ELECTIONS IRREGULARITIES - reports from Zimbabwe
Information picked up in Gutu.
Zanu pf is nationally urging its supporters to vote
on Saturday. Any who vote on Sunday will be presumed to be voting for the
opposition. This is a way of identifying dissenters and is a means of
A man only known as Nkomo has been offering farm
workers in the Mwenezi area 7 head of cattle each if they cast their vote for
Mugabe. The cattle would be given after the election if Mugabe wins. This
election bribe would be worth over $200,000 each!
Mwenezi MP Isiah Shumba reported at weekend to be
giving out $1000 to potential voters over the weekend in Mwenezi
Commonwealth observer mission condemns ZBC
8:18:20 AM (GMT +2)
observer mission has condemned the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
for distorting remarks made by its chairperson,
following the delegation’s visit to President Mugabe’s
office over the
The ZBC alleged Abubakar had said the independent and the
media had exaggerated cases of political violence in the run-up
It said Abubakar had said the situation
was not as bad as it was being
portrayed by the media.
“The group has
received credible reports of violence, met with victims of
witnessed violence and indeed has itself been victim of
“We deplore all forms of violence in the run-up to the election
requested leaders of political parties to urge their supporters to
from violence so that the election may be held in a peaceful
The Commonwealth “called on all serious media to exercise
refrain from inflaming the political
Meanwhile the South African observer mission on Tuesday said
it had now
deployed its 50-strong team to all the provinces in the country
trouble spots in an effort to effectively cover the period running up
weekend poll and after. Dr Sam Motsuenyane, the team leader, said his
was now moving to concentrate on issues related to the
preparedness to hold the election.
He said this was the most
crucial stage of the electoral process in which
they will be looking at the
voters’ roll, polling stations, electoral
boundaries and the rules of
procedure pertaining to the electoral process.
“We have indeed observed
isolated cases of violence,” he said.
“We have also received numerous reports
of intimidation from our observers
in various parts of the country. This
involves both major political
MDC activists denied bail
3/7/02 8:17:08 AM (GMT
Nine MDC supporters accused of burning a
Zanu PF vehicle in Marondera last
week were on Thursday denied bail by a
Khanyisela Moyo, representing the MDC activists, said she
would file an
urgent application with the High Court appealing against the
The magistrate said he had denied them bail
because he feared for their
lives, given the tension in the country, as the
election dates draw near.
Moyo said: “The reasons which the magistrate gave
are not sound in law.
“The only reasons which can be accepted for
refusing bail would be a fear of
the accused interfering with witnesses, and
where there is a possibility of
the accused absconding or committing a
Thousands walk out on Mugabe
3/7/02 8:16:29 AM (GMT
From Precious Shumba in Rusape
THOUSANDS of people
attending President Mugabe’s campaign rally on Tuesday
started walking out of
the 20 000-capacity Vengere Stadium in Rusape halfway
through the rally, but
were stopped by Zanu PF activists who barricaded the
walkout occurred when Mugabe started speaking about how Zanu PF expected
chiefs to spearhead the re-election campaign in rural areas.
activists barricaded the stadium’s two gates, instructing everyone
inside until Mugabe had finished speaking. The stadium was fully
Thousands of people from surrounding communal areas were brought to
stadium in government-registered, 30-tonne trucks.
There was a sizable
contingent of schoolchildren, as all schools in Rusape
were forced to
“You have to go and vote in your numbers to avoid what happened in
2000 parliamentary election, in which we were taken by surprise
Tsvangison and his people,” said Mugabe.
Before the rally, Zanu PF
youths moved around the town ordering all
businesses to close. They forced
everyone to attend the rally.
The youths drove around in a Rusape town
Zanu PF slammed for stifling opposition
3/7/02 8:15:48 AM (GMT +2)
THE opposition MDC has criticised the ruling Zanu PF party for
pieces of legislation meant to restrict the political activities
opposition political parties.
Paul Themba Nyathi, the MDC director
of elections, at the weekend charged
that the police were selectively
interpreting and applying the Public Order
and Security Act, (POSA), in
favour of Zanu PF.
Nyathi said Zanu PF had flouted all the provisions
outlined by POSA because
the law was never meant to be applied to all the
parties contesting the
Nyathi said: “Zanu PF is
free to bus people to all its rallies, they are
free to toyi-toyi, to gather
anywhere, and to conduct door-to-door
“The police always
turn a blind eye to all these illegal activities as long
as it is Zanu PF
that is involved. But if it is the MDC, they quickly arrest
people and accuse
them of all sorts of things under that law.”
Nyathi said the MDC had
opposed the passing of POSA because they knew the
law was meant to restrict
Nyathi said: “That law, as we have said many times
before, has nothing to do
with the maintenance of the law but with the
suppression of democracy and
the will of the people in the country. Our
rallies are banned for spurious
excuses by the police.
interpretation of POSA is in favour of Zanu PF, and it is a
legislation with no justification in a democratic country.”
79 Movement for Democratic Change rallies or political
activities had been
cancelled by the police since the campaigns began.
He said POSA was
designed to perpetuate a one-party system and enhance the
fortunes of Zanu
or break' for whites as election
By a Special Correspondent in
WHITE Zimbabweans yesterday put the
finishing touches to
detailed plans for this weekend's election.
for a community that survived guerrilla war and
sanctions during the
Rhodesian era, nothing compares with
the pressure felt now by the last 50,000
whites in Zimbabwe.
The stakes have never been higher.
More than 300
whites gathered in a sweltering room in a
Mashonaland country club and heard
a farmer open the
meeting with the words: "This weekend our destiny will
decided. This weekend is make or break for ourselves and for
If President Mugabe wins re-election, few whites doubt
their best option will be a hasty exit.
invasions have already seen the
occupation of 1,700 farms, the murder of
and relentless official attacks on the white minority.
120 per cent and a collapsing currency have wiped out
More of the same could spell the end for the white
which includes about 25,000 British nationals. But if Mr
loses, his supporters could plunge Zimbabwe into
turmoil and take revenge on
any white face.
Fearing both possibilities, many whites will spend the
few days gathering their children, packing precious
heading for remote lodges near the border.
There they will spend the
crucial days when votes are cast in
the knowledge that escape across the
frontier is only a short
Since the collapse of Zimbabwe's
tourist industry, most game
lodges have been virtually empty. Many of those
in the right
location have suddenly found themselves coping with a
Private schools are taking an impromptu half-term
beginning tomorrow and continuing until the end of next week
longer if necessary. "Our attitude is very much one of wait
and see," said
Most businesses will close on Friday afternoon and have
plans to reopen next week. Families are obtaining official
allowing them to drive across the border.
Last week, British diplomats
visited hotels in the border town
of Siavonga, in neighbouring Zambia, and
many Zimbabwean refugees could be accommodated
The Zambian government has been asked to waive the
visa fee which is currently demanded from all Britons at the
But those determined to remain in their homes while
votes are cast have laid
At yesterday's meeting, the audience listened with
attention as a farmer laid down the code names for an
each redolent with bitter memories.
"Red evacuation is a Congo type,
meaning you've got 10
minutes to get out of your house," he said,
memories of the flight of the Belgian settlers from the Congo
"Orange evacuation is a Doma type, meaning women and
he continued, recalling the looting and destruction
of 45 farms in the Doma
area of Zimbabwe last August.
