News / Africa

Vote Rigging, Fraud Allegations Overshadow Zimbabwe Vote

Zimbabweans cast their vote in presidential and parliamentary elections, in Harare, July 31, 2013.
Zimbabweans cast their vote in presidential and parliamentary elections, in Harare, July 31, 2013.
Anita Powell
— Millions of Zimbabweans are voting in a tense election pitting the octogenarian president against his archrival, the prime minister. Soon after polls opened, the opposition complained about voting irregularities.  
 
It did not take long for Zimbabwe’s opposition to dispute the nation’s hotly contested presidential election.
 
Barely two hours after polls opened on Wednesday, the Movement for Democratic Change accused President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party of a litany of violations -- including tampering with the voter roll, intimidating opposition supporters and arresting activists. Rights groups and critics have made similar allegations in the run-up to the vote.
 
Their statement, in a way, encapsulates this election. Both sides have spent much more time slinging accusations at each other than they have debating issues. Issues such as land policy and economic plans have been largely overshadowed by repeated accusations from observers, opposition leaders and rights groups that Mugabe’s loyalists set up an uneven playing field by manipulating the voter roll, the security service and the state media.
 
Election campaign posters are pictured near Zimbabweans walking on a street blocked by uncollected garbage in Harare July 17, 2013.Election campaign posters are pictured near Zimbabweans walking on a street blocked by uncollected garbage in Harare July 17, 2013.
x
Election campaign posters are pictured near Zimbabweans walking on a street blocked by uncollected garbage in Harare July 17, 2013.
Election campaign posters are pictured near Zimbabweans walking on a street blocked by uncollected garbage in Harare July 17, 2013.
Mugabe is running for president for the fifth time. At 89 years of age he is the oldest national leader in the world. He has led Zimbabwe since its independence in 1980. Under Zimbabwe’s new constitution, he is limited to two more five-year terms.
 
Mugabe told journalists on the eve of elections that he would step aside if he loses. But he added, with characteristic swagger, that he will not lose.
 
“If you join a competition where there are only two outcomes, you can’t be both.  You either win or lose," said Mugabe. "If you lose then you must surrender to those who have won. And this is it. We will do so. Yes, comply with the rules.”
 
  • Zimbabweans wait to cast their vote in Presidential and parliamentary elections in the Southern African Nation in Harare, July, 31, 2013.
  • Zimbabweans wait in line to cast their votes in Mbare township outside Harare.
  • A man observes from on top of a campaign bus for President Robert Mugabe near a polling station during Presidential and parliamentary elections in the Southern African Nation in Harare.
  • Zimbabweans queue to cast their votes in the country's general elections in Morondera, rural Zimbabwe.
  • A voter casts his ballot. Zimbabweans flocked to polling stations asts his ballot as the country went to the polls in a Harare suburb.

He is being challenged by Morgan Tsvangirai, who is running for the third time. He became prime minister after mediators pushed the two men into a power-sharing government after violent 2008 elections.
 
The MDC’s exiled treasurer, Roy Bennett, told VOA in Johannesburg that he does not expect Mugabe to play fair. But Bennett also says he does not think Zimbabweans will stand for another tainted election.
 
“It’s game over. You can play cards for a certain time until such time as the people realize where the issues lie. It’s the tipping point for Zimbabwe," said Bennett. "If this election is stolen, I guarantee you, as we sit here now, there will be a reaction from the people of Zimbabwe, a democratic reaction. They will come out in large numbers to protect their vote.”
 
Perhaps the most pivotal figure in the presidential race is one who is not going to win. Welshman Ncube split from Tsvangirai’s party in 2005, calling his version of the MDC the MDC-N, and has a sizeable following. The larger MDC has acknowledged that he might prevent one of the two main contenders from winning more than 50 percent of the vote. If that happens, a runoff vote will be held in September, with Ncube as kingmaker.
 
More than six million Zimbabweans were registered to vote in Wednesday's polls for president, parliament, and other offices.
 
The election commission has until August 5 to release the results.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: fthomascain from: sacramento
July 31, 2013 2:38 PM
If they really want to find out how to use voter fraud and intimidation they need to send some people over here to learn from ACORN, the SEIU, New Black Panthers and the Democratic Party. They have been doing it since the 1840s and have it down to a science!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid