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Guardian (UK)

Captive tells inside story of Zimbabwes thugs

Villager reveals how ruling partys gangs
terrorised opponents

Jonathan Steele in Chitimbe
Monday June 26, 2000

When Kudzi Chamunoro went to the polling station here at the weekend his
main aim was not to vote. He wanted to find his wife and family, and
with several police officers on hand to guard the voting precinct and a
long line of people patiently queuing to cast their ballots in Zimbabwes
parliamentary election he hoped he might be safe.

Mr Chamunoro used to be district chairman of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change in one of the most tense places in this election
campaign - Murehwa North, north-east of Harare. He was beaten
unconscious and taken captive on April 25 by a gang working for
President Robert Mugabes party, Zanu-PF.

Remarkably, he was not let go, like other prominent MDC supporters once
they have been worked over. He was taken to a base camp and forced to
sign a Zanu-PF membership card. Then, he says, for a period of several
weeks after his captors felt they had broken him, he was taken with the
gangs as they terrorised local villagers.

His inside story of how the intimidation works is unique.

"We used to go out about six days a week," he said. "The leader would
take us for drinks and pay for everything. Then we would move into a
village and seek out the local headman, and ask him for a list of all
MDC supporters. We would then hunt them down and administer severe

"I was forced to take part myself. I was carrying a whip and axe handle.
I was afraid for my life and had to go along.

"I was also taken to four rallies attended by Zanu-PF candidates. Our
gang and other Zanu-PF youth forced people to take part. We would go
into the villages and round people up."

Another tactic, he said, was to put on MDC T-shirts, "and if people
responded positively they would be beaten".

Mr Chamunoro has a gap where one of his front teeth used to be. The last
thing he remembers before he was captured was a stone slamming into his
mouth. But the Zanu-PF gang at least took him to the health clinic in
Murehwa, and he has a medical card confirming that he was an assault

After five weeks he managed to escape late one night when, he said, he
was allowed for the first time to visit the lavatory without escort. He
ran into the bush, and walked for several miles before finding a house
where he spent the night. Early next morning he took a bus to Harare.

As we drove to Murehwa on Saturday, he nervously tapped the dashboard
for much of the journey. He had found no way of sending word to
his family that he was still alive, and was not sure what reprisals
might have been visited on them because of his escape.

But he was optimistic that the MDC would win the election. "I voted for
Zanu-PF in 1995 but changed my mind because of the constant rise in
the cost of living and the corruption of ministers. When the MDC
appeared, I soon joined it."

Until Zanus intimidation of opponents - intensified in recent weeks as
the election drew close - it was easy to recruit people, he said. "A
lot in my village joined. They pay Z$10 [about 16p] for a party card.
Young people and women were the main supporters. About 80% in my village
support the MDC.

"Its the headman and the older men who are pro-Zanu. The headman has
been promised Z$10,000 (167) if Zanu wins, but they also use the
argument that Mugabe will do nothing to help our village if he loses.
They also say that Zanu is the party which won our freedom, and the
ancestors will be angry if we dont support it. That seems to affect the
older men particularly."

Arriving in Chitimbe, where the voting was taking place - about 3 miles
from his village - Mr Chamunoro pointed out the burnt-out chassis
of a car, saying it belonged to a teacher who had fled to Harare with
his family.

Five other teachers from nearby villages had done likewise, he said.
Teachers have been special targets of the Zanu-PF gangs because they are
all thought to be pro-MDC and have local influence as the best educated

His anxiety visibly rising, Mr Chamunoro wanted to drive right into the
school grounds, as close to the voters queue as we could get. We stopped
beside a wall. Neighbours waved in astonishment.  Most thought he was

But he was too scared to get out of the car. "I can see some of the
Zanu-PF people," he whispered. A neighbour found Mr Chamunoro"s wife in
the queue and she came over with their nine-month-old baby, the youngest
of their five children.

She greeted him with a warm slapping handshake * the Shona culture not
being a demonstrative one * and handed him the baby before getting in
the car. A few more people came and chatted before we drove off and
parked several hundred metres away while he and his wife discussed what
to do.

Of those who had come to greet him, Mr Chamunoro said: "One of them was
a member of the Zanu gang. He actually asked how I was...But they think
you are armed, which is why they will not do anything."

