The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Press Release: 11 March 2002

My Fellow Zimbabweans:

I thank you for your courage as you continue to vote in your millions. We
see your determination. We hear your support. We share your impatience. The
power is in your hands. What the people of Zimbabwe now deserve is a

But there are those who say that dark clouds threaten the horizon of our

Together we have travelled a very difficult road to achieve democratic
change. Your resilience to reclaim your rights, as expressed by the
overwhelming turnout, has shaken the corridors of power. Rare in the history
of mankind have a people faced such brutality while retaining such gracious

But the forces of darkness may yet try to block your path to victory.

As I address you, it is sad that this regime still seems intent on defying
your will. Whatever may happen, I as your loyal servant am with you all the
way. They may want to arrest me and at worst kill me, but they will never
destroy the spirit of the people to reclaim their power. We have said that
this election is about the choice between hope and despair. We may have
moments of fear but we must never let despair overwhelm us.

The tide of change is irreversible but we must be prepared to pay a high
price for our freedom. President Mugabe and his colleagues are afraid of the
people and we have heard they may do anything to kill the messenger. If they
do, you must stay strong and carry on the work we began together. Among you
walk heroes -- heroes who waited hours and hours to vote, heroes who refused
to be turned away. These are the heroes of the new Zimbabwe whose voices
must be heard around the world.

Now is the time we have been waiting for and we are ready. But let us first
wait peacefully for your votes to be cast and counted. Restrain yourselves
so you do not allow their sinister plans to succeed. As you wait for the
results, do not succumb to their provocative traps. I know they are trying
very hard to provoke you. Yes, we share your fear that the result will be
rigged, but let us complete the process we began together in our campaign
for a better life for all Zimbabweans.

In closing, let us pray that President Mugabe, his party, and the security
forces shall uphold the Constitution while peacefully honouring and
respecting the will of Zimbabwean people.

May the Lord bless you in your continued efforts for freedom.

Morgan Tsvangirai
11 March 2002
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Delays and arrests as Zimbabwe tries again to vote

By Ravi Nessman, AP

11 March 2002

Zimbabwe's chaotic presidential elections resumed for a third day, with polling stations opening five hours late and the arrest of two senior Opposition party leaders.

After being chased away from polling stations by police last night, thousands of voters this morning after the High Court ordered the government to extend voting countrywide for a third day. But the polling stations did not open until noon, after many voters had given up and gone home or to work.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said on state television this morning the government would comply with the court order under duress and would only extend voting in Harare and a nearby township, both opposition strongholds. He said many polling stations in the rest of the country had already been dismantled.

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai accused President Robert Mugabe and his ruling party of attempting to steal the election by driving opposition observers from 43 per cent of the rural polling stations, some of the rural counting stations and discouraging people in urban areas from voting.

"If those thousands of people are not allowed to vote, this is a stillborn election," he said. "The MDC will not be part of an illegitimate process to try to disenfranchise people."

The opposition party's secretary–general and third ranking official, Welshman Ncube, was arrested in the south–western town of Plumtree, while his deputy, Gift Chimanikire, was detained in Harare, said David Coltart an opposition legislator. Police gave no reason for the arrests, but Ncube has been charged with treason in a previous case.

"We will not succumb to this kind of intimidation," Mr Tsvangirai said, adding that he will not appeal to the country's Supreme Court because they consistently rule against the opposition. He appealed to the people to show restraint and avoid confrontation with security forces.

Two US diplomats were also detained for several hours by Zimbabwean police in the turbulent town of Chinhoyi, 75 miles north of Harare, said Robert Whitehead, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy. He said they were accredited as election observers and Zimbabwean authorities had not explained why they were detained.

Government officials were not immediately available for comment.

Despite pre–election violence and intimidation that opposition officials blame on Mugabe loyalists, voters headed out in record numbers to cast their ballots during the weekend vote – especially in urban areas like Harare.

In the poor Mbare neighborhood of Harare, Duncan Gideon, an unemployed 25–year old who waited all day Sunday to vote, returned to the polling station after his sister called him and said it had reopened.

"Others have gone to work, others are hungry, sunburned," Gideon said, explaining why many had given up on voting. About 250 people were in line with him.

The presiding officer of the station, who did not give his name, said the reopening was delayed because officials had just received the order to reopen.

In Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo, observers said most people appeared to have cast their ballot and there appeared to be no need for an extra day of voting.

The government announced turnout figures that showed massive voting in Mugabe strongholds with far fewer voters casting ballots in opposition areas.

Mashonaland Central, which normally votes strongly for the ruling party, had a 68 per cent turnout. Harare had a 47 per cent turnout so far, and the city of Bulawayo a 46 per cent turnout, the government said.

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'Opportunity Always Presents Itself': Success in a Turbulent Market

March 11, 2002
Posted to the web March 11, 2002

The political turmoil in Zimbabwe presents TRACY MUTAVIRI, dean of the Faculty of Commerce at the University of Zimbabwe, with an opportunity to put into perspective the survival strategies that managers can adopt under unsettled circumstances. The Zimbabwean economy is going through turbulent times. Inflation is in three digits (112 per cent by end of December 2001) and unemployment continues to rise (approximately 60 per cent of the workforce).

Short-term money market interest rates, which had risen to 70 per cent in 2000, fell sharply at the beginning of 2001 as the government embarked on a programme to restructure its domestic debt, which now stands at 197 billion Zimbabwe dollars (foreign debt Z$38.5 billion). Interest rates are however, expected to surge above 100 per cent by year end as the government will be forced to bring the cost of borrowing in line with the surging rate of inflation.

The Z$ continues to weaken against major currencies. The official exchange rate (currently pegged at $1: Z$55) is now 5 to 6 times lower than the parallel market rate. Critically low levels of foreign currency have resulted in intermittent supply of critical inputs such as petrol and diesel. Investment has fallen by 10 per cent in the past four years while savings have declined by 11 per cent. Divestments have increased and the World Bank and IMF have suspended their financial support.

Because of the high rate of inflation, input costs and margins are unpredictable. Disposable income is rapidly being eroded, forcing consumers to review their buying patterns. The reduction in effective local demand has been a major problem for most companies since they depend largely on the domestic market.

