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Voter aged 141 casts shadow on Zimbabwe polls PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 15 July 2018 11:45

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/voter-aged-141-casts-shadow-on-zimbabwe-poll-pzcwpl50w

Voter aged 141 casts shadow on Zimbabwe polls

 

Jane Flanagan – 13th July 2018 

The inclusion of voters aged 141 and 134 on Zimbabwe’s electoral roll has prompted concerns that the country’s first vote of the post-Mugabe era may be as crooked as any held during his time in power.

The main opposition party has cited “ghost voters” as a clear sign that the credibility of the election on July 30 is in doubt. The list, which was made public after a court order, also has more than 100 voters sharing a single identity number and registered at one address.

This month’s election will be a crucial test of President Mnangagwa, 75, who masterminded Mr Mugabe’s ousting last November. He is anxious to win his own mandate and unlock foreign investment and diplomatic support.

His invitation to international journalists and European observers to witness voting for the first time in 16 years has been welcomed as a positive departure from the violent campaigns of the past.

As Mr Mugabe’s enforcer for 37 years, Mr Mnangagwa has had a direct hand in much of the election rigging and violence that has delivered uninterrupted power for the ruling Zanu (PF) party since Zimbabwe won independence in 1980. Foreign governments have made a peaceful and credible election a condition for lifting sanctions and providing financial support.

Political observers and opposition parties have already identified tactics suggesting that the ruling party’s campaign is shady. Thousands of voters received unsolicited, personalised text messages last week in the language of the area where they are registered. Since political parties can access the phone numbers only of registered supporters, collusion with the electoral authorities or mobile phone companies seems likely.

“Zanu (PF) has been caught with its hands in the cookie jar,” Nelson Chamisa, leader of Movement for Democratic Change, the main opposition, said. “There is no legal way for any political party to access voter phone numbers.”

A leaked government letter has revealed that members of the police and the army will get an unscheduled pay rise of up to 20 per cent this month.

Despite Zanu (PF)’s ruinous policies, which have brought economic and political chaos, polls have put Mr Mnangagwa ahead. Forty-two per cent of those interviewed said they backed him, compared with 31 per cent for Mr Chamisa, 40. However, nearly a quarter said they were still undecided.

Although Zimbabwe’s streets have been largely devoid of the army and “green bombers” — Zanu (PF)’s youth wing, which has been violent in previous elections — there have been reports of intimidation. Human Rights Watch said last month that it had interviewed voters who had been threatened with the loss of food aid if they failed to vote for the president.

Although Mr Mugabe remains confined to his mansion in Harare “the regime remains,” Munyaradzi Gwisai, a political analyst at the University of Zimbabwe, said. “If anything, it is the hard men and hard women of that regime who have taken power.”

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What’sApp Post from Edmund Kudzayi – 07/07/2018 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 08 July 2018 14:30

There are real people who graduated 10 years ago and have never seen a pay slip. People unable to pay their rents. Children sent home from school over fees. Their lives are not an abstract game.

They have real problems but no solution to alleviate their circumstances. But hope springs eternal. Elections are their hope.

Only politicians believe those voters will be persuaded by cheap tricks like a cute Jah Prayzah song extolling a war hero way past his sell-by date.

This reality presents a problem for Zanu PF. The economy is screaming.

While Zanu PF heralds billion dollar investment after billion dollar investment, the reality is less animated.

People are still sleeping in bank queues. People still don’t have any money.

While Zanu PF bizarrely claims to have created 4,5 million jobs since 2013 the question is simple enough. Do YOU have a job? Does your son have a job? Do YOU have money in your pocket? Does your sister have money in her pocket? The answer is invariably no.

While the economy howls and poverty continues to educate voters, Zanu PF has additional problems at home.

Magunje MP and former Higher and Tertiary Education deputy minister Godfrey Gandawa is running as an independent. 

He is wildly popular and the primary election, from which he was barred, was a disgraceful farce, as hundreds of ballots were simply written “MP wangu haapo”. It’s game over for Zanu PF in Magunje.

