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March 2008

Monday, 31 March 2008

President race - we may have to vote again

Latest leaked figures in the contest for the top job mean a presidential run-off

Harare, Zimbabwe, Monday, March 31, 4.30 pm

Two different sources of information have agreed this afternoon that the contest for the next President of Zimbabwe, known already to be a two-horse-race between Tsvangirai and Mugabe, is so close that unless the figures are changed by Zanu-PF's vote riggers, there will be a run-off vote.

Both the independent organisation Crisis In Zimbabwe Coalition and my source within the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) agree with the following figures:

Tsvangirai 48 per cent

Mugabe 44 per cent

Under the constitution, this means there will have to be a two-man run-off vote.

While observers here try to decide what this will mean in the coming days, one successful parliamentary candidate has allowed his celebration of victory to get slightly out of hand.

Continue reading "President race - we may have to vote again" »

It's officially neck-and-neck!

New official results show Tsvangirai and Mugabe level - so why is Mugabe making plans to leave?

Harare, Zimbabwe, Monday, March 31, 11.30 am

Latest official voting figures for the House of Assembly reveal another 18 results, with the MDC and Zanu-PF now level pegging with 12 seats each. These so-called results conflict with the MDC's own figures, which consistently show the Tsvangirai faction leading by a large margin.

Sources tell me that so far the constituency seats are in truth shared out as follows:  the MDC with 61 per cent, Zanu-PF with 26 per cent, and others at 13 per cent.

Of particular interest is the race for the Presidency itself, between Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Simba Makoni. My information is that Tsvangirai is leading with 58 per cent of the vote counted so far, with Mugabe on 37 per cent and Makoni with a disappointing five per cent.

All these figures, however, mean nothing, because they and those to come are in the hands of the two expert poll rig-masters, who have undertaken the job of swapping the figures around to give Zanu-PF and Mugabe a totally false victory.

The two gentlemen in question are Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede and Brigadier-General Douglas Nyikayaramba. Already they have reversed a number of results in Masvingo and Mashonaland West, where the MDC claim they recorded a clean sweep.

But all is not lost. And the Electoral Commission may yet hang back from announcing a blatantly fixed set of results. Because Mugabe's much-relied-upon military and judicial support is beginning to look a little shaky.

Continue reading "It's officially neck-and-neck!" »

The first official election results

This morning the first official election results are at last emerging - and they show success for the MDC

Harare, Zimbabwe, 7.30, March 31

The first six results of the Zimbabwe House of Assembly election have just been released by the Electoral Commission. The MDC has won four, and Zanu-PF two. There are 203 more to go, and Zanu-PF has won one unopposed.

This news comes as the people of Zimbabwe are waking to find their country resting on the knife-edge of history. Unofficial results continue to indicate victory for Morgan Tsvangirai's faction of the MDC, but signs remain that Mugabe is determined to hang on to power at all costs.

Last night the chiefs of the armed services, the police and all paramilitary state security forces were locked in emergency session in the headquarters of the feared Central Intelligence Organisation, Mugabe's secret police.

Sources say they are trying to cope with the news that the man they have sworn loyalty to has been rejected by the electorate. They are believed to have agreed not to accept a Tsvangirai victory.

Similar problems faced the official observer mission sent to monitor the election by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which is historically supportive of Mugabe. The head of the mission from the 14 nation bloc, Angolan Sports Minister Jose Marcos Barrica, delayed a press conference for two hours while, it is understood, he consulted with the President's office on what to say.

Continue reading "The first official election results" »

Sunday, 30 March 2008

The celebrations begin - but is it too soon?

First results look good for the MDC, but many believe Mugabe isn't finished yet

Harare, 4.0 pm, Sunday

A party atmosphere of joy and celebration is spreading across this country this afternoon, as the long-suffering people of Zimbabwe are beginning to believe that at last this election has given Robert Mugabe the universal thumbs-down.

Church services have been cut short as people crowd around radios to listen to early unofficial results, almost all of which indicate gains for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, and in particular those candidates allied to the MDC faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai.

Each unofficial result has been greeted with roars of applause and cheering. Beer halls are said to be filling up with celebrating voters, and traders report huge sales in fire crackers. But underneath the joy there is a nagging doubt. Are these early celebrations truly justified?

Continue reading "The celebrations begin - but is it too soon?" »

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Our on-the-spot exclusive election day report!

Zanu-PF were widely expected to rig this election - and my sources tell me they are performing well up to expectations

From across the country this afternoon, Saturday, came reports indicating that the intimidation, the cheating, and the blatant chicanery which our people have come to expect from Mugabe's regime is in full swing.

To observers there seem to be three or four different ways that Zanu-PF and its paramilitary police and agents are operating (not including ballot box stuffing and other illegal moves that will undoubtedly come later.)

In rural areas they are "assisting" voters to vote - that is, they are guiding the hands of confused and frightened voters, making sure they vote the Zanu-PF/Mugabe ticket.

