By IAN BIRRELL
intelligence documents that expose Robert Mugabe’s plans to rig the forthcoming
election in Zimbabwe and crush his political rivals have been handed to The Mail
The dossier reveals in
astonishing detail how Mugabe is plotting to steal millions of votes with
massive and systematic ballot-rigging combined with widespread intimidation by
His tactics, along with
details of massive funding from named British, Chinese and African backers, are
disclosed in highly confidential papers written for his closest
They were obtained from
intelligence sources who risked their lives to expose the covert campaign to
keep 89-year-old Mugabe and his brutal military cabal in
The documents explain
how ‘unfavourable voting outcomes’ for the ruling Zanu-PF party will be
‘countered’ for a multi-million-pound fee to an Israeli company that has been
helping the dictator for a decade.
They also show how
Mugabe’s desperate bid to retain power in the nation he has ravaged during 33
years of repressive misrule is being aided by the Chinese government, fellow
African dictators and secretive diamond mining firms.
Ominously, the leaked
papers reveal the recruitment of armed militia and talk of the need for
‘disciplinary action to enemy leaders,’ saying the use of ‘absolute
neutralisation of the enemy...is recommended when
Peter Hain, the former Africa minister and campaigner against blood diamonds, said: ‘This confirms our worst fears about democracy being prostituted in Zimbabwe.’
African-raised MP added: The Government and EU cannot turn a blind eye to such
abuses when democracy is being destroyed and the opposition muted in such a
Intimidation: Armed soldiers stand guard at President Robert Mugabe's campaign rally ahead of Presidential elections on July 31
The documents, prepared
for the head of Zimbabwe’s highly feared Central Intelligence Organisation and
the Joint Operational Command (JOC), the body that oversees state security,
contain a number of alarming disclosures.
The Mail on Sunday was
passed the dossier by intelligence figures frustrated with the barbarity and
rigid discipline of Mugabe’s Marxist-influenced regime. ‘There are lots of us
who hate the way things are done by the old guard,’ said
This source, a senior
official among the estimated 300,000 spies in Zimbabwe, was clearly nervous when
we met in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare. Security forces are caught up in
factional feuding among the generals and politicians plotting to succeed
The election in ten
days’ time is Mugabe’s last roll of the dice after three decades in power during
which time his regime has wrecked the economy, ruined key public services,
helped halve life expectancy and driven about one in six Zimbabweans into
Tyrant: Mugabe, left, pictured with his wife Grace, has ruled Zimbabwe for 33 years under a repressive and brutal regime
The previous poll in
2008 was held against an appalling backdrop of poverty and starvation caused by
the second-worst case of hyper-inflation in history, peaking at 231 million per
cent. Shops had no food, hospitals closed and Aids was rife.
The opposition Movement
For Democratic Change won by 20 per cent. But after Mugabe’s goons started to
slaughter their rivals, foreign diplomats forced the creation of an
uncomfortable coalition with the despot back as president and MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai as prime minister.
After introducing the
dollar as currency, the economy stabilised – yet close to nine in ten people
The leaked papers show
a clear strategy led by security forces in alliance with the Chinese communist
party and Nikuv to ‘neutralise hostile votes in urban areas’ where MDC support
Among the tactics are
under-registering voters aged under 35 and over-registering older people, who
are more likely to vote for Mugabe. They also discuss ‘parallel registration
through party offices with strict advice from Nikuv International for
Reports released last
week by independent monitors confirmed the scale of Zanu-PF’s electoral
corruption. In a country with a population of fewer than 13 million people, and
an average life expectancy of 51, there were found to be 900,000 duplicate
entries on the register, including 109,000 people aged over 100. ‘There might be
five centenarians at best,’ one doctor confided.
Two million young
people remain unregistered. The leaked documents disclose the electoral
commission has orders to register fewer than ten people per day in some
The dossier underlines both the need for, and effectiveness of, such tactics. In one region, they reveal Zanu-PF membership has fallen ten per cent since the last election.
written at the start of last month, discusses Mugabe’s electoral prospects in
different parts of the country. It says: ‘Records, reconnaissance and
collaborated intelligence show that Midlands Province alone has the potential of
producing 450,000 votes by July end.
Mashonaland Central and
West can produce a total of 1.2 million votes over and above already recorded
It adds: ‘Intelligence
officers will take a lead role in party structures to set housing schemes,
re-orient the beneficiaries and populate them on the voters roll through party
offices and Nikuv International Projects.’
Nikuv did not return
calls or emails about its activities in Zimbabwe. However, a spokesman was
quoted by a South African paper earlier this month saying it was a legitimate
and professional company: ‘We have never been involved in any politics, not now
It also pointed out it had no control over the electoral roll.
The security files show
the generals tightening their grip on Zanu-PF, helping security staff defeat
civilian candidates ‘whose indiscipline cost the party’.
Yet they also reveal
the regime meeting opposition from civilian supporters – although it’s said that
‘re-orientation through mass mobilisation and covert coercion has achieved
One document chillingly
headed ‘Operation Return To Zanu-PF’ says there is an urgent need for mass
recruitment of youths under armed leaders to ‘stem resistance’.
The dossier lists the numbers already recruited in each region and the name of the top military officer in charge, saying deployments of trained gangs will ‘direct enemy neutralisation’.
intelligence and local human rights groups have observed a big rise in supplies
of weapons and vehicles going into Zimbabwe in recent months amid fears hardline
military chiefs will mount a coup if their plans to steal the election are
‘Zanu is led by people
who won a war of liberation and seem to think they are still fighting,’ said
Jessie Majome, a lawyer and leading MDC figure. ‘They just keep on fighting and
want to crush us. I am fearful.’
The leak also
underlines the close links between China and Zimbabwe following previous reports
of diamonds and gold being exchanged for arms by Chinese dealers.
There are reports on
nine trips out of the country in just six weeks earlier this year by named
individuals moving huge quantities of diamonds and money between Zimbabwe,
Angola, Dubai and China.
Skewed democracy: Police officers have been allowed to cast their votes early
The papers show how
much of the regime’s funding, security training and tactical advice comes from
China. They reveal great anxiety over ‘enemy’ pirate radio stations adding that
China has ‘donated and is installing new short-wave jammers and updating old
Other funds were listed
as coming from two controversial diamond mining firms with links to the
Hoogstraten, the notorious British property mogul, is recorded as donating
$3 million (£1.96 million). He has long been close to Mugabe. Van Hoogstraten
confirmed to The Mail on Sunday that he had given money to Zanu-PF, but said it
was not being used to rig election results.
The dossier also shows
that military chiefs attending an election meeting at an airbase last month were
told of payments of tens of millions of dollars from Joseph Kabila, the
Congolese president, and Teodoro Obiang, corrupt ruler of oil-rich Equatorial
As the election gets
closer, violence and intimidation are increasing, with opposition activists
coming under attack from Mugabe supporters. Mugabe has stepped up the use of
forced attendance at party rallies and state patronage.
There are plans to make
villagers in rural areas attend pungwes – all-night indoctrination meetings used
in the liberation war to incite supporters – three days before
Security officials are
also setting up hundreds of party bases – rooms used to torture Zimbabweans who
refuse to give in to their pressure.
Yet the documents show a third of Mugabe’s election fund is being spent on ‘regional diplomacy’ to ensure a clean bill of health from the Southern African Development Community, the 14 nations whose observers are monitoring the election.The crocodile, a £7 billion will, and a fast food war... the bizarre backdrop to vital vote
As the warm winter sun
beat down, newspaper editors and businessmen dined on crispy chicken and fat
steaks cooked on the barbecue.
