADC.

The pressure is therefore on the regional body to carry out the mandate that it set itself when the facilitation began in 2007. In that year the SADC mediation set out to establish conditions for a generally acceptable election in Zimbabwe and to “ensure that everybody concerned accepts that the results of the elections as truly representative of the will of the people.” The facilitator at that time, the then South African President Thabo Mbeki, was keen to keep the West at bay and to push for an African solution to an African problem. That task remains to be completed in Zimbabwe, and the stakes in the forthcoming elections are high not only for Zimbabweans, but also for the credibility of SADC.

A full range of election posters can be viewed on the Solidarity Peace Trust website here:

For further information, please contact Selvan Chetty - Deputy Director, Solidarity Peace Trust


Tel: +27 (39) 682 5869
Fax: +27 (39) 682 5869


Suite 4
3rd Floor
MB Centre
49 Aiken Street
Port Shepstone 4240
Kwazulu-Natal South Coast


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Nyoka & Kunyepa - Out With a Bang

Nyoka & Kunyepa - Out With a Bang

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London Protest at Zimbabwe Election Rigging

Media Notice from the Zimbabwe Vigil – 29th July 2013


London Protest at Zimbabwe Election Rigging


Zimbabwean exiles and supporters are to protest outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London on Wednesday 31st July – Zimbabwe’s Election Day – against the rigging of the vote by Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.


Mugabe controls all levers of power from the election commission (and the electoral roll) to the judiciary, the security services and the broadcasting media.


The Zimbabwe Vigil, which has been protesting outside the Embassy every Saturday for the past eleven years, is being joined in this protest for free and fair elections by Action for Southern Africa, the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement, and by the Trades Union Congress.


Mugabe has refused to implement reforms agreed with the regional body the Southern African Development Community (SADC) after the stolen elections of 2008. The Vigil believes there must be new elections organised by SADC in keeping with the agreed roadmap and their election guidelines.


Timetable for the day

·         12 noon: meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London WC2R 0JR. Nearest station: Charing Cross.

·         2 pm: visit the South African High Commission to present a petition calling for new elections in Zimbabwe.

·         The protest will end at 6 pm.


Media opportunities

·         President Mugabe will be showing how to stuff ballot boxes

·         African drumming, singing and dancing

·         Interviews with Zimbabwean exiles


Contacts: Ephraim Tapa            07940 793 090, Fungayi Mabhunu 07746 552 597, Rose Benton 07970 996 003, 07932 193 467



Zimbabwe Vigil Co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.




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Hot Seat: Debate ZANU PF’s Cairo Mhandu and MDC-T’s Luke Tamborinyoka

Luke Tamborinyoka

GONDA: First of all Mr Tamborinyoka can you tell us how the campaigning is going?

TAMBORINYOKA: For the MDC it is going on very well; for our president Morgan Tsvangirai it is going on very well. It is very clear that the people are going to restate their position of 2008 which is to make sure that Morgan Tsvangirai becomes president of this country. There’s a national mood for change, it’s very encouraging.

GONDA: Mr Mhandu – how’s the Zanu PF campaign going?


MHANDU: Zanu PF’s campaign is going on very, very well. In a peaceful, free and fair environment, no scenes of chaos. We are campaigning to the extent that people are accepting us as they know our background.


GONDA: Right and Mr Tamborinyoka your party, the MDC-T, has alleged that Zanu PF is using an Israeli company called Nikuv to manipulate the voters roll. Can you elaborate on this?


TAMBORINYOKA: It is now in the public domain that what Zanu PF wants and is angling for is a peaceful but rigged election. What we are seeing are shenanigans with the controversial ZEC Secretariat which took five weeks to announce the results of the 2008 appearing to be at the centre of the shenanigans. What is very clear Violet is that there was undeserved chaos during the voting of about 69000 security officers. The question that comes to mind is since ZEC cannot hold an election for 69000 people yet they now want to put an extension of a third day or more so a mere 69000, are these people ready for an election of 6.2 million registered voters? That is the question. And what started the shenanigans is when a lot of people, especially in urban areas were disenfranchised and were not allowed to register to vote.


GONDA: But what about on this specific issue of this Israeli company Nikuv, what evidence do you have?


TAMBORINYOKA: What you must know is that the MDC has supporters across the spectrum. We have supporters across the spectrum and people who are involved in these shenanigans actually telling us that there are plans to tamper with the voters roll.


