The ZIMBABWE Situation
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SADC Troika expected to hold Zim summit Saturday?

By Alex Bell
SW Radio Africa
18 July 2013

The security arm of the regional SADC grouping, the Troika, is expected to
hold a summit on Zimbabwe this weekend ahead of the elections due in less
than two weeks time.

According to sources, the summit could be held in Pretoria, South Africa on
Saturday. It is understood that South African President Jacob Zuma has been
in discussion with his Troika partners, amid concern that the coming
elections will not be credible.

Calls to Zuma’s international relations advisor, Lindiwe Zulu, went
unanswered on Thursday. But SW Radio Africa understands that meetings have
been happening behind the scenes of Zimbabwe’s election process, with
pressure building on SADC to ensure that the election is free and fair.

The MDC-T said last week that it had written to SADC urging it to meet and
review the situation in Zimbabwe and whether it will result in a credible
poll. MDC-T Secretary General Tendai Biti said during a press conference
that his party has had no choice but to return to SADC, because of ZANU PF’s
ongoing refusal to implement the key changes that would ensure the July 31st
poll is credible.

Civil society groups and international human rights groups have also been
pressuring SADC over Zimbabwe’s polls. Also last week Amnesty International
wrote to SADC and the African Union (AU) warning that the credibility of the
July 31st poll is in doubt. The group released a new report detailing an
intensified campaign of harassment and intimidation, aimed at members of the
Zimbabwe civil society sector.

The report, ‘Walk the Talk’ details how the police have conducted systematic
raids on different groups’ offices, arbitrarily arrested human rights
defenders and seized equipment to intimidate and disrupt the work of the

“The clampdown on the work of human rights defenders is a worrying indicator
that government agencies remain actively hostile to civil society,” said
Noel Kututwa, Amnesty International’s Africa Deputy Programme Director.

Kututwa told SW Radio Africa that the groups being targeted have been
carrying out election related human rights work, and with less than two
weeks until the election, this trend threatens the credibility of the poll.

Amnesty International this week went on to petition South Africa and
Tanzania, as the key members of the SADC regional grouping and members of
the SADC Troika, to ensure a violence-free, credible election in Zimbabwe.

A group of Amnesty campaigners on Thursday presented 7,000 ‘action cards’ to
the South African High Commission and an 11,000 strong petition to the
Tanzanian High Commission in London, urging the countries to intervene.

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ZEC urged to fight for election postponement

By Alex Bell
SW Radio Africa
18 July 2013

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is being urged to lead the way in
seeking an extension of the elections due in less than two weeks time,
because of the controversy, turmoil and chaos the process is already marred

An independent election monitoring group, the Election Resource Centre
(ERC), said this week that “the processes leading to the date have been
mired in controversy and turmoil, threatening the credibility of the next
poll.” The group called on ZEC “to take the lead in demanding and requesting
for the postponement of the poll.”

In a statement, the ERC listed the main issues that will ultimately lead to
more chaos, if the elections are held as planned on July 31st. This includes
an “incomprehensive voter registration exercise compounded by a contested
voters’ roll which remains shrouded in secrecy.” The group also said that
the special voting period that ended this week was “fraught with
irregularities,” and warned that Zimbabwe faced “further shame and
embarrassment” over the full poll just two weeks away.

“If ZEC goes ahead to press for a July 31st election, when all signs point
to the fact that it is ill‐prepared to conduct a credible election, there is
a likelihood that the agitation and chaos during the special voting process,
where police details almost turned riotous, will be replicated on a bigger
scale on the actual polling day as eligible voters will not accept being
denied the right the vote. On its own, ZEC’s lack of preparedness is a
security threat that can spawn instability in the country and reverse all
the gains that Zimbabwe stands to benefit from the conduct of a free and
fair election,” the ERC said.

McDonald Lewanika, the Director of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, agreed
with the ERC position, telling SW Radio Africa that calls for a postponement
must be supported.

“Based on evidence they (the ERC) has put on the table, there is a
legitimate case for calling on postponement of the polls,” Lewanika said.

He explained that ZEC “clearly is not ready for elections,” warning that the
conditions are not conducive for a credible result.

“This election is one in which we are being marshalled towards because of
judgments by the Constitutional Court, not because the country is ready. We
have always argued that the elections are not supposed to be a matter a
time, but a matter of process. Right now, not enough has been done in terms
of processes, so expecting a credible election is like expecting a rose to
grow out of concrete,” he said.

Lewanika added that ZEC should be urged to approach the Constitutional
Court, arguing that the government, as the main authority of when the
elections will be held, cannot be trusted.

“I think it is a waste of time to exert pressure on government… cabinet
meetings have been postponed indefinitely, so there is no platform for a
decision to be made,” he said.

He added: “Constitutionally they (ZEC) have a responsibly to deliver free
and fair elections. They can go to the Constitutional Court and say: ‘Under
prevailing conditions, we do not feel we can carry out our mandate
effectively and deliver free and fair elections’.”

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Zim election not looking good: Zuma envoy

2013-07-18 20:13

Pretoria - A top South African diplomat said on Thursday that preparations
for an election in Zimbabwe at the end of the month were "not looking good",
unusually strong criticism of President Robert Mugabe from his powerful

Lindiwe Zulu, President Jacob Zuma's special adviser on Zimbabwe, said Zuma
had called Mugabe to tell him he was not pleased with the run-up to the poll
on 31 July, a date fixed by Mugabe after a Constitutional Court ruling.

It had been criticised by Mugabe's opponents and South Africa's government
as too soon.

"We are concerned because things on the ground are not looking good," said

The election is supposed to end five years of fractious unity government
under a deal brokered by South Africa following violent and disputed polls
in 2008. With the credibility of the poll already called into question,
those hopes are now waning.

South Africa wants to avoid a repeat of the 2008 violence, which brought a
flood of refugees into the country and added a further burden on stretched
state finances.

Zulu's comments are likely to infuriate the 89-year-old Mugabe, who labelled
Zulu "stupid and idiotic" at a campaign rally this month after she repeated
South Africa's call to delay the polling date by a few weeks to ensure the
process runs as smoothly as possible.

Two days of advance voting for 70 000 police officers and soldiers on Sunday
and Monday suggested the fears of a chaotic election will be borne out,
raising the prospect of a disputed result and civil unrest in a country with
a history of election violence.


In the special voting, long lines formed at polling stations and some people
were unable to vote because ballot papers did not turn up at all - one of
several logistical challenges acknowledged by the Election Commission.
In addition to smooth logistics, South Africa wants cast-iron guarantees
that the army and police will end their open support of Mugabe's ZANU-PF

The South African government's verdict as to the quality of the vote has
added significance because election observers from the European Union and
United States are barred from entering Zimbabwe.

There have been no formal opinion polls but most analysts see ZANU-PF as the
favourite given its monopoly of state media and the problems with voter
registration encountered by many young, urban Zimbabweans - the support base
of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Mugabe's main challenger.

The United States said on Tuesday it was deeply concerned by a lack of
transparency in the run-up to the vote, suggesting Washington was in no mood
to ease sanctions against a victorious Mugabe and his inner circle even if
he wins without violence.

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Monitors foresee Zim poll chaos

Sapa-AP and Nhlalo Ndaba | 18 July, 2013 01:19

An independent Zimbabwe election monitoring group said many of the nation's
6.2 million voters will not be likely to cast their ballots if elections are
not delayed.

Less than 2% of police and officials eligible for a special vote ahead of
crucial national polls managed to cast their ballots in early polling
"fraught with irregularities," the Election Resource Centre said. About
80000 police, soldiers and officials will be on duty during the July 31

The state commission said in a statement it apologised to the uniformed
forces, state officials "and to political parties and the nation at large"
and acknowledged ''substantial numbers" of voters were turned away during
the special voting on Sunday and Monday that spilled into Tuesday.

"All persons who were deprived of the opportunity to vote will be able to
vote on July 31 when the rest of the electorate votes," it said.

Voting papers and equipment were not delivered in time at most of the 210
voting posts, and the resource centre blamed delays in printing the

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change said the
special voting exposed the commission's inability to hold a credible

An advocacy group in Zimbabwe was yesterday gagged by the registrar-general
from making public its findings on errors contained in the voters' roll for
the July 31 elections. A preliminary report made available by the Research
and Advocacy Unit early this month revealed there was an "over-registration"
of voters amounting to more than a million people, most of whom are dead.

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EU threatens to withhold Zec support


HARARE - A Zimbabwe government decision to bar a technical mission of two
experts from the European Union (EU) might backfire, as the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (Zec) needs their input.

Aldo Dell’Ariccia, head of the EU delegation, said if the duo is not allowed
to enter Zimbabwe for a technical mission, the 27-member bloc might withdraw
their technical support from Zec.

“If this mission is not allowed to the country, it will not be possible for
the EU to provide some of our support to Zec in particular for what refers
to the equipment necessary for a proper electoral process.

"I have personally informed Zec chairperson of this situation,” Dell’Ariccia

He said the two experts are supposed to complement the current five
Europeans from the diplomatic mission allowed by Zec to observe the

Dell’Ariccia said the EU was ready to provide support that would enable a
credible electoral process.

“We have only one objective for these elections; that the people of Zimbabwe
should be free to elect the government of their choice in peaceful and
transparent elections, that their choice should be respected, and that all
parties accept the result. That would be a credible election.”

Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Zimbabwe’s Foreign minister, this week told the
Daily News that he had not invited the EU observer mission because they have
imposed sanctions and that their impartiality was compromised.

However, Dell’Ariccia said the EU made no plans to send an observer mission
since the bloc had not been invited. He however, emphasised that it was
important for the two technical experts to be allowed entry into Zimbabwe
for the benefit of Zec.

He said the EU was happy with the missions that were observing the July 31

“On a general note, independent monitoring of elections is a measure that
strengthens confidence and trust in the process,” Dell’Ariccia said.

“In that respect, EU welcomes the deployment of the Sadc, AU, and other
regional election Observation Missions.”

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Special vote ruling expected Friday

By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
18 July 2013

Constitutional Court Judge George Chiweshe will Friday deliver judgment in
the case in which the MDC-T want the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to
provide the party with a list of all those who voted in the just-ended
special vote.

Harrison Nkomo the lawyer for the MDC-T, and its deputy chairperson of
elections Morgan Komichi, told SW Radio Africa that both sides presented
their cases before Justice Chiweshe after ZEC reneged on an earlier
agreement to supply the MDC-T with the list.

Last week the MDC-T and Komichi filed an application at the ConCourt
challenging the holding of the special vote, citing disparities in the
number of police officers that applied to take part.

The party wanted the exercise to be delayed while ZEC “verified and
authenticated the findings on the almost 70,000 applications” from the
force, which ordinarily has about 44,000 names on its payroll.

The MDC-T also wanted a copy of the voters’ roll for the special ballot,
which ZEC said it could not supply. The Commission then agreed to make
available a list with all the names and addresses of the applicants.

But when the two parties met Wednesday, ZEC’s legal team from the
Attorney-General’s Office indicated that they had changed their minds, and
were going to contest the MDC-T’s request for the list, leading to Thursday’s

The MDC-T application came amid widespread concerns about possible ballot
stuffing after it emerged that force numbers were being issued to retired
officers and ZANU PF youths, to facilitate their participation in the
special vote held on 14th-16th July.

The three-day exercise was marred by chaos and delays, with reports that
ballot papers were delivered very late at some stations. As a result ZEC had
extended the polling from two, to three days, a move slammed as
unconstitutional by the MDC-T.

Around 35,000 people are said to have voted, according to MDC-T official
Komichi, who was manning the party’s election command centre at ZEC.

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Attorney General Submits Police Figures to Zimbabwe Judge

Thomas Chiripasi

HARARE — Attorney General Johannes Tomana on Thursday furnished the court
with the exact number of police officers in Zimbabwe after he was directed
to do so by a Harare High Court judge Wednesday following complaints by the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formation of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai that the number of officers that applied to vote early was

Documents presented by MDC-T deputy chairman Morgan Komichi’s lawyers in
court obtained from the finance ministry show that the country has a force
of not more than 44,000.

