SW Radio Africa (London)

2 August 2013

Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF's Electoral Fraud 'Shocking and Staggering'

The level of electoral fraud perpetrated by ZANU PF in Wednesday's elections is beyond anything witnessed in Zimbabwe in recent memory, a senior MDC-T official said on Friday.

Charlton Hwende, who stood as the party's parliamentary candidate for Chegutu West in Mashonaland West province, said the way ZANU PF rigged the poll is revealing a jaw-dropping level of unprecedented interference with the process of an election in the country.

There are also reports emerging from other provinces that close to 800,000 people countrywide were turned away at various polling stations for not being on the voters roll, yet they had slips to show they had registered before July 9th. This was the cut-off date the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) had set for people registering to vote before the July 31st poll.

In most cases their names had been put down in voters roll in far away districts, a move most observers believe was done deliberately by the registrar-general. There are on-going allegations that the rigging was done with the aid of the Israeli Nikuv company.

SW Radio Africa was also informed that ZEC clandestinely set up at least three polling stations in each of the 210 constituencies. These polling stations were not known to other political parties and only ZANU PF were aware of them.

In Harare Central, polling stations that were not on the initial list that ZEC provided were discovered at Parirenyatwa, Sheron School and Harare polytechnic. By they time they were discovered, the damage had already been done.

'We knew they wanted to rig but in the process they lost control of the machinery and over-rigged to a level where it's even embarrassing to them. They're not even celebrating because they know they over did it,' Hwende said.

He said on close scrutiny, it's now apparent that in areas where the MDC-T had support, people with voter registration slips were turned away. In areas where ZANU PF enjoyed support, people with fake voter registration slips were shipped in by their thousands to vote.

It appears in constituencies that were held by senior figures from the MDC-T, those with fake registration slips were allowed to vote, while those with genuine slips were turned away.

Hwende explained that in his constituency there are 12 wards, nine of which are based in the urban Chegutu area, while three are in a rural areas. According to the last census of 2012, the three wards have a combined population of 2,000 people.

'After the polling, I led in all the wards in the urban areas. So when it came to the three wards in the rural areas, my opponent from ZANU PF garnered 6,000 votes in an area that has only 2,000 inhabitants,' Hwende said.

The businessman said they have solid evidence of how ZANU PF rigged. People in eight Zupco buses were brought from the neighbouring Chegutu East constituency to come and boost numbers in Chegutu West.

'When you do things blatantly, you become careless. They came with fake voter registration slips that were meant for Chegutu East and started voting in the three wards I mentioned. We saw it and raised the issue with the presiding officer. To our horror, the officer allowed them to proceed because we suspect he was part of the well-entrenched rigging system,' Hwende added.

We contacted a number of losing candidates from the MDC-T and MDC-N and all confirmed this was part of the modus operandi ZANU PF used to rig the elections.

Eddie Cross, the MDC-T's director for policy, confirmed in his blog that the analysis they've done on the voters roll shows that it contains at least one million dead voters and that there are over 350,000 people who are over 85 years old and 109,000 over on hundred years of age. One of those is an army officer who is 135 years old.

'We found 838,000 duplicate names - same name, same address, same date of birth, different ID numbers. All the ID's checked were genuine and had been issued by the Registrar General.

'We found 500,000 people had been moved out of their resident areas to other electoral districts, 45,000 people had their ID numbers changed without their consent,' Cross wrote on Friday.

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