GONDA: Major Mhandu what can you say about this? Luke Tamborinyoka says Zanu PF is angling for a peaceful election but that you are going to rig the elections. What can you say about this?


MHANDU: Those are false allegations and if he has any evidence to that effect I think he should prove to the Zimbabweans. We have never rigged elections and we will never rig elections. You can see by the attendance of our supporters in all the rallies that his excellency president comrade Robert Mugabe addressed, the attendance has been to full capacity. People have been attending on their own without any force, without any inducement but attending willingly.


GONDA: But what about allegations from the MDC-T and also from organizations such as the Research and Advocacy Unit who say that the voters roll seems to have been inflated with ghost voters and that in some constituencies you have more registered voters than people who actually live in those constituencies. What can you say about this Major Mhandu?


MHANDU: Voter registration and the constituencies, all our constituencies, the 210 national constituencies, they are not the same in terms of population, they differ. The other constituencies have got more people the other constituencies have got less people but we cannot say all constituencies should have equal number of registered voters, it is very impossible and we, if anyone – those non governmental organizations, or constituents or even the MDC-T, if they have got any evidence, if they have got any evidence to prove that Zanu PF intends to rig elections, please then come out and say this to the Zimbabweans how they have heard of such unethical way, we have never done that, we will never to do that because we are a peoples’ party.


GONDA: Mr Tamborinyoka what can you say about this? Where is the evidence and why haven’t you submitted your evidence to the ZEC for example?


TAMBORINYOKA: We have referred to ZEC. I cannot go into the specifics but what I can tell you is some of these issues are issues that were brought to the attention of ZEC, we have written many letters to ZEC and these were some of the issues that we undertake. But also to say I think it is in the public domain that even in the primary elections of Zanu PF, the other guys, you could see that some of the disagreements in Zanu PF are arising out of allegations of vote rigging. This is a party Violet which rigs its own elections. This is a party that has rigged its own elections. We have seen some of the Zanu PF candidates disputing some of the figures being peddled by those who are saying that they have won. Figures of 25000 versus figures of 13000 and we have heard Zanu PF candidates themselves making allegations of vote rigging against other candidates who are said to have won these elections. So I’m just saying that allegations of vote rigging are not mere allegations, these are things that are being said by other members of Zanu PF itself. And of course comrade Mhandu is saying that president Mugabe has a lot of supporters, he is addressing crowds – everyone in Zimbabwe knows that president Mugabe addresses bussed crowds. These are fake crowds. He can hold two rallies a day which he is not able to do now because of his age, he’s now merely holding one provincial rally. He can hold three rallies but he will be addressing the same people – bussed, shops closed, schools closed. Zanu PF has no capacity to address a genuine crowd which genuine crowds are being addressed by Morgan Tsvangirai, the man who won the 2008 election and who is going on to win this particular election as well.


GONDA: Major Mhandu can you respond? You are addressing fake crowds and some of them are bussed?


MHANDU: If we see Zimbabweans attending his excellency’s rallies, our rallies and we actually see the people and someone says they are fake then I don’t understand.


GONDA: I think Mr Tamborinyoka is saying that you are bussing in people to these rallies, that these are not genuine Zanu PF supporters but people from schools that are being forced to go to these rallies.


MHANDU: I can give a specific example of a certain party that I have seen bussing people, for example the MDC in Mvurwi, when they came to Mvurwi I was actually there. There was a convoy of vehicles that do not stay in that particular area. It was almost the whole country was there. All the vehicles used by former MPs of the MDC, they came to Mvurwi so I think that’s the fact that he’s talking about. We normally organize our local provincial membership, provincial executive, provincial membership that includes the district, the cells and the branches to attend in that particular province, to attend his excellency’s rallies. We don’t bus people from another province to another province.


GONDA: Mr Mhandu what is your party offering Zimbabweans that is different from what the MDC-T for example is offering?


MHANDU: We have actually released our manifesto with all the offers that we are going to extend or continue to give to the Zimbabweans – to empower them as we have been doing before. It is not a new programme – to empower the youth, to empower the women, to empower the farmers, to empower the indigenous people of Zimbabwe.


GONDA: Yes how are you going to do that that’s different from what, from the promises that you’ve made in the past?


MHANDU: We will do it using our own resources. Zimbabwe’s rich of resources so we’ll use our own resources to empower our own people.


GONDA: How exactly, how exactly are you going to do this?


MHANDU: We are going to use government departments or government ministries, once we are in power next week on the 1st of August, then we use our own ministries to reach to the people.


