HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says President Robert Mugabe’s rigging machinations have been revealed to him by members of the State security apparatus including secret service agents.
He told party supporters in Mhondoro-Ngezi yesterday that senior police officers, soldiers and members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) have told him several dark secrets about how Mugabe’s Zanu PF plans to smartly rig the forthcoming elections.
Two weeks ago, Tsvangirai made sensational allegations that the office of the Registrar General (RG) was clandestinely working with Israeli company, Nikuv International to tamper with the voters’ roll in order to give the ex-majority party an edge in the make-or-break polls due on July 31.
Even though the RG’s office has denied the allegations, senior MDC officials maintain that Nikuv International, was working with five different voters’ rolls.
Tsvangirai told hundreds that while Zanu PF relied on violence in the 2008 elections, “this time they are trying to be smart.”
“Zanu PF is saying let’s have peaceful but rigged elections…but I don’t see people voting for them, what may happen is Zanu PF will try to vote on behalf of the people. But this time takavamaka sebhora (we are closely watching them) they will not succeed.
“Everyone needs change, people who are being asked to do this or that are coming with information telling me what Zanu PF is planning to do, (these) include CIOs, police officers and soldiers. I can even tell what Mugabe eats,” said the MDC leader.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister’s office — which is contesting the 69 000 figure of police officers who have applied for special voting on Sunday and Monday — alleged that deputy police commissioner general Godwin Matanga had instructed police officers to vote for Zanu PF.
“The gates (at Morris Depot) were all closed and nobody was allowed to leave the area. All police and civilians employed at Morris Depot had to attend. Deputy commissioner Matanga told everyone present that they had to vote for Zanu PF in the elections,” said Jameson Timba, minister of State in the Prime Minister’s office.
“This follows on from the Zanu PF rally held at Morris Depot yesterday where police and civilian employees were addressed by aspiring Zanu PF candidates.”
Charity Charamba, the police spokesperson, has said the police numbers have been boosted by the Police Constabulary Unit, which she said was empowered under the Police Act to perform any duties carried out by regular members of the force.
“What people who are querying the special voting numbers forget is that the police will not only be performing election-related duties as the overall security of the nation is the responsibility of the ZRP,” she was quoted in the State-controlled media yesterday.
Tsvangirai, 61, is in a shaky coalition government with his long-time rival Mugabe, a union that was formed at the behest of Sadc in 2008 after inconclusive polls, which were derailed by violence that resulted in loss of life.
“The GNU was created for Mugabe not for Tsvangirai,” the MDC leader said.
“Sadc leaders asked how they could save a senior statesman like Mugabe after losing polls, so they urged us to form a unity government.”
The MDC leader says he was shocked by Mugabe’s open defiance of the 15 nation bloc to implement electoral
reforms saying the grouping of southern African countries was working in the interests of the 89-year-old strongman.
Turning to policies, the former trade unionist said an MDC government would shred indigenisation — Zanu PF’s trump-card going into polls — saying the policy does not cascade to the bottom tiers of the economy.
“We have a plan to govern. We are not just seeking change for power’s sake. We will introduce free primary education and also transform rural areas,” said Tsvangirai.
The former opposition leader said his political opponents; “with 33 years of looting and corruption” have nothing new to offer to voters as he promised to open up Zimbabwe to investment to create jobs for millions who are currently unemployed.
He said an MDC government would among other things transform rural communities by building decent houses and introducing drip irrigation.