EU, US plot to discredit polls exposed

madhebhura

Deborah Bronnert

Herald Reporter
THE European Union, Britain and the US government have been heavily funding efforts to discredit the forthcoming harmonised elections, documents in our possession reveal.Our investigations show that the United States Department of State has been making huge deposits into quasi-political groups masquerading as NGOs to prop up the MDC-T campaign while the department’s development aid arm, USAID has been sponsoring the Zimbabwe Election Support Network to come up with a negative report on the harmonised elections in anticipation of an MDC-T defeat.

The strategy is two-pronged. While the Department of State is pouring money into the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition to campaign for MDC-T, USAID is preparing for an MDC-T loss by availing money for drafting a damning, unempirical and biased election report aimed at discrediting the elections.

The US State Department made two separate deposits into a Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition local account on January 23, 2013 (US$264 684) and June 24 2013 (US$187 978,04) to finance the so-called Feya Feya campaign which is designed to lure voters to the MDC-T under the guise of a campaign for peaceful, free and fair elections.

The EU, on the other hand, through non-governmental organisations, Humanist Institute for Co-operation (Hivos) and International Media Support (IMS) has also availed $ 736 530.00 to ZESN to carry out a quasi-election monitoring exercise whose intended purpose is to “authenticate” the Western stance that the elections are not free and fair if the MDC-T loses.

The money was paid in four tranches on April 17 2013 (US$168 258 and US$199 993-00), July 10, 2013 (US$168 258) and 11 July 2013 (US$199 993).

The British Embassy also joined the fray and availed US$156 000 on January 30, 2013 and US$161 000 (February 13, 2013) to Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition for the MDC-T campaign. On February 23, 2013, Morgan Tsvangirai met with British Ambassador Deborah Bronnert and DFID director where he begged for election funding.

Tsvangirai, in a two-page paper prepared by Jameson Timba, said, “I know that Jameson Timba, Elton Mangoma and Tendai Biti have spoken with you in recent days about desperate need for financial support to help level the playing field. We have agreed to share our strategy with you- any potential donor to our cause will wish to be clear what they are contributing to.”

He further exhorted Bronnert to avail funds saying: “I understand this is a tricky issue, but we know that if we can fund more effective organisation and communication, especially in the rural areas, we will prevail in the elections when it comes”

As a result of the meeting, the British Embassy availed tranches of money to the MDC-T through the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition using a conduit called the Global Advocacy Campaign (GAC) which is managed by Macdonald Lewanika, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition director and Mr Timba.

Some of the funds have been used for the MDC-T Feya-Feya campaign that has not only been used to search for MDC-T votes, but has also lined Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Director’s pockets with huge financial windfalls sometimes amounting to US$15 000 as shown in one transaction on July 16, 2013 where funds were transferred into the director’s personal account.

ZESN, which runs the MDC-T electoral loss palliative campaign secured a total US$5 019 327 for the elections from the European Union, Australian Government Overseas Aid Programme (Ausaid), Norwegian embassy, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Danish International Development Agency (Danida) meant for sustaining a discrediting and smear campaign against Zanu-PF and the electoral process.

The organisation has not disappointed its donors for it has already prepared a damning pre-election report aimed at discrediting the electoral process, the ZEC and its staffers, Zanu-PF, President Mugabe and any perceived organisation that might stand in the way of an MDC-T win in the forthcoming harmonised elections.

In the report, ZESN mischievously purports that, “political violence which has continued during the life of the GNU was again evident in the period since the holding of the referendum” and that “Zimbabwe’s political environment has been characterised by an increase in the harassment and persecution of civil society activists and in the harassment of prospective voters . . .”

The highly speculative and thoroughly unempirical pre-election report further purports that “Intimidation, misinformation and disinformation about what would happen in the polling booths during the elections has been used to intimidate prospective voters into voting for Zanu-PF.”

The ZESN pre-election report is a complete anti-thesis of the African Union pre-election report which has, among other things, noted that the pre-election environment has been tranquil and very conducive to the holding of a free and credible election.

US embassy spokesperson Ms Sharon Hudson Dean, who refused to be specific on how the US had been funding the NGOs, confirmed funding the ZESN campaign.

