TEXT only 17 August 2013


Tsvangirai throws in the towel by ZimSitRep – 08-16-2013
via Tsvangirai throws in the towel Friday, 16 August 2013 18:47 Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai today withdrew his presidential election court challenge in which he was calling for the nullification of the 31 July elections won by Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front leader Robert Mugabe. The MDC leader, who argued that Mugabe had won through massive fraud, is reported to have withdrawn the petition because he had not been furnished with the election material that he had requested. Tsvangirai also said the presence of Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku at the National Heroes Acre addressed by President-elect Robert Mugabe was likely to deprive him of a fair hearing. The MDC national executive had met earlier in the day to review developments in the courts which had a bearing on the presidential petition. The statement issued by the MDC before Tsvangirai’s withdrawal.


Friday, 16 August 2013

MDC Press Statement, 16 August 2013, Harvest House, Harare The National Executive Committee of the MDC met in Harare today, to review among many other things developments in the courts which have a bearing on the Presidential Petition. The Executive noted with concern that the Electoral Court has reserved judgement on the issue. It appears unlikely that the material requested will be made available before the hearing of the Constitutional Court. The MDC is extremely worried that the delay in making a determination on the availability of the material will seriously undermine the Presidential challenge, we therefore express reservations on the credibility of the court process in the absence of the crucial material. 1. There will be no trial and therefore no oral evidence will be adduced in this matter. This severely restricts the scope of the matter and any gains that we might have expected in terms of exposing the illegalities and irregularities that marred the credibility and legitimacy of this election. 2. The timelines assigned by the court for specific legal processes are inadequate and favour the opponents. They have had 7 days to study and respond to the petition and yet both are answering affidavits and heads of arguments are expected to be filed in a period of less than 24 hours. 3. Further and in any event apart from the 1st respondent, President Mugabe, the other respondents namely ZEC, its Chairperson and Chief Elections Officer, did not respond by the deadline of Thursday15 August 2013 as appointed by the court. Upon counsel’s enquiry we understand that they have said they have up to 8pm on Friday 16 August 2013. If the hearing is due to commence on Saturday 17 August this means we would have virtually no time to file the answering affidavit to those opposing papers. It means we would have been expected to file heads of argument without having had sight of the other key respondents’ response to our petition. 4. The approach and attitude of the High Court toward our applications for information and material that is necessary for the prosecution of our petition demonstrates the uneven ground upon which we are operating and what we have stated before that the judicial arena is not suitable for the resolution of what is essentially a political dispute. We filed our application last week on Thursday 8 August 2013 but despite the urgency it was only set down for a hearing almost a week later on Wednesday 14 August 2013, after the weekend and 2 days of public holiday. When the matter was finally heard, after some delay, the presiding Judge, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu reserved judgement indefinitely. The manner in which the case was handled and the indefinite reservation of judgement is not commensurate with the urgency of its circumstances. These are the materials and information we would like to use in support of our petition. We are seriously handicapped by our inability to access these materials and information, some of which by law we should be given by the electoral authorities. Two weeks after the Election Day we still don’t have the electronic copy of the voters’ roll. 5. The concern is that these delays may be contrived to enable the surreptious manipulation of the voting materials and information. We do not have access to these materials and information and we do not know where they are. We might well be given access eventually but to materials and information that would have already been fixed. In the process we would have legitimized the illegitimate.6. The new constitution guarantees the right to a fair hearing (Section 69). It provides that “in the determination of civil rights and obligations, every person has a right to a fair, speedy and public hearing within a reasonable time before an independent and impartial court, tribunal or other forum established by law”. 7. Further, the conduct of ZEC and its senior officers cited in the petition, is inconsistent with the requirements for administrative justice as provided for in Section 68 of the new constitution. That provision provides that “every person has a right to administrative conduct that is lawful, prompt, efficient, reasonable, proportionate, impartial and substantively and procedurally fair”. On lawfulness, ZEC has failed to provide us with material such as an electronic copy of the voters’ roll 2 weeks after the election. It has not been prompt or efficient in its handling of our concerns as illustrated by its approach towards the voters roll or response to the petition whose deadline they have failed to meet. We have a legitimate expectation that ZEC would discharge its functions fairly and efficiently but this clearly has not been the case. 8. In addition, the management of this case had administrative components which must also be consistent with the right to administrative justice. The periods accorded to the execution of certain functions and processes have to be reasonable and fair. We do not think that the manner in which they have been set is in accordance with the provision of administrative justice. 9. It is clear that without this crucial material being availed, the MDC will be prejudiced in the prosecution of this important case.


MDC-T concerned ZEC and Mudede manipulating evidence by ZimSitRep – 08-16-2013
via MDC-T concerned ZEC and Mudede manipulating evidence | SW Radio Africa Posted by Tichaona Sibanda The MDC-T is concerned that the delay by ZEC and the Registrar-General, in providing voting materials the party has requested, is a delaying tactic giving them time to tamper with the evidence. Outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s electoral petition, challenging the July 31st Presidential poll result, is banking on evidence he hoped would be supplied by ZEC and Tobaiwa Mudede, the RG. Tsvangirai is seeking the nullification of the presidential poll and a re-run within 60 days from the date of judgment. He has since labelled the poll a ‘farce.’ The petition will be heard on Saturday. Lawyers representing the Premier filed a court application last week compelling ZEC to release full details of the disputed poll. In his affidavit Tsvangirai has requested the electoral body to provide verified votes in each district and copies of voters’ lists used at all 9,000 polling stations. The MDC-T wants the details to support its claims that up to one million eligible voters were prevented from voting and ballots were cast in the names of dead people and voters out of the country. Douglas Mwonzora, the party spokesman, told journalists in Harare on Friday that they are seriously handicapped by their inability to access the materials and information, some of which by law should have been given to all contesting parties by now by ZEC. For instance SADC guidelines on elections in the region stipulate that all parties contesting an election should have an electronic copy of the voters roll a couple of weeks before an election. This is aimed at helping political parties to study and audit the roll, which is easy to do so using an electronic version. But in the case of elections in Zimbabwe, ZEC only provided hard copies of the roll, which are extremely difficult to analyse. They only provided this hard copy on the actual day of the election and only after the MDC-T had gone to court demanding the election roll. Mwonzora went on to express concern about their inability to access election information: ‘These delays may be contrived to enable the surreptious manipulation of the voting materials and information. We do not have access to these materials and information and we do not know where they are. We might well be given access eventually but to materials and information that would have already been fixed. In the process we would have legitimized the illegitimate.’ Two weeks ago ZEC announced that President Robert Mugabe had won the poll with 61 percent of the vote, way ahead of Tsvangirai who had just under 34 percent. However claims of rigging have marred Mugabe’s victory amid overwhelming evidence of electoral irregularities. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the Nikuv corporation, which reportedly manipulated the voters roll in favour of Mugabe, took away the software which they used to move potential MDC-T voters to other wards or constituencies. A source told us that moving back voters back to their original constituencies is proving to be a nightmare for Mudede, adding that this is why it’s taking long to provide an electronic voters roll. Obert Gutu, the outgoing deputy Justice Minister and spokesman for the Harare province told SW Radio Africa that rigging of the poll took place at ZEC and at Mudede’s offices. Asked why both offices were failing to release the information requested by his party, Gutu retorted: ‘They are scared of letting the cat out of the bag.’ Journalist and political commentator Itai Dzamara said if Mugabe had won fairly, why is the party not comfortable releasing the voting material. ‘They won by an overwhelming majority, so why are they concealing the evidence. If the people voted for them fairly, it’s only fair then for other contesting parties to inspect material on request. By law ZEC should have provided all this a month before the poll,’ Dzamara said.

