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- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Zanu(PF) wins Zimbabwe poll

April 01, 2005, 19:45

Zimbabwe's ruling party has won parliamentary elections, but a furious
opposition accused Robert Mugabe of rigging the vote to extend his 25-year
grip on power. Mugabe's Zanu(PF) crossed a key threshhold by taking 51 out
of the 120 seats being contested, guaranteeing it a simple majority in the
150-seat parliament where 30 additional members are by law Mugabe

Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) had 33 of the 84
seats declared, its earlier lead demolished by a strong Zanu(PF) showing in
rural districts.

Britain joined an international chorus condemning the poll, saying the
81-year-old Mugabe had cheated voters and prolonged a crisis, which has
brought the once-prosperous country to its knees.

Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, hinted his supporters might take to the streets
to express their outrage, saying the party had given up on legal challenges
after unsuccessfully battling results in both 2000 and 2002 it claimed were
also rigged.

"We believe the people of Zimbabwe must defend their votes, their right to a
free and a fair election...this is what has been denied," he told supporters
in Harare.

Tsvangirai, who has accused Mugabe of using repressive laws, political
threats and even access to food supplies to engineer a victory, said the MDC
had noted everything from intimidation to thousands of extra votes cast in
battleground constituencies.

Zanu(PF) officials rejected the charges, saying the polls were run by the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) set up this year as part of a package of
democratic reforms.

"If they say there was fraud, where were their polling agents when it was
being done?" Elliott Manyika, the Zanu(PF) elections director, said.

Yesterday's voting was peaceful in all the country's 10 provinces, in
contrast to Zimbabwe's last two polls which were marked by bloodshed and
widespread charges of overt fraud and intimidation against Zanu(PF). -
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Election results will be posted on the following sites as they come in:
And New Zimbabwe shich has this a the moment:

Live Zimbabwe election results

Last updated: 04/02/2005 06:31:04 Last updated: 04/02/2005 05:45:00

MDC ----- 34

1. David Coltart (MDC) - Bulawayo South polled 12120 to Sithembiso Nyoni of Zanu PF who polled 3777. There were 84 spoilt votes.

2. Welshman Ncube, MDC, Bulawayo North, polled 10812 votes to Joshua Malinga's 2506 votes.

3. Renson Gasela, MDC, Gweru Rural. Josphat Madubeko, Zanu PF, Gweru Rural, beat Renson Gasela of the MDC. ZANU PF GAIN.

4. Priscilla Misihairabwi, MDC, Glen Norah polled 14841 votes to Victoria Chitepo of Zanu PF who polled 4648 votes. Opposition Zimbabwe Youth Alliance candidate got 36. There were 77 spoilt votes.

5. Tongai Mathuthu, MDC, Masvingo Central polled 10 298 votes to Zanu PF's Moyo who polled 10103, and independent candidate (out-going MDC MP) Mangono Silas who polled 350 votes. THERE WERE 315 SPOILT VOTES.

6. Sabina Mugabe, Zanu PF, Zvimba South polled 17797 votes to Emily Masvimba of the MDC who polled 2439 votes.

7. Faber Chidarikire, Zanu PF, Chinhoyi polled 9462 votes to the MDC's Silas Matamisa who polled 5773.

8. Professor Jonathan Moyo, Independent, Tsholotsho polled 8208 to beat the MDC's Mtoliki Sibanda (6310) and Musa Ncube (5648).

9. Tendai Biti, MDC, Harare East polled 9259 votes, Zanu PF's Madonza Mukarati polled 4363. There were 97 spoilt votes.

10. Gibson Sibanda, MDC, Nkulumane polled 12392 votes to beat Absalom Sikhosana who polled 3 243 votes. There were 107 spoilt votes.

11. Innocent Gonese, MDC, Mutare Central polled 13 289 to Shadreck Beta's 5088. Slyvia (Zanu) got 73 votes and there were 203 spoilt votes.

12. Giles Mutsekwa, MDC, Mutare North Mutare North polled 11597 to beat Zanu PF's Ellen Gwaradzimba who polled 7 066.

13. Blessing Chebundo, MDC, Kwekwe polled 12983 to beat Emmerson Mnangwagwa who polled 11124 votes.

14. Thoko Khupe, MDC, Makokoba polled 12 138 to Sihle Thebe's 3 488.

15. Milford Gwetu, MDC, Mpopoma, polled 11587 to beat Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu of Zanu PF who managed 3 228.

16. Fletcher Dulini, MDC, Lobengula/Magwegwe polled 12 603 to Zanu PF's Molly Mpofu who got 2892 votes. There were 135 spoilt votes.

17. Patrick Zhuwawo (Sabina Mugabe's son), Zanu PF, Manyame polled 15478 to Hilda Mapfudze of Zanu PF's 8312. There were 543 spoilt votes.

18. Zwizwai Murisi, MDC, Harare Central 10462 beat Zanu PF's Florence Chideya (4423) and independent Margaret Dongo with 525 votes. There were 91 spoilt papers.

19. Job Sikhala, MDC, polled 13369 beat Zanu PF's Patrick Nyaruwata 7498 and independent Tendekai Mswata polled 130. There wre 284 spoilt votes.

20. Ambrose Mutinhiri, Zanu PF, Marondera West polled 16 029 to the MDC's Chipangura Shadreck who polled 4457 votes.

21. Tapiwa Mashakada, MDC, Hatfield polled 11652 to beat Amos Midzi of Zanu PF who polled 9408. There were 399 spoilt votes.

22. Paurina Mupariwa, MDC, Mufakose polled 12 643 to beat Zanu PF Sabina Tembani 4016. There were 293 spoilt votes.

23. Edwin Mushoriwa, MDC, Dzivarasekwa polled 11617 to Zanu PF's Francis Muchada who polled 5014. There were 266 spoilt votes.

24. Paul Madzore, MDC, polled 14 231 to Zanu PF candidate Sabina Mangwnde 3993. There were 176 spoilt votes.

25. Fidelis Mhashu, MDC, Chitungwiza, polled 12024 to the Zanu PF candidate Brighton Chirongwe who polled 8126. There were 232 spoilt votes.

26. Pearson Mungofa, MDC, Highfields, polled 12600 to beat Zanu PF's Rodrick Nyanhungo who polled 4296. There were 146 spoilt votes.

27. Ignatius Chombo, Zanu PF, Zvimba North, polled 16140 to Prince Chibanda of the MDC who polled 4834.

28. Trudy Stevenson, MDC, Harare North, polled 11 262 votes to Nyasha Chikwinya of Zanu PF who polled 5134.

29. Timothy Mubhawu, MDC, Tafara/Mabvuku polled 13 473 to Zanu PF's Pamela Tungamirai who polled 6078 votes.

30 Parirenyatwa David, Zanu PF, Murehwa North polled 17677 votes to the MDC's Alois Mudzingwa who polled 4137 votes. There were 539 spoilt votes.

31. William Makova, Zanu PF, Bikita West, polled 12628 votes beating the MDC's Alex Zirabada who amassed a total of 7936 votes. There were 505 spoilt ballots.

32. Tinos Rusere, Zanu PF, Zaka East, polled 13 078 votes to the MDC's Misheck Marava who managed 8462 votes. There were 703 spoilt ballots.

33. Samuel Udenge, Zanu PF, Chimanimani polled 15 817 to Heather Bennett's 11031. There were 794 spoilt votes. ZANU PF GAIN.

34. Stan Mudenge, Zanu PF, Masvingo North, polled 13015 to the MDC's Joseph Matema who polled 6594 votes. There were 432 spoilt papers.

