Mon Jun 23, 2008 4:30am EDT
HARARE (Reuters) - Youth members of Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party attacked
citizens in Harare on Sunday after the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
announced it had pulled out of the June 27 presidential run-off.
"More than 2000 youth militia are currently on the rampage in Mbare, central
Harare, carrying out random attacks on innocent citizens," the MDC said in a
statement. "Casualty departments in Harare are already receiving injuries
from these attacks."
The party reiterated its calls for urgent intervention by the regional and
(Reporting by Muchena Zigomo; editing by Paul Simao)
Mon 23 Jun 2008, 8:05 GMT
By Tsegaye Tadesse
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Africa's top diplomat said on Monday that the
violence election crisis in Zimbabwe was a grave concern and the African
Union had begun consultations on what action to take.
Jean Ping, the chairman of the African Union Commission, said in a statement
that he was closely following events in Zimbabwe, including the decision by
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai to pull out of the second round ballot due on
"This development and the increasing acts of violence in the run-up to the
second round of the presidential election are a matter of grave concern to
the Commission of the AU," it said.
The statement said Ping had initiated consultations with the AU chairman,
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, as well as the chairman of the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) and its mediator -- South African
President Thabo Mbeki, to see how best the AU could help.
"The chairperson of the Commission stresses the need for all Zimbabwean
stakeholders to exercise restraint and reiterates his call for an immediate
end to all acts of violence," it said.
"He calls on Zimbabwean parties to work together to overcome the challenges
facing their country in this critical phase in its history."
Tsvangirai withdrew from the June 27 election saying his Movement for
Democratic Change supporters would be risking their lives it they cast votes
against President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled since independence from
Britain in 1980.
Mugabe has blamed election violence on the opposition.
Monsters and Critics
Jun 23, 2008, 7:58 GMT
Brussels - European Union officials on Monday condemned the violence which
has forced the opposition challenger out of Zimbabwe's second-round
presidential election, saying that the process was no longer valid.
The presidency of the EU's council of member states, currently run by
Slovenia, said that it felt 'deep concern about the systematic campaign of
state-sponsored violence and intimidation that has been spiralling
throughout the whole electoral process and undermined the credibility of
Following the decision by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to pull out,
EU Aid Commissioner Louis Michel 'expressed his belief that Zimbabwe's
electoral process can no longer be considered legitimate following continued
extreme state-sponsored violence and intimidation,' a statement from
Michel's office said.
The MDC's withdrawal 'is therefore clearly understandable and means this
second round of the presidential election can no longer be considered
valid,' Michel said.
On Sunday Tsvangirai said that his party, the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), was pulling out of the run-off election after his supporters were
attacked by backers of President Robert Mugabe at a rally in Harare.
The EU's top foreign-policy official, Javier Solana, said that the decision
was 'understandable, given the unacceptable systematic campaign of violence,
obstruction and intimidation led by the Zimbabwean authorities.'
'In these conditions, the elections have become a travesty of democracy.
They are certainly not worthy of the African continent of today,' Solana
said in a statement.
African Union leaders are set to meet in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt on June
30, and EU leaders called on the body, with which they are trying to forge
closer ties, to intervene.
'We now expect that the African leaders ... will condemn in the strongest
terms the current situation in Zimbabwe and will do their utmost to resolve
this crisis for the sake of the Zimbabwean people and of democracy in
Africa,' Michel said.
Solana praised the African bloc's leaders 'for their efforts in seeking to
persuade the Zimbabwean leadership to see reason.'
June 23 2008 at 09:32AM
Hypocrisy is a tribute vice pays to virtue, said the 19th-century
French aristocrat Duc de la Rochefoucauld.
His observation may be relevant to a significant new phenomenon - the
growing criticism of President Robert Mugabe by other African governments.
They, and particularly the governments of the Southern African
Development Community (SADC), have been strongly criticised for supporting
Mugabe or at best turning a blind eye to his depravities. But that is
changing, as the following events show:
a.. In April, southern African and other nearby governments refused to
off-load a shipment of Chinese arms for Zimbabwe.
a.. At the SADC summit in Lusaka in the same month, leaders like
Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa were sharply critical of Mugabe.
a.. Earlier in June, new Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga declared
that Mugabe was "an embarrassment to Africa".
a.. Also in June, Botswana's new president, Ian Khama, called in the
Zimbabwean ambassador to protest against Mugabe's violent and repressive
a.. Last week, Tanzanian Foreign Minister Bernard Member, speaking on
behalf of the SADC, said: "There is every sign that these elections will
never be free nor fair. We have told the government of Zimbabwe to stop the
a.. Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetang'ula suggested that Mugabe's
actions were "an affront to the evolving democratic culture in Africa and
unacceptable to all people in Africa".
a.. Rwandan President Paul Kagame accused Mugabe of turning the
election into a farce and demanded the SADC do something.
a.. Swazi government spokesperson Percy Simelane was quoted as saying
free and fair elections were unlikely "if even the president himself is
a.. And, perhaps most significant, even Mugabe's old ally, President
Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola, urged him to "observe the spirit of
tolerance and respect for difference and cease all forms of intimidation and
Why is Africa at last turning on Mugabe? About three years ago, I
asked then-Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa why he continued to support
Mugabe when he himself was striving for democracy and good governance.
"Because we have completed the process of decolonisation while
Zimbabwe has not," he replied, referring to Mugabe's continuing seizure of
Whatever one may think of that answer, the white farmers have
virtually all gone and it is plain for all to see that Mugabe has turned on
his black compatriots.
Africa's change of heart can also be ascribed to the rise of a
generation of regional and continental leaders with little, if any,
nostalgia for the liberation struggle Mugabe still brandishes as his raison
Mkapa has given way to the unsympathetic Jakaya Kikwete; Festus Mogae
to the more aggressive Khama; in Kenya, Odinga, himself a victim of election
rigging and a close ally of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has
become prime minister, and so on.
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai deserves some of the credit for having
traversed the region after the first round of elections on March 29 to drum
Overall, one senses that the region and Africa are evolving
politically and economically and feel that this octogenarian, who does not
know his time has passed, is dragging them down.
Mugabe is no doubt fuming "hypocrites" at some of his critics - like
Dos Santos and Swaziland's King Mswati III - who do not seem much more
democratic than he is. Even they, though, are justified in feeling disgusted
at the violence being orchestrated by Mugabe.
If they are being hypocritical, it may be because they themselves are
holding elections later this year, and probably want to start looking as
democratic as possible.
That's not a bad thing. They will be reminded of their words. And, as
Rochefoucauld implied, when the democratic laggards feel they have to make
democratic noises, it suggests at least that democracy is becoming
fashionable in the region.
This article was originally published on page 11 of Cape Times on June
June 23 2008 at 08:14AM
Zimbabwe's ruling party has dismissed the opposition's withdrawal from
presidential elections as a "nullity", saying the run-off polls will go
ahead on Friday, the state-owned The Herald reported on Monday.
"Zanu-PF is not treating the threats seriously; it is a nullity. We
are proceeding with our campaign to romp to victory on Friday," said Patrick
Chinamasa, the chairman of the Zanu-PF media sub-committee.
"This is the 11th time that [opposition leader Morgan] Tsvangirai has
threatened to withdraw from the presidential run-off and on each occasion I
have challenged him to put it in writing as required by the law," he told
reporters in Harare on Sunday evening.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said preparations for the
presidential election run-off scheduled to take place on Friday would go
ahead because the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) had not
formally withdrawn yet.
Chinamasa said Tsvangirai was using political violence as an excuse
while the truth was that the majority of violent cases had been instigated
by the MDC.
"Tsvangirai went into the election thinking that it was a sprint and
was not prepared for a marathon and wants to avoid defeat. He spent his time
globe-trotting and gallivanting in Europe and left MDC-T supporters without
"Zanu-PF exploited the opportunity and campaigned vigorously for
victory and when he returned, he realised that the tables had turned against
him. His party was in disarray, leading to the decision to withdraw from
participating in the run-off," said Chinamasa.