Exporters are forced to review their prices regularly as input costs keep rising. They are never sure what the cost of their imported inputs will be because of fluctuations in the real exchange rate. At the same time, they cannot adjust their prices in foreign markets because they are price takers. The issue of low returns is currently the biggest problem for Zimbabwean exporters.

Although economic conditions are clearly harsh, Zimbabwean companies cannot afford to adopt a wait-and-see attitude. Uncontrollable variables have always been a feature of business environments. The question that boards of directors and management need to address is: "How can we adjust our company strategies in response to the negative trends in the environment?"

To survive and succeed, an organisation should have the ability to create or identify those opportunities that it is best qualified to exploit given its technical and financial resource endowment. According to insolvency consultants, businesses fail either because of loss of market or poor management.

An analysis of success stories in Zimbabwe reveals that successful companies typically believe in:

Rigorous industry analysis

Superior knowledge of market requirements

A high degree of customer orientation

Good financial management

Proactive planning procedures

Investing in people and value systems

Rigorous Industry Analysis

Industry analysis helps companies identify gaps and weaknesses within their industries and offer product(s)/service(s) that address those gaps. Strategy is about where and how to compete in a given market.

When the Zimbabwean banking industry was deregulated, traditional players had a rude awakening. An influx of locally owned banks significantly redefined how business was done, to their competitive advantage. They introduced new products (unit trusts, educational finance, housing loans for Zimbabweans living abroad), identified pockets of unfulfilled demand (small scale enterprises / businesswomen), and adopted a different attitude towards risk (e.g. no collateral when lending).

In dynamic markets, today's customers will be gone tomorrow - companies need to get used to this and act on it. Accelerating technology and shifting demographics - due to massive retrenchments and lay-offs, company closures, company formations, galloping inflation, education, the land redistribution programme, massive exodus to other countries and multiple exchange rates - are some factors behind the growing turbulence in the Zimbabwean market.

Successful companies always strive to be at the right place at the right time. They have a tendency to perform in newer, growing markets - markets of the future that are, as such, less vulnerable in periods of economic distress. On the other hand, poor performers tend to be positioned primarily in mature or declining markets.

The chairman of a recently listed Zimbabwean commercial bank that recorded a 363 per cent rise in profit after tax had this to say: "While acknowledging the tough economic times ahead- opportunities will always present themselves, as existing and new customers seek solutions for their business needs." The same bank also provides technical expertise through a management contract to a bank in a lesser-developed economy - earning itself and the country foreign exchange in the process.

In the life assurance business, a young, dynamic company has over the past five years, responsed to the high death rate caused by the Aids pandemic with a finance plan to help families meet funeral expenses; an education policy to help parents pay for the increasing cost of educating their children, and, as tuition fees at state-owned tertiary institutions were hiked beyond the reach of most parents in Zimbabwe, a financial plan for university education.

Realising that retirement in a hyperinflationary environment is a daunting prospect, the company then introduced a product that enables holders to actually plan for their retirement. This dynamic company reported a 151 per cent increase in profits; a 129 per cent increase in earnings per share and a 92 per cent increase in return on equity during the first half of 2001.

Knowledge of Market Requirements

In the service business, employees are key to delivering quality service; consequently, smart companies aim at attracting, developing, motivating and retaining the best employees to in turn attract and retain customers. This has been the strategy of two companies, one in the mobile phone business and another in the financial services sector, that have managed to stay on top in their respective industries in Zimbabwe.

In today's high-tech business world, the strategic challenge is to move from a conventional business design to a digital design that embraces the customer; this in turn means managers and salespeople who can talk information technology. But simply adapting new technology is not in itself the key to success. Technology must be used to create better products/service for customers.

Today's customers want products to be made to their specifications and delivered immediately. So one needs to create a highly integrated supply web that has business partners working together on the Internet.

Customer Orientation

Successful companies are more likely than their competitors to listen to what the market is saying. They are also more prepared to put in the hard work necessary to sell products in competitive environments. Most of the companies that are doing well in Zimbabwe are either already in regional/international markets or are seriously contemplating entering them.

Successful companies let the customer define quality and then work on delivering an improved version of that definition. When the going gets tough, many companies tend to downplay quality and redefine it to meet only the regulatory and licensing requirements. Successful companies, on the other hand are prepared to invest money in differentiating their product or service - for example by charging very low prices to generate interest among customers and at the same time offering superior service. The low margins can put off one's competitors and buy time to recoup one's initial investment through volume.

A leading Zimbabwean company in the life assurance business is a good example of focusing on what matters most to the customer. The company approached an internationally renowned credit rating company, which has given a seal of approval to over 800 insurance companies worldwide. This move, the first of its kind in Zimbabwe, was based on its understanding of the real reason why customers want life assurance - because they want to make sure that those they leave behind when they die are financially provided for. Given the economic environment prevailing in the country, the international rating has given the company's clients the peace of mind that their payments are assured.

Financial Management

Successful companies exercise a greater degree of control on costs, conducting frequent analyses of costs and performance. This constant pressure to justify activities financially not only means efficient use of resources, it also ensures that attention is constantly focused on the major objective of any business organisation - profit.

In the mining and food manufacturing business in Zimbabwe, subcontracting has paid off. A food processing giant, realising that its strength is marketing, has now subcontracted its production and canning operations to small enterprises set up by former employees whom it has assisted to set up shop.

The company's production and technical staff provide technical backup and guidance. The organisation has become leaner, and margins have increased remarkably.

Unbundling (or shedding non-core business) is behind the successful turnaround of some Zimbabwean companies. The head of group operations of a Zimbabwean conglomerate cited it as the underlying factor that helped them turn around, having spread themselves too thinly across a wide range of unrelated businesses.

Through the shedding of non-core businesses, the company has eliminated its exposure to high volume, low margin businesses or businesses currently experiencing high production costs, price controls and low consumer demand.

Proactive Planning

Top performers map out possible future scenarios and then plan to bring about one. The marketing and sales director of a Zimbabwean bank that was successfully turned around (within two years) cited the following as the key factors behind their success: A clear vision; ability to read the environment coupled with the ability to adapt; exciting goals that can energise the team; a means of tracking and measuring performance; good leadership; ability to learn continuously, and use of technology to reduce costs while at the same time increasing income

Although most successful organisations tend to plan with longer-term time horizons, the marketing and sales director remarked that "Long-range plans are not the issue in Zimbabwe right now, it's the short-term manoeuvres and tactics that matter."