SADC citizens demand regional court of justice by ZimSitRep – 08-16-2013
via SADC citizens demand regional court of justice | The Zimbabwean by Brenna Matendere Citzens from southern Africa attending the 2013 People’s Summit have resolved to lobby regional heads of State to establish a court of justice that would take over from the disbanded SADC Tribunal which was previously based in Windhoek, Namibia. The tribunal was disbanded in October 2012 at the behest of Zimbabwe which argued that it was not properly constituted. It had offered the last course of redress for individuals who are locked up in disputes with their governments and would have exhausted the justice system offered in their own countries but still do not get satisfaction. “We call upon the SADC Heads of State to establish a regional court in order to pin errant leaders in our countries who are always supported by the existing legal systems. “The regional court would help in circumstances where citizens are frustrated by judgements made by local courts which more often than not favour existing governments,” reads part of the resolution made by the citizens which has since been drafted into a petition that will be presented before SADC incoming Chairperson, Joyce Banda, tomorrow. The petition that has been signed by about four thousand citizens from SADC countries like Zambia, Malawi, South Africa, Namibia among others, also implores the regional leaders to map a way forward on Zimbabwe’s election dispute.

MDC-T withdraws court petition? by ZimSitRep – 08-16-2013
via MDC-T withdraws court petition reported by the Zimbabwe Guardian (?)  16 August, at 20 : 09 PM “Reports from Harare say there was a meeting today of the MDC-T national executive with the British ambassador, Deborah Bronnert, over the 10,000 assisted voters claim which was proving embarrassing to the British establishment. In order to avert a diplomatic crisis, the MDC-T was asked to withdraw their petition because there was no evidence, and there was an avalanche of opinions on how to deal with the lies by the ambassador – which were also repeated by the MDC-T in its court petition. There was also debate over Justice Chinembiri Bhunu’s indefinite reservation of judgment on pushing the release of information by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). The party had hoped to build a case through ZEC records. Justice Bhunu thwarted that move by not allowing them access to the records because the MDC-T had to present its own evidence, because they made the claim before ZEC had even announced the results. The claims was made on 1 August, 2013 – a few hours after the closing of the poll and even before ZEC had an idea who had won the election. The other issues that compounded the MDC-T problem was the breakup of the party; with the independent candidates from Matabeleland threatening to form another MDC party. The final crunch was Bennett’s flight or resignation from the MDC-T which was robbing them of one of the characters who was a conduit between them and right wing funders of the party. Without them, Tsvangirai was going to be pushed into oblivion, and robbed of a stream of income necessary to sustain the party. The last blow was the association of the MDC-T leadership with Israeli company, Nikuv and huge amounts of money paid for irrigation and other equipment by Tsvangirai, his deputy Thokozani Khupe and Theresa Makone, chair of the MDC-T Women’s Assembly. All these issues, plus a weak court case, were set to embarrass the party, hence the withdrawal of the case today, to save face. Tsvangirai simply did not have evidence of rigging. He was going against democratic principles by thwarting and delaying the will of the Zimbabwean people. The people voted overwhelmingly for Zanu-PF, giving it a clear mandate.”

Zimbabwe opposition withdraws election challenge by ZimSitRep – 08-16-2013
via Zimbabwe opposition withdraws election challenge | www.ktvu.com By GILLIAN GOTORA HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change said Friday that it is withdrawing a court challenge over disputed election results that gave long-time President Robert Mugabe a commanding victory, saying it did not believe it would get a fair hearing. The party said in a document filed at the Constitutional Court that it will not participate in a hearing scheduled Saturday and asked that the nine judges of the highest court be advised of the withdrawal. Outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is a leader of the opposition group. By late Friday evening, the MDC had not received another court judgement on its demands for the release of crucial election material by the state Election Commission. It believes the material will help it corroborate claims that up to 1 million eligible voters were kept from voting and that ballots were cast in the names of dead people. Nelson Chamisa, the fourth-ranking party official, told The Associated Press that it was impossible to proceed with Saturday’s hearing without full information and evidence it had sought from election authorities. “There is no value in us going to the courts without the proof that is beyond doubt,” he said. Attorney Chris Mhike said even if a last minute ruling was made to force the election body to release the material sought, it left no time for an analysis of voting figures. Chamisa said without the proof it sought from the election body, Saturday’s challenge would likely be thrown out, undermining the opposition’s position. “We are refusing to give Mugabe legitimacy through his courts,” he said. After violent and disputed elections in 2008, Mugabe was forced by regional leaders to form a shaky power-sharing coalition with Tsvangirai. But the 89-year-old Mugabe was said to have garnered 61 percent of the presidential vote to Tsvangirai’s 34 percent in the July 31 election. The longtime president has traditionally appointed Zimbabwe’s judges and has long been accused of packing the judiciary with his sympathizers. Earlier Friday, MDC party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said the Constitutional Court, made up of Mugabe’s loyalist judges, had barred cross-examination of witnesses that would expose voting irregularities. Mugabe’s party has denied claims of vote rigging. The president said in a national address on Monday the outcome is irreversible and the losers must accept defeat. But Tsvangirai has described the elections as “a monumental fraud,” and Mwonzora said the opposition party was “baffled” by the reluctance of election officials to make available the requested material, even after regional and African mediators said polling day itself was peaceful and fair. “If the elections were free and fair, why should the officials stop people accessing the material?’ he said. The state Electoral Commission on Aug. 8 admitted to some mistakes in the elections but claimed they were not enough to sway Mugabe’s victory. It said nearly 305,000 people were turned away from voting stations and another 207,000 were given assistance by polling officials to cast ballots. Tsvangirai’s party says the figures “are much higher” than those given by the electoral body. In his original court papers, Tsvangirai said he did not receive voters’ lists to check on the accuracy of their contents. Electoral laws require the lists to be distributed to all candidates in a “reasonable period” ahead of voting. Mwonzora said Friday that the MDC had still not received the full lists to be able to verify allegations that at least 870,000 names were duplicated. Tsvangirai also said the state electoral body printed an extra 2 million ballot papers based on the grossly inflated and flawed voters’ register, far above the norm. The opposition leader said in court submissions due to be heard Saturday that the duplication of names led to multiple voting and ballot papers that could not be accounted for. “All in all, the huge scale of duplication of names puts into serious doubts the credibility of the voters’ roll and the entire electoral process,” he said. A voter registration program for new voters before the election was heavily skewed in favor of Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party. In one rural Mugabe stronghold, 18 registration teams were deployed compared to five in an urban stronghold of Tsvangirai in Harare that has a larger population than the rural district dominated by Mugabe’s party.