He said the announcement on Sunday that the MDC would not take part in
the elections was a calculated move to coincide with a UN Security Council
meeting this week, which will be chaired by the United States.
Tsvangirai pulled out of the elections, saying it was too dangerous
for opposition supporters. More than 70 MDC members have been killed since
the first round of parliamentary and presidential elections, won by
Tsvangirai, on March 29.
But Tsvangirai did not win an absolute majority over President Robert
Mugabe and a second round of elections was scheduled to take place on
Friday. - Sapa
Channel News Asia
Posted: 23 June 2008 1619 hrs
JOHANNESBURG: A Zimbabwe government spokesman on Monday urged opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai not to withdraw from a presidential run-off, saying
this would "not be good" for the people or the country.
"It would be very regrettable if Tsvangirai indeed decides to pull out of
this election," Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga said on SABC
"I will urge him or his party to think twice so that they take part in this
"It (the withdrawal) will not be good for the people of Zimbabwe and for
this country," he said, adding that the government had taken action to
curtail violence across the country.
Tsvangirai said rising violence had made a fair vote impossible when
announcing his decision to withdraw on Sunday.
President Robert Mugabe has blamed the opposition for the violence, but the
UN has said his supporters were responsible for the bulk of it.
The opposition says more than 80 of its supporters have been killed and
thousands injured in a campaign of intimidation.
Zimbabwe's ruling party said in state media on Monday that Tsvangirai's
decision to withdraw may be a ruse, and urged its supporters to continue
"ZANU-PF is not treating the threats seriously," Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa was quoted as saying by state-run newspaper The Herald.
"It is a nullity. We are proceeding with our campaign to romp to victory on
June 23 2008 at 08:37AM
Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has "not closed the
door completely" on a negotiated settlement in the strife-torn country,
South Africa's presidential spokesperson said on Monday.
"We will continue to work together to find a solution to the political
challenges in Zimbabwe," said President Thabo Mbeki's spokesperson, Mukoni
"We've also noted that Mr Tsvangirai himself says he is not closing
the door completely on the negotiations and we are very, very encouraged by
Mbeki travelled to Zimbabwe last week to meet with long-time president
Robert Mugabe and Tsvangirai in reported attempts to call off the elections
and negotiate a government of national unity.
Tsvangirai announced on Sunday that he was pulling out of a
presidential election run-off scheduled for Friday, describing it as a
"violent illegitimate sham of an election process".
South Africa's Provincial and Local Government Minister Sydney
Mufamadi and Mbeki's legal advisor Mojanku Gumbi left for Harare on Friday
"They are part of the facilitation team. They are there in the context
of the ongoing facilitation work," said Ratshitanga.
Asked if they had met with Tsvangirai, he replied: "What we've been
saying is that they will meet with all parties... In the end, there's got to
be some sort of solution and we think all of us must work together to find
More than 70 MDC members have been killed since the first round of
parliamentary and presidential elections, won by Tsvangirai, on March 29.
But Tsvangirai did not win an absolute majority and a second round of
elections was scheduled to take place on Friday. - Sapa
Mon 23 Jun 2008, 7:33 GMT
LONDON, June 23 (Reuters) - Britain urged the international community on
Monday to agree tough measures against President Robert Mugabe's government
to bring Zimbabwe's "tragedy" to an end.
Britain's Africa Minister Mark Malloch-Brown said pressure from fellow
African leaders on Mugabe was now vital after Zimbabwe's main opposition
candidate Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of a June 27 presidential vote.
"They now have got to come out decisively and I think there's a hope they
will," Malloch-Brown told BBC radio.
"In the AU (African Union), in the European Union and at the U.N., the world
has to agree on very tough measures to bring this tragedy to an end as
quickly as possible."
Tsvangirai withdrew from the election on Sunday, saying his Movement for
Democratic Change supporters would be risking their lives it they cast their
Tsvangirai said there was a state-sponsored plot to keep Mugabe, who has
ruled since independence from Britain in 1980, in power. He accused Mugabe's
supporters of genocide.