Naomi Chamunoro said the gang had come several times to their house to
search for her husband, most recently the night before the voting began
on Saturday. Having seen him now, they were bound to come back. It was
unsafe for her to stay.

We drove the three miles towards the familys remote village, parked,
crossed the fields and waded through a small river. The Chamunoros
grow a little cotton, and vegetables, which Kudzi sells in Harare.

Naomi packed a bag, locked the house, and sent word by a neighbour to
her mother, who lives 500 metres away, to look after the girls until
their parents return.

"How long do you think that will be?" I asked as we drove the 50 miles
back to Harare. The couple consulted in Shona. "If Zanu-PF wins,
they are sure to go after anyone who supported MDC. We may have to stay
away for several week," Mr Chamunoro replied eventually.
"If we win, and I am sure we will, well have to give them time to get
over their anger and adjust to the new reality. Perhaps we can go home
already next weekend."

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Telegraph (UK)

Mugabe shock troops fail to halt polling
By Caroline Davies at Atlanta Farm, Goromonzi

DAVID STOBART and his wife, Gillian, were the first people to vote at
their polling station. They did not have far to travel. The polling
booth was in the charred ruins of what was once their prosperous farm.

Blackened, twisted metal and deep piles of ash are all that remain of Mr
Stobarts 10 tobacco barns. More than 200 self-styled independence war
veterans set fire to them, along with 95 grass huts in which his
labourers lived. The squatters occupied Atlanta Farm four months ago and
about 30 are still there, as indicated by the "no-go area" warning sign
at the farm gate.

Undeterred, Mr Stobart, his wife and his 200-strong workforce turned out
to vote. Watched by a group of the squatters wearing Zanu-PF T-shirts,
they queued to cast their votes in the derelict outbuilding that used to
be the farm kindergarten and school.

Mr Stobart, 64, who was born and raised on Atlanta Farm, said: "I was
the first to vote. I had to, to set an example to my workforce. They
have been through hell. They have been under unbelievable pressure and
intimidation. The war veterans, if thats what they are, called them into
their camp every night for re-education. They told them their vote was
not secret and they would know whom they had voted for."

Although the squatters call themselves war veterans, many were not even
born when the Rhodesian bush war was at its height. But they are the
shock troops of Zanu-PF in its struggle to retain power. So bad was the
intimidation at Atlanta Farm that Mr Stobart offered to transport his
workers to another polling station where the atmosphere would be less
menacing. They declined.

To a man and woman they voted.

Among them was Oliver Kumforomo, 50, one of Mr Stobarts tractor
drivers, who hobbled in on crutches, his leg broken in three places and
his shoulder blade fractured by the squatters.

The fact that these workers were even eligible to vote is down to Mr
Stobart and his wife. When the squatters arrived in 10 vehicles and
began to run riot, the workers fled. The invaders burned all but one of
the grass huts and destroyed all 27 of the brick buildings in the
labourers village.

Mr Stobart said: "They stole diesel and went, very systematically, right
through the village. At the houses made of brick they poured fuel under
the doors and set it alight.

Then they took all the workers belongings, put them in the grass huts
and burned those as well. Some of those labourers had lived there for 40
years. They lost everything, even down to their identity cards."

His wife added: "We had an enormous task getting their ID cards replaced
so that they could vote. But we managed it, and vote they did." Mr
Stobart has not asked how they voted. But he disclosed that, shortly
after the squatters moved in, the farm was visited by supporters of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change who handed out T-shirts and
caps. He said: "The labourers got quite fired up by the MDC, especially
as they had had their homes burnt."

When the squatters discovered the visit, they ordered the workers to
hand over their T-shirts. One worker was abducted, handcuffed and taken
to a river, into which they threatened to throw him.

He was later released, but the message was clear.

Mr Stobart said: "I think the labour had just about enough by that time.
They formed their own football team and handed out whistles. If anyone
found themselves being threatened, they blew the whistle and the team
turned up."

The huts are being rebuilt now and Mr and Mrs Stobart have returned. But
he has lost three quarters of his crop, worth "a couple of a million"
Zimbabwe dollars (33,000). His main business is as a seed farm and he is
struggling to maintain his crops.