But police chief Augustine Chihuri applied for 70,000 forms of which only a
1,000 were not returned to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

Attorney Lewis Uriri, representing Komichi, told reporters that the number
of officers in the country will not be made public.

The MDC-T says it thinks inflating the number of police officers who voted
in the special vote conducted this week was one of the many ways that Zanu
PF intended to use to rig the July 31 polls.

Judge president George Chiweshe reserved his ruling to Friday.

Meanwhile, President Robert Mugabe told his party’s supporters in Chinhoyi
Thursday that the MDC should not concentrate on looking for problems in the
electoral process but should just subject itself to elections saying power
is derived from polls and not the courts.

Mr. Mugabe said he will not accept the foreign election observers from
countries in the European Union because the bloc is still maintaining
sanctions on him and other senior Zanu PF officials.

His wife, Grace, encouraged her party’s supporters, especially the youth, to
desist from violence as the country gears for this year’s crucial elections.

Politically-motivated violence claimed at least 200 supporters of Mr.
Tsvangirai prompting him to pull out of the 2008 presidential runoff.

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ZEC apology over special vote fiasco

17/07/2013 00:00:00
     by Staff Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has issued a public apology over
Sunday and Monday’s chaotic special voting which saw thousands of police
officers and other civil servants fail to vote.

The special vote, organised to allow members of the security forces and
other civil servants who will be on duty during the July 31 general
elections to cast their ballots early, has been criticised as flawed by the
MDC-T parties.

On Wednesday, the ZEC publicly apologised for the fiasco with a pledge that
all those who failed to vote can still do so on Election Day.

“The ZEC sincerely regrets the inconvenience caused to members of the
disciplined forces... to political parties and to the nation at large,” ZEC
chairperson Justice Rita Makarau said in a statement.

“The ZEC will therefore ensure that all persons who were deprived of the
opportunity to vote between July 14 and 15, 2013, will be able to vote on
July 31, 2013, when the rest of the electorate votes.

“To this end, only the names of those who actually cast ballots during the
special vote will be deleted from the ward voters’ rolls that will be used
for polling on July 31, 2013.Lists of those officers who voted on July 14
and 15, and those who failed to cast their ballots, will open for public
inspection at the offices of the Chief Elections Officer on Friday, July

The ZEC blamed court challenges by the MDC parties by candidates
disqualified by the Nomination Court on June 28 for the problems it

The elections body said the court challenges, most of which were finalised
on Friday, July 12, had ensured that the printing of ballot papers was
delayed. Subsequently, the ZEC failed to get the ballot papers to polling
stations countrywide on time.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party wants the special ballot to
be nullified, and insists that the number of police officers who applied to
vote was exaggerated.

According to then ZEC, 69,322 police officers applied for the special ballot
but Finance Minister Tendai Biti – who is also the MDC-T secretary general –
says they only have 44,113 police officers on the pay roll.

The MDC-T has asked a court to nullify the special vote and call a fresh

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Will Zim security forces get second chance to vote?

Gerry Jackson
SW Radio Africa
18 July 2013

Just when you thought the Special Voting couldn’t get more confusing – it

News agency AFP reported Thursday that security personnel, who had been
unable to cast their vote during the chaotic Special Voting, would get
another chance and be allowed to vote on 31st July.

AFP quoted the Zimbabwe Electoral Commissions chief Rita Makarau, assuring
them that they “will be able to vote” with the rest of the country.

As this early voting is specifically for administrators, police and soldiers
who will be on duty on voting day, it is unclear how this would be

But the complete opposite of the AFP news report was the headline in Newsday
on Thursday – Cops, soldiers won’t vote on July 31.

The paper reports that the thousands of civil servants and uniformed forces
who had not managed to vote will not be able to do so on July 31st as “the
law does not give them that alternative.”

Quoting Section 81B:2 of the Electoral Act the paper says: “A voter who has
been authorised to cast a special vote shall not be entitled to vote in any
other manner than by casting a special vote in terms of this Part.”

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is mandated to abide by the electoral
laws, so their assurances that voting will go ahead is unlawful.

Newsday quoted legal expert Chris Mhike who said: “At law, it is not
permissible for the people who were supposed to cast their votes through the
special ballot to vote again on July 31. If they were allowed to do so, it
would make room for manipulation of votes either by way of a voter voting
twice or fidgeting with the figures because the system is not properly

Tawanda Zhuwarara from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights confirmed this to
Newsday: “I am not sure which section of the Zimbabwe Electoral Act Zec is
relying on. According to the Electoral Act, once a person has been approved
for the special vote, he is automatically struck off the voters’ roll. In
terms of the law, once an individual has been issued authorisation to cast a
special vote, that person, by operation of Section 81D subsection 3 of the
Electoral Act, has to have his name removed from the voters’ roll and his
name will have a line drawn across it and it will be inscribed SV (special

“Every individual authorised to vote under the special vote has his name
struck off the voters’ roll with a line that goes through it. They will then
inscribe SV on the name. That means that person cannot vote under the normal
voting procedure and this is done to avoid double voting.”

It didn’t get any easier for Newsday in following up this story with ZEC.
The paper contacted ZEC’s public relations director, Shupikai Mashereni,
asking for clarification. Mashereni asked for questions in writing, which
were sent.

Mashereni then said he had sent the questions to ZEC’s chief elections
officer, Lovemore Sekeramayi, and that there would be a response in an hour.

At the end of that hour Mashereni told the Newsday reporter to call ZEC’s
deputy PR officer Tendai Pamire. But Pamire denied having received the
questions from Mashereni and asked for the questions to be resent.

NewsDay then called Mashereni and told him Pamire denied receiving the

Mashereni said the questions had indeed been received, but they needed a lot
of consultation.

So, the Special Voting chaos continues and every day it becomes clear that
Zimbabwe’s Electoral Commission is not up to the task of running the
election on July 31st.

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ZANU PF youths terrorise Chitungwiza

By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
18 July 2013

A human rights activist has blamed the culture of impunity within ZANU PF
for the resurgence of politically motivated violence directed at MDC

The comments were made by Rashid Mahiya of peace group Heal Zimbabwe Trust,
following reports that an MDC-T campaign team was attacked by ZANU PF
supporters in Chitungwiza on Wednesday.

The team of seven, led by MDC-T parliamentary candidate for the Chitungwiza
South Canisio Makururu, was attacked as they pinned up posters in an area
designated as a ‘no-go’ zone by ZANU PF youths.

Makururu told SW Radio Africa that the youths, who numbered around 70, used
whistles to mobilise each other “and in a short space of time, there was a
large crowd of them”.

“We offered to leave the area, locally know as Chigumba, but they still went
on to attack us, injuring several members of my campaign team,” Makururu

The injured included Verina Muchegu, Sherry Nyika, Laiza Mapepa, Edmore
Maviza, Lloyd Goredema, Martin Mandizadza and another female activist whose
name could not be established.

The attack came a day after ZANU PF youths forced residents in the town to
attend a rally addressed by President Robert Mugabe at Chibuku Stadium on

Although the MDC-T team knew that the area had been declared out of bounds
for non-ZANU PF members, Makururu said they “moved in on the strength of
calls by President Mugabe for peaceful campaigns”.

In his campaign speeches, Mugabe has been chanting the ‘peace begins with
you, with me, with all of us’ slogan.

However, many Zimbabweans remain skeptical about the seriousness of these
peace calls by the president, with people across the country living in fear
of his party’s supporters.

A map of tension hotspots by peace campaigners HealZim shows that violence
and intimidation have been flaring up in areas where Mugabe has addressed

HealZim director Mahiya said the attacks on non-ZANU PF members demonstrates
deep seated intolerance by the party’s supporters.

“Mugabe preaching peace is one thing, and practicing it yet another. If
youths are allowed by their leadership to use violence and intimidation to
mobilise attendance at these rallies and they get away with it, nothing can
stop them from beating up their opponents at any other time.

“The violence we are experiencing now is a product of long standing impunity
for ZANU PF supporters, where known perpetrators are either not arrested, or
are pardoned and not prosecuted because of their political affiliation,”
Mahiya said.

Mahiya said Mugabe’s calls for peace would only be meaningful if they were
combined with solid steps aimed at ensuring the police did their work

“Right now the police do not know how to deal with politically motivated
violence: they do not know whether to act professionally or politically,
even when people are assaulted in front of police officers.”

Mahiya said ZANU PF is yet to demonstrate its commitment to peace and cited
the party’s announcement that it was quitting the Joint Monitoring and
Implementation Committee (JOMIC), an organisation aimed at addressing rights

“It is unsettling that the party is leaving JOMIC at this moment. We may be
about to see a sharp rise in violence and so ZANU PF does not want to be
part of any mechanism that will hold it accountable,” Mahiya added.

He said the withdrawal from JOMIC, as well as ZANU PF’s intransigence on
security sector reforms, suggests that the party continues to see violence
as a strategic tool.

On Thursday there were indications that Chitungwiza was still tense, with
Philip Pasirayi posting on Facebook: “A rowdy ZANU PF group clad in party
regalia is toyi-toying in Unit L singing revolutionary songs and chanting

“I was forced to detour because the group is threatening violence and
forcing motorists to blow horns in solidarity with their party’s cause!”
Pasirayi wrote.

On July 10th, another MDC-T campaign team led by deputy Mines Minister Gift
Chimanikire, was attacked by ZANU PF youths in Mbare who also accused them
of encroaching on ‘their area’.

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Youth sports meeting threatened by ZANU PF militia

Gerry Jackson
SW Radio Africa
18 July 2013

The Youth Agenda Trust of Zimbabwe (YAT) reported Thursday that one of their
sports tournaments was disrupted by a ZANU PF youth militia group.

In a statement they said that a retired soldier, Chishaka, led the group in
a door to door campaign in Mvurwi on Monday, warning villagers against
attending the sports event, or face unspecified action.
YAT says the militia receives logistical support from aspiring ZANU PF MP
Edgar Chidavaenzi and that after terrorising the villagers they went on to
Pembichase farm in Ward 26 of Mazoe North Constituency. They ordered the
youths to leave the venue and stop the ‘Play Your Vote’ sports tournament.
YAT also said that police supported the militia and warned the youths
against defying the order. Despite trying to negotiate with the militia the
group became violent and started pushing the youths around.

YAT coordinator Tonderai Samhu was taken for questioning and threatened with
death if he dared organize a similar event.

The youth group went on to appeal to voters to be ‘resilient’ and turn out
in large numbers to vote, for what they called progressive politicians.

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Police open fire at Harare Demo

Press Release from the Zimbabwe Vigil – 18th July 2013


Police open fire at Harare Demo


Police in Harare fired shots in the air to disperse human rights activists gathered outside the Home Affairs Ministry on Wednesday to deliver a petition demanding the right to vote in free and fair elections.


It was the second demonstration in Harare in a week by members of Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR).


The activists were joined by passers-by as they marched on the Ministry carrying banners. They were confronted by a big contingent of plain clothes police who tried to seize the banners and ordered people to disperse. When the activists refused to co-operate the shots were fired as a warning causing people to scatter.


Ephraim Tapa, President of ROHR, said the protest campaign would continue in the run-up to the elections. ‘People are determined to carry on’, he said.


For further information, contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940 793 090 or Dennis Benton 07932 193 467.


Zimbabwe Vigil Co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.



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Women, Youth Attack Parties for Dumping Quota System in Polls

Irwin  Chifera

HARARE — The Women’s Coalition and the Youth Forum on Thursday criticised
political parties in the country for failing to keep their word on
implementing policies that will ensure equal representation in all political
offices by men and women.

Women’s Coalition chairperson Virginia Muwanigwa told a meeting organised by
Zimbabwe Democracy Institute for local groups to strategise for a go and
vote campaign, that all political parties participating in this year’s
harmonised elections are guilty of failing to implement their won so-called
50/50 quota system.

She said while most of the parties had said they would reserve 30 to 50
percent seats for women candidates in council and parliamentary elections,
women candidates for these elections stand at only 13 percent.