“The US has been consistent in its support for the important role the civic society has been playing in every country including Zimbabwe and the US. These organisations advocate important issues and help to keep Governments and some powerful organisations from abusing their positions.

“We have been consistent in our calls for credible, transparent and peaceful elections in Zimbabwe that meet Sadc guidelines.
“We stated last week that we had some concerns about elements of the process but that we need to be careful not to prejudge it.”

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition spokesperson Mr Thabani Nyoni sought to deflect attention from his organisation saying Government, Jomic and ZEC were also beneficiaries of donor funds.

Efforts to get comment from ZESN were fruitless at the time of going to Press.

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  • Zimbabwe United

    Who deleted my comment?

  • Africa_need_no_link_to_USA_EU

    I am just shocked how Zanu-pf has allowed USA/EU embassies to remain open in Zimbabwe when they USA/EU are cruel colonialists with a desire to re-colonize Zimbabwe through their puppet Tsangirai. it is not only the natural resources of Zimbabwe they are after, it is the control and ownership of Zimbabweans because humans are a resource, that will solely consuming their products, being used as slave labor, women used as sex objects and Zimbabweans further mentally enslaved to view “white” people as superior.

    President Mugabe himself said Zimbabwe must break from the mindset of seeing Caucasian as superior, that mind set is put by the USA/EU Media contents. it is also political power they after in Zimbabwe once their puppet is in power, it is the expansion of their inhuman culture of homosexuality and more they are after. these people are after owning Zimbabweans and their natural resources, they already own most of Africa through puppet like Tsangirai, they want to decide the future of Africans in Zimbabwe and everywhere.

    • zimbotry

      Probably because this story is blatant propaganda and we are so reliant on aid from such countries. Very easy when you look at the facts. Also, along with China, companies from such countries are the largest likely investors. Whoever is in power will need to increase investment in Zimbabwe. That is a fact of life today

      • Africa_need_no_link_to_USA_EU

        The USA/EU countries are after racial hegemony, enslavement of Africans and destruction of Africans, they are our enemies, being reliant on them is a political decision based on wrong perception, Zimbabwe doesn’t need anything from USA/EU because it Zimbabweans actually the ones that do all the work for the lazy Europeans. what we need is to organize the people like in North korea and work for ourselves. We need policies that will provide food, medication and basic needs to ourselves as a people and not policies to want to become Europeans or to live like in their movies.

        • $39733349

          Why should Zimbabwe try to emulate a country that is totally isolated from the rest of the world, cannot feed it’s own people and oppresses any and all opposition with shear brute force? If North Korea is such a shining example of how to go it alone, why do thousands risk life and limb every year to leave it? Where are the millions trying to get into this utopian paradise?
          Why can’t Zimbabwe aspire to be like some of the more successful countries around the world, like Norway, Sweden, Japan, the UK or even the USA? Why strive for inadequacy?

        • zimbotry

          I am a Doctor and I can assure you without the Aid we recieve mainly from the West many Zimbabweans alive today would not be. Simple fact

        • Nechemhaka

          “Zimbabwe doesn’t need anything from USA/EU.” I almost fell down from my chair hearing something so dogmatic. Why are politicians crying for sanctions to be removed if Zimbabwe does not need the West. “Zimbabwe doesnt need to borrow?” In fact this mind set got us where we are. Problem: our leader has a big mouth. Don’t follow Iran and North Korea blindly because you will be saying slogans for the rest of your natural life and have nothing to show for it.

    • Dhunu

      I think you belong to some youth gang with a sjambok,some chibuku and a good whiff of some mushroom. I am a Mugabe supporter without shame but I find emotional and brainless types like you very dangerous. You are the type who can burn a house down because you are not man enough to reason without emotions. Take a leaf from Gushungo. Your small brutish and spontaneous reasoning may not comprehend that Mugabe does and says everything with strategy and forethought. You don’t just close an embassy at whim of emotions. Go to a shebeen at a growth point and leave the thinking to sound minds!

  • Nechemhaka

    The article says, “There is a damning report, to discredit the Harmonized Elections.” I beg the Herald to publish the report before Wednesday so we know who we are dealing with. The citizens don’t want to second guess whom we give our vote, just imagine the voter remorse after the results are certified and published.