His son Michael, 34, who lived nearby, has refused to return with his
young family. Mrs Stobart said: "This has affected us all very much. I
caught my four-year-old grandson singing Old MacDonald had a Farm the
other day, but he had changed the words and was singing: And on that
farm there were some war veterans, Ee-Eye Ee-Eye-O. And they burnt my
house, and they burnt my toys, and they burnt my books and they burnt my
videos . . ."

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Independent (UK)

Last night they slept by ballot boxes, fearful this nation could wake up
to a new terror

Alex Duval Smith
26 June 2000

William Mapfumo sat despondently by his ballot box yesterday,
contemplating the terrible prospect of Zimbabwes election aftermath.

Dazed after spening two days and nights guarding the waist-high
container, the energetic opposition campaigner had realised that the
terror may not be over ? the threats, the hiding away, and the worry for

Mr Mapfumo, a polling station agent for the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), is one of the heroes of this election. At 23 he
is already a veteran of a war: not that which brought President Robert
Mugabe to power in 1980, but the war for multi-party democracy.

"If we lose, it will be terrible because the government will never
forgive us and our own supporters will not believe the result,"
said Mr Mapfumo. "If we win, it could be bad because the ruling
party still wants to run the country. I am just counting on my candidate
to find me a safe place to hide."

Like thousands in Harares Mabvuku township, Mr Mapfumo has no job and,
like hundreds, he has diminished his employment prospects by refusing to
carry a membership card for the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union ?
Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF).

Earlier yesterday, John Nkomo, the Zanu-PF chairman, underlined the
partys uncompromising view of power by ruling out the formation of a
government of national unity if the MDC gains a majority of
parliamentary seats. Mr Nkomo said President Mugabe was "an institution"
and that, as the constitution allows, he would appoint a Zanu-PF cabinet
whatever the result of the parliamentary elections.

Mr Nkomos claim that Zanu-PF was prepared to make Zimbabwe ungovernable
sent shock waves through Harares townships. Young men have been worst
hit by Zimbabwes economic crisis, and for four repressive months they
have channelled their anger into campaigning for the MDC and other
opposition parties, in the belief of a change through the ballot box.

The MDCs open-hand salute ? a deliberate contrast to the clenched fist
of Zanu-PF ? became a popular, friendly greeting.  At rallies, young men
enthusiastically held up red cards to President Mugabe ? a footballing
reference ? andfor a while MDC T-shirts were worn openly.

Yesterday, however, Mr Mapfumo was fearing the worst. "We will be so
angry if we do not win because we have been so good and so fair and we
can see that everyone is voting for us.  It will be war," he said.

Outside the gates of the polling station, in Mabvuku High School, there
were dangerous portents yesterday of a Zanu-PF revenge campaign ? a
group of young men taking names and identification numbers of voters
entering the compound. Mary Jonga, an election monitor from a church
group, said: "As people go in and also as they go out, the Zanu youths
are asking them who they support. One voter told us she had been
informed that her house would be taken away if she voted for MDC or UP
(United Parties).

"We called the police and they were good, they removed them
this morning. But this afternoon they were back at the other end
of the compound," said Mrs Jonga, one of thousands of monitors barred
from entering her designated polling station because ? through
deliberate official obstruction ? her accreditation card had not been

What late on Saturday at Mabvuku had seemed like an uplifting
experiment in democracy was by last night looking like a turn for the
worse from a despotic government. On Saturday, Mr Mapfumo, sharing a
one-bar heater with other party agents in a bare classroom, had joked
with Zanu-PFs Francisca Zhou that his party had brought him a better

He had been heartened by a high turn-out on Saturday ? which was
considerably reduced yesterday ? and Mrs Zhou, 36, a seamstress, had
joked with him that she would stuff the ballot box if he left the room
to visit the lavatory. He had entered into a lively discussion with the
other Zanu-PF agent, Lillian Chigumbu, aged 45, about Zimbabwes 70 per
cent unemployment, inflation and interest rates; about foreign donors
and the role of whites in society.

