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‘MDC won elections by narrow margin’

MDC says there was definitely rigging in the 2013 elections that saw Zanu-PF victorious.

FILE: A voter registration official inspects identity particulars at Lotshe Primary School in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe on 7 May 2013 during the mobile voter registration exercise. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Former parliamentary speaker and ally to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, Didymus Mutasa, has told the Sunday Independent that the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) won the elections by a narrow margin.

Morgan Tsvangirai won the first round of the presidential poll but pulled out because of political violence at the time.

Mutasa says he does not know just how much cheating took place in the 2008 elections but he is certain that Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa was instrumental in rigging the 2013 vote.

Serving as minister of national security and head of the secret police at the time, Mutasa admits that Zimbabwe's ruling party, Zanu-PF played an important role in the killing and torture of MDC supporters.

When asked by the Sunday Independent about the May 2008 murder of MDC activist Tonderai Ndira Mutasa said he had no knowledge of this.

No one has been prosecuted for the violence 2008.

ZIMBABWE'S 2013 ELECTION 'RIGGING'

In July 2013 MDC said it had evidence that Mugabe was trying to rig national election in favour of his party.

The claims coincided with a passionate protest by three Zimbabwean exiles in Johannesburg who had chained themselves to a statue of Nelson Mandela at Sandton City.

The trio had wrapped a thick silver chain around their necks at the base of the 2,7 metre bronze statue in Mandela Square, saying they are calling for freedom in their home country.

At a media conference on the eve of the vote, the MDC's Douglas Mwonzora listed steps he said were being taken to deny voters their electoral choice.

Mwonzora said he had proof the Zimbabwean authorities planned to slow down the voting process in the opposition stronghold cities of Harare and Bulawayo in particular.

He also claimed there were plans to hand results to the military leadership first, which breaks the electoral law.

He said authorities also planned to limit mobile and internet traffic to block proper monitoring of the election.

He also believed that in the rural areas where Mugabe already had traditionally strong support, tribal leaders were being paid to pressure their subjects into voting for him.