Brazen rigging unveiled: Vigil

The Vigil congratulates the Herald on at long last succeeding in one of its three declared objectives: ‘to be entertaining’. Tuesday’s front-page editorial was certainly entertaining – lifting the lid on the brazen rigging of Zanu (PF)’s provincial elections.

Despite Zanu (PF)’s insistence that the July 31 elections were free and fair, many in Zanu (PF) have complained that their own party provincial elections were anything but free and fair. Their complaints, unsurprisingly, echo those made by the MDC about the national elections. The Herald said: ‘There are some in Zanu (PF) who didn’t want the chaos that ravaged provincial elections in the Midlands, Manicaland and Mashonaland Central exposed.

They wanted the allegations of rigging and irregularities, the shambolic party registers and disenfranchisement of hundreds of party supporters to be hidden behind mouth-washed platitudes. But we are not in the business of public relations. Our duty is to educate, inform and entertain our readers.’

The defeated Mnangagwa faction repeated more of the MDC’s complaints: vote buying, intimidation . . . all the abuses of the stolen July elections which were rubber-stamped by South Africa, SADC, the AU and the UN.

The victorious Mujuru faction responded in authentic Zanu (PF) style. A ‘highly placed’ source told the Daily News: ‘We have rules and regulations that govern elections in Zanu (PF). Those people who feel cheated should learn to accept defeat. MDC takaidya wani saka chii chinoshamisira pakudyiwa’ (we defeated the MDC so what’s the fuss about losing?)

Talking of poor leadership, a Vigil supporter received a long and threatening text message viciously attacking her participation in a demonstration against the recent visit by Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi. It was further evidence of how active Zanu (PF) is in London. The fact they had her phone number was worrying. We notice that Mzembi has been telling the media back home how successful his visit was. You can judge what the British attitude to Zanu (PF) is from a leading article in The Times newspaper titled ‘Not just a Hitler moustache/Zimbabwe’s anti-foreigner policy evokes the worst of times’.

The article condemns Mugabe’s indigenisation policy and in particular the announcement that non-indigenous businessmen have been given a month to shut up shop. ‘In human rights terms this is a disgrace. It is also staggeringly and tragically stupid. It makes Zimbabwe a place where it would literally be madness to invest or start a business, even if you were a native Zimbabwean. For who knows when the Government, for expedient or populist reasons — citing some invented imperative — might not demand your business be turned over to the state?

Perhaps it would be a good thing for MPs on the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee to be given their wish to join in the government foreign travel bonanza, already costing twice the budget for education. They could come here and be educated on how thoroughly the reputation of Zimbabwe has been tarnished by Mugabe and his cronies.

We have now sent off our open letter to the Prime Minister and people of Israel complaining of the role played by the Israeli company Nikuv in rigging the July elections. We have also sent it to the Jewish press.

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