The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), which mobilised 7,000 observers reported: "The election is seriously compromised. Up to a million voters were disenfranchised."
Everyone had predicted that Morgan Tsvangirai, President of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) would win "resoundingly". Despite harassment, intimidation, terrorism and assassinations of key opposition leaders, MDC rallies were attended by massive crowds of supporters.
No one doubts that Tsvangirai's MDC received more votes than Mugabe's ZANU-PF in the 2002 and 2008 elections. However, in Zimbabwe the party with the most votes remains the opposition and the party rejected time and time again, by the voters, remains "the government!"
A Huge Farce
Morgan Tsvangirai has declared the recent 31 July 2013 elections as "a huge farce. In our view, that election is null and void."
The leading domestic monitoring group, the Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (ZESN) Chairman, Solomon Zwana, reported that with huge numbers of voters being turned away from poling stations from MDC strongholds, the elections were just not credible. The lack of pre-election political reforms, constitutional safeguards, the lack of an independent electoral commission, the militarisation of the elections, and the state monopoly on the radio, T.V. and newspapers, meant that the elections were in the words of Tendai Biti: "Illegal, illegitimate, unfree and unfair."
One Million Voters Turned Away
Morgan Tsvangirai pointed out that over a million voters had been disenfranchised by either not been allowed to register, or by being turned away from the voting stations and told that their names were not on the voters roll in that area!
Many duplicate names were found on the voters roll. Over 200,000 people on the voters roll were over 103 years old! Multitudes of people who were undoubtedly dead, had votes for ZANU-PF registered in their name. In many urban areas, which are the strongholds of the MDC, up to 40% of the voters were turned away and prevented from registering their votes! There was also a massive bussing in of ZANU-PF youth to vote in suburban areas which are traditional strongholds of MDC.
Areas where the MDC had overwhelming support, with massive turnouts for their political rallies and where ZANU-PF was incapable of mustering a following, have been declared ZANU-PF electoral victories by a landslide!
Rigging an Election
Morgan Tsvangirai also pointed out how the military controlled the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). There was lack of transparency in the printing of ballots and non-compliance with the electoral acts, because ballots were massively overprinted. More than 8 million ballots were printed, while there were only 6 million voters, many of which were not even within the country to be able to vote. What, he asked, were the extra ballots for?
Morgan Tsvangirai declared: "It does not reflect the will of the people of Zimbabwe. For this reason the election has been heavily manipulated. In our view, the outcome of this election is illegitimate." He called on the African Union and Southern African Development Corporation (SADC) to recognise that these elections "do not meet international standards for a credible, legitimate, free and fair election."
In London, Action for Southern Africa, the Trade Union Congress and Zimbabwe Vigil held demonstrations outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, calling for free and fair elections and protesting against the "fear of violence, harassment and an electoral system that is rigged to favour one party over another."
ACTSA reported that: "Over a quarter of constituencies have more registered voters than inhabitants. Some parties have complained that they were not given a copy of the voters roll until two days before the elections."
The political bias in state institutions, and media as well as the inadequate number of domestic and international election observers were other major concerns.
No Western nations were allowed observers in Zimbabwe. Countries such as: Cuba, China, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Equatorial Guinea, authorised by Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF regime, would not even know what an honest election looked like!
How to Steal an Election
Even before the elections, sensational evidence was disclosed of how ZANU-PF planned to steal the elections aided by the Red Chinese and by the Israeli firm NIKUV. A dossier, leaked to The Mail, detailed how the registrar general, Tobaiwa Mudede, invented false voters, manipulated voter registration, countered unfavourable results and neutralised opposition votes. The Chinese government helped with ballot rigging, advising on voter intimidation and providing jamming equipment to silence independent radio stations.
Opposition members of Parliament, such as Edward Chindori-Chininga were assassinated. Edward Chindori-Chininga, a former Mines minister of Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, had revealed that millions of Dollars in taxes from the blood diamonds of Zimbabwe had gone missing. He died in a suspicious road accident, as have numerous other outspoken critics of the ZANU-PF regime. Former Defence and Youth ministers, Moven Mahachi and Border Gezi, in 2001 and ZANU-PF political commissar Elliott Manyika in 2008. Army Commander Solomon Mujuri was killed in a house fire in 2011.
Millions of Dollars have been directed towards bribing leaders of Southern African companies and independent electoral monitors to "drum up support for poll credibility, before, during and after elections."
Tsvangirai declared that the election has been stolen: "We want to assure every Zimbabwean that this is the beginning of the end. ZANU-PF may have this pyrrhic victory… but I want to assure you that the resolution of the Zimbabwean crises has never been so close. Zimbabweans have been short changed and they will have to bear the social, political and economic consequences undertaken by Zimbabwe and ZANU-PF." MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has declared his determination to finally resolve the political crisis and complete the change that we have fought for over the last 14 years.
A Disgraceful Track Record
Mugabe is the world's oldest leader, and has learned how to manipulate, rig and steal elections. The British government rewarded his blatant intimidation and terrorism (in violation of the Lancaster House Agreement) in the brutal 1980 election. From that time, he learned that he can get away with murder, as long as the ballots are stuffed with votes for his party. The African Union has been accused of white washing the problems and turning a blind eye to the blatant fraud being perpetrated.
Rage Leads to Resistance
The elections may be over, but the people of Zimbabwe know that their struggle for freedom and independence from oppressive and corrupt misrule is intensifying. Mugabe's coup by ballot is not fooling many of the Zimbabweans on the ground. Their rage is bound to lead to resistance.
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
See other articles on Zimbabwe:
Zimbabwe at the Crossroads
Praying for Justice
Marxists Loot Zimbabwe Diamonds
Remember Rhodesia – Pray for Zimbabwe
Mugabe Tsunami in Zimbabwe
Evicted Farmers Continue to Feed Zimbabwe
Crimes Against Humanity
Violence Continues Against MDC
Chinese Colonialism in Zimbabwe
Chinese Arms in Africa
Reclaiming Zimbabwe for Christ
Zimbabwe and Zambia - A Tale of Two Countries and Three Religions
Zimbabwe - A Lesson in How to Destroy Christian Civilisation