The bigger problem for Zanu PF is that there are dozens of Gandawa-type G40 remnants across the country actively decampaigning President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

In Kwekwe you have the popular Masango “Blackman” Matambadzo running under the National Patriotic Front (NPF) ticket and holding immense rallies. It is game over for Zanu PF in Kwekwe.

In Harare, more trouble is brewing. Harare South, the only constituency in the capital Zanu PF has consistently held, faces the Shadreck Mashayamombe rebellion.

He was elected to Harare South on a Zanu PF ticket and enjoys deep relationships in the constituency.

He is running under the NPF/MDC Alliance ticket and has proved an indefatigable opponent, pressing on even after a series of abductions to force him to back down.

So significant is the threat of defeat at the hands of Mashayamombe that Vice-President General Constantino Chiwenga recently exercised considerable energies at a rally attacking the former MP.

I could go on, but I don’t need to. Earlier this week, Zanu PF expelled 41 members running as independents. They expelled 41 Gandawas.

You might not know the names of these people, but you don’t need to — politics is always about local dynamics.

The fact that Mnangagwa cannot see what is happening in Magunje as “bhora musango” messages are shared late at night over WhatsApp does not mean it is not happening.

I have not mentioned the many Zanu PF voters, such as myself, that were unhappy with what Mnangagwa did to then President Robert Mugabe. Our vote is not a secret.

It also helps when The Herald accuses MDC-T and MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa of working with Mugabe.

We are drawn the more to Chamisa while his urban base has learnt to ignore The Herald propaganda, confining themselves to the sports pages.

The generosity of chance is such that MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa might not win the election — Mnangagwa could lose it.

But Chamisa is not to be underestimated. He is running a cunning campaign, largely ignoring his urban base. 

His focus has been Zanu PF strongholds. Small jabs, but jabs all the same.

Zanu PF has put itself into a new dispensation box and is unable to rely on its tried and tested intimidation methods to block these rallies and rural engagements.

Then the big one: Chamisa is reaching out to resettled farmers with the promise of title deeds.

It takes little imagination to understand what is happening in the minds of this traditional Zanu PF base of resettled farmers. If Chamisa wins, I will own this land.

Newspaper and ZBC reports will not help you appreciate the national mood. The truth is expressed in popular culture.

The music people sing. The jokes they send. The memes they retweet on Twitter, screenshot and share on WhatsApp groups.

This is where you see who people like or dislike. There is a flood of anti-ED material floating in popular culture.

A simple test is to search for the “Mnangagwa” keyword on Facebook, Twitter or Google.

Ignoring the handful of noisy and well paid Varakashi, the vast majority of user-generated content is ungenerous or part of an ungenerous conversation.

Is Mnangagwa rigging? Did Mnangagwa stage the bomb? Is he a wolf is sheepskin?

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is working with Zanu PF. Nobody is talking about groundbreaking at Hwange.

His open for business message is not getting through to those outside the political and business classes.

ED’s last line of defence is fear. Consider the following findings from Afrobarometer:

  • Three in 10 registered voters (31%) believe powerful people will be able to find out how they voted.
  • Three in 10 registered voters (31%) say they have been asked to show their biometric voter’s registration (BVR) slips. Respondents had been asked if anyone had demanded to see the serial number of their voter registration slip.
  • Seven in 10 Zimbabweans (72%) think voters must show their BVR slips in order to vote.
  • 32% of respondents believe powerful people will make use of fingerprints and photographs collected during the BVR process.
  • 41% of respondents believe security agencies will not accept presidential election results.
  • 40% of respondents believe there will be violence after the election.

By the time we get to July 30, nobody will still be afraid. The fear will be gone. How?

Watch the magicians’ hand!

Edmund Kudzayi is a journalist. He writes in his personal capacity.