"Yellow evacuation is a tactical
Short of a full evacuation, plans for the election include
response teams to rescue families from emergencies and a
safe houses where farmers' wives living in isolated
Peta Thornycroft in Harare writes: A diplomatic
that in the event of widespread lawlessness "the
British will advise their
citizens to make for the borders, in
convoy, and they will be met by consular
staff in South Africa,
Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique. That is all they
Sophie Honey, spokesman for the British High
said: "The Government has contingency plans in most
including Zimbabwe, to assist British citizens in
case of emergency."
casts shadow over Zimbabwe
Harare | Thursdays
ONE year ago, Mrs
Ndlovu's fields were ripe with melons, pumpkins and
importantly, she was able to get mealie meal - finely ground
corn used to make
sadza, which has an almost sacred place in the Zimbabwean
This year, her fields in southern Zimbabwe are scorched by drought.
mismanagement and the collapse of commercial farming have left the
So Ndlovu, who was unwilling to give her first
name, has had to seek help
World Food Program (WFP), the UN
agency that has mounted a massive relief
operation to feed more than half a
million people facing starvation in a
country that was
once a regional
The hunger crisis has become one of the main issues in the
presidential election this weekend, with thousands
of people like Ndlovu
scavenging in the bush to survive.
feed her children, Ndlovu said she makes a drink from the sap of
picks mopane worms and beans for protein, and sometimes
finds some wild
she dries and serves with water. She has four
chickens, but no other livestock.
While the drought in southern Zimbabwe is
the most immediate cause of Ndlovu's
problems, the government's mismanagement
of the economy and its controversial
land reforms have made the food shortage
a national problem, even in cities.
National grain reserves are empty. The
harvest in April is expected to fall
at least 600
000 tonnes short of the
Commercial farms, owned mainly by white Zimbabweans, have
fallen idle since the
government targetted most of that land for resettlement
Militant backers of President Robert Mugabe forcibly occupied many
white-owned farms two years ago, effectively blocking white farmers
Despite warnings of a hunger crisis as early
as one year ago, Zimbabwe's
spent months adamantly denying the
When the government finally swallowed its pride and asked for
WFP responded with an appeal for $60-million to
feed more than 558 000
people - a
huge number in a nation that normally
feeds itself and exports its surplus
has not needed international food aid for its own people since
a massive drought affected the entire region.
The tense pre-election
climate, marked by sometimes deadly intimidation of
has slowed the food relief.
Aid agencies managed to hand out one-month
rations of mealie meal in only two
districts before deciding to suspend their
distributions for two weeks over
Even the few
distributions that did take place had to be scheduled
While rural Zimbabweans are faced with the
most minimal options for food, city
dwellers are also suffering from the
mealie meal shortage. Few people can
grains. Rice, for
example, costs more than 10 times as much as mealie meal.
estimate that on average, Zimbabweans get 60% of their energy
from sadza, the thick porridge made from mealie meal.
Without mealie meal,
and no other starch to replace it, a person's body
will start to feed
itself, and malnutrition sets in.
The hunger problem is compounded by the
high incidence of HIV, which infects at
least one in four adult Zimbabweans,
according to the United Nations. Poor
leaves people with HIV
more susceptible to the disease and to other infections.
In his rallies,
Mugabe has tried to assure voters that the government is
in more food, even though mealie meal has been in short supply for
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has used the
food crisis to criticise the
government, but seems to be counting on
international aid and a restoration
of at least
some commercial farming,
if he wins, to end the nation's hunger.
Whether scared by the political
violence or just hungry, few recipients of
the food aid
election's outcome would change their lives.
"Whoever wins, it will be the
same," Sihleli Sibanda said while waiting in
the shade with
his donkey for
his ration. - AFP
MEDIA MONITORING PROJECT ZIMBABWE Daily Media Update No.6 - March 6th 2002
1. Electronic report for 5 March 2002
2. Print report for 6
3. From our subscribers
1. ELECTRONIC DAILY REPORT FOR
MARCH 5, 2002#06 THE ELECTORAL PROCESS: With only two days to go before voting
opens in Zimbabwe's presidential election, the state media finally began
releasing information regarding the mechanics of the voting process. But the
information raises more questions than answers. None of the
government-controlled media have broadcast or published useful information to
help the electorate cast its vote.
They have only responded to government
announcements in providing limited information about details of the electoral
No effort has been made by the government or its media to explain
publicly the many late and confusing legislative amendments to the electoral
regulations, and nor have they provided the electorate with anywhere near
adequate information regarding the process of voting, especially in
It is MMPZ's belief that the government and the publicly owned media
have manifestly failed in their collective national obligation to provide the
electorate with sufficient educational information to allow the people to
exercise their right to vote effectively.
ZBC (8pm) quoted Registrar General (RG) Tobaiwa Mudede announcing that 5.6
million people had registered to vote in the forthcoming presidential election
and that 4000 polling stations had "so far been identified". Mudede was not
challenged to explain suggestions of incompetence raised by this statement,
particularly in respect to why all the polling stations had not yet been
identified. Mudede was not asked, nor did he volunteer, any information about
the distribution and location of these polling stations, including mobile
stations or how many other ones were yet to be identified. Mudede also stated
that his office was now printing the supplementary voters' roll to include those
who had registered between January 27 and March 3. But he was not asked how
many people had registered during this period, or why this extension to the
registration process had never been made public.
Mudede also took the
opportunity to confirm a story that appeared in The Daily News earlier in the
day (5/3), which reported that some police and army personnel had already voted.
ZBC reporter Judith Makwanya quoted the RG as having said:
soldiers, the police, diplomats and those who may not be in their constituencies
on Election Day began some few days ago." There was no explanation as to when
this exercise began, how many people had already voted, nor who was present to
monitor and observe the process.
Mudede defended his office stating that
there was nothing wrong with this postal ballot system because it was normal
practice in every election. However, he never explained how this system
worked. Mudede also denied the claim in The Daily News story that members of
the security forces were being forced to vote for ZANU PF. Notably, Mudede only
appears to have been motivated to inform the public of this exercise after the
revelations in The Daily News.
In short, ZBC failed to establish whether
this entire practice was being conducted legally. Furthermore, there was still
no information on the accreditation of local observers.
Short Wave Radio
Africa reported that the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) was
challenging the Supreme Court ruling that the Harare mayoral elections be held
concurrently with the presidential elections. The acting chairman, Mike Davies,
was quoted stating that the RG's office was not in a position to hold the
mayoral elections transparently, adding that the voters' roll was flawed. He
cited examples, such as names that appeared with wrong addresses and ward
boundaries that overlapped into other constituencies, and said these
irregularities could disenfranchise many voters. There was no comment from the
ZBC ignored the story.
Shortwave Radio Africa also reported alleged efforts to misinform the rural
electorate in a way that would encourage them to ignore the MDC candidate. In
its Newsreel programme, the station carried a report in which an unidentified
caller stated that officials in Chikwakwa were telling the electorate that the
MDC's candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, had withdrawn from the presidential race
following allegations that he plotted to assassinate Mr. Mugabe.
also highlighted alleged vote-buying in Madziwa. An unidentified soldier was
quoted as saying that ZANU PF was giving villagers between $ 2,000 - $ 2,500 to
vote for the ruling party.
Official comment was unobtainable.
