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MDC-T special vote case dismissed by Justice Chiweshe

By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
19 July 2013

On Friday Constitutional Court Judge George Chiweshe dismissed an MDC-T
court bid querying the figures of police officers who voted in the special
ballot held on July 14th-16th.

The MDC-T, as well as its elections official Morgan Komichi, also wanted the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to provide the party with a list of all those
who voted in the just-ended special vote.

Lawyers for both sides had to argue out their cases Thursday, after the
Commission’s lawyers from the registrar-general’s office reneged on a
previous mutual agreement to make the list available to the MDC-T.

But Komichi told SW Radio Africa that Justice Chiweshe dismissed the
application with costs: “We were told the reasons for the ruling will

However Komichi said he was not surprised by Chiweshe’s decision: “We knew
even as we filed our application that our courts have become very
unprofessional at election times.

“It does not matter whether you have all the evidence and witnesses to
support your case, our judges will rule in favour of ZANU PF. But we will
continue fighting our cases in the courts because we are a law-abiding

Komichi said it was clear from the reluctance to supply basic voter
information, such as the list, that ZEC was being manipulated.

“This is not the ZEC we should have. It is obvious that someone else is
running things and this is the army and the central intelligence just as
they did in the last election in 2008,” Komichi added.

The MDC-T was challenging the 69,000 ballot papers prepared by the ZEC for
the special vote for the police, comparing it with the figure of 44,000
provided by the Treasury for the number of police officers paid a monthly

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‘Unhappy’ Zuma to host Zim pre-election summit

By Alex Bell
SW Radio Africa
19 July 2013

South African President Jacob Zuma will on Saturday host a meeting with his
regional counterparts that make up the SADC Troika, to discuss Zimbabwe’s
looming elections.

The presidents of Mozambique, Tanzania and Namibia will join Zuma at the
meeting in Pretoria, according to Zuma’s International Relations advisor,
Lindiwe Zulu.

“The heads of state will go through the reports already coming in from the
ground, from political parties and the SADC election observers who started
arriving this week,” Ms Zulu said. “Complaints are being made… but it’s
difficult to assess them without a meeting.”

The meeting comes amid reports that Zuma, as the SADC appointed facilitator
in Zimbabwe’s political crisis, is ‘unhappy’ with the current situation in
Zimbabwe. Zulu, whose phone again went unanswered on Friday, has been quoted
as saying that Zuma and his facilitation team is “concerned because things
on the ground (in Zimbabwe) are not looking good.”

Saturday’s Troika meeting is expected to tackle some of the complaints Zulu
has referred to. This includes the concerns raised by the MDC-T, which wrote
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. Amnesty International last week also
wrote to SADC, as well as to the Africa Union (AU) warning that the
credibility of the July 31st poll is in doubt.

Political analyst Professor David Moore said SADC is unlikely to call for
the election to be cancelled, saying there are few other options for
Zimbabwe at the moment. He explained that SADC has not yet set the precedent
of actively interfering in political processes in its member states, and it
won’t set the precedent with Zimbabwe.

“This is the thing about domestic policies and SADC will always hesitate in
interfering where they are expected to. So I think SADC is likely to examine
its electoral guidelines (at the meeting), but it won’t call the election
off,” Moore said.

He explained that SADC leaders are more likely beginning to put together a
post-election plan for Zimbabwe, which could result in another Government of
National Unity.

“If the evidence is overwhelming that there is a groundswell of support for
the MDC, but the election doesn’t reflect this, then SADC will have to come
up with a plan. So they are likely discussing the possibility of a better
transitional arrangement than before,” Moore said.

Meanwhile ZANU PF Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa will be attending an AU
meeting in Ethiopia this weekend, where is he expected to give his party’s
own view on the current electoral situation. Zimbabwe was invited by the AU
commission to attend the meeting that will also discuss forthcoming
elections in Madagascar, Togo and Mali. Professor Moore said that Chinamasa’s
mission to the AU was to preempt what was being discussed by SADC this
weekend, with ZANU PF determined to have the poll on July 31st.

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Biti claims Mudede created four different voters rolls

By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
19 July 2013

The MDC-T on Friday claimed that Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede has
created three to four different voters roll databases, for the purposes of
rigging the upcoming elections.

Tendai Biti, the secretary-general of the MDC-T, told journalists at Harvest
House that the notorious Israeli company Nikuv, that has offices in Harare,
has been helping Mudede in manipulating the voters roll.

Biti said the way Mudede planned to rig was that on inspection, voters would
be able to see their names on the roll but come election day, their names
would not appear and they would not be able to vote.

‘To counter this, each party must sign off a voters roll that would be used
on election day. As such its been two weeks since the closure of the voter
registration exercise on the July 9th,’ Biti said.

He continued: ‘By now the RG’s office must have finished collation and
consolidation of the voter roll and handed it over to the Zimbabwe Electoral

Biti explained that ZEC were therefore obliged to invite all parties
contesting the poll to inspect and audit the voters roll, adding that the
electoral body was also obliged to give the parties electronic versions of
the roll.

‘We need copies that are searchable and analysable and not like in 2008
where we got CD copies that could not be used to analyse anything,’ Biti

With less than two weeks before the elections, Biti bemoaned the upsurge of
violence perpetrated by known ZANU PF activists against their supporters.

He said in most of the cases that the party has recorded, their supporters
had been able to identify their attackers and report them to the police, but
nobody has been arrested.

‘We have noticed the rescucitation of militaristic bases used in 2008
spreading like wildfire throughout the country. We have also reported all of
these cases to the electoral courts, but nothing again has happened. It
appears this electoral court only appears on paper and nothing else,’ he

The MDC-T has also noticed violations of people’s rights by ZANU PF by
forcing people to attend their star rallies, namely in Marondera,
Chitungwiza and Chinhoyi.

All these rallies were addressed by Mugabe and in all the towns he has been
to shops, market stalls, schools and all businesses were forced to shut down
and people frog marched to attend the star rallies.

‘No one should be coerced to attend political rallies. This is because ZANU
PF thrives on violence. The DNA of ZANU PF is violence and the centre of
gravity for that party is violence and violations.

‘People have the right to freedom of assembly and expression and these
should be respected by all parties including ZANU PF,’ Biti said.

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MDC raises concerns over Nikuv voters' roll 'manipulation'


The involvement of Israeli company Nikuv in the election process is again
under scrutiny after the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) wrote to the
registrar general’s office demanding that its contract be terminated.

The MDC said Nikuv had been involved in tampering with the voters’ roll.

It has also emerged that former home affairs minister Dumiso Dabengwa, who
is now a member of the opposition, knew the tender was awarded to Nikuv.

The circumstances under which the Nikuv tender was awarded is now being

Dabengwa left Zanu-PF in 2008. He later revived the Zimbabwe African People’s
Union (Zapu), which he now heads. Zapu is now in a coalition for the
election with Welshman Ncube’s MDC.

Asked for clarity on the Nikuv tender, Dabengwa confirmed that Nikuv was
hired in 2000 when he was a minister “to specifically upgrade the computers
for the purposes of computerising the central registry, birth certificates,
passports and national identity documents”.

Voting cards
“The only time they [Nikuv] attempted to get involved in electoral processes
was when they recommended in 2000 that they would want to introduce voting
cards for people, which would last for four elections,” Dabengwa said.

However, the government had not adopted the proposal. “If ever they were
then later used for other electoral processes by the state, that is not to
my knowledge.”

The MDC letter was written by the party’s secretary general, Tendai Biti, to
the registrar general’s office, and hand-delivered last weekend. It was also
copied to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa and home affairs ministers.

The party said it was “concerned about electoral fraud [by Nikuv] through
manipulation of the ­voters’ roll, and the issuing of multiple national
identity cards to individuals that would then allow them to vote twice”.

Nikuv, which has previously been investigated before by the Mail & Guardian
over allegations of its involvement in election rigging in the region, is
registered as Nikuv International Projects, and has been managing Zimbabwe’s
voters’ roll since 1994, when it was controversially awarded a tender to
upgrade the computer systems at the registrar general’s office.

There have also been allegations that Nikuv, which is headquartered in
Herzliya, Tel Aviv, is a front for Israeli intelligence.

But Nikuv has denied the allegations, saying it is being pulled into the
“dirty mud that comes with the holding of elections”.

'Never been involved in politics'
Nikuv’s Ron Asher this week spoke out for the first time and said that the
company has never been involved in politics.

Asher said: “It is election time and people are trying to throw mud from
this side and the other side. We are legitimate and professional. We have
never been involved in any politics, not now or ever.”

He said that Nikuv works with public sectors across the world, but declined
to say which government bodies it works with in Zimbabwe.

“Approach our customers and look on our website,” he said.

The website says that the company was established in 1994 by a group of
professionals with an accumulated experience of 45 years in the field of
population registration and electoral systems in Israel.

It says it specialises in population registration, birth and death
registration; marriage/divorce registration; identity documents; immigration
and citizenship; passports; and electoral systems.

Nikuv's electoral sevices
The electoral service it provides includes voter registration, ward
demarcation, the creation and printing of the voters’ roll by
polling ­stations, a central information ­centre and the management of
election results.

A senior Cabinet minister who asked to remain anonymous told the M&G last
month that Nikuv has been operating in Zimbabwe for more than 10 years and
is mainly based at the National Registration Bureau, located in Borrowdale,
Harare, next to the army headquarters.

The bureau is the national civic registration centre and falls under the
registrar general’s office.

The source claimed that Asher works directly with registrar general Tobaiwa

However, in a July 15 letter addressed to Biti, which the M&G has seen,
Mudede denied that Nikuv is in a position to manipulate the voters’ roll.

“Nikuv has no control over our voters’ roll. The mandate to register voters
and compile the voters’ roll rests with the registrar of voters.”

MDC's demands
In the letter to the registrar, the MDC also wanted to know whether Nikuv
was hired after an open tender process.

The MDC demanded that the registrar general also inform it if Nikuv has
indeed been working on the voters’ roll, the tender numbers and details, and
the extent of its work and what projects the company has completed.

A source within the prime minister’s office told the M&G that the party is
now considering taking the matter to court before the elections to seek an
order to bar Nikuv from the electoral processes.

Dr Ibbo Mandaza, a political analyst and head of policy research institute
Sapes, said Nikuv’s operations in Zimbabwe are “difficult to know”.

“I did receive some information way back in 2000 that there was a Israeli
company involved in electoral processes in the country, [but] it never
occurred to me at that stage that it was Nikuv,” he said.

Mandaza said concerns about Nikuv’s operations were “understandable.”

RAU interdicted
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe High Court on Wednesday interdicted nongovernmental
organisation Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) from launching and publishing
its full analysis of the voters’ roll at a Harare hotel on Wednesday.

Judge Joseph Mafusire upheld an urgent application by Mudede that claimed
that RAU is attempting to usurp the constitutional powers of the registrar
general’s office and intends to cause “chaos and anarchy within our
electoral system”.

In a preliminary report covered by the M&G two weeks ago, the RAU asserted
that a million Zimbabweans who are dead or have left the country are still
on the voters roll; that the roll lists 116 000 people older than 100; that
there are 78 constituencies with more registered voters than adult
residents; and that two million voters under the age of 30 are unregistered.

In a written response, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chair­person Rita
Makarau said that the ZEC had raised certain issues about the RAU’s
“assumptions”, but has not yet received a response.

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Vote rigging worries escalate


HARARE - There are escalating fears of vote rigging that could lead to
President Robert Mugabe winning with the outcome likely to result in
violence and chaos, analysts say.

Critics have expressed fears that the country’s chaotic and drawn-out
transition was entering an unexpected period of uncertainty.

Five presidential candidates are standing on the July 31 election, seen as a
crucial test of the inclusive government.

Only two candidates, President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, are reckoned by polls and analysts to have any chance of success
and the lack of any precedent means that few are daring to predict the

With Mugabe and Tsvangirai in a statistical dead heat, the leading two will
go through to a second round of voting next month if no one manages to
garner over 50 percent of the July 31 vote tally.

A sudden surge in support for Tsvangirai, a former trade unionist and Prime
Minister in the inclusive government, has led to widespread concerns that
the military is plotting to hijack the secretariat of the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission (Zec) as MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti claims happened during
the special vote and retain their preferred man in power.

The vote, intended to unify this long-divided nation could slip further into
uncertainty, as a heated tug-of-war is likely to emerge, analysts have

The outcome of the election could potentially open a new chapter for the
country but also increasing the risk of political violence in this onetime
economic powerhouse that has long since fallen on hard times.

Ibbo Mandaza, director of Harare-based think-tank Sapes Trust, said Zanu PF
has lost its social base over the years and its survival was purely on the
basis of its reliance on an unevenly strong State.

“Zanu PF’s only social base is the State; powerful disproportionate State
which controls the media and the security,” Mandaza told a recent civil
society conference in Johannesburg.

He argued that 60 percent of the newly registered voters were likely to vote
against Zanu PF given the tendency for new voters to go against the
incumbent, adding Mugabe has won elections through rigging since 1996.

He however, postulated that the stakes are so high that if elections are
allowed to be rigged, the outcome will result in violence, chaos and the
poll will be disputed hence a possible military coup, forcing regional and
international intervention and the possibility of another GPA.

Political violence has long been a staple here, with attacks by pro-Mugabe
militia groups punctuating public life for more than a decade.

Mandaza said: “If the art of rigging which remains the sole survival kit for
Zanu PF is exposed and in the absence of any method to ensure their victory,
the party may call off the elections by unleashing violence and chaos to
disrupt the process.”

Describing the poll as a “high stakes election” where Zanu PF actors
individually or collectively could not let go, rigorous scrutiny of the
electoral process was needed to get Zanu PF out of office, Mandaza said.

Analysts warn that the obtaining situation in Zimbabwe indicates that the
election is heading for dispute.

“Zimbabwe’s political terrain is constant flux of shifting sands,” said
McDonald Lewanika, executive director of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition.
“Elections are only one thing that is supposed to be uncertain.”

He said the election has been blighted by scarcity of financial resources,
side-stepping of Parliament and presidential decrees on election date,
“questionable” Constitutional Court rulings and a barrage of cases before
the Con-Court challenging the decision to hold the elections on July 31.

“There has been no transparency in the drawing up and implementation of
procedures that govern the conduct of the election which has seen the use of
presidential decree using Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act
through statutory instruments SI 85 and 86,” Lewanika said.

“We have also seen the disregard of Sadc resolutions in Maputo calling for
the inclusive government of Zimbabwe to undertake immediate measures to
create a conducive environment for the holding of peaceful, credible, free
and fair elections.

“Zimbabwe is not heeding calls from the region; laws are selectively aligned
while pieces of legislation like Posa, Aippa which curtail free political
activities are still in place.

“There hasn’t been fair and equal coverage of contesting candidates and
plural sources of information in the media, while political parties seem to
be purveyors of journalists’ intimidation and harassment.”

Political analyst Brian Raftopolous believes Zanu PF will steal victory
riding on a restructured political economy and the threat of violence.

Raftopolous said this was the most likely scenario based on the inclusive
government’s failure to fully implement political and institutional reforms
in accordance with the Global Political Agreement (GPA), “hence Zanu PF is
able to manipulate the electoral process to ensure its victory.”

He said Zanu PF will steal the election through subtle means such as the
manipulation of the voter registration exercise, lack of media and security
reforms, amongst other crucial reforms.

An outright victory by Tsvangirai was also a likely scenario, with that
victory facing resistance from the military.

Raftopolous intimated that there were clear signs that power might not be
handed over easily.
A former trade unionist, Tsvangirai has weathered the vicissitudes of this
country’s turbulent politics for years, including an attempt on his life and
treason charges.

The third possible scenario is a possibility of another negotiated
settlement as the country may have another hung Parliament.

“This scenario emanates from a totally disputed election marred by
intimidation and violence,” Raftopolous said. “This is likely to force
intervention by Sadc and the African Union (AU) and another negotiated
settlement will be the solution.”

The long-awaited vote has been a significant international concern,
prompting Sadc to warn officials in Zimbabwe to fully implement the GPA and
to say it was ready to take “appropriate measures.”

The Mugabe government, however, has been relatively impervious to
international pressure, brushing off repeated calls to stage a fair contest.

Ndlovu-Gatsheni, head of the Archie Mafeje Research Institute of the
University of South Africa (Unisa), said given the prevailing conditions on
the ground, Zimbabwe cannot expect conditions for free and fair elections in
the remaining two weeks.

He reiterated the need to make this an “issues-based election”, urging the
electorate to seriously consider what the political parties are promising in
their manifesto to avoid a “choice less democracy” after elections.

He expressed worry that most people seem to believe that the holding of the
forthcoming election will be the end of Zimbabwe’s problems, yet, “it was
just a stepping stone towards democracy.”

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13 days to election and intimidation on increase

13 Days to Election day…….

Community Updates on the General Political Environment.

Ward 7
Village head Muzivi from Muzivi village in ward 7, called for a meeting
today where he declared that everyone in the area should vote for ZANU PF or
risk being chased away from the area.

Shamva North
Ward 5
ZANU PF youths moved around ward 5 today, removing all MDC-T posters and
replaced them with President Robert Mugabe’s posters.

Gutu West
Ward 29
ZANU PF supporters, led by Kudakwashe Mutatu moved around Mushaviri township
in the afternoon and tearing down all MDC T posters.

Ward 5
ZANU PF supporters are carrying out their rallies everyday in the area where
they are forcing every villager to attend. People are complaining that they
no longer have time to attend to their day to day activities.

Chipinge South
Ward 28
An MDC T supporter, Sam Dendera was heavily assaulted by ZANU PF supporters
today. The perpetrators have been identified as John Sibanda, Samson
Sibanda, Hardlife Khumbula and Lovemore Simango. He was assaulted for
refusing to wear ZANU PF regalia.

Shava South
Ward 20
In Shamva on 17 July, Minister Nicolas Goche addressed farm workers in the
area where he threatened all anti -ZANU PF supporters with expulsion from
the farms if they do not renounce their political parties before the
elections. To prove to the farm workers that he was serious, the Minister
went on to force Gerald Muzanenhamo and his family off the farm accusing
them of supporting MDC T. The police have since been notified of the
incident but no action has been taken yet.

Zaka Central
Ward 9
Martin Matondo, who resides in ward 7 was threatened with death by a group
of ZANU PF supporters led by Alfonse Mutovhonwa a well-known ZANU PF
activist. Matondo an ardent MDC supporter was given 7 days to join ZANU PF,
failure to do so will result in him being abducted and killed. The police
have since been informed of the incident.

Chegutu West
Ward 28
An MDC aspiring Councillor, Mr. Dzeka was assaulted by ZANU PF members on 17
July in ward 28. The victim was accused of campaigning for MDC in the area.

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Villagers barred from MDC rally

GODFREY MTIMBA  •  19 JULY 2013 8:25AM

MASVINGO - Chief Fortune Charumbira, president of the Chief’s council, has
instructed headmen and village heads to bar villagers from attending MDC
Masvingo West candidate Takanayi Mureyi’s rallies in his constituency.

Addressing thousands of party supporters at Charumbira Shopping Centre, a
few kilometres from the chief’s homestead, Mureyi lambasted Charumbira for
violating the new constitution that bars traditional leaders from meddling
in politics.

“MDC is not happy with what is happening in this constituency,” he said.

“The leader of traditional chiefs has ordered all village heads to call for
meetings to tell you that do not attend our rally today or else you will be
sacked from the village.

“I want to tell you that Charumbira is not allowed to meddle in politics and
tell you which political party to attend rallies, he actually has no power
and even the village heads to sack you from the village for supporting or
attending our rallies.

“Do not be afraid of Charumbira he is just a toothless bulldog who wants to
abuse his traditional leader position,” said Mureyi.

When the Daily News crew arrived in Charumbira, village heads had convened
meetings with their subjects accompanied by Zanu PF ward leaders in a bid to
keep people away from the MDC rally.

However, thousands of villagers defied the chief  and attended Mureyi’s
rally that had to be moved from 12pm to 3pm.

Mureyi said he had alerted Sadc observers in the province to take note of
the interference by Charumbira and his traditional leaders.

Charumbira was unreachable for comment.

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Over 50 pct of Zimbabwean security forces miss early vote: official

08:25, July 19, 2013

HARARE, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Over 50 percent of Zimbabwe's security forces
failed to cast their ballots in a two-day early vote because of delays in
the printing house, a government minister said Thursday.

Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa told reporters that
only 29,000 police officers, soldiers and other officials, out of an
estimated 69,000, managed to vote in the special vote that ended Monday.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) acknowledged the chaos, saying it
will give the security personnel a second chance -- to vote as the general
public do on July 31. But the decision remains questionable as they might be
assigned on duty far from the districts they are registered to vote.

ZEC chairperson Rita Makarau said she has spoken to the country's police
chief, urging him to deploy police officers in such a way that they will be
in their wards of their registration to perform duties so that they are able
to vote.

"We are making efforts to make sure that this time around we do not have
these same problems," she said.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who will contest Mugabe in the upcoming
poll, said he is "disappointed in ZEC" for failing to cope with the
initially 87,000 applicants for the early voting.

"If ZEC cannot handle 87,000 voters, how will it handle 6 million voters on
July 31?" the prime minister asked before his supporters in the campaign

Zimbabweans will go to the polls on July 31 to choose a president, more than
200 National Assembly members, and nearly 2, 000 local councilors. Mugabe
and Tsvangirai remain the leading candidates for the presidency.

After the country's last elections in 2008, which were marred by disputes,
violence, and allegations of vote-rigging and intimidation, Mugabe and
Tsvangirai formed a bickering unity government.

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Special Voting a Sham: Election Resource Centre

132 103 9 1
The Election Resource Centre adds its voice to the observations on the
shambolic nature of the special voting process that was conducted by the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission on the 14th and 15th of July 2013.

The election process for Zimbabwe’s civil servants, including police details
and soldiers who will be on national duty on the actual polling day on the
31st of July, was fraught with irregularities that have cast doubt on the
ability of ZEC to deliver and conduct an efficient, free, fair and credible

The sum effect is that less than 10% of those eligible to vote were able to
exercise their democratic and constitutional right to vote. The shortcomings
are unacceptable, coming as they do when Zimbabwe is expected to conduct a
credible election that produces an acceptable outcome.

This wholly unacceptable process continues the same chaotic pattern that
began with the first and second voter registration process where Zimbabweans
were not sufficiently afforded the opportunity to participate in this
crucial election.

If this trend continues, we can be sure that elections on 31 July will be
anything but credible. There were reports of voting starting late in most
polling stations mainly due to the late arrival of ballot envelopes.

In a press conference on Sunday the 14th of July 2013, ZEC Deputy
Chairperson, Joyce Kazembe admitted that the delivery of ballot envelopes to
polling stations on the first day were delayed because the electoral body
had not foreseen such logistical challenges – that the printers would delay
printing the ballot envelopes.

In fact these ballot envelopes ought to have been in the districts the day
before the start of special voting so that they could be delivered promptly
on the first day or even before that.

The Commission also intimated that the delay in the in the printing was a
result of the nomination court challenges that still have to be resolved,
something that impacted on the printing of ballot papers.

The conduct by the electoral commission is in contravention of Section 81E
(1) of the Electoral Act, which states that ZEC has to set up special voting
stations at the district centres, and that these stations must be ready for
voting on the first day fixed for special voting.

However, many voting stations across the country were not ready on the first
day, and on the last day of voting (the 15th of July, the process had not
ended on time, with voting exceeding well into the night.

The electoral body also failed to provide adequate information to the public
and to the persons voting during the special voting process because the body
has an obligation to inform the nation on how many people successfully
applied to vote, the number of applications approved and the number of
ballot papers that were reproduced.

The provision of such information serves to nullify unforeseen episodes of
confusion. And such information should be in the public domain.

Section 81C of the Electoral Act states that persons wishing to cast a
special vote must apply for authorization to the commission at least 14 days
before first special voting day. The Chief Elections Officer must number all
such applications for authorization.

Added to that, Section 81D (1) states that the Chief Elections Officer must
notify successful applicants and provide them with written authorization to
cast special votes. He or she must inform applicants when and where they
must cast their vote.

