Were Zimbabwe elections really rigged? If so, why did Chamisa allow this?


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Here is what he and his party- the New Patriotic Party- did, according to Africa Confidential:

“Party insiders say the NPP started its fightback after its defeat in the 2012 elections when it fought an eight-month campaign in the courts to overturn President Mahama’s victory. That legal campaign gave the NPP’s top officials forensic knowledge of voting patterns across the country’s contested constituencies and laid the basis for its campaign for this year’s elections.

“The party’s starting point was that its ground game was hopelessly inadequate compared to that of the rival NDC. Although enthusiastic, NPP supporters were disorganised and local officials were slapdash in their recruitment of party workers. In contrast, the NDC had used the advantages of incumbency to the hilt, ensuring that most constituencies had some government projects to brag about and that generous subventions were paid to local party organisations.

“In response, Akufo-Addo and his allies rebuilt their party organisation with a membership drive. The first step was a much enlarged electorate for the party’s primary elections: that ensured that Akufo-Addo could claim support from the more than 100 000-strong electoral college of party members. Then he held out an olive branch to his nearest rival in the party’s presidential primaries, former Trade Minister Alan Kyerematen, whose base is in the populous Ashanti region, which has 47 parliamentary seats and over 2.8 million electors.

“The affable Kyerematen was duly recruited to accompany Akufo-Addo and his running mate, Mahamudu Bawumia from the Northern region, on most of their regional tours. That extended the campaign’s reach despite some bitter internal rows in some northern constituencies. Meanwhile, Campaign Director Peter Mac Manu, Akufo-Addo and his cousin, Ken Ofori-Atta, had recruited Joe Anokye, a Ghanaian information technology expert who had worked for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the United States for the past two decades. His brief was to set up a parallel reporting system to the Electoral Commission which would allow the party to check the accuracy of all published results against information on the ground.

“Anokye built his system from the ground up, starting with the recruitment of at least two party agents for each of the 29,000 polling stations; in the most contested constituencies, the party hired three agents. The stipulation was that they must all be fully literate and numerate, fluent in English and at least one Ghanaian language. The party used crowd-funding techniques pioneered by the Barack Obama presidential campaign in the USA in 2008, such as ‘adopt a constituency’ in which contributors would be asked to give at least 500 cedis (US$122) to fund the party organisation in the most competitive constituencies.

“From their base, the agents reported the results from each polling station, which the Electoral Commission had to make public, to two data experts working for the party in each of the 275 constituencies. One NPP data expert worked in the party’s own constituency collation centre and one in the Electoral Commission’s own collation centre in each constituency.

Continued next page

(1950 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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