The restaurant, opened
just months ago in the gorgeous grounds of the old colonial bowling club,
symbolises both the changes in Zimbabwe and hopes of a peaceful future after
such a tumultuous past.
Tension: Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has ruled out staying in coalition with Mugabe
It was hard to envisage a more idyllic scene. Yet it is deceptive. For discussions at the tables centred on the crucial few days ahead in the life of this beautiful, battered nation. First comes the hastily called election in ten days’ time amid grotesque ballot-rigging and rising violence.
It is a short campaign,
designed so it can be endured by a doddery dictator whose body is riddled with
cancer, face is frozen with Botox and hair is coloured with
Then comes the critical aftermath – and whatever the result, things could get nasty. If Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC wins despite losing some of its sheen in office, there are fears hardline elements in the security forces could unleash another reign of terror, torture and mass murder – or simply mount a military coup.
If Robert Mugabe
retains his presidency, there will be jostling for succession between rival
Zanu-PF camps that could turn violent.
Curiously, despite his dreadful record, Mugabe’s biggest weakness is that he cares deeply about his reputation, which is why he is desperate to appear to win the election and get the last Western sanctions lifted.
‘He wants to end his
career with dignity and win back respect,’ said one well-placed observer. ‘But
most of all, he does not want to end up in The Hague.’
After the blood-stained
ballot in 2008, foreign diplomats threatened Mugabe and his circle with the
International Criminal Court in order to force them into coalition with their
enemies. It has been an uneasy union – one minister told me senior civil
servants in her department were barred from speaking to her, let alone sharing
policy – but it salvaged the country.
Some of those close to
Mugabe suspect this cold and calculating man is so weary of party infighting he
would privately prefer to lose; he is thought to have offered to step down
after losing the 2008 vote until told to stay put by his generals.
‘He knows everyone is
giving him fake smiles when they really want him to go,’ said a source. ‘And he
also knows that if he wins the factions start fighting and there will be
The two key camps
revolve around ‘The Crocodile’ – feared defence secretary Emmerson Mnangagwa,
currently in the ascendancy – and his comparatively moderate rival,
vice-president Joyce Mujuru.
Long reign of terror: Mugabe, right, celebrating an election win in 1980
Her husband, a former
army chief said to be the only man to stand up to Mugabe in meetings, died in
a suspicious fire two years ago. Gunfire was reported to have been heard
It is rumoured Mujuru’s
will was worth £7 billion, demonstrating obscene levels of corruption among the
supposed communist comrades while most of the population struggles in
Such is the dislike
between the two camps, their families even feud over rival fast-food outlets,
with Mujuru’s nephew positioning his chain of chicken bars close to Mnangagwa’s
Nando’s restaurant franchises.
The defence minister
also has massive gold and diamond mining interests.
Casting a long shadow: Mugabe's years of misrule are being aided by the Chinese government, fellow dictators and secretive diamond mining firms
These are what make the election such a high-stakes affair. For after the last election the security forces began milking the world’s biggest diamond minefields in Marange, earning billions for the generals and funding a Chinese-fuelled arms build-up.
A government insider told me that in 2010 these mines alone should have earned the state £1.07 billion, yet only £23 million ended up in the exchequer.
One well-connected Harare businessman gave me an insight into Zanu’s tactics. He is having to dress in party regalia to attend rallies five times a week and lasting several hours at a time as the election looms, a legacy of Mugabe’s revolutionary past.
‘They call Tsvangirai
every name going and then we must sing songs and shout slogans,’ he said. ‘They
check names and if you don’t go or the next day don’t know the latest slogan you
are in trouble.’
Yet after 33 years of
Marxism, murder and mayhem, Mugabe might be undone by one of his few successes:
the creation of perhaps Africa’s finest education system.
‘I can’t tell you how boring these rallies are,’ the source said. ‘Many of us there have degrees and these people shouting at us are not well educated. I sit there checking my Blackberry, trying to do business.’
By AFP | AFP – 18 hours ago
Leaders from the southern African bloc SADC warned that organising the
upcoming Zimbabwe elections will be 'tough' given the paucity of time for
The 15-country Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) had last month
urged Zimbabwe to delay the July 31 elections by at least two weeks to allow
adequate time to apply a raft of reforms that would ensure a free and fair
But the country's top court upheld the election date that was unilaterally
declared by President Robert Mugabe.
"We would have wished that our advice would have been heeded," Tanzanian
President Jakaya Kikwete told reporters late Saturday after half-a-day of
talks by the SADC organ on defence and security.
Putting together an election within a month "is very stressfull" and to
"have everything organised, you know it is quite a mammoth task," he said.
Thousands of security forces who will be working during the July 31 polling
failed to cast their ballots in two days of polling early last week due to
shortages of ballot papers, indelible ink and boxes.
"So it's quite going to be a tough election to organise."
Kikwete said after the talks also attended by South Africa's President Jacob
Zuma and Mozambique's Armando Guebuza.
But the SADC, which has already deployed 360 election observers to Zimbabwe,
vowed to stand by the country to ensure the vote will be "credible enough."
"We have committed to work with the people of Zimbabwe and see whatever we
can do to make sure within the remaining 11 days, we can have an election
that is going to be credible enough," he said. "I believe we will."
The cash-strapped country is also yet to raise all the funding needed for
The much-awaited vote in Zimbabwe aims to end the uncomfortable
power-sharing government between President Robert Mugabe and his arch-rival
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, formed four years as part of a plan to end
Zuma is leading the SADC mediation team on Zimbabwe, which pushed for the
The regional bloc had pressed Mugabe to allow time for a series of reforms
that would limit the military's role in politics, strip ghost voters from
the electoral roll and ensure all eligible voters were registered.
But the Saturday summit came amid a renewed attack by Mugabe of Zuma's top
foreign affairs advisor Lindiwe Zulu.
Speaking at a campaign rally on Saturday, Mugabe said Zuma should rein in
Zulu and that SADC should not lie about the situation in Zimbabwe.
Zulu said Friday that there are still "challenges" in the run up to
But Mugabe said "I appeal to President Zuma to stop this woman of theirs
from speaking on Zimbabwe."
WASHINGTON — A mini-summit of the Southern African Development Community
Saturday night in Pretoria, South Africa, noted problems that affected the
July 14 and 15 special or early vote for members of the uniformed forces but
said the regional bloc will do all it can to ensure a credible poll is held
A communiqué released Sunday morning following the SADC troika on defense,
politics and security avoided any comment on fears about the July 31
But speaking with journalists following the troika summit, President Jakaya
Kikwete of Tanzania said SADC would have been happier had Harare heeded its
advice to delay the polls, adding the elections would be difficult to
organize due to time limitations.
"We would have wished that our advice would have been heeded," said Kikwete,
adding putting together an election within a month "is very stessful" and to
"have everything organised, you know it is quite a mammoth task."
President Jacob Zuma hosted the four-nation summit, which was attended by
Kikwete and President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique. Namibia’s Foreign
Minister Netumbo Ndaitwa stood in for President Hifikepunye Pohamba.
In the communiqué Sadc said it was pleased that all political parties were
committed to a peaceful environment during the elections.
“Summit encouraged the government, all political parties and leaders to
continue with these commendable efforts which will help realise credible
elections,” the communiqué stated.
The troika commended the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission for “taking these up
as challenges to be overcome on the 31st of July, and called upon all
political parties to co-operate as fully as possible with ZEC in order to
ensure that it is able to meet these challenges.”