Accordingly the late provision of ballot envelopes to the voters in this
process raises more questions than answers.

If ZEC had paid due diligence to fully complying with the requirements at
law, the process of special voting should have been a smooth sailing affair,
with persons whose applications had been approved just casting their votes
without the delays that were experienced

However, all these challenges that ZEC has and is facing as they conducted
the special voting points to one thing – that the election in Zimbabwe was
rushed, without due care being taken to adequately preparing and laying
ground for the conduct of an efficient and credible poll.

The fact that ballot papers were delayed because some of the challenges with
regards to candidate nomination for some wards and constituencies have not
been resolved, point to the fact that the election itself was fast tracked.

The administrative challenges also give credence to the fact that elections
in Zimbabwe should have been process driven, not date driven. Here we note
the words of Justice Malaba in his dissenting comments on Constitutional
Court judgment CCZ 1/13 that “Choosing the precise date to hold the first
elections is therefore a matter of utmost importance to be handled with the
greatest care.

The administrative challenges also give credence to the fact that elections
in Zimbabwe should have been process driven, not date driven.

As it stands, ZEC now finds itself with a mammoth task of administering
these crucial elections in a sober manner, with the electoral body now
hamstrung and held hostage by acts of political expediency, and has been
overtaken by its inability to put in place mechanisms for the conduct of a
credible poll.

It is also poignant to point out that the special voting process was
conducted amidst claims by some of the other political players alleging that
the numbers of security personnel in particular, police who applied for
special voting, were excessive given the actual size of the police.

Fears also abound that the security personnel are being intimidated into
voting for one political party.

Currently it is not clear what is going to happen to those voters who were
unable to cast their vote from 14-15 July. Are they, like many former
“aliens”, and like those who were unable to register due to the same
logistical failures by election administrators, also going to lose their
right to vote?

Who else will be disenfranchised due to operational shortcomings?

Yet we note that those chosen to be electoral commissioners in Zimbabwe have
been chosen “for their competence in the conduct of affairs in the public or
private sector” Constitution of Zimbabwe Section 238 (4).

Since the beginning of this electoral process, our electoral administrators
have demonstrated a worrying level of incompetence. And we are left with
some questions.

If ZEC failed to print and deliver only 80 000,00 ballots and operate a few
hundred polling stations properly is it going to be able to print millions
of ballots papers and dispatch them to the 10000 polling stations that it
has identified for the election?

Clearly there is a procurement problem at ZEC and as election stakeholders,
citizens and voters; we demand full disclosure as to what happened with the
printing of ballot papers and ballot envelopes.

Reports that in cases where there were misprinted ballot papers, polling
officers told voters to vote anywhere reflects disquieting conduct which has
been evident even at the highest levels since the beginning of this process.

Namely that our election administrators are more concerned about legality
‘ ticking boxes’ so that they can move on to the next step, never mind the
quality of the process.

Hence voter registration had to stop even if people were not registered
because continuing it would have broken the law even though terminating it
violated voters’ rights to choose.

Resultantly, we urge ZEC to make sure that they put in place mechanisms and
procedures of ensuring that the harmonised elections are credible, and
conducted in an efficient manner.

The ERC notes that the SADC spearheaded negotiations in Zimbabwe which
culminated in the formation of the Government of National Unity (GNU), had
as its major signpost, the creation of enabling environment for free, fair
and credible elections in the country, itself the panacea to the long
standing challenge of legitimacy that dogged the governance body-politic of
the country in 2008.

We are two weeks away from the Election Day and prospects for a credible
election are diminishing by the day.

Painful and embarrassing as it may be we urge election officials and other
political stakeholders such as the government and the courts to seriously
consider postponing these polls until all outstanding issues such as
nomination court challenges and legal challenges to the special voting have
been resolved and until ZEC can show that it is ready from an administrative
and operational point of view to conduct credible polls.

Here we cite the example of Nigeria in April 2011 when the Independent
National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed elections due to logistical
failures not once but twice. In the end that election was one of the better
elections in Nigeria’s history).

We urge ZEC to go back to the president and other stakeholders and request
for a change in the election date in order to deliver a quality election.
Otherwise ZEC risks further shame and embarrassment and the continuing
disenfranchisement of more and more Zimbabweans.

Failure to admit to these challenges and request for such postponement, we
are left with suspicions that ZEC is a complicit actor in all this confusion
and chaos

In the meantime, ZEC owes Zimbabweans some answers with regards to the
following questions, and has an obligation to clarify the same

• How many applications for the special voting were successful, by category?

• How many ballots were printed?

• How many ballots were sent to the special voting station?

• How many votes were cast by polling stations?

The ERC also implores ZEC, in the name of transparency and accountability,
and taking into consideration the controversy surrounding special voting,
that a transparent process be done when ZEC crosses out the names on the
ward-based polling lists for the July 31st elections as required by the law
(Section 81D (3) of the Electoral Act.

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New messaging service to help monitor presidential poll results

By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
19 July 2013

A new project that encourages Zimbabweans to do their bit to ensure that
presidential election results are not manipulated on July 31st has been

The purpose of the campaign – named Simukai Protect Your Vote – is “to place
the results of the Presidential campaign in the public domain in real time,”
according to rights group Sokwanele.

The process involves three steps, with Sokwanele urging voters to check and
note the identity number of the polling station at which they intend to cast
their vote.

“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 sending an SMS of the results of the
presidential election to one of the numbers: +27 713 563 219 or +27 713 562

The format for the SMS should be the ID number for the polling station,
followed by the number of votes won by Morgan Tsvangirai and the number of
votes won by Robert Mugabe: ID _ _ _ _ MT _ _ _ _ RM _ _ _ _.

There should be no spaces and there must be 18 characters, the group says.
More details are available on the group’s website

In 2008 Zimbabweans waited five weeks before the results of the disputed
presidential election were announced, which many believe was won by Morgan

Speaking to SW radio Africa about the Simukai campaign, Nixon Nyikadzino of
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, said: “This is a noble campaign which
Zimbabweans should support by going to vote for their chosen candidates.

“Secondly, it is important for every voter to know whether their vote has
translated into their aspirations. That can be achieved by waiting to see
the total number of ballots cast as well the number of votes cast for each
candidate,” Nyikadzino said.

He added: “Waiting at the polling station is also important in terms of
building a critical mass that can speak out against any possible
manipulation of the results.

“Over the years it has become clear that Zimbabweans cannot trust
Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede to announce credible results.”

In June, Crisis in Zimbabwe launched its popular Feya Feya campaign aimed at
encouraging Zimbabweans to go and vote, and also to call for free and fair

“Our Feya Feya Defend Your Vote’ campaign complements the ‘Simukai’ project
in that we are all calling for people to actually go and vote and be
vigilant to possible theft of the election result.

“So already we are mobilising citizens who will not wait for Mudede to
announce the result but will demand the release of those results, and reject
that result if it is manipulated, and does not reflect the voting patterns,”
said Nyikadzino.

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5 Parties Endorse Tsvangirai in Zimbabwe Presidential Race

Thomas Chiripasi

HARARE — Five political parties on Friday endorsed Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) founding president Morgan Tsvangirai for president ahead of the
July 31 national elections.

The parties are the Democratic Party, Voice of the People, a faction from
Zapu, the Zimbabwe Organized Open Political Party and the United People's
Party, that announced their decision to support Mr. Tsvangirai's
presidential bid at a news conference held at the MDC-T's Harvest House

The five parties join former Finance Minister Simba Makoni's Mavambo Kusile
Dawn party and Zanu Ndonga that have already forged an alliance for the
forthcoming polls dubbed the "coalition for change".

Leader of the other MDC formation Welshman Ncube is in another coalition
with Zapu led by former Home Affairs Minister Dumiso Dabengwa.

UPP leader, Reverend Kuratidza Sandati, told the news conference that a
grand coalition against President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party is the
only way to remove the former revolutionary party from power.

Voice of the People leader, Moreprecision Muzadzi urged other opposition
parties, including the Ncube-led coalition, to join forces with Mr.
Tsvangirai to mount a strong challenge against Mr. Mugabe and his party.

ZOOP president Gibbs Paul Gotora said his party's decision to back Mr.
Tsvangirai in the July 31 polls was informed by the poor performance of the
economy that he blamed squarely on Zanu PF's misgovernance.

Zanu Ndonga vice president, Gondai Paul Vhutuza, confirmed that his party
was supporting the prime minister's candidature adding that reports in the
Herald newspaper that his party's chairman Reketayi Semwayo, who is standing
on an MDC-T ticket for the Chipinge South parliamentary seat, was
representing no-one but himself in the Tsvangirai led coalition a few weeks
ago were false.

Council Nziramasanga, deputy president of the Zapu formation led by Ray
Ncube said his party will not keep quiet if this year's elections are

He criticised Dabengwa for denying Mr. Tsvangirai the chance to occupy State
House after the former home affairs revealed recently that he backed Simba
Makoni in the 2008 polls to divide the votes in favour of Mr. Mugabe.

Meanwhile, MDC-T general secretary and Finance Minister Tendai Biti, also
present at the news conference, told journalists that his ministry is yet to
find money to fund the polls.

Biti said his department has so far managed to secure only $20 million to
finance the July 31 elections.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission says it requires at least $132 million to
effectively conduct the polls.

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Blistering Zanu PF Election Adverts Stun MDC-T

Gibbs Dube

WASHINGTON — Zanu PF has set the Zimbabwe election campaign trail on fire
with the party releasing blistering adverts the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) says denigrate the image of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai,
who is portrayed on state-controlled television and radio as a womanizer.

The MDC-T says most of the adverts, which do not focus on important local
issues affecting the electorate, are not fit for public consumption.

The party says it paid the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) thousands
of dollars for its own adverts which are currently being slotted at the same
time with the stinging Zanu PF adverts. Here is a sample of one of the Zanu
PF adverts being aired on ZBC.

MDC-T deputy spokesman Joel Gabhuza says his party believes that such
adverts are likely to energize its base instead of having a negative effect
on the MDC-T leader.

Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo was not reachable for comment.

But party activist Morris Ngwenya said these adverts are meant to portray a
true image of the prime minister, who was once caught up in a web of women
following the death of his wife, Susan, who died in a car accident in 2009.

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Mugabe vows to 'cripple' new satellite TV station

Zimbabwe's first independent television station was due to go on air on
Friday in a challenge to the 30-year state broadcasting monopoly controlled
by President Robert Mugabe.

By Peta Thornycroft and Aislinn Laing in Johannesburg 6:17PM BST 19 Jul 2013

The station, 1st TV, will be provided by a satellite feed from outside
Zimbabwe using a free network received by an estimated 700,000 homes across
the nation.

The state Herald newspaper reported that George Charamba, Mugabe’s
spokesman, said South Africa will be asked to stop broadcasts believed to be
beamed from there because they “hurt Zimbabwean interests” ahead of
elections on July 31.

“We are alive to this connection and we will be taking decisions mindful of
the need to cripple this pirate television broadcast station,” he said.

The station says it is not using any South African systems to get its
programmes, including news and current affairs, to Zimbabwe. It is aiming
for three million viewers, compared to the 350,000 who watch Mr Mugabe’s
state television at peak times.

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation has one TV channel and four radio
stations and is accused by independent monitors of falling foul of its
licence, which demands it provides fair news.

1st TV’s executive producer, Andrew Chadwick who worked briefly as a
speechwriter for Mr Mugabe’s election rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, said: “1st
TV took a decision not to involve any corporation connected to the South
Africa government, to avoid any complications because we are aware of South
Africa’s critical role as facilitator in resolving the political crisis in

“Therefore we are not up linking out of South Africa. Our signal goes to
Europe and bounces back to Zimbabwe via a commercial satellite.”

He has recruited two well-known Zimbabwe media personalities to the news
team, Violet Gonda, from SW RadioAfrica, which broadcasts radio news from
London to Zimbabwe, and Themba Hove, a former top broadcaster from the state
television station who left the corporation several years ago.