GONDA: Yes Major Mhandu this is just sounding like it’s rhetorical. We have heard these promises in the past but what tangible evidence can you give Zimbabweans right now that Zanu PF is going to deliver on its promises?


MHANDU: We, number one we have community ownership trust that has been established, we have the land reform programme – our people are now enjoying farming although there was this inclusive government the support for the farmers has been locked up by the minister of Finance and we have empowered the youth projects by giving them funds through selected banks to start their own projects – there are a lot of things.


GONDA: Mr Tamborinyoka what is your party promising Zimbabweans?


TAMBORINYOKA: Our party Violet last year launched JUICE which was our jobs plan and this year we have launched our policy document and also we have launched our manifesto. Basically there are several key canons that we are speaking to: we are speaking to a change of the governance culture in the country, we are talking about a plan to create jobs, we are talking about infrastructure rehabilitation, we are talking about rejoining the family of nations once again, we are talking about social services for the people of Zimbabwe. These are some of the key canons that we are speaking to in this particular election that we are promising the people.


GONDA: How do you plan to create jobs in a country that is bankrupt?


TAMBORINYOKA: We are saying to ourselves that merely by creating a new governance culture, a new governance culture in the country we are also going to be attracting investments and also going to make sure that we revive all those industries that have folded as a result of the so-called indigenization plan by Zanu PF. We are also talking about infrastructure rehabilitation. Merely reviving our infrastructure, creating our roads, creating our railways system, we will create a lot of jobs in the country.


GONDA: How different are your policies from Zanu PF especially to do with the land and indigenization?


TAMBORINYOKA: What we are simply saying Violet is that we must grow the cake rather than share the small cake – we must grow the economy. It is not about sharing what is there in the country, it is not about indigenizing existing companies, it is about enlarging the cake, making sure that we grow this particular economy. Our differences with Zanu PF is Zanu PF say let us share what is there. Our difference with Zanu PF is that Zanu PF does not focus on productivity. For Zanu PF it is a matter of people just entering into farms – now we have a situation where we are having to import food from Zambia, of all countries. A few years ago we were actually exporting, we were the bread basket in the region, now we are having to import maize from Zambia but at the same time we have people who took over these farms – the production story, the productivity story is a story that has trashed the people of Zanu PF who have occupied these farms.


GONDA: Well you had four years, four, five years in the unity government, how come you were not able to implement your policies during this period?


TAMBORINYOKA: The MDC in the last four and a half years was in government Violet but it was not the government. One of the main reasons why the MDC entered this government was to give time out to the people of Zimbabwe, to give reprieve to people of Zimbabwe and I can tell you that our record in government in the past four and a half years speaks for itself. If you ask any Zimbabwean they will tell you the story of four years ago – that everyone was a poor zillionaire, they will tell you that the shops were empty, they will tell you that hospitals were closed, they will tell you that schools were closed and they will tell you that as a result of the MDC’s participation in this inclusive government, we gave Zimbabweans time out. And that is why you will find the people of Zimbabwe singing the song (inaudible) It was as a result of the MDC’s participation in this inclusive government that we gave them all over Zimbabwe reprieve and time out and I can tell you that the people of Zimbabwe including president Robert Mugabe and most of our cousins in Zanu PF enjoy that after Morgan Tsvangirai joined the inclusive government in 2009.


GONDA: Major Mhandu do you agree


MHANDU: No I do not agree with that. The first person to introduce multi currency, the dollar, US dollar is minster Patrick Chinamasa who was then the minister of Finance. He was the first person to introduce the multi currency, through Zanu PF, through minister Chinamasa. So we cannot say it is the MDC who brought the dollar for two, it was Mr Chinamasa who was then minister of Finance.


GONDA: Mr Tamborinyoka what can you say about that?


TAMBORINYOKA: You will recall Violet that in 2009 it was Zanu PF which gave us this culture of zillions and gave us this culture of trillions and you will recall that even when minister Chinamasa is said to have introduced the US currency, the people of Zimbabwe themselves had moved away from the Zim dollar because it was no longer practical to continue to trade with the Zim dollar. The market had already shifted from the Zim dollar.


GONDA: Major Mhandu a lot of people are saying that president Mugabe is 89 years old, he’s old, he’s frequently seen in meetings sleeping and that he doesn’t have what it takes to be a leader any more. What can you say about this?


