Zimbabwe and its moment of truth

24 hours after elections have closed, I sit in the media room of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to browse and play around with the internet. I have been in this room for more than six hours and so many intervals waiting as to when the ZEC will start announcing the elections results from the March 29 polls. Actually, I came in the morning only to be told that the MDC has started claiming victory for the election. Someone actually phoned me at my hotel and gave me the run down of the figures.

ZEC Chief Elections Officer addressed a media conference at 10am to call for calm and asked stakeholders not to release the results.

But wait a minute these results are already out in many polling centres as once they finish counting and verification they post them on their walls. I have seen them and how MDC has faired in Harare.

Highfield East where President Robert Mugabe voted at Mhofu primary school has already full resilts and its only 5km from the National command centre. The ZEC says it does not have them.

I drive all the way to Katuma primary school, this is Zvimba the home of President Mugabe, the results already have been sent to the district tally centre. I will announce the winners later tommorrow after ZEC says so.

I then drive through Norton, the results are very interesting to me. but I choose not to say them now.

I reach the Rainbow Towers around 6pm, there is a SADC press breifing on its initial assessment of the polls. Angolan Minister Jose Marcos Barrica is the head of the observor mission.

I choose to sit with my fellow Malawians Phillip Business from MBC, Felix Washoni from Television Malawi and Benedict Chimenya from MANA. Of course they are with Jame Chipofya and Bright Malopa.

I breif my colleagues of my sojourns in Zimbabwe-It has been an interesting campaign and tiresome.

The Southern Africa Development Comedy (SADC) mission as usual declares the polls free and fair and immediately gets a question is asked-how do you declare when you dont know the result.

But the Angolan Minister who was late by two hours and spoke in portuguese with very poor translation stands by his version. These people just come as tourists. Of course the majority are just Civil Servants you would not exepect them to say anything.

However, on elections day after seeing Mugabe voting I went to some ZANU PF strongholds in Mashonaland West and Central. Most people did not turn up to vote.

At Mayerera primary in Bundira, out of 4 183 only 302 had cast their vote by 5pm. I asked around, one courageous man said they were afraid if they voted the opposition retribution will take place.

Fear and intimidation seems to have cost someone a vote, as anxiety and tense definately indicate that somewhere some things are nto equal.

I still look forward to the results

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