Many Zimbabweans were bereft last month when the South African Broadcasting
Corporation obeyed a court order to encrypt signals from its three TV

Until then these stations were available free-to-air to Zimbabweans who had
a satellite dish and a cheap Chinese Wiiztech decoder.

The multi party political agreement which brought Mr Tsvangirai into
government in 2009, says that there should be no external radio stations
beaming in to Zimbabwe.

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As Zimbabwe vote nears, state media drown out others

By Sue Valentine/CPJ Africa Program Coordinator

When Star-FM launched on June 25, 2012, it was the first time in 30 years
that Zimbabweans, who have known no other radio besides the state-controlled
Radio Zimbabwe, had the chance to call in to a radio station to express
their views.

"For the first time in my life I've heard statements on radio attacking
President Mugabe. I've never heard that before," said Rashweat Mukundu, a
research and monitoring consultant with nonprofit International Media
Support, of the station.

On July 31, Zimbabweans will go to the polls in a "vastly improved" media
environment compared to previous years, Mukundu says. "Journalists are free
to travel to any part of Zimbabwe to cover a story and no one is in police
custody," he told me on the phone from Harare.

Still, the majority of Zimbabweans lack access to plural, independent
sources of news, and legal and physical threats to journalists impede their
ability to report freely. Independent and international media have
questioned the country's readiness to hold an organized election, but the
majority of citizens are dependent on strictly controlled state media to
provide information.

The licensing of talk radio Star-FM suggests only a cautious and carefully
controlled liberalization of the airwaves. Star-FM is owned by the Zimbabwe
Newspapers Group (Zimpapers), a government company, and at present can be
heard only in Zimbabwe's two major cities, Harare and Bulawayo. While it
hosts hotly contested debates between the country's two major political
parties--Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) led by Morgan Tsvanigrai --it reaches a minority of English-speaking,
urban dwellers. The state-run Radio Zimbabwe broadcasts nationwide in both
English and vernacular and is the primary source of news for the vast
majority of citizens. A box on the front page of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation website features "President R.G. Mugabe quotes."

By far the most critical voices are stations located beyond Zimbabwe's
borders. SW Radio Africa bills itself as the "independent voice of
Zimbabwe," but is located in the United Kingdom, while Studio 7 is a
division of the Voice of America. Both stations broadcast on short wave and
depend on listeners having access to short-wave receivers, which are
expensive and not easily available. Efforts to distribute free solar-powered
short-wave radios were crushed by Zimbabwean authorities earlier this year.

In the print arena, independent titles such as Newsday, the Financial
Gazette and the Zimbabwe Independent provide more even-handed coverage of
the news, but they are written in English, sold mostly in urban areas, and
at a cover price of US$2 are too expensive for most citizens. The government
mouthpiece The Herald is available countrywide for $1.

Mukundu says political parties still have low tolerance for journalists, as
evidenced by the language party leaders use when referring to the media.
"They're not used to being under scrutiny," Mukundu said of political
candidates. "If state media attend an [opposition] MDC rally and if
independent journalists attend a ZANU-PF rally--the hooligans from either
side will chase them away."

Assaults on journalists are still common: CPJ documented four cases in June
in which reporters were attacked apparently in connection with their
coverage of the country's two major political parties.

In response to threats against journalists, the Zimbabwean Union of
Journalists' secretary-general, Forster Dongozi, said this year that the
union would approach political parties to demand an end to the intimidation
of journalists by "media terrorists" who create a "climate of fear" in which
the media must operate.

Andy Moyse, project coordinator at the independent Media Monitoring Project
Zimbabwe (MMPZ), agrees that there is "significant freedom" among some of
the private media, but he told CPJ that a lack of reform means that
journalists are still subject to laws that threaten them with jail for
undermining state security or the military or insulting the president. "So
if you report on corruption, you could be deemed to be undermining the
authority of the state," Moyse said. "There is self-censorship--people don't
investigate or comment as they should."

Critical for a credible election in Zimbabwe is the registration of voters
and the creation of an accurate voters' roll--a process that has been dogged
with problems. According to media reports, some two million Zimbabweans
under the age of 30 are unregistered. The Research and Advocacy Unit, an
independent non-government organization, found that the voters' roll
included a million people who are either dead or have left the country, and
in 78 constituencies out of 210 there were more registered voters than adult

The inability of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to deliver ballot
papers and voting equipment in time to allow special voting for police and
other eligible officials on July 14 and 15 led the independent, nonprofit
Election Resource Centre to call for the elections to be delayed to allow
for adequate logistical preparation. According to a South African Press
Association and Associated Press report, the current levels of
disorganization make it impossible for the country's voters to cast their
ballots at 9,600 polling stations on election day. In the words of an
editorial in the independent South African Mail & Guardian newspaper: "Given
that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission was unable to organize a smooth vote
for just 80,000 over two days, how can it be expected to handle six million
voters in one day come July 31?"

Analysis of preparations for the election has not found its way into
Zimbabwe's dominant, state-controlled media. On June 28, the MMPZ criticized
the "sunshine journalism" of the state-controlled media for its "superficial
and uninformative coverage" of mobile voter registration efforts. And
according to its recent Election Watch report, the government-aligned media
ignores many of the human rights violations reported by private news
outlets. But there is no mechanism to compel powerful media institutions
like the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation to give better coverage or equal
coverage to all parties, Mukundu says.

"Media is important for this process," he says. "They have a role in
providing technical information that you need to hear from government and
the Electoral Commission -- information about polling stations for example.
You can't get this from your friends. It's a challenge for citizens to get
information about the elections."

[Reporting from Cape Town]

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Zimbabwe state media's scribes make a show for Zanu-PF

19 JUL 2013 00:00FARAI SHOKO

Journalists and employees of state media groups have been asked to nail
their colours to the mast.

Sources at the Herald claimed Zimpapers chief executive Justin Mutasa
brought the campaign regalia to the company last week and instructed
managers to issue the clothing to subordinates.

Management at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) and Zimbabwe
Newspapers Limited (Zimpapers), the two state media organisations largely
controlled by the information ministry, recently gave all employees Zanu-PF
campaign T-shirts and baseball caps, and instructed them to wear them at
rallies when on duty.

Several ZBC and Zimpapers journalists covering President Robert Mugabe’s
rallies were this week spotted wearing Zanu-PF campaign clothing.

Sources at the Herald claimed Zimpapers chief executive Justin Mutasa
brought the campaign regalia to the company last week and instructed
managers to issue the clothing to subordinates.

Critics in civil society said the supplying of Zanu-PF regalia gives
credence to suggestions that both institutions are part of Zanu-PF’s
propaganda machinery.

Mutasa, who has on several occasions been seen clad in Zanu-PF regalia, was
not immediately available to comment.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has since 2008 been pushing for the
reconstitution of the ZBC and Zimpapers, accusing them of being partisan.

In 2010, the Cabinet ordered Webster Shamu, the minister of media,
information and publicity, to reconstitute the boards of the ZBC, but this
has not been done.

In a meeting this week with Southern African Development Community
Parliamentary Forum observers for the election, Tafataona Mahoso, the chief
executive of the Zimbabwe Media Commission, defended state media, saying it
is wrong to say it is partisan in favour of Mugabe.

Some delegates raised questions about why the ZBC always portrayed Mugabe
and Zanu-PF in a positive light, but did not do the same for the MDC. Mahoso
said state media is defending national objectives as enshrined in the new

He said state media would not sit on its laurels if some political ­players,
particularly in the MDC-T, were opposed to land reform, the indigenisation
exercise and ­economic sanctions.

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Fair Zimbabwe elections possible: AU

Sapa-AFP | 19 July, 2013 16:37

Free and fair elections in Zimbabwe, due at the end of the month, are
possible despite a chaotic early vote and concerns from regional powerhouse
South Africa, the African Union said.

"According to our observers on the ground we believe that it is possible to
have free and fair elections in Zimbabwe. But we cannot guarantee that it
will be the most perfect or optimum of situations," said Aisha Abdullahi, AU
commissioner for political affairs on Zimbabwe.

The AU announcement comes after South Africa warned there were challenges in
the run-up to the vote.

A scheduled early vote by the country's security forces had turned chaotic
as thousands of police and soldiers slated to be on duty on election day
were unable to vote by the time the two days of polling closed on Monday

Election officials blamed the disruption on problems associated with the
printing of ballot papers although the stations had opened late and many
lacked indelible ink, stamps, voter rolls and ballot papers and boxes.

"The environment in Zimbabwe so far reassures us that that the conditions
are good for the election to be held on July 31," Abdullahi said during a
press conference at the agency's headquarters in Addis Ababa.

"The Peace and Security Council has noted the levels of preparation for the
election and confirmed that the funding gap has been filled," she said,
referring to the panel in charge of enforcing union decisions.

President Robert Mugabe called early polls, hoping to prolong his 33 years
in power, despite demands for reform by his archrival Prime Minister Morgan

Leaders of regional mediator the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) will meet in South Africa on Saturday to discuss the upcoming

The July 31 vote is the first since elections in 2008 which led to the
formation of a coalition government between President Mugabe and Prime
Minister Tsvangirai but was marred by deadly violence.

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'Challenges' in Zimbabwe vote: SA chief envoy

Sapa-AFP | 19 July, 2013 12:15

South Africa's chief envoy on Zimbabwe's political crisis conceded that
there are challenges in the run-up to key polls, a day before regional
mediators meet to discuss the vote.

Thousands of Zimbabwean security forces couldn't draw their mark in chaotic
early voting three weeks before the July 31 elections to end a four-year
unity government.

"The process has got challenges, we can't deny that because we've seen what
info has been coming out during the special vote," said Lindiwe Zulu, who
heads the mediation process after deadly polls in 2008.

During early voting last Sunday and Monday polling stations opened late and
many lacked indelible ink, stamps, voter rolls and ballot papers and boxes.

"If things didn't go right in the special vote, those things need to be
looked into by the time of elections on July 31," Zulu told AFP.

President Robert Mugabe called early polls, hoping to prolong his 33 years
in power, despite demands for reform by his arch rival Prime Minister Morgan

But Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said this week's
"disorganised" early vote showed the country's election commission wasn't up
to the task.

Leaders of regional mediator the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) will meet in South Africa on Saturday to discuss the upcoming
elections, said Zulu.

Presidents of South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania and Namibia would hold
talks after the SADC observer mission deployed in Zimbabwe this week.

"They'll just be talking about Zimbabwe, really," said Zulu.

The 15-member block brokered the power-sharing deal between Mugabe and
Tsvangirai in 2009, a year after around 200 opposition members were killed
in election-related violence.

But there is no love lost between Mugabe and the SADC at the moment.

He threatened to leave the bloc if it meddled in Zimbabwean affairs and
scolded South Africa's top diplomat "stupid and idiotic" in an election
rally earlier July.

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US will revisit Zimbabwe sanctions if elections are credible

Sapa-dpa | 19 July, 2013 08:05

US Secretary of State John Kerry has offered to “revisit” current sanctions
against Zimbabwe if upcoming elections are transparent and peaceful, a US
official said Thursday.

In a letter addressed to Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, Kerry makes it
clear that the US is “prepared to revisit our bilateral relationship” -but
only if the country implements political reforms, said Marie Harf, deputy
spokesperson for the State Department.

The US would also expect the government to allow civil society to “operate
freely” and for the July 31 elections to be “credible” and “reflect the will
of the people.”  Harf could not say if there had been a response to the

“We’ve made it clear that this is a critical moment,” Harf said.

She noted ongoing “deep” concerns about lack of transparency in preparing
for the elections and partisan behavior by state security.

Mugabe, 89, who has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, faces his longtime political
enemy Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, 61, in the polls, which are to end
their power-sharing government, formed in 2009 after a disputed election.

US sanctions enacted since 2003 affect about 100 individuals, including
Mugabe; about a dozen state-owned enterprises, including Oryx Diamonds; and
dozens of other enterprises and farms.

Those on the list are prohibited from travel to the US and from US business
dealings. The sanctions are aimed at the government and its supporters who
the US says are undermining democratic institutions and process in Zimbabwe

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Tsvangirai will win: Moyo


by Staff Reporter

Senior Zanu (PF) officials are becoming increasingly vocal in expressing
their doubts that President Robert Mugabe can win the forthcoming election -
as the strongman upon whom they have all depended for so long becomes
increasingly frail and his public pronouncements increasingly incoherent.