35. Timothy Mkhahlera, MDC, Gweru Urban polled 8011 to Enos Size of Zanu PF who sized in with 5609 votes.

36. Herbert Murerwa, Zanu PF, Goromonzi polled 16 782 votes to the MDC's Cladius Marimo who pulled 8578 votes.

37. Editor Matamisa, MDC, Kadoma, polled 10023 to Zanu PF's Jimayi Muduvuri who pulled 8740. MDC GAIN.

38. Kenneth Mutiwekuziva, Zanu PF, Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe, polled 31 351 against MDC candidate Stewart Pairemanzi who polled 3289.

39. Enitha Madziriri, Zanu PF, Chivi North polled 14990 to the MDC's Benard Chivondegwa who polled 4304 votes.

40. Aeneas Chigwedere, Zanu PF, Wedza, polled 17 680 to the MDC's Theresa Makone who pulled 8340 votes.

41. Esaph Mdlongwa, MDC, Pumula-Luveve, polled 13 810 to beat Batandi Mpofu of Zanu PF who polled 3 527.

42. Amos Chibaya, MDC, Mkoba, polled 10191 to beat Zanu PF's Paul Chigango 5 608.

43. Sylvester Nguni, Zanu PF, Mhondoro polled 13 966 to beat Shakespeare Maya of MDC who polled 4 015. ZANU PF GAIN.

44. Goodrich Chimbaira, MDC, Zengeza polled 12 129 votes to Christopher Chigumba of Zanu PF who polled 8 718. MDC GAIN.

45. Gift Chimanikire, MDC, Mbare, polled 15543 to beat Zanu PF's Tendai Savanhu who polled 9 418.

46. Willias Madzimure, MDC, Kambuzuma polled 17 394 to beat Samuel Mvurume of Zanu PF who polled 5 555 votes.

47. Nelson Chamisa, MDC, Kuwadzana, polled 13 870 to beat David Mutasa of Zanu PF who polled 5 024.

48. Hubert Nyanhongo Magadzire, Zanu PF, Harare South polled 11545 to beat the MDC's James Mushonga who was close behind with 10 716. ZANU PF GAIN.

49. Elliot Manyika, Zanu PF, Bindura

50. Gilbert Shoko, MDC, Budiriro polled 17 053 to beat David Makufa of Zanu PF who polled 4886. There were 146 spoilt votes.

51. Sydney Sekeramayi, Zanu PF, Marondera East polled 19192 votes to beat the MDC's Ian Kay who managed 10 066. TYhere were 667 spoilt votes.

52. Acqualina Kastenda, Zanu PF, Mudzi West polled 18 546 votes to beat MDC's Shorai Tsungu who polled 3636 votes. There were 613 spoilt papers.

53. Webster Shamu, Zanu PF, Chegutu polled 16542 votes to Jacqueline Zwambila's 8286. There were 546 spoilt papers.

54. Charles Majange, Zanu PF, Chivi South polled 12749 votes to Stephen Chengeta of the MDC who polled 12684 votes. There were 618 spoilt papers.

55. Bright Matonga, Zanu PF, Ngezi polled 15801 votes to Flora Hotyo of the MDC who got 2404 votes. There were 564 spoilt papers.

56. Christopher Mushowe, Zanu PF, Mutare West polled 13 216 votes to Gabriel Chiwara of the MDC who polled 7055 votes. There were 625 spoilt ballots.

57. Cecilia Gwachirwa, Zanu PF, Hurungwe West polled 17 295 votes to beat the MDC's Godfrey Gumbo who polled 7663 votes. There were 903 spoilt ballots.

58. Oppah Muchinguri, Zanu PF, Mutasa South, polled 9715 to the MDC's Edwin Mauppa who polled 9380. ZANU PF GAIN.

59. Reuben Marumahoko, Zanu PF, Hurungwe East polled 19670 while MDC's Biggie Haurobi got 6090 votes.

60. Obert Mpofu, Zanu PF, Bubi-Umguza beat Jacob Thabane of MDC (unofficial). ZANU PF GAIN.

61. Major Nleya, Zanu PF, Bulilima beat Moses Mzila Ndlovu of MDC (unofficial). ZANU PF GAIN.

62. Kembo Mohadi, Zanu PF, Beitbridge (unofficial)

63. Abednico Ncube, Zanu PF, Gwanda beat Paul Themba Nyathi of MDC (unofficial)

64. Abednico Bhebhe, MDC, Nkayi (unofficial)

65. Edward Mkhosi, MDC, Mangwe (unofficial)

66. Thembinkosi Sibindi, MDC, Hwange East beat Thokozile Mathuthu of Zanu PF (unofficial)

67. Jealous Sansole, MDC, Hwange West polled 10415 votes to beat Siphiwe Mapuwe of Zanu PF who polled 4899 votes.

68. Lovemore Moyo, MDC, Matobo polled 10074 to Ananias Nyathi's 9562 votes.

69. Joseph Made, Zanu PF, Makoni West polled 14436 to beat the MDC's Remius Makuwaza who polled 7954. Independent candidate Tendai Chekeya polled 403.

70. Enock Porisingazi, Zanu PF, polled 10412 votes to Wilson Kumbula's 2129. MDC's Elia Makatore (votes missed, but he lost)

71. Francis Nhema, Zanu PF, Shurugwi polled 16212 to the MDC's Boniface Mupedzisi who polled 5013.

72. Rugare Gumbo, Zanu PF, Mberengwa East polled 17915, Shiri Goodwill an independent polled 3678 while the MDC's Sekai Holland polled 2297 votes.

73. Sabina Zinyemba, Zanu PF, Mazowe West polled 14397 to beat the MDC's Michael Gonye who polled 5477 votes.

74. Obert Matshalaga, Zanu PF, Zvishavane polled 15311 votes to beat MDC's Simon Dick who polled 8388.

75. Joram Gumbo, Zanu PF, Mberengwa West polled 17533 to beat the MDC's Tinozivashe Mpofu who polled 4730.

76. Chenhamo Chimutengwende, Zanu PF, Mazowe East polled 18041 to beat the MDC's Shepherd Mushonga who polled 7567.

77. David Chapfika, Zanu PF, polled 16257 to beat the MDC's Shupukai Mandaza who polled 3782.

78. Mabel Mawere, Zanu PF polled 13 278 to beat the MDC's Harrison Mudzuri who polled 9126.

79. Josiah Tungamirai, Zanu PF, Gutu polled 23 368 votes to beat the MDC's Chrispa Musoni who polled 6554 votes.

80. Edward Mkhosi, MDC, Mangwe polled 10145 to beat Zanu PF's Emily Moyo with 5723 votes.

81. Edwin Muguti, Zanu PF, Chirumanzu polled 13373 votes to beat the MDC's Regis Fambisai who polled 4971.

82. Nomalanga Khumalo, MDC, Umzingwane polled 13 198 to beat Zanu PF's Abigail Damasane who polled 8784.

83. Chindori Chinhinga, Zanu PF, Guruve South polled 16801 votes to beat the MDC's Biggie Chigonero of the MDC who managed 3375.

