Mugabe allegedly helping Iran

Zimbabwe has reportedly signed a secret deal to supply Iran with materials to develop nuclear bomb.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe at a campaign rally in Harare, Zimbabwe. Picture: Taurai.

JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe has reportedly signed a secret deal to supply Iran with the raw materials needed to develop a nuclear weapon, in breach of international sanctions.

The Times newspaper in Britain is quoting Deputy Mining Minister Gift Chimanikire who says he has seen a memorandum of understanding.

The agreement which was reportedly signed last year is likely to cause alarm in Western capitals. The United States and the European Union have imposed crippling sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme which Iran insists is for peaceful energy purposes.

Zimbabwe is also subject to international sanctions over its human rights record.

President Robert Mugabe who won another five year term in disputed polls last month has publicly backed Iran's nuclear drive.

During a visit by Iran's then president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Harare in April 2010, Mugabe said his guest should be assured of continued support.

SHADOWY DEALS

A private newspaper in Zimbabwe has revealed more details of the shadowy Israeli company that worked on Zimbabwe's voters' roll in the run-up to last month's disputed elections.

The Zimbabwe Independent claims Israeli company Nikuv has shifted its Harare offices since the election from central Avondale suburb to Ballantine Park.

It said presidential spokesman George Charamba has denied reports that Nikuv officials visited President Robert Mugabe on the day before polling.

It says Nikuv was paid 13 million US dollars for its contract with the Registrar General Office though there's no confirmation of that or of any intended manipulation of the voters' roll.

On its website, Nikuv said it's chosen time and time again for its professionalism and flexibility, and developing and implementing national projects.

The MDC has taken the matter to the Constitutional Court.

TSVANGIRAI CHALLENGES

Meanwhile, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has told his supporters in Zimbabwe that this is the beginning of the end.

His lawyers have filed a challenge to last month's presidential poll.

Tsvangirai lost the election to President Robert Mugabe by more than a million votes - and he's demanding a re-run within 60 days.

In a short video Morgan Tsvangirai said Zimbabweans mustn't lose hope. He said if it wasn't for what he called the forces of evil, Zimbabweans would be celebrating today.

His lawyers lodged a challenge to the results of the July 31 polls in the Constitutional Court yesterday but with very little hope of success.

Opposition party supporters have been sharing and tweeting the video which shows Tsvangirai speaking and smiling reassuringly, but there's some debate over how confident he looks.