July 31 polls in disarray: Zuma

HARARE - A top South African diplomat said yesterday that preparations for an election in Zimbabwe at the end of the month were “not looking good”, unusually strong criticism of President Robert Mugabe from his powerful neighbour.

Lindiwe Zulu, President Jacob Zuma’s special adviser on Zimbabwe, said Zuma had called Mugabe to tell him he was not pleased with the run-up to the poll on July 31, a date fixed by Mugabe after a Constitutional Court ruling but criticised by Mugabe’s opponents and South Africa’s government as too soon.

“We are concerned because things on the ground are not looking good,” Zulu told Reuters.

The election is supposed to end five years of a fractious unity government under a deal brokered by regional power South Africa following violent and disputed polls in 2008.

With the credibility of the poll already called into question, those hopes are now waning.

South Africa wants to avoid a repeat of the 2008 violence, which brought a flood of refugees into the country and added a further burden on stretched State finances.

Zulu’s comments are likely to infuriate the 89-year-old Mugabe, who labeled her “stupid and idiotic” at a campaign rally this month after she repeated South Africa’s call to delay the polling date by a few weeks to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible.

Two days of advance voting for 70 000 police officers and soldiers on Sunday and Monday suggested the fears of a chaotic election will be borne out, raising the prospect of a disputed result and civil unrest in a country with a history of election violence.

In the special voting, long queues formed at polling stations and some people were unable to vote because there were no ballot papers at all — one of several logistical challenges acknowledged by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

In addition to smooth logistics, South Africa wants cast iron guarantees that the army and police will end their open support of Mugabe’s Zanu PF party.

The South African government’s verdict as to the quality of the vote has added significance because election observers from the European Union and United States are barred from entering Zimbabwe.

There have been no formal opinion polls but most analysts see Zanu PF as the favourite given its monopoly of State media and the problems with voter registration encountered by many young, urban Zimbabweans — the support base of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Mugabe’s main challenger.

The United States said on Tuesday it was deeply concerned by a lack of transparency in the run-up to the vote, suggesting Washington was in no mood to ease sanctions against a victorious Mugabe and his inner circle even if he wins without violence.

Former colonial master Britain, from whom Zimbabwe won independence in 1980, also said its misgivings about the election justified maintaining European Union sanctions imposed more than a decade ago for suspected vote rigging and human rights abuses.

“We are concerned that a number of important electoral and other important democratic reforms have not been completed,” a Foreign Office spokesperson said.

British Member of Parliament Peter Hain, a former Africa minister and vocal Mugabe critic, said Mugabe’s methods had changed from 2008, when at least 200 people, almost all of them Tsvangirai supporters, were killed, but that the entrenched president’s disdain for a free and fair vote had not.

“In the past, he’s relied more on brute force and violence. This time it’s all sorts of double-deeds,” Hain said.

“It will be very hard for sanctions to be lifted if the outcome is as it looks to be — namely an election by bribery and constitutional chicanery.”

While sanctions remain in place, Zimbabwe has no chance of rescheduling billions of dollars of defaulted World Bank and IMF debt, leaving it unable to access the multilateral credit needed to rebuild its economy.

Comments (34)

Gukurahundis and gukurahundism will never allow order, because order makes it hard for them to cheat, and disorder makes it easy. Its that simple!!!

Phunyukabemphethe - 19 July 2013

what a crooked and misleading headline . The topic should have been like this- July 31 polls in disarray : stupid idiotic street woman.

reason - 19 July 2013

I'm appealing to the leaders of ZAPU and MDC (Welsh) to consider the people of Matebeleland, Please we've suffered enough. We can't afford another ZANU win. We support devolution 100% but for the sake of removing the tyrant I'm sorry gentlemen my vote's not to be wasted try next time!2018

Regalia - 19 July 2013

We knew it, Zuma has not empowered his people what Zulu say, Mandela is a hero because he never gave his people wealth, so whites love him. The Lord will help us. Do not talk about Gukurahundi as if there is no history before that and forget what the dissidents did in Midlands. The past will always make you remain behind. Vote ZANU PF and be empowered.

