Tuesday, July 30, 2013

(TALKZIMBABWE) There’s a very, very good atmosphere in Zimbabwe: Zuma
This article was written by Our reporter on 30 July, at 06 : 34 AM

COMMENT - No vote rigging or violence, according to South African President Jacob Zuma, and US Ambassador Bruce Wharton. The elections start on Wednesday July 31st 2013. Also check out: "(SUNDAY MAIL ZW) Latest: Obasanjo expresses confidence in Zimbabwe’s electoral systems", on the thumbs up from General Obasanjo.

South African President Jacob Zuma said a peaceful atmosphere for free and fair elections exists in Zimbabwe and called on the country to stage peaceful elections this week. President Zuma was speaking during a media briefing with South African-born Hollywood actress Charlize Theron about her work as a UNAIDS messenger for peace. UNAIDS is the joint UN programme on HIV/Aids.

“I think you will agree with me that in the last elections, by this time there were problems in Zimbabwe, with violence etc, and everybody was convinced the elections were on a very slippery kind of slope, but I can say today there has been a very, very, very good atmosphere,” he said.

“The conditions for free and fair election exist and all parties are campaigning freely with no incidents.”

South Africa had been chosen by the regional Southern African Development Community (Sadc) to facilitate talks to help Zimbabweans towards free and fair elections.

Zimbabwe had produced a new Constitution and this has led to elections set down for Wednesday.

Parties had not been able to campaign everywhere before the last election, Zuma said. “This time I think they have.”

There was the “usual campaign politics”, where things were said on both sides of the political divide, but this should not be seen as unusual.

Zuma said that this time around there had not been any campaign violence.

He said Zimbabweans wanted peaceful elections this time “so that the winner will win without any measures that they can take to disadvantage others.”

He said Zimbabwe had done the best it could in the short time it had had to prepare.

“So we would say to the Zimbabweans, please have your elections in peace so that they can be declared free and fair, so that the Zimbabweans can then face the task of reconstructing Zimbabwe.

“So we wish them well. We wish all the parties well in their campaign,” he said.

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At 12:03 AM , Blogger MrK said...

(NEWZIMBABWE, AFP) Obasanjo: elections ‘peaceful,free and fair’
31/07/2013 00:00:00
by AFP

THE African Union's top poll observer said crunch election on Wednesday appeared, according to initial reports, to have passed off smoothly.

"The conduct of the election... has been peaceful, orderly, free and fair," said former Nigerian leader Olusegun Obasanjo, who leads the 69-member observation team, speaking at the closing of a polling centre in Harare.

The AU mission had been criticised by President Robert Mugabe's challenger Morgan Tsvangirai for painting a rosy picture of vote preparations.

Tsvangirai and non-governmental groups have voiced concern that the electoral roll, which was not released until the eve of the vote, is ripe for manipulation.
It is alleged the list contains many duplicate and ghost voters.

The Election Resource Centre, an NGO which is collating reports of problems, said it had received multiple reports of ballot papers running out and people finding their names were not on the register.

About 600 foreign election observers, mainly from African bodies, have been accredited to watch the polls in addition to 6 000 local observers.

Zimbabwe has not invited Western observer missions because of sanctions imposed on Mugabe and his top officials for rights abuses.

At 4:17 AM , Blogger MrK said...

(TALKZIMBABWE) MDC-T election announcement plan exposed
This article was written by Our reporter on 1 August, at 02 : 35 AM

WESTERN think tanks and financiers are behind MDC-T’s plans to violate the Electoral Act by announcing contrived results ahead of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

This is aimed at driving supporters into the streets for premature celebrations to set the stage for running battles when ZEC announces contrary results.

This — sources close to developments say — is designed to set the stage for Egypt-style uprisings.

“This is why the party held its last rally at that open space close to the Showground which they christened Freedom Square, to evoke images of Egypt’s Tahrir Square,’’ said the source.

Pursuant to this, MDC-T has since enlisted the services of a computer expert to manipulate results from various polling stations using money from the US think tank International Republican Institute (IRI) and the George Soros (pictured)-funded Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA).

Documents obtained by The Herald newspaper in Harare reveal that an $12 million dollars was availed for the purchase of , among others, software called Elections Results Collection and Management Systems (ERCMS) from a South African registered company, Expertious Technologies fronted by a Zimbabwean, one Oswald Jumira.

The use of the software, which was tried and failed in Ghana, is the basis on which the party’s president Mr Morgan Tsvangirai has been bragging about his ability to announce election results before the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) officially publishes the poll results.

According to a document prepared for the party by Jumira, the “ERCMS is composed of the mobile data collection, database and server infrastructure and the web based interface/console for data management”.

Jumira further explains that “the structured data collection applications are loaded on the mobile device for data collectors to enter the election results in real-time.”

Jumira, who was paid $133 950.00 just to make demonstrations on how the system works, has been working with the MDC-T, OSISA and Mr Trevor Ncube’s Mail & Guardian newspaper to enable the MDC-T collect, collate and manipulate election results from polling stations for the purposes of unofficially announcing them using the Mail & Guardian and Google Southern Africa before the official results are announced by ZEC.

The Mail & Guardian and Google Southern Africa have assembled a team to coordinate the illegal publication of results of the Zimbabwean election.

The team comprises three Zimbabweans, Fortune Sibanda (Manager Policy and Government Relations, Google Southern Africa), Teldah Mawarire (Mail & Guardian) and Tawanda Chimhini (Director ERC).

The other team members are Kwaku Ofori, (Ghanaian and Manager Platform Engineering), Adrian Ephraim (South Africa and Mail & Guardian Online News Editor) and Alistair Fairweather (South African and Mail & Guardian Digital Operations Manager).

Sources within the MDC-T have indicated that the ERCMS relies on feeds from 1960 ward-based roving observers using motorcycles, initially apprehended by police, to move to areas with mobile cellular phone connectivity for transmission of results to cell number 0776 738 194 which then feeds into a server that uses ERCMS to collate the results before they are published on the Mail & Guardian newspaper and Google Southern Africa.

The move, which sources say is “part of the MDC-T strategy of ‘defending’ the vote” is designed to feed manipulated results which portray an MDC-T lead in the presidential poll with the hope that this will drive MDC-T supporters onto the streets celebrating, so that by the time the official results come out, there would be hordes of people who would resist any official result against their party.

At 12:53 PM , Blogger MrK said...

(NEWZIMBBAWE, REUTERS) SADC observers give poll thumbs up
02/08/2013 00:00:00
by Reuters

OBSERVERS from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) described Zimbabwe's elections on Friday as "free and peaceful", giving qualified praise for a poll dismissed by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as a "huge farce".

"We would like to congratulate the people of Zimbabwe for holding a free and peaceful election," the observer mission said in a statement. More follows …

At 1:57 PM , Blogger MrK said...

(NEWZIMBABWE, AL JAZEERA) Blow for Tsvangirai as AU clears election
02/08/2013 00:00:00
by Al Jazeera

WEDNESDAY’S election was credible and fair, the chief of the African Union observer mission said Friday altough the bloc's report noted some problems with the voters’ roll and of people being turned away from polling booths.

President Robert Mugabe's party has claimed to have won Wednesday's elections, but his rival Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe's prime minister, called the poll a "huge farce", amid allegations of electoral irregularities and manipulation.

However, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who heads the AU's vote monitoring mission, said on Friday that flaws in the electoral process had not stopped the will of the people from being expressed.

Obasanjo told Al Jazeera that the assessment that the AU mission had of the presidential and general elections was that they were "fairly fair".

"We justified that by the process which led to the election itself, it was free," he said.

Independent assessors had found a bias in Zimbabwe's media and said that 99.97 percent of rural voters were registered, but only 67.94 percent of urban voters were registered.

But Obasanjo told Al Jazeera that the AU had a team in Zimbabwe for the election campaign from June 15 had found that anyone who wanted to register had registered.

"I do not know how people come to these figures," Obasanjo said of the independent assessment in his interview with Al Jazeera.

"You do not wait until the 31st of July to complain about registration.

"If the registration had not gone well you will have complained when the registration was going on or immediately after the completion of the registration."

Obasanjo said that the campaign had been fair and free and the AU had not found any issues of hindrance during the campaign.

He said earlier that voting was peaceful but that observers noted "incidences that could have been avoided and even tended to have breached the law".

The mission is asking election authorities to investigate reports that large numbers of eligible voters were turned away from polling stations in Wednesday's vote.

Tsvangirai said on Thursday that the elections had been a sham that did not reflect the will of the people.

"Its credibility has been marred by administrative and legal violations which affect the legitimacy of its outcome," Tsvangirai said.

Tsvangirai’s comments come on the heels of remarks made by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), a coalition of local non-government organisations monitoring elections in the country, who earlier described Wednesday's vote as "seriously compromised".

"Up to a million voters were disenfranchised," Solomon Zwana, the chairman of ZESN, said on Thursday.


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