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- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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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 intimidation.

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 village.
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Daily News

Commonwealth observer mission condemns ZBC

3/7/02 8:18:20 AM (GMT +2)

Political Editor/Reuter

THE Commonwealth observer mission has condemned the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation (ZBC) for distorting remarks made by its chairperson,
Abdulsalami Abubakar, following the delegation’s visit to President Mugabe’s
office over the weekend.

The ZBC alleged Abubakar had said the independent and the international
media had exaggerated cases of political violence in the run-up to the
presidential election.

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
violence, witnessed violence and indeed has itself been victim of
election-related violence.

“We deplore all forms of violence in the run-up to the election and have
requested leaders of political parties to urge their supporters to refrain
from violence so that the election may be held in a peaceful atmosphere.”

The Commonwealth “called on all serious media to exercise restraint and
refrain from inflaming the political situation”.

Meanwhile the South African observer mission on Tuesday said it had now
deployed its 50-strong team to all the provinces in the country and the
trouble spots in an effort to effectively cover the period running up to the
weekend poll and after. Dr Sam Motsuenyane, the team leader, said his team
was now moving to concentrate on issues related to the country’s
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

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Daily News

MDC activists denied bail

3/7/02 8:17:08 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

Nine MDC supporters accused of burning a Zanu PF vehicle in Marondera last
week were on Thursday denied bail by a magistrate.

Khanyisela Moyo, representing the MDC activists, said she would file an
urgent application with the High Court appealing against the magistrate’s

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 similar offence.”

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Daily News

Thousands walk out on Mugabe

3/7/02 8:16:29 AM (GMT +2)

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

The walkout occurred when Mugabe started speaking about how Zanu PF expected
the chiefs to spearhead the re-election campaign in rural areas.

Zanu PF activists barricaded the stadium’s two gates, instructing everyone
to stay inside until Mugabe had finished speaking. The stadium was fully
packed. Thousands of people from surrounding communal areas were brought to
the stadium in government-registered, 30-tonne trucks.

There was a sizable contingent of schoolchildren, as all schools in Rusape
were forced to close.

“You have to go and vote in your numbers to avoid what happened in the June
2000 parliamentary election, in which we were taken by surprise by
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 council ambulance.

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Daily News

Zanu PF slammed for stifling opposition activities

3/7/02 8:15:48 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

THE opposition MDC has criticised the ruling Zanu PF party for creating
pieces of legislation meant to restrict the political activities of
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
presidential election.

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 their activities.

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.

“The liberal interpretation of POSA is in favour of Zanu PF, and it is a
piece of legislation with no justification in a democratic country.”

Nyathi said 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 PF.

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Make or break' for whites as election
By a Special Correspondent in Mashonaland
(Filed: 06/03/2002)

WHITE Zimbabweans yesterday put the finishing touches to
detailed plans for this weekend's election.

Even 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 be
decided. This weekend is make or break for ourselves and for
our country."

If President Mugabe wins re-election, few whites doubt that
their best option will be a hasty exit.

Government-supported land invasions have already seen the
occupation of 1,700 farms, the murder of eight landowners
and relentless official attacks on the white minority. Inflation of
120 per cent and a collapsing currency have wiped out
savings and pensions.

More of the same could spell the end for the white community,
which includes about 25,000 British nationals. But if Mr
Mugabe loses, his supporters could plunge Zimbabwe into
turmoil and take revenge on any white face.

Fearing both possibilities, many whites will spend the next
few days gathering their children, packing precious
possessions and 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
dash away.

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 flood
of bookings.

Private schools are taking an impromptu half-term break,
beginning tomorrow and continuing until the end of next week
or longer if necessary. "Our attitude is very much one of wait
and see," said one parent.

Most businesses will close on Friday afternoon and have no
plans to reopen next week. Families are obtaining official
permits allowing them to drive across the border.

Last week, British diplomats visited hotels in the border town
of Siavonga, in neighbouring Zambia, and discovered how
many Zimbabwean refugees could be accommodated and

The Zambian government has been asked to waive the £40
visa fee which is currently demanded from all Britons at the
frontier. But those determined to remain in their homes while
votes are cast have laid detailed plans.