In town, where the strong points of the opposition can be found, the police are in the voting stations, slowing the flow of voters and turning away genuine registered voters, by claiming they are either 'aliens' or have names that do not appear on our notorious electoral roll.

In various areas buses have been laid on to take willing Zanu-PF volunteers from one polling station to another to take part in multiple voting - an operation known in the Central Intelligence Organisation as "Boys On Leave".

And then of course there is the normal intimidation, with many examples of opposition officials being frightened away from polling stations by CIO bullyboys. Here are some of the detailed reports.

Continue reading "Our on-the-spot exclusive election day report!" »

First fix of the day!

Why the survey that predicts a Mugabe win today is a fake

As voters queue at the polling stations today they should know that the pre-election poll, announced by Dr. Joseph Kurebwa, Chair of the Political Science and Administration department at the University of Zimbabwe, which predicted a Mugabe victory, is a fraud.

Top academics were hastily disassociating themselves from it yesterday, pointing out that the department never undertook any such survey, and denouncing it as propaganda emanating from Mugabe's secret police, the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

This news will come as a relief to all those opposed to Zim 1 (Mugabe's code name). Dr. Kurebwa's survey predicted that the President would win up to 57 per cent of the vote, with the MDC's Tsvangirai trailing at 26 per cent and independent candidate Dr. Simba Makoni at around 13 per cent. This would result in a Zanu-PF majority of two-thirds in the new Parliament. But now it seems the good doctor's figures are total fiction.

Continue reading "First fix of the day!" »

Friday, 28 March 2008

Armed troops take to the streets of Harare

Weapons at the ready, Mugabe's soldiers patrol the trouble spots

In a move that is undoubtedly intended to intimidate hesitant and fearful voters, Mugabe has put the troops on the streets. Yesterday heavily armed soldiers in military vehicles, including armoured cars, personnel carriers and water cannon, drove slowly through many populous parts of Harare.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) immediately pointed out that the areas where the troops were most visible were those considered to be politically volatile - Tafara, Mabvuku, Glenview and Budiriro.

MDC district chairman for MJabvuku, Kurima Kwaramba, who witnessed the parade, told me: "It's just intimidation tactics. But it won't work this time. The troops will have seen for themselves that at this election our people are standing firm."

My sources within military circles confirmed that the army is on stand-by throughout the country, preparing to move against any national protest following the election.

Continue reading "Armed troops take to the streets of Harare" »

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Found - the ghost voters of Harare

The Zimbabwe election is being fixed by the creation of thousands of voters who don't exist

Detailed evidence of how Mugabe's men have invented fictional voters to swing Saturday's election in his favour, giving them non-existent names and addresses that turn out to be barren grassland where no-one lives, was revealed today, Thursday, at an astonishing press conference in Harare.

The two main opposition candidates for the Presidency, Simba Makoni of Zanu-PF and Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) plus the other major MDC leader Arthur Mutambara, joined together to expose the fraud, pointing out that it is one example of hundreds, which together will guarantee a Mugabe victory before a single genuine vote is cast.

Then while Tsvangirai went to the High Court to launch legal moves designed to delay the polls until the frauds could be investigated, Makoni and Mutambara hinted that they might boycott the entire elections. Both also spoke in sombre tones of the possibility of a violent reaction to the situation.

Makoni himself gave details of how 8,000 Mugabe voters were conjured up out of thin air, in Hatcliffe, a suburb which is part of the Harare North constituency.

Continue reading "Found - the ghost voters of Harare" »

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Mugabe won’t give up without a fight

080326ixmugabe Saturday’s election results will be suspended if early returns suggest defeat

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe looks increasingly likely to lose the popular vote in Saturday's parliamentary and presidential elections, but he won't lose power. A legal and constitutional piece of trickery is being planned, which will see him remain president for up to another year.

The plan is the work of his loyal Chief Justice, Godfrey Chidyausiku, who will, if it becomes necessary, use new electoral laws passed late last year, under Constitutional Amendment No 18, to declare the result of Saturday's election null and void.

Read the rest at The First Post

Sunday, 23 March 2008

No time to vote!

A desperate shortage of polling stations means that thousands may miss their chance to vote on Saturday

The three-horse race for the Presidency of Zimbabwe, between Makoni, Tsvangirai and old Uncle Bob Mugabe himself, is still in the balance. What we do know is, many ordinary Zimbabweans, anxious to play their part in what remains of democracy in this country, won't get the chance.

Reports from the Independent Zimbabwe Election Support Network say that the prospect is for a repeat of what happened in the 2002 elections, when thousands were turned away when the polls closed.

Where will this robbery of your right to vote be most noticeable? In the big cities. Which party derives most of its support from the big cities? The opposition Movement For Democratic Change. Of course. What did you expect? This, remember, is Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe. And here, if you're a voter in, let's say,  Harare or Bulawayo, is what you can expect to find on Saturday morning.

Continue reading "No time to vote!" »

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