MHANDU: I will disagree with those who are of that opinion. Experience comes with age. I wouldn’t agree with anyone who says at 89 if you see or hear what his excellency has been saying, even before the liberation struggle in 1980, he has been persistent and consistent even up to now. To say because of age he no longer is capable, is incapable of leading the nation, that is fools. Experience comes with age, I think you agree with me Violet.


GONDA: So what new ideas can he bring this time around that we haven’t seen in the last 33 years?


MHANDU: We will continue with our programme that we have put together in our manifesto, it is a matter with continuing with our programme.


GONDA: And what programme is that?


MHANDU: It’s not empowerment, education, infrastructural development, all those things. Indigenization, we will continue with our programme, it’s not like we are starting from nowhere, we are different from those who are starting to get into politics or who intend to get into the government which they will never do.


GONDA: Mr Tamborinyoka what can you say about this? Major Mhandu is saying age is nothing but a number.


TAMBORINYOKA: Major Mhandu is saying that for example, he has just said there are people who want to get into government but we have never been in government, we are talking about people who have been in government for the past four and a half years but I also want to say Violet that president Mugabe’s age is an election issue, president Mugabe’s age is a real election issue. The is the brave 21st century and there is no way a sane electorate could elect a ninety year old for a five year term – there is no way a ninety year old can understand the brave 21st century. President Mugabe is out of his time and Major Mhandu was just talking about, I’ve heard him talking abou, who collapsed all this infrastructure. It is Zanu PF. There is no way you can expect the same party which destroyed Zimbabwe, which destroyed the economy to be able to rebuild it again. It is like expecting a mosquito to cure malaria.


GONDA: Major Mhandu what can you say about this? You are accused of, your party’s accused of destroying the Zimbabwean economy and that people like Luke Tamborinyoka has said that you have no new ideas to resuscitate the economy. What can you say about this?


MHANDU: I do not agree with Mr Tamborinyoka. What I can say is from our experience since 1980 when we took over from Ian Smith things have been going on very well. When these people started to create this thing called MDC – that is where sabotage came in and that’s the thing that came in to sabotage our economy against Zanu PF policies by going the other direction instead of building, giving constructive criticism to the governing authorities they were actually conniving with the enemy to make sure the downfall of the Zimbabwean economy so that when the people feel the pinch on the economy then they can take over the government but they failed, they failed and they continue to do that. That is why I said that age comes with experience.


TAMBORINYOKA: But Violet, Violet…


GONDA: Yes? Go on.


TAMBORINYOKA: The danger is to think that age always come accompanied by other things is very misplaced. Most of the time, and especially in president Mugabe’s case, age has come alone without wisdom, and without experience. We are continuing to hear, he is like an old record stuck in the same groove, we are continuing to hear what we heard in 1980, what we heard in 1985, what we heard in 1990, what we heard in 19-whatever, the Zanu PF song is the same and they continue to see enemies, imaginary enemies elsewhere and not within Zanu PF and to think that the MDC is an enemy of the people like what Major Mhandu was just saying it is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. They lose the last election, we are talking about a party here which won an election, a party which the majority of Zimbabweans believe is going to give them hope and progress. So which people is Major Mhandu talking about when he is saying have been betrayed by the MDC are the same people who voted Morgan Tsvangirai overwhelmingly into office in 2009.


GONDA: Mr Tamborinyoka, what about that specific allegation that he made that the MDC has been sabotaging efforts by Zanu PF and that you are just trying to de-campaign them, so what can you say about that? Or discredit Zanu PF?


TAMBORINYOKA: It is ridiculous to say they, sabotaging what? That is the usual Zanu PF mantra – the same words – de-campaigning, enemy of the people with no iota of evidence. What is it that Zanu PF wanted to do which was sabotaged by the MDC? What is it, just one example of what Zanu PF wanted to do in the interests of the people and which the MDC sabotaged? It is just useless words, words just thrown in with no apparent meaning, this is your Zanu PF language and Major Mhandu is just proving that he’s a typical Zanu PF person – just making blanket allegations in the name of the people which people have since Zanu PF and are now supporting the MDC.


GONDA: Major Mhandu do you have any evidence or any examples that you can give to show that it is the MDC that sabotaged.


MHANDU: That is correct.


GONDA: Like?