By yesterday afternoon, Mr Mapfumo was looking grim. He said of the
Zanu-PF agents: "You cannot talk to them about anything * they are
ignorant" and demanded to go outside to answer questions about the

Mr Mapfumo, who fled his home a month ago after he was threatened with
death for tearing down Zanu-PF posters stuck to its walls, was followed
out by Taurai Kufa, 23. Mr Kufa was the agent for UP ? the alliance of
Bishop Abel Muzorewa, a veteran politician who was interim prime
minister at the end of white rule in 1979. Mr Kufa said: "Zanu-PF youth
have been grouping on the roads and threatening people. I have been
followed every time I have gone to another polling station in the
area this weekend. Our agent at the Tafara 1 polling station just up the
road was denied access to the building. If Zanu-PF wins, the opposition
parties will seek a court order to see if the process was fair and
transparent. We are getting more and more doubtful about this."

The Electoral Directorate ? which forbade journalists yesterday from
entering the press briefing room that it has established at the home
affairs offices in Harare ? claimed last week that, at the end of voting
at 7pm last night, ballot boxes would be taken under supervision to
counting centres in each of the 120 constituencies. The counting, it
said, would begin at 8am this morning with a result expected later

But last night, as the European Unions 150-strong team of observers met
ambassadors for an emergency meeting in Harare to discuss the confusion
and irregularities, more and more doubt was being cast on the election,
and increasing fears were being expressed about the aftermath.

Journalists, observers and monitors have noted a range of discrepancies
since voting began on Friday: Up to 20 per cent of registered voters
have been missing from lists in some constituencies; photographs of
candidates have appeared on some ballot papers but not others; and in
rural areas, war veterans from some of the countrys occupied farms have
been involved in ferrying voters to polling stations.

The weekends twice-delayed parliamentary elections ? President Mugabes
term does not end until 2002 ? come after four months of intimidation
and more than 30 murders. They have been inflicted on  an electorate
unaccustomed to voting and prey to influence from employers or
traditional chiefs. In a country where the ruling partys power has
been virtually unchallenged for 20 years, many people are first-time
voters because they have not bothered before.

Mr Mapfumo, himself a first-time voter, shook his head and rubbed his
hands over the warmth rising from the heater. "It has got to have been
worth it," he said. "If the MDC loses, or if the ruling power refuses to
listen to us, my candidate says I will have to return to my village for
three to six months. But I cannot do that because Zanu-PF has already
visited my parents at home. I shall just stay in Harare and fight."

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Times (UK)

Voters defy beatings as thugs lose control

DRESSED to kill, three bikers showed up at the polling station with
orders to scare away the hundreds of voters waiting patiently at the
school gates.

The bikers noisily steered their machines to the front of the queue then
peeled off their jackets to reveal identical T-shirts emblazoned with
Robert Mugabes face.

Punching the air, they chanted Zanu (PF) slogans and jabbed their boots
at young women crouched on a grass verge. One pointed to baseball bats
strapped to the sides of their machines, none of which had re gistration

For a few moments the hum of conversation was stilled. Then an elderly
man who had been sitting on a brick wall stood up and shouted at the
flying pickets: "Your time is up, you are finished." The bikers scanned
the faces of the crowd staring back at them. Only days ago these people
would have run. Not any more. They stood their ground and the men in
black rode away.

Moses Chicwango, the man who had confronted the bikers, told how 22
years ago he and Mr Mugabe were guerrillas in exile in Mozambique,
fighting the chimurenga as they call their war of independence. Ask this
father of eight what he thinks of his old comrade now and he spits on
the ground and says "traitor". "I never thought I would see the day he
would send filth like those bikers to bully our girls."

The scores of people around him nodded and shook his hand. There is a
sense that the months of intimidation have failed to dent most
Zimbabweans desire to rid themselves of Mr Mugabes regime.

Some risked their lives yesterday to mark their cross on the ballot
paper.  Jealous Makombe woke to find a knife being pressed to his
throat, seven hours before the polls opened. In the darkness he could
make out three figures in his bedroom. He recognised one from his voice
as the leader of a gang of so-called veterans who eight weeks ago led an
invasion of the farm near Macheke where he works. Mr Makombe, 33, still
has the ugly scars across his forehead from the beating he took that

"The man was pushing the tip of the knife into my neck. He told me if I
left my village to vote then he would kill me and all my family, who are
known supporters of MDC."