She said women can only take the parties seriously if they respect their own
policies and the national constitution.

She noted that the coalition is now focusing on increasing women
participation in the 2018 election.

Youth Forum chairperson Sally Dura said it is important for women and youths
to understand internal selection processes of their political parties so
they can stand a chance of getting selected.

Despite their disappointment, Muwanigwa and Dura said their organisations
are now concentrating on urging Zimbabweans to go out and vote in huge
numbers because they should have a say on how they are governed.

The new constitution reserves 60 seats in the house of assembly for women
while they have to compete for the other 201 constituencies.

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Zimbabwe's Mugabe lashes out at 'insane' Washington

Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:31pm EDT

By MacDonald Dzirutwe

CHINHOYI, Zimbabwe (Reuters) - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe branded the
United States "absolutely insane" on Thursday for voicing concerns about a
July 31 election, although neighboring South Africa joined Washington in
criticizing chaotic preparations for the vote.

Speaking to thousands of supporters in Chinhoyi, 115 km (70 miles) northwest
of Harare, the 89-year-old also rejected calls for reform of partisan
security forces, saying his main rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai,
could make changes if he won.

"In America they are saying Zimbabwe has gone for an early election without
reforms. Americans must be mad and absolutely insane," Mugabe said in an
address that last more than 2-1/2 hours, confounding speculation his health
is failing.

The vote is meant to end five years of fractious unity government under a
deal brokered by regional power South Africa following violent and disputed
polls in 2008 but with its credibility already being questioned, those hopes
are waning.

The United States said this week it was deeply concerned by a lack of
transparency, suggesting Washington was in no mood to ease sanctions against
a victorious Mugabe even if he wins without violence.

Tellingly, it is not just Mugabe's long-time foes in the West rounding on
the continent's oldest head of state, who has run the southern African
nation since independence from Britain in 1980.

In unusually strong criticism, South African President Jacob Zuma's top
Zimbabwe expert, Lindiwe Zulu, said Zuma had telephoned Mugabe to tell him
he was "not pleased" with the run-up to the poll.

"We are concerned because things on the ground are not looking good," Zulu
told Reuters.

South Africa wants to avoid a repeat of the 2008 violence, which brought a
flood of refugees into the country and added a further burden on stretched
state finances.


Mugabe called the election on July 31 in compliance with a Constitutional
Court order but the move was criticized by his opponents and Pretoria as too
soon to allow proper preparations.

Zulu's comments are likely to infuriate Mugabe, who labeled her "stupid and
idiotic" at a rally this month after she called for a delay of a few weeks
to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible.

Advance voting for 70,000 police officers and soldiers on Sunday and Monday
compounded fears of a chaotic poll, raising the prospect of a disputed
result and civil unrest in a country with a history of election violence.

In the special voting, long lines formed at polling stations and some people
were unable to vote because ballot papers did not turn up at all - one of
several logistical challenges acknowledged by the Election Commission.

Pretoria's verdict on the quality of the vote has added significance because
election observers from the European Union and United States are barred from
entering Zimbabwe.

There have been no formal opinion polls but most analysts see Mugabe's
ZANU-PF as the favorite given its monopoly of state media and the problems
with voter registration encountered by many young, urban Zimbabweans -
Tsvangirai's support base.

Britain has also said its misgivings about the election justified
maintaining European Union sanctions imposed more than a decade ago for
suspected vote-rigging and human rights abuses.

"We are concerned that a number of important electoral and other important
democratic reforms have not been completed," a Foreign Office spokesman

While sanctions remain in place, Zimbabwe has no chance of rescheduling
billions of dollars of defaulted World Bank and IMF debt, leaving it unable
to access the multilateral credit needed to rebuild its economy.

Britain's former Africa minister, Peter Hain, said Mugabe's methods had
changed from 2008, when at least 200 people, almost all of them Tsvangirai
supporters, were killed, but that the entrenched president's disdain for a
free and fair vote had not.

"In the past, he's relied more on brute force and violence. This time it's
all sorts of double-deeds," Hain told Reuters. "It will be very hard for
sanctions to be lifted if the outcome is as it looks to be - namely an
election by bribery and constitutional chicanery."

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Tsvangirai offers Mugabe safe exit

STAFF WRITER  •  18 JULY 2013 3:27PM

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has offered President Robert
Mugabe an olive branch, telling the 89-year-old that there will be no witch
hunt if he delivers a free election and leaves peacefully.

Addressing thousands of supporters at Gokwe Centre in the Midlands Province
yesterday, Tsvangirai said Mugabe was too old to face retribution for
anything he might have done in the three decades he has been in office.

“Mugabe’s age has become a serious national issue. We can’t elect an
89-year-old to run this country for another five years. That will be
suicidal,” said Tsvangirai, who is addressing more than 10 rallies in
Midlands alone.

Mugabe, who was in Singapore recently seeking medical help ostensibly for an
eye ailment, is addressing 10 rallies countrywide.

“It’s time to give Mugabe a dignified exit. But I was reading in the
newspaper that he is afraid of being treated like Gaddafi,” Tsvangirai said.

The Daily News reported on Wednesday that Mugabe had told supporters at a
rally in Chitungwiza he fears that he might share the fate of Libyan leader
Muammar Gaddafi, killed after capture, or Saddam Hussein, the toppled Iraqi
president sentenced to death by hanging.

“Mugabe should not be afraid of a Gaddafi scenario but the condition is that
‘make sure this election is free and fair. You lose and you go to retirement
peacefully. No one will touch you’. With the work at hand to rebuild
Zimbabwe, why should we spend valuable time chasing after the old man?” said

“In 2008, Mugabe rigged and still lost the election but refused to leave.
That will not happen again. Sadc has told Mugabe that ‘look munhu wemukuru
haasiye bhachi padare. Zvowotoita kubatana nemwana uyu mogadzirisa nyika
mozoenda kumaelections. We have given Mugabe a chance to cleanse himself so
that he can have a dignified exit. He should not squander this opportunity.”

Tsvangirai said did not doubt Mugabe’s liberation war record.

“But we argue with his record in government,” Tsvangirai said. “He has taken
the country down the poverty lane. Tsvangirai is not the enemy. The enemy is
poverty and underdevelopment in the country. The record is there.

“Zanu PF will come to you begging for another chance. Ask them a simple
question: What is it that you intend to achieve now which you failed to do
in 33 years?

“Zanu PF’s record is clear. They destroyed the economy, destroyed a vibrant
economy and they have no hint on how to create a bright future for our kids
in school.”

Throughout the speech, Tsvangirai was interrupted by a handful Zanu PF
supporters who made rounds at the venue in two trucks chanting their party

In a sign that even Zanu PF grassroots supporters no longer trust Mugabe to
win the next election, a group of party supporters who wanted to disrupt
Tsvangirai’s rally sang: “Zvikaramba pamaelections totongwa nemasoja.”

But many have warned that top commanders who are living large and
threatening coup do not enjoy the support of suffering rank and file in the
unformed forces.

Thousands were denied their right to vote earlier this week after it was
discovered the majority of them would not vote for Zanu PF.

Tsvangirai said some elements in Zec were working with Zanu PF to frustrate
the uniformed forces.

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Zim polls in spotlight at SA-EU summit

July 18 2013 at 09:29pm

Pretoria - Forthcoming elections in Zimbabwe should be peaceful and
transparent, European Council president Herman van Rompuy said in Pretoria
on Thursday.

He was addressing a joint media briefing with President Jacob Zuma and EU
Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso at the Sefakgo Makgatho
presidential guesthouse.

“The European Union and South Africa have similar views on a broad range of
issues, this is true for instance (on) Zimbabwe,” he said.

“The EU notes the efforts of the political parties in Zimbabwe, South Africa
and the Southern African Development Community in ensuring the forthcoming
elections are peaceful, transparent and credible. Our joint objective is
contributing to a peaceful and stable Zimbabwe.”

He said the EU supported the mediatory efforts of Zuma to forge agreement
between the squabbling political parties.

“The EU will respond to the outcome of the elections (set for July 31) on
the basis of all the evidence of peaceful, transparent elections with
results accepted by all.

“We look forward to a full normalisation of relations and a deepening of our
partnership with Zimbabwe,” he said.

The summit also touched on troubled areas including Syria, Madagascar, Egypt
and the Great Lakes region.

On trade, a joint communiqué released after the summit said the parties
agreed that employment creation was the greatest problem facing all

“We will continue high level discussions on addressing the shared challenges
of youth unemployment, as well as the way in which skills training can
contribute to South Africa’s infrastructure expansion.

“Under the EU-financed development programme, approximately R650,000,000/
Euro 50,000,000 remains available to support job creation initiatives,” said
the statement.

Zuma said South Africa sought mutually beneficial trade relations in a bid
to improve the lives of millions of South Africans struggling to make ends

“South Africa is still faced with the inherited challenges of unequal work
and resources distribution, inequality, unemployment and deeply entrenched
poverty,” he said.

“We are of the firm view that given this reality, the EU should continue
with its development programmes in South Africa, complementing the work of

The next EU-SA summit will be held next year. - Sapa

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Dabengwa Won't Pull Out of Presidential Race to Boost Coalition Partner Ncube

Blessing  Zulu

WASHINGTON DC — Presidential aspirant and Zapu leader Dumiso “Black Russian”
Dabengwa, who recently forged an alliance with the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) formation led by Industry Minister Welshman Ncube, has ruled
out dropping out of the presidential race to boost the vote numbers of his
coalition partner.

Dabengwa told VOA’s Studio 7 in an exclusive interview that it is too late
to consider fielding one candidate though there are “quite a number of areas
we can co-operate as Zapu such as fielding only a few candidates.”

Dabengwa also shot down forming a grand alliance with Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai to topple incumbent president Robert Mugabe.

“The issue as far as we are concerned in Zapu is not about removing Mugabe
from government. It is about coming up with issues which people will make it
possible for them to support us as parties and after the election.

"I do not believe anyone will have an outright majority … After the election
we will be in a position to look at the results and at that stage we can
take a position to say fine, can we form a coalition arrangement.”

Mr. Dabengwa claims that he pulled out of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF
party to revive Zapu because of widespread violence in the run-up and
aftermath of the 2008 elections which left several thousands homeless and
hundreds dead, maimed and missing.

Dabengwa is a former Zanu PF Politburo heavyweight who served in that role
following the December 1987 unity accord signed by President Robert Mugabe’s
Zanu PF and the late Joshua Nkomo’s PF Zapu.

He served as head of the ZIPRA intelligence during the liberation war. In
1982, the Mugabe regime charged Dabengwa, with the late former Zipra forces
commander Lookout Masuku and four others, of treason.

They were acquitted due to lack of evidence in 1983. On release, they were
redetained under emergency regulations.

From 1992 to 2000, he served in the government as minister of home affairs,
and in 1991 he was appointed chairman of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water

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Judges' appointments: Mugabe did not consult Tsvangirai


HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was not consulted when President
Robert Mugabe “unilaterally”
appointed six new judges on Monday.

Jameson Timba, minister of State in the Prime Minister’s office told the
Daily News yesterday that Mugabe, who shares executive authority with
Tsvangirai, breached the global political agreement (GPA) by making the
unilateral appointments.

“To the best of my knowledge the prime minister was never consulted as is
required by law in the appointment to the bench of judges who were sworn-in
on July 15,” Timba said.

“It is unheard of the world over that a lame duck GPA president makes key
appointments to key national institutions two weeks before the end of the
lifespan of government.”

Asked if the PM believed the new judges were equal to the challenge, Timba
said: “I am not qualified to comment on the competency of the appointments
however, one is left with a sour taste in the mouth as to the impact and
intention of such an 11th- hour appointment.”

On Monday, Mugabe appointed Loice Matanda-Moyo, Erica Ndewere, Nokuthula
Moyo, Owen Tagu, Emmy Tsanga, and Esther Muremba at a brief ceremony held at
State House.

Justice Antonia Guvava was elevated from the High Court to the Supreme

Justice and Legal Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa said the elevation of
the judges was to fulfill constitutional requirements.