Thousands of officers from the uniformed forces failed to cast their votes
in the early vote as polling stations opened late and many lacked indelible
ink, stamps, voter rolls and ballot papers and boxes. This raised concerns
over the July 31 election in which millions are expected to cast their
SADC had wanted the July 31 presidential and parliamentary elections to be
postponed, in particular to allow Harare to implement democratic reforms in
the media and state security.
But the constitutional court insisted the polls be held on July 31.
WASHINGTON — South African President Jacob Zuma’s office on Sunday released
a statement noting
“with great concern, recent unfortunate statements made on the situation in
Zimbabwe” which have been attributed to a member of the technical team
supporting the SADC facilitator in Harare.
The public pronouncement follows complaints by President Robert Mugabe
urging Zuma to gag his outspoken International Relations Advisor Lindiwe
Zulu who has continued to irritate the Zanu PF hierarchy by publicly
expressing concern about preparations for this month’s polls.
The statement said the facilitator's technical team, comprising head Charles
Nqakula, Zuma's Special Envoy and spokesperson Mac Maharaj and International
Relations Advisor Lindiwe Zulu, only supports and cannot impose its views on
Zimbabwe nor make public comments, adding only President Zuma has the
mandate to speak on Zimbabwe on behalf of SADC.
“A number of statements have been made during the facilitation process which
have been unauthorised and which are regrettable and unfortunate. Some of
the utterances have also been inaccurate.”
The statement said it was no true that Zuma had telephoned President Mugabe
to express his unhappiness about preparations for the Zimbabwean elections.
“No such telephone call has been made. The report is incorrect,” the stamen
“President Zuma has also been alerted to inappropriate postings in the
social media on the Zimbabwean situation, read the statement, adding South
Africa remained fully committed to the warm historical relations with
Zimbabwe and wishes the people of Zimbabwe well as they prepare for the
Zuma’s spokesman and special envoy Mac Maharaj told VOA the statement was
necessary to delay with concerns that had been raised by Harare, at the
highest level, adding the technical team supporting Zuma should not have
been making statements about the situation in Zimbabwe.
“So we want to remove this problem. We believe that Zimbabwe has just a few
days left before it heads for elections,” said Maharaj.
“We must not allow any side issues to distract the process. Zimbabweans have
done a very good job so far in adopting the constitution, in ensuring that
the processes are such that there’s no sign of violence, that intimidation
is at a low level. We want to encourage that.”
President Mugabe has twice now criticized Zulu and at one time describing
her as a “street woman” who had tried to block the holding of polls by end
On Friday President Mugabe told a televised rally in Gwanda, Matabeleland
South province that poll preparations were in fact proceeding smoothly and
called on his peers in both SADC and the African Union to stop pandering to
the whims of the hostile West.
“As we go to elections we expect our friends of SADC, the African Union to
assist us in this process by encouraging us and where they are able to do
so, then materially also help us to fund the process,” Mugabe said.
“We do not expect SADC countries to be raising lies about us and telling
others that the situation in Zimbabwe is not peaceful, that the ground is
South Africa was appointed by SADC to assist the Zimbabwean political
parties to resolve their differences.
by Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has told South African counterpart Jacob Zuma to gag
his outspoken subordinate Lindiwe Zulu who has continued to irritate the
Zanu PF hierarchy publicly expressing concern about preparations this month’s
Mugabe told a televised star rally in Gwanda, Matabeleland South province
that poll preparations were in fact proceeding smoothly and called on his
peers in both SADC and the African Union to stop pandering to the whims of
the hostile West.
“As we go to elections we expect our friends of SADC, the African Union to
assist us in this process by encouraging us and where they are able to do
so, then materially also help us to fund the process,” Mugabe said.
“We do not expect SADC countries to be raising lies about us and telling
others that the situation in Zimbabwe is not peaceful, that the ground is
Mugabe said not all countries in the region had problems with the manner in
which his administration was managing the run-up to the July 31 harmonised
The Zanu PF leader further shot down claims by Finance Minister Tendai Biti
that the country was too broke to run the watershed election.
“We are happy that most SADC countries are encouraging us,” Mugabe said in
his customarily long addresses, which went on for nearly two hours.
“We are happy also that the Peace and Security Council which met yesterday
in Addis Ababa … to look at our election process, we are happy that they say
the election process is proceeding peacefully and they are encouraging us to
continue like that.
“We sent (Justice Minister Patrick) Chinamasa to inform them or about the
situation here but there are NGOs zvimbasungata zvevasingade kuti tibudirire
who had gone there to say ‘oh no, there is no money’! No! We are able to
fund the process.
“We cannot fail to fund our election process. We may have difficulty in
raising the money but we will raise the money right up to the end.”
Mugabe then turned on to Lindiwe Zulu, President Zuma’s international
relations advisor and member of South African leader’s backroom facilitation
“And may l say that persistent negative voice from South Africa, could it
please be stopped and l appeal to President Zuma to stop this woman of
theirs on speaking on Zimbabwe," he said.
"There is a facilitator, we were given a facilitator with one mouth and that
is President Zuma himself. That is the only voice we want to hear.
“Yesterday it was (former) President Thabo Mbeki who was facilitator and
only his voice spoke. No other voice spoke. I don’t want to go far today.”
Since Mugabe's acerbic comments about her some two weeks ago, Zulu has
continued to make public comments on the situation in Zimbabwe, seemingly
unnerved by the veteran leader’s apparent rancour towards her.
Speaking during the launch of his election campaign and manifesto in Harare
a fortnight ago, Mugabe spitted venom, describing Zulu as “an idiotic street
But Mugabe’s opponents in MDC have praised Zulu’s conduct which they find
helpful in stalling Mugabe’s bid to rig the vote.
Agence France-PresseJuly 21, 2013 14:33
Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Sunday warned the body
overseeing this month's presidential election he will be "closely
monitoring" it to ensure a fair vote.
He said vote rigging would only happen if it was allowed by officials from
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
It was up to them to ensure fair play on July 31, said Tsvangirai.
"The rigging can only occur when officials at ZEC are dishonest," he told
thousands of supporters gathered in a stadium in Gweru, south of the capital
"We will be closely monitoring this because we have to protect the vote, we
have to protect the voter and we have to protect the outcome of the vote."
His warning came as concerns mount that the election will not be free and
A scheduled early vote by the country's security forces descended into chaos
as thousands of police and soldiers were unable to vote by the time the two
days of polling closed last Monday evening.
Election officials blamed the disruption on problems associated with the
printing of ballot papers.
"We are concerned that Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) fails to print
ballot papers so that police and soldiers vote without chaos," he said.
"All those issues undermine the integrity of ZEC.
President Robert Mugabe called early elections, hoping to prolong his 33
years in power.
The crucial vote will end the uneasy power-sharing government formed by the
two leaders in 2009, after a lengthy regional mediation.
During his address, Tsvangirai accused Mugabe of plotting to rig the vote.
He also criticised Mugabe for his recent attacks on the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) mediation team led by South African President
Mugabe on Saturday accused the bloc of lying about the political situation
in Zimbabwe, including the country's preparedness for the vote.
Tsvangirai won the first round of the 2008 vote but failed to get a clear
majority, resulting in a run-off between himself and Mugabe. He later pulled
out of the race citing violence against his supporters.
Zimbabwe has been mired in a political crisis which resulted in the collapse
of the economy, following Mugabe's appropriation of white-owned farms.
Tsvangarai said his government would uphold the rule of law and promised to
compensate the victims of political violence.
"There must be truth. Its only when you say the truth that you are able to
get justice, and without justice you cannot heal,"he said.