In the first half of 2001, the bank's share price rose from 520 to 3,000 Zimbabwe cents within eight months. With a balance sheet of slightly over Z$25 billion, the bank is now Zimbabwe's third largest bank in terms of assets.

In turbulent times, it is vital for companies to develop a culture that is both challenged by the unexpected and confident in (as well as capable of) dealing with whatever comes along. Executives need to get more comfortable with ambiguity and unpredictability and to listen to others in ways they have never done before.

Investing in People

Since everything else can be copied (because of technological advancement), the only sustainable competitive advantage is an organisation's human resources - not its physical assets, but the brains that drive those assets, the knowledge that is accumulated in the heads of its people.

This means companies need to move away from relying on "experts" and capture that knowledge internally, documenting processes so as to replicate best practice, so that when the "expert" leaves, the organisation does not come to a standstill. They place information on the company's intranet so that it can be retained and is available to everyone.

In turbulent times, team spirit, flexibility and co-ordination are critical. As such, you want to create a work environment that tells people that you want to facilitate collaboration. A single cafeteria for everyone, an open office design and same size offices and desks says to employees that everyone is important and that you are not discriminated against because of the kind of work you do. You cannot achieve great things if you work in isolation.

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Hyperinflation: Buy When Others Are Selling


March 11, 2002
Posted to the web March 11, 2002

NORMAN SACHIKONYE, chief executive officer of First Mutual Life Assurance Society of Zimbabwe, focuses on macroeconomic variables and examines how some businesses have coped with escalating commodity prices. For 15 years after independence from Britain in 1980, Zimbabwe remained a beacon of hope for Africa.

The Zimbabwean economy, which is endowed with vast mineral, tourism and agricultural resources, coupled with a successful education policy, continued to post reasonable growth. This was despite several years of drought during the same period.

The economic situation changed for the worse following the collapse of the Zimbabwean dollar in late 1997 and it has been in the sickbay since 1998. Inflation rose to unprecedented levels - from 12 per cent in 1995 to 112 per cent in January 2002 - causing severe hardship to companies and individuals. It is still rising. Analysts predicted that it will peak at 120 per cent in the next few months before it can be gradually brought to manageable levels.

Many companies have succumbed to the harsh economic environment. However, an increasing number of the new-generation companies have defied the odds and are flourishing.

All economies in the world today experience some form of inflation. Mild inflation can be good for the economy. It can stimulate an economy from slumber, particularly where government makes a deliberate effort to kick-start the economy.

However, when inflation reaches high proportions and remains stubbornly high, it becomes hyperinflation. This form of inflation is always very dangerous. We have seen many countries slide into anarchy due to hyperinflationary conditions.

In Africa, Zimbabwe is a classic example of how a country with great potential can quickly degenerate into a hyperinflation. How can this happen? Do companies close shop when this happens? What strategies can managers adopt in order to continue to do business? There are many success stories in the burgeoning financial services sector in Zimbabwe.

The new management in this sector have defied the odds by creating highly successful companies that continue to prosper even in the hyperinflationary environment. How do they do it?

One thing common to most of these institutions is their unwavering focus on the high-payoff activities. Executives must concentrate on their core competencies and cut out all unnecessary activities.

The development of human resources is fundamental to the success of any business. People are the creators and drivers of value in businesses today. Companies with a long-term view spend generously on the training and development of their human resources.

A hyperinflationary environment presents huge challenges in terms of cost management. Prices of goods and services generally rise substantially over a very short period of time. One survival strategy is to buy in bulk, but this can only be applied where a company has sufficient cash resources.

However, cost management taken to the extreme can stifle business. It is therefore important to be able to allocate the financial resources of the organisation to the high payoff areas. One of the most powerful ways of motivating employees and instilling loyalty is by enabling employee share-ownership. Most people desire to own the means of wealth creation and gain a high sense of motivation when they have an equity stake in their company. Companies that have a significant employee share-ownership generally have high staff morale and are focused on value creation. People police each other and achieving targets becomes much easier.

The principle of employee share-ownership is even more rewarding when the company is listed on the stock exchange. Employees are able to see the direct effects of their value creation by the gains in the valuation of their company share value. Many high-flying banking and other financial institutions in Zimbabwe have exploited this strategy extensively. Former state firms like Cotton Company of Zimbabwe and the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe that implemented employee share-ownership schemes are now among the most profitable enterprises in the country, exporting their products to neighbouring countries.

Doing business in a hyperinflationary economy is highly risky. There is no guarantee of supply and over time there is a high probability that your customers may not be able to afford to buy your goods and services. So it is good business practice to diversify country risk by investing in countries that have more manageable inflation levels.

This strategy forces managers to think laterally. Many financial institutions have established offices in Botswana, Zambia, Malawi Mozambique and Tanzania. Some have gone further a field to West African countries like Nigeria and Ghana. The results have been startling. The African Banking Corporation, in response to a requirement to diversify the Zimbabwean country risk, has now managed to transform itself into a regional financial services group and is rapidly becoming a pan-African financial services organisation. Zimbabwe Reinsurance Company has successfully expanded its operations into Southern Africa. Innscor Africa, a leading food chain that specialises in fast food, has transformed itself into a regional player with operations as far afield as here in Kenya.

In a hyperinflationary environment, investing in real assets helps preserve value. In Zimbabwe, the stockmarket has performed exceptionally well in the past six years, being twice voted the best performing emerging market in the world.

A hyperinflationary environment creates business opportunities of different types. You must take a "contrarian" view of business, buying companies or starting up businesses when everybody else is selling, seeing opportunities where most people see problems. Thus a company that has diversified its portfolio into other countries can pick up basically sound companies cheaply in a hyperinflationary economy.

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Zimbabwe opposition leader says life at risk

By Nicholas Kotch

Click to enlarge photo

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has told his supporters that if anything happens to him they should carry on the struggle against President Robert Mugabe.

Speaking shortly after the arrest of a top lieutenant on Monday, Tsvangirai signalled that he believed his life was at risk.

He told his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) followers to stay calm despite signs that Mugabe's ruling party was stealing Zimbabwe's presidential election.

