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Hidden Camera Footage Shows 'Vote-Rigging' in Zimbabwe

A British newspaper says secret footage taken at a Zimbabwean prison shows how a supporter of President Robert Mugabe rigged the country's June 27 runoff election.

The Guardian newspaper says former prison guard Shepherd Yuda shot the film for the newspaper six days before the presidential run-off vote and smuggled it out of Zimbabwe.

The film apparently shows ruling ZANU-PF party officials forcing officers at Harare central jail to cast their ballots for Mr. Mugabe. It also shows a prominent leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Tendai Biti, in leg irons.

Zimbabwe's government has not commented on the report.

Meanwhile in Harare Saturday, Mr. Mugabe met with leaders of an MDC breakaway faction and South African President Thabo Mbeki, a regional negotiator on the Zimbabwe crisis. Details of their talks were not immediately available.

The MDC says its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, declined to take part in the meeting.

Tsvangirai withdrew from the June run-off because of what he called systematic violence against his supporters. He told VOA Studio 7 Zimbabwe, this week that he will not enter any talks with the government unless the violence stops.

In other news, The Washington Post newspaper reports Saturday that Mr. Mugabe initially planned to give up power after losing the first round of the election.

The Post, citing sources at a key meeting, says military officials convinced Mr. Mugabe to remain in power by using the army to rig a run-off election.

Zimbabwe's government has not commented on the report.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.