“We elevated judges to the Supreme Court to make up the Constitutional
Court,” Chinamasa said. “That created a gap in the High Court that made it
necessary to fill through the appointment of the six judges we have sworn in

“The issue was complicated by the fact that currently we have the Electoral
Court that had to receive complaints and disputes from the electoral
process. That means a lot of judges are busy leaving the normal work of the
High Court unattended.”

Rashweat Mukundu, a media expert, said while it is the prerogative of the
president to appoint judges as per the advice of the Judicial Service
Commission, the recent appointments were somewhat unique as they came ahead
of elections and at a time that neither Cabinet nor Parliament were

“One cannot rule a motive to stuffing the judiciary with like-minded
individuals who will play a role in the case of disputes, more so those
related to elections,” Mukundu said.

“One would question the urgency of the appointments at a time president
Mugabe and his political opponents are on the ground campaigning.”

He said despite the fact that normal State business must continue even at
the heat of election time, this was one task Mugabe could afford to wait-out
unless there was a link to a political strategy of survival.

Tabani Moyo, a civil rights activist campaigner, said any incumbent would
want to present a picture of business as usual to the public, the region and
international community.

“Mugabe wants to present a “fit” to govern and “business as usual”

approach as if to say he is not bothered by the impending election hence the
showcase of him doubling up his State duties and political party campaigns
with “ease”,” said Moyo.

“The long and short of it all is that he wants to show the world that the
country is not facing a vacuum as Cabinet members are now focusing on

Precious Shumba,  another civil rights activist, said Mugabe is readying
himself to defend himself against litigation that might arise from a
disputed electoral outcome.

“There is strong thinking in Zanu PF that they own Zimbabwe and can do
whatever they think is ideal,” Shumba said. “Whatever his motives, they are
not genuine.

“In my view, he should have waited until a new government is in place. Even
as the nation gears for an election to choose a new president, new senate,
new parliament, and new governance structures, Zanu PF and the president do
not see themselves out of that government, and are simply sending a message
to other political actors and interest groups that they are going nowhere,
whatever the political outcome.”

Phillip Pasirayi, director of Centre for Community Development of Zimbabwe,
said the appointments were illegal because Mugabe did not consult with PM
Tsvangirai as is required by law.

“The appointment of the new judges of the High and Supreme Courts is in
violation of the provisions of the Global Political Agreement which state
clearly the need for the president to consult and agree with the premier
before making these key appointments,” Pasirayi said.

“I reiterate that Zanu PF is still living in the past where we have seen
appointments made on partisan grounds for political expediency without any
regard to merit except extending or entrenching the Zanu PF hegemony and
system of patronage.”

Outspoken playwright Cont Mhlanga said Mugabe and his team are now planning
for the post-election era.

“To understand his motive, you have to stop thinking of it as two weeks
before the election action,” Mhlanga said.

“He is living and thinking and acting post-election win or lose. That is why
this man remains my hero, good or bad. He leads and they follow, right or

“The opposition actors are deep in their campaign wagons talking of him as
losing the election while he is setting up ground for the post-election

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I won’t move into State House: Tsvangirai
17/07/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
MDC-T leader and out-going premier, Morgan Tsvangirai has insisted that he would not move into State House if he won elections at the end of this month and vowed to serve for no more than the constitutional limit of two terms as president.

Tsvangirai will, at the end of the month, make his third attempt to topple President Robert Mugabe who has ruled the country since independence in 1980.

Speaking in an interview with the UK Telegraph newspaper from his Harare home the MDC-T leader responded to claims that he had personally profited from his time in power after forming a coalition government with Mugabe following violent elections in 2008.

He denied allegations he owned plush homes in Harare and Johannesburg, South Africa.

“I’m living in this house which is a state house, it’s not my personal house,” he said.

“I don’t have a house in Johannesburg - I’m renting for my kid, I’m renting a three-bedroom house for my kids who are going to school in Jo-burg.

Tsvangirai ruled out moving into any stately home should he win the elections and become the country’s next president saying: “I’ve got my little house here. It is comfortable enough and I don’t need to go into any particular stately house in order to prove, to prove what?”

He also pledged to serve no more than the constitutional limit of two terms as president.

“If I find that I don’t need to go in for a second term, I’ll give up then,” he said.

The MDC-T leader said he would not join another coalition government with Mugabe after the elections describing the decision in 2009 as a “regressive step”.

“The people of Zimbabwe are desperate to start on a new plate and actually give proper direction and proper policy direction to revive this economy, give people hope and actually start all over again,” he said.

The coalition leaders had worked “very effectively” together since 2009 but Mugabe broke off cooperation in the run-up to this year’s presidential poll and went on to announce the election dates “without other members of the coalition knowing what was taking place.

Tsvangirai said Mugabe was “determined to retain power by whatever means”, adding: “It is definitely clear that the military is the one in charge of this process and that Mugabe’s government doesn’t believe in a free and fair vote.”

He accused the authorities of padding out the electoral roll with dead voters in order to create room for rigging.

“From our analysis you have 100,000 people above the age of 100,” he said. “That number is definitely fictitious.”

Meanwhile, only a quarter of young voters aged between 18 and 25 - who analysts see as more likely to support Tsvangirai - are understood to have been registered.

“The voters’ roll has become the centre for the rigging mechanism,” he said.

Mobs loyal to Mugabe brutalised his opponents in the last two presidential elections in 2002 and 2008. This time, however, there has been little bloodshed.

Instead, Tsvangirai said that his opponent was relying on rigging to guarantee victory.

“We’ll have a peaceful but rigged outcome,” he said.

“Although there is relative peace, the administration of the vote is so chaotic I can only foresee disaster.”

He also cast doubt on the fitness of Mugabe, 89, who is fighting his seventh general election after 33 years in power. The president “will go down in the Guinness book of records as the oldest contestant in any election,” he said.

Tsvangirai however said he “will not be part of” any effort to bring a case against his opponent before the International Criminal Court.

“I have no intention of dragging this country in to another instability,” he said.

“I will not be engaged in any retribution. We have so much to do to resuscitate and revive this economy for the sake of the people.

“My forecast is how can we provide Zimbabwe with hope again. So the question of retribution and revenge is not even part of our agenda whether it is President Mugabe or the generals.”

“It is not going to bring back our loved ones who have been killed, maimed and tortured.”

The MDC-T leader was also adamant that Mugabe’s seizure of white-owned farms would not be overturned.

“I think politically you cannot reverse the land reform programme even with its mistakes,” he said.

“We know the torture and violence that took place with that. What we need to do is to say this is a political decision because this has already gone so far. For the stability of the country it’s better that we compensate rather than try to say 'go back to your land’.”



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Audit: More Than a Million Extra Names on Zimbabwe Voter Rolls

Sebastian Mhofu
July 17, 2013

HARARE, ZIMBABWE — An independent audit of Zimbabwe's voters roll has found
it contains the names of more than a million people who either are deceased
or have left the African country. The research group that conducted the
audit spoke to reporters Wednesday after the government blocked it from
making a presentation to civil society groups. The findings come less than
two weeks before Zimbabwe is due to hold national elections.

The Research and Advocacy Unit [RAU] was supposed to present the findings of
its audit of the voters roll on Wednesday to pro-democracy civic
organizations in Harare. But the event was canceled on government orders,
said Kuda Chitsike, who heads the RAU.

“The Registrar General left an interdict at our offices from the High Court
to stop the event from going ahead," said Chitsike. "The Registrar General’s
interdict is based on a misconception that we wanted to launch the voters’
roll. RAU was going to launch an analysis done on the voters’ roll. The
chairperson of ZEC and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission are aware that RAU
has been working on such an audit.”

Analysis of voters roll

The electoral commission had asked the Registrar General’s office - a
government department - to compile a voters’ roll for the July 31 elections,
which RAU then analyzed.

Besides revealing that the voter roll has more than a million people who are
either deceased or have left Zimbabwe, RAU said there is a marked
registration bias in favor of rural constituencies, which are mainly
strongholds of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.

Jeremiah Bamu of the advocacy group Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights is
hopeful RAU will be allowed to present the audit, which also found that 63
constituencies have more registered voters than inhabitants based on the
2012 census.

“We have communicated with lawyers representing the Registrar General’s
office and alerted them that their application is based on something that is
not correct. We supplied them with correct information," said Bamu. "What
might have influenced the Registrar General to block this presentation."

"The usual fears that they have that people have access to the voters roll
and can identify some inconsistencies,” he said.

The lawyer added that the case would spill into court if the government does
not allow RAU to make public its audit of Zimbabwe voters’ roll.

MDC makes court challenge

Already, the Movement for Democratic Change [MDC] party of Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai is in court challenging special early voting of Zimbabwe’s
police and security forces.

The voting this week went on three days, one more than the
constitutionally-mandated limit of two.

The MDC also is arguing that the electoral commission inflated the number of
security agents in order to rig the elections for Mugabe and his party. The
case will continue Thursday at Zimbabwe’s high court where the MDC is
seeking to have these early votes nullified.

Even before this controversy, the elections appeared beset by trouble. Last
week, Finance Minister Tendai Biti warned that Zimbabwe was about $90
million short in election funding.

The elections, if they go through, are expected to end the power-sharing
government formed by Mugabe and Tsvangirai after the violent and disputed
2008 elections.

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President Tsvangirai’s rallies attract massive of rural communities

Thursday 18 July 2013

Buoyed by the success of the referendum on the new Constitution when
millions of Zimbabweans came out and voted “Yes” for the new Charter, the
rural folk for years threatened by the Zanu PF militia not to attended MDC
rallies are coming out in their thousands to MDC 2013 campaign rallies being
addressed by President Tsvangirai and the senior party leadership across the

Following the peaceful holding of the referendum on the new Constitution,
the people of Zimbabwe especially those in the rural areas have realised
that it is their autonomous right to participate freely in the country’s
democratic processes such as elections.

For long the people in rural areas have been subjected to threats, beatings,
rape, arrests, abductions and at times even death for coming out openly and
attending and voting for the MDC.

However, all this has changed and the people of Zimbabwe have realised that
they cannot continue to be subjected to threats when they can change their
lives through voting freely for representatives of their choice without
being attacked or threatened by anyone.

At all the rallies in the rural areas that President Tsvangirai has
addressed thousands of people at each event an indication that the people of
Zimbabwe are ready for real change.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, President Tsvangirai was in Gokwe where he
addressed five separate rallies in the district.  One rally at Chitekete
Business Centre ended at around 8PM when it was already dark and generators
had to be switched on to lighten the venue where President Tsvangirai was

The people of Zimbabwe are determined that since they now have a new
Constitution, they now want a new President with a new Zimbabwe and they
know that the only person who can deliver this is President Tsvangirai and
the MDC.

President Tsvangirai’s message to the rural community is premised on the
need for rural transformation which is very appealing to the rural

In his addresses to the rural communities, President Tsvangirai says that
the MDC acknowledges that the majority of the Zimbabwean population lives in
the rural areas and the challenges affecting them are poor infrastructure,
financial exclusion, lack of social service, food insecurity, unemployment,
lack of markets and poverty.

On rural transformation, President Tsvangirai says the MDC government will
agriculture as a business and give all who use the land to make a living the
security of ownership, resuscitate rural infrastructure such as roads,
bridges, schools and ensure the provision of essential services such as
health care, education, electricity, clean water and sanitation.

This is the message that the people in the rural communities want to hear as
they are tired of 33 years of Zanu PF’s half-truths.

Meanwhile, President Tsvangirai today continued with his presidential
victory rallies and addressed thousands of party supporters at Maboleni
Business Centre in Vungu, Tongogara Business Centre in Shurugwi and Mkandapi
in Shurugwi all in the Midlands South province.

At the Maboleli rally, which was attended by scores of war veterans from the
area, President Tsvangirai pledged that the next MDC government will taken
care of in recognition of the role they played to liberate Zimbabwe.

“War veterans deserve to be taken care of by the government because of their
illustrious role they played during the liberation of Zimbabwe,” President
Tsvangirai said.

