By Tichaona Sibanda
Theresa Makone, the outgoing co-Home Affairs Minister, has become one of the first senior MDC-T officials to admit that ZANU PF’s electoral ‘victory’ last week caught them off guard and left them ‘shocked.’
The head of the MDC-T’s women assembly claimed the election, plagued by widespread flaws and described by the weekly Independent newspaper as a ‘ZANU PF Made-in-Israel landslide’ was engineered right in front of their eyes.
‘It was quite a shock,’ said Makone. ‘I didn’t see it coming. The party didn’t expect such a result and it explains ZANU PF’s insistence to have polls on July 31st or else the plan would have unfolded if there had been delays.
‘Any further delays like a month or two would have meant us getting the electronic voters roll, which would have allowed us to analyse and perhaps detected the gross anomalies.’
She said they will now demand a forensic audit of the hard copy used on Election Day and the electronic copy they are still hoping to be issued with.
President-elect Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF party have categorically denied accusations of fraud. The MDC-T strongly disagrees, as official figures released by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) show that nearly 305,000 voters were turned away during last week’s elections. Outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has described the poll as ‘null and void.’
ZEC announced on Thursday that 207,000 voters were also ‘assisted’ to cast their ballot, another alleged source of fraud. This figure represents more than half a million people who were disenfranchised through assisted voting or failing to vote altogether.
While Mugabe gained 938,085 more votes than Tsvangirai analysts were quick to point out that if you take into account the number of duplicate votes for the ZANU PF leader, including ‘dead people’ voting, it becomes evident that in a free and fair contest Tsvangirai would certainly have won the election.
Such claims of rigging are refusing to die down as more evidence emerges of how ZANU PF pulled the rug from under their opponents’ feet.
Makone told SW Radio Africa that she is adamant the voters roll used on July 31st is not the one that she received from the registrar-general in April for inspection.
‘On April 15th I was issued with a voters roll. Two days later I was given another roll but this time the number of voters had doubled. I raised this issue and made it public but no action was taken by ZEC.
‘On July 25th I begged Makarau (Rita) to give me the electronic voters roll, to no avail. I got all sorts of excuses and meanwhile the voters roll was being manipulated to engineer a victory for Mugabe,’ said Makone.
The former MP for Harare North claimed ZANU PF is struggling to cover its tracks because of the extensive nature of the electoral fraud, where tens of thousands of people were roped in to execute one of the greatest electoral robberies of all time in Zimbabwe.
There is evidence showing that in the Bindura South constituency, (Musana communal lands) ZANU PF promised its youth members $300 each if they voted for their candidate Remigio Matangira, using fake registration slips.
One of the youths sent a whatsapp message to the MDC, which has been seen by SW Radio Africa, saying that they did vote for Matangira, but have not been given the money yet. They are now receiving death threats if they dare tell anyone about it.
‘We are about 500 youths from Muchapondwa, Chiveso, Masembura and Chireka. Each person voted twice on Election Day and we still have the voter registration certificates,’ the youth said in his text message.
Makone confirmed that the same modus operandi was used in her former constituency, where hundreds of voters, none residents of Hatcliffe, managed to cast their votes several times and managed to retain their voting slips.
‘We know of two polling stations were these people were allowed to vote without dipping their left little finger into the ink. They were allowed to retain their voting slips which allowed them to move around several polling stations doing the same thing all over again,’ Makone added. SW Radio Africa