MDC voters removed from roll

Plans to rig the next elections in Zimbabwe are said to be underway, with accusations that Zanu (PF) is secretly removing known MDC-T supporters from the voters’ roll.

Sources who refused to be named for fear of victimisation, have claimed that chiefs in the rural areas are being coerced into supplying the names of known opposition supporters.

The lists being drawn up from this exercise are being forwarded to the Registrar General’s office, who is in turn removing the MDC-T supporters from the voters’ roll. The Registrar General’s office is still run by Tobaiwa Mudede, a card carrying member of Zanu (PF) who has, in the past, presided over many disputed elections.

Wasting his time

MDC-T National Executive member Charlton Hwende said the strategy to remove their members from the voters’ roll would not work because they were already demanding a new roll. He said they would not participate in any election that did not use a ‘credible’ voters’ roll and that Mudede was wasting his time if he was removing anyone.

“As a party our position is very clear. If the issues that we have identified that enable us to go into a free and fair election are not solved, we are not going to participate. I think that the President (Tsvangirai) has made that very clear on numerous occasions.” Hwende also confirmed that several of their members in Kariba had been removed from the voters roll, for no apparent reason.

Commenting on growing incidents of violence, Hwende said Zanu (PF) abandoned political violence in the run up to the March 2008 election and, because of that, they lost the election to the MDC-T. After that defeat he said Mugabe’s party went back to their ‘tried and tested’ method to win back the presidency via “the violent and discredited June 2008 presidential run-off sham.”

Hwende said because of that precedent it was unlikely the country could hold free and fair elections.

Appeal to the East

Meanwhile, the Sunday Times newspaper in South Africa is reporting that Mugabe is appealing to China and Russia for protection should a future disputed election in the country be taken to the United Nations (UN) Security Council for intervention.

The paper said that Mugabe had made the appeal for support from China and Russia while on an official visit to Beijing. Mugabe’s fears are said to be drawn from reports that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is lobbying the UN and has also visited several African countries currently sitting in the UN body.

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