He said his government would provide free education to primary school
children and improve health facilities.
STAFF WRITER • 21 JULY 2013 10:32AM
HARARE - The Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ) visited a
selection of polling stations in Banket, Chegutu, Chinhoyi, Karoi, Marondera
and Magunje to observe the special voting process on July 14 and 15.
The visits aimed at assessing the state of preparedness of the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (Zec) and the capacity, effectiveness and efficiency of
the electoral management body as well as the conduciveness of the political
environment for free and fair elections.
Phillip Pasirayi, CCDZ director said the findings of this observation are
aimed at informing the State authorities and subsidiary duty bearers and
other stakeholders on the country’s readiness for credible elections.
Pasirayi said despite high voter turnout in all observed centres, the
special voting process which was meant to begin on July 14 country wide
failed to begin at most designated polling stations due to various reasons
which include but are not limited to logistical challenges such as shortage
of ballot boxes, shortage of stationery and Zec’s failure to timeously
deliver the Special Voting Certificates required for the voting process.
“Day two of the Special Voting process was similarly characterised by chaos,
disorder and confusion which surrounded the whole voting process. While in
some areas, some voters voted; in other areas such as Chinhoyi and
Marondera, most uniformed forces and civil servants failed to vote because
of they were either turned away because their names or voting certificates
were not located or that they were simply fed up because of the long queues
and slow pace at which they were being served,” he said.
In Banket and Chinhoyi a number of police officers and civil servants were
observed loitering outside the Cooksey Hall polling station as late as 16:00
CCDZ interviews revealed that only 192 officers cast their vote on day one
of the Special Vote at Cooksey Hall polling station in Chinhoyi. On Day two
voting at the Cooksey Hall in Chinhoyi voting began as late as 8:15pm and
continued late into the night and early hours of morning instead of the
stipulated starting time of 7:00am and ending time of 7:00pm.
CCDZ was informed that only 74 officers managed to vote on day two; and that
although voting continued late into the night many people failed to vote
because their envelopes had not arrived at the polling station.
The challenges faced by Zec officials included the shortage of sensitive
voting materials such as indelible ink, Zec stamps, approved voters’ lists,
ballot papers and ballot boxes.
By 4:49pm at Dudley School in Norton, only 31 of the 271 voters present had
The situation was even worse at Suri Suri Base in Chegutu where the polling
agents were observed sleeping because there was no activity at all.
The Presiding Officer explained that the soldiers had come in their numbers
but unfortunately Zec did not supply the material in order for the voting
process to take place.
At Hartley 1 Primary School polling station in Chegutu, CCDZ was informed
that this polling station had received 225 ballot papers only at the time of
the observation; and it was unclear whether additional ballot papers would
be availed on time.
There were chaotic scenes at the Farmers Market in Marondera and due to
frustration most police and prison officers on the queue were seen pushing
Senior police officers tried in vain to stop the rowdy officers.
“The chaos that prevailed during the special voting process serves as a
telling and worrying indicator that could repeat itself on July 31. These
observations cast serious doubt on Zec’s capacity and preparedness to
deliver a credible harmonised election targeting three million plus voters
over a single day, given Zec’s failure to ensure that 90 000 voters cast
their votes during a two day voting period,” said Pasirayi.
He added: “We reiterate our calls that Zec is not prepared for the
elections. We implore Cabinet to convene an urgent meeting and try to find
common ground to salvage what is left of the 2013 harmonised elections.
There is urgent need for government to avail funds to Zec and strengthen the
electoral management body and build technical capacity of this institution
to preserve the country’s democratic processes.”
FUNGI KWARAMBA • 21 JULY 2013 10:37AM
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe, who two weeks ago threatened to pull out
of Sadc, has made a sudden U-turn, assuring regional leaders that Zimbabwe
cherishes being part of the regional bloc.
Mugabe told a State banquet hosted on the eve of Lesotho’s King Letsie III’s
50th birthday celebrations on Wednesday night that he remained committed to
working with the regional bloc.
The 89-year-old had earlier told a Zanu PF manifesto launch rally: “Sadc has
no power. Let it be known that we are in Sadc voluntarily. If Sadc decides
to do stupid things, we can pull out.”
But he was singing a different tune at King Letsie’s birthday, saying he
craves for African unity.
“Let me take advantage of this gathering to inform you that the processes
leading to our harmonised elections on July 31, 2013 are moving smoothly in
the full glare of Sadc and African Union observers and those from other
well-meaning countries,” Mugabe is quoted as saying in the State media.
“As leaders of political parties in Zimbabwe, we have been and still call on
our people to refrain from political violence and to maintain peaceful
coexistence. I am happy to inform you that so far, the electoral environment
has remained peaceful.
“As Zimbabweans, we remain committed to working with the region to further
regional and continental unity and to advance our common cause on the
broader international platform.”
Mugabe’s latest somersault vindicates perceptions by his opponents and
analysts that the octogenarian was selling his supporters bottled smoke when
he threatened to walk out of Sadc.
At the manifesto launch, Mugabe described South African President Jacob Zuma’s
international relations advisor Lindiwe Zulu as “an idiotic, street woman”
who should not interfere in the country’s domestic affairs.
But in Lesotho he was all cosy as he heaped praises on regional countries he
said were instrumental in the fight for Zimbabwe’s independence.
Mugabe was speaking ahead of an African Union (AU) summit scheduled for
Addis Ababa today to discuss the poll timetable and another Sadc troika
meeting scheduled for South Africa.
While the MDC formations are adamant they will not attend the AU summit,
Zanu PF yesterday said it will dispatch Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC says Mugabe and his Zanu PF party
approached the AU seeking to have an extension of poll dates.
However, Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo dismissed the MDC claims saying
Zanu PF was ready for elections.
“It is all nonsense to say we approached the OAU (AU predecessor,
Organisation of African Unity),” he said.
“How can we request for a meeting when we are ready for elections? Zanu PF
was merely advised and we met and decided that we would send (Justice
Minister Patrick) Chinamasa.”
Jameson Timba, MDC secretary for international relations and a top aide of
the premier, said the MDC never approached the AU, saying for now the
election issue is in the hands of South African President Jacob Zuma, whose
tough mediation on Zimbabwe has caused consternation within Zanu PF.
“The MDC has never written to the African Union seeking a meeting, and those
who approached the AU are Zanu PF who now want to seek an extension of the
election date to save face because the rigging strategy of railroading
police officers to vote for Zanu PF has crumbled like a deck of cards,” said
Government sources, close to the unfolding drama, told this paper yesterday
that Mugabe prefers to work with the AU not only because of its soft stance
on his regime as compared to the Sadc’s firm mediation, but also because the
89-year-old ex-guerrilla leader is a member of the AU’s Peace and Security
“This meeting has been initiated by the AU Peace and Security council where
Mugabe is a member,” said a source.
“The political intention is to try and undermine president Zuma. By hoping
that the AU as a superior body would come up with resolutions different from
the Sadc resolutions of June 15, this move to engage the AU is in
preparation for pre-empting any Sadc action in two weeks time in the event
that Zanu PF successfully rigs the elections.”
JEFFREY MUVUNDUSI • 21 JULY 2013 11:29AM
BULAWAYO - Prime Minister and MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai has scoffed at
allegations that his party will return the country into the hands of white
colonialists if they assume power.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (left) addresses a rally at White City
Stadium in Bulawayo on Saturday.
Zanu PF has campaigned on a platform of vilifying the MDC as a puppet of the
West bent on “selling out the country to former colonisers”. Addressing a
bumper crowd at a colourful rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo
yesterday Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe would never be for sale.