"President Mugabe and his colleagues are afraid of the people and we have heard they may do anything to kill the messenger," Tsvangirai said in a statement.

"They may want to arrest me and at worst kill me but they will never destroy the spirit of the people to reclaim their power," he said as thousands of MDC followers queued for a third consecutive day in Harare trying to cast their votes.

The run-up to the election was marred by political violence in which independent monitors say 33 people have died, most of them from the opposition.


"Zimbabweans must never be provoked into confrontation with this rabid regime," he told a crowded news conference after reading his statement. Later he briefed foreign election observers on the MDC's detailed allegations of wholesale rigging by the ruling ZANU-PF.

MDC officials said the party's secretary-general, Welshman Ncube, was arrested on Monday at a police roadblock southwest of Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo.

Police were not available to comment, but state radio said Ncube might have been trying to leave the country.

Tsvangirai, Ncube and a third MDC official were formally accused by the government last month of treason over an alleged plot to assassinate Mugabe. They have denied the allegation and remained at liberty despite the gravity of the charge.

On Sunday night a High Court judge ordered voting to be extended for a third day because huge queues at polling stations in opposition strongholds had prevented people from voting.

The government said it would comply only in Harare and the neighbouring town of Chitungwiza, but even there presiding officers failed to allow voting until midday on Monday, saying they were awaiting instructions.

Tsvangirai said in his statement that MDC followers should wait for the announcement of the election result, originally expected on Monday night but delayed by the extension.

But later he seemed to imply his party might withdraw from the electoral process before the count and final announcement.

"We'll make an assessment at the end of the day.

"If these people (voters queuing on Monday) are disenfranchised, there is no logic for us to continue."

He denied he was throwing in the towel but at times he struck an almost valedictory note, thanking his followers for what he called their heroic efforts to cast their votes.

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Zim Standard

Economic recovery hinges on poll result

By Kumbirai Mafunda

NATIONAL Merchant Bank Holdings chairman, Paddy Zhanda, has said salvation
for the ailing national economy lies in the outcome of this weekend's
presidential election, provided the results are deemed to be a true
reflection of the Zimbabwean electorate.

Zhanda said Zimbabwe could no longer afford to stay outside the
international community as this had seen the country experience immense
economic difficulties.

"The continued isolation of the country from the international community is
a cause for concern. The outcome of the presidential election and the
acceptance of the election results as free and fair will shape our destiny
of our operating environment," said Zhanda.

He said it was important for Zimbabwe to re-establish ties with multilateral
lending institutions as this was a prerequisite for steering the battered
economy back to recovery.

"In order to steer the economy back on the recovery and growth, the
following key factors are pertinent: the reestablishment of links with the
IMF, World Bank and other multilateral lending institutions; the formulation
and implementation of exchange rate and interest rate policies; containment
of money supply growth rate, runaway inflation and the resolution of the
land distribution exercise," said Zhanda.

The IMF terminated balance of payments support and cut crucial aid to
Zimbabwe after the government failed to halt its insatiable appetite for
spending in October 1999. The disregard of the rule of law also further
isolated the Mugabe regime, resulting in vital credit lines drying out.
Since then, the economy has been on a free fall with inflation at 116% and
foreign currency reserves have long dried.

Faced with mounting economic problems, government last year responded by
announcing that it had dumped the IMF-recommended Economic Structural
Adjustment Programme, and instead decided to return to the command economic
system of the 1980s.

But the National Merchant Bank chairman criticised this policy, particularly
that of implementing price controls. "The inclusion of more products on the
controlled list will, if it goes unchecked, have an adverse impact on both
local and foreign investment," said Zhanda, adding that the government's
policies were isolating it from the international community.

Earlier this year another banker and former industrialist, Cornelius
Sanyanga of Stanbic Bank, said the next government that takes over after
this weekend's presidential election must engage the Bretton Woods
institutions if the economy was to recover from the current economic

President Mugabe has blamed the economic mess on sabotage by the
international community and the opposition MDC.

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Zim Standard

Schori expulsion costs country $108m

By Kumbirai Mafunda

THE government's decision to expel Pierre Schori, the head of the European
Election Observer Mission to Zimbabwe, has cost the country over US$360 000,
$20 million or $108 million at the parallel market rate, in potential
earnings as it resulted in the entire EU team pulling out of the
forex-starved country.

The team of 30 observers was staying at the Crowne Plaza Monomatapa Hotel
where they were paying US$80 per night for accommodation. They were supposed
to stay at the five star hotel until after the election.

At the time of the impasse, only 30 observers had arrived in the country
with the remaining 120 scheduled to arrive some few days before Schori was
booted out. All in all, the 150 observers were supposed to spend 30 days in
Zimbabwe, which would have seen them spending US$360 000 on accommodation

Government denied Schori accreditation to observe the poll on the basis that
Sweden, where Schori is from, was not part of the invited countries to
observe the crucial election which may bring Mugabe's 22 year rule to an
end. Other EU countries that were blacklisted included the Netherlands,
Britain, Denmark, Germany and Finland.

Crowne Plaza Monomotapa's general manager, Anthony Petrakis, confirmed to
Standard Business that the pull-out by the EU had affected their business.
"I can confirm that the hotel is not full. It certainly has affected our
occupancy. You will never replace lost business in the hotel industry," said

Latest figures from the Reserve bank show the country's foreign exchange
market shortages persist as the Zimbabwe dollar remains pegged at the
government fixed rate of 55 Zimbabwe dollars to one United States dollar.
Monthly foreign currency inflows have also declined by more than 50% in the
past five months.

The once booming tourism industry has been badly damaged by the skewed
policies the Mugabe-led government has pursued in the last five years in a
desperate attempt to cling to power. Foreign earnings from tobacco and
tourism, two major sources of forex, have declined drastically because of
rampant government-inspired lawlessness. Investor confidence has
significantly declined as well.

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Zim Standard

ZESN observers restricted

BULAWAYO-In what is seen as another attempt to rig this weekend's
presidential poll, the government has ordered that election observers
registered under the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) should observe
the elections from at least 100 metres away from polling stations.