He said the objective of the next MDC government t will be to correct good
governance through the creation of culture of being transparent to the
people at all times and in improving service delivery.

“We will ensure that there is infrastructure development especially in rural
areas through rural transformation and job creation,” said President

He said when the people of Zimbabwe voted for the Zanu PF and its leader
Robert Mugabe out in 2008; it was only through the grace of SADC that Mugabe
was accepted in the inclusive government.

“The MDC was part of the inclusive government not to save Mugabe but in
order to save the people of Zimbabwe.  In 2008 and 2009, life for many
people had become unbearable and people should not forget that era by voting
for Zanu PF.  People will be condemning to that suffering.

“If any aspiring Zanu PF candidate asks for another mandate, one should ask
what he wants to achieve that he has failed to achieve in 33 years,” said
President Tsvangirai adding that he did not hold any grudges against Mugabe
but was against his bad record in government, which has been marred by
corruption, lack of respect for the rule of law and impunity.

Tomorrow he will be in Mataga South, Danga North, Chizungu West and Mandava
Stadium in Zvishavane.

YES - Together we can complete the change!!!

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Lawyers petition Mudede to withdraw “voters’ roll” application

Election Alert 5 of 2013
18 July 2013

HUMAN rights lawyers have delivered a formal notification and warning for
Tobaiwa Tonneth Mudede, the Registrar-General of Voters to withdraw his
urgent chamber application filed in the High Court on Wednesday barring the
Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) from launching an audit of the country’s
roll of registered voters as it was premised on erroneous understanding of
Mudede on Wednesday 17 July 2013 obtained an interim order interdicting RAU
from launching “a full voters’ roll” at Crowne Plaza Monomotapa Hotel in
Harare or at any other place.
In a letter written and delivered to Mudede’s lawyers, Thondlanga and
Associates Legal Practitioners, RAU lawyers, Jeremiah Bamu and Tawanda
Zhuwarara of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said Mudede’s application and
subsequent provisional order, which he obtained from High Court Judge
Justice Joseph Mafusire were based on a factual inaccuracy.
The lawyers stated that Mudede’s lawyers were furnished with the correct
facts and a demand was made for the withdrawal of their matter.
The RAU lawyers said in the event that the matter is not withdrawn by
Wednesday, they will file their opposing papers.
The lawyers said Mudede had relied on an erroneous appreciation of facts
which he never bothered to cross check with RAU. Bamu and Zhuwarara said had
Mudede bothered to do so, there would have been no need for the application
to be filed or served.
RAU, the lawyers said intended to launch its second report on an audit of
the June 2013 Voters’ Roll, which expands on a previous RAU report and
provides a more detailed analysis of the roll and corrects a number of minor
errors. RAU’s first report was launched and shared with the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission, the lawful custodians of the voters’ roll who made
their comments to the report.
Meanwhile, lawyers from ZLHR have filed ex-parte applications at the
Tredgold Magistrates Court in Bulawayo, seeking to overturn the ban imposed
by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on the holding of election debates in
Midlands, Matabeleland South and Matabeleland North.
The ZRP blocked six election debates organised by Bulawayo Agenda in Gweru,
Plumtree, Tsholotsho and Lupane. The meetings, which were supposed to be
held beginning early this week and up to next week, are meant to facilitate
interface between various political party candidates running for
parliamentary office from across the political divide and the public so as
to promote citizen participation in elections.
The police told the organisers of the election debates that they were only
allowing political parties to conduct their campaigns during the three weeks
period leading to the harmonised elections as they do not have enough
manpower to ensure public order at civic society meetings.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

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REVIEW: The Hard Road To Reform: The Politics Of Zimbabwe's Global Political Agreement

Solidarity Peace Trust Logo

Solidarity Peace Trust

REVIEW: The Hard Road To Reform: The Politics Of Zimbabwe's Global Political Agreement
17 July 2013

Reviewed by Timothy Scarnecchia: Associate Professor of History at Kent State University and author of The Urban Roots of Democracy and Political Violence in Zimbabwe: Harare and Highfield, 1940-1964 (University of Rochester Press, 2008). First published on African Arguments.

As Zimbabwe's first post-GPA harmonised elections fast approach (July 31st), informed and not so well informed commentators will be giving their views of the campaigns, the elections, and the results. If the international coverage of the Kenyan 2013 election is any indication, the room for hyperbolic claims and dubious background coverage will once again be larger than the square footage of Robert Mugabe's mansions (and now even Morgan Tsvangirai's home). In order to avoid such mistakes, I highly recommend a collection edited by Professor Brian Raftopoulos, who is Director of Research and Advocacy in the Solidarity Peace Trust, an NGO dealing with human rights issues in Zimbabwe.

For those unfamiliar with the Zimbabwean political landscape, Brian Raftopoulos is one of the most insightful commentators on the Zimbabwean political situation. His current writings do not avoid harsh criticisms of the MDC's performance following the 2008 elections and the formation of the GPA in February 2009. That is why this book is so valuable. Raftopoulos, along with an A-list of Zimbabwean scholars (with a healthy preponderance of historians), have examined the past 4 years through diverse critical lenses. There is no sugar coating here. If anything, the overall impression is that Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF, while being given a life-line by the GPA brokered by then South African President Thabo Mbeki, were forced to deal with the two MDCs in a Government of National Unity and they have done so in characteristically ZANU-PF fashion. The MDCs, while faced with major obstacles but also some great opportunities, may have done themselves more harm than good based on their own actions more than those of ZANU-PF. It is not an assessment that the MDC insiders will like to hear but the criticisms are to be expected particularly as they come from those who participated in, or witnessed, the formation of the MDC from the grassroots constituencies of Zimbabwe labor unions and civic organizations. These individual chapters help to put into much better focus why Zimbabwe in 2013 is not the same as it was in 2008. I therefore highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to know why this is the case. That the book is available electronically for Kindle makes it that much easier to get reading.

Rather than write a formal review, I have included the titles of the individual chapters and some passages or brief summaries of themes I see as useful for thinking about the GPA years (2009-2013) with an eye towards the upcoming elections.

Chapter 1: Brian Raftopoulos: "An Overview of the GPA: National Conflict, Regional Agony and International Dilemma"

Here is Raftopoulos' helpful summary of the GPA period:

"The GPA and its many challenges was the product of a convergence of factors, namely: the unwillingness of a party of liberation to accept electoral defeat; the inability of the opposition to claim state power due to the militarisation of the ruling party's response to defeat a clash of different notions of state sovereignty in which the electoral wishes of the Zimbabwean citizenry were subordinated to selective nationalist claims of the ruling party; and the role of SADC in facilitating an agreement that attempted to balance the need for regional sovereignty against outside interference with the legitimate electoral demands of the Zimbabwean electorate. The results of this complex mix of ingredients was a brew that placed a short term halt on the rapid political and economic decline in the country and opened up some space for new political arrangements, while also providing an authoritarian regime with opportunities to regain lost ground. The period of the Inclusive Government generated a new set of dynamics that made it impossible for ZANU-PF to return to the status quo ante, while also exposing the strengths and weaknesses of the former opposition parties as they took part in unequally shared state power."

As Raftopoulos states in the introduction, it is important to focus not only on the MDCs' ability to maneuver in the GPA years, but also to focus on how ZANU-PF has managed to use these 4 years to regroup. He writes: "The politics of ZANU-PF is not only one of destruction and obstruction; it is also constitutive of the new social and economic forces that have emerged in the last 10-15 years." (xv). While the issue of ZANU-PF political violence is raised in the introduction and elsewhere in the collection, it is noticeably absent given the amount of emphasis the Solidarity Peace Trust's Reports have previously given to this element of Zimbabwean politics. It is perhaps one of the book's strengths, however, to focus on the shifting political landscape, especially the changing constituencies and interests represented by ZANU-PF and the opposition, rather than continue to focus solely on the repressive actions of the past 13 years.

Chapter 2: James Muzondidya, "The opposition dilemma in Zimbabwe: A Critical Review of the Politics of the Movement for Democratic Change Parties under the GPA Government Framework, 2009-2012."

Historian James Muzondidya, a research manager at the Zimbabwe Institute, a think tank well known for its links to the MDC, takes a particularly critical look at the performance of the MDCs during the GPA, but he first notes the limits on their actions:

"…the ability of the opposition parties to use their leverage during this phase has been restricted because ZANU-PF is not interested in any reforms that would loosen its hold on power. While agreeing to some of the reforms negotiated in the GPA, ZANU-PF was bent on using them and the new institutions to legitimise itself and push its own agenda. The Zimbabwe electoral Commission (ZEC), for instance, appeared to be broadly representative but was, in fact, still dominated by ZANU-PF through their control of its secretariat and support staff. In addition, ZEC was starved of both material resources and manpower to carry out its tasks, and this has ensured that the partisan Registrar General's office remains in control of the election processes, from voter registration in the counting of the votes. "

The above observation about the ZEC seems to be playing out at the moment, the lack of resources available to run this electoin is particularly startling, and will likely become a major issue in determining the outcome of the election.

Muzondidya explains just how stacked the GPA has been in ZANU-PF's favor:

‘The ZANU-PF strategy, consistent with its hegemonic political culture, has been to engage in cosmetic political and economic reforms that will not result in further democracy or result in a loss of its historic monopoly over power. …Indeed, over the last four years, ZANU-PF has kept the strategic doors to its power, such as the security sector and the mining and agricultural industries, firmly closed."

Muzondidya does not hold back, however, in his criticisms of the MDCs' performance. He gives a valuable analysis of the differences between the MDC-Tsvangirai and the MDC (formerly the MDC-M for Arthur Mutambara, then the MDC-N for Welshman Ncube, the current leader, and now simply the "MDC" under Ncube's leadership). Muzondidya outlines the major differences between the two MDCs and most importantly describes ethnic factionalism that has developed between the two MDCs and within the MDC-T. Those familiar with the history of political parties in Zimbabwe and in the African nationalist parties before Independence will recognize a depressing pattern of divisions around personalities, perceived "intelligence" differences within party leadership, and the ever-present ethnic solidarities that at times seem exaggerated yet over time become self-fulfilling. This chapter will be very helpful to those new to Zimbabwean politics wanting to make sense of the divisions between and within the MDCs.

Muzondidya also summarizes the corruption charges against MDC-T urban councilors that have grown in number over the past few years, showing the vulnerability of a group of leaders tasting power for the first time. While subsequently censored by the party, these cases have damaged the MDC-T's image as a party of "Change". Such cases included:

"the Chitungwiza land scandal which resulted in the party firing all its 23 councilors in 2010; the mismanagement and looting of Council land and resources by councilors in Bindura; the Kwekwe audit report findings of 2012 which unearthed serious financial irregularities involving the under-banking of collected revenue and the Marondera corruption case which resulted in the suspension of the mayor by his party in March 2012 for receiving kickbacks from companies and individuals in return for tenders. The corruption among the party's representatives in local authorities, MDC parliamentarians and government officials, as the MDC leadership itself has admitted, has the potential to cost the party dearly during the next elections."

For those who built the coalition of trade unions and civics in the late 1990s that eventually created the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) and the MDCs, the last four years have more often been a disappointment as the links between these formative groups and the MDCs has been strained or broken by the MDCs' participation in government. Muzondidya concludes,

"ZANU-PF has, in fact, been more shrewd in its engagement with the transitional process than its political opponents, including both political parties and civics as well as international opponents such as the US and EU countries. It has been effectively using the transition arrangement to regroup and reorganise, and is now better organised than it was in 2009. "

Chapter 3: Gerald Mazarire, "ZANU-PF and the Government of National Unity"

Historian Gerald Mazarire gives us a helpful contemporary history of the splits both in the MDC and ZANU-PF that many people outside of Zimbabwe may not fully understand. He starts by providing a summary of the somewhat questionable MDC and ZANU-PF versions of the story. Based on Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's own account of it in his autobiography, Mazarire suggests that then South African President Thabo Mbeki, along with "the support of some Western embassies in Harare", had been involved in splitting the MDC in favor of Welshman Ncube's faction and ZANU-PF in favor of Emmerson Mnangagwa. This strategy ultimately failed in 2004 but it did lead to major conflicts in both parties. Mazarire explains that Mbeki returned to intervene in Zimbabwean politics during the violent crisis of 2008, and the resulting Unity Accord was "hurriedly concluded" by Mbeki so that he could "attend to a crisis at home that led, in September 2008, to his own ouster from the leadership of the ANC and the South African presidency."