MDC-T preps for Party results challenge gather momentum by ZimSitRep – 08-16-2013
via MDC-T preps for Parly results challenge gather momentum | The Zimbabwean by Edgar Gweshe The MDC-T has received the majority of affidavits from the party’s losing parliamentary candidates that would be used to challenge results of the July 31 election. The MDC-T is challenging the results which saw Zanu (PF) cruising to a two thirds majority with 160 seats victory, with the MDC-T managing 49. In a telephone interview with The Zimbabwean, MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora, said his party had decentralised its legal department to ensure that the party’s losing parliamentary candidates do not experience hitches in submitting their affidavits. “We have received the majority of the affidavits and some are still coming. We had to decentralise our legal department because we wanted to make it easy for our members to submit their affidavits without experiencing hindrances,” said Mwonzora. He said that his party expected all losing MPs to have submitted their affidavits by Monday. Mwonzora said that the information contained in the affidavits would be used to support the presidential election petition as well. “We have given a deadline of Monday and we hope that by that time all the affidavits would be in. Some of them will be used to support the presidential election petition as well,” said Mwonzora. In another case, Mwonzora has dismissed claims by the State owned The Herald that the MDC-T Treasurer General, Roy Bennet, has dumped the party. “That is The Herald for you. But as far as we are concerned, Bennet is still with us and remains our Treasurer General. There is nothing like that,” said Mwonzora.

MDC doubts fair court hearing by ZimSitRep – 08-16-2013
via MDC doubts fair court hearing | The Zimbabwean by Edgar Gweshe The MDC-T is sceptical of a “fair hearing” in their election petition in which they are pushing for results of the July 31 polls to be declared null and void. This comes after the Electoral Court reserved judgement in a case in which the party wants the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to furnish it with election material so that they can adequately prepare their challenge of the presidential election results. Addressing journalists at the party’s headquarters today, MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora, said the Electoral Court had failed to realise the urgency of the matter. He said the development raised suspicion of foul play to weaken his party’s challenge of presidential results which saw President Robert Mugabe amassing 61 percent against the MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai’s 34 percent. “The MDC-T National Executive today noted with concern that the judgement pertaining to the release of election material was reserved. We find it a bit disturbing that the Electoral Court, given the urgency of the matter, has reserved judgement indefinitely. “We are concerned that the delay in giving us election material, especially the number of people who were not on the voters’ roll but voted, may be deliberate to allow those who want to fix the voters’ roll to do that,” said Mwonzora. The election material the MDC-T is seeking includes the number of people who voted but were not on the voters’ roll as well as the official number of assisted voters. However, ZEC has since opposed the MDC-T application for election material to be availed to the party. “Given that, it is doubtful whether MDC will receive a fair hearing in this case. We just hope we won’t be given this material a few hours to go to this case. ZEC opposed the application for election material to be availed to us and that in itself is a statement. “If the elections were free as they (ZEC and Zanu (PF))would like to claim, then why would they want to oppose this application,” said Mwonzora. He said his party had prepared a dossier that would be handed over to the Southern African Development Community at the regional bloc’s summit of Heads of States and Government in Lilongwe, Malawi, tomorrow. Mwonzora dismissed claims that the founding affidavit of the petition seeking to nullify results of the harmonised elections was not made under oath. “We have very competent lawyers. Those are actually misguided claims,” he said. Recent reports emanating from the official media indicated that the lawyers had tendered founding affidavits without Tsvangirai’s signature.

Mugabe’s ‘go hang’ tirade a telling sign by ZimSitRep – 08-16-2013
via Mugabe’s ‘go hang’ tirade a telling sign | The Zimbabwe Independent By The MuckRacker It is understandable that the opposition and civil society should be dismayed by the outcome of the recent elections. The MDCs played by the rules and Zanu PF, as usual, did what it liked. In particular it abused sections of the Electoral Act that forbade parties and their leaders from “treating” to voters. It will now struggle to make good on those inducements. But the opposition parties, which are partly to blame, should not worry unduly. They can be sure Zanu PF will soon disgrace itself in one way or another and the regional states will have to come to the rescue. It is already broke. Recovery is impossible without an infusion of foreign investments and that looks distant after the poll that was manifestly stolen. The main donors are the same states that have expressed the most forthright misgivings about the election outcome. In fact the statements of congratulation already hint at ongoing involvement. Let’s not forget that the whole exercise around the government of national unity was designed to promote consensus in electoral reforms. Those reforms mostly have not succeeded. Reading between the lines of the messages of congratulation has been the suggestion that the region will remained “seized” with the Zimbabwe crisis for some time to come.Another false start Anybody following the state media will immediately realise that the national consensus has not been achieved and is not likely to be achieved so long as the hardliners remain in control. They don’t want a coalition of any sort. And they don’t want to engage with the outside world unless it serves their narrow partisan purpose. President Mugabe presides over a divided nation, one where a corrupt ruling elite maintains a sclerotic grip on the instruments of power. There will be no change in the way we are governed. And the fruits of economic recovery will not be seen. The economy was slowly improving when the election was held. Now it will slide into reverse as overzealous elements like Saviour Kasukuwere take charge. Indigenisation is theft by another name. And none of the stakeholders that matter are going to give that the nod. Andrew Young’s letter to the president promising all sorts of backing is a “dead letter” now. They have their tails up at present. But just watch the scenario unfold. Dead-end street This is not the glowing outcome the GNU was designed to achieve. Nor is it the African success story we are told the continent wants. Ask Ian Khama. Zanu PF is claiming to be the African battlefront. In fact it is a cul-de-sac. Isn’t it typical of our deluded rulers that they set upon Botswana for telling it like it is? Thank God for Khama. He runs a stable and prosperous economy which his father built from nothing but desert. He shows us how to do it. We are going the other way! Creating a desert where industry once thrived. Look at Bulawayo. Sore ‘winner’ Isn’t it disgusting to see the invective that the lickspittle press in Harare heap upon one of Africa’s few success stories. As for President Mugabe’s legitimacy which this whole GNU exercise was about, that seems as remote as ever. He didn’t win the July election and he knows it. You can tell what he thinks by the malevolence of his public pronouncements. What sort of a statesman is it who tells his opponents to go hang? It shows rigging allegations are getting to him. It may feel good now but let’s see how the new battlefront looks this time next year with no investment and no friends. And just how does Zanu PF think it will rescue the economy without the world’s most important investors and donors? The next Minister of Finance will be handed a poisoned chalice. Gutter journalism Zimpapers boss Justin Mutasa has been congratulating his staff for keeping the people of Zimbabwe well informed. “Today we are celebrating this great institution called Zimpapers,” he declared at a function held to thank Zimpapers reporters for their coverage of elections, which observers say was like a Zanu PF victory celebration. “We are here to defend the national values of our country.” His naivety is overwhelming. Has it not occurred to Mutasa that there might be more than one interpretation of the national interest? For instance he doesn’t seem to mind propagandists masquerading as journalists in his newspapers. That’s OK with him. It’s certainly not OK with any self-respecting journalist outside the grovelling Zimpapers stable. Zimpapers chief operating officer Pikirayi Deketeke said the company was investing in journalism. That’s good news. But what does it entail? More bootlicking columnists? Zimpapers’ incredibly partisan and unprofessional coverage of the recent election must be sent to all media trainers as an illustration of how not to do it. ‘A futile exercise’ Meanwhile, the press has in certain instances overlooked its duty to bring certain matters to the attention of the public. For instance Welshman Ncube’s statement that Zimbabweans had been “frog-marched to an election for which the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission was ill-prepared”, deserved prominence. Ncube said it was his party’s “well-considered view that taking this matter to court would be akin to going to Robert Mugabe and asking him to reverse his victory.” But that’s of course exactly what he should be doing. The sub-text here is rather worrying: that individuals or parties cannot expect redress in the courts; that there is no point exercising their rights. It might be worth recalling how long the MDC has had to wait for previous appeals to be heard only to be told Tsvangirai didn’t have locus standi so couldn’t bring the application. Now Tsvangirai is told any appeal against the most recent electoral outcome would be “a futile exercise”. “We have heard they have gone to consult a witch doctor,” Mugabe said at Heroes Acre. “Beware, they could be embarking on a futile exercise that could backfire.” Surely, if they won such an overwhelming victory they would have nothing to lose from an appeal? Why all the threats? Are they entitled to appeal or not? If so, let them do so. Mugabe said his election victory was irreversible. How does he know? Is he saying he already knows how the Constitutional Court will rule? But just watch this space. Within no time Zanu PF will have tarnished its “great victory”. Attempt to besmirch And who, we would be keen to know, introduced Zanu PF to its much-abused reference to Britain’s “dominions”? It appeared on their placards recently. The usage is currently being made with reference to Australia. But it hasn’t been heard of in Australia or anywhere else in the Commonwealth since 1953! For the record they are now called “realms” and are completely independent of Britain although they share the same head of state. Jamaica for instance is a realm but is planning to become a republic. Many years ago they were known as “the British dominions beyond the seas”. But that was in the 1920s and 30s. Somebody in the Zanu PF propaganda department has seized on this archaic reference to demean Australia, New Zealand and Canada who are in fact multicultural societies now. South Africa used to be a realm but voted to drop the Queen in 1961. It was subsequently booted out of the Commonwealth because of apartheid but has now rejoined.