MHANDU: Thank you Violet for giving me that chance. You remember when the British failed to pay, when the British failed to compensate farmers and they took it upon themselves to embark on the land reform programme, most of the former white farmers supported MDC. You even saw it on the television, supporting MDC-T, thinking that they will eventually get into government and reverse the whole programme – that was part of sabotage but they failed. They now embrace it because they have seen that the people of Zimbabwe have embraced it. That is why, I’m not attacking MDC, but I’m saying conniving with the enemy.


GONDA: Mr Tamborinyoka, you connived with the enemies, and in this case, white commercial farmers?


TAMBORINYOKA: I have never seen such a primitive and racist remark. The way Major Mhandu says is as if there are no white Zimbabweans, it’s as if there are no white Zimbabweans. In fact talk about the issue of farms, it is no longer about compensation which he wants to take us to but to say that the whites were conniving with the MDC as if these whites are not Zimbabweans and there was no connivance whatsoever, no conspiracy whatsoever, the real story of the farms is the story of productivity. The real story of the farms is what have these so-called farmers, some of them now multiple farm owners done productive in these lands? This has nothing to do about race, this has nothing to do about race whatsoever and I can tell you there are many white people who are also Zimbabwean and to continue to talk about race in this day and age is primitive to say the least.


GONDA: What is your party going to do with the personal attacks on your leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai by president Mugabe and others?


TAMBORINYOKA: We have heard that story before; it is not going to distract people of Zimbabwe from having faith in the man who gave them reprieve and who gave them time out in 2008. We’re not going to sink to the gutter Violet, we’re not going to talk, to sink in sewerage as these people are always doing. Let’s talk issues – this election is about issues, it’s about policies – it is not about Morgan Tsvangirai or any of these allegations that they want to concoct against him. So we shall not be distracted from the key issues that confront the people of Zimbabwe in this election.


GONDA: But do you think the electorate would appreciate an apology from Mr Tsvangirai in terms of how he has conducted his personal life since his wife died?


TAMBORINYOKA: What are you talking about Violet?


GONDA: Well as we have said, as I said earlier on that president Mugabe and his wife for example have in recent days been mocking prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai about his personal life, so then I’m asking you that do you think that the prime minister should apologise to the public for example…


TAMBORINYOKA: I think Violet you are just trying to rewind an old story. The prime minister last year, early last year issued a public statement about his love life, he issued a public statement saying that he had found the one he loved and he issued a public statement saying that if ever there was anyone who was hurt as he tried to search for a wife for himself then he did express his apologies to any Zimbabwean who felt aggrieved as he searched for his wife. He has already done that last year but you see the problem Violet, the problem Violet is there are other people who have no yardstick whatsoever to make any accusations against prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai who has since said that if there was anyone who was aggrieved by whatever he did as he tried to search for a new wife then he sends his apologies but we have cases Violet, we have a case, not cases, of a president who fell in love with his secretary and had a child with her while his wife was dying of a kidney ailment.


GONDA: Major Mhandu what can you say about this?


MHANDU: In the first place I would like to say I was not trying to be racial when I said former white commercial farmers because these were the people who had farms, no blacks had farms, otherwise they had what they called African Purchase Areas and about productivity from these new resettled farmers – how do you expect a new farmer or a resettled farmer to produce when the person who is holding the national purse who is the minister of Finance does not at all support terms of finance or funding the production or the productivity in those farms? How do you expect a poor farmer…


TAMBORINYOKA: Can I answer that one Violet?


GONDA: Okay…


MHANDU: Can you give me time? I gave you time. How do you expect a person who is holding the national purse who is not supporting a farmer and you expect that farmer to produce and feed the nation. Just wait until after next week when Zanu PF gets into government you’ll see how farmers are going to produce to feed the nation and actually to export. Zimbabweans are hard working people, they can produce provided their government supports them and this is where Zanu PF comes in. Then…


GONDA: Before you go to the question that I asked you, let’s bring in Mr Tamborinyoka to respond to the specific issue that you have raised.


TAMBORINYOKA: Violet Major Mhandu is talking about one Tendai Biti who does not have anything in his national purse and in any case Biti only became minister of finance in 2009, nine years after these so-called farmers, cell phone farmers of Zanu PF occupied these farms and for nine years Zanu PF had the minister of finance, did he expect Biti to, who was broke anyway and still remained broke in actual fact there’s no money for elections, they want us to prioritise commercial farmers who have been on the farms for nine years with Zanu PH holding the finance ministry. In the ninth year they still expected to be, so it’s not like these people occupied these farms in 2009 when Biti became finance minister. They occupied these farms in 2000, nine years later they still expected money to be doled out by a government just like that and these are supposed to be commercial farmers who are supposed to farm. Can someone just give us a break.