Mazarire then outlines ZANU-PF's version of the story, based mostly on Jonathan Moyo's writings, in which the GNU was carried out mostly to stop ‘regime change' orchestrated from Washington and London, as the Security sector refused to go along with the MDC in declaring a government based on the original presidential election results. Mazarire then does an excellent job of showing how and why ZANU-PF managed to continue to dominate the GNU with strategies to keep the MDC out of key sectors of governance. In reference to ZANU-PF's "Pursuit of Hard Power", Mazirire writes:

"ZANU-PF's display of power is traceable to its ability to lose an election and stay in power. Starting with the delays in announcing the outcome of the March 2008 Presidential Election as opposed to the efficiency and speed with which the winner of the 27 June Presidential run-off was announced, ZANU was already at work to make sure that whatever arrangement would obtain thereafter should find them securely in position. Contrary to the view that ZANU-PF's arbitrary exercise of power and its assertiveness stem from increased confidence in the political and economic situation obtaining since the formation of the GNU, ZANU has always been determined to be a triumphant loser."

Mazarire explores some of the areas where ZANU-PF insiders have excelled at enriching themselves at the expense of the state, and as an historian he can't help but point out the hypocrisy of this given ZANU-PF's earlier socialist rhetoric in a section labeled "ZANU-PF: from Socialism to Capitalism." Mazarire describes two main areas of this transition, namely the indigenisation and mining sectors. Pointing out as well that there were a key handful of white businessmen who have helped ZANU-PF insiders along the way to indigenization, he ends with respect for ZANU-OPF Minister of Mines, Obert Mpufo, for his "almost single-handedly" wining the war against the "blood diamonds" charges from the Kimberley Process system. Mazirire's final advice to readers is worth contemplating as elections near. "Readers are starkly reminded that with ZANU-PF, literally anything is possible."

Chapter 4: Bertha Chiroro, "Turning Confrontation into Critical Engagement: the Challenge of the Inclusive Government to Zimbabwean Civil Society"

This chapter by Betha Chiroro, a research specialist at the African Institute of South Africa in Pretoria, is essential for understanding the strained relations that have developed between the MDC parties and the civic organizations and NGO's that had been so supportive (and instrumental in forming) the MDCs in the first place. Chiroro is also the only contributor to address the fundamentally important role of women's organizations in the continued opposition to ZANU-PF authoritarian rule.

"An equally important sector is the female voice: as expressed by the Women's Coalition, (a network of women's rights activists with chapters in Bulawayo, Masvingo, Beitbridge, Gweru, Gwanda, Bindura, Marondera, and Mutare) and WOZA during the term of the IG. Although some have expressed their frustration that their participation is no more than ‘tokenism and deception', Zimbabwean women have continued to strive for a democratic political environment together with other CSOs [Civil Society Organisations]."

"Zimbabwean civil society's response to the IG [Inclusive Government] has continued to reveal ideological tensions between its human rights obligations and its need to deal with broader developmental requirements. Political advocacy around issues of human rights and violence often takes centre stage at the expense of developmental issues and issues of social and economic rights, rural development, poverty and inequality. While public service delivery remained very poor, with massive water and electricity shortages, poor waste management and poor sanitation remaining the order of the day, civil society has not made a clear and concerted effort to ensure that these issues are addressed by the IG." [136-137].

Chapter 5: Sabelo J Ndlovu-Gatsheni, "Politics behind Politics: African Union, Southern African Development Community and the Global Political Agreement in Zimbabwe."

Historian Ndlovu-Gatsheni provides a very clear and useful contemporary history of African Union and SADC attempts to mediate the political crises in Zimbabwe since 2000. One is simultaneously impressed by the number of these continental and regional interventions as well as by the lack of substantive results. There is a lot of value here for understanding the 2013 elections. In particular, the current head of the AU, South African Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has been outspokenly supportive of ZANU-PF's drive for elections in 2013, while South African President Jacob Zuma's lead SADC negotiator on Zimbabwe, Lindiwe Zulu, has recently come under heavy criticisms from Mugabe for her own stance that further reforms are necessary before elections could be held. Reading Ndlovu-Gatsheni's chapter will help make some of these differences clearer.

Ndlovu-Gatsheni's characterization of why GNU negotiations occurred offers a particularly helpful and succinct view:

"What led the political formations to negotiate were the stark political realities facing them: despite emerging victorious in the 29 March 2008 elections, the MDC political formations were prevented by ZANU-PF from ascending to power and its support base was exposed to unprecedented and unbearable violence. ZANU-PF clung to power by violence but its legitimacy was completely eroded. Added to this, the Zimbabwean economy continued to degenerate to its lowest ebb and international, continental, and regional pressure together with sanctions, contributed to ZANU-PF's decision to accept negotiations as the only game in town if it was to survive politically."

Ndlovu-Gatsheni concludes his discussion of AU and SADC interventions:

"After 2008, the problem shifted from pushing for credible elections as a solution to the Zimbabwe problem to a search for a power-sharing arrangement in a context where there was no legitimate government in Harare. Currently, the Harare disputants have gone full circle to the issue of elections as a resolution of the Zimbabwe problem. This push for elections is taking place within a context in which SADC mediation and facilitation has lost momentum. The key facilitator is pre-occupied with local problems rocking the ANC, and ZANU-PF is taking advantage of the situation to push for elections before the completion of key reforms."

Chapter 6: Munyaradzi Nyakudya. "Sanctioning the Government of National Unity: A Review of Zimbabwe's Relations with the West in the Framework of the Global Political Agreement."

Historian Munyaradzi Nyakudya's chapter is an important one, especially as the Zimbabwe sanctions debate has been so contentious and often full of inaccuracies. Most importantly, Nyakudya details how ZANU-PF has effectively used the continuation of Western sanctions to its advantage during the GNU period. Nyakudya writes:

"The West has grappled with two scenarios: either to engage Mugabe, lift sanctions, and support the GNU, or to shun him completely and maintain, if not tighten the sanctions. The latter scenario has largely prevailed. It must be conceded that the US, EU and their allies' various Sanctions Bills all stipulated the need for tangible progress in terms of establishing democracy, respecting human rights and upholding the rule of law before re-engaging. There has simply been no such progress, with the reform deficit clearly still outstanding. ZANU-PF has persistently and consistently refused to implement critical electoral, judicial, media and security sector reforms necessary before new elections can be held. "

Offering an insight into how determined ZANU-PF is to NOT carry out any reforms in the security sector, Nyakudya states:

"…on the issue of the security sector, the ZANU-PF Congress of December 2009 passed the following critical resolutions: ‘ZANU (PF) as the party of revolution and the people's vanguard shall not allow the security forces to be the subject of any negotiation for a so-called security sector reform,' ostensibly because the ‘security forces are a product of the liberation struggle'. The party thus argues that ‘calls for security sector reform violate Zimbabwean sovereignty.' This simply throws spanners in the GPA implementation process: the MDC formations have vowed not to accept that general elections be held before security sector reforms are instituted, maintaining that the latter have been politicized, as revealed in their proclamations not to accept any leader without liberation war credentials."

As elections approach and following the Constitutional referendum in March this year, the EU, Australia, and the US have stepped down from their hardline on targeted sanctions, removing many from the lists and promising even further lifting should these elections be peaceful and "credible". On the one hand this can be seen as assisting the MDCs in terms of letting them take credit for holding up their promise to work towards the lifting of sanctions. On the other hand, it also would appear to be a realpolitik hedging that ZANU-PF will win the elections and that Western powers are preparing for a full rapprochement with ZANU-PF in order to continue mining for platinum and dealing in diamonds there. The competition with China, who is fully involved with ZANU-PF on a number of economic and intelligence fronts, offers an incentive to back off on sanctions before the elections. Former US Ambassador to the UN, Andrew Young, travelled to Harare on the invitation of the State Department to visit Mugabe in April this year, which was a real sign of this hedging by the Americans, and even Reverend Jesse Jackson was in town on a "private" visit to meet with Mugabe and Tsvangirai, although he was accompanied by US Ambassador Bruce Wharton when meeting with Mugabe.

Chapter 7 Shari Eppel, "Repairing a Fractured Nation: Challenges and Opportunities in Post-GPA Zimbabwe"

Shari Eppel is a leading authority on transitional justice issues in Zimbabwe, particularly pertaining to the Gukurahundi period (1983-1987) when thousands of Zimbabweans were killed as part of ZANU's consolidation of power and the crushing of former rival ZAPU's power. Eppel is therefore highly qualified to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of truth and reconciliation efforts during the GPA, and in the future.

Like the other contributors to this volume, Eppel does not refrain from criticizing the opposition. In this case, she has in mind the difficulty observers sympathetic to the MDCs have in criticizing inter-party violence, as well as violence carried out by MDC supporters against ZANU-PF supporters.

"While the existence and extent of political violence by MDC in the last ten years remains an issue that civics in Zimbabwe is nervous to explore, at some point in the future it will be necessary to confront this issue if we are to avoid another cycle of impunity under an MDC government. The MDCs have undoubtedly had the odds stacked massively against them, with the police, army, and CIO all arresting, torturing and assaulting MDC supporters with impunity, as have war veteran groupings, you militia, Chipangano, and other informal arms of ZANU-PF. But on the ground in some rural villages and urban suburbs, inter-party violence has become much more evenly matched in recent years, and this is seldom admitted to by civics on the argument that the ZANU-PF elements of the state have dishonestly blamed much of their own violence on the MDC, and to produce forensic proof of some MDC violence would be to add credence to the patently false ZANU-PF position that most of the violence is by MDC." [234, emphasis in the original]… "Clearly, there are some people in Zimbabwe who are justified in seeing MDC supporters as perpetrators. Furthermore, members of the MDC faction headed by Welshman Ncube would point to internal violence in the MDC as a major contributor to the split in the party: beatings and torture of MDC's own activists have taken place in their political headquarters and structures over the years, as several—largely uncirculated—MDC commissions of inquiry reveal." .

Eppel also explores the roles of two new institutions developed by the GPA . The first is the Organ of National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration (ONHRI) and the second is the GPA Joint Monitoring Committee (JOMIC), which is made up of representatives of all three political parties, and tasked with "investigating violent incidents together". (238) Eppel analyzes the potential value of the ONHRI while exploring some of the fundamental difficulties facing any institution in Zimbabwe wanting to seriously deal with issues of transitional justice. The ability of the JOMIC to not only monitor but prevent future political violence is questioned, and although all three political parties have been sanguine about JOMIC's abilities to make these upcoming elections "violence free", questions remain over how a JOMIC without enforceable powers will be able to act beyond making public pronouncements.


The above is a cursory examination of an excellent book. One I recommend highly to all those who will now turn their gaze toward Zimbabwe in the upcoming weeks. The Zimbabwean online media is often difficult to decipher given such strong polarization of views, as will be Western media portrayals given usual editorial decisions to cut out the background information. For those who want to make sense of the political landscape leading up to the 2013 elections, Raftopoulos et al's The Hard Road to Reform is a great place to start. I would also recommend Western journalists turn to these Zimbabwean scholars for analysis and quotes, rather than turning to the usual pundits in London or Washington DC. Their affiliations are listed in the book.