Malloch-Brown noted growing condemnation from African countries of
Zimbabwe's political crisis and the violence which the opposition says has
left 86 people dead and displaced 200,000.
"One by one the other neighbours of Zimbabwe have said this has got to
stop," he told Sky News.
He also said there were many sanctions which could be imposed by the
international community to step up pressure.
"There is a whole range of things that can be done which can bring this
regime to heel in the sense of requiring it to bend to the will of the
international community and allow political change," he said.
Many key figures in Mugabe's regime had global bank accounts and asset
networks that could be choked off," he added.
"All of those kinds of patterns of networks of assets and travel are under
threat. None of these individuals, if they continue like this, have a
prospect of being able to leave Zimbabwe without the risk of some
international arrest warrant leading to their imprisonment somewhere."
Asked whether South African President Thabo Mbeki -- who has been leading
efforts to negotiate a solution between Mugabe and Tsvangirai -- was doing
enough, Malloch Brown said:
"I don't think President Thabo Mbeki's approach is one that is at this point
shared by all African leaders." (Reporting by Kate Kelland. Editing by
23 June 2008 - Issue : 787
European Union leaders issued a new threat to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe
as the country readied to hold a June 27 runoff presidential election marred
by widespread violations, violence, murder, and jailing opposition leaders.
"The European Council (of ministers) reiterates its readiness to take
additional measures against those responsible for violence," EU heads of
government and state said in a joint statement after a meeting in Brussels.
Britain has been heading calls for the EU to get tough on the regime of
Robert Mugabe, who is accused of violating human rights and of ordering the
harassment of opposition supporters. The leaders also "regretted" Zimbabwe's
rejection of its offer to provide election monitors and called on the
Southern Africa Development Community and the African Union to "deploy a
significant number of election monitors as soon as possible and to ensure
their continued presence until the electoral process is completed and
results officially declared." The threat came as Zimbabwe's main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change candidate Morgan Tsvangirai was said to be
considering pulling out of the June 27 runoff because of the escalating
violence against his supporters by followers of President Mugabe. The
European Union already has a travel ban on Mugabe and his closest aides,
although that was lifted in December, 2007, to allow him to come to an
EUAfrica Summit in Lisbon, which was boycotted by British Prime Minister
Gordon Brown. "The European Council remains deeply concerned by the
situation in Zimbabwe and reiterates the need for the upcoming second round
of presidential elections on June 27 to be held in a peaceful, free and fair
environment in accordance with international norms and standards," EU
Monday, 23 June 2008 08:51
Two independent legal opinions commissioned by the Southern Africa
Litigation Centre (SALC) support a conclusion that delay and the absence of
a lawful run-off means the candidate who obtained the greatest number of
votes in the election of 29 March 2008 has been duly elected as President
and must be declared as such.
Read together, the opinions provided by David Unterhalter SC and Wim
Trengove SC and Max du Plessis on different aspects of Zimbabwean electoral
law argue that Zimbabwe's Electoral Act provides both a majoritarian
principle and a residual principle for determining the outcome of a
The majoritarian principle is predicated upon the requirement that a
second election takes place within the 21 day period after the first
election, which would have been April 2008. Only two candidates participate
in this second election - those with the highest and next highest number of
votes from the first round - and the candidate with the greater number of
votes shall be declared the duly elected President, as set out in item 3
(1)(a) of the Second Schedule of the Electoral Act.
However item 3 of the Second Schedule also provides for a residual
principle: where no second election is held or can be held with the
requisite 21 day period, and there were two or more candidates for
President, and no candidate received a majority of the total number of valid
votes cast, item 3(1)(b) provides that the candidate with the greatest
number of votes, and not the majority of the total number of votes, shall be
the duly elected President.
