Fresh vote rigging fears

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HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC said yesterday they had unearthed a plot to stuff ballot boxes in nine constituencies in Mashonaland, the Daily News has learnt.

MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti said his party had received reports from reliable sources within the intelligence about the well-knit plot that he said will be executed in Mutoko South, Uzumba, Maramba Pfungwe, Mudzi North, Zvimba West, Mhangura, Hurungwe East, Hurungwe North and Mount Darwin constituencies.

In an interview with the Daily News, Biti said the reports vindicated MDC fears concerning vote rigging.
“We have been constantly saying these people can only cheat and right now they are trying to brew the mother-of-all electoral rigging to avoid the mother-of-all electoral defeats,” Biti said.

“We have received these reports of the grand stuffing which will allow grand stuffing of already cast ballot papers. Fortunately, we are alerting observers and we are also strengthening our internal monitoring mechanisms.”

Zec has repeatedly denied charges it was plotting to rig the election.

According to a local research organisation, 63 constituencies had registered more voters than inhabitants at the close of voter registration, while 41 constituencies deviated from the average number of voters per constituency by more than the permissible 20 percent.

The MDC and highly-placed sources within Zanu PF told the Daily News the plan involved planting ballot papers in four constituencies in Mashonaland East, West and one constituency in Mashonaland Central.

The plan is said to have been hatched after an opinion poll reportedly commissioned by Zanu PF, according to our source, revealed that 61-year-old Tsvangirai  was tipped to poll 65 percent of the vote, with his arch rival polling only 25 percent.

A plan was then hatched to counter the devastating results, said our deep throat source.

“Extra ballots have been printed and will be duplicated and these will be sent to the constituencies,” the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity citing security reasons, said.

The source added: “There is going to be violence which will be the tactic used to scare away polling agents from the polling stations. This mishap will last for about half an hour and after that, the police will intervene, but that will give enough time to tamper with the ballots.”

The plan will be executed when polling stations are opening and will be carried out simultaneously at different times, our source said.

These are traditionally Zanu PF strongholds where the revolutionary party recorded a high number of votes in the last election.

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