CAMPAIGN STORIES: ZANU PF's election campaign continued to receive far more
airtime on ZBC than any other party. ZTV allocated nine minutes 30 seconds to
ZANU PF during its Newshour. Eight campaign-related stories were broadcast
during the day. All of them were campaign pieces for the ruling ZANU PF.
However, six of the eight stories were repeats of ZANU PF rallies held in
Midlands and Matabeleland North. Two were reports of Mugabe's rallies in
Marondera and Rusape.
Radio Zimbabwe aired seven reports on campaigns. Six
were pro- ZANU PF while one was a negative report on MDC.
3FM carried six
reports related to campaigns. Of these, four were promotional items for ZANU PF
and two presented the MDC in bad light.
POLITICAL VIOLENCE: There were no reports on political violence on
ZBC continues to ignore incidents of violence, thus giving the false
impression that such violence has stopped. However, Short Wave Radio Africa
reported three incidents of political violence, including one death, in its
Newsreel. Two MDC MPs were the only sources in two reports, while the other
report was based on a Shortwave Radio Africa correspondent's account. In all
reports MDC supporters were the victims.
There was no comment from the police
or ZANU PF. MMPZ acknowledges the difficulties Short wave Radio Africa has
soliciting comment from the authorities. However, the station should let its
audience know regularly that it attempts to obtain official comment in order to
counter accusations of bias.
2. DAILY PRINT REPORT FOR WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6TH 2002 ELECTORAL ISSUES:
The Daily News told MMPZ that it was never invited to the Registrar-General's
Tuesday media briefing on the important electoral developments reported in the
MMPZ deplores this unfair and selective practice by a
government institution, especially when it concerns important public
information. This exclusion of a media organisation is tantamount to denying a
wide section of society the opportunity to receive critical information within
the public domain and the opportunity to question the institution providing it.
Such a practice undermines Zimbabweans' constitutional rights to be informed and
their freedom of choice, and erodes democratic principles.
As a result, only
The Herald reported what had already been aired on ZBC the day before, but
devoted most of its front-page story to officials, including the
Registrar-General, denying The Daily News story of the previous day, claiming
that police and army personnel were being obliged to cast their vote for ZANU
PF's presidential candidate.
The paper quoted Mr. Mudede making the most
unlikely appeal: "It would have been better if the (Daily News') invisible
sources became visible to enable us to carry out an investigation."
electronic counterpart (see above), The Herald reported no effort on its part to
query the Registrar-General's statements or to provide its readers with any
clarification about polling stations, the extension of the registration of
voters, or what provisions exist to guarantee that the postal votes cast by
police and army personnel were done so legally, freely and secretly.
paper also failed to find out how many of these votes had already been cast and
how many new people had been registered on the supplementary voters roll, which
Mr. Mudede said, "was now being printed".
Equally uninformative was The Herald's story about the accreditation of
local observers. It merely recorded that 23 local observers from various civic
organisations had been accredited and that 507 international observers and 172
foreign journalists had also been accredited for the poll. It made no effort to
analyse how many local observers would be required to cover all polling stations
adequately. It also failed to investigate the concern raised in its own story
by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)
Matshaba-Hove, over delays in the accreditation of local observers.
CONSPIRACIES: There was a new twist to allegations this week in the public
media that two MDC MPs, Tafadzwa Musekiwa and Job Sikhala, sought to buy Air
Marshal Perence Shiri's loyalty.
The Daily News story, Shiri approached MDC,
offered a new dimension to Tuesday's puzzling story in The Herald. The story
was based on the paper's interview with Musekiwa and Sikhala who both denied
trying to buy Shiri's loyalty.
Instead, the two alleged that Shiri approached
Sikhala- in his capacity as MDC secretary for security- to find out what the MDC
planned to do with President Mugabe and the security forces in the event of an
MDC election victory. This followed Shiri's admission, according to Sikhala,
that "according to government's own security reports, the MDC was going to win
the election overwhelmingly".
Although the public press reported that Shiri
had audio-taped the (two) meetings, Sikhala was quoted by The Daily News duly
challenging the Air Marshal to produce proof of their alleged attempts to bribe
him "in the interest of the public's right to know the truth".
with this evidence, The Daily News sought no comment from Shiri.
POLITICAL VIOLENCE: The Herald carried three stories on politically
motivated violence and recorded six incidents. In contrast, The Daily News
published five stories where it recorded three incidents, including the death of
Peter Jeftha, who was run over by a bus allegedly fleeing ZANU PF youths.
Stories in The Herald blamed the MDC four times, whilst one incident
remained unattributed. ZANU PF supporters were cited as victims twice and a
farm worker who was accused of being a ZANU PF member (1). The political
affiliation of the others was not mentioned.
The Daily News articles blamed
ZANU PF. The victims were reported to be members of the public (two) and ZCTU
CAMPAIGNS: Zimpapers' titles continued to provide uncritical coverage of
ZANU PF campaign rallies. Reportage was largely anchored in articulating Mr.
Mugabe's hate speeches. For example, The Herald (6/3) carried vitriolic attacks
by the President on MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and British Prime Minister Tony
Blair during his rallies in Marondera and Rusape. In one such attack Mugabe is
quoted as saying: "He (Tsvangirai) is not only ugly facially but also
To project ZANU PF rallies as successful, The Herald cast doubtful
attendance figures, such as the Marondera rally, which it pegged at over 50
The paper did not report on any MDC rallies. However, it reported that
an MDC-organised demonstration held in London had "flopped" due to poor
The Daily News claimed that ZANU PF had reportedly bussed
supporters to its Gweru rally to boost attendance levels. But the paper failed
to link this to the violation of provisions in the Public Order and Security
Act. The paper also carried a belated MDC rally held over the weekend in
Bulawayo, where Tsvangirai promised to compensate victims of the current
3. FROM OUR SUBSCRIBERS KEEP UP THE good work. How is this
Have you witnessed any active use, reference to
Juliana Manjengwa, Harare THANKS for the useful information you
have continued to send to us.
Bob Muchabaiwa, NANGO Information Officer
THANK you for your informative updates, Farai Manyarara, CyberplexAfrica.
WHERE ARE THE OBSERVERS? Snake Park and its surrounding areas, especially
Kuwadzana extension, is under siege. On Saturday 23 February 2002 (around 4pm),
a group of so- called war veterans led by a man called Tafi arrived at Snake
Park filing station looking for their prey. Upon spotting a man reading The
Daily News, (a private daily). They approached him and grabbed him by the
scruff of his neck and started beating him. He started bleeding profusely from
They dragged him to their torture camp (which they call Tongogara
base) to teach him a life lesson for reading that paper. They searched his
pockets looking for opposition party cards that he didn't have. They "helped"
themselves with the money (about $1
000) from his pocket. He only managed
to escape through suddenly looping off from his T-shirt, which they were holding
tightly, and made off. They pursued him, but he managed to outpace them and
vanished in one of the scorched maize fields. I would like to urge the election
observers to visit that area and have a real picture of what is happening.