For further information, please contact Selvan Chetty - Deputy Director, Solidarity Peace Trust


Tel: +27 (39) 682 5869
Fax: +27 (39) 682 5869


Suite 4
3rd Floor
MB Centre
49 Aiken Street
Port Shepstone 4240
Kwazulu-Natal South Coast


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Hammond’s photo essay of Zimbabwe’s tragedy

Click the url to see the photos

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The names of SA Parliamentarians on the SADC Observer Mission
Parliamentarians to Zimbabwe Elections (SADC Observer Mission)







Ms Lusizo Sharon Makhubela-Mashele



Mr Zukile Luyenge



Ms Mmamoloko Tryphosa Kubayi



Ms Xoliswa Caroline Makasi



Mr Mtikeni Sibande



Mr Bafunani Mnguni



Ms Moji Lydia Moshodi



Mr Hermanus Bernadus Groenewald



Mr Mafemane Wilson Makhubela



Ms Ipuseng Cecilia Ditshetelo



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The iron laws of Zimbabwean politics

By David Blair
July 18th, 2013

Zimbabwe’s general election is less than two weeks away and, already, Morgan
Tsvangirai is crying foul. In his interview with The Daily Telegraph, he
declares that Robert Mugabe is “determined to retain power by whatever
 means”. No surprises there. I used to live in Zimbabwe and I’ve learnt from
bitter experience that the country’s politics are mind-numbingly repetitive.
Let me suggest the following iron laws:

1) Mugabe will always behave outrageously

This time, he announced the date of the election without consulting anyone
and failed to carry out a series of agreed reforms designed to make the
process fairer. In other words, one candidate in this election has already
rigged the contest in his favour.

2) Tsvangirai will always contest the election anyway

The obvious answer for a political leader invited to fight a blatantly
unfair election is to boycott the whole contest. If Tsvangirai ever did
this, he would deny Mugabe the spurious legitimacy that comes from being the
winner of a contested election. But Tsvangirai never does. Before every
election, stretching right back to the parliamentary polls of 2000, he
always threatens to boycott. But he always goes ahead and contests anyway.

3) Mugabe will use violence if – but only if – it’s necessary

There has been little bloodshed so far because Mugabe thinks he’ll win this
election anyway. Partly, that’s because he has rigged the rules in his
favour. Partly, it’s down to the fact that both Tsvangirai and Welshman
Ncube, the leader of the rival wing of the Movement for Democratic Change,
are both standing against him, which obligingly splits the anti-Mugabe vote.
In addition, both Tsvangirai and Ncube have been discredited by their
enjoyment of office in the outgoing coalition. So Mugabe hopes he’ll win the
first round on July 31 with over 50 per cent. If, however, he doesn’t, then
he will let slip the dogs of war, allowing the army and Zanu-PF’s militias
to organise a national terror campaign to guarantee that he will win the
second round. The lesson is that Mugabe is ruthless, but he’s not a sadist.
He uses violence if he needs to – but only if he needs to.

The pattern has been clear ever since the MDC first emerged to challenge
Zanu-PF in 1999. The referendum on a new constitution in February 2000 was
peaceful because Mugabe thought he would win. The trouble was that he lost.
He then unleashed mayhem in order to guarantee victory in the parliamentary
elections of June 2000. Even so, the MDC did well, winning 57 out of 120
elected seats. So Mugabe felt that he had to sustain the violence in order
to clear the hurdle of the next presidential poll in 2002.

When the parliamentary elections in 2005 came along, the MDC had split into
two rival factions. There was little violence that time because Mugabe knew
that his party would win anyway.

He was still confident when it came the last presidential election in 2008.
All was calm and peaceful in the first round. But then Tsvangirai managed to
beat him into second place. So Mugabe promptly let his thugs off the leash,
starting a wave of violence that claimed hundreds of lives and secured him
victory in the second round. The implication is clear: if Mugabe fails to
win outright on July 31, then the killing will start.

4) The opposition will always accept Mugabe’s victories

Tsvangirai has cried foul after every election, presidential or
parliamentary, for the last 13 years. But that’s about all he does. In the
past, the MDC mounted legal challenges against Mugabe’s election victories.
But these never led anywhere; today, the Supreme Court is packed with Mugabe’s
appointees and there is no chance of any challenge succeeding. Even if the
courts were to order a presidential election to be rerun, Mugabe would just
ignore them. Meanwhile, Tsvangirai has neither the will nor the means to
bring people onto the streets in protest. So, in the end, he will always lie
down and accept Mugabe’s victories.

If those are the four iron laws, what is the most likely scenario? Mugabe
will probably win outright in the first round. For the sake of the peace of
Zimbabwe, it would probably be better if he does. Jacob Zuma and other
African leaders will then ask him to be magnanimous and keep the coalition
and invite Tsvangirai to stay on as prime minister. Mugabe might tell them
to get lost. Or he might decide to pose as the father of the nation and ask
Tsvangirai to stick around. If he does, Tsvangirai will inevitably say “yes”.
He insisted in his interview with the Telegraph that he would never work
with Mugabe again. But there is little relationship between what Tsvangirai
says and what he does. That might serve as the fifth iron law of Zimbabwean

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ZANU-PF is not serious

Vince Musewe
18 July 2013

Vince Musewe says Zimbabwe has a culture of hiding the facts in order to
please our politicians

ZANU(PF) is not serious

Our ideas and aspirations can no longer be shaped by the gun, propaganda or
the threat of violence or even death

I never cease to be amazed by the tomfoolery we are witnessing! Last week
Friday evening, the day before the ZANU (PF) event, I arrived in Highfield
and there were no potholes in the road leading to the Zimbabwe grounds!
There had been there in the morning. The grass on the road sides had been
cut and municipal workers were busy hiding the waste that has been there for
a couple of months. I laughed out loud but realised that one of our
fundamental problems in Zimbabwe is the City Council. Their whole idea here
was to create an illusion to the "chefs" that they are doing their job and
all is well, which is definitely not the case.

This has happened before, mind you, during the botched township tourism
fiasco, where we saw roads being patched up and buildings painted because
the "chefs" were coming to visit. The one day event has resulted in zero
results. But that seems normal in Zimbabwe.

We now have a culture of hiding the facts in order to please our
politicians. This has been happening for such a long time at has become
"normal". We even describe our economic conditions, not as they really are,
but as we think our "chefs" want to hear; that it's the British and
sanctions. The ZBC is very good at that and so is the Herald including those
analysts and columnist who write for it. I actually feel sorry for them
because they are caught in a spider's web of manufactured lies and innuendo
in order to make living. I pray that our forgiving God has mercy on them.

We are a nation of fools who fear the truth, and will do anything to hide

Listening at the ZANU (PF) narrative of what needs to happen in Zimbabwe, it
really worries me that there is no realisation or acknowledgement that their
ideas on Zimbabwe have not worked and will not work. I liken their problem
to that of an alcoholic who knows he or she is one, but continually denies
accepting the fact and claims that they are not.

Pulling out of the SADC does not solve our issues; the SADC is not the
problem we are. Pushing indigenization does not create new value nor does it
grow the economy or create jobs. Touting the black and white racist
narrative is old tired news. Calling some of us sell outs because we want
the best for Zimbabwe is sheer stupidity dressed up in designer suits and

Our ideas and aspirations can no longer be shaped by the gun, propaganda or
the threat of violence or even death. We are new people and must hurry to
create a new system that resonates with our aspirations. We CAN shape our
future and must fulfil that responsibility on the 31st of July.

I have found the first Psalm instructive in these times we face:

"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor
standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But
his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day
and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that
bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and
whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the
chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore, the ungodly shall not stand in
the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord
knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish."

Vote rigging and frustrating new voters from registering might work but
"victory" shall be temporary because it is against the principles of our
mighty God. I therefore urge all progressive Zimbabweans to do the right
thing so that we can all enjoy a peaceful and prosperous country. More
important, we must defend our vote after voting. So don't relax after you
vote, we must be out there in our thousands in the streets waiting for the


Vince Musewe is an economist based in Harare; you may contact him on

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Foreign & Commonwealth Office Report on Human Rights in Zimbabwe

Human Rights and Democracy 2012
The 2012 Foreign & Commonwealth Office Report

Report on Zimbabwe

Click the url above to read the report

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Simukai : Protect Your Vote

Via the Simukai website:

Dear people of Zimbabwe it is time to take back your power.

You have the right to a free and fair election.

You can be part of making that happen.

Before you go to vote click on  the website: www. Simukai   find the Identity Number for the polling station where you will be voting.

After you have voted remain at the polling station until voting is complete. Once the results are posted outside the station, as is legally required, you can claim your power by SMS the results of the presidential election in the following format to one of the numbers below

00 27 713563219

00 27 71 3562087

Type in the ID number for your polling station , then the number of votes won by Morgan Tvangirai and the  number of votes won by Robert Mugabe:

I D _ _ _ _ M T _ _ _ _ R M _ _ _ _

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Court Watch 10/2013 of 17th July 2013 [State v Solomon Madzore:Charge - Insulting the President]


[17th July 2013]

State v MDC-T Youth Leader Solomon Madzore

Charged with Undermining the Authority of or Insulting the President


MDC-T Youth Leader Solomon Madzore was arrested on Thursday 2nd May 2013 for allegedly undermining the authority of or insulting the President contrary to section 33(2)(a) and (b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act ["Criminal Law Code"].  The allegation was that during a pre-election rally in Mbire, Mashonaland Central province, he called the President a “limping old donkey” who is blocking Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai from doing his work in the inclusive government.  He denies the allegation.  Mr Madzore, as well as being the party’s youth leader, is the MDC-T candidate for Dzivaresekwa National Assembly seat in the coming election.  Following his arrest, Mr Madzore was transferred to the Bindura Central Police Station where he was held for four days before he was brought to court on Monday 6 May 2013.  

Mr Madzore had previously spent over 400 days in custody, having been charged, along with 28 other MDC activists, with killing a police officer [all deny the charge]: their trial is still ongoing; see Court Watch 9/2013 of 10th July.   Mr Madzore also spent over 70 days in custody in 2007 on petrol bombing attack charges: these charges were later dropped.  Mr Madzore and others said they were tortured in custody during this time.

Court Proceedings

Magistrate’s bail order blocked by prosecutor

On Monday 6 May 2013, legal representative Charles Kwaramba applied for Mr Madzore to be released on bail at Bindura Magistrates Court.  Magistrate Elisha Chingono allowed the application and granted bail of US$100.  Prosecutor Munyaradzi Mataranyika immediately invoked section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act however, which allows suspects to be held for up to a further seven days pending the State lodging a High Court appeal against the grant of bail.  Mr Madzore was accordingly held in custody pending the outcome of the State’s appeal.

Note: Section 121(3) says:  “A decision by a judge or magistrate to admit a person to bail shall be suspended if, immediately after the decision, the judge or magistrate is notified that the Attorney-General or his representative wishes to appeal against the decision, and the decision shall thereupon be suspended and the person shall remain in custody.”  The prosecutor does not have to justify invoking section 121(3) by showing that there is merit in a State appeal or establishing a risk of the accused’s absconding; his or her statement of the wish to appeal is enough.  If a State appeal is lodged within 7 days, the person is held in detention until the outcome of the appeal is determined.  If before the 7 days is up, the State notifies the judge or magistrate that they do not intend to appeal, the accused must be released immediately.  If there is no such notification and the 7-day period runs out without a State appeal being lodged, the accused must be released immediately. 

The excessive use of section 121(3) by prosecutors

This was highlighted in Court Watch 8/2012 of 25th April 2012, which referred to the statistics compiled by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights showing the State lodged appeals in less than 25% of section 121(3) cases.  Of these only one case was successful – and even that only in partially altered bail conditions.  In all but one of the cases, therefore, the accused persons had been kept locked up for up to seven extra days for no good reason.  This record has attracted condemnation from the legal profession, human rights defenders and on at least one occasion from a High Court judge when rejecting a State appeal against the granting of bail by a magistrate.  Supreme Court applications for section 121(3) to be struck down as unconstitutional have failed to reach the stage of a court hearing. 

Comment: Section 121(3) is unlikely to survive for long now that the new Constitution’s Declaration of Rights is in force.  Section 80 of the new Declaration of Rights, which lists the rights of arrested and detained persons in more detail than the former Declaration, provides that a person who is arrested “must be released unconditionally or on reasonable conditions, pending a charge or trial unless there are compelling reasons justifying their continued detention”.  Section 121(3), which requires no justification at all from the State, is obviously inconsistent with that.