Mugabe, and indeed all his senior officials, have failed to articulate a
coherent message about what Zanu (PF) will do to turn around the fortunes of
Zimbabwe – notably the 95% unemployment rate, the collapse of agriculture
and industry, the dearth of foreign investment and rampant corruption.
Instead they have resorted to primitive insults about the physical
appearance of his opponent Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Impeccable sources told The Zimbabwean this week that even long-time party
spin doctor and Mugabe confidant, Jonathan Moyo, believes the president will
lose the election to Tsvangirai.

“We also know that there are many other senior people within the party and
within CIO who believe Tsvangirai will win,” said the source, adding that
former Information Minister Moyo had been overheard saying Tsvangirai would
easily win over half of the votes needed to become the next president.

“He is disillusioned with the manifesto that he was pivotal in writing and
says that everybody knows the indigenisation policy only benefits Zanu (PF)
officials and their already wealthy cronies. He said that the party’s
representatives at COPAC failed to get their changes to the new constitution
approved by the other parties, which proves they have lost their power and
that, internally, the majority are resigned to Mugabe losing the Presidency.
Moyo said Tsvangirai would win because only he will create jobs for
Zimbabweans and everybody knows it,” said the source.

In 2009, when he was an independent MP after being expelled from Zanu (PF)
for plotting Mugabe’s ouster, Moyo wrote in the local media that under
Mugabe’s rule the economy had melted and that the Zanu (PF) leader was “now
too old, too tired. Mugabe now lacks the vision, stature and energy to
effectively run the country, let alone his party.”

Political analyst and former Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn executive Ibbo Mandaza said
“As long as Mugabe is the Zanu (PF) presidential candidate the party will
lose heavily to MDC-T and Tsvangirai since no-one will vote for a
90-year-old man.

UZ law lecturer Greg Lennington said Zanu (PF) members were not telling
their leaders and the world publicly that the party will lose because they
fear losing what they have acquired, like farms. “People within Zanu (PF)
recognise their leader is old and needs to rest, thus this is a source of

Well-known businessman Alex Mashamhanda said: “Judging by public opinion,
MDC-T is going to win.”

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'Govt has ignored Matabeleland'


HARARE - Daily News' senior assistant editor Guthrie Munyuki talks to
Bulawayo Agenda director Thabani Nyoni. Below are the excerpts of the

Q: What drives Bulawayo Agenda and what are its objectives?

A: Bulawayo Agenda was formed in 2002 as an organisation that sought to
expand and democratise the public in political sphere.

For the past 10 or so years our activities have been around public meetings
which serve the following functions which is information dissemination and
public education but also create a space where citizens engage with policy
makers or bearers to raise concerns around issues that are taking place or
to get feedback in terns of what’s going on or also as consultative forums
to what’s happening.

Bulawayo Agenda has even gone further to do training aimed at community
capacity building and I am happy to say a number of those trainings have
produced people that are now councillors, MPs and some are now leaders of
civic society groups, like myself.

Q: How effective have been these programmes?

A: You get a testimony by attending our public meetings. On average every
month you have 200 people attending a public meeting in Bulawayo.

Q: What is the current situation in the city and the region with regards to
persistent water problems?

A: The issue of water in Bulawayo is very complicated. Someone once said you
could actually form a political party and win on the basis of the issue of
water not only in Bulawayo but Matabeleland.

There was a plan as early as 1912 to make sure that the problem is resolved
and the plan was around what is now popularly known as Matabeleland Zambezi
Water Project which could not take off because this is a huge project which
should have national support.

The challenge has been that there has not been commitment from successive
governments to deal with the issue.

The only movement we began to see was during the inclusive government (era)
where it acknowledged that Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project was a
government project.

We saw the ministry of Water Resources and Development led by Samuel Sipepa
Nkomo holding a consultative conference here in Bulawayo around (on) how to
resolve the water crisis and moving on to form an advisory council made of
different stakeholders to help him come up with solutions and then further
coming up with a short term solution which is connecting Bulawayo reservoirs
to Mutare water pipeline.

Right now the pipeline is connected but we are having generators and they
are not able to pump enough water into the reservoirs because we don’t have
adequate electricity and the country is not producing adequate electricity
as well to cover all those new projects so which complicates issues further
especially considering that the dams we are talking about are dams that even
if you have rainfall, the carrying capacity is not able to supply the city
for the whole year.

So part of the challenge is that we need new dams and we need new water
reservoirs that expand the capacity.

We have a population of over two million citizens and when these dams were
built I don’t think Bulawayo had over 500 000 citizens in 1978.

That is when the last dam was built but that tells you the population has
grown but nothing has been done to increase the carrying capacity of the
current dams.

Q: How difficult is it to convince government to save the region and what is
the biggest problem surrounding this lack of water transformation and
development in general?

A: Successive governments have not only failed to address the water problem
but they have also been in a State of denial.

I am sure you have heard even in the current government where some sections
were saying the people in Matabeleland are lazy and that their problems are
not special.

But they have failed to appreciate that when the country came out of the
liberation war into independence there were five year development plans that
were done that were funded by government for reconstruction and development
in this part of the country.

Because of the (Gukurahundi) disturbances those projects were not
implemented and those funds never benefited us.

If anything, those disturbances continued to destroy the remnant of the
infrastructure that had remained. That worsened the levels of desperation
and frustration within the communities.

Q: What role are you playing to mitigate the current situation both in
Bulawayo and Matabeleland region?

A: I think civil society has worked very hard to make sure that people of
Matabeleland realise that they are part of Zimbabwe and that their
narratives should be part of the Zimbabwean narratives.

Last year we attended a meeting with United Nations human rights envoy
ambassador Pillay and there was a national agreement that there is need for
a particular presentation particularly focusing on the issues that took
place in Matabeleland and how they continue to affect the political social
and economic landscape today and also make sure that we have active

Part of the challenge has been the apathetic behaviour of citizens who are
not willing to be part of the public faces or political faces or who
continue to have a protest mentality which sometimes is not really

And civil society has been working very hard to build that social capital
and bring it back and make it alive so that the citizens can begin to be
part of the solution to the current challenges.

A: How do you describe the operating environment in this part of the

Q: The operating environment has been challenging here but also the
operating environment has been challenging nationwide.

You operate in an environment where the state does not legitimise the good
work that civil society organisations do but only criminalises and
persecutes the work.

So the environment has been very tricky.

Also there is intimidation that citizens are being mobilised to believe that
when they work with civil society organisations they are working with
enemies of the state. This is the narrative that we saw during Gukurahundi.

In the context within which we are operating, there are people who are not
free to express themselves for fear of arrest, persecution, torture or even

That environment continues especially as people continue to be reminded that
the war can start again and for them the war they understand is when there
are people with guns, ammunition.

That tends to affect the impact of the work that we do especially in terms
of engaging with duty bearers, government and also engaging with right
holders and mobilising them into the system.

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Beatrice Mtetwa trial resumes in Harare court

By Alex Bell
SW Radio Africa
19 July 2013

The trial of human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa resumed in the Harare
Magistrate’s Court on Friday, four months since her arrest for allegedly
‘obstructing the course of justice’.

Mtetwa was arrested on March 17th and charged after allegedly insulting
police officers who were arresting her clients at the time.

Her clients, Thabani Mpofu, Warship Dumba, Felix Matsinde and Mehluli
Tshuma, are all from the Prime Minister’s office and were arrested on
allegations of impersonating law enforcement agents and compiling dockets
about corrupt state officials.

Mtetwa was eventually released on $500 bail after spending eight days in
detention. Observers believe that Mtetwa’s arrest was meant to intimidate
her and instill fear among rights lawyers in the country.

Her case has bene dragging on ever since, with the respected lawyer usually
appearing in court on Saturdays. The case continues.

Meanwhile, five MDC-T activists who were arrested over two years ago in
connection with the death of Glen View policeman, remain locked up.

In total 29 activists were arrested in May 2011 when a police detail,
responding to reports of political disturbances in Harare’s Glen View area,
was attacked, resulting in the death of Inspector Petros Mutedza.

Tungamirai Madzokere, Yvonne Musarurwa, Rebecca Mafukeni, Last Maengahama
and Simon Mapanzure remain locked up after they were deemed a flight risk
and held in custody when their colleagues were bailed last year.

The 29 deny the murder charges brought against them, and there is yet to be
a decision on the case. A High Court Judge on June 12th reserved judgement
and postponed the matter indefinitely.

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Cheeky satire hits the streets of Harare ahead of Zimbabwe poll

BY RAY NDLOVU, JULY 18 2013, 19:38

HARARE— On a Wednesday evening, two weeks before Zimbabwe’s national
elections, the Book Café on Samora Machel Avenue in Harare is abuzz.

Inside, the loud music playing in the dimly-lit venue appears not to bother
the 300-odd people mingling freely, although they have to raise their voices
to hear each other.

The drawcard is Zambezi News, a satirical project by Magamba Network, a
Zimbabwean spoken-word and hip-hop organisation, which is premiering its
"election special" — a 26-minute DVD that draws viewers’ attention to the
importance of voting on July 31.

It is unusual for anyone in Zimbabwe to take a humorous approach to the
elections, which in past years were characterised by violence, intimidation
and running battles between supporters of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu
(PF) and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change.

Mutheau Maitha-Bomba, the executive producer of Zambezi News, says the
"election special" aims to present real political issues in a satirical way
to "leave audiences thinking critically about their present political

The DVD parodies the state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation
(ZBC), which is biased in favour of Mr Mugabe. It features fictional news
presenters Mandape Mandape (Tongai Leslie Makawa), Jerome Weathers (Samm
Farai Monro) and Kudzaishe Mushayahembe (Michael Kudakwashe) who battle to
dominate the news bulletin. They haphazardly present the news live on air
and cut away to ludicrous reports, spoof music videos and cheeky adverts.

The special also takes a stab at jargon often used in ZBC news reports, such
as "imperialists", "sanctions" and "at this juncture".

In one of the scenes, Mandape justifies multiple voting by the old guard as
"a right earned by many years of being in power" and has a warning for those
clamouring for dead people to be removed from the voters’ roll. "In our
culture, you don’t disturb the dead," he said.

The DVD also has reports of voters who have cast their ballots before voting
has even started — an apparent reference to prevalent fears of vote rigging.

But the satirical programme has come at a cost and its production is a risk
in a country where Zanu (PF) is averse to media reforms.

Mr Kudakwashe says he has been approached by men in dark suits — meaning
members of state intelligence — who warned him over his work.

"They told me they would deal with me and that they know what we were are
doing. I was told to stop," he says.

The cast members of Zambezi News believe, however, that this was evidence
they were doing something right.

Plans are now under way to hold more screenings of the election special in
Bulawayo, Victoria Falls and Mutare ahead of the poll.

Clips will be distributed via social media platforms such as WhatsApp and
YouTube, in addition to the 12,000 DVD copies that producers are
distributing free of charge.

The country’ newest TV station, 1st TV, which will broadcast from Friday,
will also air Zambezi News. The station’s broadcast will be accessible to
Zimbabweans with Wiztech decoders who have been affected by South African
signal distributor Sentech’s recent removal of the three South Africa
Broadcasting Corporation channels from the free-to-air satellite platform.

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The first Baba Jukwa interview

On July 31st, Zimbabwe is due to hold its first presidential election in six years. It will be the first since the chaotic 2008 election and the first under the country’s new constitution.

Baba Jukwa taking notes in Nyoka and Kunyepa satire of a cabinet meeting

Baba Jukwa taking notes in Nyoka and Kunyepa satire of a cabinet meeting

In theory, voters should have a chance to remove their 89-year-old leader, Robert Mugabe, who was once a respected anti-colonial guerrilla who has devolved into a despot during his 33 years at the top of Zimbabwean politics.

In practice, it’s not that simple. Many expect Mugabe to delay, cancel, or rig the vote. Even if Mugabe loses, many fear violence.

Amid this uncertainty, something strange has happened. For the last few months, someone calling themselves “Baba Jukwa” has been posting damaging leaks from Mugabe’s Zanu PF party on a Facebook page.