84. Paul Kadzima, Zanu PF, Nyanga polled 12602 votes to beat the MDC's Douglas Mwonzora who polled 9360.

85. Joel Matiza, Zanu PF, Murehwa South polled 19200 votes to beat the MDC's Alaska Kumirai who polled 4586 votes.

86. Andrew Langa, Zanu PF, Insiza polled 12537 votes to beat the MDC's Siyabonga Malandu Ncube who managed 8840 votes.

87. Daniel Makenzie Ncube, Zanu PF, Zhombe polled 14 750 to beat the MDC's Edison Nyathi who polled 8 579.

88. Nicholas Goche, Zanu PF, Shamva polled 29 287 to beat the MDC's Godfrey Chimombe who polled 8848 votes.

89. Walter Muzembi, Zanu PF, Masvingo South polled 13498 votes to beat the MDC's Green Watinyanya who polled 3377 votes.

90. Olivia Muchena, Zanu PF, Mutoko South polled 13 390 to beat the MDC's Derick Muzira who polled 3358 votes.

91. Zakaria Ziyambi, Zanu PF, Sanyati polled 16 512 votes to beat the MDC's Trainer Ruzidzo who polled 4919 votes.

92. General Nyambuya, Zanu PF, Mutasa North polled 10135 votes to beat the MDC's Evelyn Masaiti who polled 6605 votes.

93. Isaya Shumba, Zanu PF, Mwenezi polled 25463 to beat the MDC's Charles Muzenda who polled 3549 votes.

94. Kennedy Matimba, Zanu PF, Bikita East polled 13009 to beat the MDC's Edmore Marima who polled 8551 votes.

95. David Buntu, Zanu PF, Guruve North polled 24 155 to beat MDC's Alan McCormick who polled 2679 votes.

96. Tichaona Jokonya, Zanu PF, Chikomba polled 17928 to beat the MDC's P Denga who polled 7403 votes.

Our readers can also listen to Afro Sounds FM for live results

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Sokwanele - Enough is Enough - Zimbabwe

Clear signs of mass mobilization in Zimbabwe
Sokwanele Press Release: 1 April 2005

*** Urgent Release ***

Clear signs are emerging in Zimbabwe of a mobilization of the people. Despite the massive police presence across the country and in the full knowledge that the army is being held on a high state of alert to put down any popular uprising, the call has gone out for people to take to the streets in protest against yet another rigged election.

The evidence is now clear, that the current parliamentary elections have been massively rigged and particularly in the rural constituencies. Across the country stories are pouring in of ZANU PF agents acting in defiance of the country’s electoral law and of every norm of free and democratic elections. The opposition MDC’s election agents have been illegally detained at numerous polling stations in order to prevent them from communicating the polling station results which the presiding officers should have communicated, but failed to communicate immediately on the completion of the count.

ZANU PF have not only committed a massive fraud. They have also violated in most blatant fashion the electoral laws which they themselves crafted. Over and again the electoral institutions have demonstrated their partisan nature, as have the courts. Therefore the people of Zimbabwe can have no hope of legal redress of their legitimate grievances within the existing framework of unjust laws and corrupt administration. In short, they have no option but to take to the streets in protest at the way in which they have effectively been disenfranchised by a clique of corrupt, self-serving politicians.

Only a few days ago the courageous Archbishop of Bulawayo, Pius Ncube, advocated a non-violent and peaceful uprising to remove an entrenched dictatorship that has caused untold suffering to the people of Zimbabwe. It seems the people are heeding that call.

The people of Zimbabwe who are rising up to throw off the chains of oppression deserve the support of the international community. Pray God we may not fail them at this hour.

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Saudi Press Agency

      Swedish television reporter expelled from Zimbabwe

           Stockholm, April 1, SPA -- A television correspondent for Swedish
public broadcaster SvT was deported Friday from Zimbabwe.
      Police arrested Fredrik Sperling earlier Friday in the capital Harare,
and he was later branded a "prohibited immigrant", SvT's acting foreign news
editor David Oscarsson said.
      Sperling was not physically hurt, but the arresting police officers
were "rude and unpleasant".
      It was the second time this week that Sperling, who was accredited to
cover the parliamentary elections, ran into trouble with the authorities.
      On Wednesday he was questioned for several hours at a police station
after filming outside a farm previously owned by a white commercial farmer,
and accused of trespassing.
      That incident likely triggered his expulsion. Sperling was put on a
plane for South Africa after having been stripped of his media
      Oscarsson said Sperling was not allowed to collect his television
camera or other belongings. Public broadcaster Sveriges Television has filed
a complaint with the Zimbabwean embassy.
      --SP 2227 Local Time 1927 GMT
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            Who won Zimbabwe's election?
             Andrew Meldrum
            1 - 4 - 2005

            Andrew Meldrum, in Pretoria after Robert Mugabe expelled him,
reports on a decisive moment for Zimbabwe's people - and his own intense
love-affair with the country.

          As I follow the results of Zimbabwe's crucial parliamentary
elections on 31 March, I am swept by wave after wave of conflicting

            Excitement and exhilaration take hold at the early lead -
thirty-one victories in the first thirty-nine seats declared - won by the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Maybe democracy and the
people's choice will win the day and lead Zimbabwe forward to a brighter
future! Then anger and disappointment set in with the realisation that
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party will almost certainly take the vast
majority of rural seats, where its traditional support has undoubtedly been
boosted by a grossly inflated voters' roll and partisan administration of
voting and counting.

            Pride swells up when I think of how brave supporters of the MDC
have been to hold on to so many seats despite enduring five years'
systematic assault: state violence, torture and induced hunger. Thousands of
people in the cities and rural areas have risked everything for their belief
in democracy - that their votes can bring a peaceful, democratic change in

            Then, bitterness and cynicism set in when I hear the leaders of
the South African observer mission and the mission of the fourteen-nation
Southern African Development Community (SADC) give blithe assurances that
Zimbabwe's elections were generally free, fair and credible. I know they
have been presented with documentation of violence, of the state refusing
food to suspected opposition supporters, of irregularities in voter
registration. I know their endorsements of Zimbabwe's charade of elections
is determined by their political bosses back in South Africa, not by
anything they witnessed on the ground in Harare and Bulawayo.

            Finally, I am taken by a bittersweet feeling, an appreciation of
being part of the turbulent flow of the history of southern Africa.

            A Zimbabwean rollercoaster

            None of these feelings are new to me. I experienced this same
rollercoaster, wild highs of optimism followed by dashing crashes of
disappointment, during Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections in June 2000. The
pattern repeated itself in the presidential elections in March 2002.

            But those two election-related emotional odysseys I experienced
while in Zimbabwe and very much a part of the country. Now I am in exile,
thrown out by the Mugabe government in 2003. Though I am following events
very closely from neighbouring South Africa, I am only too aware that I am
not in the Zimbabwe I had made my home.

            I had lived and worked as a journalist in Zimbabwe for thirteen
years, since the country achieved independence and majority rule in 1980. I
fell under the spell of its liberation and racial reconciliation and its
impressive improvements in the health and education of the vast majority of
its citizens. I believed Robert Mugabe was a wise and benevolent, if
inscrutable, leader.

            Years later I came to view Mugabe in a more critical light. The
Matabeleland massacres of 1983-85 - in which Mugabe crushed dissent by
sending the army on a bloody campaign where an estimated 10-20,000 Ndebele
civilians were killed - made me aware that he was driven by the need for
power and determined to stamp out opposition, no matter what the cost.

            My perceptions of Mugabe shifted, but my love of Zimbabwe - the
people and the land - grew. In consequence, my role as a journalist changed.
Instead of championing the improvements gained by majority rule, I found
myself duty bound to report on human rights abuses, state torture, economic
mismanagement and blatant corruption. I, like many other journalists, worked
to expose those injustices in the hope that they would stop, that the
suffering of ordinary Zimbabweans would be halted and that the country would
return to stability and prosperity.

            My journalistic work was part of the larger effort to keep
Zimbabwe's democracy alive. It put me in the line of fire of Robert Mugabe's

            Soon after the 2002 presidential election Mugabe's supporters
inflicted a wave of violence against the opposition. More than ten MDC
members were killed. When I reported on the post-election violence I
recounted the grisly story of a mother who was beheaded by Zanu-PF militia.
Her husband had come to Harare and told the story.

            It turned out the husband was lying; his wife died of Aids, not
political violence. I was arrested, held in jail for two days and put on
trial for two months. Under Zimbabwe's harsh anti-press laws I faced two
years in jail for "publishing a falsehood". In the end I was acquitted. The
magistrate ruled I had acted as a responsible journalist.