Nikuv polls rigging saga takes new twist by ZimSitRep – 08-16-2013
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.

War vets make fresh demands by ZimSitRep – 08-16-2013
via War vets make fresh demands | The Zimbabwe Independent  by Elias Mambo In what seems to be payback time for President-elect Robert Mugabe’s landslide victory in the just-ended watershed elections, war veterans will push government to look into their concerns. In an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent, the tough-talking and combative war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda said his Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) will now take its demands to its patron, Mugabe, once he sets up a new cabinet. “We are waiting for the new government to be put in place, then our concerns can be addressed. We are sure the new Zanu PF government will be able to prioritise our concerns,” said Sibanda who stands accused of terrorising the electorate, especially in Masvingo, way before the polls. Sibanda, who has been on a trailblazing campaign across the country’s 10 provinces to mobilise war veterans and local chiefs to prepare and campaign for a Zanu PF victory, said since his association had delivered victory to Mugabe and Zanu PF, the next government should now aim at improving living conditions for the war veterans. Sources say Mugabe, desperate to extend his 33-year rule, had given the firebrand war veterans leader the nod to mobilise support in the provinces as the country prepared for the make-or-break elections in which Mugabe garnered 61% and his Zanu PF party a more than two-thirds majority in parliament. “We have been on the ground for the past four years in what we termed Operation Kubudirana Pachena, where we have been meeting all church pastors, traditional chiefs and the majority of Zimbabweans, alerting them on the importance of the just-ended elections,” Sibanda said. “While the MDCs lied that we are a violent organisation, Zimbabweans proved them wrong by voting for Zanu PF. We are happy that we have delivered victory to Zanu PF and this is victory of good over evil.” The war veterans, who have often been accused of driving political violence, have come to Mugabe’s rescue since 2000 when Zanu PF party structures began to crumble as the MDC gained popularity. Prior to the elections, the war veterans, often seen as rowdy and Mugabe’s shock-troopers in any election, demanded US$1 billion in fresh gratuities and diamond mining claims in the Marange diamond fields. In a shock appeal before parliament’s Defence and Home Affairs Committee, some of the ex-combatants’ representatives Shadreck Makombe and Retired Major-General Richard Ruwodo said their 50 000-strong members wanted US$20 000 each, and gem mining concessions in Marange. In 1997, the war veterans demanded and were awarded a ZW$50 000 gratuity each, triggering a decade-long recession in Zimbabwe. They also led the controversial chaotic land reform programme in 2000. Insiders said the war veterans, who are treated as a reserve force under the Defence ministry, are also demanding separation of their portfolio from the defence portfolio and the formation of their own ministry, in line with trends in regional countries such as Namibia and Mozambique.

Parks translocates wildlife to Victoria Falls by ZimSitRep – 08-16-2013
via Parks translocates wildlife to Vic Falls | The Herald by Isdore Guvamombe THE Government has started translocating hundreds of wild animals from Save Valley Conservancy in Masvingo to beef up the populations at Zambezi National Park in Victoria Falls ahead of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly scheduled for next week.The UNWTO General Assembly is scheduled for August 24 to 29 2013 and is expected to bring together 1 500 delegates to Victoria Falls, among them Ministers of Tourism, tourist wholesalers and captains of the tourism and hospitality industries from 186 countries. National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has been mandated to translocate 151 wildebeests, 25 elands, 60 zebras, 100 impalas and 10 giraffes. Outgoing Wildlife and Natural Resources Minister Francis Nhema yesterday witnessed the translocation of several animals being released into the Boma holding at Chemabondo. He said Government had long decided to beef up the plains game population in the Zambezi National Park after the figures dwindled over the years due to many factors including poaching and water problems. “We are translocating the animals from Save Valley conservancy to Zambezi National Park to beef up the population there. In the past we had translocated 101 wildebeests, 34 impala, 16 eland and 18 zebras. Today we have seen the translocation of another consignment of 20 eland, 64 impala, and 17 zebra. “The animal population had decreased, in short, due to poaching and other factors and we are now correcting our past mistakes. “There are several reasons why our protected areas require population supplementation. Some of these reasons include increasing visibility for wildlife tourism, strengthening the genetic pool, destocking, overpopulated areas, establishing the desired sex ratios and increasing prey base for large carnivores,’’ he said. Over the years there had been concern over the plains game population in the Zambezi National Park, which occupies the north-western part of Victoria Falls, where wild animals roam wild and free. Unlike the plains game, the Zambezi National Park boasts of a huge elephant population often spotted on the banks of the Zambezi River and adjacent islands. The translocations will certainly boost visibility of small game in the national parks from where game stray into the streets of Victoria Falls town. Delegates to the UNWTO general assembly will certainly bump into elephants that are always in the town this time of the year as well as plains game that are a daily occurrence.