Please come and see for yourselves what is happening to innocent
Johane Tshuma, Snake Park, Harare ENDS This report was produced
and circulated by the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe, 15 Duthie Avenue,
Alexandra Park, Harare, Tel/fax: 263 4 703702, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe DAILY MEDIA UPDATE - Tuesday, March 5th 2002
ELECTRONIC MEDIA REPORT FOR MONDAY, MARCH 4TH 2002 Conspiracies ZTV re-screened
its documentary Inside Plot To Kill Mugabe, allegedly "by popular public
demand". During News Hour ZBC's diplomatic correspondent Judith Makwanya misled
the public when she reported that two MDC parliamentarians had approached Air
Marshal Perence Shiri to ask him to pacify the army if the MDC "assassinates"
President Mugabe. Nowhere in the documentary did Shiri even suggest this. He
said the MPs came to see him to ask for his help in ensuring that the army would
be pacified in the event that the MDC wins the presidential election.
Campaigns ZBC continued to denigrate the MDC while according ZANU PF
positive coverage and more airtime. However, most campaign stories covered
during the day were repeats of weekend reports.
3FM had eight campaign
related reports. Seven (88%) of these were pro-ZANU PF reports while one (12%)
was a negative report about the MDC.
Radio Zimbabwe had 13 reports on
campaigns. Of these, 10, including repeats, were campaign pieces for ZANU PF
and one favoured NAGG. As has become the norm on ZBC, two denigrated the
ZTV carried eight reports on campaigns including repeats. Six reports
favoured ZANU PF while one was pro-NAGG and one was a negative analysis of an
MDC rally. Eight minutes were allocated to ZANU PF while two minutes 30 seconds
were used to negatively qualify MDC's campaign statements during ZTV's News
Unlike ZBC, which persistently portrays the MDC in a negative light,
Shortwave Radio Africa (SWRA) highlighted MDC's campaign policies in its
Newsreel. It also quoted the MDC Bulilimamangwe North MP saying that ZANU PF
was using maize-meal to campaign for Mr. Mugabe and that maize was being
distributed in government vehicles marked with Mugabe's campaign
Such abuse of state resources has not been noted by ZBC, presumably
because the broadcaster itself is a victim of state abuse.
Radio Africa reported that both MDC and ZANU PF held rallies over the weekend,
the emphasis was on the MDC's Highfields rally. As an excuse for not covering
ZANU PF rallies they stated that George Charamba was not available for
There was confusion on ZTV over the number of rallies Mr. Mugabe
has held so far. ZTV (8pm) reporter Freedom Moyo stated that Mugabe has
addressed 49 rallies, while in another report Rueben Barwe stated that he had
ZTV is airing political advertisements dubbed Reflections
between its programmes. In the advertisement, excerpts of speeches made by
liberation war heroes are broadcast to invoke nationalist feelings, a campaign
strategy that is being used by ZANU PF.
Wilson Kumbula, the candidate for ZANU, was accorded the opportunity to
explain his policies to the electorate during Joy TV's Makamba at Night.
Another candidate, Shakespeare Maya, was also accorded the same opportunity on
March 1. The other presidential candidates are expected to be screened in
consecutive programmes. MMPZ commends Joy TV for its efforts. However, Joy TV
only broadcasts within a radius of 140km of Harare and therefore most of the
electorate is denied the chance to see these programmes.
Political violence Once again there were no reports of political violence
on radio or television. However, ZBC attempted to play down international and
private media reports of political violence, using the comments of international
observers to describe such reports as 'exaggerations'.
ZTV (8pm) repeated
statements made by Kaire Mbuende, Aziz Pahad, Bantu Holomisa who all said that
violence was not as bad as media reports suggest. Tanzanian President Benjamin
Mkapa was also quoted stating: "I do not like the assumption that unless Mugabe
or ZANU PF loses the election then this election will not be free and fair. I
say wait until the observers have commented. And there are national observers,
there and international observers. Let's listen to them".
None of the media
have yet made the point that with only three days to go before the election,
Zimbabwe's electoral authorities have not yet accredited any local (national)
observers from civic society. Perhaps the foreign observers present can avail
President Mkapa with this information.
Dr Norman Mlambo and Allan Mushonga of
SAPES Trust were also quoted down-playing reports of violence. Mushonga
"What is happening so far indicates that we are determined to go
through a free and fair election."
While ZBC did not report any violence,
Shortwave Radio Africa reported two incidents, including one in which the MDC MP
for Bulilimamangwe North claimed that one of his constituents, a Mr.
Dube, was killed by alleged ZANU PF youths. The other incident was an attack on
a shop belonging to an aspiring MDC councilor in Mabvuku, but a source was not
Shortwave Radio Africa also broadcast the claim from a caller to
the station that war veterans and the youth militia were intimidating villagers
in Kezi into voting for ZANU PF. The station reported that villagers were told
the war veterans would find out who they vote for and those who vote for the MDC
would face dire consequences.
Official comment was conspicuously missing from
Shortwave Radio Africa's reports.
PRINT MEDIA REPORT FOR TUESDAY, MARCH 5TH 2002 Press coverage of the news
that the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting had struck a compromise over
the fate of Zimbabwe exposed the shortcomings encountered by readers of the
public and privately owned Press.
While The Herald used one section of
CHOGM's final communique to portray the impression that the Commonwealth had
"given in" to government's claim that land was at the core of the crisis
gripping the country, it did at least report that CHOGM had set up a three-
member committee to decide what action to take once the result of the
presidential election was known.
The Daily News however, didn't carry this
news at all, but merely reported the MDC's reaction to it.
The Herald also
published CHOGM's communiqué on Zimbabwe, which stated that heads of government
had "received and discussed" the Ministerial Action Group's report on the Harare
Declaration "concerning the current situation in Zimbabwe".
But readers were
left to decipher the communique's evidently vague language. And there was no
focus on the fact that Commonwealth action on Zimbabwe will now depend on the
report of its observer team. The story passing as an analysis of events in
Australia, 'Why UK lost Battle of Brisbane', amounted to unadulterated
propaganda, which concluded that Blair's racist legacy from this encounter would
live longer than he would. In all, The Herald carried five stories related to
the government's success at CHOGM.
The Daily News preferred to lead the day with grave allegations questioning
the integrity of the electoral process. Its story, whose headline bluntly
declared, Bid to rig election: Soldiers, police officers cast votes ahead of
presidential poll, was based inconclusively on telephone calls from "several
members" of the police and army officers who allegedly told the paper they had
already been made to cast their votes for ZANU PF ahead of the weekend
presidential election. MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai, was reported as saying
his party had also received many similar allegations of this serious electoral
The paper quoted some officers saying they were being commanded
to cast their votes in the presence of their seniors, but failed to furnish its
readers with more evidence.
The paper quoted Defence Minister Sidney
Sekeremayi dismissing the claims as "just disinformation" and that the recent
withdrawal of some troops from the DRC was not related to the election.
contrast, The Herald merely announced that the Electoral Supervisory Commission
was convening a code of conduct meeting with contesting parties but failed to
give readers adequate background on why it has taken so long to adopt it.
paper also predictably ran a rehashed story previously screened by ZTV appearing
to implicate two MDC MPs (Job Sikhala and Tafadzwa Musekiwa) in the alleged plot
to assassinate President Mugabe. In reporting one of ZTV's principal witnesses
confirming the allegations however, the paper appears to go further than the
television documentary when it stated that, "Mr.Mliswa confirmed that the duo
had told him that the MDC had hatched a plot to assassinate President Mugabe."
It provided no evidence of this.
It also reported the visit by the two MPs to
Air Marshall Perence Shiri and quoted Shiri quoting Sikhala as saying: "If ever
Tsvangirai is elected president the first person he said he would ask for
advice is you on how to form the next government."
