ZIMBABWEANS trudged to the polls in large numbers yesterday for a vote that many fear will return strongman Robert Mugabe to power – as the opposition claimed “thousands and thousands” of its supporters were denied the chance to vote.
There were no reports of violence, but the Movement for Democratic Change of former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai said 200,000 dead people were still on the just-released voter’s roll while many of its members could not find their names. MDC secretary general Tendai Biti alleged supporters in several rural areas were forced to say they were illiterate so that suspected Zanu-PF officials could “help” them vote.
Mr Mugabe, 89, dismissed the claims as he voted in Highfield township. “That’s politicking, they want to find a way out. I am sure people will vote freely and fairly, there is no pressure being exerted on anyone,” he said.
Mr Tsvangirai had urged his supporters to turn out in huge numbers to overwhelm Zanu-PF’s “rigging machinery”.