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Countering voter intimidation and election violence in Zimbabwe PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 29 May 2018 18:16

Today a peace initiative in Zimbabwe to counter voter intimidation and election violence has been launched. Calling themselves ‘We the people of Zimbabwe’ they have provided telephone numbers to the voters of Zimbabwe which they can phone to report any concerns. Their control room goes live today. For their information and advice, please check: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/942-we-the-people-of-zimbabwe-anything-to-report-in-your-community-

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WE THE PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE – anything to report in your community? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 29 May 2018 16:24

Information to look out for

 

Before Election Day

In your community are people being:

  • Forced to do what they do not want to do
  • Threatened with violence
  • Beaten up and assaulted

In your community are there:

  • Suspicious people moving in your area
  • Any political bases
  • Political parties not able to campaign freely
  • People being given things during campaigns
  • People threatening violence if a party does not win

 

On Election Day

 

In your community are people:

  • Not able to get to polling stations freely
  • Being questioned or asked to queue in a certain manner
  • Being bussed to the polling station
  • Being asked if and how they voted
  • Noticing traditional leaders playing a role in elections
  • Not being allowed to vote or not able to vote

At your polling station are there:

  • ZEC officers and police who are not listening to people’s complaints
  • Voting slips being used to vote
  • Ballot papers outside the polling station
  • People being assisted to vote
  • Any suspicious movements around ballot boxes
  • Any political bases

 

After Election Day

 

In your community are there:

  • Delays in announcing and posting voting results at polling stations
  • Any beatings and threats linked to election results
  • People asking how you or anyone else voted
  • Any political bases
  • Any suspicious people moving around

 

Types of violation

  • People being forced to do what they do not want to do – code green
  • People being threatened with violence – code orange
  • There has been violence – code red
  • Electoral malpractices – forced to vote, queue, registration – code black
  • All – code white

 

Telephone numbers to contact – all messages and calls to these numbers are FREE (at no cost to you)

  • From any line, phone us on 08677 007 479
  • If you use an Econet line, send a free SMS message to 08080240
  • If you use a Net One line, send a free SMS message to 08010085

When you call tell us the colour code of the incident and where you are calling from. We will respond to all your messages and calls.

 

Safety and security tips

  1. You can take simple but important steps to protect yourself and help others at the same time. The first and more important one is always to have a plan to stay safe.
  2. The safety of your family is very important. You should take the time to talk with your family about any safety concerns.
  3. Your neighbours and your community can work together to keep each other safe. Together you should make a plan.
  4.  Sometimes even though you have made a plan you might be in a dangerous situation.
  5. You always want to have some emergency items prepared in case there is an emergency and you have to leave your home.
  6. Sometimes people get hurt or sick and it is hard to get to a clinic. You can be a helper and call the members at the front for help.
  7. In a dangerous situation your property may be destroyed or stolen or your home may be damaged. You can take important steps to record what has happened.
  8. Sometimes violence happens and people get hurt or even killed. You can take important steps to record what has happened and share the information. 
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The beating heart of hypocrisy – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 26th May 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 27 May 2018 16:18

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/41467985215/sizes/m/

The hypocrisy at the heart of the Zanu PF regime was exposed by President Mnangagwa’s son Emmerson Jr in a graphic interview he gave in Harare to the London Sunday Times veteran foreign correspondent Christina Lamb about his father’s escape from attempts by the Mugabes to kill him.

He said: ‘There were six break-in attempts, no police investigation; he was hit by a car and they tried to kill him, no investigation; he was poisoned, no investigation; they put cyanide in his office, no investigation; all his projects as vice-president were sabotaged, and ministers were not reporting to him.’

Emmerson Jr said his father refused to believe that the Mugabes were out to get him until he was given a vanilla ice-cream cone at a Zanu PF rally last August and was violently ill. He was airlifted to South Africa where doctors identified arsenic. The ice-cream allegedly came from Grace’s dairy.

