MDC claims it is heading for clear victory over Mugabe in Zimbabwe election - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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MDC claims it is heading for clear victory over Mugabe in Zimbabwe election

Zimbabwe's main opposition party claimed today that it was heading to a clear victory over Robert Mugabe after the presidential and parliamentary elections on Saturday.

As the official results started trickling out this morning, President Mugabe's Zanu-PF was level-pegging with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

With 24 of the 210 parliamentary seats so far declared by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the MDC and Zanu-PF had won 12 each.

No official figures have been given on the presidential race, pitting Mr Mugabe against the MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

But the MDC, using results posted outside polling booths around the country, said today that it enjoyed a clear lead.

Its secretary-general, Tendai Biti, told a news conference: "From the 128 constituencies whose results we have calculated so far, we have 96 out of the 128 [parliamentary] seats and Morgan Tsvangirai is at 60 per cent, Robert Mugabe is at 30 per cent."

Among the notable early results announced by the election commission was a defeat for Patrick Chinamasa, the Justice Minister, in the rural eastern constituency of Makoni Central.

But the slow pace of announcements prompted accusations that Mr Mugabe, who has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980, was deliberately sitting on the results in a bid to fix the election — as he has been accused of doing in the past.

In some previous elections, initial results were known within hours of polls closing. "Clearly the delay is fuelling speculation that something might be going on," said Noel Kututwa, chairman of the Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network, which includes 38 civic, church and other groups.

Mr Biti criticised a preliminary endorsement of the polling by a South African Development Community (SADC) observer mission, describing it as "an attempt to sanitise what is not a free and fair election".

The SADC mission chairman, José Marcos Barrica, of Angola, told reporters that the election had been a "peaceful and credible expression of the will of the people".

Two South African members of his mission refused to sign its preliminary report, however, complaining that the delay in announcing the election results "underscores the fear that vote-rigging is taking place".

Voting in Saturday’s elections — which presented Mr Mugabe, 84, with the toughest challenge ever to his 28-year rule — was generally peaceful. The election hinged largely on the destroyed economy, with inflation soaring beyond 100,000 per cent.

Running against Mr Mugabe was Mr Tsvangirai, 55, who narrowly lost disputed 2002 elections, and the former ruling party loyalist and finance minister Simba Makoni, 58. If no presidential candidate wins 50 per cent plus one vote, there will be a run-off.

Security and government officials loyal to Mr Mugabe have warned Mr Tsvangirai against declaring a victory. "It is called a coup d’etat and we all know how coups are handled," George Charamba, the chief presidential spokesman, was quoted as saying in the state-controlled Sunday Mail newspaper.

Sources within the ruling party said that Mr Mugabe was consulting with his security chiefs last night amid fears of how they might react to any news of his defeat. The chiefs all have said they would serve only Mr Mugabe.

But the head of the Pan-African Parliament observer mission said that the delay was creating "anxiety", and warned of a scenario similar to Kenya, where a delayed announcement of results from elections in December so rigged that no one knows who won, led to a spontaneous explosion of violence. More than 1,000 people were killed.

"These are the delays that start causing problems," Marwick Khumalo, the head of the Pan-African Parliament observers, said, adding that he was sure the electoral commission knew most results.

Earlier, people celebrated in the streets, dancing, singing and giving each other the open-handed wave that is the opposition party’s symbol. Mr Mugabe’s is a clenched fist.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 07:27 AM
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According to the International Press Mugabe is stuffing those boxes quicker than the MDC.................
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 07:33 AM
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According to the International Press Mugabe is stuffing those boxes quicker than the MDC.................
Must be a little out of touch, its not Rhodesia any more and who the fuck is Mugabe?

ERIC.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 07:40 AM
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Must be a little out of touch, its not Rhodesia any more and who the fuck is Mugabe?

Mugabe is the resident thief...............
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 07:58 AM
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Mugabe is the resident thief...............
So its only a question of who will be the next resident thief

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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So its only a question of who will be the next resident thief
Now your catching on to the way they run their nations, another Kenya come this way maybe ? or full-on civil war ? .
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 08:50 AM
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Now your catching on to the way they run their nations, another Kenya come this way maybe ? or full-on civil war ? .
Its their problem now and not ours, at least i hope not. Let them destroy each other, why get involved?

