Despite clear and binding international agreements to the contrary, evidence now available shows that President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu-PF is again planning to steal the next elections with the help of a grossly rigged electoral register.
After the 2008 elections, in which the opposition Movement for Democratic Change won a parliamentary majority but in which the MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, was forced to withdraw from the ensuing presidential election due to the overwhelming level of government-orchestrated violence, Zimbabwe’s neighbours in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) stitched together a deal, the Global Political Agreement, which saw Mugabe remain as President with Tsvangirai as Prime Minister and a commitment to a new constitution with free and fair elections.
… The first notable fact is that an impossible 5,727,902 voters were registered on the 2008 register. Given that over four million Zimbabweans have fled Mugabe’s rule, most analysts now believe Zimbabwe’s population has fallen to between 8 and 10 million. Even if the 10 million figure is preferred, 60% of the population is aged under 18 and all previous surveys show a maximum 80% voter registration rate.
So the maximum possible number on the voters’ roll should be 3.2m. So the 2008 register had at least 2.5m too many voters on it – more than enough to settle any election. Thus the (illegal) decision to retain the old 2008 register as a baseline has fatal consequences.
However, Mudede has now added another 366,550 new voters – a remarkable figure given that Zimbabwe’s population is shrinking. Moreover, these are not all young voters coming of age. Although Zimbabwe’s average life expectancy is now down to 44.8 years, an astonishing 33,206 of these new voters are aged 50-70, and another 16,649 are over 70.
Even more remarkable, 1418 are over 100, although everyone knows that the famines and hardships of recent years have carried off most of the old. Oddly, although it is legally required for all voters to give a valid address, quite a few names on the roll lack one. There are also hundreds of under-age persons registered, some of them as young as two or three years old.