Specialists in Electoral Fraud

In the late 70's I was appointed Chief Executive of a major corporation and
about six months into the job I noticed that although we had about 3500
employees and an internal audit department, I never saw anyone being
disciplined or prosecuted for theft.

I have been in business for about 40

years and in my experience 85 per cent of theft in a company is by staff. I

called in the manager of the audit department and asked why I never saw a

report on employee theft? Our business was selling predominately for cash

and handled truckloads of cash every day. I then threatened him with

dismissal if I did not start to see real evidence that they were doing their

job and for the next three years the disciplinary committee was very busy

with reported cases of theft and abuse of privileges.

In the recent election I received an invitation from the Zimbabwe Electoral

Commission to witness the “sealing of the postal ballot boxes” in my

district. This election was run on a ward basis and therefore I attended one

such sealing and my Chief Election Agent the other. I arrived at the polling

station designated; this was about a week before the election itself and

found about 20 people and several policemen milling about.

After a few minutes we were called to order and the presiding officer for

the ward then proceeded to conduct an elaborate and painstaking procedure to

demonstrate that the plastic box was empty and then sealed. We were told to

take the numbers down and to sign the seals on the box so that they could

not be tampered with. I then asked what would happen to the box until the

election? I was told it would sit in the polling station in splendid

isolation guarded by a policeman 24 hours a day.

What a waste of time – the real action was many kilometers away in police

stations and army barracks and diplomatic missions where postal ballots were

being completed by civil servants and serving officers under the supervision

of their superior officers. Nothing transparent about that process and we

have plenty of evidence that they were forced to vote one way – if they did

not, they were told to do it again. These ballots were then sent to selected

districts where they were used to ensure that certain candidates won.

My District was not one of those – I think I had 27 postal ballots. But what

I recall was the elaborate dance conducted for absolutely no purpose in that

primary school polling station. It served no purpose other than to give the

impression that this was a process above suspicion, when it fact it simply

disguised what was really going on.

Now take yesterdays recount of 23 constituencies. The claim by Zanu PF made

10 days after the results were known, was that the returning officers under

counted the Zanu PF vote. They first targeted 25 such districts and then

trimmed this to 23. All in rural areas.

The statistics are awesome for an exercise of this nature. The 23 districts

had 1380 polling stations. At those polling stations were nearly `15 000

staff – excluding 5 000 police officers – all of whom were on duty the whole

day and well into the night and observed the whole process. The returning

officers in charge were all senior civil servants carefully selected for

this task and well paid for their time.

Each team of over 15 people had to watch while an average of 275 voters went

through the elaborate process of having their names and identity documents

checked against the voters rolls. Collected their ballot papers and then

completed them in secrecy before showing the polling station code number to

the returning officer or their deputies and then placing them into one of

four boxes – all color coded.

In the evening after closing the polling station they had a short break and

then, in front of up to 20 party polling agents, they proceeded to empty

each box onto an open table and divide them into piles – one for each

candidate, before counting and recounting until everyone was satisfied with

the count which was then recorded by all involved – agents on their own

returns and the staff on the official documents.

The process went on for hours – eventually all is finalized and the

returning officers filled in the V11 form recording the results of the poll,

it was signed by all parties and then posted on the door of the polling

station and he or she then took the form to the district control center

where the senior returning officer and his staff were and they then

consolidated the returns from all stations and finally declare the result

for the ward, constituency or senatorial district. At the same time they

announced the result of the presidential poll.

In every polling station the police watched every step and radioed in the

results as they got them. I know that because at our polling stations during

the counting we were hearing, via the police on duty, results from other


Now Zanu PF and the Mugabe regime want the world to accept that this

elaborate and painstaking process at 1400 polling stations was flawed to the

extent that the results – drawn up by 15 000 staff, watched by 5 000 police

officers, were wrong! How wrong we are about to discover. They started at

08.00 hrs yesterday and it will take three days to finish. The process of

the recount will be elaborate for the benefit of the watching press, SADC

observers and the curious. They will hold up each ballot – all 400 000 of

them, carefully place them on the appropriate pile and then start the count.

Remember the count is 400 000 times 4 – 1,6 million ballots from 5 000

ballot boxes.

But it is an elaborate sham, put on for the benefit of the gullible and the

region – which knows full well what is going on and yet will applaud the

process as being “transparent” and above board. Why have they not done this

with the V11 forms? Why not sit down with the four Chief Election Agents and

count the results of 9 400 forms filled in by returning officers on the

night of the 29th March. Why not simply verify the signatures on those forms

and ask the parties to justify any queries. Why this elaborate and time

consuming process when the obvious has not been done?

It is quite clear to me and to millions of others that this exercise – like

the sealing of the postal ballot boxes with nothing in them, is just a ploy

to hide the fact that fraud is being committed in front of the whole

watching world. They have had the ballot boxes for three weeks behind closed

doors and like my employees, simply cannot be trusted with the cash! Zanu PF

and ballot boxes is a bit like the staff and the cash box – do a snap audit

and fire the employee afterwards.

That ship with its genocide cargo from China is on its way to Angola – from

there its cargo will probably be flown to Harare. Yesterday three MDC

activists were picked up in Harare, beaten to the edge of death and then

dumped in the bush at Mtoroshanga – many kilometers from Harare. A meeting

was held at Raffingora yesterday, addressed by army officers in uniform.

They told the people that there would be a run off and that this time they

“will” vote for Mugabe or else there will be civil war. They also said they

would shortly start to take over businesses and mines and urban property.

If nobody starts to act soon, this is going to be a bloody few weeks.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 20th April 2008

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