His mother, sleeping in the next room, did not hear the commotion. She
lost the hearing in her left ear in a beating that she received when she
was ambushed last month.

Even so, she encouraged her son to vote. Mr Makombe slipped out of a
window into the bush surrounding his familys home in Chaza village and
trekked eight miles to a polling station outside Macheke. He kept a
fedora pulled low over his eyes to hide his wounds and disguise himself.

When, after a two-hour wait, it came to his turn to register his name at
Craigie-Lea school, he shuffled into the polling station. He stopped
dead in his tracks. Five yards away sat a man nominated by Zanu (PF) as
its election observer, a man called Ugly who is one of the most
notorious squatter leaders in this region.

Mercifully, Ugly had dozed off in the stifling room, giving Jealous time
to make his mark and run. Once outside he sidled up to Bruce Gemmill, a
farmer he once worked for and whose son was severely beaten by the gang
who murdered their neighbour in April.

Mr Gemmill, who moved to the region from Essex in 1972, searched in vain
for international monitors. He had learnt that at a voting centre 15
minutes drive away Zanu (PF) thugs had shown up. "They ordered the men
and women to stand in separate lines and now they are demanding to see
their identity cards."

He approached police. When the veterans saw him creating a fuss with
three uniformed officers they melted into the bush. Mr Gemmill said:
"The time has come to stand up against these thugs. Their days are

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Times (UK)

White minister attacks Britain


BRITISH "arrogance and insensitivity" lie at the root of the bitterness
between the UK and Zimbabwe, Dr Timothy Stamps, a former British citizen
and the only white member of President Mugabes Cabinet, said yesterday.

Britain has "consistently reneged on commitments to help finance land
reform in its former colony" and has played a leading role in
"manipulating and financing internal discontent in an effort to
discredit and humiliate Mr Mugabes Government," he added.

Insisting that "there is no doubt that Zanu (PF) will form the next
administration in this country," Dr Stamps blamed the deterioration in
relations between London and Harare on the "immaturity" of Tony Blairs
Labour Government, and the "insulting and patronising" outbursts of
Peter Hain, the Foreign Office Minister.

Dr Stamps, who came to what was then Rhodesia as a public health doctor
in the mid-1960s, said that Zimbabwe had been "unfairly penalised" by
the international financial community, which had withdrawn desperately
needed aid to bully Mr Mugabe into submission.

A graduate of the Welsh National School of Medicine, Dr Stamps was a
leading figure in the white opposition to Ian Smiths white supremacist
Government during the 1970s. Since his appointment as Health Minister in
1990, Dr Stamps has become one of a tiny circle of people who retain Mr
Mugabes confidence. While respected for his health work, he is regarded
outside Zanu (PF) as an apologist for the regime.

Dismissing British allegations that much of the 36 million it has
donated towards land reform has been diverted to buy land for senior
Zanu (PF) officials, Dr Stamps said: "There have been bureaucratic
inefficiencies.  But claims that the money has gone to what Britain
calls President Mugabes cronies are untrue."

Echoing Mr Mugabes assertions that "external forces" are behind the
growth in support for the opposition MDC party, Dr Stamps said: "British
companies like Lonmin (formerly Lonhro) and Tory MPs who own land here
have donated large sums of money to what they call human rights

"There is some discontent, but I have seen far more opposition from
within Zanu (PF). Once all the shouting has died down, Britain and
Zimbabwe will have to sit down and engage in meaningful discussion.
There is no alternative."

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Election Briefing, Sunday, 25 June 2000

The drums of freedom have begun beating in the hearts of our people.  They
are preparing for democratic change.

In 1980 Zimbabweans voted for political liberation from colonial
in the year 2000 Zimbabweans are again voting for freedom. This time from
the corrupt.

Hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans have already made their mark on ballot
papers in dusty school rooms and in candle lit tents. . People are not
standing in long queues for hours to vote for the status quo.

This election is proceeding as we predicted on Thursday:
There was a last minute flurry of violence and aggressive conduct designed
to deter polling agents on Friday night and Saturday morning. There were
armed barricades, beatings and abductions. This we anticipated from the
violent process that preceded the election.
We had many incidents, most of them minor, reported on Saturday morning -
conveyed 60 incidents to the press and to international observers,in four
briefing papers on Saturday, as a sample of what was being reported.  They
were either mostly acts of intimidation, but very many related to the
incompetence of the Registrar General.