This argument is set out in greater detail in an opinion titled: The
Procedures Governing the Determination and Declaration of the President in
the Event of an Unlawful Runoff. SALC has made the opinion publicly
available at www.southernafricalitigationcentre.org
A second opinion commissioned by SALC addresses the issue of whether
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is authorised to extend the runoff
period beyond the statutorily mandated 21 day period and consequently
whether the current runoff, scheduled for 27 June 2008, is lawful.
It is argued that ZEC was not constitutionally authorised to extend
the run-off: that the regulatory powers it invoked in order to extend the
run-off constitute an impermissible and unconstitutional delegation on the
part of Parliament, that it violates the separation of powers principle and
that insufficient guidelines were given to limit such delegation.
It follows that no lawful run-off can take place if not held within
the 21 day period: that ZEC's purported extension was unconstitutional and
unlawful. This opinion is also available from SALC at
If there can be no lawful run-off now, then as set out in the first
opinion, the residual principle applies and the Chief Elections Officer is
required to declare the candidate with the greatest number of votes the duly
elected President. Even assuming that the run-off could be extended beyond
the 21 day period, but that the run-off could not occur because violence and
intimidation made it impossible that a free and fair election could be held,
then the residual principle would still apply and the candidate with the
greatest number of votes must be declared duly elected President.
SALC Director, Nicole Fritz said: "These opinions assume critical
importance in light of recent developments. They provide clarity in what
seems an increasingly uncertain situation. And the give the lie to any claim
by Mugabe that he is the lawfully elected President."
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AFP)--Zimbabwe's information minister accused the U.S. in
state media Monday of "putting millions of dollars to fuel violence," adding
that U.S. ambassador to Harare James McGee had "failed to fulfill his
"America is putting millions of dollars to fuel violence and part of this
money will be to provide transport costs and paramilitary training for
millions of Zimbabweans outside the country when the British stooge,
Tsvangirai, loses the presidential run-off as he surely will," Sikhanyiso
Ndlovu said in the state-run Herald newspaper.
Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew from the country's
presidential race Sunday, saying violence had made a fair election
The country's ruling party has said his withdrawal announcement may be a
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
Monday, 23 June 2008 07:53
By Chief Reporter
CHITUNGWIZA - By day, the narrow streets between Chitungwiza's
ramshackle houses are filled with children playing.
After dark, they are roamed by heavily armed soldiers, who have beaten
up hundreds of people in a brutal campaign against a Zimbabwean town that
dared to oppose President Robert Mugabe in the March 29 poll.While the
countryside has been particularly singled out for repression since handing
Mugabe and his Zanu-PF his first electoral defeat since independence in
1980, the poorest people in the dormitory town are now suffering the most.
Last Thursday morning, four victims of this brutal campaign were
found, brutally murdered after being abducted by gun-toting security
agents.The four, Yuana Jenti, Archford Chipiyo, Ngoni Knight and another who
has only been identified as Tyson - all of them known MDC activists - were
found dead in the early hours of Thursday morning with grisly body injuries
revealing that they were viciously tortured until they died.
Inside the Chipiyo home in Unit F on Saturday, women sang softly at a
funeral wake, while stunned men sat around a bon fire, unable to cope with
the shocking deaths.There was a sombre mood at the Chipiyos as they mourned
their murdered son, Archford, a young MDC activist who was the son of Ward
19 MDC councilor Philemon Chipiyo.Mourners said they were struggling to come
to terms with the shocking politically-motivated murder.
Two women, with tears in their eyes, were wailing violently while
elder women were struggling to console them.In St Mary's, the smouldering
petrol-bombed home of the newly elected MDC MP in the area, Marvelous
Khumalo, stood as a grim reminder of the price of dissent. The heavily armed
troops and Zanu-PF militia are unleashing a reign of terror in this populous
suburb of almost 800 000 people, populated mainly by jobless youths who live
in overcrowded shacks.
During the March 29 general poll, they showed their discontent with
Mugabe by electing candidates from the MDC in the three local
constituencies.Soldiers who arrive in convoys of armoured vehicles are
exacting a heavy price for this defiance in preparation for a presidential
run off vote that had been due on Friday but which MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai has said he would boycott.