            The Mugabe government immediately tried to deport me. Once
again, the courts ruled in my favour, saying that as the holder of a valid
permit of permanent residence, I had the right to live and work in Zimbabwe.

            I continued my work for nearly a year, writing about state
violence and torture against members of the MDC, ranging from members of
parliament and lawyers to township residents and rural farmers. In May 2003
state agents abducted me, held me for twelve hours and forced me onto an
airplane which took me out of the country.

            Political and moral victory

            I was the last foreign correspondent to work in Zimbabwe. The
Mugabe government tried to silence me in order to frighten Zimbabwean
journalists working for the foreign and local press. It hasn't worked, even
though the Mugabe government closed four newspapers and arrested more than
100 journalists. But those brave and dedicated professionals will not be
silenced, and neither will I.

            So today, I am following events intensely as the votes in the
2005 parliamentary election are counted. I believe both sides will win.
Mugabe's Zanu-PF will most likely win a two-thirds majority in parliament,
thanks to the thirty seats that the president appoints and the widespread
rigging believed to have taken place in the rural areas.

            The MDC will also win a moral victory by successfully defending
a large proportion of its seats after five years of intimidation and

            Such an outcome will leave Zimbabwe in a political standoff
between the two sides. The stalemate is unlikely to produce solutions to the
country's pressing political and economic problems. Zimbabweans will have to
work together to find new ways out of their country's crisis. The combative,
angry and antagonistic Robert Mugabe shows little sign of wanting to unite
his country. He also seems determined to encourage the international
community to remain indifferent to his people's plight. Will the world's
governments and international institutions tolerate the continuing
degradation of Zimbabweans' democracy, basic rights and livelihoods? It is
time for them also to choose.

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US says Zimbabwe election process 'seriously tainted'

April 01, 2005, 21:30

The United States (US) says the entire Zimbabwe election process was
"seriously tainted" and that it will be difficult to regard the election as
free or fair.

"Given everything that's gone on during (the) whole election process,
including some of the reports we're getting now, it would be very hard to
say that these are free and fair," said Richard Boucher, a spokesperson for
the US state department.

Zimbabwe's ruling party won parliamentary elections today, but a furious
opposition accused Robert Mugabe, the country's president, of rigging the
vote to extend his 25-year grip on power.

Citing official information that as many as 10% of voters were turned away
at the polls and anecdotal reports that many of these were in districts
believed to lean toward the opposition, Boucher told reporters: "This is
just another sign that this whole process has been seriously tainted.

"The election process all along has been tilted in favor of the government.
And there are many aspects to this, whether it's the muzzling of the press
or the intimidation of voters or the restrictions on opposition candidates.

"Despite this, despite the flaws in this overall process, a lot of
Zimbabwean voters turned out and voted for change. We think those are
important voices, and those are voices that need to be listened to and
voices that need to be respected." - Reuters
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Tsvangirai hints at post-poll protests
          April 01 2005 at 06:28PM

      By Manoah Esipisu

      Harare - Zimbabwe's opposition hinted on Friday it might stage street
protests rather than launching new court challenges, after accusing
President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF of rigging a parliamentary

      "This government has fraudulently once again betrayed the people,"
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai told reporters
in the capital Harare, despite a good showing by the party in early results.

      Tsvangirai said the MDC - which has fought inconclusive court battles
against two previous Zanu-PF poll victories it said were rigged - was
contemplating other methods of challenging Thursday's election.

      "In the previous election there has been an attempt to use the legal
route. We are not going to pursue that," he said.

      Asked if MDC would take its protest to the streets Tsvangirai, who
already faces a treason charge for prior MDC demonstrations, said: "I have
said that that has always been our position (to take power through peaceful

      "But the people cannot be allowed to have their votes stolen and that
is what the people have to do, to defend their vote," he said.

      "We have had two electoral frauds before. This time around we have a

      He did not elaborate.

      Asked about the MDC allegations, Zanu-PF election director Elliott
Manyika said: "We can't defend ourselves because we are an interested
party." He said allegations of fraud should be directed to the official
electoral commission.

      Demonstrations are only allowed in Zimbabwe with prior police
permission, which has often been denied.

      By midday on Friday the MDC was leading Zanu-PF by 32 to 16 with 48 of
the country's 120 constituencies reporting, but most of the seats declared
so far are from the party's traditional urban strongholds.

      Mugabe's Zanu-PF is expected to take the rural vote which would swing
the election back towards the government, widely tipped to win the poll.

      Tsvangirai has long claimed the vote was stacked in favour of Mugabe's
government, and on Friday said the MDC had uncovered incidents of fraud,
including intimidation and thousands of false extra votes in constituencies
won by the ruling party.

      "We are deeply disturbed by the fraudulent activities we have
unearthed ... what I want to say is that we do not accept that this
represents the national sentiment," he said.

      Foreign critics led by the United States and the European Union - who
blame Mugabe for the political and economic crisis in the southern African
nation - have also dismissed the elections as seriously flawed.

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From The Globe and Mail (Canada), 1 April

Do shiny boxes make for a fair vote in Zimbabwe?

By Stephanie Nolen

Glendale - Not 10 minutes earlier, I had said, a bit amazed and, truth be
told, a little bored, "It looks like Canada in here." My colleague John
Donnelly of The Boston Globe and I were visiting polling stations on
election day in this hotly contested rural riding, 90 kilometres outside
Harare. The past two elections in Zimbabwe were characterized by scenes of
brutal violence, carried out by supporters of the ruling party, Zanu PF, and
by the police. This time, though, we found only orderly lines, tidy ballot
boxes, private voting stations. The sole thing that made it different from
Canada was the three lines: one for surnames A to L, one for N to Z, and one
for M, since so many Zimbabwean names begin with the letter. Then, as we
were talking to voters outside the polling station in Glendale, we were
approached by a miserable-looking young man, clutching his right arm in his
left hand. "The police have my keys," he blurted. His name was Blessing
Nhimba, he is 25, and he is the president of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change Youth League in the riding.

In anxious bursts, his story came out: He had driven into town to pick up
food to take to the party's polling agents. Getting out of his truck, he was
set upon by a gang of Zanu PF supporters, he said. "They said, 'What do you
want here? We don't want you here, you are giving this spirit of the MDC to
people.'." He said they whacked his arm with an iron bar; his right forearm
was swollen and badly misshapen, and he was clearly badly shaken. There was
a group of police officers watching while he was beaten - police and
soldiers were heavily deployed across the country to keep the peace for
voting day - and Mr. Nhimba said he appealed to them. "Is this what you call
peace, when people are beaten in front of you?" At this, the police
inspector stepped forward, grabbed the keys to his red pickup truck, and
strode off, leaving him in the centre of a hostile Zanu PF neighbourhood
with his damaged arm. And that's when Mr. Nhimba saw us. While he was
telling us this story, the same police inspector strode toward us, stopped a
few feet away and said he wanted to speak to us. He said we would have to
leave. We showed him our government-issued accreditation (which cost $700
U.S.) that allowed us to visit polling stations. He announced a rule we had
never heard, that we could not talk to people within 200 metres of the
station, and therefore could not talk to Mr. Nhimba. We said we would be
glad to move a few metres farther away, but first we wanted to know what he
had to say about Mr. Nhimba's story, his battered arm and whether he had the
truck keys. The police inspector refused to answer the questions, saying he
didn't have to talk to us, and walked away.