GONDA: Major Mhandu let me come back to my earlier question – is it fair that president Mugabe is using the prime minister’s personal life as an election gimmick or a campaign gimmick?


MHANDU: If I can go back to my fellow Mr Tamborinyoka – between 2000 and 2008 when there was a Zanu PF government, our farmers were producing. Things became worse from 2009 when the inclusive government was inaugurated that is when the farmers started to fail to produce. However through hard work and other means from the new farmers they have been able to produce for example tobacco, to export tobacco to a certain reasonable levels without the support of the minister of finance, without the support of the inclusive government. Then on the personal life of the leadership I have no comment.


TAMBORINYOKA: Violet, Violet.




TAMBORINYOKA: These people are supposed to be commercial farmers. Surely can somebody explain to me how a commercial farmer, somebody who farms at a commercial scale expect government to continue to dole out resources to them nine years after they have gotten into a farm. Major Mhandu was just saying that they were receiving handouts from government and in 2009 those handouts stopped – surely how does the commercial farmer expect government to spend ten years doling out money to him when they are farming commercially. Surely if you are farming commercially you should get assistance initially, you are supposed to look after yourself. How do you expect in the tenth year to have government to continue to dole out resources to you?


GONDA: I just have one final question to ask you both and I will start with the Zanu PF side – will you accept an MDC victory? Major Mhandu will your party accept an MDC-T victory?


MHANDU: I will accept a Zanu PF victory.


GONDA: Yes but I’m asking you specifically if what will happen if prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai was to win and his party was to win, would Zanu PF accept defeat?


MHANDU: I can’t even imagine that.


GONDA: But can you answer my question? What happens…


MHANDU: I’m answering you Violet.


GONDA: Yes but what will happen if what happened in 2008.


MHANDU: You want me to answer the way you want? I’m saying, I’m saying I don’t foresee MDC-T winning any election. You can even ask Tamborinyoka…


TAMBORINYOKA: MDC won the election of 2008, it’s not even hypothetical. We have done it before and we are going do it again. We won an election in 2008 and president Mugabe is president because of an arrangement by SADC not by popular vote.


MHANDU: Please Tamborinyoka make the gesture please phone me and congratulate.


GONDA: Mr Tamborinyoka what about your party – will you accept a Zanu PF victory?


TAMBORINYOKA: It’s a hypothetical question – it’s highly unlikely but you see, in the name of a civilized party whoever wins in a free and fair environment must be congratulated and I can tell you we won an election last year and the mood in Zimbabwe is a mood for change and transformation. We are going to resoundingly beat the old man and beat Zanu PF come next Wednesday and Major Mhandu must call me and congratulate me.


MHANDU: That is now more realistic.


GONDA: So are we heading for a second GNU because it would appear that the main parties will not accept if they lose so do you think we are heading for a second GNU, another coalition government?


MHANDU: There’s no second GNU, there’s nothing like that, definitely. Violet I can promise you, I’m promising you next Thursday my young brother will definitely phone me to congratulate.


GONDA: Mr Tamborinyoka?


TAMBORINYOKA: We are tired of a donkey and a horse relationship and you know the horse I’m talking about, young and energetic and you know the donkey I’m talking about Violet. We appeal to the guarantors of the inclusive government, we appeal to SADC and African Union to respect the people’s view and to please not allow one who would have been treated in an election as happened in 2008 to come back through the back door as president.


GONDA: Thank you very much Mr Luke Tamborinyoka and Major Cairo Mhandu for talking to us.


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Factbox - How Zimbabwe election voting system works

Reuters – 3 hours ago

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe holds presidential and parliamentary elections
on July 31 in which Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai will try for the third
time to unseat veteran President Robert Mugabe, who is seeking to extend his
33-year grip on power.

Below are five facts about the voting:

* Zimbabwe has 6.4 million registered voters who are expected to cast their
ballots at 9,735 polling stations dotted around the southern African
* Voters directly elect a president, 210 members of parliament and more than
9,000 councillors. Sixty women will be appointed through proportional
representation to the Lower House of Parliament while 60 people will be
appointed in the Upper Senate via the same system.
* Voting starts at 0500 GMT and ends at 1700 GMT. Vote tallying and counting
starts immediately after the close of polls and results for council,
parliament and president are posted outside each polling station.
* The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) will announce winners for
parliament in their constituencies, while results for president will be
announced at the commission's headquarters in Harare within five days of
* A presidential candidate requires 50 percent plus one vote for an outright
win. In the event no candidate gets that, a run-off will be held on
September 11 between the top two contestants.