Madzore’s bail confirmed by High Court

On Tuesday 14th May, Mr Madzore appeared in the Magistrates Court in Bindura for a remand hearing and was remanded in custody until 28th May.  Also due on the 14th May was the High Court hearing of the State’s appeal against the magistrate’s decision granting Mr Madzore bail, but this was postponed till 15th May.  On that day Justice Chatukuta dismissed the State’s appeal and ordered his release on bail as granted by the magistrate. 

Trial set down for 18th July

Mr Madzore’s trial has now been set down for 18th July at Bindura Magistrates Court.  It remains to be seen whether the trial will proceed or be deferred pending the hearing and determination of a constitutional application challenging the validity of the provision under which Mr Madzore has been charged.  

Constitutional Court Application

On 8th July 2013, an application was lodged with the Constitutional Court on Mr Madzore’s behalf by his representative Tawanda Zhuwarara for the offence provided for under section 33(2) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act to be struck down on the basis that it violates Mr Madzore’s constitutional rights under the new Constitution, including:  his right to campaign freely and peacefully for a political party or cause [section 67(2)(b)]; his freedom of opinion and freedom to propagate and give expression to that opinion [section 60(1)(a) and (b)]; and his freedom to communicate his ideas and other information [section 61(1)(a)].

The “Offence”

Section 33 of the Criminal Law Code sets out the offence of “undermining the authority of or insulting President” as follows:

“(2)  Any person who publicly, unlawfully and intentionally—

(a)    makes any statement about or concerning the President or an acting President with the knowledge or realising that there is a real risk or possibility that the statement is false and that it may—

(i)    engender feelings of hostility towards; or

(ii)   cause hatred, contempt or ridicule of;

the President or an acting President, whether in person or in respect of the President’s office;  or

(b)    makes any abusive, indecent or obscene statement about or concerning the President or an acting President, whether in respect of the President personally or the President’s office;

shall be guilty of undermining the authority of or insulting the President and liable to a fine not exceeding level six or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or both.”

A controversial provision

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights have reported a dramatic increase in the number of people being arbitrarily charged under this provision, having attended to at least 65 such cases since 2010.  Due to continued delays in the justice delivery system, most of these cases are still pending, with only two having been finalized, both resulting in acquittals.  In other instances, clients have been removed from remand due to failure by the State to prosecute timeously.

First Challenge to Constitutionality of this Offence under New Constitution

The constitutionality of this provision has been raised in court challenges on several previous occasions, but none of these challenges has yet resulted in a determination by the Supreme [now Constitutional] Court.  Douglas Mwonzora and Pishai Muchauraya’s applications to the court on this issue were stayed and returned to the lower courts for clarification of the factual circumstances behind their applications.  Solomon Madzore’s application is the first challenge to this provision brought to the Constitutional Court in terms of the new Constitution. 

The fundamental right in question is freedom of expression, now protected by section 61 of the new Constitution, and previously enshrined in section 20 of the former Constitution.  The essential complaint is that freedom of expression is infringed because the Criminal Law Code’s provision is excessively widely framed, leaving members of the public uncertain about what can and cannot safely be said about the President, and therefore subject to arbitrary arrest by police officers placing their own interpretation on the provision.  This uncertainty has a chilling effect on legitimate political discourse in a country where the President, who is both the active head of a political party and also the Head of State and Government, enjoys freedom to castigate his political opponents in strong terms and does not hesitate to do so.



Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied

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Bill Watch 30/2013 of 18th July [Countdown to Elections]

BILL WATCH 30/2013

[18th July 2013]

Elections Countdown

There are 13 days to go to polling day on Wednesday 31st July

31st July a Public Holiday

Polling day, 31st July, is a public holiday [Electoral Act, section 38(2): “... polling day shall be deemed to be a public holiday for the purposes of the Public Holidays and Prohibition of Business Act”].  In addition, employers must allow employees who are at work on polling day to have the morning or afternoon off “to afford them an opportunity to vote in the election, without deducting pay [Electoral Act, section 92].

Tuesday 9th July – special mobile voter registration exercise concluded

9th July was the 30th and last day of the special and intensive voter mobile registration and voters roll inspection exercise mounted in accordance with paragraph 6(3) of the Sixth Schedule to the new Constitution. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC] directed the mobile registration and inspection centres to remain open until midnight, to deal with those still queuing at the usual closing time of 7 pm.  There has been widespread criticism that the exercise was inadequate and left many would-be voters still unregistered. 

Wednesday 10th July – last day to register for the elections at ordinary registration centres

Would-be voters who did not take advantage of the mobile registration exercise could still register for the coming elections until close of business on the 10th July, but only at the permanent registration offices operated by the Registrar-General’s Office around the country.  Anyone registering after that will not be on the rolls to be used in polling stations on 31st July – section 26A of the Electoral Act, as amended by SI 85/2013, provides for the closure of voters rolls twelve days after the nomination day [which was 28th June].

Comment:  The queues at mobile centres, particularly in urban areas, were so long that the mobile exercise did not come near catering for all those wanting to register – in spite of the officials being told to deal with everyone queuing before shutting the office.  And the exercise was not women-friendly, as most women have to get back home some time to see to their children.  In many wards the three-day [or sometimes shorter] visit by the mobile team was not long enough to cope with the demand.  It is no wonder that there have been calls for the registration exercise to be extended, but an amendment to the section 26A of the Electoral Act would be needed to allow people registered after 10th July to vote in these elections – and it is pointless to think of amending section 26A now, because section 157(5) of the new Constitution, which is already in force, provides that “After an election has been called, no change to the Electoral Law or to any other law relating to elections has effect for the purpose of that election.”

Difficulty former aliens had in getting registered as voters

People formerly regarded as aliens, but now classified as citizens under the new Constitution and therefore wishing to register as voters, experienced special difficulty during the registration exercise.  Despite claims by political parties that all those previously classified as “aliens” had to do was swap their old IDs for new ones, to register as voters they were first required to establish their claim to citizenship – and for many this proved too difficult in practice.  Those able to prove by their citizenship by production of their “long” [full, detailed] birth certificates and proof of residence could exchange their “alien” IDs for new “citizen” ID papers, and there were special queues for them.  These queues were particularly long and slow-moving, and many were not able to get their new ID papers and register as voters at the mobile centres.  Voter education was also sadly lacking, so many did not have the necessary documentation and found themselves referred to distant district offices or to the even more distant central registry in Harare, and did not have either the time or the means to pursue their claims further.  There were also reports – some of which came by phone call to Veritas – that even people who did have the correct documents were being referred to Harare.  It is difficult for Veritas to estimate how many would-be voters simply abandoned their quest, frustrated by uncooperative officials and the slow pace at which applicants were processed, but from press and observer reports it was considerable and many of the potential new voters under the new Constitution did not get registered

Lists of Parliamentary and Provincial Council candidates gazetted

Two Government Gazettes Extraordinary dated 5th July contained notices gazetted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC] following the nomination court sittings on 28th June, listing:

·      Presidential election candidates [GN 361/2013***]

·      National Assembly constituency candidates [GN 362/2013***]  All 210 seats will be contested. [This GN includes party list details for National Assembly, Senate and Provincial Councils; this turned out to be a ZEC error, and the party lists were subsequently gazetted separately in GN 364/2013.]

·      Party list candidates [First Schedule – Senate; Second Schedule – National Assembly; Third Schedule – Provincial Councils] [GN 364/2013***]

Note: The list of National Assembly constituency candidates has already been affected by candidates withdrawing [11 constituencies affected] and by successful appeals to the Electoral Court by candidates whose nominations had been rejected by nomination courts [3 constituencies affected].  [See below]

Withdrawal of candidates

There have been no withdrawals from the Presidential election contest. 

Withdrawals, mostly by Independent candidates, have however resulted in changes to the gazetted lists of candidates for 11 National Assembly constituency seats [GN 366/2013*** dated 12th July].  The constituencies affected [with names of the withdrawn candidates in brackets] are

·      Headlands [C.P. Chingosho, Ind]

·      Nkayi South [L. Dube, Ind]

·      Gweru Urban [P. Mabukwa, Ind]

·      Mutare North [M. Madiro, Ind]

·      Shamva North [A. Matibiri, MDC]

·      Chimanimani West [N. Matsikenyere, Ind]

·      Marondera West [R. Mavunga, Ind]

·      Bulawayo East [R. Muhlwa, ZAPU]

·      Chikomba Central [R, Mujuru, Ind]

·      Insiza South [N. Ntandokayiphikiswa, MDC-T]

·      Bikita South [S. Uyoyo, Ind]. 

Nomination Appeals to Electoral Court

The Electoral Act requires appeals against nomination court decisions to be lodged within four days and dealt with swiftly in judges’ chambers.  There is no further appeal [Electoral Act, section 45E(13)(c)].   Electoral Court judges are High Court judges appointed by the Chief Justice to double as Electoral Court judges. 

Nomination court decisions on 28th June prompted 47 appeals to the Electoral Court over National Assembly and council nominations.  All the appeals were dealt with last week by judges sitting in Bulawayo [3 judges] and Harare [16 judges].  Hearings started on 5th July in Harare and three days later in Bulawayo.  The last few cases were completed on Thursday 11th July.   

Of the 47 appeals, 17 succeeded, all by aspiring candidates whose nomination papers had been rejected or regarded as void by the nomination courts.  The remaining appeals were either dismissed [12] or withdrawn by the appellants [18].  Appeals by the MDC-T as a  party, claiming misuse of its party logo, were dismissed on the ground that the relevant provision of the Electoral Act [section 46] only allows an appeal by a rejected aspiring candidate.  [Note: The Electoral Court does not have general jurisdiction at this stage to consider appeals falling outside the strict limits of section 46.]  Other appeals were dismissed because they were filed too late or because the appeal documents were defective.  One appellant wanting to stand for a council failed because, being under 21, he was too young to be elected. 

Effect of Successful Appeals – Additional Candidates

Successful appeals to the Electoral Court, by candidates rejected by nomination courts, have resulted in additions to the gazetted lists of candidates whose names will appear on ballot papers.  The additions have affected:

·      three National Assembly constituency elections [additional candidate’s name and party in brackets]:

o   Hurungwe Central [Langton Mugudubi, MDC]

o   Hurungwe West [Tongai Kwanda, MDC]

o   Zvimba West [Locardia Mupambwa, MDC]

·      a larger number of local authority council elections [see below].

Constituency elections officers gazetted

ZEC has also gazetted names and addresses of constituency elections officers for all 210 National Assembly constituencies [GN 363/2013].***

Local Authority Elections: Lists of Candidates Published in Press

Daily papers for 12th July contained lengthy supplements listing:

·      candidates for election to local authority councils [note that gazetting is not required – Electoral Act, section 125(4)]

·      wards in which candidates were declared elected unopposed.

There have been subsequent changes to both lists, as a result of appeals to the Electoral Court against nomination court decisions and of candidates withdrawing from the elections.  These have also been notified in the newspapers.  [In all, 36 ward lists in 16 local authorities, are affected.  7 of the additional candidates are from MDC-T, 2 from ZANU-PF, 26 from MDC, 1 from UMD, 2 are Independents and there are 2 others.]  Presumably new lists will be published in the press.

Election Documents Available on Website:

·       GN 361/2013*** [Presidential Candidates]

·       GN 362/2013*** [National Assembly Constituency Candidates]

·       GN 363/2013*** [Addresses of Constituency Elections Officers]

·       GN 364/2013*** [Party Lists for National Assembly, Senate and Provincial Councils]

*** Please note these General Notices are available on the Veritas website but are not available by email.

·       SI 85/2013* [regulations amending the Electoral Act]

·       Consolidated Electoral Act* [including amendments by SI 85/2013]

·       SI 86/2013* and SI 96/2013 [Election proclamation and correction]

·       SI 88/2013* [Electoral Electoral (Nomination of Candidates) Regulations

·       SI 89/3012* [Electoral (Accreditation of Observers) Regulations

*available on website and still available by email if requested from


Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied

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