So I went back to the station to find the presiding officer, Wilbert Mutune,
who a half-hour before had affably answered all our questions about voting
day. A high-school headmaster, he showed off his orderly station with an air
of authority. But moments after I approached him again, the police officer
appeared right at my side, saying I had been breaking the law. Suddenly it
didn't feel like Canada any more. I tried to ask Mr. Mutune if he knew about
the incident, and whom the police report to, since the inspector wouldn't
answer my questions. But Mr. Mutune's helpfulness was gone. He said he knew
nothing of any attack, that he was sure the police officer didn't either,
and that if I wanted to pursue it further, I would have to go to the
district commander of the police, about 30 kilometres away. Outside my
colleague John was being harassed by a burly Central Intelligence officer
who seemed to know a fair bit about who we were and where we'd been. He was
menacing, and John and I decided it was time to get out of Glendale. We took
Mr. Nhimba with us. He clearly was not safe.

It was a sudden glimpse behind the veil of this election, which observers
were cautiously declaring peaceful last night. It wasn't brutal electoral
violence as in recent years. But it made me think about all the other
apparently peaceful polling stations I'd seen, and what voters there knew
about the police officers who were apparently dozing out front. Is a police
state still a police state when people can cast their ballots in shiny new
boxes? The independent Zimbabwe Election Support Network, which had
observers at 87 per cent of the 8,265 polling stations, said just before
polls closed that voting had been "progressing smoothly and speedily amid
general peace and tranquillity." That doesn't change the inequities in the
campaign, such as the voters roll, believed to be packed with the names of
dead Zanu PF supporters, or the lack of independent media. In the evening
there were mounting reports that the supposedly indelible violet ink that
marked a person who had voted was in fact easily removed with lemon juice,
rubbing alcohol or, in some cases, just plain soap and water. This is a
potentially massive source of fraud, because the voters' rolls were
identical in every polling station across each constituency, and the ink was
the only thing stopping a person from voting at station after station all
day long.

A Western diplomat told me he suspected "some monkey business," that it
appeared that in some ridings as many as 20 per cent of voters had been
turned away - a total of perhaps 120,000 people from an estimated 1.5
million voters - ostensibly because they were not on the rolls. Then there
was still the count to be watched. Late last night, kerosene lanterns and
candles flickered in polling stations on farms and in villages across
Zimbabwe as the votes were tallied. The government is insisting that all
results have to go through its central offices before they are released
(which raises additional questions about accuracy) and so no results are
expected before midday today. Voter turnout appears to have been as low as
25 per cent, although this is hard to quantify with as many as a million
"ghosts" on the 5.8-million-name voter roll. Mr. Nhimba had an explanation,
though: "People are afraid. They are turning away because of fear." We
helped him call an MDC lawyer, and left him with a little money at a bus
stop outside town. As we drove away, I thought about how - despite the fact
that I drove hundreds of kilometres across this country in the past month,
and talked to hundreds of Zimbabweans - how little I can tell you about what
really goes on behind the veil.
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From The Guardian (UK), 1 April

My dead mother is on the voters' roll

Polling day brings hope and fear to Zimbabwe

Precious Mashumba, from Mabvuku township, tells of her election day. I got
to the polling station at 7am. There was a queue of more than 100 people but
it was moving along, not like the last time [2002 elections] when the
officials went so slowly to prevent everyone from voting. There were polling
agents from Zanu PF and the MDC. There was also an observer from a local
organisation but not an international observer. There were only a few
policemen. I was in and out, quick, quick. I marked my ballot and dropped it
in the ballot box. Now it is transparent and I could see where my ballot was
going. They dipped my little finger in bright pink ink. People congratulated
me on voting. We all know that there is a great deal of rigging. My mother
is on the voters' roll and she has been dead for two-and-a-half years.
Mugabe said on television last night that all people who vote for the
opposition are traitors. Mugabe wants us to believe we live in a one-party
state. In the combis [the commuter taxi vans] people don't say anything
about politics. They are afraid. But if you make eye contact and think they
support change, then you show an open palm (the symbol of the MDC) and make
the sign of an X, the way you mark your ballot. That's all. They know.
Precious Mashumba is a pseudonym for a woman who works as a stores manager
at a Harare factory. She spoke to Andrew Meldrum on condition that her name
be changed to prevent retaliation from the government.
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From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 1 April

No crowds, no queues, just the high-speed chase of a white voter

Raffingora - Where have all the people gone? In a rural constituency in
President Robert Mugabe's home district voting ended at many polling
stations within three hours. Ruling Zanu PF militants, more firmly under
control than at previous elections, still could not resist the temptation of
a high-speed chase on perilous dirt roads in pursuit of a white woman farmer
after she showed up to vote in her old home area, Raffingora, about 55 miles
north of Harare. Jean Simon, 45, one of Zimbabwe's few women tobacco
farmers, who has been jailed, whipped and beaten by Mr Mugabe's supporters
before she was finally forced out of her home and off her farm two years
ago, went to vote at Katawa Primary School. "This is my home, and I will
vote here, and I will return to the farm one day when there is law and order
in Zimbabwe," she said. At about 10am yesterday there were about 12 people
in her polling station. Inside the election area was a Zanu PF official,
recognised by Mrs Simon, who was writing down names of those who were
voting. After leaving the polling station, Mrs Simon drove to her home farm,
Erewhon, and struggled with her emotions as she saw the state of both her
locked home and fields, choked with weeds. Valuable equipment she was never
allowed to take was rusting or had disappeared. A huge shed had collapsed.
"It will cost a fortune to get this going again," she said.

Minutes after driving away through an avenue of spectacular cassia trees in
full yellow bloom, a blue pick-up with a driver and five men, shouting
abuse, began a wild chase after Mrs Simon along the Hunyani River Road, a
neglected dirt track that crosses one of Zimbabwe's great rivers. After
about 15 miles at speed, Mrs Simon slowed up and stopped. The six jumped out
and shouted at her, wanting to know who we were. "I am the owner of that
farm over there," Mrs Simon said. "We know that," said the older of the six.
"What are you doing here?" She told them angrily that she had been to vote,
and that they should let her leave as they were policemen. They eventually
retreated and drove off. This was clear proof that Mr Mugabe has reined in
his supporters, even in the strongest Zanu PF constituency in the country.
At two more polling stations in an area where people are better fed than in
most other former commercial farming areas, Zanu PF agents were taking down
names of those who turned up to vote. At one, the Zanu PF agent, who did not
realise that he was speaking to journalists, said it seemed as if the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change had more supporters this election,
although that was not in evidence.

After a journey of more than 200 miles, and past about a dozen polling
stations out of 83 in Zvimba North, more than double the number at the last
election, it seemed that there was only one serious queue of about 100
people in a small village, Mutorashanga. This is not a constituency in which
to take out a camera, or identify oneself as a journalist. It is less
hostile now than at any time since Mr Mugabe began to drive the white
farmers from the countryside in 2000, but it is still under the control of a
quasi-military ruling party. The Zanu PF candidate in the Zvimba North
constituency, where Mrs Simon voted, is Ignatius Chombo, the local
government minister in Mr Mugabe's last cabinet. He now owns some of the
richest land in Africa, which he took from white farmers. He has pursued all
of Zimbabwe's elected MDC mayors and councils and is, one by one, sacking
them and handing the towns back to the government.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Elections and the constitution