The tens of thousands who attended yesterday’s rally made a statement that
they will root for Tsvangirai.
“The thing we can never sell out is the sovereignty of this country. It is
the patriotism that unites us all; that Zimbabwe cannot be privatised by an
individual. Zimbabwe is not for sale to anyone inside and outside the
country,” he said.
“Let us not be confused by people who are saying we want to sell this
country. We are all committed to a better country.
Tsvangirai said it was Zanu PF’s record of destroying the economy which his
“Mugabe‘s legacy is not about his liberation war credentials but his record
in government where he has failed the people of Zimbabwe; where he has
brutalised the people; where his supporters has created an economy which has
collapsed and where he has created a country which was a bread basket of
this region into a basket case. That’s what we judge him for,” Tsvangirai
Tsvangirai who also paid tribute to fallen heroes from Matabeleland such as
Joshua Nkomo, Nikita Mangena, Lookout Masuku and others who fought during
the liberation war said Zimbabwe has reached a most decisive moment in its
“The people of Zimbabwe have a choice between the promise of the future and
the reminder of the past,” Tsvangirai said while reminding the people of the
2008 economic crisis that brought the country on to its knees.
He said by entering into the government of national unity MDC did not only
save the people of Zimbabwe from a serious crisis but also rescued Zanu PF
from its own crisis.
He likened Zanu PF to people of “yesterday who cannot solve today’s
“They don’t have a clue how to solve the problems they created for this
Tsvangirai said it was time the people gave MDC exclusive responsibility as
they could do better without Zanu PF citing endemic corruption and decline
in service delivery system which he promised to deal with.
“We have a State which cares for a few and ignores the majority. We want to
change a government culture of scaring people and not caring for the people.
We need a state where a government does not abuse its people.”
The MDC leader pledged to revive the ailing industry as well as many other
basic service delivery systems in the country.
“We are concerned about the devolution whereby we say the regions should be
able to sustain themselves. About 80 percent of the people said they wanted
devolution but it was more acute in this region because of marginalisation,”
The premier said it was part of their grand plan to ensure that resource
allocation was done in a fair manner whereby provinces are going to benefit
from the resources in their area.
“I want to say the new Constitution has provided us with an instrument of
ensuring that we define our priorities in terms of developing this region,”
About the post-independence disturbances that took place in Matabeleland
region, Tsvangirai told his supporters that victims would be compensated.
“Talking of the scars left by Gukurahundi, we all talk about it but no
action is taken on it. As part of the MDC’s plan we say the Gukurahundi
victims must be compensated by the State.
“Otherwise, the scars will remain with us forever and ever. There must be
national reconciliation that will actually insist on the truth being told.
Because if we don’t do that there will be no justice and without justice
there is no healing to talk about,” he said.
FUNGI KWARAMBA • 21 JULY 2013 10:41AM
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe is now a “caretaker president,” and has no
moral authority to make substantive senior government appointments, MDC
secretary-general and Finance minister Tendai Biti has said.
Speaking to journalists, Biti said: “As a party we are worried when
substantive appointments that have a material bearing on elections are made
by someone we think is now a lame duck president.
“We all are now only there to make sure there is no power vacuum. Otherwise
we are all caretakers. Morally we think there should not be any executive
decisions like the appointment of judges particularly when these are made
without the necessary consultations,” said Biti referring to Mugabe’s recent
The MDC argues the appointments were not done in good spirit because Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was not consulted as per requirements of the
Global Political Agreement (GPA).
Mugabe on Monday appointed six High Court judges; Loice Matanda-Moyo, Erica
Ndewere, Nokuthula Moyo, Owen Tagu, Emmy Tsunga and Esther Muremba.
“The appointment of the judges is in our view illegal as the executive
running the country is now only there to ensure the government remains
operational and civil servants are paid their salaries,” Biti said.
Biti reiterated what he called the continued violations, commissions and
omissions in the procedures being undertaken with regards to the running of
the electoral process ahead of make-or-break elections set for the end of
On the issue of the special vote Biti said legally there was no provision
for a “second chance” for those who failed to vote.
“While the MDC sympathises with genuine serviceman and women as well as
teachers who will be deployed but have been denied their right to vote, we
are worried and alive to the fact that any directive that excluded
servicemen and women will vote in the July 31, is clearly unlawful.
“Section 81b (2) of the Electoral Act chapter 2:13 makes it clear that a
voter authorised to cast a special vote shall not be entitled to vote in any
“Section 5 of the Presidential (Special and Voting) Regulations SI 84 of
2013, also makes it clear that once a special vote application has been
approved, the applicant s name must be removed and crossed out in the ward
votes’ roll that the applicant is registered,” said Biti.
He said he however, did not see Zec seeking legal remedy to correct the
Biti added that the MDC has already written to Zec on the issue and now
awaits a reply.
“If we do not get a favourable reply we will approach the courts. You will
also know that against the law, Zec allowed the special vote to go on for
three days rather than the two and worse still spilled into the last 15 days
before the actual poll as indicated by the Electoral Act,” the Harare East
Biti highlighted incidences of violence that he said Zanu PF had reverted to
in the past few days.
“Indications are that Zanu PF has resorted to its default mode, that of
violence. Zanu PF’s centre of gravity and DNA is violence and it is now
“We are seeing an increase in violence, there was closure of businesses,
market stalls in Marondera, Chitungwiza, Chinhoyi and forcing people by Zanu
PF militia to attend rallies.
“When you force people to attend rallies, there are calamities like the
death of the poor lady in Chitungwiza. As a party, the MDC believes that not
a drop of blood should be shed and we are seeing the resuscitation of
militarised bases spreading like wild fire,” said Biti, citing other
numerous cases of violation, denial of freedoms including arson attacks
across the country.
He castigated the use of government machinery especially in rural areas such
as Mudzi and Mutoko now terrorising villagers. The soldiers are operating
under the pseudo “champions” according to Biti.
by Pamenus Tuso
MDC-T President, Morgan Tsvangirai, on Saturday blasted the Mines and Mining
Development Minister, Obert Mpofu, for failing to account for revenue
generated at the Marange diamond mines.
Addressing an estimated crowd of 50 000 people at a campaign rally at White
City stadium in Bulawayo, Tsvangirai questioned the source of money in Mpofu’
s growing business empire that includes banking, properties and game.
“Obert Mpofu now literally owns Bulawayo and Victoria Falls. On top of that
he also owns a bank. Where is he getting all the money to buy these assets?”
Mpofu is now the major shareholder in ZABG and there is speculation that he
is set to take over the now defunct The Mail newspaper.
Tsvangirai said he and President Robert Mugabe recently summoned Mpofu and
Finance Minister Tendai Biti to get an explanation as to how diamond revenue
was being used.
“During the meeting it was clear that the bulk of the diamond revenue is not
going to Treasury. Mpofu was at pains to explain where the money is going
.The MDC government will not accept this situation where a few people are
only benefitting from the country’s natural resources,” said Tsvangirai.
He added that the MDC government would not tolerate corruption in council,
government and parliament.
“Everywhere, there is corruption. You cannot get any service in government
departments without paying for it. An MDC government will give the Zimbabwe
Anti- Corruption Commission the powers to arrest and prosecute corrupt
people,” he said.
Tsvangirai outlined his party’s policies and stressed that the MDC
government would separate party business from government.