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Timeline - Zimbabwe's tempestuous democracy

Reuters – 3 hours ago

HARARE (Reuters) - Following are some key events in the recent history of
Zimbabwe, which goes to the polls on July 31 in an electoral showdown
between veteran leader Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai, his political
nemesis of the last 15 years.

1980 - ZANU-PF wins independence elections, leading to Mugabe's installation
as prime minister on April 18. Veteran nationalist rival Joshua Nkomo takes
home affairs portfolio.

1983 - Mugabe deploys North Korean-trained 5th Brigade in Western province
of Matabeleland to crush rebellion by guerrillas loyal to Nkomo. Government
forces are accused of killing thousands of civilians.

1998 - An economic crisis marked by high interest rates and inflation
provokes riots and massive support for the Zimbabwean Congress of Trade
Unions headed by Tsvangirai.

1999 - The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is formed and Tsvangirai is
appointed leader.

2000 - Thousands of independence war veterans, backed by the government,
seize hundreds of white-owned farms, saying the land was illegally seized by

2002 - Mugabe wins six-year term in election against Tsvangirai. Observers
condemn poll as flawed and unfair. The Commonwealth subsequently suspends
Zimbabwe and the European Union imposes travel bans and assets freezes on

2007 - Tsvangirai and several MDC officials are severely assaulted by police
in a crackdown on a pro-democracy march.

2008 - Mugabe loses a first-round contest, paying the price for an economic
crisis marked by food shortages, a cholera outbreak and inflation of over
500 billion percent.

Tsvangirai boycotts the runoff because of widespread violence aimed at his

2009 - Under pressure from the 15-nation Southern African Development
Community (SADC), Mugabe and Tsvangiari form a unity government, with Mugabe
retaining the presidency and Tsvangirai becoming prime minister.

2013 - A new constitution agreed by Mugabe and Tsvangirai is approved,
paving the way for elections at the end of July.

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Zimbabwe must stop its dirty dealings

On the eve of yet another unfair election, Britain should reconsider
asset-freezes on Mugabe's helpers

By Telegraph View
7:50PM BST 29 Jul 2013

The spectacle of Robert Mugabe standing for re‑election in Zimbabwe at the
age of 89, having spent 33 years reducing his country to beggary and ruin,
almost defies parody. None the less, this most shameless of ossified
autocrats will seek to foist himself upon his compatriots yet again in
tomorrow’s poll.

True to form, Mr Mugabe has done his utmost to slant the contest in his
favour. He unilaterally fixed the date for what his opponents consider an
illegal election, broke an agreement to reform Zimbabwe’s deeply compromised
machinery for holding the poll, and allowed his acolytes to compile a
shambolic voters’ register. An astonishing number of people who are even
older than the president have somehow made it on to the list; remarkably few
young Zimbabweans, who are more likely to vote against Mr Mugabe, have been

Morgan Tsvangirai, Mr Mugabe’s leading opponent, says that more than 100,000
centenarians are on the voters’ roll – in a country where life expectancy is
below 50. If the past is any guide, this mysterious legion of Zimbabweans
born before the First World War will somehow manage to vote. Put bluntly,
the arrangements for this election amount to a rigger’s charter.

In among all this, The Daily Telegraph discloses today that a company which
sold fuel to the regime also paid $160,000 to three children of Gideon Gono,
the governor of the Reserve Bank. This hyperactive central banker is the
architect of Mr Mugabe’s brand of economic management, notably the age-old
and always disastrous practice of printing money to fund a bankrupt
government. Mr Gono acknowledges that Ravenscourt Corporation made the
payments to his children in Australia, but says the Reserve Bank reimbursed
the company. Asked to provide the proof, Mr Gono said he was not able to
supply documents, but that they were available for inspection in Harare.
Meanwhile, Ravenscourt said that its UK account was examined by the
Financial Services Authority and no freeze was imposed.

In March, Mr Gono was knocked off the European Union’s “sanctions list”.
William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, unwisely agreed to lift a travel ban
and asset-freeze on 81 members of Mr Mugabe’s regime. In theory, they are
now free to visit Britain and hold assets here. On the eve of yet another
blatantly unfair election, that was clearly a mistake. Unless Mr Gono can
provide the documents showing that he reimbursed Ravenscourt’s payments to
his children, our Government should press for his name to return to the
sanctions list.