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Apr-01

WHEN battle lines are drawn, competitors, be it in real war, sport or
elections (as was the case yesterday in Zimbabwe), want to know what to
expect in the event of victory - the benefits of achievement are the main
motivators of participation.
But it is the rules of the game that determine the impact of the outcome. As
such, the constitution of Zimbabwe, being the supreme law of the country,
defines the implications of any result in today's plebiscite.
In the past weeks, various sections of the media, especially the print, have
hinted that today's election is to choose parliamentary representatives for
each of the country's 120 elective constituencies.
Those elected, and 30 more appointed by President Robert Mugabe, will
constitute the 150 Zimbabweans in the sixth parliament - as provided for by
the current Lancaster House constitution.
Deductively, yesterday's plebiscite will chose Zimbabwe's lawmakers for the
next five years, nothing more, nothing less.
This means the totality of government (as in executive and judiciary) does
not, cannot, and will not change.
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairman, Lovemore Madhuku, had this
to say about the constitutional interpretation of the outcome of the
election: "There will be no change of powers, no change of executive
authority and therefore no change of government.
Well there could be mathematical calculations, like Zanu PF needs to win at
least 70 seats to get a two-thirds majority - or the MDC at least 51 seats
to deny that, or that the MDC needs to win an overwhelming 100 seats to
achieve the same majority and Zanu PF 21 to deny it, but that cannot be
converted into change of governance. This is not a presidential election."
According to the supreme law of the country, the next presidential elections
will be held in 2008. After this parliamentary election President Mugabe's
powers will remain the same.
 He is mandated to announce his new cabinet as and when he sees fit.
Interestingly, even if the opposition MDC were to win all the contested 120
seats in Parliament, the President can still form a government from the 30
appointees or perhaps even from the opposition.
That reality cannot be changed by any outcome of today's battle.
Ironically, Madhuku has for a long time been edging and advising the
opposition MDC to take constitutional change as a priority rather than
participating in an electoral process where there are perceived
irregularities amid an "uneven playing field".
 On the 20 March 2005, the Sunday Mirror carried an article, entitled "Are
there realistic pointers to voter apathy?, in which the NCA chairman was
quoted saying, "How can you (MDC) participate in an election that cannot
change a government, whoever wins?" Impliedly, now that the MDC are in it,
the rules of the game will not change to suit the main opposition party's
agenda - change.
The people of this country also have to accept victory or defeat of their
preferred candidates as meaning being in the next parliament
or not.
As one lawyer who requested anonymity put it, "if the MDC gets a resounding
majority, political or moral pressures might arise and demand the attention
of President Mugabe to accommodate the reality, but that reality is not a
legal right to undermine his office or demand change of government.
 Remember even if they (MDC) get the two thirds majority, they could pass a
vote of no confidence in the President or even impeach
him (if there are reasonable grounds) but constitutionally he can veto such
endeavours and dissolve parliament."
That position was reiterated by another lawyer, Sternford Moyo, "The
president's term of office expires in 2008.
Executive authority is vested in him
 until then, and he remains Head of State, Head of Government and Commander
in Chief of the Armed Forces of Zimbabwe."
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Mugabe rules - again
01/04/2005 21:52  - (SA)

Harare, Zimbabwe - President Robert Mugabe's party won enough seats to
clinch a parliamentary majority, according to results announced on Friday in
an election the opposition and rights groups said was skewed from the start.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai accused the government of stealing the
poll and urged Zimbabweans to defend their votes.

Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) won 55 of
Parliament's 120 elected seats, compared to 34 for the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the national election commission
announced. Mugabe appoints another 30 seats, ensuring his party a majority.

"The government has fraudulently, once again, betrayed the people,"
Tsvangirai told reporters at an earlier news briefing. "We believe the
people of Zimbabwe must defend their vote and their right to free and fair

Tsvangirai said inconsistencies in the results pointed to rigging. He cited
the example of Manyame, 40km southwest of Harare, where Mugabe's nephew,
ruling party candidate Patrick Zhawao, was declared the winner.

Election officials announced on Thursday night that 14 812 people voted in
that constituency. But early on Friday, they changed the total to 24 000 and
said Zhawao got more than 15 000 votes.

Election commission officials refused to comment on the discrepancy, but
said they doubted there was any rigging.

Tsvangirai's party has shied away from confrontation with Mugabe's
increasingly repressive regime after street protests were violently crushed.
His party has preferred to fight its battles in the courts - now packed with
judges sympathetic to Mugabe.

Tsvangirai said his party would do more this time than begin another round
of appeals. Party leaders were meeting on Saturday to decide their next

Independent Zimbabwean rights groups and the United States, whose diplomats
observed the campaign and voting, agreed with Tsvangirai that the polls were
seriously flawed.

Though this campaign had been relatively peaceful, they said bloodletting
and intimidation in previous years had already skewed the poll in favour of
Mugabe's party.

The MDC won 57 of the 120 elected seats in the last legislative poll in
2000, but lost six of them in subsequent by-elections. In 2002, Tsvangirai
was narrowly declared loser of the presidential poll.

The independent Zimbabwe Election Support Network, which deployed 6 000
observers nationwide, said as many as a quarter of those who tried to vote
before 3:15pm (13:15 GMT) Thursday were turned away because their names did
not appear on the voter roll, or they failed to present proper

George Chiweshe, a former army officer who heads the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission, conceded some were turned away but said the problem was not as
big as the independent group estimated. He said 116 198 of the 1,4 million
people who tried to vote before 2pm (12:00 GMT) - less than 10% - were not
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Sydney Morning Herald

Thousands turned away from Zimbabwe polls
By Stella Mapenzauswa in Harare
April 2, 2005

Tens of thousands of voters were turned away from polling booths in
parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe, with electoral commission officials
giving no specific reasons why they were not allowed to vote.
Electoral commission officials said yesterday that 133,155 people - about 10
per cent of those who showed up - had been turned away from polling booths
in six of Zimbabwe's 10 provinces.

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network, grouping 35 non-governmental
organisations, put the figure of those turned away much higher, saying an
average of 25 per cent of would-be voters had been turned away. The
rejection of voters further fuelled fears that the Government had attempted
to rig Thursday's election.

"A significant number were either not aware of new constituency boundaries
or were turned away for failing to produce proper identification," said the
network's chairman, Reginald Matchaba-Hove.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change made a strong early showing,
taking 26 of 29 seats declared.

It held seats in its traditional urban heartlands in the capital, Harare,
and the second city of Bulawayo, while President Robert Mugabe's ruling
ZANU-PF took seats in Mashonaland in the north and Marondera in the east.

Turnout was on average below half, said the chief elections officer,
Lovemore Sekeramai.

Mr Mugabe declared the elections were as fair as any in the world. He hoped
for a two-thirds majority that would allow him to change the constitution.

The MDC accuses Mr Mugabe, 81 - in power since independence from Britain in
1980 - of using repressive laws and intimidation and even manipulating food
supplies to engineer victory.

The MDC's acting director of elections, Lucia Matibenga, said some places in
Manicaland province had run out of ballot papers and expressed concern that
at some polling booths in central Masvingo province 90 per cent of people
were helped to vote. Electoral officials usually assist only the illiterate,
blind and elderly.

The MDC came close to victory in parliamentary polls in 2000 and a
presidential election in 2002, blaming fraud for its defeats.

The opposition group accuses Mr Mugabe of bringing a once prosperous economy
to its knees through mismanagement that has triggered rocketing inflation,
high unemployment and food shortages.

Mr Mugabe dismisses the MDC as a stooge of Western powers opposed to his
seizures of white-owned farms to hand over to landless blacks.

Foreign critics led by the US and the European Union dismissed the elections
as a sham, although violence was sharply down on previous polls.

Two British journalists were arrested on Thursday on charges of covering the
country's election without state accreditation, an offence that carries a
fine and up to two years in jail, police said.

Police also rounded up and detained 200 women preparing for an all-night
prayer vigil in Harare's main square for "divine intervention" as the
country awaited results. Zimbabweans living abroad, many of whom support the
opposition party, were barred from voting by post.

Reuters, Agence France-Presse
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Financial Times

      Echoes of eastern Europe on Harare's streets
      By John Reed
      Published: April 1 2005 20:34 | Last updated: April 1 2005 20:34

      Covering Zimbabwe's parliamentary election over the past week, I have
been gripped by unsettling bouts of déjà vu.