One young resident, Mike, was dancing in the Mbizi nightclub when the
doors were flung open at midnight and 20 soldiers wearing camouflage
uniforms and red berets burst in, carrying assault rifles. They ordered
everyone to lie on the floor and then set upon them with clubs, whips and
Mike, 22, said: "They shouted, 'We are beating you because you voted
MDC!' They poured beer over us while we were on the floor. Then they started
beating us. They beat us everywhere: on the back, the legs, the neck."After
systematically assaulting all the patrons for about half an hour, the
soldiers ordered them to leave the club and, for good measure, kicked and
punched them as they fled. Mike still walks with a limp and is badly bruised
more than a week after the attack.
He was too afraid to give his real name. He said: "I still think they
might come for me. It will take time for me to recover." Soldiers have
raided at least six bars and nightclubs during the past three days. A
pattern has emerged. They arrive in armoured cars, attack everyone in sight
and tell their victims that they are being punished for backing the MDC.
They have a new slogan 'WW', which The Zimbabwean was told means 'win
or war.' If Mugabe loses there will be war, the Zanu-PF youth militia have
told the hapless residents. He has now been handed an uncontested victory by
Tsvangirai that is set to make his regime illegal and totally illegitimate.
The Mugabe government sees Chitungwiza , Zimbabwe 's third-largest
town, 25 kms south of the capital city Harare , as a security problem. All
but a handful of its young men are jobless and fiercely pro-MDC.The
residents of Chitungwiza say the army action is punishment for an area that
backs the MDC, and shows that Mugabe was afraid of losing the June 27 poll,
which he has now won by default.
Soldiers are increasingly seen as the uniformed wing of the defeated
Zanu (PF) party, and the military action in the townships indicated that the
army was at the disposal of the drive to guarantee Mugabe's re-election.
Monday, 23 June 2008 09:10
HARARE -Morgan Tsvangirai would have won Friday's election by a
landslide if the poll had gone ahead, according to a reputable pollster.
Sixty three percent of voters would have voted for Tsvangirai, giving
him an undisputed win. In 1980 Zanu (PF) won the first democratic election
in the new Zimbabwe by 57% - which was acclaimed internationally as a
The countrywide poll, carried out in the last week by a leading
independent researcher who cannot be named for security reasons, found that
the 63% of respondents intending to vote for Tsvangirai was remarkable
consistent with assessments of the true support for the MDC at the last
The parameters of the poll were necessarily circumscribed by the
prevailing security climate but the low number of those refusing to comment
or not intending to vote is striking.
Political analysts said the figures "make sense".
A total of 2758 individuals were polled, of whom only 104 (0.4%) said
they would not comment or vote. 974 (63%) said they would vote for
Tsvangirai. The poor showing by Mugabe, 37%, is despite the widespread reign
of terror and the denial of food aid to MDC supporters by the state over the
past two months, coupled with the extensive Zanu (PF) patronage system which
has seen the economy destroyed through corruption and wholesale theft of
state resources by Zanu fatcats.
The votes would have been fairly divided between the different
provinces, with Tsvangirai having the most support in Harare and the least
in Mashonaland East. Support for Mugabe was highest in Mashonaland and
lowest on Matebeleland.