    I got it now, the US has “Feya Feya,” which includes two accounts to lure voters to the MDC-T because they would rather invest in Zimbabwe under MDC-T regime, sneaky and so does our friends from China. The EU, contributed quite a bit, sign that there are eager to participate in economic activities in Zimbabwe. Investors invest in a country with potential for a return on investment. Britain gave money too, to political organizations whose economic policies show promise in their eyes.

    Quite frankly they will not invest in Zimbabwe if we have a corrupt government that has failed miserably in economic development. Now we know that the US, Britain and European Union will lend money for economic development. They stopped lending our ZANU PF led government because we could not pay. Aid is different, it stopped after the land reform, we did what we had to do, no regrets.

    We can still reward ourselves when dealing with these thieves in certain ways. One is through taxation and custom duties. When foreign businesses of these thieves are booming the government has an opportunity to snatch our share through taxes. Multinational companies do good and bad things like: Increase employment base, offer scholarships, bribes to our senior government officials, provide goods and services to the locals, among others. This allows us to actively participate in the global economic opportunities.

  • $39733349

    What utter rubbish!

  • Nada a

    Please already

  • moriartyO

    yawn!

  • jewelm

    if MDC-T does not win, like in Ivory Coast, then the elections are not free and fair and more sanctions on Zimbabwe like what they are doing to Iran- a country that holds democratic elections all the time. no matter what, if ZANU PF wins, Mugabe back in power-those elections were not free and fair. You see large ZANU PF rallies with some people filmed in trees to see their leader talk to them just before the elections-large crowds-but not the same for the MDs even if the SA press and western press try to prop up a fading pipe dream that one day farms will be returned by Morgan-that is a way of living-getting foreign donations for new parties-say bad about ANC and its leadership to get funding, money and praise!

    • zimbotry

      The white farmers left long ago, many reinvesting in other countries. Why would they want to return and start all over again? MDC-T never has said they will return anything. To suggest such is false propaganda. And so many of those at ZanuPF rallies are not their by choice. I, myself was forced to attend one when our Kombi was redirected by the Police.

      • delan three

        Evidence baba yekuti wakafoswa’ otherwise shut up

        • zimbotry

          Easy…..the farmers are in other African Nations and now we pay them for food. Also MDC-T has never said they would restore old farm ownership. Prove they did. So I will keep commenting.

      • White Farmers Still around

        Have you bothered to read the MDC election manifesto?

        White farmers are still involved,sorry. They are to be paid for the land taken from them. That money will be from who? Tax. You and me! Not to forget that Roy Bennet is a crucial fundraiser for MDC

        Anyways, I find such reports as these a last minute attempt to sway votes. But its too late. I don’t see anyone changing their mind for whomever they support.

        I believe that in as much as the involvement of foreign countries by MDC exposes Zimbabwe to many vulnerabilities and “debts”,it is also a reflection on how ZANUPF has driven people to rely on outsiders to influence our country.

        At the end of the day,vote for your candidate. Don’t die or kill for ANY politician.

        All the best to Zimbabwe!

    • Africa_need_no_link_to_USA_EU

      Heroic comment, President Mugabe has been very weak on these colonialists. Removing english from Zimbabwe and replacing it with an African languages will send them in coma and bring their cruel hegemony in Zimbabwe to an end. But Zanu-pf lacks that vision until now

      • Common Sense

        Racist rantings only demonstrate that you have lost the plot, whites are not the problem in this country, the on-party state party (ZANU-PF) are the problem

      • $39733349

        Remove English? How would that help Zimbabwe? Please enlighten me, as I fail to understand how using a language that is the third most common language on earth is detrimental to Zimbabwe!

        • mukwerekwere

          There are too many fools on this forum, good thing these extremists are in the minority.

  • Gonzo Munyemba

    Just release the voters’ role and the names of polling station….vanhu vave ready kare!….are the US or EU going to vote?

  • jakara

    This time maMDC hamulume just like ipo paya pemwaiti tarigwa ndizvo zvinoita mutambo wacho ende kana warohwa pamuromo nepaziso nepamatsenga nzungu unotochema chete uchida uskadi kikikikikikikikikikikikikikkii

  • Zimbabwe United

    Noted.