The government last week informed ZESN, a grouping of 38 civic
organisations, that the decision to push out the observers was to reduce
overcrowding at the polling stations.
Justice legal and parliamentary affairs minister, Patrick Chinamasa,
confirmed to The Standard that the local observers would be barred from
entering polling stations.
"Each candidate will have four polling agents and it is up to each political
party to observe the other as they have more of a critical basis to be
analytical than observers," said Chinamasa. "I have not denied anyone
accreditation, but I am only trying to handle the overcrowding situation in
the polling stations," he added.
The decision by the government to restrict the observers from ZESN comes
after government reduced the number of accredited observers from the
organisation to 420 from a possible 12 500 who had applied to cover the
crunch presidential elections.
However, ZESN said the Electoral Act gave provision of three election
observers and two monitors per polling station.
The chairman of ZESN, Reginald Matchaba-Hove, said the withdrawal of
monitors and observers would compromise the credibility of the whole
electoral process.
"The excuse they are giving us is that the polling stations will be
overcrowded hence we have to do away with election observers. But they could
have allowed in at least one observer per polling station," said
The Standard is also informed that most of the local observers who were
accredited by government were drawn from pro-Zanu PF NGOs such as Heritage
Zimbabwe and the National Development Assembly.
Government selected names from each of the 38 civic bodies.
Matchaba-Hove noted with concern that foreign observers have been accredited
ahead of domestic observers and that their numbers are significant.
According to the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC), some 560 foreign
observers have been accredited as poll watchers.

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Zim Standard

Tsvangirai predicts 60% majority win

By Farai Mutsaka

AS thousands of Zimbabweans trekked down to polling stations to vote in the
crucial presidential election which ends today, a buoyant Morgan Tsvangirai
predicted that he was set to land at State House with a comfortable 60%

The MDC leader, who is expected to cast his vote at Strathaven Shopping
Centre on his 50th birthday today, was however quick to point out that he
could have easily recorded a landslide victory had the electoral process
been transparent.
"We will win by over 60%. We are very confident of our chances of winning
this election. The old man (President Mugabe) is running scared. Time is
running out for him," Tsvangirai told The Standard from his Strathaven home
Independent opinion polls carried by a number of organisations have
persistently pointed to a victory by Tsvangirai.
In a desperate last minute bid to win the electorate's confidence, Mu-gabe,
78, flew around the country at taxpayers' expense holding rallies. The Zanu
PF leader, who has been in power since independence in 1980, held a total of
50 major rallies, as opposed to Tsvangirai's eight.
Tsvangirai said there was no need for the opposition to go for the overkill
a few days before the election as his party had been steadily campaigning
over the last two years.
"Ukanosakura sora mumunda icho chibage chacho chakura zvino-batsirei? (It
will not be of any help if you decided to weed the field when the crop has
already matured)," said Tsvangirai, referring to Mugabe's whirlwind tour of
the country.
"We were aware that we needed to mould institutions and we have been working
in the rural areas for two years doing that. You can't convince the people
now. They have already made up their minds. The MDC vote will transcend the
rural-urban divide. Forget about Mugabe's rallies, they won't yield much. In
2000 he addressed 40 000 people in Kwekwe and 50 000 people in Chitungwiza a
day before the election, and the people still went on to vote for the MDC
the following day. The issue is not about rallies, it is about issues.
Mugabe is talking about history while we are talking about real issues that
are affecting the people," he said.

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Zim Standard

'Friendly' election monitors of death

local insight by Chenjerai Hove

IN perusing through all sorts of European newspapers, one is struck by the
presence of Zimbabwe in almost all of them, including village newspapers.
And we are there for all the wrong reasons in the world-the brutality of the
ruling party towards political opponents, the government's policies which
are oblivious of any international participation and perspective, the
starving people who are made to produce party cards before receiving food to
stay alive, and the gangs of militias on the loose to kill and maim with
fear of the law.

The other day, I was amused at some kind of campaign to try to lure tourists
into our country under the present conditions. I talked with four company
directors and asked them what they were going to do now.

"It is like inviting my tourists to go and be killed in your country," said
one to me, before announcing that he would take his group to Kenya or
Tanzania instead.

For, the madness in our country is beyond description. In Zimbabwean
newspapers, I read that some tourists are given only two days to visit and
then get out.
Every one of the political decision-makers knows that it is only a foolish
tourist who would spend their money flying to a country where they are only
allowed to check into a hotel one day and out the following day.

The Zimbabwean politicians are making the mistake of thinking that tourists
have piles and piles of money in their banks and they are about to spend it
recklessly by throwing it into the sea. Tourists are just human beings like
you and me, who, after saving money from their tough jobs, they decide to go
somewhere to take a well-deserved rest. Their money did not come from the
coffers of some Father Christmas.

They sacrifice in order to visit the countries of their choice, in the hope
that they will be able to escape the madhouse of their home country.

The situation is worsened by President Robert Mugabe's 'friendly' election
monitors. Hence the Namibian gentleman issues such a horrible statement when
there is violence right next to his hotel. To say the independent news media
are exaggerating reports of violence is to insult the intelligence of the
people of Zimbabwe.

If an opposition political activist is killed, how does one exaggerate that
event? The man has been killed, and no newspapers says he has been killed 10
times. And despite the fact that some monitors have been beaten up, the
Namibian gentleman deliberately decides to remain blind to the fate of
innocent victims of the political violence.

Of course it is a well-known fact that the president of Namibia is a good
friend of the violent president of Zimbabwe. What more can we expect except
what the gentleman has already publicly said? He is being dozed with gallons
of Zimbabwean wine and mountains of Zimbabwean food so much that he has
forgotten his mission.

In a country where foreign correspondents are almost entirely barred from
entering the country to report on what is happening, it is only a foolish
man who can stand up and tell the world that the elections are free and
fair. In a country where there is clear manipulation of the voters' roll and
the courts are no longer ruling according to law, it can only be a foolish
man who stand up and think the independent media are lying.

It can only be a blind Namibian who fails to see all those torture and
murder camps spread right across the country, including somewhere near his
own hotel. Such blindness is dangerous in a situation where a once
prosperous nation has gone to the dogs while the likes of the Namibian
gentleman are praise-singing President Mugabe.

If the Namibia 'observer' is in the country as a tourist, he must just say
so and proceed to Victoria Falls or the Great Zimbabwe and desist from
exposing his foolishness about the political violence in our country.