When Mugabe sacked Mnangagwa on 6th November, Emmerson Jr and two of his brothers drove to their father’s house. He said all security had been removed. ‘People were phoning to say, they’re coming to arrest you and will put you in a police station and poison you or hang you and make it look like you committed suicide,’ Emmerson Jr said.

He said he and his father took to the mountains to cross the border into Mozambique, passing through a landmine area, after being stopped at gunpoint at a border checkpoint. From their hiding place in Beira, they were rescued by a friend in South Africa who sent a plane to pick them up and take them to Pretoria where they hid in a small flat ‘living off takeaways from Nandos’.

The article continues: ‘Their guards told them a bounty of $10m (£7.4m) had been put on their heads and that 50 Zimbabwean intelligence agents had been sent to South Africa to search for them.’ (See: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/940-grace-mugabes-vendetta-against-her-snake-emmerson-mnangagwa).

Emmerson Jr’s account portrays his father in an heroic light and mainly blames Grace for his troubles. But the Vigil is puzzled why Mnangagwa still pays lip service to the myth of Mugabe as the Great Leader, declaring a national holiday in his honour. At the same time, the new Mnangagwa regime claims it has abandoned all Mugabe’s ideological baggage and seeks to cozy up to the formerly-despised ‘Western imperialist racist neo-liberal rapacious capitalists’.

The Vigil is not surprised that Mnangagwa is finding it hard to sack Deputy Finance Minister Terence Mukupe who warned the opposition that the army would never allow anyone but Zanu PF to rule – this from a man accused of fuel smuggling and assaulting a top official in his office and is currently being sued by a Chinese business for an unpaid bill. But how can Mnangagwa sack him when he himself proclaims that Zanu PF will rule forever?

With Mugabe ignoring the will of Parliament to account for his actions and apparently plotting against Mnangagwa, isn’t it time to drop the pretence and finally disown the poisonous Mugabe heritage which has reduced Zimbabwe to penury and destroyed so many lives?

 Other points

  • Mugabe is reported to be backing the new National Patriotic Front Party, which is complaining to the Southern African Development Community and the African Union that, following the military coup, the situation in Zimbabwe is not conducive to free and fair elections (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2018/05/zim-not-conducive-for-free-and-fair-elections/).
  • Today we held a demonstration against voter intimidation and election violence in Zimbabwe. Thanks to Esther Munyira for organising this demonstration.
  • Thanks to those who came early and helped set up by putting up the banners: Isaac Chawasarira, Junior Madzimure, Rosemary Maponga, Patricia Masamba, Esther Munyira, Patience Muyeye and Jennifer Senzere. Thanks to Rosemary, Patricia and Isaac for looking after the front table, and to Patience, Rosemary and Isaac for handing out flyers.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 15 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Cycle ride for the Human Rights Defenders’ Project. Vigil activist Sipho Ndlovu will be cycling 219 miles from 28th May – 2nd June to raise funds for the Human Rights Defenders’ Project of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. Sipho will cycle through 6 cities: Luton, Cambridge, Colchester, Chelmsford, Southend-on-Sea and back to London. To donate, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sipho-ndlovuhdrproject
  • MDC London branch meeting. Saturday 2nd June from 12 noon to 2 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. For more information, contact: Sharon Moyo 07877224113 and Clemence Munyukwi 07889667686.
  • ROHR fundraising walk. Saturday 9th June. This will be a sponsored fundraising walk ending at the Vigil. Proceeds will go to pre-election voter education by the Zimbabwe Peace Actors’ Platform (ZimPAP). More information as plans develop. If you wish to take part or contribute, contact: Daizy Fabian 07708653640.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 16th June from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, Contact: Daisy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • 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 us.
  • Save the Zimbabwe elephants protest. Friday 15th June from 1 noon – 2 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. One of our activists Nomusa Dube is organising a protest about the export of baby elephants from Zimbabwe to China. She asks Vigil activists to join her at this protest. 
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded over the past 15 years as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil for £10. All proceeds will go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Facebook pages:
    Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil
    ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/
    ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515

 

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