Zim’s stolen polls global infamy by ZimSitRep – 08-16-2013
via Zim’s stolen polls global infamy | The Zimbabwe Independent  Editor’s Memo with Dumisani Muleya FORMER British Guardian foreign correspondent in Moscow, Luke Harding, expelled from Russia in 2011 for his hard-hitting coverage of the Kremlin, wrote an interesting book Mafia State recounting his experiences under President Vladimir Putin’s hardnosed regime. Having arrived in Moscow in 2007, Harding lived in a climate of fear, with endless break-ins at his apartment and attendant threats, engineered by Russia’s Federal Security Service — the successor to the notorious KGB. In early 2011 Harding was refused re-entry into Russia after writing unflattering stories about Putin’s vast wealth and suspicions that he knew about the London assassination of ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, among other things, becoming the first foreign journalist to be banished since the end of the Cold War. The Kremlin’s kicking out of Harding was described as “petty and vindictive”, and evidence — if more was needed — of media tyranny in Russia where free-thinking journalists operate in fear as some have been murdered for their work. While the book is dramatic and spell-binding, what I found more interesting, due to a proximity of interest, is the fleeting reference to Zimbabwe by Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev — one of the country’s most colourful oligarchs. Lebedev, part owner of Russia’s Novaya Gazeta and proprietor of four UK newspapers, the London Evening Standard, the Independent, Independent on Sunday and i-newspaper, was in 2009 controversially barred by the courts from running for mayor of the Black Sea resort city of Sochi which will host the 2014 Winter Olympics. In reaction, he said the decision to bar him for allegedly receiving donations (US$20) from minors was “insane”, before likening the Sochi polls to elections in Zimbabwe. As if that was not enough Communist party candidate, Yuri Dzaganiya, told Harding: “These aren’t real elections; it’s the appointment of a Kremlin candidate with a little bit of (sham) local voting. “Our billboards get taken down in the dead of night. We can’t distribute materials. I don’t appear on state TV. I have never been to Zimbabwe, but the comparison isn’t far from the truth!” This really shows how Zimbabwe is now a key reference point on electoral fraud, even by politicians in far-flung countries like Russia. President-elect Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party have now become notorious the world over for rigging. What is now amazing is no longer that they rig elections, but the scale of the theft. Zanu PF cronies argue if there was any rigging, MDC-T leader, outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, must produce evidence to back his claims. But my retort has been that the evidence is there for all with eyes to see: chaotic voters’ registration, registering voters illegally after the exercise had closed, voters’ roll irregularities, turning away of over half-a-million registered voters, use of fraudulent registration slips to vote illegally, duplication or missing of thousands of names, unusual high numbers of assisted voters, ghost voters and allowing partisan electoral officials as well as the military to run the show. In other words, calculated disenfranchisement and deceit on a massive scale is the evidence of rigging. Quite apart from Israeli security firm, Nikuv International Projects’ skullduggery, there is evidence which in any civilised country where courts and judges are unbiased is enough to get the results nullified. Of course, Nikuv — which handles voters’ rolls and elections results — played a decisive role in the polls outcome. If the MDC-T’s application is taken to any serious jurisdiction where there are impartial courts and progressive jurisprudence, the results will be annulled, but in Zimbabwe it’s a foregone conclusion: Mugabe’s re-election will stand although this will simply reinforce the country’s global notoriety for stolen elections and its rogue-state image which is badly damaging to the economy.

Mugabe: What is Thabo Mbeki smoking? by ZimSitRep – 08-16-2013
via Politicsweb – Mugabe: What is Thabo Mbeki smoking? – FEATURES by Rhoda Kadalie Rhoda Kadalie says the former president is still the same old nationalist dinosaur he has always been So geriatric Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF wins another election at age 89, starting his seventh term in office. Suddenly the incorrigible former President Thabo Mbeki appears, on TV, from hibernation, extolling the virtues of the ‘free election’ and announcing that the “people have spoken” and that their “rights to self-determination” and to choose their leaders be respected. What is he smoking? Although the election was declared peaceful, thousands of Zimbabweans were denied the vote. Intimidation is par for the course, hence the US, UK and Australia, have, rightly, questioned the legitimacy of these elections. Yet President Jacob Zuma, echoed the utterances of his bête noir, Mbeki, urging opposition to accept the “harmonised elections” as “an expression of the will of the people.” Peas in a pod, Mbeki and Zuma are connected by this arcane sense of African nationalist solidarity, as much as they think they are different. Stalking around the globe as though sanitized by Zuma’s dishevelled administration, Mbeki is still the same old nationalist dinosaur he has always been, with his African Renaissance and NEPAD in tatters. Unceremoniously recalled from office, Mbeki has learnt nothing with the benefit of hindsight. While claiming Nelson Mandela as their national hero, both he and Zuma are too far removed from the modern icon’s wise decision to leave high office after one term. The antithesis of Madiba, they continue to elevate African leaders who personify governance with their own egos. Zimbabwe exemplifies, par excellence, that deep reluctance of presidents to leave office. An online reporter so aptly put it: “Mugabe … has led Zimbabwe for so long that his defiant persona is embedded in the national identity of a country that has suffered economic turmoil, Western sanctions, periodic spasms of violence and periodic mass emigration to neighbouring South Africa.” The longer these African despots stay, the deeper their tentacles reach into the largesse of the economy, twinned with the belief that they have the divine right to rule for life. Behaving every inch like pre-capitalist chiefs, they reduce the electorate to perpetual minors who cannot choose what is best for them, despite claims to “self-determination”, code for “we shall determine what is good for you.” More seriously, the Zimbabwe elections are not really about the right to vote; it is about the military’s hold on power and their vested economic interests, inextricably linked to Mugabe’s vested interests in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and his seizure of prime land and farms in Zimbabwe. The wily Mugabe’s tentacles have penetrated even the United States’ Democratic Party. News have just emerged that he tried to influence two of their lawmakers from Chicago to lobby Congress to lift economic sanctions against his country “after being targeted by an illegal $3.4 million lobbying scheme, according to FBI testimony unsealed in federal court” (reported by Emma Dumain from Roll Call 7 August 2013). The report continues: “Two other Chicagoans, Prince Asiel Ben Israel and C. Gregory Turner, are charged with accepting millions in illegal payments from Zimbabwe officials to lobby U.S. lawmakers to remove sanctions against the African nation.” This partly explains the 89-year old’s survival, made possible by such corrupt partnerships, chief amongst them South Africa’s ANC leaders, the African Union, Zimbabwe’s military, international lobbyists (as those mentioned above), and God alone knows who else. These institutions do not care a jot about Mugabe’s legacy because they know, that they will install their cronies, after his death, to perpetuate the corrupt status quo. Central to this plot is to weaken opposition – a sine qua non for the survival of African liberation movements in government. This article first appeared in Die Burger