However, by Saturday morning there was a decrease in complaints and since
then voting is proceeding quietly.

Those who sought to intimidate have become awed by the incredible
determination of people to vote.

Our concerns are these - the progressive disenfranchisement of people -
which we highlighted in the Thursday press briefing.  And those concerns
proving to be wellplaced.
That process began with the two changes to the Electoral Act in the 3 weeks
before the election. It continued with problems with the voters roll, the
destruction of identity discs, and problems with the postal vote among
issues we have already highlighted.
At polling stations we have seen and had reported to us problems with the
voters roll - the Minister of Home Affairs himself was not on the roll and
had to be given special permission to vote. In some constituencies we have
seen such anomalies as entire sections of the roll, say pages one to 40 not
being available, or none of the surnames beginning with M, as a further

Today has seen a calm voting process, characterised by the determination of
people to vote.
* Our concerns are that the extreme slowness of voting in some areas
may see many voters queueing all day but ultimately unable to vote.
* We are concerned about the sealing of ballot boxes - some were not
sealed properly in Harare yesterday. And then we urge the careful
of the movement of the boxes and the counting process.
* Ultimately; violence and intimidation may prove to have had less of
an effect on the vote than electoral irregularities, however, it is too
early to see whether these are on a scale that will have an impact on the
So far what we are seeing is less deliberate fraud, than massive
incompetence on behalf of the office of the Registrar General. This
incompetence is symbolic of the contempt with which this government has
the rights of the Zimbabwean people.  The right to vote is considered with
the same contempt as the right to decent health care.  And so we have had
progressive disenfranchisement. Let us take the example of soldiers in the
Democratic Republic of Congo, for one. We believe they have been denied the
right to vote in this election because the Registrar General's office
to get the logistics in place to send and receive their ballots. By the
close of postal voting at noon on Saturday 9 924 postal ballot papers had
been issued, and around 1 000 still had to be processed. This includes
diplomats, the armed forces and police on duty at polling stations this
weekend and soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is an
that the Office of the Registrar General did not deal with postal voting
sufficiently timeously to give all those working or abroad time to vote.
There were relatively low postal vote tallies in most constituencies. Those
with the highest numbers of postal votes included Kadoma East (303); Mutare
central (350); Mutare North (452); Masvingo central (256); Dzivarasekwa
(247).   But what we also believes it means is that if you reflect on the
fact that of all the postal votes counted for security officers working
weekend, plus diplomats, plus 11 000 soldiers in the DRC, it appears
according to the information we have that those soldiers have been
disenfranchised - they have not been given the privilege of voting in this

There has been an obsession with race emanating from ZanuPF in this
process. Racism is fascism.  Failed political leaders always look for
scapegoats, and despots always resort to fascism.  The MDC is a nonracial
organisation, we are proud to say we respect the rights of all human

Diversity is strength - if it is celebrated and if tolerance becomes the

Over the 20 years of ZanuPF rule  civil society collapsed. People feared to
dissent. Human rights issues were shelved as activists became afraid of
persecution.  In South Africa and Zambia, the trade union movement gave a
voice to the voiceless, it created the basis for fresh political
mobilisation and that too happened in Zimbabwe.  What we have seen in the
nine months since the launch of the Movement for Democratic Change is the
rise of a new energy in Zimbabwe.  Our campaign has been run by volunteers
relying on donations ... and all of those people are fuelled by hope.
We believe that new energy will carry us through into a new and more
future. This nation which Robert Mugabe had no hope of uniting - he was
after all a military officer and not someone schooled in listening to the
heart of ordinary people and acting on their behalf - this nation will
become united for the first time in its history under an MDC government.

Keep up the momentum!


MDC Support Centre
8th Floor, Gold Bridge

Guqula Izenzo/Maitiro Chinja

"Zimbabwe's strength lies in racial and ethnic diversity - we will overcome
attempts to divide us" (Morgan Tsvangirai)

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A higher voter turnout than the independnece elections of 1980, as
Zimbabweans vote for real freedom

Response to European Union interim statement
Southern African imperatives
With high authority comes high responsibility
26 June 2000

Southern Africa now needs to take collective responsibility to ensure that
President Robert Mugabe respects an MDC parliamentary victory, MDC president
Morgan Tsvangirai has said.