No one knows who Baba Jukwa is (the name means “father of Jukwa”). They claim to be a high-ranking yet disillusioned figure in Zanu-PF, but there is little in the way of proof — some have doubts he or she is even in the country.

Regardless of who they are, Baba Jukwa certainly seems to know a lot. Every day the account publishes tales of official corruption and brutality, often leaving the phone numbers of politicians so that readers can call them to complain.

Perhaps the most famous post so far warned of an assassination plot against Edward Chindori-Chininga, a Zanu-PF politician who released a report on theft from diamond fields. Chindori-Chininga later died in a car crash. His family insists he was murdered.

The public has taken notice too. At the time of writing, the Baba Jukwa Facebook page has over 256,000 likes — a big number in a country where only 4.5 million people are connected to the Internet — and the page has seen international attention from the BBC and the Economist.

The Mugabe faithful and Zanu-PF elite are reportedly enraged — a pro-Mugabe page called “Amai Jukwa” has been set up, and Mugabe himself has reportedly offered a $300,000 reward to anyone who can reveal Baba Jukwa’s identity.

While it’s tempting to take Baba Jukwa at face value, that we know so little about them is concerning. It’s unclear, for example, if Baba Jukwa is connected to the rival Zimbabwean party, Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change.

More controversially, Baba Jukwa said last month that they knew where Minister of Youth Development Saviour Kasukuwere’s children went to school and said Kasukuwere should not be surprised if one “disappears.”

According to a screenshot of the message featured at Vice (the message itself appears to have been deleted), Baba Jukwa had accused Kasukuwere of involvement in the death of Chininga, and apparently felt now was the time for violence. “It’s now fire with fire,” Baba Jukwa wrote, “blood with blood.”

Business Insider reached out to Baba Jukwa to try and find out more. [Grammar and spelling have been lightly edited for clarity.]

Business Insider: Why did you start publishing Zanu-PF secrets?

Baba Jukwa: This is not only revealing secrets, but letting people know the truth about evil Mugabe and his inner circle.

BI: Where do you get your information from?

BJ: I have a lot of information which I gathered while I was in the government. I was also a close ally with Solomon Mujuru [Zimbabwe's former army chief and former leader of Mugabe's guerrilla forces] so we knew every operation and I am connected everywhere within the party structures and government. I also appreciate contribution of some of my friends who are still in the system as they provide every detail to the people (Baba Jukwa) is the people of Zimbabwe not me as I represent them in what they are fearing and I won’t rest until I take these evil people to prison.

BI: Are you just one person or many?

BJ: Yes I am one person.

BI: What do you aim to achieve?

BJ: I want to create a freedom speech for everyone in the country and let the country and world know of these evil people.

BI: Do you support Morgan Tsvangirai and MDC?

BJ: Honestly I don’t support both Tsvangirai and MDC but realistically and for the sake of change he is a stepping stone to a better Zimbabwe.

BI: Are you based in Zimbabwe or abroad?

BJ: I am based in Harare [the capital], not only in Zimbabwe but across from the State House.

BI: It has been reported that Robert Mugabe is offering a reward for your identity. Are you concerned that you might be revealed? What would happen if your identity is revealed?

BJ: I am not even moved because these Mugabe people are not as intelligent as they claim, but they are only killers good at assassinating progressive forces within Zanu-PF and vulnerable citizens opposing them.

BI: What do you expect will happen in Zimbabwe’s next election? Will it take place?

BJ: Honestly, I want it to take place, but Mugabe will back out in the last minute because if an election is held he will be lucky to get 20% votes as people [are joining the rebel group] Vapanduki (they have revolted against his evil system).

BI: Mugabe is 90 years old, and you have reported a number of concerns about his health. How long do you think he can continue to lead the country?

BJ: This is what will happen: He won’t complete 2013 as head of state, he will be beaten by Tsvangirai or his evil security chiefs will force him out led by Mnangagwa Emmerson, Defense Minister; Sekeramayi Sydney, State Security Minister; Chiwenga Constantine, army General Chief; and Saviour Kasukuwere, Minister of controversial indigenization policy.

BI: In one post you threatened to abduct the children of Minister of Youth Development, Saviour Kasukuwere. A lot of observers were upset by this threat of violence. Would you resort to violence against children for your cause?

BJ: Honestly, that was a slip up which I apologized for, but these people always push us further as they also abduct our family members and I thought SADC [South African Development Community], AU [African Union] and international community will feel and see the emotions behind that.

But I am not a violent person, but concerned father in need of a better society. That is why that statement was retracted and my apology still stands to the kids of Kasukuwere and his wife. But the father has to pay for his sins as he has killed, tortured, victimized and raped.

BI: What do you hope for Zimbabwe’s future?

BJ: I hope for a united Zimbabwe where people are identified under an umbrella word “ZIMBABWEANS’ not on tribal lines. I hope everyone will forgive and forget for a better future, but I insist the word Zanu-PF should be banned from our Zimbabwean history as it will be giving people sad moments. We need to erase it like what [Germany] did to Hitler’s evil issues.

Whatever Baba Jukwa is hoping for, they are certainly aiming high. In a follow-up message, Baba Jukwa revealed that they have begun fund-raising to “push my struggle forward.” The money will be used to grow teams on the ground so that every region will be covered for daily information, Baba Jukwa

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Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe As Machiavelli: Running On Dollarization...And Gold
Cedric Muhammad, Contributor
“Those who by the exercise of abilities become princes, obtain their dominions with difficulty but retain them easily, and the difficulties which they have in acquiring their dominions arise in part from the new rules and regulations that they have to introduce in order to establish their position securely.”
-          Machiavelli
In years of conversation Johns Hopkins Professor of Applied Economics Steve Hanke has persuaded me of the value of these words of former West German Finance Minister Karl Schiller (who also served as President of the Economic Development Corporation for Equatorial and Southern Africa), “Stability might not be everything, but without stability, everything is nothing.”
Media coverage to the contrary, this might as well be the campaign theme of Zimbabwe’s 89-year old President Robert Mugabe who is seeking re-election on July 31st on a platform that celebrates his country’s unlikely experiment with dollarization while simultaneously outlining a path to a gold-backed currency.
The announcement on July 5th that Zimbabwe is looking to re-establish the Zimbabwe dollar – its national currency which displayed a 6.5 sextillion% (that would be a unit followed by 21 ciphers) rate of inflation the last time we saw it, is causing shockwaves, inspiring humorous mockery in local media, and drew a spirited attack from Finance Minister Tendai Biti, via Facebook,“It is bad enough to suggest the return of the Zim dollar at this present moment in time but foolish to the point of insanity to suggest in this century a bullion backed currency.”   So much drama ensued that the Governor of the Zimbabwe Central Bank Governor, Dr. Gideon Gono issued a statement clarifying that the re-introduction was only a ‘medium to long term’ initiative.  And as for gold? Dr. Gono elaborated, “Importantly too, is the fact that the sustained stability of the re-introduced local currency will also be contingent upon the accumulation of adequate assets from the country’s resources, notably gold, to enable the currency to be fully gold-backed. This means that Government would need to purchase from Gold Miners, adequate stocks of Gold in order to build its bullion reserves.”
Dr. Gono’s use of language is careful if not delicate, hinting to global markets that any increase in Zimbabwe forex reserves will come as the result of a ‘free-market’ purchase of bullion rather than the nationalization of foreign mining companies.
In 2011, at the suggestion of Nathan Lewis, author of what I believe to be the best book written on the gold standard, Gold: The Once and Future Money – Dr. Gono asked me for a copy of the 2009 plan I authored in advising the African Union in its effort to establish a common currency.  I was happy to share it with him as the plan explains how Zimbabwe could transition from a national currency to a regional parallel currency regime tied to gold as one of three transitional regional monetary blocs in Africa.   Over 6 years, I outline a plan by which the continent would arrive at a single currency backed by gold.
While I don’t believe that Zimbabwe qualifies as an optimal currency area, Africa certainly does – a point I confirmed in lengthy discussion with Nobel Prize Economist Robert Mundell over dinner in 1999 and at an IMF forum in 2000. And despite dismissive mockery, if President Mugabe and Governor Gono are serious about it, they could influence the Southern region of Africa – currently suffering the most from currency instability – to entertain the possibility.  With the South African rand and Zambian kwacha both experiencing over 4 year lows, inflation in Zimbabwe’s neighborhood will accelerate and talk of alternative monetary regimes will find more receptive ears.
In positioning gold as a ‘medium to long term’ option while celebrating the benefits of dollarization President Mugabe’s ZANU PF party denies the competing MDC party a policy plank to run on – as claims that the latter was responsible for the decision to dollarize meet formidable challenges.  Even a CATO Institute report on Zimbabwe perceived as styling of Finance Minister Biti – who also serves as the MDC’s Secretary General – as the source of the 2009 decision to dollarize is confronted in Zimbabwe.  The fact that the Mugabe regime embraced dollarization before the ZANU PF-MDC power-sharing government was formed, is one that is difficult to undermine and a decision that the party known for anti-imperialism is surprisingly embracing.  Case in point: a July 16th article in the ZANU-friendly The Herald cites the party’s manifesto, “While Zanu-PF is clear that the collapse of the Zimdollar was a shameful development not worthy of celebration, its strategic replacement with the United States dollar as the leading legal tender to serve Zimbabwe in a basket of multi-currencies is in effect poetic justice given that the same US dollar had been used to kill the Zimdollar by merchants of regime change in their vain hope of killing Zimbabwe.”
While the logic in the ZANU-PF claim is a bit disingenuous it certainly represents a shrewd campaign gambit – marrying revolutionary rhetoric with an appreciation of what imported monetary policy has produced, a now annual level ofjust 3% inflation.  This places ZANU at the center of the Zimbabwean electorate as dollarization polls favorably among the electorate at the level of 68% according to a poll by the Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI).  But seemingly overlooked in the research is this: “Adult Zimbabweans (55 percent) would want re-introduction of local currency sometime in the future, 23 percent immediately and 17 percent preferred its total abandonment.”
By claiming both dollarization and a reintroduced local currency backed by gold, President Mugabe is more centrist than the MDC – appealing to a significant plurality of an electorate in a manner that absorbs the best of what philosophers like Cicero, Augustine and John of Salisbury noted of the commonweal of the people.  Power-sharing de jure was forced upon both ZANU-PF and the MDC by an electorate fatigued by years of partisan bickering and violence.  It was a signal that the people want the best of both sides, not one or the other – a point lost on those who reduce the MDC Presidential Candidate and current Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to ‘foreign puppet’ and President Mugabe to ‘demagogue.’  Both men represent two legitimate streams of longing for change in the people that can’t be dismissed.  That the people want a pragmatic ‘middle’ position more than ideological purity from either side is a dynamic that ZANU politicians do seem more adroit in navigating.
Mugabe Presidential Spokesperson George Charamba displayed it early on in 2009, in an audio interview shared with me by The Herald’s US correspondent Obi Egbuna, “These [Zanu PF and MDC] are distinct disparate political forces, quite un-reconciled except through the voter. The voter will say ‘well, we give ZANU PF a marginal lead.’ ‘We give MDC a very significant support level,’ which therefore robs ZANU PF of the capacity to create a government within it its own right. So there is some kind of balance of forces between the Patriotic Front forces, and the MDC which means this is really an inclusive government born out of necessity. But it is not the fusion of politics. It is not the fusion of vision. It is not the fusion of, even of tradition – to the extent that ZANU PF is coming from a liberation tradition while the MDC is coming from a tradition of neo-colonial politics. So this is a marriage of convenience.”
Though naturally favoring his side, Mr. Charamba divines the core truth, that while ZANU and the MDC are not united in reality, they are reconciled in the minds and hearts of the aspirations of the Zimbabwean voter, as a balance of power.
The reality that neither ZANU nor the MDC will admit to their supporters in public is that victory lies in pragmatism and strategy as much as ideological purity and truth-telling.  While the enemies of ZANU-PF and President Mugabe depict him as merciless and unworthy of support and his supporters as uncompromising, both sides would be shocked to learn the extent to which entities like the World Diamond Council are working to clean up President Mugabe’s image and cooperate with ZANU.  By the same token, those who frame Morgan Tsvangirai as Western pawn might be shocked to learn of the level of is engagement with China.
These days there is more grey than black and white in Zimbabwe politics – the only country in the world where a man may win an election by supporting a fiat currency and the purest form of hard money, at the same time.