At yesterday's meeting, the audience listened with rapt
attention as a farmer laid down the code names for an
evacuation, 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, summoning
memories of the flight of the Belgian settlers from the Congo
in 1960.

"Orange evacuation is a Doma type, meaning women and
kids out," he continued, recalling the looting and destruction
of 45 farms in the Doma area of Zimbabwe last August.
"Yellow evacuation is a tactical withdrawal."

Short of a full evacuation, plans for the election include rapid
response teams to rescue families from emergencies and a
network of safe houses where farmers' wives living in isolated
places can gather.

   Peta Thornycroft in Harare writes: A diplomatic
source said 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 can

Sophie Honey, spokesman for the British High Commission,
said: "The Government has contingency plans in most
countries, including Zimbabwe, to assist British citizens in
case of emergency."

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Famine casts shadow over Zimbabwe

Harare | Thursdays

ONE year ago, Mrs Ndlovu's fields were ripe with melons, pumpkins and corn.
importantly, she was able to get mealie meal - finely ground corn used to make
sadza, which has an almost sacred place in the Zimbabwean diet.
This year, her fields in southern Zimbabwe are scorched by drought. Economic
mismanagement and the collapse of commercial farming have left the store
So Ndlovu, who was unwilling to give her first name, has had to seek help
from the
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 breadbasket.
The hunger crisis has become one of the main issues in the campaign for
presidential election this weekend, with thousands of people like Ndlovu
reduced to
scavenging in the bush to survive.
To feed her children, Ndlovu said she makes a drink from the sap of amarula
picks mopane worms and beans for protein, and sometimes finds some wild
fruit that
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 nation's needs.
Commercial farms, owned mainly by white Zimbabweans, have fallen idle since the
government targetted most of that land for resettlement by blacks.
Militant backers of President Robert Mugabe forcibly occupied many of the
white-owned farms two years ago, effectively blocking white farmers from
plowing their
Despite warnings of a hunger crisis as early as one year ago, Zimbabwe's
spent months adamantly denying the food shortage.
When the government finally swallowed its pride and asked for international
help, the
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
grain around
the region.
Zimbabwe has not needed international food aid for its own people since
1992, when
a massive drought affected the entire region.
The tense pre-election climate, marked by sometimes deadly intimidation of
opposition supporters, 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 around
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
afford other
grains. Rice, for example, costs more than 10 times as much as mealie meal.
WFP dieticians estimate that on average, Zimbabweans get 60% of their energy
requirements 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
on 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
working to bring
in more food, even though mealie meal has been in short supply for more
than two
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
said the 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
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MEDIA MONITORING PROJECT ZIMBABWE Daily Media Update No.6 - March 6th 2002
1.  Electronic report for 5 March 2002
2.  Print report for 6 March 2002
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 process.
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 Harare.
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:
"Voting for 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 RG's office.
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.
The station 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.
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 public media.
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."
Like its 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.
The 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)
chairman, Reginald 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".
However, armed 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 members.
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 within."
To project ZANU PF rallies as successful, The Herald cast doubtful attendance figures, such as the Marondera rally, which it pegged at over 50 000.
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 attendance.
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 political violence.

3.  FROM OUR SUBSCRIBERS KEEP UP THE good work.  How is this information disseminated?
Have you witnessed any active use, reference to the analysis?
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 the nose.
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 civilians.
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:
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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 MDC.
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 Hour.
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 posters.
Such abuse of state resources has not been noted by ZBC, presumably because the broadcaster itself is a victim of state abuse.
Although Shortwave 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 comment.
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 addressed 43.
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 stated:
"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.
Isaac 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 provided.
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 irregularity.
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.
In 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.
The 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 Mr.
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.
The 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 independent corroboration.
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: rt
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Yahoo News

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
ZANU-PF party.

Tsvangirai, the 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 victory.

The southwestern provinces of Matabeleland North and South, which backed the
MDC in 2000 parliamentary elections narrowly won by ZANU-PF, have been
traditional opposition strongholds.

In the past, the Ndebele voted overwhelmingly for PF-ZAPU led by veteran
nationalist leader 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
guerrillas rebelled.