Early exit poll indicators are that the MDC will win a sweeping victory and
that the people of Zimbabwe have defied violence, intimidation and measures
in the electoral system designed to hamper the right to vote.

There are 5,3m potential voters in Zimbabwe. Of these approximately one
milion live and work outside the country and could not vote in these
elections. In addition, a significant number of voters who should have been
able to vote were not allowed to vote - reasons included failure with voters
rolls, and a refusal in some areas by election officials to accept voter
receipts - the European Union estimates that 7% of voters were denied their
right to vote because of this, but the MDC estimates that at least 10% of
voters were affected by this. This would mean that around 430 000 voters
were disenfranchised in this way; which would mean that this weekend;'s
elections saw a 77,5% voter turnout - higher than the 65% voter turn out
that saw Zimbabwe gain independence in elections in 1980.   
Tsvangirai said: "such an incredibly high voter turnout demonstrates the
determination of Zimbabweans to free themselves from tyranny. The choce was
clear they could vote for a status quo that has impoverished them or vote
for goodness and hope. A higher turnout favours change."

Speaking as counting stations across the country were busy scrutinising the
votes of an estimated 3m Zimbabweans, Tsvangirai noted that the outcome of
the Zimbabwe voting process would have a ripple effect across the region.
"Robert Mugabe must act with the best interests of the region foremost in
his mind. If he follows an erratic route then it is up to regional leaders
to call Mugabe to order. This is not just a task for Zimbabweans.
"Southern Africa is a region where the fortunes of each nation are
intertwined. The crisis in Zimbabwe has already had an impact on currencies
and investor confidence in the region.  I am confident that regional leaders
will act in a manner to ensure that regional commitments to the respect for
democratic outcomes will be honoured in Zimbabwe, and that the economic and
strategic interests of all will be strengthened."

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank have already stopped further
assistance to Zimbabwe until democratic norms are respected.  The United
Nations pulled out of the observer process because of its concerns. Last
Friday, the Senate Bill on Zimbabwe was passed in Washington - this step
could pave the way for future steps, including sanctions, against a
government that did not respect democratic processes.  The European Union -
which is the largest contributor of development assistance to Zimbabwe -
last night noted that "high levels of violence, intimidation and coercion
marred the election campaign." Next week (July 5) the European Development
Fund will meet  to discuss potential new aid to Zimbabwe.
The EU has already made it clear this will be linked to "the extent to which
the new dispensation in Zimbabwe respects the will of the people...(and) the
manner in which the political forces withint the country work together to
address the problems confronting Zimbabwe."

Tsvangirai said: "The European Union confirms our own concerns on the
election. To be free and fair an election must be judged on what happened
before the election, during and after. The process has to be examined as a
whole. The voting has gone exceptionally well. There were few instances of
violence and intimidation. The MDC will not dismiss the outcome of the
election, we will honour it.
"And we will look at criminal prosecutions against those involved in
violence, the rule of law has to be implemented quickly.
"An MDC victory will see ZanuPF having to negotiate some form of power
sharing agreement with the MDC, however, the precise nature of that will be
determined by an MDC executive committee meeting on Wednesday - and by
political conditions prevailing in the country at the time," Morgan
Tsvangirai, MDC president said.

In further reports of  intimidation around the electoral process last night:

* MDC vice president, Gibson Sibanda escaped with his life last night
after a lone gunman in a passing vehicle opened fire as Sibanda left a
polling station. The alleged assailant was arrested by police.
* Harare: While polling agents were being dropped off at their homes
in Glen Norah last night, three men appeared and began pelting polling
agents with stones, before firing three shots at the agents who fled.
* Ruffingora, Nchetu - David Duffield (091240171) was asked to follow
ballot boxes with electoral agents, when he returned to his farm at 6.30am
this morning he was surrounded by around 20 war veterans who became
threatening. MDC officials contacted the police.
* Mberengwa West - Mr Hove the MDC candidate (09226889) said that
ZanuPF youths had entered the polling station at Ghah School on Sunday;
tampered with ballot boxes and began taking the names of voters as they
entered to vote.
* Chitungwiza, Harare - Boniface (023314197) reported that ZanuPF
women were noting down the names of voters as they entered the polling
* Bikita, Masvingo -  Candidate Edmore Marima was assaulted by ZanuPF
supporters on Saturday and was discharged after hospitalisation on Monday.
* Hurungwe East, Mashonaland West - On Saturday polling agents were
initially not allowed to enter polling stations. The matter was resolved
after Commonwealth observers were informed.

