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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Daily Election Report – Issue 22 (Final Issue)
The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
August 05, 2013
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endorsement divides the press
election results were announced the international community,
which had been observing the country’s elections, decided
to express their opinion on the way the plebiscite was conducted.
This stirred varying emotions in the newspapers.
of the poll by SADC facilitator, South African President, Jacob
Zuma, excited The Herald; news of his approval was splashed on the
paper’s front page and it became the backbone of the paper’s
argument that the elections were credible. Zuma was affectionately
referred to as “Comrade”, a title that does not come
cheaply from the paper.
Zuma was reported
to have urged all the parties to respect the result “as observers
said it was an expression of the will of the people”. The
paper also praised the UN, AU,
and COMESA who endorsed the elections saying they were free and
everyone accepted their opinion, and The Herald highlighted this
by attacking the West after reports emerged that Australia, the
States and Britain
all raised concerns about the legitimacy of the polls. Six reports
were dedicated to denigrating the West. For example, in response
to reports that Australia’s foreign affairs Minister, Bob
Carr, had called for “a rerun of the elections based on a
verified and agreed voters’ roll,” the paper said; “Former
British colony Australia demonstrated how far removed the Anglo-Saxon
world is from reality on the ground”.
Election Support Network (ZESN), an independent civic election
watchdog, also bore the brunt of The Herald’s attacks. The
paper enlisted the help of Jonathan Moyo who accused the network
of working in cahoots with the West to effect regime change in Zimbabwe:
“ZESN is their mouthpiece they are not independent voices,
they are just their masters’ voice”.
press was disappointed by Zuma’s endorsement of the July 31
elections, and The Daily News’ editorial comment reflected
this, “It is surprising and a bit strange that Zuma would
rush to endorse Mugabe ignoring the serious issues raised against
the outcome of the elections”. NewsDay also highlighted Zuma’s
backing of the election result “jolts” MDC-T’s
poll challenge, as the party had hoped the SADC facilitator would
be more sympathetic to their plight.
paper clearly explained that Zuma’s endorsement followed an
election that ignored many of SADC’s preconditions for holding
the poll. Nor, of course, did The Herald.
dailies echoed the international community’s unease over Zimbabwe’s
election results. NewsDay reported that, ‘US, UK, EU condemn
poll results’, while The Daily News, carried a report headlined,
‘Mugabe’s free but unfair win,’ these sentiments
were recurrent in six stories in both The Daily News and NewsDay.
all the papers gave the impression that it was Africa against the
West over Zimbabwe’s poll results, NewsDay reported that Botswana
also noted “cases that fell short of the best practice regarding
the conduct of credible elections”
In other developments,
the private press continued to reveal election-related irregularities
that scarred the credibility of the poll. For example, The Daily
News reported that a South African investigations company, Nasini
Projects, claimed that a “delicate” ballot paper was
used to rig Zimbabwe’s elections. It claimed, “the ballot
paper had a water mark X against Mugabe and Zanu-PF’s name
such that if any ink is placed on the paper, the substance on the
paper will react and remove the ink and activate the watermarked
X into print”. However, the report did not say whether the
company had proof for this claim and how it was used in the election.
With the MDC-T
threatening to pull out from all government institutions if Zanu-PF’s
victory was upheld, The Herald quoted Clerk of Parliament Austin
Zvoma saying an “MDC-T pull-out won’t affect Parliament”.
The paper also tried drive a wedge into the MDC-T by reporting that
its executive council decision was likely to spark an “intra-party
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