      There are the hard-eyed plainclothes intelligence men who follow my
movements as I enter and leave my hotel. There are the stacks of worthless
banknotes adorned with power plants and dams, making for restaurant and bar
bills that run into the tens of thousands of Zimbabwean dollars.

The rest of this article is for subscribers only
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Sokwanele blog

Friday, April 01, 2005

Obert Mpofu: Sokwanele Update #15

A Sokwanele activist witnessed first hand Obert Mpofu ejecting MDC Election Agents from at least three polling stations, Nyathi Hall, Loziba Primary School and Turk Mine School. The count took place with no MDC officials in place. Sokwanele reported on Obert Mpofu's tactics in an earlier blog - see Bubi Umguza Constituency: Sokwanele Update #6

Waiting for a statement from Morgan Tsvangirai: Sokwanele Update #14

There is substantial evidence of rigging in the rural constituencies and the people of Zimbabwe are now in a state of disbelief and shock. The evidence is damning and all await a statement from the president, Morgan Tsvangirai. Most people are glued to their radios and televisions and the streets in the cities and rural villages are quiet. The delay in announcing the rural figures has left Zimbabweans without access to external communications confused, for the initial figures for urban areas indicated an MDC victory.

Dirty tricks in Chimanimani: Sokwanele Update #13

Heather Bennett's campaign team have expressed their shock at the election result in Chimanimani. The update posted today on the Free Roy Bennett Campaign website suggests still more dirty tricks by zanupf:

Heather Bennett and her election team express their shock at the election results announced earlier today for the Chimanimani constituency.

Chimanimani has been an MDC stronghold for the past 5 years and the results today are in complete contrast to the support that Heather has enjoyed in her rallies over the past 4 weeks.

Heather is particularly concerned by the discrepancies released at 1pm (today 1 April 2005) and the fact that the announced figures do not tally with the total number of votes cast, announced last night. In addition to that, the ZEC knew the total number of votes cast in the area. Why did it then take 10 hours to announce the votes and why is there a discrepancy of over 3000 votes between the announcements.

Heather would like to emphasize that despite this result that she and her family will continue to support the people of Chimanimani, and in turn she thanks the people for their support of her and her family.

Heather will continue to struggle for the people of Chimanimani.

Clear signs of mass mobilization in Zimbabwe: Sokwanele Update #12

Clear signs are emerging in Zimbabwe of a mobilization of the people. Despite the massive police presence across the country and in the full knowledge that the army is being held on a high state of alert to put down any popular uprising, the call has gone out for people to take to the streets in protest against yet another rigged election.

The evidence is now clear, that the current parliamentary elections have been massively rigged and particularly in the rural constituencies. Across the country stories are pouring in of ZANU PF agents acting in defiance of the country’s electoral law and of every norm of free and democratic elections. The opposition MDC’s election agents have been illegally detained at numerous polling stations in order to prevent them from communicating the polling station results which the presiding officers should have communicated, but failed to communicate immediately on the completion of the count.

ZANU PF have not only committed a massive fraud. They have also violated in most blatant fashion the electoral laws which they themselves crafted. Over and again the electoral institutions have demonstrated their partisan nature, as have the courts. Therefore the people of Zimbabwe can have no hope of legal redress of their legitimate grievances within the existing framework of unjust laws and corrupt administration. In short, they have no option but to take to the streets in protest at the way in which they have effectively been disenfranchised by a clique of corrupt, self-serving politicians.

Only a few days ago the courageous Archbishop of Bulawayo, Pius Ncube, advocated a non-violent and peaceful uprising to remove an entrenched dictatorship that has caused untold suffering to the people of Zimbabwe. It seems the people are heeding that call.

The people of Zimbabwe who are rising up to throw off the chains of oppression deserve the support of the international community. Pray God we may not fail them at this hour.

Did you know...?

If you wish to lodge an objection to the retention of any name on the voters’ roll a $100 000 fee is charged. This amount constitutes the sum total or more of many pensioner’s monthly earning, and more than the minimum wage was up until two days ago. Hence Zanupf are able to count on the dead not being removed from the roll.

Polling agents still locked in: Sokwanele #11

Reliable information is coming in from the rural areas that although the vote counting is complete, the results are not being publicised. Many polling agents remain locked into their polling stations without access to any form of communication. The MDC candidates are still barred from having any contact with their agents.

In Chimanimani the count is over. Heather Bennett, wife of
jailed MP Roy Bennett, has not been able to access figures.

The illegitimate regime is engaged in vicious rigging.

Announcing Results: Sokwanele Update #10

We had intended to bring you two sets of results for each constituency – alongside the official results provided by the partisan Registrar-General Tobias Mudede, setting down the best count available from the polling stations themselves. In order to do this we were relying upon ZANU-PF to adhere to the electoral law of the land. This includes a provision (under the Electoral Act section 64 (2)) requiring the presiding officer of each polling station to affix a copy of the polling station return outside the polling station immediately upon the completion of the count.

Our mistake was to believe for one moment that this lawless regime would adhere to the law – even their own deeply flawed legislation. In fact we have now learnt that presiding officers were instructed to openly flout the law by imposing a news black-out on the results until authorised to release them by Harare. In the result at this stage we can only provide the official, and clearly suspect, results announced by the Registrar-General (column (2), the green columns on our tables). The blank column therefore indicates the missing element - the rule of law in Zimbabwe.

Despite every obstacle thrown in the way, we still intend to bring you the real results (column (1), the red columns on our tables) as soon as we are able.

Reports of the lawless activities of presiding officers and other officials of the Zimbabwe Election Officer (ZEC) continue to flood in. Here are just a sample few of them.

In one instance ZANU PF thugs entered the polling station after polling had closed and remained there while the counting continued (Insiza). In another, ballot boxes containing postal votes of unknown origin were added to the registered votes and when election agents queried this with the presiding officer they were told to mind their own business (Victoria Falls). In Kwe Kwe ZANU PF youths whose names were not on the register and who only arrived at the poling station after 7.00 pm, were allowed to vote despite the protests of election agents. At two polling stations in Lupane ZANU PF militia chased away the election agents, and the count continued in the absence of any MDC representatives. At another polling station photocopies of postal ballots of unknown origin were accepted, each and every one of them being votes for ZANU PF.

But the most blatant and widespread violation of the electoral law concerned the refusal of presiding officers to post the results at the polling stations upon the completion of the count, as required by Section 64 (2) of the Electoral Act. Time and again, and from centres across the country, we hear of polling officers refusing to post the results, and instead seeking to impose an illegal news blackout. MDC election agents were illegally detained at polling stations after the completion of the count, and they were prevented from using their cell phones. Many were imprisoned by presiding officers. In one instance (in Bulawayo East) the election agents only recovered their freedom by making good their escape from their captor (presiding officer). In many instances the MDC election agents are still being held hostage as we write.

It is clear that the many presiding officers who indulged in these criminal activities were acting on instructions from their superiors.

So much for a “free and fair” election in Zimbabwe.

Will President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa please take note.

*The results released on our website are so far as per Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) announcments. They have not been issued in writing. Sokwanele is making every effort to provide accurate information, but we must point out that during the last elections the results announced on ZBC were later altered.

When are SABC Africa going to get their act together?

When are SABC Africa going to get their act together? How can they report on the 10am news that 5.8 million people voted yesterday? Relying on the ZBC for accurate news is ridiculous. The ZBC, as state controlled media, has a well publicised track record of partiality towards zanupf.

WOZA women beaten badly: Sokwanele Update #9

Sokwanele has just received information that over 400 women (including children and babies) representing Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) who gathered in Unity Square Harare yesterday evening for a prayer vigil were badly beaten. They were made to lie down, and were ‘stomped on’ by Zimbabwe Republic Police. The women who were detained after the incident, were badly injured and have been denied access to lawyers. So much for freedom of expression and freedom of worship; the women were gathered in prayer.

