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Mugabe continues vote rigging plans - MDC

Opposition parties under Zimbabwean authorities' stronghold as intimidation and protests ensue.

The elections are a battle between President Robert Mugabe (R) and Morgan Tsvangirai (L). Picture: Supplied

HARARE - Both President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have vowed to respect the outcome of tomorrow's election in Zimbabwe.

Millions go to polls in that country tomorrow amid claims of vote rigging, intimidation and protests.

In South Africa, three Zimbabwean exiles chained themselves to a statue of Nelson Mandela in Joburg this afternoon, calling for freedom.

The trio wrapped a thick silver chain around their necks at the base of the 2.7 meter bronze statue in Mandela square.

The protesters have contrasted South Africa under Mandela, with Zimbabwe, where 89 year old Mugabe is seeking to extend his 33 years in power as Africa's oldest leader.

Meanwhile in Harare, MDC Spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora says he has proof the Zimbabwean authorities plan to slow down voting in the opposition stronghold cities of Harare and Bulawayo to deny his party votes.

There are plans to hand results first to the military brass which breaks the electoral law.

The authorities also plan to slow down mobile and internet traffic to block proper monitoring of the election.

In the rural areas where Mugabe traditionally has strong support, tribal leaders are being paid to pressurise their subjects to vote for the incumbent and his ruling party.

Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has said the international capital needs a home and so it will flow to Zimbabwe. He told the German Press Agency DPA, that Harare has a lot of new transactions coming its way.

Mugabe's indigenisation policy has so far targeted mainly mining firms, but Kasukuwere has said that if Zanu PF wins in tomorrow's polls, the new targets will be banks.

Not everyone supports this, and central bank chief Gideon Gono has been one of Kasukuwere's most prominent critics.

Economic analysts have told today's private daily news that a Mugabe win in elections could significantly heighten political risk and decelerate economic growth prospects.

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