Zimbabwe is being held to ransom by crooks and criminals who think they can
seal off a country in this new millennium. It is not possible to cut off a
country from the international eye in this day and age. The Chinese, with
their sophisticated technology, acknowledged this a few years ago. Now they
have correspondents from newspapers all over the world.

You see, running a country and running a village, or private farm, are two
different things. Even now, any sensible village head knows that it is not
possible to exclude strangers from the village. Even a farmer cannot seal
off his property completely.

The ruling party politicians tend to delude themselves by thinking that
Zimbabwe is some private property where they can decide who comes in or goes
out. They want to run our country like a fiefdom, with a hundreds of
warlords controlling this or that valley. That is not possible.

Any sensible election observer in Zimbabwe has to realise that they are
dealing with a dictatorial government which wishes all different voices were
dead. It is simply a country in a serious state of political desperation.

The major problem of the ruling party politicians is the serious lack of
listening to critics for many years. Anyone who tried to show the leaders
how they were messing up our country was subjected to a lot of terror and
intimidation. That arrogance led slowly to the state of economic and
political collapse we find ourselves in today.

The political violence in our country is a clear indication of a leadership
which totally lacks any semblance of a political or economic vision for the
people. The ruling party sees the country in five-year or six-year
presidential terms, and nothing else. They forget the country will be there
long after all of them are dead.

"The problem of Africa is the lack of a leadership with a vision," Nigerian
novelist, Chinua Achebe once said.

"Yes, tiri kutonga," (yes, we are governing), the ruling party always says.
But we all know that it is rule without concern for the weak and
dispossessed. It the rule of murder and total lack of feeling for those who
need to be protected and taken care of. It is rule by persistent and
shameless lies which has reached the highest levels of absurdity.

Whatever happens in this week's presidential election, the people of
Zimbabwe have registered in their hearts and minds that the present
government is a cruel and murderous establishment. The people know that when
they are being chased by marauding murderers, they run into the mountains
rather than to a police station. And the police too are ashamed to be forced
to transform in a violent party machinery for the repression of the ordinary

Everything of the cruelty of this government is known to every citizen, and
even if they 'win' the election, it will be one of those bad jokes one hears
at a funeral.

Chenjerai hove is a renowned Zimbabwean writer.

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State House workers in dilemma

By Farai Mutsaka

UNCERTAINTY has gripped workers at State House over their fate after today's
presidential election.

Sources within State House told The Standard that workers were anxious about
the outcome of the election as they wanted to ascertain their new status.
Unlike previous elections when the outcome was virtually known even before
the election kicked off, the polling that ends today is a tight contest
between President Mugabe of Zanu PF and MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai.
The veteran trade unionist is heavily tipped to end Mugabe's 22-year-old
grip on power. A number of independent surveys have indicated that Mugabe's
honeymoon as Zimbabwe's president will come to an abrupt end after this
The sources said most workers at the presidential residence were not
confident that Mugabe would retain power and were therefore anxious to know
whether Tsvangirai would accommodate them.
They were also not sure what kind of boss Tsvangirai would be.
"Most people here are beginning to realise that Mugabe might not come back.
This feeling has created a lot of anxiety among workers who now feel
insecure about their jobs. Tsvangirai might decide to bring his own staff.
Even if we are retained, we are not sure what kind of boss he will be. There
are all sorts of anxieties right now," said the source.
So deep-rooted is the uncertainty at State House that some workers refused
to accept free 'Third Chimurenga' t-shirts they had been offered a fortnight
ago, the sources said.
Zanu PF has dubbed its election trump card, the ongoing land reform, as the
'Third Chimurenga'. There were some who took the t-shirts, but many refused
to take them. Those who refused were not even afraid of being labelled MDC
"Why should we be forced to wear Zanu PF regalia when we are civil servants?
Working at Mugabe's house does not make us Zanu PF supporters," he said.
If he wins the election, Tsvangirai would be no newcomer to State House. In
January the MDC leader was chauffeur-driven to the president's residence for
a meeting with Nigerian leader, Olesugun Obasanjo where he was warmly
received and served tea by employees there.
Tsvangirai has persistently said that there was no need for government
workers to be uncertain over their future as long as they were professional.

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Zim Standard

Matabeleland set to slaughter 'Jongwe'

By John Makura

BULAWAYO-Residents of Matabe-leland, a region that has been neglected by the
government since independence, regard the two day presidential poll that
ends today as an excellent opportunity to 'boot out' a ruling party that has
been cruel and insensitive to their needs for over 21 years.

A year after independence, the Zanu PF government, eager to destroy the
Ndebele people who were PF Zapu supporters, was desperate for an excuse to
purge the Matabele people. A few dissidents who emerged in the province were
the excuse that Mugabe needed to "deal once and for all" with PF Zapu

Over 20 000 civilians were massacred in cold blood by the notorious North
Korean-trained Fifth Brigade and several thousands maimed under an operation
code-named 'Gukurahundi'. Up to now the Mugabe regime is yet to compensate
victims of the Gukurahundi.

Apart from the atrocities by the Perence Shiri-led brigade, pleas by the
region for government to solve acute water problems experienced there have
fallen on deaf ears.

For more than 10 years, government has dilly dallied on the Matabeleland
Zambezi Water Project (MZWP) which could transform parts of Matabeleland
into a green belt, while at the same time guaranteeing adequate water
supplies to Bulawayo, once Zimbabwe's industrial hub.

Last year, during the run up to the mayoral election, the government
announced that work on the $336,7 billion project was starting in earnest
after Malaysian investors had released $24 million for the initial phases of
the construction of the Gwai-Shangani Dam. As expected, this turned up to be
yet another political gimmick by a government that only recognises the
importance of Matabeleland when elections are beckoning.

A team of Malaysian engineers which had arrived for the project a few weeks
before the Bulawayo mayoral election went back home for 'Christmas' and up
to now they are yet to set foot in Matabeleland.

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Zim Standard

Mugabe in trouble

By our own Staff

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe looks definitely set to vacate State House if the
response to yesterday's polling is anything to go by.

As had been expected, there was an overwhelming turn out of upbeat voters in
major urban areas such as Harare, Bulawayo, Kwekwe, Gweru and Mutare. People
trekked to polling stations as early as 4am for voting which started at 7am.

