MDC Press Statement on the Presidential run-off


22 June 2008, Harare

The MDC won the March 29th elections despite conditions that were far
from free and fair. Our party's message of peaceful, democratic change
and rebuilding a New Zimbabwe enjoys the support of the vast majority
of Zimbabweans.

Our election victory confirmed this to Mugabe and since that date, he
and his supporters have been waging a war against the people of

This violent retributive agenda has seen over 200 000 people
internally displaced and over 86 MDC supporters killed. Over 20 000
homes have been destroyed and over 10 000 people have been injured and
maimed in this orgy of violence.

For the record, there are eight broad reasons why a free and fair
election is impossible. Zanu PF has already subverted the run-off
through the following:

                        STATE SPONSORED VIOLENCE
           The police have been reduced to bystanders while Zanu PF
militia commit crimes against humanity varying from rape, torture,
murder, arson, abductions and other atrocities.

            Zanu PF militia dressed in army regalia have been
deployed to spearhead the terror campaign in the rural and urban
areas. Armed Zanu PF youths are waging a terror campaign and have
vowed that the MDC will not rule the country even if it wins.

           The Joint Operations Command (JOC) is engineering a
violent campaign to subvert the will of the people. The Central
Intelligence Organization (CIO) has designed covert operations to
destabilize the nation.

           Zanu PF has set up over 3000 militia bases across the
length and breath of the country in order to cow and intimidate MDC
supporters into submission.

           Death and hit squads are on the loose in all the provinces.

           War veterans and Zanu PF youths are manning illegal
roadblocks with impunity in complicity with the police.

           The use of guns and arms of war by Zanu PF militia and war
vets to campaign for Zanu PF has virtually militarized the election

           All this is being done as State sponsored ploy to tilt the
vote in favour of Zanu PF.


           The regime has crippled the MDC Presidential Candidate’s
campaign. MDC rallies have been banned. Court orders have been
ignored. Today, Sunday the 22nd of June 2008, a mere five days before
the run-off date, police refused MDC permission to hold its only Star
Rally at the open space across the Harare Show Grounds. We
successfully sought a High Court Order which granted us permission to
proceed with our rally. Regrettably, armed Zanu PF thugs occupied the
venue in order to prevent us from gathering. MDC supporters were
attacked and cars were stoned at the venue. This happened in full view
of the police.

           Unlawful arrests of the MDC Presidential Candidate have
been going on unabated. The public media has flatly refused to flight
MDC adverts. To date, no single commercial has aired by the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation. There is a total blackout of the MDC in the
public media in clear contravention of the SADC guidelines and
standards governing a free and fair election.

           The hate language and the vilification of the MDC
Presidential candidate by the public broadcasters and public media is
unprecedented. By denying us access to the media the regime has
managed to deny the MDC access to the people.

           The MDC Secretary General, Hon. Tendai Biti and MP
Advocate Matinenga are illegally detained. Over 2000 MDC supporters
including our polling agents are in illegal detention. The arrests
have targeted members of Parliament, Councillors, the MDC structures
and election agents. Over 200 000 people have been internally
displaced. The whole game plan is designed to cripple the MDC


           The MDC is shocked by the level of partisanship of ZEC. We
have lost confidence in ZEC. The organization has been staffed by war
veterans and Zanu PF militia. In fact, as it stands now, ZEC is not in
charge of the management of this election.

           The media is under attack. There is a complete blackout of
the MDC’s campaign. Journalists are being harassed and intimidated and
foreign journalists barred from entering the country.

           The Zanu PF candidate has no respect for the MDC,
observers, the regional and international community. He has made
public pronouncements to the effect that he will not accept defeat. He
has declared war by saying that the bullet has replaced the ballot.
The statement by General Chiwenga and Commissioner of Prisons Zimondi
that they will not respect and accept the will of the people is
regrettable and is a clear manifestation that a free and fair election
is impossible.


           The MDC has unearthed an elaborate and decisive plan by
Zanu PF to rig the elections through the following measures:

i.                    Commandeering the uniformed forces to use the
postal ballot and forcing them to vote in front of their superiors.

ii.                  The prevention of MDC election agents to get to
the polling stations through roadblocks and arrests.

iii.                The three Mashonaland provinces have been
identified as rigging centres where ballots are going to be stuffed.

iv.                 Villagers are having their national identity cards
confiscated denying them their right to vote.

v.                   There is a plan to record the serial numbers of
ballot papers so as to intimidate voters.

vi.                 The holding of forced pungwes (overnight meetings)
where MDC supporters are beaten and forced to undergo “re-education”.

vii.               The abuse of traditional leaders.

viii.             The use of massive violence as a weapon to influence
the ballot.


Given the totality of these circumstances, we believe a credible
election, which reflects the will of the people is impossible. We
remain unreservedly committed to free and fair elections in the
country. The conditions prevailing as of today do not permit the
holding of a credible poll.

The militia, war veterans and even Mugabe himself have made it clear
that anyone that votes for me in the forthcoming election faces the
very real possibility of being killed.

Zimbabweans have also shown how brave and resilient they can be. They
have withstood years of brutality, impoverishment and intimidation.
They are dedicated to a New democratic Zimbabwe.

But, we in the MDC, cannot ask them to cast their vote on June 27th
when that vote could cost them their lives.

Therefore, we in the MDC have resolved that we will no longer
participate in this violent, illegitimate sham of an election process.

The courageous people of this country, and the people of the MDC have
done everything humanly and democratically possible to deliver a New
Zimbabwe under a New Government.

We urge SADC, AU and the United Nations to intervene urgently in this
unprecedented situation to restore the rule of law, peace, and
conditions for a free and fair election.

We are going to articulate our vision and the way forward to the
people of Zimbabwe and the world on Wednesday, after further consulting
the people.

Finally, we salute and thank all the suppressed masses of Zimbabwe who
have been maimed, raped, tortured, lost homes and properties in the
pursuit of a noble cause of wishing to see a free and democratic
Zimbabwe. I sympathize with you over the loss of your loved ones in
these final phases of the struggle. Victory is certain, it can only be

I thank you.

President Morgan Tsvangirai

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