By Steven Dumisani Mkandla
Published: July 21, 2013
The Facebook based ZANU PF de-filer, Baba Jukwa on Sunday revealed a siege
on the company that government contracted to print the ballot papers for the
The printing company is currently facing a siege from Robert Mugabe’s ZANU
PF party who may soon cancel the contract on allegations that the managing
director is working with Finance Minister and MDC-T secretary general,
Tendai Biti says Baba Jukwa.
This came soon after Tendai Biti claimed he has vivid evidence and accused
the registrar general Tobaiwa Mudede of keeping four different voter rolls.
Below was Baba Jukwa’s leak:
Zimbabwe heads are set to roll at Fidelity printers the company which was
contracted to print the special vote ballot papers because they are being
accused by Zanu pf of trying to sabotage the election in favor of MDC. The
C.E.O Mr. Marimbe had to cut short his trip from Europe just after 3 days he
had left the country and hurried back home. Marimbe who was given a 10 year
printing contract by Gono is seen by many as a sell out in Zanu pf’s
circles. Zimbabwe those who don’t know Chihuri is now printing the ballots
because Zanu pf strongly think that Marimbe is working with Tendai Biti the
minister of finance an allegation which is discrediting Minister just
because these evil people have failed delivering on what they thought they
will. Now they are aiming at replacing Marimbe with Elias Musakwa and this
shows how the evil people are panicking. Zimbabwe make sure you attend their
rallies, make them believe that they have support as you, I like that
spirit, but come 31st do like what our security personnel did. They showed
the evil people the middle finger and countrywide we have to do that. Also
let’s not forget that some came out in public that they denied the country
change in 2008 and let’s not be used this time by them again with people
aligned to them as they will tell you that you were used as a Braai Stick
‘Udlawu’ again. So open your eyes and don’t let your vote go to evil people
indirect as they know they won’t get much votes so they put their projects
which tomorrow will confess denying you change again. So I repeat open your
eyes against those people and their allies. Secure your vote, by voting
against evil people and their projects confusing you to divide votes as they
did in 2008.
Johannesburg - Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has denied
receiving funding from ministers in Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s
Cabinet in order to “destabilise” South Africa.
This comes after the claim was made on the Facebook page of Baba Jukwa, a
mysterious poster who claims to be a high-ranking yet disillusioned figure
in Mugabe’s Zanu-PF.
Baba Jukwa has been leaking damaging secrets – some of which proved to be
true – from within the party for the past four months.
On Saturday, he claimed Malema was being funded by Zimbabwean Youth
Development Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, Defence Minister Emmerson
Mnangagwa, commander of the Zimbabwean defence force General Constantine
Chiwenga, and State Security Minister Sydney Tigere Sekeramayi.
This is ostensibly in revenge against President Jacob Zuma and his
international relations adviser, Lindiwe Zulu, who has been heading the
Southern African Development Community mediation process in Zimbabwe
following the violent 2008 polls.
But he denied that the EFF had “approached or been approached by anyone from
Zimbabwe or any other country regarding funding”.
He added that the EFF “reserve the right to approach anyone we see fit for
He said they would not take any money that came with conditions.
- City Press
STAFF WRITER • 21 JULY 2013 10:26AM
HARARE - Human rights lawyers have delivered a formal notification and
warning for Tobaiwa Tonneth Mudede, the Registrar General of Voters to
withdraw his urgent chamber application barring the Research and Advocacy
Unit (Rau) from launching an audit of the voters’ roll.
Mudede on Wednesday obtained an interim order interdicting Rau from
launching “a full voters’ roll” at Crowne Plaza Monomotapa Hotel in Harare
or at any other place.
In a letter written and delivered to Mudede’s lawyers, Thondlanga and
Associates Legal Practitioners by Rau lawyers, Jeremiah Bamu and Tawanda
Zhuwarara of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Mudede’s application and
subsequent provisional order, which he obtained from High Court judge
Justice Joseph Mafusire were based on a factual inaccuracy.
The lawyers stated that Mudede’s lawyers were furnished with the correct
facts and a demand was made for the withdrawal of their matter.
The Rau lawyers said in the event that the matter is not withdrawn by
Wednesday, they will file their opposing papers.
The lawyers said Mudede had relied on an erroneous appreciation of facts
which he never bothered to cross check with Rau.
Bamu and Zhuwarara said had Mudede bothered to do so, there would have been
no need for the application to be filed or served.
Rau, the lawyers said, intended to launch its second report on an audit of
the June 2013 voters’ roll, which expands on a previous Rau report and
provides a more detailed analysis of the roll and corrects a number of minor
Rau’s first report was launched and shared with the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission (Zec), the lawful custodians of the voters’ roll who made their
comments to the report.
CHRIS GOKO, EXECUTIVE DEPUTY EDITOR • 21 JULY 2013 11:08AM
HARARE - With just over a week to go to Zimbabwe’s national elections,
President Robert Mugabe and his former ruling party, Zanu PF, are now truly
and spectacularly hoist with their own petard.
For younger readers who have been terribly disadvantaged by Zanu PF’s
mismanaged Zimsec education, this figure of speech means Mugabe and Zanu PF
are now on the receiving end of their own malicious actions, which were
meant to harm their political opponents.
A stark confirmation of this glaring fact was the holding of an
extraordinary summit in Pretoria yesterday by the Southern African
Development Community (Sadc) to discuss Zimbabwe’s political climate ahead
of next week’s presidential and legislative ballot — all of this against
Mugabe’s and Zanu PF’s rule.
The troika of Sadc’s organ on politics, defence and security co-operation
met with the wily facilitator to Harare’s perennial political crises, South
African President Jacob Zuma, amid growing and real concerns that Zimbabwe
is not prepared for these crucial polls, which will end our misfiring
four-year-old unity government.
Among the troika members in attendance were Tanzanian president Jakaya
Kikwete and Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba, as well as Mozambican
President Armando Guebuza, who chairs Sadc.
This list of leaders who met in Pretoria puts paid to Mugabe’s and Zanu PF’s
doomed and nonsensical spin that the current and deserving, regional
spotlight on Zimbabwe is solely and unfairly being pursued by Zuma.
Readers of the Daily News will remember that last month, Sadc asked Zimbabwe
to postpone the voting to allow more time for reforms and preparations for
the forthcoming plebiscite, but our Constitutional Court rejected the
request in its wisdom and we are now reaping the bitter fruits of that most
Again, readers of our inimitable newspaper will have read jarring reports of
widespread chaos in last week’s special voting exercise, intended mainly for
officials who will be on duty on July 31.
As is normal, this has raised genuine and equally widespread doubts about
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC’s) ability to cope with the far
greater volume of voters in the full election.
Just a minor digression: Was this chaos witting or unwitting? Well, history
will reveal everything one day — hopefully soon.
Sadc’s reasonable demands, in particular for deeper reforms to ensure that
meddling security “chefs” and the public media remain politically neutral
have been snubbed rudely by Mugabe and Zanu PF, who retain a patently
undemocratic stranglehold on power.
This is despite the political, legal and constitutional imperative that
Mugabe and Zanu PF share this power with the two Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) parties.
Well, welcome to Zimbabwean democracy, Zanu PF style.
So, why do many of us feel that despite all this thuggery that the chickens
are coming home to roost for Mugabe and Zanu PF and that they are now truly
and spectacularly hoist with their own petard?
To begin with, Mugabe and Zanu PF rushed to have the forthcoming elections
thinking that they were on the one hand outsmarting Sadc and Zuma, and on
the other dealing a deadly political blow to the MDCs.
What a spectacular blunder.
Our long-suffering nation is now contending with chaotic polls whose outcome
will, in all probability, be heavily contested once again.
It is all so predictable.