Binga villagers in fear as ZPF retribution continues by ZimSitRep – 08-16-2013
via Binga villagers in fear as ZPF retribution continues | SW Radio Africa.  By Tererai Karimakwenda Villagers in remote areas of Binga are reported to be living in fear, due to serious threats from ZANU PF activists, who are “promising” to target all MDC-T supporters when Robert Mugabe is sworn in as President. MDC-T Councillor Million Mudenda, from the remote Chunga district, said gangs of ZANU PF members from the youth and women’s structures have been showing up at people’s homesteads, singing war songs and chanting party slogans. “They are saying they promise to evict all of us from this area after the swearing in of Mugabe. No-one has left their homes yet but we are terrified that they will keep their promises,” Mudenda told SW Radio Africa. Speaking from the top of a hill, the only place where he was able to get a mobile phone signal, Mudenda said he is worried because the area is so remote that there are no proper roads or easy channels of communicating with the outside. He said this would will make escaping or reporting any violent incidents difficult. The Councillor said traditional leaders in the area, who have always supported the MDC-T, have come under increasing pressure from ZANU PF structures and are now beginning to turn a blind eye. People are taking the threats seriously and many are planning what to do if Mugabe is sworn in. Councillor Mudenda also reported that at least three quarters of the people who voted at Sinamusanga Primary School in Binga had been given ballots with ZPF candidates already selected for them. Post election evictions have already been carried out by ZANU PF activists in many parts of the country, including Mberengwa, Guruve, Chimanimani, Mt. Darwin, Zaka, Muzarabani, Bindura and even Mbare high density suburb in Harare. Many MDC-T activists, especially those known to have served as polling agents, have fled from their homes in several districts countrywide.

Outgoing Zimbabwe Minister Challenges Election Results by ZimSitRep – 08-15-2013
via Outgoing Zimbabwe Minister Challenges Election Results  Irwin  Chifera HARARE — Justice Joseph Mafusire on Thursday reserved judgment in a matter in which Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office and former Mt. Pleasant legislator Jameson Timba wants the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to be allowed to open and examine election materials used in his constituency. Timba, who lost to Zanu PF’s Jason Pasadi in the July 31 election, is alleging the ZEC announced two sets of results at the end of the election. One of Timba’s lawyers explains that ZEC announced that 18,092 had voted while at the constituency centre it was announced that 12,165 had cast their ballots. Timba is also alleging that there many police officers who voted in Mt. Pleasant do not reside there and wants the voters roll and other election material availed to prove the irregularities. He wants the evidence to prepare for his election petition to invalidate the results. But ZEC lawyers Tawanda Kanengoni and Charles Nyika are opposing Timba’s application saying it is not supposed to be before the courts. They argue that the opening of ballot boxes and other election material can only be done for the purpose of a petition questioning or criminal prosecution. The MDC is challenging presidential results and results in 100 national assembly constituencies.

From the archive, March 2011: An Iran-Zimbabwe Nuclear Axis by ZimSitRep – 08-15-2013
via An Iran-Zimbabwe Nuclear Axis | Flashpoints | The Diplomat (courtesy NW for flagging this article) By  J. Berkshire Miller –  Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe continues to vex international policymakers and diplomats with his determination to export uranium ore to Iran in a lucrative exchange between global pariahs. A recent leaked intelligence report by the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), revealed what many experts have long suspected and feared – a nuclear partnership between Tehran and Harare. Zimbabwe’s foreign minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, defended his nation’s trade with Iran claiming, ‘Any country has the right to use peaceful nuclear energy based on international rules.’ US State Department spokesman PJ Crowley responded to Mumbengegwi’s remarks with ‘concern’ and noted that Zimbabwe is ‘bound by its commitments to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and relevant UN Security Council resolutions.’ Yet despite Crowley’s insistence that Zimbabwe will experience ‘ramifications’ for its intransigence, in practical terms there are few options left in the diplomatic toolkit for US officials. Zimbabwe already operates outside the realm of international obligations in most respects, its entrenched despotic regime working to immunize itself against international sanctions through marriages of convenience with partners such as Iran. Yet while Iran’s emerging relationship with Zimbabwe is notable, it shouldn’t come as a shock to the international community. Last April, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made Harare the first stop in his trip to sub-Saharan Africa. Mugabe reciprocated shortly after with a state visit to Tehran in May 2010 to attend the G-15 summit (a group of developing nations from Asia, Africa and Latin America). In addition to these state visits, there have been a number of high-level trips and exchanges between Iranian diplomats and Zimbabwean mining officials. Tehran continues to search for suppliers in order to sustain its nuclear programme, but is finding that the list of available vendors has dwindled significantly under the brunt of UN Security Council resolutions and sanctions. Leaked intelligence reports in 2009 revealed Iran’s failed attempts to clandestinely procure 1,350 tons of purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan. Potential sources in Africa also remain problematic. Niger has a considerable uranium supply, but has come under increased surveillance after the erroneous claims of ‘yellow cake’ shipments to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq during the lead up to the Iraq War in 2003. South Africa, another source country (and a previous supplier of uranium to Iran in the early 1980s), has taken a decidedly strong stance against nuclear proliferation in light of its voluntary disarmament of its nuclear weapons programme. The leaking of the IAEA report is an attempt by the P5+1 (the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany) to regain some leverage in its negotiations with Iran over its nuclear programme by further discolouring Tehran’s intentions and actions (criticism of Mugabe’s regime is a bonus). Whether this revelation will influence Iran’s calculus during discussions on its nuclear programme is questionable at best, but it definitely won’t be the last attempt to pressure the regime to change course.

