Credibility of Zim elections at risk - PM

2013-07-26 14:28
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. (File: AFP)

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. (File: AFP)

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Cape Town – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who is one of the contenders in the upcoming Zimbabwe elections, has raised concern over the conditions under which the polls would be held next week.

Tsvangirai said in a statement on Friday that the credibility of the election was at risk as there was "evidence of manipulation and a desperate attempt to subvert the people’s will" by President Robert Mugabe’s party Zanu-PF.

He said although he acknowledged that there was no violence in the run up to the elections, he was concerned at the high level of intimidation, especially in the rural areas.

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"Reports that we have received indicate that traditional leaders in areas such as Gutu South are spreading falsified information designed to hoodwink and intimidate voters. We also understand that police are not taking action to deal with perpetrators of violence and intimidation on the basis of instructions allegedly received from their superiors," said Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai also lamented the absence of security and media reforms which remained fundamental to a legitimate election.

"Despite the SADC position on media and security sector re-alignment, we are approaching this election with no movement whatsoever in implementing the resolutions.

"The public media are supposed to be impartial and objective but continue to toe the Zanu-PF line and to exhibit gross partiality and unfairness in their news coverage in violation of the new Constitution," said Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai also expressed concern over the information that foreign journalists were being denied the opportunity to cover the elections.

"I have received information that foreign journalists, especially from the region, have not been accredited to cover our election. What are we hiding from the glare of the world and the region if we are going to be holding a credible election? By refusing media coverage we are only sowing seeds of doubt over the credibility of this election in the eyes of the world," Tsvangirai said.

Zimbabweans will vote on Wednesday next to choose their next leader after a shaky coalition government was formed in 2009 following disputed elections the previous year.

For all Zimbabwe election stories please visit our Zimbabwe Special Report Page.

Read more on:    sadc  |  zanu-pf  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  zimbabwe elections 2013  |  southern africa

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