This would suggest that
the two were seeking reassurances following the successful conduct of the
election. But the paper appears to contradict this unsurprising revelation when
it concludes its story with the unsubstantiated observation that the visit to
Shiri by Sikhala and Musekiwa ".showed that they had not abandoned the plan to
remove President Mugabe violently."
Political violence The Daily News published six stories of politically
motivated violence in which it recorded 16 incidents. The alleged perpetrator
was ZANU PF. The targets were the MDC, farms and the Catholic Church.
Herald carried a story under a generic headline, MDC thugs attack former MP
Hokoyo, which recorded eight incidents of violence. The incidents, based on
police files, blamed the MDC.
The victims were mostly ZANU PF.
Campaigns Meanwhile, the public press continued to report favourably on
campaign rallies held by Mr. Mugabe and Dr Shakespeare Maya while denigrating
those held by the MDC. All three MDC campaign- related stories were reported
negatively. For example, the paper claimed that MDC rallies scheduled for
Mvurwi and Marondera had "flopped" due to poor attendance. There was no
The Daily News coverage was more sober. Its
Reuters news agency story, Mugabe's personality, economy dominate campaign,
dispassionately analyzed the presidential campaign trail in which it articulated
the campaign strategies of both the MDC and ZANU PF candidates.
ends For more
information, please contact MMPZ, 15 Duthie Avenue, Alexandra Park, Harare,
Tel/fax: 263 4 703702, E-mail:email@example.com
Thursday March 7, 03:20 AM
Disgruntled regions key
to Zimbabwe poll
By Emelia Sithole
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (Reuters) - As
President Robert Mugabe fights for his
political life in Zimbabwe's
presidential elections this weekend, several
key regional battlegrounds could
help end or extend his 22-year rule.
Matabeleland, home to the
Ndebeles who bitterly remember how Mugabe crushed
a 1980s uprising in the
southern region, is expected to back his opponent
Morgan Tsvangirai in the
March 9-10 vote, analysts say.
They say Mugabe could also struggle
for votes in three other regions,
including western Masvingo where internal
fighting has weakened his ruling
strongest challenger to Mugabe after 22 years in power,
hopes public anger at
food shortages and an economy on its knees will
deliver an opposition
The southwestern provinces of Matabeleland North and South,
which backed the
MDC in 2000 parliamentary elections narrowly won by ZANU-PF,
traditional opposition strongholds.
In the past, the
Ndebele voted overwhelmingly for PF-ZAPU led by veteran
Joshua Nkomo who came second to Mugabe in 1980 elections
that ushered in
Zimbabwe's independence from Britain.
Nkomo and Mugabe fell out in
1982 when Mugabe accused Nkomo of planning to
overthrow him violently. Nkomo
denied the accusations and his former
ensuing government crackdown, which was dubbed Gukurahundi (the rains
sweep away the chaff), human rights groups said thousands of civilians
killed in central and southwestern Zimbabwe.
A 1987 unity pact between ZANU-PF and PF-ZAPU ended the civil
war but the
Ndebeles, who make up 15 percent of the country's 13 million
never forgotten that period and their calls for apology and
hound Mugabe today.
"Mugabe and ZANU-PF have never
taken our demands seriously. We lost many
relatives and the wounds are still
there," said a 63-year-old Bulawayo man
who lost three relatives in the 1980s
crackdown led by the North
Korean-trained Fifth Brigade.
has campaigned hard in Matabeleland and struck an unusually humble
note at a
rally in Bulawayo on Saturday, when he evoked the memory of Nkomo
who died in
1999 at the age of 83.
"I have come to ask for your vote today. We
have to save the party. We have
to demonstrate that we are in an everlasting
party," Mugabe said.
But analysts said his touch of humility might be
too little too late to win
over the province.
"Mugabe has lost the
Matabeleland vote. Gukurahundi is still very fresh in
people's minds until
it's resolved," said Masipula Sithole, a political
scientist at the
University of Zimbabwe.
Residents of the region's capital Bulawayo,
the 1890s seat of government of
Matebele warrior King Lobengula, voted in an
MDC mayor during polls held
late last year.
"Generally the Ndebele
are a conservative and loyal people. Once they take a
position it's hard to
change them and once they support a man they will
support that man to the
hilt," a local historian said.
The government has been accused of
neglecting the region over the years,
epitomised by the steady decline of
Bulawayo while tall, ultra-modern
buildings sprang up in
"We are fed up with the government and its promises," said
"There are no jobs. We can't get basic
commodities like mealie-meal and
cooking oil and we are being intimidated
almost on a daily basis. We have
been waiting for years for the Zambezi water
project to help us cope with
drought," he said.
Matabeleland is facing severe food shortages blamed on drought
state-sanctioned seizure of white-owned commercial farms which has
output of the staple maize crop.
Mugabe says economic decay is
a result of sabotage by Britain and the white
minority and promises no one
Voters in Manicaland, Masvingo and the Midlands could
also play a deciding
role in the election, said Jethro Mpofu, a media studies
lecturer at the
Open University of Zimbabwe.
The Midlands suffered
heavily during the army crackdown in the 1980s for
allegedly giving safe
haven to Nkomo's supporters.
In Masvingo, ZANU-PF has been ridden by
faction fighting and analysts say
provincial strongman Eddison Zvobgo could
undermine Mugabe's campaign in the
Zvobgo, a founding
member of ZANU-PF and a former justice minister, clashed
publicly this year
with the president's top aides over a controversial media
bill critics said
was aimed at silencing criticism of Mugabe. He also has
absent from Mugabe's campaign.
Manicaland South, home to the small
Ndau tribe of late veteran nationalist
leader Ndabaningi Sithole, is another
traditional opposition stronghold,
consistently voting for Sithole's
ZANU-Ndonga party since independence.
The province also feels
ill-treated by the Harare government, and holds
bitter memories of Mugabe's
treatment of Sithole, the founding leader of the
Zimbabwe African National
Union (ZANU) party in 1963, now the ruling
Sithole as ZANU's leader in the mid-1970s, accusing him of
"selling out" the
struggle for black majority rule. When Sithole died two
years ago, he
received no official recognition from a government which
national hero status on those who fought for
Analysts say it was a slight that voters
in Manicaland South are unlikely to
forget as they head to the polls this
Thursday, 7 March, 2002, 02:43 GMT
Mugabe rivals mount legal
Zimbabwe's main opposition party is going to court to
contest last-minute changes by President Robert Mugabe to the election law, two
days before voting begins.
The Movement for Democratic Change is renewing its accusation that Mr Mugabe
is trying to rig the poll - but opposition representatives still maintain their
candidate can win.
As well as the legal challenge, the opposition is voicing
concerns about the authorities' failure to announce the location of 4,548
polling stations or publish voter lists.
We are going into the election with our eyes open, knowing
that it is unfree, unfair
At its latest briefing for foreign election observers and the media on
Wednesday, the official Electoral Supervisory Commission was unable to say how
many ballot papers had been printed or when voter lists would be made public.
Nor could commission chairman Sobuza Gula-Ndebele, a retired army colonel,
say why only 23 local observers had been accredited out of 12,000 nominees.
Under the president's decree, voters have to prove they are residents of the
constituency in which they will be casting their vote.
The opposition says the restrictions will have a
disproportionate impact on its urban-dwelling supporters and it believes it
could cost them tens of thousands of votes.
