9 November 2013

Zimbabwe: MDC-T Election Rigging Report, Part 1



THE national harmonised elections held by Zimbabwe on July 31, 2013 were massively rigged by a network of groups and organisations hired by the Zanu PF system for the sole purpose of fraudulently denying Zimbabweans their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote and express their free will and also give Zanu PF and its leader, Robert Mugabe an illegitimate victory.

Through confidential links with the structures and organisations that were involved in the rigging mission, details of the whole plan and how it was executed were obtained. Further, investigations spread across the national political and electoral framework helped in the establishment of facts, details and all the necessary information used in compiling this report.

The rigging machinery started seriously preparing for the mission as early as February 2013, with some of the strategies having been rolled out since 2012 under a very thick veil of secrecy and with the Zanu PF system abusing its control and manipulation of key State institutions as well as departments. A total amount of US$100 million was used for the rigging mission, which involved a monolithic system and structure comprising largely secretive and shadowy organisations as well as individuals.

This report outlines, analyses and assesses the whole mechanism that was used to rig the polls, clearly identifying the players that were involved, the strategies and dirty tactics they employed as well as showing how they influenced the results which were announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). Local organisations, individuals and structures within the state's security sector were at the epicentre of the rigging machinery and under the command of military and intelligence senior personnel, which supervised and directed the network and processes.

Vast technical expertise and support was also incorporated and provided by foreign individuals and organisations. A firm run and operated by Mossad, the Israeli spy agency, Nikuv Projects played a major role in the manipulation and corruption of the processes of voter registration and compilation of a shambolic voters' roll, which were primarily the initial phases for the rigging processes. This report outlines the role played by Nikuv Projects and how it literally took over the management of the voters' roll from the Registrar General. It further reveals the clandestine existence and operating relationship between the group and the Zanu PF system, including secretive payments of huge amounts of funds for the work it carried out.

The Zanu PF system also hired experts from China that played a major role in the training and orientation of militia and Zanu PF structures that were used to carry out specific tasks and worked under the command of the military and intelligence. These tasks included ballot stuffing, creation of fake IDs and fake voter registration slips as well as spearheading multiple voting. The Chinese experts were also instrumental in the development and use of a special water-marked ballot paper, which was designed to give all the votes cast to Zanu PF candidates through sophisticated paper technology.

Secret command centres were operated by the rigging machinery across the whole country, at military bases, Zanu PF premises and also at farms, which hosted militia and activists that were trained and deployed to carry out the mission. The secret bases were also used to stock material such as ballot papers, fake IDs, fake registration slips and also for the task of ballot stuffing. This report provides a breakdown of the major secret bases that were used by the rigging machinery. It shall also be revealed and outlined that the rigging mission was carried out at provincial level and with specific strategies and mechanisms being used for each province, varyingly and determined by specific objectives that the Zanu PF system had for each of the country's provinces.

The architects of the rigging mission initially identified political dynamics, voting patterns and also the distribution of seats in previous elections to come up with specific targets and objectives for each and every province. They, for example, identified provinces in which they resolved to go all out and make a clean sweep of the parliamentary seats and that meant employing specific strategies to achieve that. Subsequently, it shall be noted and explained in this report that due to the varying targets and objectives as well as strategies from one province to another, the rigging plans ended up being sophisticated and complicated.

To manage that situation, the Zanu PF system ensured that it deployed key intelligence and military operatives at each and every level and stage of the system and processes, who effectively wielded the most power and operated the programmes, reducing proper channels and officials to being bystanders and rubber stampers. Retired intelligence and military personnel were summoned and deployed across the country to supervise and direct the rigging plans and programmes, as a way of boosting the numbers of those currently still in the service.

That factor also meant the need for huge funding and a wider resource base, which the Zanu PF system alone could not cater for and that brings in further involvement of external players who provided funding. Among them were leaders and organisations from within the African continent, who knowingly abetted the rigging mission through providing funding. The Presidents of Equatorial Guinea and the DRC personally provided funding for the rigging machinery. The Zanu PF system also exploited its corrupt stranglehold on the Marange diamonds to fix illegal deals that helped it raise funds for the rigging mission.

This report provides all the details and information about the individuals, organisations and entities that were involved, as well the budget, funding and the rigging strategies and methodologies. It also provides deeper analysis and assessment of the rigging processes to provide a clearer understanding of how they contributed to the cocktail of outcomes, including disenfranchising many voters, creating millions of ghost voters and how that was manipulated to inflate voting numbers, carry out ballot stuffing as well as even turning votes cast for the MDC candidates into reflecting for Zanu PF candidates.