Prov n(U) RF/WV n(F) n(MT) n(RM) MT% RM%
Hre 278 13 265 178 95 64 36
Chit 266 08 258 173 85 67 33
Byo 256 09 247 175 72 71 29
Masv 246 05 240 170 70 71 29
Mane 265 06 259 163 76 63 37
Midl 254 12 242 148 94 61 39
Mat N 229 10 219 162 57 74 26
Mat S 221 10 211 160 51 76 24
Mash W 258 12 246 124 122 50 50
Mash C 246 10 236 120 116 51 49
Mash E 239 09 230 114 116 50 50
Total 2758 104 2653 1687 974 698 402
Mean % 100% 04% 96% 63% 37% 63 37
n (umber) U (niversal)
RF/WV (refusal/Wont Vote)
N (F - unsure of this expansion but the net figure of those who
disclosed their voting intention)
n (umber) MT (Morgan Tsvangirai)
n (umber) RM (Robert Mugabe)
Report by firstname.lastname@example.org
We fear war in Johannesburg
Zimbabweans will rush into Johannesburg in large numbers
South Africa is faced with an on going migration crisis, with over 3
million immigrants from Zimbabwe alone. This crisis is a result of hardships
faced by Zimbabweans in Zimbabwe. This crisis has led to frustrations among
the South African poor who have been forced to compete with the immigrant
populations for basic resources and employment. In the recent past we have
seen the ugly face of xenophobia, resulting in many deaths, massive
displacement of the immigrant population and a large reverse migration of
immigrants back into their poverty and war stricken countries. The South
African police were unable to deal with the violence and the army had to be
Zimbabwe's June 27th runoff elections were the only hope of a peaceful
presidential succession. The numbers of Zimbabweans migrating into South
Africa had slowed down in the hope of a new president. There had been a
reverse migration by a number of Zimbabweans who had hoped to see the
economy improve under new leadership. In light of the withdrawal of Morgan
Tsvangirai from the elections, we appeal to Thabo Mbeki to intervene
immediately and to plan the return of the opposition leader into the
presidential race. It is clear that violence has made free and fair
We fear that Zimbabweans will flood into South Africa, like never
before, resulting in further frustrations among the poor South Africans. The
numbers we can expect, if the Zimbabwean people have no chance of changing
their president, will result in massive bloodshed. It is the worst possible
time for a drastic increase in migration into South Africa, it will be war.
If we don't intervene we will pay for our lack of intervention on our
own soil by shooting South Africans who fight the consequences of Mbeki's
tolerance of Mugabe. It would be better to fight a war in Zimbabwe.
Braam Hanekom 0832 561140
Cosmos Mjoma 0742 293127
BILL WATCH 25/2008
[21st June 2008]
SI 94/2008 - Electoral Amendment Regulations (No. 6) [electronic version available] - amends the Electoral Regulations.
· Correcting discrepancies between the regulations and new form V23A [dealing with the verification and collation of polling station returns and aggregation of postal ballots at ward centres] and new form V23B [dealing with constituency verification and collation]
· Stating that reasonable notice will be given to candidates/election agents of when verification and collation proceedings at ward and constituency level will take place, so that they can be present and countersign the completed return forms
· Increasing the Zimbabwe dollar prices of voters rolls to $20 billion for a printed or electronic constituency roll or electronic ward roll, and $5 billion for a printed ward roll
· Correcting an error in new form V.23B [constituency return form] by substituting "constituency elections officer" for "ward elections officer"
· Substituting a new form V.24 [dealing with accounting for and counting of postal ballots at the ward collation centre] containing more detailed provision for recording of postal ballot papers issued, received and counted, and space for countersignature of the completed form by election agents and observers present at the proceedings
· Providing for an increased presence of election agents in and near polling stations, at the opening of postal ballot boxes and at constituency centres. The new figures are: a maximum of 2 agents per candidate in a polling station at any one time plus another two per candidate within 300 metres of the polling station [this also applies to counting of votes]; maximum of 2 agents per candidate at the opening of the postal ballot box; and a maximum of 4 agents per candidate at the constituency centre
Declaration Against Violence by National Multi-Party Liaison Committee
ZEC's National Multi-Party Liaison Committee for the Presidential Run-off Election has issued a Declaration in which the both the MDC and ZANU-PF commit themselves, inter alia, to refrain from acts of violence and the use of language that is intimidatory or may provoke violence. The Declaration was signed on 20 June by M. Komichi and D. Chirunda representing MDC-T and P. Chinamasa and A.M. Chirisa representing ZANU-PF, and also by Mrs Sarah Kachingwe, as chairperson of this Committee. [Electronic version of Declaration available on request.]
Numbers of foreign observers
Latest figures from ZEC of accredited foreign observers - 360, the majority from Africa. The foreign observers already operating include the SADC observer mission and the Pan African Parliament's 40-member observer mission.
