IN a last-ditch effort to confuse the electorate and win the crucial election Zanu PF dug into its bag of dirty tricks by engaging a Harare printing company to print pamphlets meant to discoura
ge voters from taking part in the election.
Thousands of fliers misinforming the electorate that the opposition MDC had pulled out of the contest due to government’s failure to adhere to the Sadc protocol on the holding of free and fair elections were uncovered by the opposition party at Trima Printers in Harare this week following a tip off.
The fliers were about to be released to the public when the MDC intelligence unit apprehended five company officials. The five have since been handed over to the police at Harare Central.
Paul Themba-Nyathi, the MDC spokesman, said: “We disown the fliers in circulation, and any others that may be intended to mislead Zimbabweans that we have pulled out of the election. We will not betray the people of Zimbabwe who overwhelmingly mandated the party to participate in this election.
The MDC would not reverse a people’s decision without consulting them first, Nyathi said.
A similar trick was used by the Muzorewa regime when it published a fake copy of a popular Catholic-run weekly tabloid Moto which disparaged the Patriotic Front in elections that ushered in majority rule in 1980.
Meanwhile, the opposition MDC estimates that more than 50 000 teachers engaged as polling officers have been disenfranchised as they have been deployed outside constituencies where they are registered to vote.
The MDC says in a statement that the teachers should have been deployed within their constituencies in which they are registered or accorded an opportunity to cast postal votes as do members of the uniformed forces.
Last week the Election Supervisory Commission appealed for more civil servants to register as polling officers after failing to raise the numbers needed to man polling stations because of the allowances offered.
Those deployed out of home areas will be paid $1,9 million while those recruited for urban centres will receive $270 000 a day.
“This vindicates our position that the regime had not made adequate preparations to ensure a free and fair election, a position that the regime has always denied,” Nyathi said.