In the ensuing government crackdown, which was dubbed Gukurahundi (the rains
that sweep away the chaff), human rights groups said thousands of civilians
were 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 people, have
never forgotten that period and their calls for apology and reparations
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.

Mugabe 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 Harare.

"We are fed up with the government and its promises," said another Bulawayo

"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 and the
state-sanctioned seizure of white-owned commercial farms which has cut
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 will starve.

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
been conspicuously 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

Mugabe ousted 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
routinely confers national hero status on those who fought for Zimbabwe's

Analysts say it was a slight that voters in Manicaland South are unlikely to
forget as they head to the polls this weekend.
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Thursday, 7 March, 2002, 02:43 GMT
Mugabe rivals mount legal challenge
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.

We are going into the election with our eyes open, knowing that it is unfree, unfair

MDC spokesman
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.

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 election."

Mugabe defiant

But the government, with equal vigour, continues to reject all allegations of rigging.

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 television.

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.

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The Telegraph

Summit let Mugabe off hook, says Tory leader
By George Jones, Political Editor
(Filed: 07/03/2002)

THE Conservative leader, Iain Duncan Smith, has attacked Commonwealth heads
of government, accusing them of "letting President Mugabe off the hook" by
failing to suspend Zimbabwe before elections due this weekend.

He said yesterday the suggestion that the Commonwealth might voice
"collective 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 said.

If Mr Mugabe continued to destroy the country, Mr Duncan Smith said, an
international coalition should "take all necessary steps" to stop him.
"Sadly the Government has in its actions, I feel, too often appeared to
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.

The Prime Minister described the Tory leader's criticism as "absurd", but
did not disguise his disappointment that the heads of government did not
take a tougher line.

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
prevent an 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 conference.

"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.

"Despite President Mugabe's propaganda, this is not an issue that divides
the Commonwealth on racial lines; not one that divides African from the
other Commonwealth members."

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
at all.

"Again, let us be clear. If they do win, President Mugabe must accept the
result and hand over power."

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Zimbabwe media lists British 'plots'

Chris McGreal in Harare
Thursday March 7, 2002
The Guardian

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 imaginative government
newspapers, is the background of the British high commissioner, Brian

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 power.

Zimbabwe's Sunday Mail sees Mr Donnelly's hand in the Yugoslav president's
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
expected victory."

You might not believe it, and millions of Zimbabweans certainly do not. But
every day, a barrage of highly creative stories, clever manipulations and
downright lies 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 hospital.

According to the state press, Mr Donnelly made an early start in his
campaign to destabilise the president by secretly coordinating the mass
looting and burning of white-owned farms by their owners to discredit the
"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.

But the core of the propaganda is to portray this weekend's presidential
election as 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
as Tony-B-Liar.

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 independence.

The papers claim that if Mr Donnelly's plot to prompt a popular uprising
fails, Britain is planning to set up bases in Zambia, Botswana and
Mozambique from which its army can invade Zimbabwe.

"The MDC has requested British military intervention if it loses the
election and many right-thinking Zimbabweans are worried to the bone," the
Sunday Mail says.

Mr Mugabe is, of course, more than up to the task of leading the fight, even
at 78.

"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.

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Zimbabwe observer hears tale of torture
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 07/03/2002)

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 place.

A Zanu PF supporter at a rally in Marondera, North of Harare
Gen Abubakar's views of the election carry particular weight, as they are
likely to decide whether Zimbabwe will be suspended from the Commonwealth
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 training.

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
Zimbabwe. "We 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

Raymond said he and 15 colleagues were eventually rescued by soldiers.

There was a gasp from observers as two supporters of the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change showed Gen Abubakar wounds they said were caused by Mr
Mugabe's militia at a secret camp in a suburb of Bulawayo.

They said they were tortured for six hours with leather whips. Another four
victims said they were too frightened to speak to observers in public.

Zimbabwe police said yesterday 16 people had died in political violence
since Jan 1, half the number claimed by human rights groups

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The Times

March 07, 2002

Chaos fears as Mugabe blocks poll observers
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
voters in opposition strongholds.
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 night.

The observers of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) were seen as
the last chance to block a full-scale manipulation of the vote by Mr Mugabe
after the European Union withdrew its observers last month when the
Government expelled the head of its mission, Pierre Schori.

