Experiences of voting in Zimbabwe
March 10, 2002 6:05 AM   Subscribe

Experiences of voting in Zimbabwe - BBC News Online has a forum where it is displaying emails from Zimbabwe about voter's experiences in the current presidential poll. I think the BBC are using their status responsibly in providing direct information about the conditions there.
posted by adrianhon (7 comments total)
Especialy since they've been banned from reporting in person from Zimbabwe. Good post.
posted by nedrichards at 2:49 PM on March 10, 2002

Thanks for the link adrianhon. Reading all the emails about the Zimbabweans waiting for hours in line to cast their vote reminds one of how powerful the idea of democracy is. Hopefully, Mugabe will not be able to totally rig the resuts.
posted by rsinha at 3:13 PM on March 10, 2002

These are great messages. Very encouraging.

Also encouraging is seeing how relatively peaceful this election has been. There have been some instances of violence and the fear is that it could increase if the government decide to overrule the court's decision to increase the amount of days the polling stations are open.

Since the local elections in 2000, in a calculated move on the part of the ruling party, there has been around a 50% decrease in the number of urban polling stations. According to an MDC spokesman today, Harare, the largest voting constituency and mainly supportive of the MDC had only polled in total 170,000 voters out of a possible 600,000+ on the first days voting. On the otherhand, Mashonaland East, a rural area in the heart of Zanu PF loyal territory, had polled over 200.000 in the same time frame (I cannot find the figures on-line, but I picked this up on Channel 4 news earlier today if anyone wants the source).

This is a very clever tactic utilised by the ruling party. The MDC need a high turnout to win the election. The majority of their support comes from urban areas. There are too many people trying to vote in too few polling stations in cities. Those in rural areas do not have to queue in such a manner. If the voting extension ruling is overturned and there is no extra polling day allowed, by the government, then Zanu PF may have found a way of winning without violence.

All I can say is, good luck Zimbabweans, I hope you all manage to vote tomorrow and that by the end of the week you've managed to vote that bastard out of office. I pray the result stands up better to international scrutiny than the Zambian election results, but that may be asking too much.

(Obligatory link to The Daily News, Zimbabwe's best independant newspaper)
posted by davehat at 5:07 PM on March 10, 2002

Can you imagine seeing a turnout like that in this country? Maybe someday Americans will care this much about their elected officals.
posted by bas67 at 9:33 PM on March 10, 2002

They'll probably only care that much after 20 years of brutal dictatorship and opression by a man they elected. I hope that never needs to happen.
posted by nedrichards at 11:55 PM on March 10, 2002

Great post and also thanks for the link davehat. Really hope democracy prevails.

"I have never dreamt nor imagined freedom could be so costly from a purported liberator of the people."

After everything that people have endured, just to exercise their right to vote, it's anyone's guess whether Mugabe will honor the votes anyway.
posted by lucien at 6:41 AM on March 11, 2002

The source I mentioned above is now published. It was Learnmore Jongwe and further details are in todays leader.
posted by davehat at 3:02 PM on March 11, 2002

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