Nikuv polls rigging saga takes new twist

via Nikuv polls rigging saga takes new twist | The Zimbabwe Independent by Elias Mambo/Herbert Moyo

THE plot around shadowy Israeli security firm, Nikuv International Projects’ elections rigging saga took a new twist this week with the Registrar-General (RG) Tobaiwa Mudede — who is at the centre of the alleged electoral theft scandal — refusing to explain why his department paid over US$10 million to the company which deals with voters’ rolls and elections results.

Investigations by the Zimbabwe Independent have shown Nikuv played a critical role in influencing the outcome of recent general elections in which President-elect Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF secured what is widely seen as a “made-in-Israel” landslide.

Outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is challenging Mugabe’s victory at the Constitutional Court. In his application last week, Tsvangirai attached a series of controversial payments to Nikuv spanning a six-month period from February 4 to July 30 amounting to more than US$10 million which were made by Mudede’s office through its account held at FBC Bank.

In total Mudede’s office paid US$10 578 335 to Nikuv between early February and July month-end. The account is said to be classified as “highly confidential” at the bank and senior employees have signed a “confidentiality clause” around it as it was considered “sensitive”.

Asked by Independent at his offices in Harare yesterday morning to clarify the shady payments, Mudede said: “The Registrar-General’s Department does not handle such matters through the press.”

When the Independent visited his offices, Mudede gathered his staff and asked this newspaper to ask its questions. When he was asked about the dubious payments to Nikuv, he abruptly ended the meeting after 11am saying he would only respond in writing in due course.

And at about 2pm Mudede’s messenger dropped an envelope at the Independent’s offices which contained a one sentence response saying he “does not handle such matters through the press”.

Approached to comment on its role in the unfolding saga, FBC head of group marketing, Priscilla Sadomba said: “Please note that we are bound by client confidentiality privileges which prevent us from divulging any account information to a third party without the express consent of the client.”

Nikuv local representative Ron Asher also refused to comment on the company’s involvement in the disputed elections and the payments received, only saying: “We are not entertaining interviews. We are not going to comment on anything at this moment because we are moving on to the next stage.”

Asher refused to explain his remarks even though Nikuv is central to the story.

MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said if the payments were for a legitimate and transparent task why then the veil of secrecy? He said Mudede and Asher should find it easy to explain themselves unless they have something to hide.

“The payments were clandestinely done via the RG’s Office and when asked over the existence of this company (Nikuv), Zanu PF members of cabinet said they had no knowledge of the shadowy company,” Mwonzora said.

Mwonzora said the fact that Mugabe’s ministers professed ignorance about Nikuv when they actually hired it and that Mudede cannot explain the series of urgent payments before the polls says a lot about the issue and proves “Zanu PF badly needed the services of this company in connection with elections while the firm wanted to be hastily paid before voting day”.

Recent enquiries about Nikuv from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Rita Makarau drew a blank as she referred all the questions to Mudede who yesterday effectively refused to shed light on the issue.

Last week, Nikuv, whose senior officials were said to have met Mugabe in Harare a day before the elections, hastily shut its Avondale offices after revelations of their involvement in the controversial elections were exposed and shifted to Ballantyne Park in Harare where Eli Antebi, young brother to Emmanuel Antebi, Nikuv CEO, resides.

Over the years Nikuv, which arrived in Zimbabwe in the 1990s, has been paid tens of millions of US dollars in public funds for working with Mudede on a whole range of issues, including the voters’ roll and elections.

Nikuv, which was in 1996 taken to court in Zambia over vote rigging allegations as reported by the Independent recently, says in its official profile it deals with voter registration, creating and printing of the voters’ roll, demarcation of constituencies, voter registration cards, nomination of candidates and election results.

According to court documents, Mudede made the following payments to Nikuv: In February he paid US$1 600 000, a further US$1 580 890 in March and US$1 853 100 in April.

He also paid US$1 756 475 in May, another US$1 405 200 in June and US$2 383 670 in July, bringing the total amount paid a day before elections to the company to US$ 10 578 335.

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 8
  • comment-avatar
    ian smith 7 years ago

    Hey ZANU-bootlickers, what is your take on this?

    • comment-avatar
      jongwe power 7 years ago

      Um…er….LIES! NHEMA! RUBBISH! Yes, absolute nonsense! You are all brainwashed by lies fabricated by Britain, America, Czechoslovakia, Portugal, and Canada. You Uncle Toms don’t want the Revolution to be complete! You want us all to be recolonised by those Rhodesian bastards, who are cruel because….er….they are white! They used a secret mind-control device, broadcasted through Studio 7 and VOA News to make you hate your own country.

  • comment-avatar
    Guvnor 7 years ago

    Lies and deceit will not save zanu muppets from a miserable fate for destroying Zimbabwe prospects.

  • comment-avatar
    citizen X 7 years ago

    Take them to court. Make their life hell. Don’t limits such efforts to Zimbabwe. If and international assault against Nikuv is needed then so be it. This is Zimbabwe’s “Defiance” in the words of Olivia Pope.

  • comment-avatar
    Charles Jana 7 years ago

    The lack of transparency combined with the fact that zpf never ever brings closure to controversial and volatile matters has been the strategy of this corrupt govt for longer than anyone can remember!! With so much thuggery, chaos, thievery, murder and such like qualities under their belts, Im really interested to know how much trust actually exists between the party members themselves!!

  • comment-avatar

    Adi says:August 17, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    “What the wicked dreads will overtake him; what the righteous desire will be granted.” Proverbs 10:24…. “Righteous” means those who are in right standing with the Lord.”…..
    Come on Zimbabwe, let’s believe what God is saying, take courage, lift up your heads for your redemption is near….. all things are in My timing…. do not grow weary in doing good…. for in due season , I will make all things beautiful. Watch and see what the Lord shall do… he has heard the cries of the oppressed… who is God that He should be mocked? Take courage Zimbabwe, take courage! As you call on My name, watch and see how I will act speedily on your behalf…. I love you my country x x x

  • comment-avatar
    Hango Yapalala 7 years ago

    THIS COMPANY IS WORKING BHAND IN GLOVE WITH IRAN! IRSRAEL BEWARE!

  • comment-avatar
    Mashinga P 7 years ago

    Why dont MDC try suing them. the fact that they are just making noise shows that they know the company has no issue. Biti was the one paying them for a job done (well done)