“Their job was to shadow the ESC (state) monitors and force them to deal
with any anomalies,” a Western diplomat said. “If ZESN’s people aren’t in
place, they (the Government) will be able to do virtually anything.”

Reginald Matchaba-Hove, the ZESN chairman, said yesterday the Government had
promised that it would be allowed to have three observers at each of the
4,548 polling stations.

“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 national
centre here that will be ready with a report on the election before the
results are out. We are ready, save for the fact that we have not been

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 said.

“We are very concerned that the (electoral) environment is still uncertain.
Our concern is that we cannot have access not just to the polling stations,
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 torture.

Civic groups have provided the ESC’s monitors for all national and local
elections in the past 15 years, but the Government banned them this year,
claiming that they were “sponsoring” the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change. The Government says that it has trained 20,000 of its own monitors.

President Mugabe issued an edict yesterday that will make it more difficult
for people to vote, lawyers said. Officials in charge of polling stations
have been granted the powers to demand proof of residence from anyone
turning up to vote. Most people in urban townships, where the MDC draws its
strongest support, do not pay municipal electricity, water or rates bills,
the receipts for which they will have to produce if a polling officer
demands proof of residence.

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The Times

March 07, 2002

Mugabe's mob burns village to rig the polls
From Janine di Giovanni in St Peters, Matabeleland, Zimbabwe

THE villagers of St Peters have just experienced electioneering
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.

They sit listlessly on the dusty ground, staring at the few cracked plates
and burnt mattresses that remain in front of their charred huts. “I had very
little in the world to start with,” said Maggie Moyo, a 55-year-old
mother-of-four and, like most of the villagers, an opposition supporter.
“Now I have nothing.”

Moyo was sitting in her house when the youths struck on Sunday afternoon. “I
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 they poured
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
presidential election.

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.”

Such intimidation is not new in this part of Matabeleland: in the 1980s
20,000 died at the hands of Mugabe thugs. It worked then and it has worked
again. Although most people are too frightened to talk about their political
affiliation — the goal of the pro-Mugabe militias — the village was believed
to sympathise with the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Before the attack 2,600 people lived here, most of whom would have voted
MDC. Now, there are a handful of brave ones left, the rest are cowering in
an empty school down the dirt road, plastered with posters of Robert Mugabe’
s face. “War veterans were commanding the militias,” says Almon Tshabala,
the local MDC vice-chairman. “One in particular, Pius Ndovu. He pointed out
the houses where the strongest opposition leaders lived.”

The destruction of St Peters happened quickly. The people heard the militias
before they saw them: crashing through the bush, chanting and singing Zanu
(PF) songs. By the time they saw them, wearing caps and T-shirts emblazoned
with Mugabe’s face and raised fists, it was too late. The attackers were
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.

The militias, according to witnesses, were mainly composed of “Green
 Bombers”, the Zanu (PF) youth wing, who are training in 150 camps
throughout the country. Desperate teenagers who have been promised jobs if
Mugabe wins, they are schooled in Zanu propoganda and the techniques of how
to intimidateand 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 destroyed.

Two Norwegian election observers, Marianne Oeen and Gunnar Johannessen,
arrived an hour after the attack and confirmed the villagers’ story. They
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 on bail.

“After the police picked them up, they came here and accused the villagers
of burning down their own people,” said Michael Dhlamini, the local MDC
chairman. “How could we burn our own?” The MDC, to many of these farmers and
menial workers, signalled a change, a release from the oppression of life
under Robert Mugabe which offered them virtually nothing.

Maggie Moyo does not know why the militias came, “other than to kill”, but
she still raises her arm in the open-hand MDC victory sign and tries to

“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.”

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ABC News

Mugabe Warns of Retribution After Zimbabwe Vote

March 6
— 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 over.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been accused of treason over a
secretly recorded video purporting to show him discussing Mugabe's
assassination with Canadian consultants who were actually working for

"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 Wednesday.

Zimbabweans vote 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
ruling 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 polling stations,
state-run television also reported. Vote counting would begin on March 11,
it said.

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, the official
Electoral Supervisory Commission on Wednesday gave out scant information.

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 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.