According to official figures, there are 3,4 million people registered to
vote in urban areas, the opposition MDC's stronghold, as opposed to 2,2
million in rural areas which are dominated by Zanu PF. Even taking into
consideration the extra 400 000 expected from the controversial
supplementary voters roll, the figures are still heavily in favour of the

The president himself almost failed to cast his vote as his name was missing
from both the mayoral and council voters rolls at Highfield's Mhofu Primary
School where he traditionally casts his vote. Mugabe then had to go to
Kudzanayi Primary where he finally managed to cast his vote.

All polling stations in Harare were characterised by long winding queues
when The Standard toured the city, with attendances heavy, particularly in
high density suburbs. However, people complained that the process was
painstakingly slow, but they showed a steadfast determination to vote.

"We are used to these queues, and this is the most important event in our
history as it will determine the way forward for our troubled country for
the next six years," said Elliot Mutapi of Glen Norah.

At Kuwadzana 5 polling station, a voter said he arrived at 4am and only
managed to vote by 9am, two hours after polling had started. To ensure
order, polling officers were giving people numbered cards, with the voter in
question having been the 73rd person to cast his vote.

At Kuwadzana 2 polling station, hundreds of voters in high spirits could be
seen with bottles of clear and opaque beer to keep them company while they
patiently waited to vote. There was disorder at Warren Park 1 Primary School
where less than 100 people had managed to cast their vote by 11.30am. So
chaotic was the situation that riot police had to be called in to restore
order, but instead they beat up people indiscriminately.

The same chaos was evident at Chengu Primary School in Highfield and Seke 2
Primary in Chitungwiza where people broke the walls around the respective
schools in frustration at the slow pace of voting.

There was drama at St Peters Kubatana in Highfield when some people were
incensed by the arrival of unpopular war veterans leader, Joseph Chinotimba

At Chikanga Primary School in Mutare, no voting material was available when
The Standard visited at around 10am. Polling officials present refused to
explain why this anomaly occurred.
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Voting and Tyranny Extended
After an apllication to the High Court by the MDC voting was extended in the capital, Harare and Chitungwiza through today and possibly tomorrow. Not that it matters much. Many thousands have been unable to vote and there are still large queues outside polling stations. It is unclear whether the government will permit another extension. In another major development 260 people have been arrested in Harare, the government claim that this is for attempting to vote twice. The Zimbabwe Broadcast Corporation are claiming to that turnout in rural areas has been 80% while in the towns and cities it has only been between 30% and 50%. Results are expected tomorrow evening or early on Wednesday. Turnout across the country has been very uneven, while the queues in Harare demonstrate a determination to vote they also show how few polling stations have been opened. In rural areas voters have faced intimidation, often being forced to vote. And it's getting worse. A top MDC official, Welshman Ncube, has been arrested. The first of a flood?

What next?

So it's election weekend. What happens next, though? Whether Tsvangirai wins or not, the outlook isn't good. Various situations present themselves. That violence is inevitable is the theme of this story. And that neoliberalism in some form will plague Zimbabweans is a running theme in this month's socialist worker, and Rosa Zulu's latest article. Add your comments to the articles, write your own, and make your voice heard.

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To All MDC Supporters: Zimbabwe Presidential Elections


Newsletter from Southern Support Centre


 This has been a most confusing and frustrating day – but then it is entirely deliberate and designed to sap our morale. The farcical situation concerning extensions of voting did not help, with polling booths in areas opening, closing, and reopening. Confusion reigned and even in Bulawayo polling officers did not know what to do.


The result that there was apparently no polling outside the capital and Chitungwiza today. Ballot boxes are generally now inside the counting halls, and in most cases were escorted in by our polling agents.


Several reports received from the Bubi Umgusa constituency of armed resistance to polling agent’s vehicles following ballot boxes. From Inyathi reports that police actually cocked their rifles and threatened the drivers, and alarming increase of armed persons in the constituency generally. In Nyamandhlovu reports coming in of armed persons in a vehicle visiting the polling stations. The emphasis appears to be on preventing the following of ballot boxes. In Plumtree the police have said they do not want any white drivers in the area. This has been the trend in other areas as well.


Late last night in Bulawayo a government vehicle was seen with several ballot boxes on board. It drove out to Mbalabala and then disappeared towards Zvishavane, but was not seen again. What on earth could they have been up to?


In other areas ballot boxes have been taken to the wrong destinations for counting – Inyathi came into Bulawayo, as did one from Lupane, and the boxes from Zaka which should have gone to Chiredzi did not.


In West Nicholson a farmer was interrogated by the CID from Beitbridge who had driven up all that way to inspect his BBC short wave radio. How absurd can you get? Amazing how they can find transport when they want to.


What does all this mean – why do they not want us to follow ballot boxes? You can draw your own conclusions, but it all adds up to the actions of a desperate man.


Our emphasis now should please be on sending all information through to us as quickly as possible, and also on accurate reporting of every incident. All of this is required in Bulawayo so it can be captured and forwarded to those who require it.


In Esigodini police have called together leaders of both political parties and warned them that any violence after the results are announced will not be tolerated from either party.


There has been much speculation an the next two days are going to be the longest. A sense of anti-climax almost as we await the results. We have to be patient and wait it out. That we have won handsomely there is no doubt-the only question that remains is whether they will get away with their rigging and whether it will be on sufficient scale to wipe out our lead. I don’t think so. Reports of contact with international observers are most encouraging.


Depending on what happens tomorrow, we may decide not to send out a newsletter. The next one will be detailing our victory celebrations. Well done and good luck.


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News update

(On behalf of Commercial Farmers Union)

An up date received this evening from Banket indicates that the twelve
persons are still in custody, ten are in Banket and Geoff Kirkman under
police guard in a Chinhoyi hospital. Seddon Fox who was arrested Saturday
night is in a Chinhoyi jail.

Two people Denise Peale and her son Grant were arrested this morning but
after a search of their houses, they were released.

Police also searched the home of Mrs Jean Simons this morning, but were
unable to locate her. She has been moved to a safe house.

