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Zimbabwe has been praised for holding 'peaceful' elections on the 31 July this year, and it is true that the polls were calm in comparison to the terrible violence seen in 2008. But it hides an ugly truth that intimidation prevailed, impacting on the right of citizens to vote freely for a party of their choice, along with a calculated strategy to skew the result to the advantage of the Zanu PF party. Mugabe and Zanu PF can only be celebrated as true credible winners - therefore justifiable leaders of Zimbabwe - if their victory was determined by free and fair elections. We don't know what the result of a free and fair election would be in Zimbabwe, because we have not seen one.
We believe that the results declared by the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) cannot be viewed as either credible or legitimate for a variety of reasons. We have built a page on our website outlining these many reasons in detail, based on information collated from a variety of sources, because we believe it is important that the truth is told regardless of the outcome, and we believe that it is important that a formal record of fraud exists.
This record stands as a criticism of Zanu PF theft and lies, but it also potentially indicts a region and a continent if it once again wilfully turns a blind-eye to abuses against the freedoms that African people are entitled to, and allows democracy to be stolen from the people of Zimbabwe.
We encourage everyone to visit this page to fully understand the scale of the fraud, and we ask that you share the link widely with everyone you know and ask them to do the same. Share it on your social networks (Facebook, Twitter etc) and forward this email to people you know.
The resource page can be viewed at this link: http://www.sokwanele.com/zimbabwe-elections/evidence-of-fraud
In summary, when you vist the page you will see the following:
Testimony from ordinary Zimbabweans
Video: Ordinary Zimbabweans are ignored. We have collated video footage where Zimbabweans narrate their experiences of harrassment, threats and intimidation at the hands of Zanu PF. We include the now famous footage of bussed in voters arriving to vote for Zanu PF at the Mt Pleasant constituency.
Crowdsourced data: We have built an interactive table of crowdsourced information from Zimbabweans contributed in the lead-up to the elections, and on election day itself. The nearly 1000 entries are collated from three different sources and reveal widespread fraud communicated in Zimbabwean people's own words. Please continue to submit information by visiting this link: https://zimbabweelections.crowdmap.com/reports/submit. We will keep adding information to the page.
Mapped information: The crowdsourced information is viewable on a map, by location
Missing voters' roll at the heart of the fraud
We explain why the continued absence of an electronic version of the voters' roll is at the heart of the fraud. We have images showing how big a printed version of the document is which reveals how absurd (we believe, calculatedly obstructive) it is for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to expect parties and candidates to work with the hard-copy instead of a "slim CD" of data. The absence of the voters roll is a violation of our rule of law and it has provided a vehicle for fraud, and it continues to undermine justice because, without the information it contains, political parties cannot exercise their right to challenge the results in court.
Failure to comply with SADC electoral guidelines
We have links to our Zimbabwe Election Watch project where we monitor political compliance with SADC electoral guidelines. We provide highlighted examples that clearly show consistent non-compliance with the guidelines by the Zanu PF party. Of the 2000 breaches logged in the intense time before the elections, Zanu PF is responsible for about 80% of them. It is a question we have for SADC: why have guidelines at all if there is no genuine expectation that state signatories to them are expected to uphold the principles they are intended to protect? Why bother producing a document, and then demonstrate by actions that nations have the freedom to ignore them at will.
The role of NIKUV
We outline the role of Nikuv International Projects, an Israeli firm, in the fraud. We have drawn an infogram (click here to view a full copy online) summarising the 'election rigging blueprint' that includes Nikuv as a key part of the strategy, and we have provided information circulated by the MDC-T summarising $10,000 in payments to Nikuv by the Registrar-General since February 2013. Tobaiwa Mudede refuses to discuss the work done by Nikuv or the payments made to the company. All of this information is scattered in the public domain: you will also find links to media reports on the role of Nikuv.
Violations of Zimbabwe's constitution and rule of law
We have included accessible information on how the law and our constitution has been violated to allow the fraud to take place. There are examples of seven important laws which have been flagrantly broken by ZEC and Zanu PF:
- Illegal proclamation of the Election itself
- Illegal use of the Presidential Powers Act and regulations to amend the Electoral Act
- Breach of Section 6 (3) of the 6th Schedule as read with section 155 (2) (a) of the Constitution (voter registration exercise)
- Breach of Section 61 (4) (b) and (c) of the Constitution (freedom of expression and the media)
- Biased application of Section 152 of the Electoral Act (defacing or removing billboards, placards or posters)
- Breach of Section 21 (6) and (7) of the Electoral Act by the ZEC (supply an electronic version of voters roll to parties and candidates in reasonable time)
- Presence of Police during the count in breach of Section 62 of the Electoral Act
It is not surprising the MDC-T has withdrawn its challenge in court: not only is it unable to mount a case because it is being unlawfully denied the information it needs, the persistent violation of the above laws suggests that our courts exist only to rubberstamp decisions that suit the Zanu PF party. Our justice system has effectviely become null and void in the hands of Zanu PF, used to provide a cloak of respectibility masking lawlessness.
Partisan security sector
We call attention to how a partisan security sector is an impediment to democracy and free and fair elections. We use the example of Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri, whose name recurred on our transparancy and good governance project 'We are Zimbabwe' in the run-up to the elections. His open allegiance to Zanu PF is a violation of the Police Act, and it leads to biased application of the law. For example, police officers present in polling stations is illegal - they are not polling agents - and this is something that can only happen if the person in charge of the police is using the force for personal partisan objectives. We provide links to examples where Chihuri has used his position to support his partisan objectives. We have over 4000 public votes on Chihuri's performance in the lead-up to the elections, amounting to a negative performance rating of -93 (-100 is the worst possible score achievable). The public do not believe he is doing a good job but, in the scheme of politics, his key role seems to be to ensure Zanu PF prevails; he does a very good job when it comes to subverting justice towards that objective.
We provide links to results, and highlight the the fact that they are completely implausible. We encourage you to coinsider these in relation to the results from 2008, and to view them by margin of victory as well. Take the 'victory' of a 2/3 majority in parliament and set it aside: is it really plausable for Zanu PF to secure most of its seats with a more than 40% margin of victory? But discussing who the winners and losers in this election is almost irrelevant because, unless the election was peaceful, free and fair, we do not genuinely know who the winners and losers are, and by how much. This is why the result is not credible. In the absence of certainty, which can only be underpinned by absolute adherence to the law and regional principles, all we are left with is doubt and deep misgivings.
Laughing stock of the world
Finally, we highlight how the fraud is obvious to all around the world, communicated effectively through the eyes and words of international cartoonists who see Zanu PF, Robert Mugabe, SADC and the AU as targets for jokes and mockery. The sad truth is that while the cartoonists lampoon the 'victors', Zimbabweans are left at the mercy of fraudsters whose only effective election strategy seems to have been to amass resources and planning towards stealing the elections. As people are regularly commenting on Twitter, Zimbabwe is not a democracy, it has become a rigocracy.
If reading these points angers you then it should. What has just taken place is an outrage against justice and freedom. But it it is important that those who have carried out this outrage, and those who permit it to stand in place, are left in no doubt that the people of Zimbabwe know the truth. This is why we ask you to visit the resource, read the information, and share it widely on Facebook and Twitter, by email and word of mouth, with everyone you know.
Zanu PF may have 'credibility' from weak leaders who chose to ignore multiple crimes against democracy, but he and his party will never have what Robert Mugabe perhaps craves the most: legitimacy bestowed upon him freely and respectfully by the people of Zimbabwe.