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Odds stacked against Morgan Tsvangirai as Robert Mugabe scents victory in Zimbabwe

Odds stacked against Tsvangirai as opposition candidates are harrassed  and
fake voter registration appears widespread

Robert Mugabe looks like he can smell victory again. Campaigning before
Wednesday’s election, Zimbabwe’s strongman president is on vintage form as
he rages against imperialism, homosexuals, and his main opponent, Morgan
Tsvangirai, whom he variously depicts as a frog, a python and a dog.

“Tsvangirai is a coward, more like my late Uncle Shoniwa’s dog which used to
run away from game when we went hunting,” he says during a two-hour address
at the National Sports stadium outside the capital, Harare.

Yet in Harare itself, where Mr Mugabe has always polled poorly, a sense of
weary inevitability hangs thick. Mr Mugabe was widely seen to have stolen
the past two elections, which both descended into brutal violence.

Mr Tsvangirai, who is also the country’s Prime Minister, has warned that the
country cannot afford a repeat performance. “Mugabe stole an election in
2002, he stole the election in 2008. This time we want to tell him that he
will not steal again,” he told supporters on Sunday in Chinhoyi, some 60
miles north-west of Harare.

But the odds seem stacked against 61-year-old Tsvangirai replacing the
89-year-old Mugabe, who has held power continuously in the 33 years since
Zimbabwe secured its independence from Britain. While there are few signs
yet of the violent rampages by Mr Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party activists, other
forms of vote-rigging tricks are rife: the media is tightly controlled,
opposition candidates have been harassed, and fake voter registrations are

The current absence of violence is partly thanks to Mr Tsvangirai and his
Movement for Democratic Change being co-opted into the political
establishment. Since the chaotic 2008 elections, when Mr Tsvangirai agreed
to an awkward unity government, key economic reforms have been rolled out.

Inflation, measuring 231,000,000 per cent in 2008, was at 2.2 per cent in
May, according to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, mainly due to
Zimbabwe adopting the American dollar. The economy, which halved in size in
the decade leading to 2009, grew by 10.6 per cent in 2011, though it slowed
to 4.4 per cent last year, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Unemployment is still estimated at 80 per cent and millions are still
dependent on food aid.

In 2008, Zimbabwe suffered mass emigration, a cholera epidemic, and the
schooling system was facing total collapse, with just 26 teaching days in
that year. Now the country has reopened hospitals and clinics, beaten the
cholera, brought clean water to people in cities, and restored the teaching

The coalition also ushered in a new constitution earlier this year, a
pre-condition for the US and EU to lift its myriad sanctions against the

Despite these improvements, Mr Tsvangirai has come under fire from many,
including his own supporters. His government has failed to reform the
country’s bastions of real power - the military, the police and the courts –
where Zanu-PF still retains control.

There is widespread anger that digging rights to recently discovery diamond
mines have been sold to Chinese and Russian corporations in shady deals. And
growth remains delicate, with employment still elusive for many Zimbabweans.
The pace of change has been too slow for many, who say Mr Tsvangirai has
tarnished his reputation by co-operating with Mr Mugabe.

Mr Tsvangirai’s character has also been questioned, thanks to personal
scandals. Last September, he was forced to cancel his high-profile wedding
because a judge ruled he was married to another woman. Mr Tsvangirai and
Elizabeth Macheka, 35, went ahead with a lavish ceremony but did not sign
the legal marriage register after a judge warned that it could lead to
bigamy charges.

But for Mr Tsvangirai and his supporters, vote rigging is their biggest
obstacle. He has accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of printing eight
million ballots, instead of 6.2 million, the number of registered voters. On
Sunday, Mr Tsvangirai’s poll organiser was arrested after he reported
ballots marked for his candidate had been found in a dustbin.

David Coltart, the outgoing Education Minister, says uncorrupted poll
figures would put Mr Tsvangirai at about 58 per cent and Mr Mugabe at about
32 per cent. “Victory would never be in doubt [if] the election were really
free from fear, but it has never really been from the very beginning,” he

“They are falsifying electoral rolls, which means they can justify stuffing
the ballot box. This has been brazen.” The risk of another flawed election,
Mr Coltart warns, could be disastrous. “Sham polls would likely reverse all
the progress we have made,” he says.

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