Sokwanele Update #8

Last night at Bulawayo City Hall, all election agents were kept captive until 2.30 a.m., but even more interesting was that the Observer team, including South Africans and Malawians, was locked in the polling station until midnight!
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Daily News online edition

      Tsvangirai cries foul over poll fraud

      Date: 1-Apr, 2005

      HARARE - The president of the main opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai, has accused Zimbabwe's ruling party, Zanu
PF of fraud in the just-ended sixth parliamentary elections.

      Speaking to journalists at the MDC headquarters in Harare this
morning, Tsvangirai said: "We are deeply disturbed by fraudulent activities
that we have unearthed in some of the constituencies. In the Manyame
constituency for instance, the ruling party claimed that there were 14 812
voters yet our polling agents have discovered that the real figure is 24
000. This means there is a discrepancy of 10 000 voters."

      Tsvangirai said according to the MDC's own assessment, similar
fraudulent activities have taken place in other constituencies including
Gweru Rural, Makoni North, Goromonzi, Chimanimani and Chipinge North.

      He said his party would compile a list of all the constituencies in
which cases of fraud have been detected.

      "We have had two electoral frauds before but this time we have a
plan," Tsvangirai said without elaborating what his party would do.

      The Manyame seat was won by Patrick Zhuwawo of Zanu PF who is
President Robert Mugabe"s nephew. His mother, Sabina was an MP in the last
parliament and his elder brother, Leo Mugabe also contested on a Zanu PF
ticket in the elections.

      Tsvangirai side-stepped a question from a foreign journalist on the
planned mass demonstration which has been reported in some newspapers. But
he said: "The people of Zimbabwe have to defend their right to vote."

      Tsvangirai's fraud allegations came after part of the results had been
announced showing his party leading with 25 seats against Zanu PF's four.
But this figure reflects mainly the urban vote, which is the MDC"s

      Zanu PF is expected to garner more votes in the rural constituencies
where it commands a lot of support from an electorate that is gullible and
has been threatened and persuaded to vote for the ruling party by an
assortment of gifts like food, agricultural inputs and hard cash.

      In his press briefing, the MDC leader said his party did not accept
that the outcome of the election represented the national wish. He said the
MDC was committed to democracy as a means to bring about positive change but
unfortunately, it had not been allowed to use this route.

      Tsvangirai said it was not the wish of the MDC leadership to take part
in the just ended elections. "The MDC took part in the elections because
that was the wish of the majority of its supporters."

      He said his hope, as leader of the opposition was to provide a new
Zimbabwe but that hope had been dashed away by Zanu PF's fradulent
activities. Asked if the MDC would seek legal advice on the matter
Tsvangirai said he would not pursue the legal route.

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      Britain says poll was seriously flawed

      Date: 1-Apr, 2005

      LONDON - The parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe were "seriously
flawed" and the nation's people have been denied a free and fair chance to
vote, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said today.

      "The full results of Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections are not yet
clear, but what is clear is that the elections were seriously flawed," said
Straw in a statement issued by the Foreign Office in London.

      He added that Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe "has yet again denied
ordinary Zimbabweans a free and fair opportunity to vote, further prolonging
the political and economic crisis he has inflicted on their country".

      Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change took the lead in
early results from Thursday's elections, winning victory in key cities, but
the rural vote was expected to be decisive in the bid to unseat Mugabe's
ruling Zanu PF party and end its 25-year monopoly on power.

      Britain, the former colonial power in Zimbabwe, has led international
criticism of Mugabe's government. The president in turn accuses London of
meddling in the country's affairs.

      Straw said the British government would be making a full statement
"once all the results are known and we have assessed all available reports".

      "But credible observers have noted that although there was less
violence than during the 2000 and 2002 elections, harassment and
intimidation by the ruling party and the government continued," he said.

      "There was some improvement in the mechanics of voting. But the
voters' roll was severely compromised and thousands were turned away. The
electoral commission was neither independent nor effective." - AFP

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      Jonathan Moyo wins Tsholotsho seat

      Date: 1-Apr, 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - Jonathan Moyo, the controversial former Minister of
Information, has scored an important goal against President Mugabe's ruling
Zanu PF party after he romped home to victory in Tsholotsho.

      Moyo stood as an independent candidate after President Mugabe and his
top lieutenants blocked him from standing on a ruling party ticket. This
followed his sacking from the Cabinet on allegations that he had organized a
meeting aimed at influencing the choice of leadership within Zanu PF ahead
of its congress last year.

      Attempts by Mugabe to persuade Moyo to return to the fold failed,
leading to the president declaring that he must not win the seat at any
cost. A war of words erupted , leading to Moyo's alleged treachery becoming
one of Mugabe's major campaign issues.

      Moyo beat the Zanu PF candidate Musa Ncube-Mathema and the MDC's
Mtoliki Sibanda. He is the only independent candidate to have won a seat so
far, with MDC leading 31 to 17 but the ruling party promising to start
gaining the upper hand.

      Moyo confirmed to The Daily News Online he won but declined to give
details saying: "I will comment when they have announced the results
officially. We do not want them to think we are trigger, happy but we know
we have won."

      The official figures were not immediately available at the time of

      But a top ruling party official Saviour Kasukuwere attempted to play
down Moyo's victory saying it was a "non-event".

      "It's a non-event," said Kasukuwere, a Zanu PF politburo member. "What
is important is that the party (Zanu PF) has demonstrated it has serious
support from the people."

      "We have reclaimed seats from the MDC and for the first time since
independence we got the Chipinge South seat. The programmes we are pursuing
are in the interests of the people," Kasukuwere told The Daily News Online.
"We have scored an important victory against Tony Blair."

      He said Moyo would not have any impact in Parliament since he was in
the minority.

      Moyo's victory in Tsholotsho has been attributed to the many
development projects he initiated in the constituency during his time in
Cabinet. His supporters often point out that he has done more to improve the
lives of the people of Tsholotsho in the last two years than all the MPs who
have represented the area for the last 25 years put together.

      Although Moyo won in Tsholotsho he is widely loathed at home and
abroad for crafting harsh media laws that led to the closure of four
independent newspapers, including The Daily News, and the arrest of over 50
journalists from independent media.

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      SADC, AU challenged on rigging charges

      Date: 1-Apr, 2005

      SO, the reason for the surprisingly accommodating attitude of Zanu PF
towards the MDC's election campaign has been exposed as what many observers
had predicted - the election was rigged.

      Morgan Tsvangirai's serious allegations of irregularities in a number
of constituencies should be studied thoroughly and objectively by the
Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and the African Union election

      The two groups should not dismiss the allegations out of hand. In the
aftermath of the 2000 parliamentary elections, the courts invalidated more
than 30 election results after concluding that they had not been free and

      This proves that Zanu PF is quite capable of such duplicity in
elections. President Robert Mugabe's response that the allegations are
"nonsense" should itself be treated as nonsense.

      Right from the beginning, neutral but hard-nosed electoral observers,
unaffected by the sentimental tosh that seems to influence such people as
President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, predicted that there would not be
free and fair elections this time around.

      What must hurt many Zimbabweans is that Europeans, Americans,
Australians, Canadians and a few African countries tend to doubt Zanu PF's
integrity, while Sadc and the AU seem to believe unconditionally in that
same integrity.

      Zimbabweans who have seen Zanu PF's lack of morality and integrity at
first hand are itching to have this party replaced because it has led them
miserably as a government.

      It has caused such a terrible decline in their living standards that,
if they cannot be given a fair chance to remove the party by legitimate
means, they will either withdraw into a dangerous cocoon of lethargy and
apathy, or seek other means to express their displeasure.

      This could be just as dangerous.

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