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New Constitution-making process - Index of articles
Daily Media Referendum Watch - Issue 07
The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
March 17, 2013
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downplays alleged voter apathy
television station, ZTV, gave more prominence to reports suggesting
that yesterday’s referendum had been conducted successfully
across the country, while downplaying reports of voter apathy in
some parts of the country.
ZTV mostly relied
on statements by the coalition principals, SADC observers, the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC), and some voters expressing satisfaction
with the voting process, turnout, and prospects of a new constitution
for the country.
In one case,
ZBC reporter Judith Makwanya was reported giving an update
on voting proceedings in Harare. She said: “There was
history when the polling stations opened. Generally, voter turn-out
ZTV reported ZEC retaining officer Bright Nyabako informing the
public on what was transpiring in Chitungwiza: “People are
still trickling in and things are going on peacefully”.
ZTV also reported
SADC Executive Secretary and a member of the SADC Observer team,
Tomaz Salamao, saying: “I am very happy with what I saw myself
and my team. Zimbabweans are coming in their numbers to vote”.
A cross section
of voters ZTV interviewed in Harare suburbs such as Kambuzuma, Rugare,
Glen View, Kuwadzana, Glen Norah, Mabvuku, Tafara, Epworth, Hatfield
and Budiriro, and satellite towns of Norton and Domboshava, also
“expressed satisfaction at the voting process”.
So did MDC-T’s
national organizing secretary, Nelson Chamisa, whom ZTV quoted expressing
the same views: “The people have heeded the call of the various
leaders and we are happy with the turn out.”
radio stations gave more emphasis to alleged voter apathy; irregularities
in the voting process; and reports of ZANU PF supporters attacking
MDC members in some parts of the country.
comment from those Zimbabweans who boycotted the poll. These were
reported arguing that it did not make sense to them to vote for
a constitution whose contents they knew nothing about (ZiFM &
SW Radio Africa, 16/3).
Studio 7 (16/3)
also reported suspected ZANU PF supporters as having “asked
voters to submit their names after casting their votes” in
some areas like Rushinga and Chakari (a development also raised
by private papers and the independent election watchdog, the Zimbabwe
Election Support Network. See Print section of the media update
Tendai Biti also cited these incidents when he told a Press conference
in Harare that his party was worried about the “abduction
and intimidation” of MDC-T supporters on the day Zimbabweans
were expected to decide the fate of the draft constitution.
of the abduction emanated form an incident in which an MDC-T activist,
Samson Magumira, was allegedly kidnapped from his Headlands home
by “three unknown men and a woman driving a white truck”
(SW Radio Africa).
and the motive of the abduction remained unclear. Neither did the
private radios establish whether the incident was linked to the
holding of the referendum.
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