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Time for SADC to admit defeat in Madagascar as it has, effectively, in Zimbabwe

18 July 2013

One sometimes wonders if the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
should not simply give up the time-consuming and unrewarding business of
trying to resolve political crises in its member states.

In Zimbabwe, after five years of intensive SADC mediation first led by then
President Thabo Mbeki and thereafter by President Jacob Zuma, what have we
got? Parliamentary and presidential elections that will be held on 31 July
under essentially the same conditions as the violent and almost certainly
rigged elections of March 2008 which prompted SADC’s intervention.

Maybe President Robert Mugabe will tone down the violence because he thinks
he doesn’t need as much to beat the rather hapless Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai this time. But if so, that will be no
thanks to SADC. Mugabe still has full control of all the ‘hard power’ in
Zimbabwe, all of the security apparatus. And that apparatus is still fully
partisan to Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front

Likewise the public media – and that means essentially all the broadcast
media and most of the papers – are also still fully and unashamedly biased
towards ZANU-PF. The Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) ostensibly has one
or two independent commissioners. But ZANU-PF partisans outnumber them and
the actual ZEC officials who will be conducting the election are pretty much
the same as they were in 2008. That is assuming the ZEC does in fact conduct
the election. The deep suspicion is that it will really be run behind the
scenes by the army, as before, apparently.

Tsvangirai is fighting this election with both hands tied behind his back
and his legs hobbled. Zuma raised hopes of meaningful change when he took
over the job from Mbeki of mediating the Zimbabwe negotiations for SADC.
He – and particularly his no-nonsense foreign policy adviser Lindiwe Zulu –
talked straight to Mugabe and insisted on real reforms to level the
political playing field. But in the end, one fears, they succeeded mainly in
just irritating Mugabe. Last month, at Zuma and Zulu’s insistence, SADC
leaders asked the Zimbabwe Constitutional Court – clearly just another
Mugabe instrument – to postpone the poll to allow time for the many
necessary reforms. It predictably rejected what was no more than a polite

SADC could do nothing about this humiliating rebuff because it is not
prepared to really confront Mugabe and make him pay for his behaviour. It is
showing the same reluctance to confront Madagascar’s de facto leader Andry
Rajoelina. From 2009 when he ousted Marc Ravalomanana, SADC should have
simply insisted that Rajoelina give up power. But it let him stay on as
transitional leader. It issued firm declarations that he should allow
Ravalomanana to return from exile in South Africa to fight the next
elections. Yet it also inserted a mealy-mouthed escape clause respecting
Madagascar’s judicial sovereignty, telling Rajoelina in effect he could
arrest and imprison Ravalomanana if he returned, as he had been convicted
and sentenced in absentia for alleged complicity in the shooting of

Since it could not muster the courage or conviction to do the right thing –
which was to force Rajoelina not to run for office (in violation of SADC and
African Union rules) and to allow Ravalomanana to do so – SADC then resorted
to the so-called ‘ni-ni’ option. Ni-ni meant that neither of the two bitter
rivals would run for office. In December and January they both accepted the
ni-ni deal and the problem, from SADC’s perspective, seemed to be solved.

But then Ravalomanana put up his wife Lalao as a candidate for his political
movement. And this prompted Rajoelina to renege on the ni-ni deal and to
enter the presidential race too. And so did former president Didier
Ratsiraka – along with about 40 other candidates. The trouble was that Lalao
Ravalomanana and Ratsiraka had not met the legal requirement of at least six
months of residence in Madagascar before the election. And Rajoelina also
broke the law by missing the deadline for submitting his candidacy. But the
electoral court accepted all three of them as candidates anyway.

Now SADC, and the African Union (AU) are demanding that the three candidates
withdraw from the election and have vowed they will not recognise any of
them if they are elected. They and the international community are also
refusing to fund the poll and are even threatening to slap personal travel
and financial sanctions against them if they don’t withdraw – something SADC
and the AU never contemplated against Mugabe for all his greater sins.

Last week the International Contact Group on Madagascar, led by AU peace and
security commissioner Ramtane Lamamra and SADC’s medidator Joaquim Chissano,
visited Madagascar to try to persuade the three controversial candidates to
withdraw from the elections. They evidently had a heated meeting with Lalao
Ravalomanana and her supporters who refused to back down. Evidently the
other two also refused. According to the Ravalomanana people, Chissano
frankly told them that they really wanted Rajoelina to withdraw from the
presidential race – and that Lalao Ravalomanana had to be ‘sacrificed’ to
this objective.

If that is true, it would epitomise the disingenuous and frankly cowardly
approach of SADC, confirming that it cannot confront the real problem,
Rajoelina, as it has failed ultimately to confront the real problem in
Zimbabwe, namely Mugabe. Threatening sanctions against the three erring
candidates in Madagascar looks superficially to be a good thing, a sign that
SADC and the AU are at last baring their teeth to enforce their decisions.
But this tougher resolve is misdirected in Madagascar. If the three
candidates pull out now, there will be no one to represent the Ravalomanana
political movement in the election. Perhaps the same would be true of
Rajoelina’s movement, although there are suspicions it has at least one
other secret candidate in the race. Having failed to remove Rajoelina
directly, SADC should back down, accepting Rajoelina, Lalao Ravalomanana and
Ratsiraka as candidates.

This arrangement, though unsatisfactory, seems to be an acceptable
compromise to the main rival camps; more particularly to Marc Ravalomanana
who is the most aggrieved party.

The infringements by the three candidates are technicalities that SADC, the
AU and the international community can surely afford to ignore – having
condoned much greater violations by Rajoelina. It’s time for SADC to admit
its impotence and let the Malagasy go ahead with an election most of them
seem to want.

Peter Fabricius, Foreign Editor, Independent Newspapers, South Africa

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Zanu has lost social base: academics


by Mkhululi Chimoio

Academics believe Zanu (PF) has lost its social base and have predicted a
heavy defeat in the July 31 elections. Speaking at a civic organisation
meeting chaired by Crisis Coalition of Zimbabwe at Parktonian Hotel
recently, political analyst Dr. Ibbo Mandaza said Zanu (PF) had resorted to
using state security organs as a survival tool.

“Zanu (PF) has lost its control of communities countrywide and will lose
this election,” said Mandaza. “I am optimistic that Morgan Tsvangirai will
pull another land slide victory in this election.”

Dr. Mandaza, who was part of the Mavambo/Kusile group that denied Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai victory in 2008, urged Zimbabweans to expose Zanu
(PF)’s rigging instruments.

“This will help to completely blow this party off as it has caused a lot of
problems to the masses.” Professor Sabelo Gatsheni said using state security
officials and violent campaigns highlighted Zanu (PF)’s fear of losing.

“If someone uses soldiers, police officers and central intelligent officers
in his campaigns, it signals a loss of confidence,” he said.

Professor Brian Raftopoulos said Zimbabwean opposition parties had fought
and won elections but were denied the opportunity to rule the country.

“It’s unfortunate that SADC and AU have also failed the people of Zimbabwe
by allowing Zanu (PF) to remain in government even though they lost the
elections.”He went on to urge SADC and AU to protect the vote of
Zimbabweans. “Regional and continental bodies must guard against Zanu (PF)’s
rigging mentality,” he added.

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Drivel from Dictators
Excerpt from
July 18, 2013
written by
Daniel Calingaert
Executive Vice President

“Our people were cajoled by the West into forming an opposition party to weaken the people of Zimbabwe...There are many dodgy NGOs in Zimbabwe doing as little development work as possible while they dedicate most of their time to spying.”

Thus declared President Robert Mugabe at a campaign rally on July 16 at Chibuku Stadium in Chitungwiza.

As Mugabe tells it, opposition parties and NGOs are carrying out a Western agenda and, by implication, are unpatriotic. Yet he lives comfortably while his critics suffer harsh consequences for their efforts to give Zimbabwe a brighter future. Mugabe and his allies are reportedly 
diverting tens of millions of U.S. dollars in diamond profits from state-owned mines for political and personal gain. His wife, Grace Mugabe, is known for her lavish shopping sprees, and in a country where more than 70 percent of the population lives in poverty, $600,000 was spent on Robert Mugabe’s birthday partyin March. Pro-democracy activists, meanwhile, are regularly subjected to intimidation, arrest on trumped-up charges, and physical attacks. Some are even killed, as human rights activist Elliot Dhliwayo was earlier this month. With all that they risk and all that they suffer to advocate for the rights of fellow Zimbabweans, can there be any doubt about how much pro-democracy activists really love their country?

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Violence and Transition in Post Settler-Colonial states

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Solidarity Peace Trust

Violence and Transition in Post Settler-Colonial states
19 July 2013

By Brian Raftopoulos, Solomon Mungure, Nicky Rousseau and Masheti Masinjila. The authors are part of the Violence and Transition Project in Zimbabwe, Kenya and South Africa funded by the IDRC.

The recently concluded elections in Kenya against the background of the electoral violence of 2007, the anticipated election in Zimbabwe in 2013 with the memory of state led electoral violence in 2008 still fresh in the memory of the electorate, and the proclivity for state violence in South Africa witnessed in the Marikana killings, all point to different but connected legacies of violence in these countries.

Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa are three former British settler colonies where between 1963 and 1994 the countries witnessed the coming of independence and the end of white settler rule. However the forms of violence that characterised both colonial rule and the anti-colonial struggles in those countries have continued to haunt their political and everyday life. Thus the Mau Mau period in Kenya, the dominantly guerilla war in Zimbabwe and the widespread urban resistance and more limited armed struggle of the South African liberation movements have found continuing echoes in the contemporary violence in these countries.

One key factor in understanding the different politics of violence in these countries has been the role of the state. While the state has become conflated with the dominant political party and its violence in Zimbabwe this has been less apparent in Kenya and, with some exception, not the case in South Africa. Nevertheless violence in all three countries, whether perpetrated by the military, paramilitary or informal armed formations or protesting citizens is closely associated with the dynamics of anti-colonial nationalism and state formation. Moreover questions of sovereignty, nation-building and legitimacy lie at the heart of making sense of the forms and character of violence.

For example, the state has played a crucial role in determining the relative weight of ethnic identification as a factor of violence. Thus colonialism, and more particularly its constructions of indirect rule or what the scholar Mahmood Mamdani refers to as ‘decentralised despotism,' gave rise to ethnicity as a key marker setting the limits of the boundaries of political community in ways that have in many cases endured in the post-colonial period.

Of the three countries, the discourse and moral economy of this particular category have been most evident in Kenya where the battle and exercise of state power has been largely played out within the limits of elite alliances and the careful balancing of ethnic tensions. The weakening of such alliances during the period of liberalization in the 1990's, and the decentralization of control over state violence during this period through the informal employment of militias, laid the basis for a wider use of such militias by individual politicians desperate to ensure ongoing access to the levers of power.

This factor had a particularly devastating effect on the polity of Kenya in the aftermath of the 2007 elections. Prior to this, various groupings organized around differing claims of marginality were mobilized for violent purposes around the contested claims of the 2007 elections. As an example, the violent activities of the Mungiki arose out of the ethnically motivated political violence in 1992 and 1997 when government sponsored Kalenjin militia attacked, killed and uprooted thousands of Kikuyu in the Rift Valley. The Mungiki subsequently recruited its membership from among displaced Kikuyu in this area, later spreading its influence to the Central Province and then to the squatters and slum dwellers of Nairobi.

On the terrain of the contested 2007 Presidential elections the mobilization of Kikuyu and Kalenjin ethnicities were at the centre of the bloody conflicts that followed that election. The Government of National Unity that was created in the aftermath of this tragedy, driven by national, regional and international players, prepared the ground for the 2013 Presidential election. It is significant that in the recent Kenyan election, the conflicts between these groups were largely subdued under the alliance between Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, a Kikuyu-Kalenjin agreement driven, in a significant way, by the ICC indictments against both leaders for their respective roles in the 2007/8 violence. Kenyatta's victory, notwithstanding an unsuccessful Supreme Court challenge from his opponent, brings to a temporary close the recent phase of Presidential contestation in Kenya.

