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 British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid