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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Daily Election Report - Issue 17
The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
July 31, 2013
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media report for Wednesday, July 31, 2013
offers Election Day advice
If voters needed
any guidance about who to vote
for in today’s elections, there was plenty of advice on
offer in all three daily newspapers this morning.
Both The Herald
and the privately owned NewsDay featured seemingly rational front-page
comments advising their readers to “vote wisely”, but
offering completely different solutions to Zimbabwe’s future.
The Daily News also carried a convincing front-page editorial but
was more forthright in its lead story entitled, ‘89 reasons
why Mugabe must go’.
Both The Herald
and The Daily News most evidently reflected their political sympathies
in the remaining news and opinion columns of their papers.
in the 12 stories The Herald carried relating to the activities
of the political contestants, five focused on disparaging Mugabe’s
greatest threat, the MDC-T and its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai. This
was reflected in stories such as, ‘MDC-T running scared’,
‘UMD rallies behind Mugabe’, and, ‘MDC-T faces
massive backlash’, all of which wrote-off the MDC-T’s
chances of surviving today’s election.
The Daily News carried an interview with Morgan Tsvangirai himself,
and a “story” authored by the MDC-T leader in its “news”
columns entitled, ‘Destiny is in our hands’. These were
two of the 10 stories carried in the paper relating to political
five stories on the topic were mostly useful insights into Zimbabwe’s
political future, as reflected in their headlines too. Stories such
as, ‘D-Day for Tsvangirai, Mugabe’, and, ‘Will
Mugabe or Tsvangirai accept defeat?’ provided readers with
balanced and rational observations about the immediate prospects
for Zimbabwe and the leadership of the country’s two main
Of course, all
the dailies reported Mugabe’s jovial eve-of-election press
briefing at State House where his humour and willingness to answer
any questions delighted the attendant journalists.
But while the
two private dailies picked on his welcome reassurance that he would
“surrender power” if he is defeated in today’s
elections, The Herald was more predictable; ‘President confident
of emphatic victory’, declared its front-page lead story –
one of six reports that bolstered Zanu-PF’s fortunes.
of sticking to the wealth of material offered by the President’s
comments, the state-owned daily spoiled its story with unprofessional
editorial intrusions to convince its readers of Zanu-PF’s
dominance: “The president is widely tipped to romp to victory,
with Zanu-PF grabbing a two-thirds majority” was the most
Media Report - Tuesday, July 30, 2013
press briefing gets the limelight President Mugabe’s State
House media briefing on the evening before the harmonised elections
topped the bulletins in most of the electronic media today. Notably
though, the local private radio stations did not cover the event.
7 and SW Radio Africa focused on Mugabe’s reassurance that
he would step down if he lost tomorrow’s election, ZBC’s
television and Spot FM radio bulletins ignored this and focused
on him commending Zimbabweans for the peaceful electoral environment
and expressing his confidence that he would win the presidential
ZTV quoted him
saying “our chances are as good as the chances we had in 1980”.
The public broadcaster
also censored his remarks dismissing allegations of electoral irregularities
that were reportedly intended to sway the election in favour of
The two private
overseas-based radio stations quoted Mugabe saying, “If you
lose you must surrender to those who would have won. We will do
so to comply with the rules”.
Studio 7 also
quoted Mugabe urging the military to respect the constitution and
accept the presidential election results.
Only SW Radio
Africa reported the MDC-T press briefing held on Tuesday in Harare.
It quoted party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora expressing confidence
his party would win the election despite what he described as Zanu-PF’s
intentions to rig it. This was one of four reports the station carried
on the parties’ activities, which included Mugabe’s
press briefing and follow-up stories on Zanu-PF’s and the
MDC-T’s rallies in Harare on Sunday and Monday.
two campaign stories; one reporting Zanu-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo
expressing his confidence of a sweeping Zanu-PF victory, while the
other was a delayed report on the MDC-T’s final rally in Harare.
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