In Zimbabwe the contours of political violence have differed from the Kenyan situation largely because of the central role of the ruling party and state as perpetrators, even though nationalist parties and politics have also been fractured along ethnic fault lines. Here the central role of the armed struggle in the decolonization process placed the military at the centre of the political process in the post-colonial period. From the brutal suppression of the other party of liberation, ZAPU, in the Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces in the mid 1980's, to the persistent use of various forms of formal and informal state violence against members of the opposition and civic movement from the 1990's through the 2000's, the ruling party has made it clear that its legitimacy and sovereignty lie not in elections but in the legacy of the armed struggle. Zanu PF and Mugabe's refusal to accept electoral defeat in the 2008 Presidential election led, as in Kenya, to a temporary Inclusive Government, negotiated through SADC.

This Global Political Agreement (GPA) agreed on in late 2008 has been marked by a series of tensions, not the least of which has been the continued control of the coercive arms of the state by Zanu PF, and the latter's refusal to implement any form of security sector transformation, during the period of the GPA. Following a successful referendum on a new constitution in March this year, there remain key obstacles to the carrying out of a generally acceptable election, which was the major objective of the SADC mediation leading to the 2008 agreement. The central control of the military and security apparatus by Zanu PF, and the military-economic complex that has emerged from this in the aftermath of the radical restructuring of property relations on the land and in the area of mineral resources in the 2000's, means that any political solution to the country will now have to deal with this formidable power structure. The SADC Troika call in March 2013 for ‘security sector realignment' in Zimbabwe before a new election only served to confirm the more general concern over this issue.

In the South Africa case, while violence preceding the 1994 election bore some similarities to the recent electoral violence in Kenya and Zimbabwe, since that time electoral politics have by and large remained free and fair, overseen and run by a strong and independent electoral mechanism. Even where the ruling party has lost control over either local or regional government, these electoral losses have been respected, even if begrudgingly. In this and many other respects South Africa remains a constitutional democracy, although the possible threat of electoral loss by the ruling ANC could set this process on a different path.

Having noted this, however, the point needs to be made that within the ruling party itself, where control of power is seen to be associated with economic opportunity and access to patronage, there has been intense intra-party competition both for party elections and in deciding on party representatives for government. This has led to fragmentation, factionalism and, at times, violence.

The fact that the 1994 transition was less dependent on the military role of the liberation movements, and more on the combination of internal protests, regional support and international pressure, has for the moment lessened the centrality of the liberation movement's military wing in the politics of the state, notwithstanding occasional vocal and even physical threats by organized military veterans. Indeed as a post-liberation movement, the imprimatur of the liberation struggle continues to mark current political practice. Additionally evoking the mantle of the struggle to mobilize support, and mobilize violence, is also a tool used outside of the formal party structures. Thus at a popular level various forms of political protest, especially post 2007, have returned to the language and tactics of the anti-apartheid struggle politics. Songs and slogans from the struggle have been revitalized, and repertoires of resistance-burning barricades, stoning vehicles, damaging or destroying public buildings- characterize current collective violence.

Such forms of protests, as well as the growing number of strikes in the country would appear to be not only ways of ensuring better service delivery. More than this they express a disgruntlement with, even rejection of, the social pact and forms of post-apartheid democracy that have been seen to produce growing inequality. While at one level these protests suggest that the crisis of accumulation, which was a key factor in driving the move towards democratization, has not been resolved; at another it may signal a rejection of the forms of democratic government envisaged in the constitution. Thus the use of coercion that sometimes accompanies these protests proposes different forms of sociality and community, in which the social order imagined is not that which is enshrined in the constitution, but a radically delimited community in which violence would seem to be central. Disturbingly, the reactions of police to collective protest, which sometimes replicate that of the apartheid era, only serve to confirm the legitimacy of violence.

In assessing the common challenges of these countries it is clear that a combination of the colonial legacies of structural inequality and modes of political rule, as well as the limits to state legitimacy in the face of the assaults of global neo-liberalism, present formidable obstacles to the realization of democratic dispensations. Under these conditions the construction of state sovereignty through an increasing resort to violence and coercion remains a key resource for the making of states.

Rights reserved: Please credit the Solidarity Peace Trust as the original source for all SPT material republished on other websites unless otherwise specified. Please provide a link back to for this report

This article can be cited in other publications as follows: Raftopoulos,B., Mungure,S., Rousseau,N., and Masinjila,M. (2013) Violence and Transition in Post Settler-Colonial states. 19 July,

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


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An audit of Zimbabwe's 2013 voters' roll


Via the RAU website: What follows is the executive summary of a report compiled by the Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU). Download the full report here.

Executive Summary

This is the second report on an audit of the June 2013 Voters’ Roll. It expands on the previous report, provides a more detailed analysis of the Roll, and corrects a number of minor errors.

A number of key findings merged from the audit:

1. That there are nearly 2 000 000 potential voters aged under 30 who are unregistered.

Very few adults aged under 30 are registered. This is most marked in the 18 -19 age band, where only 8.87% are registered. In numerical terms, this means that a total of 1 920 424 people under the age of 30 ought to be registered as voters but are not.2 This is almost 29% of the total adult population of 6 647 779. Since there are unregistered people in the other age bands, the total percentage of the entire adult population who ought to be registered as voters but are not, is considerably higher than 29%.

2. That there are well over 1 000 000 people on the roll who are either deceased or departed.

If one removes the 1 920 424 unregistered potential voters from the calculation, the registration rate rises to an impossible 129% of people aged 30 and over. If an 85% registration rate is assumed, then over registration rate rises to 52% for these age bands, representing some 1 732 527 names which are on the roll but ought not to be. In other words, rather than the some 5 874 115 entries on the roll there should not be more than 4 141 588.

3. That 63 constituencies have more registered voters than inhabitants.

This was covered in the Preliminary report and the full details of those Constituencies with more voters than inhabitants according to the 2012 Census is given in Appendix 2 of this report.

4. That 41 Constituencies deviate from the average number of voters per constituency by more than the permitted 20%.

This was also reported in the preliminary report, but here is expanded. The report points out a number of problems:

  • Whilst delimitation has been fixed according to the 2008 specifications, there are three local government authorities [RDCs] that have been created from existing wards for which re-delimitation is necessary, but not constitutionally possible;
  • One Ward in one of these new RDC’s has only eight voters according to Voters’ Roll;
  • There appears to be no political bias in the distribution of the over and under-registered Constituencies, but it is also clear that there is discrimination against urban constituencies. Mbare, for example, has three times more registered voters than Chipinge East, which should mean that Mbare should have one and a half seats to Chipinge East’s half seat.

5. The registration rate (as opposed to number registered) of women is significantly less than that of men, particularly in the metropolitan provinces.

One must keep in mind that the 52:48 ratio on both the census and the voters’ roll is the ratio of females to males as per the 2012 Census and the ratio of women to men on the roll. It does not reflect the comparative registration rates. According to the June 2013 Voters’ Roll, there is a higher registration rate of women than that of men in the rural provinces, suggesting that the lower registration rate of women overall is on account of severe under-registration of women in the metropolitan provinces. For example, in Harare Province the registration rate of women is only 63%, against 83% for men. By contrast, in Mashonaland Central the rate is 92% for women and 90% for men.

Unevenness also emerges when individual constituencies are examined, and when considering the registration rate of each gender in particular age bands. For example Beitbridge East (a constituency selected merely because it appears first alphabetically) not only shows considerable bias in registration in favour of women, and much higher than the 54:46 ratio of the voters roll as a whole, but also reveals a marked (and sudden) increase in favour of women in the number of people registered as voters in the over 50 age bands.

6. There is a marked registration bias in favour of rural constituencies.

The registration rate differs considerably between rural and urban areas. Some constituencies comprise both urban and rural wards and were categorized as “mixed” constituencies. According to the June 2013 Voters’ Roll, there are 3 891 425 registered voters in rural constituencies as opposed to 1 424 047 in urban constituencies and 558 507 in mixed constituencies. This gives a registration rate of 91.9% for rural constituencies, 78.3% for urban constituencies, and 80.7% for “mixed” constituencies.

The registration rate in purely rural constituencies, from which ZANU PF is regarded as drawing the bulk of its support, is thus considerably higher (94%) than that in purely urban constituencies (74%) from which the MDC formations as regarded as drawing most of their support, that is, about 20% more. This is particularly so in the over 65+ age bands.

7. Miscellaneous Oddities

Several other oddities, which may be symptomatic of a larger problem, are worth noting:

  • There are numerous reports from people indicating that their names appear on the voters roll even though they have never registered to vote.
  • The suffixes of the national registration numbers of 44 000 voters have been altered on the roll. These voters thus may encounter difficulties with over-bureaucratic officials who could insist on an exact match with ID discs.
  • Some married women have noted that, without their consent, their surnames have been changed on the roll to the surname of their husbands. This may also cause problems when presenting IDs at the polling stations.

Mugabe and Zanu PF have absolutely no intention of surrendering power

July 19, 2013, 1:05 pm
    I have been out of action for a few days with some nasty virus but
coming back to the Zim Situation, I see that the forthcoming election
dominates the news. As Mugabe and Tsvangirai criss-cross the country
addressing rallies with reportedly huge audiences, the people themselves
have in all probability already made up their minds which way to vote. A
large number, calculated to be some two million have failed to register but
whether the reason for that is plain indifference or the utterly chaotic
state of the voters roll is not clear. Whatever the reason, one thing is
very clear: Mugabe and Zanu PF have absolutely no intention of surrendering
power. As yet there has been no repeat of the horrific violence of the 2008
election but here is still a great deal of very suspect behaviour from the
party that has ruled the country for the whole of its independent life. It
seems, however, that they can no longer take the people’s support for
granted. It was once assumed that the rural areas were solidly Zanu PF
supporters but there are reports of an increase in rural people’s political
awareness and their support for Zanu PF can no longer be assured. MDC
rallies in these remote rural areas appear to have been very well attended
but both sides say they are confident of victory. Mugabe, of course, has
played the race card again, saying that his opponents want to “bring back
the whites”. He was all decked out in ‘mapostori’ gear at the time
addressing a huge gathering of the brethren in Marange. I have never been
quite sure of exactly what the mapostori stand for but I do know they are
anti-white and anti-gay so Mugabe was on safe ground there. He promised
church leaders that he would build them a school if they voted for him and
his Vice President, Joice Mujuru went one step further promising church
leaders houses and farms if they voted for Zanu PF. The President’s wife,
Grace, assured the opposition that “there was no vacancy at State House” but
then” Zimbabweans have heard it all before.

    It was the so-called ‘special voting’ that caused all the doubt and
suspicion in the international community. The ‘special voting’ period was
intended to apply to police officers and civil servants who would be on duty
on polling day but then we came to the crux of the matter. How many cops are
there in Zimbabwe? The Police Commissioner had applied for 70.000 ballot
papers but according to figures issued by the Attorney General, Johannes
Tomana, there are in fact just 44.000 police officers in the country.
Whether it was with cops or civilians, suspicion was widespread that rigging
of one kind or another was taking place. An eye witness who happened to be
driving along the Harare-Marondera highway on voting day reported huge
numbers of trucks carrying people being bussed out to polling stations in
time for ‘special voting’ - that was when Baba Jukwa, had predicted that the
real rigging would take place. No wonder Mugabe has offered a $300.000
reward for his capture! The MDC have challenged the ‘special vote’ in the
High Court but it was the chaos observed by the SADC team that really caught
the world’s attention. There were inadequately trained officials,
insufficient ballot papers arriving late and massive irregularities to mar
the validity of the whole process; even the Deputy Chair of ZEC, Joyce
Kazembe, had to admit that ‘special voting had not gone according to plan’.
Despite SADC’s warning that “The world is watching you” Zimbabwe has failed
to demonstrate that it can conduct free and fair elections on July 31st; .
Mugabe can blast off all he likes against his critics but his ‘hate speech’
only shows the world his real character.

Yours in the (continuing) struggle, Pauline Henson.