Level of rigging in Zimbabwe’s 2013 election stuns MDC parliamentary candidates
Posted by Tichaona Sibanda
The level of electoral fraud by ZANU PF, allegedly with help from the Israeli Nikuv company, has left many losing MDC parliamentary candidates more ‘astonished’ than ‘shocked’.
Take for instance the case of Julius Magarangoma, the MDC-T parliamentary candidate for Buhera North in Manicaland. There is one ward in which he was assured he would get all the votes. This is his home turf where his wife, family, friends, party colleagues and extended family members voted.
The party’s polling agents were there and are 100 percent sure the ballot boxes never left the room. The provincial chairman of the MDC-T kept a keen eye on the station as he knew this was where he would win every vote.
But once the voting ended and counting started, Magarangoma says he nearly suffered a heart attack. Why? Because all the votes cast in the polling station came out in favour of Robert Mugabe and the ZANU PF parliamentary candidate.
‘Even those that voted, including my family, are still shocked and think the ballots were moved. We had more than five people monitoring the boxes, they never moved an inch,’ Magarangoma said. He told SW Radio Africa on Saturday that something sinister happened, but he does not know what.
In Matabeleland North and South, ZANU PF made shocking inroads, grabbing almost all seats in a region where Mugabe and his party are hated to the core because of the 1980’s Gukurahundi massacres.
There is growing speculation that Nikuv designed a special watermarked ballot paper that gave a resounding victory in areas where Mugabe has failed to win an election since independence. These unconfirmed reports allege that the ballot used on Wednesday had a clever water mark against Mugabe’s name, that was activated by any ink used against any other candidate, making him the winner.
There is no way of proving these allegations, but there are many other clear reports of rigging that are in the process of being collated.
Speculation about Nikuv’s involvement in the rigging increased even further when the founder and CEO of the company, Emmanuel Antebi, visited Zimbabwe on Wednesday to meet President Robert Mugabe and other senior ZANU PF officials.
The weekly Zimbabwe Independent newspaper reported that Antebi flew into Zimbabwe from Tel Aviv to meet Mugabe, Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, former State Security and now Transport Minister Nicholas Goche, and Central Intelligence Organisation’s deputy director-general Aaron Daniel Tonde Nhepera. The meeting with Mugabe lasted for an hour and half at State House.
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