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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Daily Election Report - Issue 15
The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
July 29, 2013
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conflict on final star rally turnout
In these final
hours of the 2013
election campaigns, Zanu-PF continued to receive intense publicity
from the national public broadcaster, ZBC, and received coverage
in all the private radio stations’ bulletins.
But while ZTV,
Spot FM, Star FM and ZiFM all reported on the “multitudes
of supporters” who turned up at the National Sports Stadium
in Harare for Zanu-PF’s final rally before Election Day, Studio
7 gave a completely different perspective.
reported that attendance at the rally had one of the poorest turnouts
of the entire Zanu-PF campaign and that police prevented thousands
of people at the stadium from leaving until after the presidential
party had departed.
As has become
the custom, ZTV and Spot FM dutifully interrupted its programming
during the day to carry live coverage of the event, lasting three
hours and 25 minutes, with Mugabe speaking for 10 minutes short
of two hours of that time.
ZTV led its
main evening news bulletin with Mugabe’s comments at the stadium,
accusing his political rival, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, of
being “an irresponsible cry-baby” and warning him that
he would be arrested if he attempted to unilaterally declare the
results of Wednesday’s national elections.
This was one
of the seven stories ZTV carried in its news section featuring Zanu-PF’s
campaign activities. But another one – of more than five minutes
– popped up in the business section too, where Mugabe was
reported telling his National Sports Stadium audience how indigenization
would empower the people.
included a variety of Zanu-PF officials and aspiring candidates
being given time and sound-bites to accuse the MDC-T of poor service
delivery, running corrupt councils, and for being a creation of
aspiring parliamentary candidate for Chinhoyi, Phillip Chiyangwa,
was also quoted ridiculing his constituency rival from the MDC-T,
telling ZTV’s viewers in Shona that he was being “led
by a fool”.
Spot FM did
not report the news on ZTV that the Zimbabwe Development Party’s
presidential candidate, Kisinoti Mukwazhe, had announced his decision
to withdraw from the presidential race, promising his party’s
support for Zanu-PF.
In other news,
ZBC’s bulletins suffocated reports of the MDC-T’s Chibuku
Stadium rally in Chitungwiza today. But Studio 7 and Star FM did
not, although only Studio 7 quoted Tsvangirai describing Mugabe
as “a puppet of the military” and reported him warning
those who had abused the country’s resources, especially the
diamond sector, that they would “face the full wrath of the
law” if he wins Wednesday’s elections.
Star FM selectively
covered the Chibuku rally, reporting that Tsvangirai had accused
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of causing the arrest of its deputy
national chairman, Morgan Komichi, and for allegedly coming up with
new rules for the counting of ballots a few days before the harmonized
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