Numbers of Local Observers:
Latest figures from ZEC of accredited local observers - 10.
The latest figures from the Ministry of Justice for local observers cleared for accreditation - 2742. These still have to go through the process of ZEC accreditation. The Zimbabwe Election Support Network [ZESN], an umbrella body for 38 civic organisations, has been informed by the M. of J. that it may have only 500 observers, although ZESN had applied for approval of over 23 000. [For the 29th March poll ZESN had 8 800 observers.] The reason given for the Ministry's decision to accredit so few local observers was that the presence of observers "disrupts the smooth flow of voting". The Electoral Regulations obviously did not consider that observers would disrupt the elections, as they permit a maximum of 3 observers from each observer group to be in or near a polling station at any one time. As there are 9 231 polling stations, this would mean a possible 27 000 from one observer group alone. A considerable number of observer groups have applied, which under the regulations would bring the figures of observers envisaged to considerably more than 27 000.
With such a small number of local observers, only a limited number of polling stations will be covered - and observers should be there from sealing of ballot boxed before polling starts and until the posting of the vote counts.
Location of Ward Collation Centres
ZEC has published advertisements in the press listing the locations of ward collation centres countrywide. These are the centres where (1) postal ballot boxes will be sealed on 22nd June in readiness for the receipt of postal ballot papers; and (2) polling station returns will be collated after the poll on 27th June and the postal votes verified and counted before being added to the results reflected on the polling station returns.
Advertisements: Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings [ZBH] [the only public broadcaster in Zimbabwe] has stated that it will not broadcast campaign advertisements submitted by the MDC "because they contain inappropriate language and information". The MDC has said it will appeal to ZEC against the ZBH decision. As ZBH has been broadcasting campaign advertisements from ZANU-PF, it is obliged by section 16G of the ZEC Act to offer the MDC the same terms and conditions of publication, without discrimination, subject to ZBH's right to reject advertisements that would render ZBH liable to criminal prosecution or other legal proceedings.
Programmes and news: ZBH's coverage of the run-up to the election has come under fire from the Fact Finding Mission of African Media Organisations that visited Zimbabwe from 8th to 13th June. In a statement dated 13th June setting out its findings, the mission reported that a simple monitoring of the content of the state owned newspapers and broadcast news bulletins over the period of the visit had shown biased reporting embedded in hate language. Full statement available from www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/94549/ or from email@example.com.
Schools closure next week
The Ministry of Education has announced that schools will close for the five days Monday 23 to Friday 27 June because "most of the schools will be used as polling stations and the majority of teachers will be involved in this exercise".
New Information from ZEC
Postal ballots: The deadline for applications for postal votes has now expired. About 14 000 applications have been processed so far. The processing of the remaining applications continues.
Accreditation of journalists: 155 local and foreign journalists have been accredited as at 18th June. Accreditation will continue until polling day.
Training of election officials: ZEC has finished training constituency election officers and provincial logistic committees. The constituency election officers will in turn train polling officers before their deployment to their polling stations. Deployment will occur on 23rd June, four days before the run-off date.
Ballot papers and other election material: Election material - including inks, ballot papers and ballot boxes - is ready and will be dispatched to provinces next week.
Presidential Election and By-Election Calendar
2nd June - 27th June: Accreditation of international and local observers and journalists by ZEC at the Harare and Bulawayo Polytechnics. International observers who observed the last election do not need a new invitation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs [new observers do] but still need to be accredited. Local observers need to apply for an invitation from the Minister of Justice before seeking accreditation.
4th June onwards: Checking of applications for postal votes by the Chief Elections Officer. Election agents and observers are invited to witness this process.
22nd June: Sealing of Postal Ballot Boxes This will be done at ward collation centres, and election agents and observers are entitled to be present. Envelopes containing postal votes will be placed unopened in these boxes and will not be opened until after polling on the 27th June.
27th June: Polling Day for Presidential Run-off Election and By-Elections
The election period [and the duties and functions of observers] continues until the announcement of the results
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