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                 NATIONAL NEWS
                                                         Monday   26  ,June

                  DRC withdrawal ruled out

                                                        6/26/00 11:56:42
AM (GMT +2)

                  Staff Reporter

                  THE leaders of three Southern Africa countries met in Harare yesterday over the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and agreed that they are not about to withdraw their troops.

                  A one-day summit held in the capital while Zimbabwe was in the middle of a parliamentary election, was attended by President
Mugabe, Sam Nujoma of Namibia and Congolese President, Laurent Kabila.
                  Mugabe told a news conference after the summit: "Our troops will remain in the Congo for as long as necessary. The peace process in that country will decide how long they will be there." He said allied troops from Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia would be withdrawn "but not until we're guaranteed of peace in the Congo and                 sustenance of the sovereignty of the government of the Congo." Nujoma said a summit of the Southern African Development Community heads of state agreed three years ago to help intervene in any member country if there was any attempt to overthrow a legitimate government.
                  He said it was for this reason that South Africa and Botswana had given           military support to the Lesotho government.        Nujoma said the withdrawal of Namibian troops would only be carried out        when peace and stability were restored.
                  Mugabe said yesterday's meeting had been called to get feedback from            Kabila on the situation in his country.            He said the leaders discussed the immediate withdrawal of Ugandan and         Rwandan troops which continued to violate the ceasefire in the DRC and               compliance with the Kampala disengagement plan which called for the     immediate withdrawal of the rebel armies.
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There is a massive turn-out of voters at all Polling Stations that we have heard from. There are, however, problems occurring at all Polling Stations. These are the more important ones. Please pass this on - VERY URGENT !!:
1) There are occurrences where people are not listed on the Supplemantary Voters Roll, even though they have re-registered recently, and even though they have their "Certificate of Registration as a Voter" slip. In some cases there may not be a Supplementary Roll at the polling station. Please tell everyone that the Election Directorate has issued a Directive that all Voters who have a "Certificate of Registration as a Voter" slip must be allowed to vote. Please tell people in this situation that they should insist on this as a right. If they are refused, they should approach the Presiding Officer, or report it to an MDC Polling Agent, or phone in on our HOTLINES -
    091-244 699,    091-244 701,     091-244 705,     091-307 896
AND GIVE US THEIR FULL DETAILS. THEY MUST REPORT THIS SO THAT WE CAN KEEP IT IN OUR RECORDS FOR A LEGAL CHALLENGE IF REQUIRED. If rejected, they should also try going to another Polling Station in their Constituency, where there may be a more co-operative Presiding Officer.
2) In some Constituencies, notably Harare North and Harare South, there have been reports of Ballot Papers where there are blank boxes where they are not expected. As you go across the paper from left to right, there are four boxes on each line. Each line represents a seperate Party/Candidate. the boxes from left to right should have:
- first square - Party Name
- second square - the name, or photo, of the candidate
- third square - the party symbol
- fourth square - blank for your mark
On some ballot papers, the row for MDC, and possibly others, the box for the Candidates name/picture is blank. There is concern that some voters will inadvertantly put their mark in the wrong blank box. We need to spread the word that the mark must go in the rightmost box only, otherwise it will be rejected as a spoilt paper. Also let them know that if they make a mistake on their Ballot Paper - for whatever reason - they have the right to go back to the Polling Officer (before they put it into the box obviously) and ask for a new Ballot Paper. This is their right! The spoilt Ballot Paper must be recorded and processed as such, as per standard procedures. If this is refused, then the occurrence must be reported as given above.
Please also report any other occurences of irregularities, intimidation etc - WE NEED TO KNOW!
Brian FitzPatrick
MDC Support Centre - Matabeleland
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