MDC spokesman Welshman Ncube said: "We are going into the election with our
eyes open, knowing that it is unfree, it is unfair and that there is a large
possibility of cheating and rigging.
"But we believe that if the overwhelming majority of Zimbabweans come out and
vote, their rigging will come to nothing and we will still be able to win the
But the government, with equal vigour, continues to reject all allegations of
It says it has recruited 22,000 government employees to be deployed as
election monitors, and promises they will act impartially.
It also says some of the pre-election violence could be the work of an
unidentified third force.
On Wednesday, Mr Mugabe warned that he would pursue MDC candidate Morgan
Tsvangirai once the election is "out of the way".
Mr Tsvangirai has been
accused of treason over a secretly recorded video purporting to show him
discussing Mr Mugabe's assassination with Canadian consultants who were actually
working for the government.
"No murderer will go unpunished. No one we know to have planned such deeds
will escape," Mr Mugabe said in comments at a rally carried by state-owned
In his address to the public, Mr Mugabe accused Mr Tsvangirai of being a
stooge of Britain and the country's former white minority rulers.
"You suffered for this country while the Tsvangirais fled the war... Now he
is licking the white man's boots," Mr Mugabe said.
Summit let Mugabe off hook, says Tory leader
George Jones, Political Editor
Conservative leader, Iain Duncan Smith, has attacked Commonwealth heads
government, accusing them of "letting President Mugabe off the hook"
failing to suspend Zimbabwe before elections due this weekend.
said yesterday the suggestion that the Commonwealth might voice
disapproval" about the actions of the Zimbabwean government was
the latest in
a litany of inadequate responses.
"It is not about black versus white in
Zimbabwe. It never has been. It is
about everyone in Zimbabwe suffering under
a tyrant who has thrown out all
the rules of law and democracy," he
If Mr Mugabe continued to destroy the country, Mr Duncan Smith
international coalition should "take all necessary steps" to stop
"Sadly the Government has in its actions, I feel, too often appeared
tolerate his activities."
Mr Duncan Smith said Zimbabwe's
opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, had
called for the country's suspension
from the Commonwealth long before the
Government. But Tony Blair had dithered
and it was no wonder that he had
failed to secure suspension.
Prime Minister described the Tory leader's criticism as "absurd", but
disguise his disappointment that the heads of government did not
In a statement on his return from the conference in
Australia, he told MPs
that there was "no realistic prospect of a consensus
for suspending Zimbabwe
from Commonwealth membership in advance of the
elections". But the "fudging"
would have to stop if the observers' report
found widespread evidence of
intimidation. "The credibility of the
Commonwealth itself is at stake," he
The violence and
intimidation unleashed by Mr Mugabe in his desperation to
opposition victory was totally unacceptable.
"So is the way in which he
made it impossible for EU observers to monitor
next weekend's elections,
obliging them to withdraw from Zimbabwe so they
could not document the abuses
of the election campaign.
"There is no doubt about those abuses. Those
who are witnessing the campaign
and who are still in Zimbabwe, detail
horrific acts of violence and
Mr Blair said the victims
of Mr Mugabe were not primarily white. "They are
the ordinary black citizens
fed up with years of decline and corruption."
A very large number of
Commonwealth countries had denounced Mr Mugabe's
behaviour at the
"This included outspoken and courageous condemnation by
African leaders who
understand very well that the damage President Mugabe is
doing harms not
only Zimbabwe, but Africa as a whole.
President Mugabe's propaganda, this is not an issue that divides
Commonwealth on racial lines; not one that divides African from the
Mr Blair said it was a remarkable tribute to the
strength of democracy in
Zimbabwe that the opposition retained even a chance
of winning the elections
"Again, let us be clear. If they do
win, President Mugabe must accept the
result and hand over power."
Zimbabwe media lists British 'plots'
Chris McGreal in Harare
March 7, 2002
You may not have heard of Britain's
masterplan to "do a Milosevic" on Robert
Mugabe, but Zimbabwe's state press
claims it is all part of the plot.
The crucial clue to this dastardly scheme,
if you are in the minority who
believe Zimbabwe's television news and the
newspapers, is the background of the British high
Before he arrived in Zimbabwe last July,
Mr Donnelly was ambassador to
Belgrade for two years. It has not gone
unnoticed that the bombing of
Yugoslavia started during his tenure, and that
he was still embroiled in the
Balkans when Slobodan Milosevic was driven from
Zimbabwe's Sunday Mail sees Mr Donnelly's hand in the Yugoslav
downfall, and cannot imagine why else he would be in Harare if
not to do the
same to Mr Mugabe.
"Donnelly was brought to Zimbabwe 'to
do a Milosevic' to President Robert
Mugabe," the paper warns. "It is
understood that British intelligence is
working closely with elements in the
[opposition] Movement for Democratic
Change, surviving Rhodesian Selous
Scouts and former apartheid military
officers to fuel post-election violence
to torpedo President Mugabe's widely
You might not
believe it, and millions of Zimbabweans certainly do not. But
every day, a
barrage of highly creative stories, clever manipulations and
is thrown at the public.
If people are hungry it is not because the
seizures of white farms have
dealt a devastating blow to food production, but
because whites are hoarding
grain or burning it to discredit Mr Mugabe. If
there is political violence,
it is all the fault of the opposition, even
though it is the MDC's
supporters who end up dead or in
According to the state press, Mr Donnelly made an early start
campaign to destabilise the president by secretly coordinating the
looting and burning of white-owned farms by their owners to discredit
"war veterans" who had seized the land.
The state newspapers have
also kept their readers abreast of the MDC's role
in South Africa's biggest
robbery, although the police in Pretoria know
nothing of this.
core of the propaganda is to portray this weekend's presidential
a "titanic fight" to maintain Zimbabwe's independence in the
face of British
attempts to recolonise it.
"Say no to Tony Bliar's colonial call", says
an advert by the ruling
Zanu-PF, deliberately misspelling his name because Mr
Mugabe refers to him
One newspaper calls the election
a "do or die tussle" between the president
and Britain, never mind that the
opinion polls show that most people are
more worried about inflation, food
shortages and unemployment.
Everywhere there are reminders of the
liberation war. Music videos, popular
for their suggestive dancing, have been
replaced by "war songs" and grainy
film of the struggle for
The papers claim that if Mr Donnelly's plot to prompt a
fails, Britain is planning to set up bases in Zambia,
Mozambique from which its army can invade Zimbabwe.
MDC has requested British military intervention if it loses the
many right-thinking Zimbabweans are worried to the bone," the
Mr Mugabe is, of course, more than up to the task of leading the
"He has since independence turned the people of
Zimbabwe into an anvil upon
which British imperial perfidy has painfully
knocked its head in repeated
failures," the paper declares.
Zimbabwe observer hears tale of torture
By Peta Thornycroft
THE leader of the Commonwealth
observer mission in Zimbabwe, Gen Abdulsalami
Abubakar, listened yesterday to
harrowing reports from torture victims and a
man who said he was a defector
from President Mugabe's youth militia.
The meeting in Bulawayo was
arranged by Commonwealth observers seeking to
convince the former Nigerian
military leader of the seriousness of violence
and intimidation taking
A Zanu PF supporter at a rally in Marondera, North of
Gen Abubakar's views of the election carry particular weight, as they
likely to decide whether Zimbabwe will be suspended from the
after this weekend's elections.
