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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population 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.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid