Zanu-PF spent $100m to rig landslide election victory, MDC dossier claims

Document alleges Zimbabwe’s ruling party and state conspired to steal election

Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe: his  Zanu-PF party has dismissed the MDC’s vote-rigging claims as lies. Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe: his Zanu-PF party has dismissed the MDC’s vote-rigging claims as lies. Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

Tue, Oct 29, 2013, 01:01

Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party spent about $100 million (€72 million) to rig the recent general election in their favour, a new dossier produced by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) reportedly claims.

The document alleges that state security structures and local Zanu-PF allies were at the heart of the “rigging machinery”, but that foreign groups with technical expertise supported the process, according to Zimbabwe’s Standard newspaper.

The document, which has yet to be made public, names dates and times that Zanu-PF officials met those they brought on board to help steal the poll, as well as the amounts of money they were allegedly paid.

After five years in a powersharing arrangement with the MDC, Zanu-PF secured a landslide victory in both the presidential and parliamentary election on July 31st. However, the result has been called into question by civil society groups and rival political parties.

Zanu-PF has continuously denied the allegations, and President Robert Mugabe’s party has dismissed the new evidence compiled by Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC faction as lies.

The main opposition party intends to take its report titled The Zimbabwe 2013 Election: Rigging Report to other African leaders for their consideration, MDC spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka said.

“We will pursue diplomatic channels and furnish African leaders and regional organisations, such as the African Union, with the report on how Zanu-PF stole the elections,” he said.

The report claims the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission ceded control of the election to a secret structure of military and intelligence officials loyal to Zanu-PF that directed and controlled everything, and that it was reduced to rubber- stamping the poll at the end.

Three commissioners reportedly co-operated with the MDC.

The MDC has claimed since losing the poll that up to one million voters were disenfranchised via the manipulation of the voters’ roll.

The report’s authors say Chinese and Israeli experts were brought in to help Zanu-PF formulate strategies that would help rig the election. These would disenfranchise voters, dilute MDC strongholds and create ghost voters and tactics to manipulate the voters’ roll.

In addition, unnamed senior government ministers assigned to supervise the fraud process allegedly undertook secret missions to Israel, China, Angola, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo to obtain advice and funding.

The Chinese experts allegedly brought special materials to be used, including special watermarked ballot papers.