This section provides details of the rigging mission, covering all the aspects from structures and organisations that were involved, the strategies and budget. It further proves how the mechanisms and strategies effectively denied Zimbabweans the opportunity to freely and credibly express their true will in electing their leaders at local governance, parliamentary and presidential level.

Top structure of rigging machinery

The rigging mission was planned and directed right from the top of the Zanu PF system and had the consent, blessing and approval of President Robert Mugabe. The Zanu PF leader deployed and delegated his trusted lieutenants to spearhead the mission and they continuously reported to him. Mugabe, for example, directly met leaders and representatives of foreign organisations that were involved in the mission, such as those from Israeli firm, Nikuv Projects and experts that came from China under the facilitation of the Chinese Communist Party. Mugabe met and hosted Nikuv Projects' Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel Antebi, on June 20 and July 30 in Harare for briefings about the rigging mission as well as payment arrangements for the secret services the company was doing in the rigging mission.

Mugabe delegated senior Zanu PF officials led by Emmerson Mnangagwa to supervise and command the whole mission. Others that were involved at the highest level included Sydney Sekeramayi, Saviour Kasukuwere, Webster Shamu, Ignatius Chombo, Kembo Mohadi, Christopher Mushowe, Nicholas Goche and Obert Mpofu. These senior Zanu PF officials constituted the high command that planned and supervised the rigging mission.

The high command was set up in October 2012 when the Zanu PF system resolved to drag the nation into an election and that was after it had convinced itself that the circumstances were best suited for its rigging mission. The high command formulated the rigging framework and work plan after obtaining information and data from the investigations and assessment carried out by national intelligence teams and Nikuv regarding the national political situation, the mood of voters, possible voting patterns and even projected results. That is the basis upon which specific targets and objectives were outlined and determined by the high command for each of the country's provinces.

Intelligence that had been provided to the rigging machinery high command showed them that the MDC would win local governance and parliamentary elections as well as the presidential polls with a clear majority. Led by Mnangagwa, members of the High Command undertook secret missions to Israel, China, Angola, Central Africa Republic and the DRC for the purposes of obtaining advice as well as to facilitate deals for funding the rigging mission. The high command constantly monitored the rigging machinery through regular reports that came from the implementing structures and organisations across the country and across the board. Further, Mugabe himself was always kept informed of developments, progress as well as plans through regular updates by Mnangagwa.

Military & intelligence control

Below the High Command was the management and implementing committee, which was controlled as well as led by military and intelligence officials. Air Vice Marshall Henry Muchena, Major General Douglas Nyikayaramba and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) Deputy Director General, Aaron Daniel Tonderai Nhepera led the committee. The military and intelligence top officials literally ran the rigging machinery and implemented the plans and programmes formulated by the High Command and approved by Mugabe.

As shall be revealed further in this report, the military and intelligence structure was very ubiquitous across the whole electoral organisation and management system and cascaded all the way to the lowest structures. The military and intelligence structure was charged with ensuring the close and tight monitoring as well as supervision of all individuals and organisations variously involved in the rigging mission and keep them within the confines of the plans, objectives and targets.

It is through the involvement of military and intelligence at the very top levels that it was effectively ensured that virtually all the electoral management organisations were infiltrated and brought under total control and influence of the secret rigging structure and machinery. Each and every organisation and structure involved in the running of elections had military and intelligence officials assigned to it who effectively ran the show from behind the scenes and implemented the specific tasks of the rigging machinery.

All plans and programmes that were carried out by all the electoral management organs had to be approved and monitored by the military and intelligence leadership, which had been deployed to work on the rigging mission on a full time basis. That included budgets and even communications which were made by heads of organisations and departments such as the Registrar General's Office and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. Regular meetings of the management and implementing committee were secretly held during the election period, which included all the organisations and structures involved in the running and conduct of elections.

Recalling retired officials

A total number of 1,000 retired senior army and intelligence officials were recalled in June to boost the numbers of those still in service and perform very critical roles in the rigging plan. The military and intelligence officials were taken through induction processes in specific strategies and tactics by the hired experts from Israel and China before being deployed across the whole country and at each and every level of the election management and conduct system. Every structure or team involved in any way in the running of elections had an army or intelligence plant secretly controlling it and directing its operations.