Gen Abubakar met Raymond,
18, now living in a privately arranged safe house,
who said he had joined the
ruling party's youth militia because he believed
he would receive skills
Instead, he said, the army trained him and others, some as
young as 14, to
beat people and set up roadblocks.
He painted a
picture of brutality within and outside the camp in southern
had to be sure Zanu PF pamphlets were not spoiled. But when
one was, a man in
my group was beaten, and he bled a lot," Gen Abubakar
said he and 15 colleagues were eventually rescued by soldiers.
a gasp from observers as two supporters of the opposition Movement
Democratic Change showed Gen Abubakar wounds they said were caused by
Mugabe's militia at a secret camp in a suburb of Bulawayo.
said they were tortured for six hours with leather whips. Another
victims said they were too frightened to speak to observers in
Zimbabwe police said yesterday 16 people had died in political
since Jan 1, half the number claimed by human rights groups
March 07, 2002
Chaos fears as Mugabe blocks poll
From Jan Raath in Harare
FEARS of vote-rigging and
chaos in the most closely contested presidential
race in Zimbabwe’s history
were raised again yesterday as President Mugabe’s
regime devised new
obstacles to scrutinise the voting and set fresh ones for
The deployment of 12,500 independent local poll
observers drawn from a
coalition of 38 churches, civic bodies and trade
unions, who were meant to
be posted in polling stations and counting centres
throughout the electoral
process, was also in grave doubt last
The observers of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) were
the last chance to block a full-scale manipulation of the vote by Mr
after the European Union withdrew its observers last month when
Government expelled the head of its mission, Pierre Schori.
job was to shadow the ESC (state) monitors and force them to deal
anomalies,” a Western diplomat said. “If ZESN’s people aren’t in
(the Government) will be able to do virtually anything.”
Matchaba-Hove, the ZESN chairman, said yesterday the Government had
that it would be allowed to have three observers at each of the
“We have on the ground structures that are ready to operate at
the switch of
a button. We have ten command centres around the country and a
centre here that will be ready with a report on the election before
results are out. We are ready, save for the fact that we have not
ZESN supplied a full list of its monitors on
February 21, the Government’s
deadline. “They have now said they will allow
only three observers from each
organisation,” Mr Matchaba-Hove
“We are very concerned that the (electoral) environment is still
Our concern is that we cannot have access not just to the polling
but to the counting as well.”
A briefing yesterday by the
heads of the state-appointed Election
Supervisory Commission did nothing to
assuage fears of observers. The
officials were unable to say how many voters
had been registered or the
number of ballot papers printed. Neither could
they say when soldiers had
started to use postal ballots, nor when lists of
voters and polling
locations would be available.
A total of 31 people
have died in political violence this year, all but
three victims of Mr
Mugabe’s militias, according to the Zimbabwe Human
Rights Forum, the sole
source of reliable statistics on violence. In the
past two months, there have
been 125 abductions, 26 disappearances and 366
cases of assault or
Civic groups have provided the ESC’s monitors for all national
elections in the past 15 years, but the Government banned them this
claiming that they were “sponsoring” the opposition Movement for
Change. The Government says that it has trained 20,000 of its own
President Mugabe issued an edict yesterday that will make it
for people to vote, lawyers said. Officials in charge of
have been granted the powers to demand proof of residence
turning up to vote. Most people in urban townships, where the MDC
strongest support, do not pay municipal electricity, water or rates
the receipts for which they will have to produce if a polling
demands proof of residence.
March 07, 2002
Mugabe's mob burns village to rig the
From Janine di Giovanni in St Peters, Matabeleland,
THE villagers of St Peters have just experienced
The trauma of being invaded by a violent,
marauding militia is stamped on
the faces of those who did not run from the
Zimbabwean leader’s special
brand of political intimidation.
listlessly on the dusty ground, staring at the few cracked plates
mattresses that remain in front of their charred huts. “I had very
the world to start with,” said Maggie Moyo, a 55-year-old
like most of the villagers, an opposition supporter.
“Now I have
Moyo was sitting in her house when the youths struck on Sunday
know they were Zanu,” she says, referring to the pro-Mugabe
party. “I saw
their T-shirts and hats.” She ran to the bush and watched as
three gallons of petrol and paraffin over the thatched hut she
has lived in
for 22 years.
But the most important thing Moyo lost — as
did most of the villagers — was
her ID card, making it impossible for her to
vote in this weekend’s
It is a frequent ploy of
the Zanu thugs. “In the run-up to the election, IDs
are deliberately stolen,”
says Shari Eppel, who runs the Amani Trust, a
human rights organisation in
Bulawayo. “In Zimbabwe, to steal an ID is to
steal a vote.”
intimidation is not new in this part of Matabeleland: in the 1980s
died at the hands of Mugabe thugs. It worked then and it has worked
Although most people are too frightened to talk about their
affiliation — the goal of the pro-Mugabe militias — the village was
to sympathise with the Movement for Democratic Change
Before the attack 2,600 people lived here, most of whom would have
MDC. Now, there are a handful of brave ones left, the rest are cowering
an empty school down the dirt road, plastered with posters of Robert
s face. “War veterans were commanding the militias,” says Almon
the local MDC vice-chairman. “One in particular, Pius Ndovu. He
the houses where the strongest opposition leaders
The destruction of St Peters happened quickly. The people heard
before they saw them: crashing through the bush, chanting and
(PF) songs. By the time they saw them, wearing caps and T-shirts
with Mugabe’s face and raised fists, it was too late. The
carrying whips and small axes.
The villagers who could
run did so, quickly, into the bushes and hid,
holding their chidren. The old
or sick or handicapped were left behind to
fend for themselves: a mentally
ill man was hit with an axe, an older woman
had her skull gashed. Another man
was tortured for three hours for not
producing an ID card.
militias, according to witnesses, were mainly composed of “Green
the Zanu (PF) youth wing, who are training in 150 camps
country. Desperate teenagers who have been promised jobs if
Mugabe wins, they
are schooled in Zanu propoganda and the techniques of how
torture opponents. Witnesses say nearly 600 militia men who
came out of the
bushes in two groups. As they descended on the village, they
began to smash
and burn everything in their path. When they had finished 25
homes had been
Two Norwegian election observers, Marianne Oeen and Gunnar
arrived an hour after the attack and confirmed the villagers’
saw houses still burning and took testimonies, noting that most
IDs had been
When they went to the police to investigate,
they were told that there had
been a “clash” in the village. Five youths were
later picked up in
connection with the burnings, but all were MDC youth
members who claimed
they were nowhere in the area. They were later released
“After the police picked them up, they came here and accused the
of burning down their own people,” said Michael Dhlamini, the local
chairman. “How could we burn our own?” The MDC, to many of these farmers
menial workers, signalled a change, a release from the oppression of
under Robert Mugabe which offered them virtually nothing.
Moyo does not know why the militias came, “other than to kill”, but
raises her arm in the open-hand MDC victory sign and tries
“They burned my ID card and my birth certificate,”, she
says,“so how can I
vote? But I still love the MDC. If we don’t have them in
the government, how
will my children ever work? Without them, all they will
do is herd donkeys.”
