Zanu PF registers thousands for Mozambique elections

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MASVINGO – Zanu PF is registering thousands of Zimbabweans to vote in Mozambican presidential and parliamentary elections that will take place on October 9, 2024, an undercover investigation by The Mirror has revealed.

The registration process is so brazen that three Mirror reporters are among hundreds of Zimbabweans registered and issued with plastic voter’s registration cards at a registration station at Nemamwa Growth Point, 25km South-East of Masvingo on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Renamo, Mozambique’s biggest opposition party, Gloria Salvador said her party is aware of the rigging machinations and are currently in Zimbabwe investigating the matter with a view to take court action.

She said that they already have some of the evidence.

Mozambique local authority elections of October 23 won by the ruling party Frelimo were contested as rigged resulting in violent demonstrations.
Meanwhile harmonised elections won by Zanu PF in August 23 were condemned by the whole world including SADC as a sham and unacceptable.

The registration process at Nemanwa started on Monday April 22 and is expected to run until April 28, according to sources at the station. Mirror reporters like many other registrants could not make it on the first day because of the long queues and had to get a waiting list number for the next day. The desks used in the registration rooms were inscribed ‘’Zanu PF’’.

Renamo’s aspiring Presidential candidate, Venancio Mondlane said he was in a meeting when The Mirror contacted him for a comment.

“I am in a video call meeting. We can talk as soon as I finish,” he said. He, however, was not picking phone when The Mirror later contacted him.
Ludimila Maguni, Frelimo party spokesperson could not be reached for comment at the time of going to Press. However, the party representative, Samuel Jemua dismissed the story and said Mozambican nationals abroad are allowed to register to vote wherever they are.

‘People are lying. All those registering are Mozambicans. Mozambicans can vote from all over the world, whether they are in Italy, Spain or America,” said Jemua.
Mozambique elections are run by the National Election Commission (CNE) and the Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration (STAE).

NCE chairperson Bispo Carlos Matsinhe said registering Zimbabweans is a mistake when contacted for a comment. He added that the NCE has deployed a delegation to supervise the registration process.

CNE comprises of FRELIMO, Resistência Nacional Moçambicana (RENAMO), the Movimento Democrático de Moçambique (MDM), and civil society. FRELIMO however, effectively controls the selection process.

The October 2024 elections are the seventh Presidential and Legislative elections and the second for Provincial Governors and the fourth for Provincial Assemblies since the introduction of multi-party elections in 1994.

Mozambique allows its citizens in the Diaspora to vote while Zimbabwe has vehemently refused the same arrangement for its people.
Numbers obtained by The Mirror on the websites of the two bodies went unanswered.

People who are registering to vote are being told that they are getting Mozambican IDs so that they will be able to freely travel in and out of Mozambique to buy old clothes for resale. Others however, openly bragged that they were Zimbabweans and they have always been voting in Mozambican elections.

The majority of the registrants travelled from Masvingo city to Nemanwa.

The plastic cards are written in Portuguese and many people don’t even realise that these are voter registration cards.
Efforts to get a comment from Zanu PF spokesperson, Christopher Mutsvangwa were futile as his phone went unanswered. The party’s national political commissar, Mike Bimha was not reachable.

Zanu PF communications director, Farai Marapira said his party cannot be involved in such an undemocratic programme and referred all questions to Mutsvangwa.
The Mirror is told that registration is taking place in all towns around Zimbabwe and the process started at the beginning of April.
Zimbabwe opposition leader Nelson Chamisa expressed shock but was not surprised it was coming from Zanu PF and Frelimo.

“It’s shocking but not surprising. This is massive rigging of encyclopaedic magnitude. It’s a clear electoral manipulation through ballot box stuffing,” said Chamisa.

Opposition MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora who boycotted last year’s election after accusing Zanu PF of rigging the plebiscite said it was horrible and unfair for Zimbabweans to meddle in the Mozambican elections.

“It is unfair if Zimbabwean authorities are interfering with Mozambican elections. Mozambicans have the duty to choose their own leaders. This touches at the core of Mozambique’s sovereignty.

“Zimbabwean authorities must stop whatever they are doing because it is not fair to the people in Mozambique,” said Mwonzora.

Precious Gwangwava (56) one of the villagers who registered to vote said she was happy to have registered and will vote for the Mozambican ruling party presidential candidate.

“I voted at Nemanwa in 2019, but this time I want to travel and vote in Mozambique,” she said.

Robina Mudura (58) who is originally from Dande told The Mirror that registering to vote for the Mozambican ruling party is a good thing.

“I am from Dande and we are near Mozambique. This is the happiest moment of my life. I will vote for the ruling party so that I may be able to go to Mozambique to buy goods for resale in the next five years,” said Mudura.

FRELIMO is yet to name its presidential candidate because Filipe Nyusi is constitutionally barred from running after serving his second and final term. He is, however, rumoured to be seriously considering a third term. His preferred successor though is Carlos Ismael Correia.

RENAMO on the other hand has various options in Ossufo Momade who took over the party leadership in 2018 following the passing on of its long-time leader, Afonso Dhlakama. The other considered candidates are Quelimane’s mayor, Manuel de Araújo, or Maputo mayoral candidate Venâcino Mondlane. The lists of candidates will be submitted to the Constitutional Council by June 10, 2024. – Masvingo Mirror