Her manager granted a television interview shortly after 20 police had
completed their search of the farmhouse. He summed up the view widely held
by farmers by saying, “We are farmers and we just want to be allowed to

Lawyer, Jonathan Samkange has been appointed to represent the 12 men. He
expects to appeal to the High court for the immediate release of the men who
are being detained without charge. Rumour doing the rounds of the police
station halls is that the men will be face charges for violating the Public
Order Security Act and possible the Election Act. This shaky rumour seems to
be built on the concrete fact that farmers have for the last few years
utilised a licensed radio network for the safety of families resident on the

Efforts to allow the men to vote in their constituencies came to naught
Sunday evening but as we turn in for the night, breaking news is that the
polling days have been extended for another day. Perhaps we will yet secure
their freedom and the right to exercise their democratic right to vote along
with the 2 475 147 people who had voted by mid afternoon today.


Sunday 10th March 2002

For more information, please contact, Jenni Williams

Cell 011 213 885 or 091 300 456

Email or
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US, UK citizens held,1113,2-259_1154989,00.html

Mutasa, Zimbabwe - Sixty-five people are being held at the Rudo police
station in Honde Valley, Mutasa, unconfirmed reports stated on Sunday.

Twenty-two of the detainees did not have their identity cards with them,
since their bags containing their identity documents were allegedly stolen
by army officers.

Among the detainees are US national Terry Fishcer (40) and his Zimbabwean
wife Sherrie (26), and UK citizen Will Powell (28) and his wife Shelly (33),
also a Zimbabwean.

The MDC has sent Dr Matthew McNally from Bonda Mission to the police
station, the report said, and he was apparently allowed to treat the
detainees, some who had suffered serious injuries.

Friends and relatives of the detainees have met with Inspector Mutowo, who
is in charge of the Rudo police station. Mutowo rejected any requests for
the release of the detainees despite their injuries.

The command of a nearby militia base apparently prevented their release,
policemen at the station said.

The release of the detainees apparently depended on the results of legal
action these commanders were planning to lodge in the Zimbabwean Supreme
Court, but the exact nature of the action was not immediately clear.

Meanwhile, 11 farmers were still being detained at the Banket police station
at Raffingora, a letter by a Zimbabwean News24 reader reported earlier. The
reason for their detention was also not clear, since neither relatives nor
their lawyer were allowed to see them. News24

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New Zealand Herald

Clark: Mugabe not wanted


A free and fair election in Zimbabwe would not return President Robert
Mugabe to power, says the Prime Minister.

"The general feeling seems to be that he has lost the support of his people,
but no one has got great confidence in that being the outcome of the vote,"
Helen Clark said at her weekly press conference.

"The polling seems to have gone on in a reasonably calm fashion ... but
there's obviously been a great deal of intimidation and violence and
certainly the feedback we're getting from the ground is that if the election
was free and fair then Mr Mugabe would not be returned.

"The feedback I have is that voter turnout was extremely high in urban
areas, which would seem to favour the Opposition, and not so high in rural
areas which would normally favour Mr Mugabe, at least in some parts of the

The New Zealand election observers in Zimbabwe, former high commissioners
Chris Laidlaw and Bruce Middleton, said some voters showed scars from
torture, and although voting had gone smoothly, there was evidence of
intimidation. Many voters had complained of physical abuse.


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Zimbabwe election diary - Day Four
The BBC's Grant Ferrett
The BBC's Grant Ferrett is reporting on the Zimbabwe elections from Beitbridge, on the South African-Zimbabwe border - since the BBC is banned from reporting in Zimbabwe itself:

Day Four - Sunday 10 March

Day two of voting in Zimbabwe, and I'm up again at 5am. Looks like I'm stuck with the early starts.

Still, lots of Zimbabweans were up all night, waiting outside polling stations after failing to vote yesterday because of the amazingly long queues.

Hear that lots of people think it's a deliberate tactic by the authorities to frustrate the opposition.

Queue at polling station
A long wait for many Zimbabwean voters
Someone with a surname beginning with "N" says the polling station officials made a painstaking search of the voters' roll for her name, starting with the "A"s.

Finally get through to the Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa. His phone has been engaged for hours. Seems happy to talk.

Unlike yesterday, he says there's no need for an extension of voting. Is he worried there might be violence because of frustration among voters?

"Why? There is no frustration, just organised demonstrations by the [opposition] MDC." Not a good sign.

Just when things seem to be getting really interesting, interest in the story in London is waning.

Latest violence between Israel and the Palestinians pushes us down the bulletins and reduces our workload, so time for another bit of background reading on President Mugabe.

Here's part of a speech to parliament in 1982, when he was concerned by "dissident" activity.

"An eye for an eye and an ear for an ear may not be adequate in our circumstances. We might very well demand two ears for one ear and two eyes for one eye."

Oh, it's Mothers' Day, must call my mum.

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Monday, 11 March, 2002, 15:27 GMT
Zimbabwe election diary - Day Five
The BBC's Grant Ferrett
The BBC's Grant Ferrett is reporting on the Zimbabwe elections from Beitbridge, on the South African-Zimbabwe border - since the BBC is banned from reporting in Zimbabwe itself:

Day Five - Monday 11 March

Wonder if I'll ever turn into a morning person? No sign of it yet.

Day three of voting in Harare, and the word 'confusion' is cropping up rather a lot. Polling stations which should have opened at 0700 didn't allow voting until about midday.

Shut pollng station in Harare
Scenes of confusion as people cannot vote in Harare

'Phone contacts in Harare to ask what's going on. "Complete chaos. Almost certainly deliberate." Relieved that those nearer the action seem to be almost as much in the dark as us, stuck across the South African border.

Get through to the justice minister for a response: "I'm in a meeting. Call me back in three hours." Hhmmm.

Watch TV feed of opposition press conference in which MDC candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, says he won't be part of an illegitimate process.

By way of light relief after the quotations from President Mugabe, here's one from his Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo, speaking to journalists a few days ago:

"The BBC people are no better than terrorists and that is why they do not deserve to be here. Those elements if caught might take long to go back home."

Probably best if I stay this side of the border for the moment then.

The BBC portacabin offices are looking more lived-in and crowded.

The tin foil is peeling off the windows. The radio room (two tables and masses of cables) now has a television to watch the pictures coming in. There are jerry cans outside to supply the droning generators.

The power cuts can't get us now.

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