Mugabe Warns of Retribution After Zimbabwe Vote
— By Nicholas Kotch and Cris Chinaka
HARARE (Reuters) - Just over
two days before Zimbabwe's closest-fought
presidential election, Robert
Mugabe warned he would pursue his challenger
once the voting was
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been accused of treason
secretly recorded video purporting to show him discussing
assassination with Canadian consultants who were actually working
"No murderer will go unpunished. No one we know to have
planned such deeds
will escape," said Mugabe, promising post-election
retribution against those
he said had committed crimes against Zimbabwe,
though he mentioned no names.
"We'll see this issue to its conclusions
once this (election) is out of the
way," he said at a rally in comments
carried by state-owned television late
on Saturday and Sunday after the most bitter and closely
fought campaign in
22 years of independence under Mugabe.
In his address to the public,
Mugabe accused Tsvangirai, the head of the
Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), of being a stooge of Britain and the
country's white minority which
waged a bush war to hold on to power in the
"You suffered for
this country while the Tsvangirais fled the war...Now he
is licking the white
man's boots," Mugabe said.
The leader of the ZANU-PF party told a rally
in Mutare in eastern Zimbabwe
that local whites and Britain were eager to get
rid of all former liberation
movements in Africa.
"If ZANU-PF is
removed from power now, they will proceed to Frelimo, to ANC
and then to
Swapo," Mugabe said, referring to the guerrilla movements turned
parties of neighboring Mozambique, South Africa and Namibia.
The state body appointed to run the vote, the Election
Directorate, was due
to release details on Thursday on the location of
state-run television also reported. Vote counting would
begin on March 11,
The MDC and foreign critics, led by former
colonial power Britain and the
United States, accuse Mugabe, 78, of trying to
rig the vote.
At a briefing for foreign election observers and the media,
Electoral Supervisory Commission on Wednesday gave out scant
It could not say how many ballot papers had been printed,
the exact location
of 4,548 polling stations or when voter lists would be
Nor could Commission chairman Sobuza Gula-Ndebele, a retired
say why only 23 local observers had been accredited out of
"I have a problem. I don't think as the supervisor of an
election that is
only a couple of days away you can tell people 'I don't
observer Martha Sayed of Botswana's Independent Electoral
The MDC has vowed to mount a legal challenge to election
rules reimposed by
Mugabe on Tuesday in defiance of his own Supreme
The MDC, hoping to turn public anger over a crumbling economy and
food shortages into victory, accuses ZANU-PF of using a militia
a youth training service to terrorise the
Mugabe and his party have denied orchestrating a campaign of
and rejected allegations that it is trying to fix the polls,
pre-election violence on the MDC.
Some 5.6 million Zimbabweans
will go to the polls at a time of severe food
shortages caused by drought and
the state-sanctioned invasions of
white-owned farms which have slashed maize
Further allegations of Zanu PF rigging
AM (GMT +2)
By Pedzisai Ruhanya
More allegations of rigging by
Zanu PF ahead of the weekend presidential
election were made yesterday - this
time in Chinhoyi.
While President Mugabe prepared to visit the
Mashonaland West capital today
to address a campaign rally, officials of the
Office conducted post-deadline registration of voters in
The MDC complained yesterday that only Zanu PF supporters were
registered to vote on Saturday and Sunday in what appeared to be
evidence of rigging of the weekend presidential
There are reports that in some parts of Mashonaland West,
Central, Manicaland and Harare, Zanu PF supporters continued to
the weekend poll despite the closure of the process on 3 March,
In Chinhoyi more than 200 Zanu PF supporters queued outside the
registrar’s office yesterday to register while national identity
issued to those without.
Those wishing to register had to
produce a letter from Zanu PF, a chief, a
headman or a Member of Parliament.
Officials also registered those
accompanied by Zanu PF youths.
officials called out the names of supporters from registers before
entered the building to obtain national identity cards and to register
Irene de Souza, the provincial registrar for Mashonaland West,
could not be
reached for comment. Her deputy, who introduced himself only as
confirmed people were registering as voters.
however, that they would vote this weekend.
“It is true that people are
registering as voters,” Chirenda said. “But they
will not vote this weekend
because the registration of voters for the
presidential election officially
ended on 3 March, 2002.”
He said the registration of voters was a routine
function of the
Asked why people were
rushing to register and why only Zanu PF supporters
Chirenda said: “I do not know why they are registering
now. You may ask
The people were drawn mainly from Mhangura and farms occupied by
veterans and Zanu PF supporters during the farm invasions.
Konjana, the MDC administrator for Mashonaland West, said yesterday the
had received reports that voters were being registered in
constituency as well.
“At Kanzembe in Makonde constituency
headmen were forced by Zanu PF
supporters to identify all unregistered people
in that area in order to
register for the poll. This election is being
rigged. It is not free and
fair,” Konjana said.
Tendai Shumba, 20, of
Magunje said for the past three weeks she had
travelled to Karoi, Guruve and
Chinhoyi to secure a national identity card
but failed because she did not
possess a letter of recommendation from Zanu
Spirit mediums condemn terror
3/7/02 8:15:08 AM (GMT
Mhondoro Dzedzimbahwe, a group of spirit
mediums, has condemned the murder
of Takatukwa Mamhova Mupawaenda, 70, a
spirit medium allegedly murdered by
Zanu PF supporters last
Mupawaenda of Farm 219, Chitomborwizi in Zvimba South, was accused
mobilising chiefs, headmen and other traditional leaders against
Mugabe in the presidential poll.
He was killed on 16
February, after being beaten with sticks and sharp
instruments by about 30
The spirit mediums said they were outraged by the
“We, the spirit mediums of Zimbabwe, are outraged by this
perpetrated against one of our own,” said the spirit mediums
in a statement.
“We have also been outraged by all politically motivated
murders that have
taken place since 1980.”
About 100 people were
killed in politically motivated violence since the
June 2000 parliamentary
“We implore you, the people of Zimbabwe, to stand steadfastly
atrocities. Let it be remembered that, we spirit mediums are the
of the country of Zimbabwe and everyone in it.
perpetrators of this evil act will themselves never know peace. Let it
be known that even if you kill us, we will not stop campaigning for
peace, tolerance and prosperity for our land, Zimbabwe.”
mediums said they took courage from great spirit mediums, Sekuru
Mbuya Nehanda, killed for resisting colonialism in the 1890s.
Kaguvi and Nehanda were killed for standing up against the same
policies now being perpetrated by Zanu PF
Fate of white voters still uncertain
3/7/02 8:06:39 AM
From Chris Gande in Bulawayo
MORE than 1 500 white
Zimbabweans, who were struck off from the voters’
roll, will only know
tomorrow whether or not they are taking part in the
scheduled for this weekend.
They are among the thousands of Zimbabweans
unlikely to vote because of the
amended Citizenship Act.
black Zimbabweans with surnames which indicate that they are
neighbouring countries like Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique, have also
affected by the Act.
Elizabeth Rutsate, a Bulawayo magistrate, on Tuesday
heard the petitions
from some of the affected whites.
Cherry, who represented some of them, argued that the letters
sent to them
were signed by someone other than the provincial registrar, as
the Electoral Act.
On cross-examination, Willard Sayenda, the provincial
the Act was flouted.
But Rutsate ruled that the
affected people should have their cases heard
individually at the High
The whites were divided into three groups: those who were born in
but had parents of foreign descent, those who came to Zimbabwe as
and those who did not renounce their foreign
But all of them were permanent citizens who have taken part
The case attracted many foreign
news correspondents, who converged on
Tredgold Building, eager for first-hand