The Zimbabwean government has rubbished as “a nullity” the damning report detailing the “2002 electoral theft” blamed on President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.
The report by two South African High Court judges, Dikgang Moseneke and Sisi Khampepe, found the Zimbabwe elections of 2002 not to be free or fair.
The report was published on the Mail & Guardian’s website last week following a lengthy legal battle.
But according to The Herald, Zimbabwe’s minister of information Jonathan Moyo said: “Bringing a report that is 12 years old in politics is not very useful because as they say a day in politics can be like 1 000 years.”
Moyo said it would be unreasonable to waste time on a report that was written by two people on a nationwide election with over 8 000 polling stations in 10 provinces, covering at that time 120 constituencies.
Violence and intimidation
Moyo said although the two judges were capable people, they were not superhuman beings.
In their report, Moseneke and Khampepe found, among other things, that 107 people had died in the midst of pre-election violence and intimidation in certain areas of the country.
The deaths were believed to be politically motivated killings of mostly opposition politicians, between March 2000 and March 2002.
Zimbabwe’s electoral laws were also “drastically amended and manipulated by executive decrees”, the consequences of which were felt on voter education and the voters’ roll.
A poll think-tank and electoral lobby group, Election Resource Centre (ERC), has already called on former South African presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe as well as President Jacob Zuma – who have spent more than six years fighting against the release of the report – to make a public apology to Zimbabweans for denying public access to the report.
This comes as opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai also accused Pretoria of “wittingly or unwittingly aid[ing] the subversion of democratic processes in Zimbabwe”.
In his first public response on to the Khampepe Report, Tsvangirai said he was “deeply appalled” by the report.
Tsvangirai has never accepted his defeat in that poll, or in subsequent elections.
His MDC party says all elections from 2000 have been stolen by Mugabe and the ruling Zanu-PF.
Tsvangirai, who lost presidential elections last year to Mugabe yet again and whose popularity is now on the wane, said: “Zimbabwe’s problems could have been solved in 2002 if this damning report had not been swept under the carpet.”
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