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Zimbabwe: 'I’ve been dead for ten years, but my ghost rises to cast its vote'......

Zimbabwe: 'I’ve been dead for ten years, but my ghost rises to cast its vote'

Early on the morning of Zimbabwe’s election I got up, stretched my legs and looked in the mirror. Not bad for 86, I thought. Even better for someone who had been dead for nigh on ten years. Then I got dressed and headed out into the bright morning sunshine and to the polls.

No one in the queue looked perturbed to see a ghost that morning, but that was exactly what I was. Only days earlier the opposition claimed to have discovered more than a million phantom voters — dead, emigrated or invented — on the electoral register.

The discovery, they said, was evidence of the ruling regime’s intention to steal the election. Then on the eve of the much-anticipated poll, came news that a team of African observers had discovered more than 8,000 voters in Harare registered on a empty patch of bushveld. The news was greeted with the customary black humour of the shrinking white community in Bulawayo. “Can you believe even Smith is on it?” the barman joked, alluding to the last leader of white-ruled Rhodesia. “He’ll be turning in his grave when he realised he’s voted for Mugabe.” The drinkers compared notes. Almost everyone had some dead relative still mysteriously enfranchised on the electoral register.

Which is how on Saturday morning I found myself heading to the polls clutching the old Rhodesian identity card of Fraser Johnston, born in Johannesburg in 1922, died in 1998. “Try it,” said his son, who lent me the card. “I want to see if it’s really that easy to cheat the system.”

It was intended not as a prank but a serious test of the system. If I could pass myself off as an 86-year-old white Zimbabwean, it would stand as compelling evidence of serious fraud built into the electoral framework. Johnston’s son wanted me to expose it.

There are many ways to rig an election, but ghost voting is one of the easiest. You don’t even need to go through this rigmarole of turning up to the polling station. Ghost voters, who cannot by definition cast their own votes, provide the perfect cover for the ballots you can stuff or add in later on, without risking the unfeasible mathematics of a turnout in excess of 100 per cent.

I was feeling remarkably spry when I set out for the polling station inside a once-exclusive golf club. A queue of 50 people waited to vote.

An elderly couple relaxed on folding chairs and filled mugs from their flask of tea. Another woman sat in the shade of a jacaranda tree, reading a novel she had brought for the wait. It was more than one and a half hours before I got inside. “It’s a long wait but we have to do it,” someone sighed. “We need change.” But there was fatigue too, the fear that however they voted, nothing would change at all.

Inside the station, the first polling officer checked my identity card. My resemblance to Mr Johnston was uncanny, I was told — not an altogether flattering assessment but one that would at least help me not to get nicked. His birthdate was a big problem: at half that age, I could not hope to pass as an octogenarian. The officer handed my card back and turned me away. “You’re not registered in this ward,” he said. A phone call solved that problem, but many other voters did not have that luxury. A quick turnaround and I was at a local primary school, where Johnston’s son believed his father must be registered. A long queue again, and the same talk of the desire for change.

By the time the polling officer took my card, the nerves had kicked in. My palms grew clammy as she dragged her finger down the voter’s roll. I noticed for the first time that the dates of birth were included not just on my identity card, but also on the list. And yet my extreme youthfulness went unremarked. My little finger was dipped in bright pink ink and I was dispatched to the booth. A couple of bored-looking policemen looked on, but did not pass comment or interfere as one by one I carefully spoiled my ballot, placing crosses in every box to make absolutely certain that it could not be counted. Then I walked away.

My heart was racing when I got back to the house. It was hard to believe how easy it had been to cheat the system. Then a moment of panic gripped. What I had done, I had done in the public interest, with no effect on the outcome of the poll. Still, it was a crime.

Zimbabwe: 'I’ve been dead for ten years, but my ghost rises to cast its vote' - Times Online
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