verengai - 19 July 2013

Mugabe was a darling over the west from 1980 to 2000. during that period he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth and swore alligence to the British empire. He was a pampered white man's boy. He denied zimbabweans land when they wanted (case of the Svosve pple). They were beaten off the farms senyoka dzpinda mumba! It was only 20 years down the line with the coming of the MDC whn his power grip was threatened that he started pretending to like the land issue. Infact it was the war vets who took law unto their hands and he couldnt anything seeing that MDC yanga ichipisa nerimwe divi so he just let them be. H edidnt give anyone land. He is a foolish liar who thinks we can see whats happening. He gave himself and Grace 10 farms between themselves...jumping into the chaos. AND THERE IS A FOOL WHO IS TALKING ABOUT mandela as not desrving to be a hero...thats very stupid. heroes are defined by their own pple. Here in SA they regard him as a hero nomatter how jealous you ZANU pple get..trying to be jealous on behalf of an old 90 year old fool. Mandala was in pwer for 5 years only. Tell us what Mugabe did between 1980 and 85! he was busy running under Queen Elizabeth's skirts! LOL!

LOLO - 19 July 2013

Let us remain resolute and vote peacefully as a learned people. If Bob and Morgie can share a cup of tea then why should we the poor fight and also have hate speech! this is just but a spot and your team is Triangle while mine is Harare City! There is no need to fight over who wins or loses. Bob and Morgie are filthy rich while we remain poor if not poorer! Please spare your thought for this.

MAPOLITICIANS MATSOTSI - 19 July 2013

Its is South Africa which is in disarray. The country under Zuma's government and the ANC experiences riots and demonstration everyday. The rate of crime in South Africa is high, people get murdered everyday, every five minutes a woman or young girl is being rapped. Jacob Zuma is not only a womanizer but is one of the most corrupt leaders on plannet Africa, He stole millions of tax payers money to built his Mkandla home, the majority of South African are still under oppression from the whites, they live in poverty and ZUMA and the ANC do not know what democracy is. Zuma must stay out of Zimbabwe affairs. First he must put his house in order by addressing a myraid of problems in his own country. HIs own policemen murdered hundrends of innocent Marikana minners. Zuma cannot even handle the Nelson Mandela family fued. Lindiwe Zulu go to hell put that energy to enanciapte women and girls in your country and leave us alone, we do not need you to tell us what to do.

Somabula Hendersaon - 19 July 2013

This time we will put proper sanctions. Oil embargoes, no fly zones, Bob's case is ready at the Hague, we not worried about the other small cockroaches.

mutongi - 19 July 2013

Mr verengayi,kwanayi,Mandela is a wiseman,he left when no one had seen his bad side,thanx to Mugabe for taking us to new hieghts of selfishness.We once respected him,he has overlived his relevance.U Talk about impowerment take a life from Botswana gorvenment ,despite everything we have a lot to learn as far as impowering your people.IMPOWERING AND GRABBING ARE TWO DIFFERENT ISSUES.kana uchidya ne zanu ,think about your neibours and the rest of the zims

TOENDEPI - 19 July 2013

vaona kuti Mugabe anohwina chete , vakutaura kuti havabvise masanctions nekuti mdc inenge yadyiwa, hatina basa nazvo ngavaite only GOD knows. Isu tinoramba takashinga nenyika yedu , zviri nani kutambura nyika iri mumaoko edu ,nekuti taramba kuti puppet yeAmerica neBritian itonge(tsvangirai).Bhora mugedhi rwendo rwuno hapana keeper pagedhi. MUGABE a true African ICON

mudzidzi - 19 July 2013

IWE ,MUTONGI uri mhata chaiyo wjaira kurohwa kumanyowa nevarungu ,unoti oil embargo , no fly zone zvinobatsirei kunyika kunze kwekuparadza? bvunza vekulibya vave kudemba gaddafi apa mabuildings ese akaondomorwa nekuda kweno fly zone. A MERICA IZVOZVI YAKAISA MORE THAN 30000 soldiers muLibya to safeguard looting yeOil kumaOil fields.Chete ndazviona hausi muZimbabwean saka uchidaro, we Zimbabweans Mugabe is our hero from the days of independence up to now, stop yo nonsense about hague you idiot, if you like take then likes of Bush and Tony blair who have a case to answer for invading IRAQ killing thousands of innocent people for no reason , wake up and smell the coffee you fool

MWANA WEVHU - 19 July 2013

MUTONGI you deserve to go to hell and rot there! you barbaric idiot, may you try to think using your brains in future not your battocks coz they stink big time

ZIMBO - 19 July 2013

@Regalia, Why not appeal to people of Mashonaland to vote ZAPU and MDC WELSH?

Qiniso - 19 July 2013

@Mutongi..... I feel empathy for you, sorry but your grasp of politics is very shallow. Start by knowing the history of your country and then move on to see what's happening in countries where the so called no fly zone was implemented.

Qiniso - 19 July 2013

I f mugabe was zimbabwe's messiah then one wonders why the country is like a scotched earth. 33 years zimbabweans still wallow in poverty and the only people eating are the chosen ones by bob. What will you do if Mugabe dies since it is clear that this will be sooner than later. you have 3 million of your nationals scavenging in south africa sending money to zim to fend for their families while diamonds are plentiful in your country. one man and his cronies are busy laying solid foundations for their families to live well while your children and you work for them by voting them to continue unabated. this is a country of woodlums who claim to be educated . what good is your education if it can not help see you see that a 90 year old is on a downward trend in life and thinking and can never do better than when he was younger. Where are the younger ones of Zimbabwe with energy. You claim to be educated and yet yo cant think beyond your noses. you are cursed people period. you are a lost cause and Zuma should not worry himself about you he has Mzansi behind him> Leave these useless nation Msholozi.

jonah - 19 July 2013

I f mugabe was zimbabwe's messiah then one wonders why the country is like a scotched earth. 33 years zimbabweans still wallow in poverty and the only people eating are the chosen ones by bob. What will you do if Mugabe dies since it is clear that this will be sooner than later. you have 3 million of your nationals scavenging in south africa sending money to zim to fend for their families while diamonds are plentiful in your country. one man and his cronies are busy laying solid foundations for their families to live well while your children and you work for them by voting them to continue unabated. this is a country of woodlums who claim to be educated . what good is your education if it can not help see you see that a 90 year old is on a downward trend in life and thinking and can never do better than when he was younger. Where are the younger ones of Zimbabwe with energy. You claim to be educated and yet yo cant think beyond your noses. you are cursed people period. you are a lost cause and Zuma should not worry himself about you he has Mzansi behind him> Leave these useless nation Msholozi.

jonah - 19 July 2013

To "verengai". If you say that mugabe is justified in killing 200000 ndebeles because they were "dissidents" thats fine. Saka why are you complaining ikozvino when mugabe is killing MDC T supporters because ndimi manje mava ma dissidents. Handiti you were supporting Mugabe when he was doing gukurahundi saka today greenbomber ne CIO ngariuraye dissident. MaShona sometimes ingqondo zenu mina kangizizwisisi.

munhurume - 20 July 2013

What does it mean when "mudzidzi"says,"zviri nani kutambura nyika iri mumaoko edu"? Is it not the same as, "zviri nani kufa nenzara sadza rir mumaoko edu."?If proceeds from country resources do not get to you, its no use believing the country is in your hands.

kiyoro kiyoro - 20 July 2013

What does it mean when "mudzidzi"says,"zviri nani kutambura nyika iri mumaoko edu"? Is it not the same as, "zviri nani kufa nenzara sadza rir mumaoko edu."?If proceeds from country resources do not get to you, its no use believing the country is in your hands.

kiyoro kiyoro - 20 July 2013

like I have always said,Mugabe is not prepared for the elections and is very cunning.No amount of pressure will put us in disarray,MDC T will win by 85%,to hell with zanu pf.

josefa chinotimba - 20 July 2013

This tym Zanu Pf yabaya wrong button. All their tricks will come to nought . why would any sane person vote into office the same people who were there since more than 30 years ago and expect something better this tym. Attend a Zanu PF rally and listen to the rantings of these people. They don't even have a clue as to what to say to the electorate only to say, ''bhora mugedhi, bhora mugedhi'' chataurwa hapana. And they think people are foolish enough to vote for them into making the next government!

Babamwana - 20 July 2013

As elelctions loom here is a short prayer especially for our children that we as fathers and mothers have let down so terribly because of our greed and carelessness. This is the picture we would like to see after the election no matter who wins: "Let hard work find its reward in weighted gold Long lost purity of intent find exaltation ten fold National revalue self up so never be sold Sticky thieving fingers for good work learn firm fold Let love for neighbour be national sample more" "Let hard work find its reward

gutter poet - 20 July 2013

Apologies for above post as this is in verse it should make sense as follows: "Let hard work find its reward in weighted gold// Long lost purity of intent find exaltation tenfold// National soul revalue self up so never sold// Sticky thieving fingers for good work learn firm fold// Let love for neighbour be national sample more// Innocent blood that flowed needless find peace a home."

gutter poet - 20 July 2013

Smith waiti Zimbabwe will never be independent NOT even in a thousand years asika mwari akaita maitiro ake. Saka ngatisafunge kuti zvinhu zvose zvinoitika mafungiro edu asi kuti musiki ndiye unozviitisa. AMEN.

MWARI ANOTIDA TOSE - 20 July 2013

Mr. writer- This article was written in very bad taste. Possibly to give a very gloomy picture of Zimbabwe should Mugabe or ZANU PF wins. It even goes further actual to suggest USA and EU should maintain the sunction and also to infer to Mr. Zuma that he should be against Mugabe. I do not think this writer is a Zimbabwean, Please leave Zimbabwe alone!

dungas - 20 July 2013

True the only time ZanuPf talked about land was after MDc had talked about coming into government and had a policy on land redistribution, then zanupf decided to hijack that and make it their own. They did it chaotically and now we are eating the fruits of the chaos. Mugabe did not want us the povo to have land that is even now when he grabbed it little went to the povo the rest they took it to themselves even after benefitting from the British sponsored land acquisitions. Mugabe was the darling of whites that is why when he anihilated 20000 black ndebeles nothing was done to stop him no sanctions nothing, he continued to have tea with the queen whilst his hands were dripping ndebele blood but when it started to bleed white blood then the world waked up from the slumber.

wamaromo - 23 July 2013

smith never said no independence in the next 1000 years he said no majority rule in the next 1000 years and it still stands a coterie of friends are running this country there is no people power . Very few people have the power and authority instead of people having power and the leadership having authority, that is majority rule now do we have it no no no no so he was right.

maita - 23 July 2013

Verenga lives in the stone age, so if bushmen were to come and kill us they would be justified because we displaced them before. Just because kwakamboita madzviti does not justify gukurahundi. Ingawani chief chihpta akwanisawo kurwisa chief svosve vachitorerana land saka todzokera ikoko? The only mistake done by dissidents was to start their war in Matebeleland they should have operated from deep in Mashonaland especially West and central.

wamaromo - 23 July 2013

wamaromo- you are not a Zimbabwean. You statement on the issues on land its like you see Zimbabwe from tvs

dungas - 23 July 2013

Always darknesss comes after the Light is off. Adams' invested authority by GOD in the garden of Eden, caused Satan to become more furious at him. Every good act of my President R.G Mugabe can seem to be nothing at hand,because of some oppositions surrounding him. But one thing for sure my President's wisdom is GOD's way to protect Zimbabweans and their natural resources.

mula - 26 July 2013

Otherwise.

vengesai - 24 September 2013

This could be a false statement.

vengesai - 24 September 2013

Is this how we can deal with in Politics?

vengesai - 24 September 2013

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