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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Elections will be rigged
July 18, 2013
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has ruled out staying in a coalition
with Zanu PF’s President Robert Mugabe after the forthcoming
election, accusing his old foe of plotting to steal the poll.
deal brought Tsvangirai into government in 2009 after Mugabe claimed
victory in a bitterly
disputed presidential contest that cost hundreds of lives.
But in an interview
with The Daily Telegraph, Tsvangirai said he was not willing to
repeat the experience.
As he prepares
to run for the Presidency against Mugabe for a third time, he made
clear that if he lost on July 31, he would refuse any invitation
to stay on as Prime Minister. Calling the survival of the coalition
a “regressive step”, Tsvangirai insisted: “The
people of Zimbabwe are desperate to start on a new plate and actually
give proper direction and proper policy direction to revive this
economy, give people hope and actually start all over again.”
that when he first became Prime Minister, he worked “very
effectively” with Mugabe. But the President broke off co-operation
in the run-up to this year’s presidential poll.
Mugabe announced the date of the election without consultation and
failed to carry out agreed reforms designed to ensure a free and
fair contest. The election was called “without other members
of the coalition knowing what was taking place”, Tsvangirai
said. He said that Mugabe was “determined to retain power
by whatever means”, adding: “It is definitely clear
that the military is the one in charge of this process and that
Mugabe’s government doesn’t believe in a free and fair
He accused the
authorities of padding out the electoral roll with dead voters in
order to create room for rigging.
our analysis, you have 100 000 people above the age of 100,”
he said. “That number is definitely fictitious.”
a quarter of young voters aged between 18 and 25 – who are
more likely to support Tsvangirai — are understood to have
“The voters’ roll has become the centre for the rigging
mechanism,” he said.
Mobs loyal to
Mugabe killed hundreds of people before the last two presidential
elections in 2002 and 2008. This time, however, there has been little
said that his opponent was relying on rigging to guarantee victory.
there is relative peace, the administration of the vote is so chaotic
I can only foresee disaster,” he said.
He cast doubt
on the fitness of Mugabe (89), who is fighting his seventh general
election after 33 years in power. The President “will go down
in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest contestant in any
election,” he said.
wins, he pledged to serve no more than the constitutional limit
of two terms as President. “If I find that I don’t need
to go in for a second term, I’ll give up then,” he added.
his home in the capital Harare, Tsvangirai stressed the achievements
of his MDC-T party in the coalition. His ministers had cut inflation,
delivered water and sanitation and reopened hospitals that were
in crisis when the new government was formed in 2009. But he insisted
there would be no reprisals against Mugabe or his Zanu PF party.
Tsvangirai said he “will not be part of” any effort
to bring a case against his opponent before the International Criminal
no intention of dragging this country in to another instability,”
he said. “I will not be engaged in any retribution. We have
so much to do to resuscitate and revive this economy for the sake
of the people. My forecast is how can we provide Zimbabwe with hope
again. So the question of retribution and revenge is not even part
of our agenda whether it is Mugabe or the generals.
not going to bring back our loved ones who have been killed, maimed
also adamant that Mugabe’s seizure of white-owned farms would
not be overturned. “I think politically you cannot reverse
the land reform programme even with its mistakes,” he said.
“We know the torture and violence that took place with that.
What we need to do is to say this is a political decision because
this has already gone so far. For the stability of the country it’s
better that we compensate rather than try to say ‘go back
to your land’.”
Tsvangirai of profiting from his time in power, pointing to his
comfortable home in Harare and another in Johannesburg in South
When I put this charge to him, he angrily replied: “I’m
living in this house which is a State house, it’s not my personal
house. I don’t have a house in Johannesburg – I’m
renting for my kid, I’m renting a three-bedroom house for
my kids who are going to school in Joburg.”
promised that, if he won the Presidency, he would not move into
State House, the official residence of British governors and of
Mugabe from 1980 onwards. “I’ve got my little house
here,” he said. “It is comfortable enough and I don’t
need to go into any particular stately house in order to prove,
to prove what?”
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