As a consequence, Sadc and South Africa in particular, our most important
international ally, are now on Mugabe’s and Zanu PF’s back, and rightly so —
causing our octogenarian leader to lose it and lash out at Zuma most
Not surprising, South Africa has now readily admitted that there are glaring
challenges in the run-up to our polls.
This is an embarrassing and painful diplomatic slap-down for Mugabe and Zanu
PF who usually enjoy dishing it, rather than receiving it.
Now wind back a few months to last year, dear readers, to the time when Zanu
PF used to indulge and host South Africa’s mad political upstart, Julius
Yes, the very same Fat Boy of the South, whose nascent political career
suffered a predictable stillbirth and now faces grave corruption and
racketeering charges in the courts.
It is no big secret that the hawks in Zanu PF were working with, if not
funding wee Julius to primarily try and derail Zuma’s even-handed mediation
in our twisted politics.
That mission now lies in ruins, with dire and ongoing negative consequences
for Mugabe and Zanu PF.
This is also why political observers are perplexed that Mugabe would dare
try to further provoke and insult the South Africans given his party’s fatal
political mistakes to date, and the fact that Zuma literally holds his fate
in his hands, whether he wins or loses next week’s ballot.
The sad thing, as this writer observed in a recent analysis of Mugabe’s
moment of madness at the launch of his party’s election manifesto, is that
Mugabe and Zanu PF’s Wild West approach to both domestic and international
politics is that it has dire ramifications for all Zimbabweans, regardless
of whether one supports or dislikes Zanu PF.
If anyone doubts this undeniable truth, just wind back to the events of the
past decade-and-a-half, and in particular to 2008, when our “liberation”
kleptocracy brought our rich and proud land to its knees.
The political chaos soon gave way to debilitating economic woes, that in
turn brought unprecedented suffering to the masses of our people. Surely, no
one in their right mind wants to go back to those terrible old days.
Except those in Zanu PF, of course, who benefitted from the anarchy!
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
"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
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 theZimbabwe 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."
This article was written by Sue Valentine, CPJ Africa Program Coordinator,
and is republished courtesy of
A demanding Mugabe kept all of us at the Vigil hard at it stuffing ballot boxes for the elections on 31st July. Unusually considerate, he saved us a bit of work by marking a cross against his name before handing out the ballot papers from a seemingly inexhaustible supply.
‘Don’t tell anyone, but I am Baba Jukwa’, he confided. ‘I popped over to show you how Zanu PF will win the elections. They’re in the bag. In fact, lots of bags’, he said, pointing at the sacks of rigged ballot papers that he brought in his sports car. ‘With only a week to go I haven’t seen a single vote for Tsvangirai!’
Baba Mugabe spent the whole afternoon with us and as time went on we could see how he bewitched Morgan Tsvangirai during their weekly ‘china cup’ tea parties and got Tendai Biti rhapsodising about his wisdom, Nelson Chamisa about his leadership abilities, Dave Coltart about his deep compassion and British Ambassador Deborah Bronnert about his charm. Ad nauseum.
Baba Mugabe gave Vigil supporters an authentic taste of the Zimbabwean voting experience. Here are some of the comments while people queued to vote:
‘The ballot box is getting full but the line is not moving.’
‘I slept here last night and can’t get to the front of the queue but other people have vote twice or thrice.’
‘I will use my dead father’s vote.’
‘They say it’s one man, one vote but why has it changed to one man, one million votes?’
We were joined at the Vigil by MDC members supporting the 19th monthly diaspora protest.
After the Vigil we gathered at the India Club for our bi-monthly Zimbabwe Action Forum. Ephraim Tapa, a Vigil founder member and President of Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR), talked about the rigging of the elections. He said that Tsvangirai had taken poisonous issues to SADC many times and had always been told to go back and resolve them with the parties in the GNU. Ephraim said nothing could be expected from SADC, which was just a trade union of presidents.
Ephraim said that the Vigil / ROHR had had a meeting with the Zimbabwe desk of the British Foreign Office and we had given them our analysis of the situation at home. We had been invited to another meeting once the election results are known. Ephraim said our delegation was dismayed that concern seems to have shifted from ‘free and fair elections’ to ‘credible elections’.
We recall how SADC approved the rigged elections in the DRC in December 2011. In the words of journalist Simon Allison: ‘A range of international observers were watching, and uncovered a long list of offences: evidence of vote tampering; impossibly high rates of voter turnout in places known to be loyal to the president; strangely low turnouts in opposition areas; the mysterious disappearance of 2 000 polling station results in Kinshasa; and violence in the run-up to and during the campaign which killed 18 people, mostly committed by incumbent Joseph Kabila’s presidential guard.
‘And yet, SADC, along with the African Union and three other African observer missions, declared that the elections were “successful”, duly confirming that the organisation’s standards of fairness and transparency are very low indeed; and sending a message to other leaders, like Mugabe, that there is a fair amount of electoral mischief that they can get away with before the regional body will call them out on it. And if Mugabe is called out, he is well within his rights to point out Sadc’s hypocrisy — and ignore their verdict. Once again, somehow, Mugabe holds all the cards. There is a reason why he has lasted in power so long — and why he still got a little while to go’ (see: Mugabe still holds all the poll cards – https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/old/jul20a_2013.html#Z22).
Our hopes were not raised by a statement from the African Union: ‘The environment in Zimbabwe so far reassures us that that the conditions are good for the election to be held on July 31,’ said Aisha Abdullahi, AU commissioner for political affairs (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/old/jul20_2013.html#Z16 – Fair Zimbabwe elections possible: AU).
Our ZAF meeting discussed plans for a demonstration on election day, Wednesday 31st July, at which we are to be joined by Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC). It was agreed that we would meet at 12 noon outside the Zimbabwe Embassy and at 2pm would go on to South Africa House with a letter objecting to any moves to form another government of national unity dominated by Zanu PF.
· Thanks once again to Fungayi Mabhunu for playing Baba Mugabe in our sweaty old Mugabe mask.
· Martin Chinyanga brought flowers to lay on the doorstep of the Embassy in mourning for the death of of ROHR activist Elliot Dhliwayo murdered by the regime.
· ROHR has received a letter from the Home Office asking them to outline the reasons Zimbabweans should not be sent home. A reply will be sent after the elections. if they go as expected we will warn the Home Office to prepare for a new wave of asylum seekers.
· Thanks to Tino Mashonganyika for his heartfelt prayer for Zimbabwe as this crucial time.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.
FOR THE RECORD: 64 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
· ROHR North East Region Zimbabwe Day Fundraising Event. Saturday 27th July from 1 – 8 pm. Venue: Benton Community Centre, 17 Edenbridge Crescent, Benton, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne NE12 8EP. Food, drink & entertainment. Contact Givemore Chitengu 07912747744, Kennedy Makonese 07979914429, Tapiwa Semwayo 07412236229, Collet Dube 07951516566.
· Demonstration for Democracy. Wednesday 31st July. The Vigil is to join Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) and the TUC in a protest outside the Zimbabwe Embassy on election day. Meet at 12 noon. Move to the South African High Commission at 2 pm. The protest will end at 6 pm.
· ROHR Executive meeting. Saturday 3rd August from 12 – 3 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.
· Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 3rd August from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.
· Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 17th November from 12 – 3 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.
· Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2012 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/467-vigil-highlights-2012. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2012 Highlights page.
· The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.
· Facebook pages:
- Vigil: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts
- ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515
- ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/pages/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights/301811392835
· Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
· Useful websites: www.zanupfcrime.com which reports on Zanu PF abuses and www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.
