Zimbabwe

Tsvangirai warns Mugabe not to steal vote

2013-07-28 08:24
Morgan Tsvangirai (File, AFP)

Morgan Tsvangirai (File, AFP)

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Stop terrorising Zimbabweans or we'll impeach you, church leaders tell Mugabe
Stop terrorising Zimbabweans or we'll impeach you, church leaders tell Mugabe

He's not as well-known as protest pastor Evan Mawarire. But this Zimbabwe church leaders brave plea to president Robert Mugabe to stop terrorising protesters or face impeachment may attract the attention of the authorities.

Chinhoyi - Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Saturday warned President Robert Mugabe not to "steal" a crunch vote this week, so that his veteran rival could exit office with dignity.

"Mugabe stole an election in 2002, he stole the election in 2008. This time we want to tell him that he will not steal again," Tsvangirai said to thousands of supporters.

"As a party we don't have intentions of retribution. What we only want and what we are saying is: 'Mr Mugabe run this election freely and fairly so that we can give you a dignified exit'."

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After two previous polls condemned by observers as unfair, Tsvangirai is vying to end Mugabe's 33-year rule and a four-year shaky coalition forced after chaotic elections in 2008.

Speaking in the farming town of Chinhoyi, 100km northwest of the capital Harare, he hit out at the electoral authority after a disorganised special early vote and the absence of an electoral roll.

"I have not been given the voters roll, three days before the elections," Tsvangirai said, saying this was a loop-hole for rigging.

He again accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of printing eight million ballots - instead of 6.2 million, the number of registered voters.

"I am saying this in full view of observers," he said.

"We know you have printed eight million ballots for (the) presidential election, eight million for (the) parliamentary election. You don't explain why you need two extra million ballots."

The lead-up to the 31 July election has been marred by flawed voter registration, chaotic early polling for security forces, and lopsided campaign coverage in state media.

Ballot papers thrown away - MDC

A special early vote held on 14 and 15 July for police officers and soldiers saw polling stations open without ballot papers, leaving thousands unable to cast their vote.

The country's Constitutional Court on Friday ruled that the thousands of officers who were unable to vote due to the disorganisation, will get a second chance to cast ballots during the Wednesday general elections.

Tsvangirai claims his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party had also discovered that some of the ballot papers that were cast were later thrown away.

"You (ZEC) messed up the special vote of 70 000 people. In two days you could not handle those people," he said.

"How are you going to handle the 6.2 million voters who are going to line up for one day."

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

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