For example, every mobile voter registration team had an intelligence or army plant controlling and directing everything as well as reporting through the secret structures all the way to the top. The same applies for the rest of the structures and departments at the RG's office and ZEC. Military and intelligence officials led, controlled and directed operations at the National Elections Command Centre, all provincial command centres, going all the way down to each and every polling station. Their major task was to ensure that specific plans were implemented, such as disenfranchising voters, allowing ballot stuffing, voting with fake registration slips, enforced assistance voting, multiple voting and also use of the water marked ballot papers.

Secret military bases

The rigging machinery set up and operated secret bases at military camps across the whole country, which hosted youth militia for training and execution of various strategies such as marking ballot papers used for ballot stuffing. Under the supervision and direction of army and intelligence officials, the election rigging units at army bases were well resourced and funded to implement the mission. Each and every base hosted specific numbers of youth militia for training by the experts in strategies and operated from there to implement various rigging tasks.

Every army base also had secret batches of ballot papers that were delivered two weeks before the day of voting, for the purpose of marking and later use for ballot stuffing. Other election materials such as ink and voters' roll were also secretly smuggled into these bases for various purposes towards fulfilling the election rigging plans and programmes.It was established in Harare that the KGV1 was the hub of a secret team which comprised members of Nikuv and military as well intelligence officials that worked with the Registrar General's Office to doctor and manipulate the voters' roll for rigging purposes.

Breakdown of major bases across the country;

Manyame Air Base (Harare)

Inkomo Barracks (Harare)

KGV1 (Harare)

Brady Barracks (Bulawayo)

Lliwellin Barracks (Bulawayo)

Thornhill Air Base (Gweru)

Mutare 3 Brigade Army Barracks

Masvingo 4 Brigade Army HQ

The army bases were also used as the provincial and regional command centres for the rigging machinery in the respective areas and hosted coordinating and implementing teams of the secretive structures. Setting up of the army bases for the rigging machinery started in April 2013 after the Zanu PF high command and management committee of the rigging machinery drew up its framework and work plan.

ZEC'S role

The national body tasked and mandated with running and conducting elections was reduced to a bystander in the electoral rigging fiasco and merely forced to play the rubber stamping role as the secret structure of military and intelligence officials deployed to implement the rigging mission directed and controlled everything. The official structure, led by chairperson, Justice Rita Makarau was virtually rendered useless and forced to follow behind the planted rigging agents. Three Commissioners provided information in confidentiality and clearly stated that the official ZEC structure totally ceded authority and control of the election planning and conduct to the rigging machinery.

Each and every department at ZEC had plants that controlled and directed all plans and operations in conformity with instructions and guidelines provided from the military and intelligence management committee. The military and intelligence personnel deployed at ZEC regularly engaged and took instructions from the security chiefs in the management committee, from where plans and programmes for the operations of the electoral body came. Muchena, Nyikayaramba and Nhepera deployed senior CIO official, Silas Nyanungo to the ZEC headquarters in Harare to assume the role of chief operations officer in a secretive capacity. Nyanungo set up a system and structure within ZEC that ensured his total control of all the processes, programmes and decisions.

ZEC Commissioners, who were supposed to formulate policy framework and guidelines, were subsequently forced to just watch everything being directed by the invisible hand, leading to a number of them feeling very uncomfortable with that situation. Three commissioners, whose names are withheld, raised concerns with the chairperson in July, two weeks before the voting day but were met with an unfavourable response as Makarau indicated that she was also in the same predicament of having to be a bystander whilst the invisible hand orchestrated everything. Information obtained from confidential sources that were involved at ZEC shows beyond any doubt that the body was virtually reduced to a window-dresser for the sophisticated rigging machinery and the official structure painstakingly ended up just folding hands and doing nothing about blatant electoral fraud.

On July 15 Makarau, after being pressured by the majority of commissioners, approached the Registrar General, Tobaiwa Mudede, requesting an explanation over the lack of transparency as well as progress in the voter registration and preparation of the voters' roll following widespread outcry and condemnation of the corrupted process. However, Mudede refused to own up and explain the chaos around voter registration but rather, Makarau was ordered to leave the matter by Muchena. In addition to virtually being barred from playing its role of monitoring and controlling the voter registration exercise, ZEC's official structure was also kept in the dark about the process of preparing the voters' roll, which was being done secretly by the rigging machinery.

Makarau and the rest of commissioners were also kept in the dark about the processes as well as plans behind the printing of ballot papers, again, which was wholly controlled and supervised by the military and intelligence leaders of the rigging machinery. The ZEC official structure cannot, up to now, account for the number of ballot papers that were printed, how they were distributed and used. The commissioners were merely given figures to issue out but without at all being allowed to observe, monitor or even take stock of this vital aspect of an election.

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