"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 know'," said
observer Martha Sayed of Botswana's Independent Electoral Commission.

The MDC has vowed to mount a legal challenge to election rules reimposed by
Mugabe on Tuesday in defiance of his own Supreme Court.

The MDC, hoping to turn public anger over a crumbling economy and severe
food shortages into victory, accuses ZANU-PF of using a militia disguised as
a youth training service to terrorise the opposition.

Mugabe and his party have denied orchestrating a campaign of intimidation
and rejected allegations that it is trying to fix the polls, blaming
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 output.
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Daily News

Further allegations of Zanu PF rigging

3/7/02 7:42:15 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 Registrar General’s
Office conducted post-deadline registration of voters in the town.

The MDC complained yesterday that only Zanu PF supporters were still being
registered to vote on Saturday and Sunday in what appeared to be further
evidence of rigging of the weekend presidential election.

There are reports that in some parts of Mashonaland West, Mashonaland
Central, Manicaland and Harare, Zanu PF supporters continued to register for
the weekend poll despite the closure of the process on 3 March, 2002.

In Chinhoyi more than 200 Zanu PF supporters queued outside the provincial
registrar’s office yesterday to register while national identity cards were
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.

Zanu PF officials called out the names of supporters from registers before
they entered the building to obtain national identity cards and to register
to vote.

Irene de Souza, the provincial registrar for Mashonaland West, could not be
reached for comment. Her deputy, who introduced himself only as Chirenda,
confirmed people were registering as voters.

He denied, 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
Registrar-General’s Office.

Asked why people were rushing to register and why only Zanu PF supporters
were registering, Chirenda said: “I do not know why they are registering
now. You may ask them.”

The people were drawn mainly from Mhangura and farms occupied by war
veterans and Zanu PF supporters during the farm invasions.

Gift Konjana, the MDC administrator for Mashonaland West, said yesterday the
party had received reports that voters were being registered in Makonde
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
PF officials

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Daily News

Spirit mediums condemn terror

3/7/02 8:15:08 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

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 month.

Mupawaenda of Farm 219, Chitomborwizi in Zvimba South, was accused of
mobilising chiefs, headmen and other traditional leaders against President
Mugabe in the presidential poll.

He was killed on 16 February, after being beaten with sticks and sharp
instruments by about 30 assailants.

The spirit mediums said they were outraged by the murder.

“We, the spirit mediums of Zimbabwe, are outraged by this horrendous crime
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 elections.

“We implore you, the people of Zimbabwe, to stand steadfastly against such
atrocities. Let it be remembered that, we spirit mediums are the protectors
of the country of Zimbabwe and everyone in it.

“The perpetrators of this evil act will themselves never know peace. Let it
also be known that even if you kill us, we will not stop campaigning for
justice, peace, tolerance and prosperity for our land, Zimbabwe.”

The spirit mediums said they took courage from great spirit mediums, Sekuru
Kaguvi and Mbuya Nehanda, killed for resisting colonialism in the 1890s.

They said Kaguvi and Nehanda were killed for standing up against the same
brutal policies now being perpetrated by Zanu PF

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Daily News

Fate of white voters still uncertain

3/7/02 8:06:39 AM (GMT +2)

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
presidential election, scheduled for this weekend.

They are among the thousands of Zimbabweans unlikely to vote because of the
amended Citizenship Act.

Thousands of black Zimbabweans with surnames which indicate that they are
from neighbouring countries like Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique, have also
been affected by the Act.

Elizabeth Rutsate, a Bulawayo magistrate, on Tuesday heard the petitions
from some of the affected whites.

Advocate Tim Cherry, who represented some of them, argued that the letters
sent to them were signed by someone other than the provincial registrar, as
required by the Electoral Act.

On cross-examination, Willard Sayenda, the provincial registrar, admitted
the Act was flouted.

But Rutsate ruled that the affected people should have their cases heard
individually at the High Court.

The whites were divided into three groups: those who were born in Zimbabwe
but had parents of foreign descent, those who came to Zimbabwe as children,
and those who did not renounce their foreign citizenship.

But all of them were permanent citizens who have taken part in previous
presidential elections.

The case attracted many foreign news correspondents, who converged on
Tredgold Building, eager for first-hand information.
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