Is Mugabe too old to rule us for another five years? by ZimSitRep – 08-15-2013
via Is Mugabe too old to rule us for another five years? | The Zimbabwean “The Zimbabwean” would like to hear from our readers whether you think Mugabe is the right person to rule Zimbabwe for another five years. Please send us your opinions by

To start the debate “The Zimbabwean” publish some comments written by Jonathan Moyo during the past few years. “Zimbabwe urgently needs a new competent government with national and international goodwill under a new leader, not a reshuffled cabinet led by a failed and discredited sunset president who wants to cling onto power through mendacious means when he should be leaving office.” (October 29, 2006) “The time has come for Zimbabweans in crucial national positions in government and related state institutions and within Zanu (PF) itself to realise and acknowledge without fear or favour that the problem is manifestly Mugabe.” (October 29, 2006) “He simply does not want to become a living former president with weakened immunity liable to prosecution by his successor or anybody else in or outside Zimbabwe with a human rights bone to chew with him.” (October 29, 2006) “A backdoor re-entry into power without the democratic mandate of the people through the polls is by definition not dignified.” (October 29, 2006) “It is imperative that Zimbabweans from across the political divide do everything they can to reject Mugabe’s triple strategy of seeking to remain president for life outside the electoral process for personal reasons of protecting his immunity to the detriment of the national interest. (October 29, 2006) “The end of executive rule has finally come for Robert Mugabe who has had his better days after a quarter of a century in power. That Mugabe must now go is no longer a dismissible opposition slogan but a strategic necessity that desperately needs urgent legal and constitutional action by Mugabe himself well ahead of the presidential election scheduled for March 2008 in order to safeguard Zimbabwe’s national interest, security and sovereignty.” (October 29, 2006)

Mugabe should go

“After 25 years of controversial rule and with the economy melting down as a direct result of that rule, Mugabe’s continued stay in office has become such an excessive burden to the welfare of the state and such a fatal danger to the public interest of Zimbabweans at home and in the diaspora that each day that goes by with him in office leaves the nation’s survival at great risk while seriously compromising national sovereignty.” (October 29, 2006) “Mugabe has publicly demonstrated his leadership incapacity to make way for an able and dynamic successor by succumbing to manipulative tribal pressure.” (October 29, 2006) “Mugabe now lacks the vision, stature and energy to effectively run the country, let alone his party. He is without compassion, maybe because he is now too old, too tired and not in the best of health. His failure to visit stranded families left homeless and suffering from the irrational acts of his own government speaks volumes of his cold and cruel leadership style.” (October 29, 2006) “Mugabe has lost influence and is now viewed with suspicion or cynicism or both by his peers in the Sadc, African Union and across the developing world where he used to enjoy considerable authority. Of course, Mugabe is still respected as an old man and he still makes very interesting bombastic speeches that are applauded for their entertainment value and which are full of sound and fury but signifying precious little at the level of policy and action.” (October 29, 2006)

Too tired

“President Mugabe is now too old despite his photogenic makeup, has become very tired, visionless and beleaguered. Mugabe remains in office not because he is in charge of the goings-on in the wider society but largely if not only because of considerations of his personal and family security in a world that is increasingly becoming hostile to former heads of state with unresolved human rights and corruption issues during their rule.” (August 17, 2007) “Mugabe simply does not have the leadership vision and capacity to pull Zimbabwe from the woods. He is just not that kind of leader.” (August 17, 2007)

Irresponsible endorsement

“If President Robert Mugabe truly and honestly believes that he is a serious presidential candidate in the general election scheduled for March 2008 and that he can best govern this battered country until 2013 should he win, then he miserably failed to demonstrate that at the controversial Zanu (PF) extraordinary congress.” (December 24, 2007) “Nobody in Zanu (PF) actually supports Mugabe’s candidacy. Everyone understands that it is wrong and the most telling statement in that regard is the holding of a sham special congress when a national people’s conference was in order.” (December 24, 2007)

Stomaching defeat

“If there is one sobering thing that can be unequivocally said about why the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has scandalously delayed the announcement of the March 29 presidential election, it is simply that President Robert Mugabe did not win the election and is now desperately trying to steal the result through an unjustified recount because he does not have any prospect of winning a run-off or a re-run.” (April 13, 2008) “The dissolution of the cabinet in March did not affect the embattled Mugabe who appointed it and who, even if defeated on March 29, is nevertheless empowered by Section 29 of the Constitution to unhappily continue in office until the person elected as President on March 29 takes over the reins of governance.” (April 13, 2008) “The voters rejected Mugabe on March 29 and officialdom must unconditionally and graciously accept that electoral verdict in the national interest.” (April 13, 2008) “Mugabe simply cannot win any election; not even one which is neither free nor fair in his favour. Mugabe’s days of electoral victories are irretrievably gone.” (April 13, 2008)