I WANT to recognise Dr Simba Makoni for his commitment to unity of purpose. Dr Simba Makoni told you that we were hoping to work together with other parties because we didn’t want to split the vote. I say to those we were negotiating with but refused to be part of the coalition, the door is still open if you have the best interests of Zimbabwe at heart.
I want to talk about ZEC, which is the body charged with conducting free and fair elections. The information I am receiving is worrying. The fact that ZEC failed to print enough ballot papers for police officers and soldiers to vote and the fact that many people failed to register as voters - thereby denying Zimbabweans their right to vote - undermine the credibility of the election.
I am worried about information that ZEC now wants to print 8 million ballot papers when there are 6 million registered voters. All such actions undermine the credibility of the vote. I want to tell them that it undermines the credibility of ZEC.
I know, for instance, that Mugabe said violence worked against him in 2008 hence the absence of violence in this election. Mugabe wants a peaceful but rigged election. This rigging can only happen if ZEC chooses to be complicit. But our eyes are wide open because we have to protect the vote, we have to protect the voter and we have to protect the outcome of the vote. This is important because we have to ensure that the people’s will prevails.
As we move closer to the
election, I am also challenging Mugabe to a live debate on television, where
each one of us will articulate our policies on how to make Zimbabwe a better
place. I am challenging all the presidential candidates to a public debate
I am not afraid because the MDC-T has a plan. This is a defining election because it is the last mile. I beat Mugabe in 2008. He admitted as much to me but claimed that “Tsvangirai, you thrashed me but you did not manage to get enough votes to avoid a runoff”.
Of course, I told him he was saved by SADC. So, I am shocked that Mugabe now wants to pull Zimbabwe out of SADC. He forgets they protected him. SADC and I gave him a soft landing. He is an old man so we had to give him that soft landing. Now he says to hell with SADC. That’s what happens when someone is in a false comfort zone. He is forgetting SADC’s role in rescuing him. SADC told him in2008 that he could not form a government without me. SADC told him: “Join Tsvangirai and stabilise the country then go for a fresh election because the vote was a sham and could not be accepted as legitimate by SADC and the African Union.”
Zimbabwe was isolated because Mugabe had turned this country into a pariah state. The MDC-T came into government, stabilised the economy and also got Zimbabwe to be accepted as a member of the international community. Now it’s time to complete this work by voting exclusively for an MDC-T government. We will not take your vote for granted. From day one, we will go to work.
The first task will be to transform the governance culture, which has been there for the past three decades. As the MDC-T we commit ourselves to separate party issues from government matters. This has been one of Zimbabwe’s foremost challenges since 1980. ZANU F had become the party and the government. Even in the distribution of food and services, one was forced to produce a party card.
When you are a government
leader you don’t discriminate on the basis of political affiliation. You serve
the people equally. We don’t want a government which rules by fear. A government
should show love to the people and not hate. You don’t use violence
Also, non-performers in government should be fired. A minister should be fired for failing to deliver. Mugabe doesn’t fire non-performers. He protects them by reshuffling the Cabinet. His cabinet has not changed for three decades yet it has failed dismally. In an MDC-T government, I will fire those who don’t perform to the country’s expectations.
An MDC-T government will have zero tolerance towards corruption because corruption has eroded the ability to distribute the country’s wealth equitably. We are a rich country with poor people. Only a few are enriching themselves while the rest are suffering. One of the biggest challenges that an MDC-T government faces is an educated population with no jobs. The majority of people between 18 and 35 have never been to work. We will have to immediately implement our plan for jobs, investment, skills development, infrastructure revival and a broad based empowerment process, not one which benefits only a few.
In agriculture, farms were grabbed by a few elites who are failing to utilise the land. We cannot even feed ourselves anymore. Zimbabwe, once a breadbasket of Africa, is now a basket case. We have been reduced to being a nation of beggars. Zimbabwe is now begging for food from Zambia, from Malawi. That will be a thing of the past.
Agriculture and rural transformation will become the key intervention strategies to restore our food security and economy prosperity. Social sectors such as education, health, water and housing are in dire need of attention.
As the MDC-T, we have a plan for free primary school education. Parents pay for secondary school and then as government we intervene at tertiary level and provide grants and loans to students at universities. We need to give equal opportunities to all Zimbabwean children regardless of economic status. In health, cancer has become a pandemic so we have to make sure women are tested for free and they should get free treatment. This will be the same with HIV.
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Screen shot 2013-07-20 at 22.50.59James Duddridge is the Member of
Parliament for Rochford and Southend East. Follow James on Twitter.
Earlier this year, the EU lifted a number of sanctions on Zimbabwe following
the implementation of a new constitution, to widespread international
acclaim. Since then, however, the constitutionand everything it stands for,
has been totally disregarded by the country’s leader, Robert Mugabe.
Allegations of vote rigging are nothing new in certain African countries, as
elsewhere. But even by previous standards, what has taken place in Zimbabwe
with the voters rol,l and within the ‘early voting' over the last week, is a
shocking reminder of the illegitimate manner in which President Mugabe
continues to operate in total contempt of international law.
Whilst thankfully we have yet to see the violence that has dominated
previous elections, intimidation, frustration, and manipulation of the
electorate has been rife, particularly within the regions which
traditionally support the leading Mugabe-opposition party, Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC). This election faces the bleak possibility of being
lost even before polling day through vote rigging and stuffed ballot boxes,
without the smoking gun of violence.
During the registration process, many would-be voters found themselves
standing in line for up to 12 hours to register, as the supposedly
independent Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) deliberately scrutinisds
identification papers slowly and wastefully, rejecting many for the
slightest of reasons. The whole process is hugely difficult and often
impossible. One recent poll, conducted by Free Fair Zimbabwe, a campaign
group, suggested that 27 per cent of those trying to register to vote were
not able to. Separately, in pro-ZANU-PF districts, voter registration
centres are well-staffed, and the process is straightforward and efficient.
The effect of this is deeply concerning: in one pro-MDC region, the number
of voters registered in the 2008 election was 38,000. This year, it is
22,000. And there are other anomalies that indicate dark forces at work.
Somehow, 120,000 Zimbabweans supposedly stationed outside the country on
official business have registered for postal voting. In the 2008 elections,
there were 5,000 applications for postal voting. Zimbabwe does not have
anywhere near that number of foreign officials. To put this into context,
the US only has 12,000 and South Africa only a 1,000.
Last weekend, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission conducted a special voting
process to allow those members of the police forces and security sector who
will be deployed elsewhere during the polling to vote. It was claimed by the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission that 69,000 police officers have applied for
special voting, yet there are only about 40,000 police officers registered
in the country. Who are these extra 29,000?
Despite the recent removal of the names of many deceased individuals on the
electoral roll, including that of the former Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian
Smith, the list is still estimated to contain the names of at least an extra
one million citizens who are now dead. With an extra two million ballot
papers reported to have been printed by the ZEC, the expectation is that
many of these papers will be stuffed into the ballot boxes using these ghost
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has behaved in a manner that is
unacceptable, illegal and in complete defiance of constitutional law.
President Mugabe and his ZANU-PF have once again openly and blatantly
distorted Zimbabwean law, ignored binding demands for social and legal
reform in the country by the South African Development Community (SADC),
thwarted a free and open media, and dashed genuine initiatives to enable a
fair-and-free election in Zimbabwe.
The future of another generation of Zimbabweans looks depressingly bleak
unless the international community doe verything in their power to hold
President Mugabe and General Chiwenga, the head of the armed forces,
accountable for their actions.
July 21, 2013