Zimbabwe election: A guide to rigging allegations by ZimSitRep – 08-15-2013
via http://www.erc.org.zw/index.php/new/107-zimbabwe-election-a-guide-to-rigging-allegations Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has been declared the winner of the 31 July elections, with 61% of the vote and his Zanu-PF party gaining a two-thirds majority in parliament, but the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has claimed massive fraud and says it will go to court.International opinion on the poll is sharply divided with Western countries generally condemning it, while most African leaders – except Botswana – have congratulated Mr Mugabe on his re-election.Western observers were barred from the election. Monitors from the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) praised the poll for being peaceful but still noted several irregularities. Zanu-PF has denied allegations of fraud.AU mission head Olusegun Obasanjo said he had never seen a perfect election and that the discrepancies were not large enough to affect the result – Mr Mugabe gained 938,085 more votes than his rival Morgan Tsvangirai.The BBC News website looks at the complaints. Voter registration: The main bone of contention has been the voters’ roll and what a local observer group, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) and its 7,000 observers, said was a “systematic effort to disenfranchise an estimated one million voters”. A voter registration official Registration was apparently a long-winded process in urban areasZesn says that in rural areas – Zanu-PF’s heartland – 99.97% of voters were registered compared to 67.94% of voters in urban areas, where the MDC has stronger support.MDC MP Eddie Cross says Zanu-PF “drew up lists of people and handed them in for registration”, whilst it is alleged that urban voters had to go through a lengthy process to register.But Mr Obasanjo, a former Nigerian president, rejected this.”We had an early team of African mission observers here from 15 June and what they reported was that anybody who wanted to register registered and there was no complaint at that time,” he told al-Jazeera television.He also said he was satisfied with official explanations about the apparent discrepancy between rural and urban voters and that complaints about the voters’ roll should have been made before votes were cast. Duplicate and aged voters: One of the reasons why complaints may not have been lodged earlier was the late publication of the electoral roll by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).The AU mission said the roll was available two days before voting “rather late for meaningful inspection and verification by voters, parties and candidates to take place”.It was only made available in its entirety to the MDC on the eve of voting after the party applied for a court order – but no electronic copies have been made available, which the registrar-general of voters told the AU was due to financial and time constraints.On the voters’ roll, the MDC says it has found 838,000 entries with the same name, address and date of birth but different ID number, 350,000 people who are more than 85 years old and 109,000 aged over 100 – including a 135-year-old army officer. The BBC has seen a copy of a constituency roll for Mount Pleasant in the capital, Harare, with several duplicate names listed. A copy of a section of the voters’ roll showing duplicate names, birth dates. The full surname and exact date of birth have been blurred for data protection. A scanned copy of a section of the voters’ roll showing duplicate names. Full surnames and exact dates of birth have been blurredZimbabwe has one of the lowest life expectancies in the world, with the average person not living beyond 51 years of age. Assisted voting: Assisted voting is intended to help the illiterate or the infirm cast their ballots.According to the UN, Zimbabwe is the most literate country in Africa with a literacy rate of more than 90%, but the AU observers noted a worryingly “high number of assisted voters in many polling stations nationwide”. Continue reading the main story Zimbabwe poll results 2013 Presidential:    Robert Mugabe, Zanu-PF – 61%,2,110,434 votes                                Morgan Tsvangirai, MDC – 34%, 1,172,349 votes Parliamentary:         Zanu-PF – 160 seats (up 61 seats from 2008)                              MDC – 49 seats (down 51 seats from 2008) Zesn said it was more marked in rural areas where at 49% of polling stations more than 25 people were assisted to vote as opposed to 5% of urban polling stations.The AU mission gave the example of Muzarabani district in Mashonaland Central, where it observed 97 voters being assisted out of 370 assisted at one station, 77 out of 374 at a second station and 85 out of 374 at a third station.The MDC alleges that in Muzarabani North, more than half of the 17,400 voters were assisted.Party secretary-general Tendai Biti said literate people were told to claim they were illiterate so that they could be “assisted by Zanu-PF people”. Zanu-PF has denied such allegations, saying the MDC was a bad loser. Rejected voters: The AU said it had noted “with great concern the high incidence of voters who were turn away at polling stations”. It was “a widespread phenomenon”, it said. “  I was turned away from four schools”Mabvuku-Tafara constituency residentZesn again remarked on the contrast between rural and urban areas – with 82% of urban polling turning away potential voters “for reasons which include names not appearing on the voters’ roll and turning up at the wrong ward for voting”. At rural polling stations only 38% of polling stations rejected voters.A resident of the Harare constituency of Mabvuku-Tafara told the crowd-sourcing site Zimelection2013 they had checked they were on the voters’ roll on the myzimvote.com site said: “I was turned away from four schools… they directed me to community hall where many others with the same problem. They took some of our IDs, checked them on the computer, and said some of us were on the roll, and some were not. They said they were too tired (at 11.30 am) to do anything about it. People got angry, but they threatened police beatings and then they shut the doors.”But Zimbabwe’s registrar-general Tobaiwa Mudede said “the numbers of people who are turned away has nothing to do with the condition of the voters’ roll” and denied allegations that an Israeli firm was involved in manipulating the document. Extra ballot papers:The number of ballot papers printed was 8.7 million, 35% more than the number of registered voters – 6.4 million. The AU said this was “significantly higher than international best practices” which are between 5% and 10% and “raises concerns of accountability of unused ballots”. A Zimbabwean voter dips their finger into ink after voting Voters had to dip their little finger in ink to stop them voting twiceA significant numbers of ballot booklets for the local government vote had missing ballot papers “and were not serially identified”.The regional body Sadc – with 573 observers, said that Zec said the missing papers “could be attributed to a printing error”.Another printing error occurred on a MP ballot in Chipinge South in Manicaland where a Zanu-PF candidate’s photo was put next to the MDC candidate’s name. Voting at the station was stopped. Polling stations: The AU mission said that the late publication of the final list of polling stations, “barely 48 hours to the opening of polls”, may have “contributed significantly to the high number of voters who were turned away for being at the wrong polling stations”.The UK foreign secretary also said he was concerned that extra polling stations were added on election day. Village intimidation: There have been numerous reports, not noted by the AU and Sadc observers, of traditional leaders lining up villagers, making a note of their ID numbers and sending them to specific polling stations to vote.On voting day the BBC reported this happening in the Midlands districts of Bikita, Mwenezi and Gutu, according to villagers, MDC polling agents and local election observers. The voters were allegedly given voting numbers as if to cross-check who they had voted for. Zimbabweans wait in line as they prepare to cast their ballots at a polling station 60km north of Harare Electoral officials were criticised for publishing the list of polling stations lateIn Manicaland, Zimelections2013 received a verified report from Chipinge South that “voters have also been arranged in groups by headman”. Another verified report to the site said: “Headman Chinyamukwakwa… threatening villagers that they will be evicted from the area if they vote MDC”.The MDC also alleges that hundreds of thousands of people were resettled in “strategic areas” in preparation for the poll. Registration slips: People in possession of registration slips, whose names did not appear on the voters’ roll, were allowed to vote, which Sadc said was in line with electoral procedures. Zimbabwe election observers    

Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (Zesn) – 7,000 observers on the ground African Union (AU) – 60 observers on the ground Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) – 573 observers on the ground

But the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union, which is allied to the MDC, said “the arrests of people with fake voter registration slips means that there is a possibility of thousands of fake voters having voted throughout the country”.Zimbabwe’s Daily News reported that a team of 20 Zanu-PF supporters had been detained at Harare’s Hatfield police station for distributing fake voter registration slips. The MDC said the scam was widespread – Zec said it was investigating the incident, but said it was unlikely to affect the credibility of the whole election.The MDC said that there was no way of confirming if a voter was resident in a specific constituency when presenting a registration slip, which made it possible for someone to vote in any area, enabling Zanu-PF to swamp targeted seats. Bussed in voters: A video of voting in the Mount Pleasant polling station in the capital, Harare, shows voters allegedly being bussed in to vote. A Sadc observing watch police vote More police are alleged to have registered to vote than are on the state payrollMr Biti was filmed at the polling station alleging the voters were from rural areas and some were police recruits.Voters are shown getting off the bus, hiding their faces from the camera. The bus driver refused to say exactly where he had driven from and accused Mr Biti of intimidation when questioned further.The privately-owned Daily News paper reported that in the upmarket area of Gunhill in Harare, “hundreds of police recruits” were bussed in to vote towards the end of the day. One unnamed youth told the paper some people were brought in from farms and rural areas and paid “at least $10 each and there was lots of food and drink”. Media: Zimbabwe voters’ roll The voters’ roll has not been provided in an electronic form to the MDCThe AU and Sadc both deplored the polarisation and bias of the media during the elections.State-run media are widely seen as supportive of President Mugabe and Zanu-PF. State television ZBC carried live broadcasts of President Mugabe’s provincial rallies and no live coverage of Mr Tsvangirai’s campaign.Most privately owned newspapers are sympathetic to Mr Tsvangirai and the MDC. However, the majority of Zimbabweans cannot afford to buy newspapers.The only non-state broadcasters which have been granted licences are close to Zanu-PF, meaning many Zimbabweans only saw and heard negative coverage of Mr Tsvangirai and praise for Mr Mugabe during the campaign. Security forces: The uniformed services, whose leaders traditionally support Zanu-PF, voted two weeks earlier in a special vote as they were to be on duty on the election.Sadc said that it took note of discrepancies raised by some about the “actual number of disciplined forces in the payroll versus registered numbers for Special Vote”.For instance, the official figure for the police force was 33,000 but 60,000 were registered to vote during the special vote.  Compare 2013 parliamentary election results with 2008

2008 results  2013 results