New blog

All new content on my restarted blog is here

Friday, July 4

First: Zimbabwe vote-rigging filmed

The Guardian has an astonishing underground video of vote-rigging in the Zimbabwe election as well as how the violence is organised and of MDC Deputy Tendai Biti, a heroic man, in prison.

The video was shot by a very brave police officer. Police were made to vote in front of 'war veterans' - no secrecy.

Shepherd Yuda, a 36-year-old prison officer, fled the country two nights ago. His wife and children are with him. He said he hoped the film, much of which was shot inside his country's notorious jail system, would help draw further attention to the violence and corruption in Zimbabwe.

Yuda, who has worked in the prison service for 13 years, was motivated both by the increasing violence directed towards members of the Zimbabwean opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), and the murder two months ago of his uncle, an MDC activist.

Initially, he had just intended to chronicle secretly what life was like inside the country's jails but he found himself present when a war veteran and Mugabe supporter organised the vote-rigging by getting prison officers to fill in their postal ballots in his presence.

Using a hidden camera, Yuda filmed for six days prior to the run-off election last week in which Mugabe claimed victory with 90% of the poll. The MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, had earlier announced that his party would not be participating because of the intimidation.

"I had never seen that kind of violence before," said Yuda, of the run-up to the election. "The impact has left a lot of orphans; it has left a lot of people displaced. You cannot expect that from your government. You expect that from a rebel group. How can a government that claimed to be democratically elected kill its people, murder its people, torture its people?"
The video will also be shown on BBC Newsnight.

According to the MDC, over 1500 party officials and activists are now in custody.
103 supporters have been murdered by Zanu PF supporters but not a single Zanu PF supporter has been arrested.
Postscript: Shepherd has a history of resistance. In 2001 he was suspended from the prison service for supporting the MDC.

Postscript: Now on YouTube


  1. Just seen it on newsnight. That man is a hero; the risks he was taking to try and show the world - and particularly Zanu-PF and those african nations not critical of it - that their claims of a democracy are farcical.

  2. He is a hero. This is the first 'proof' (as if proof were really needed).

    Shepherd Yuda, what a prophetic first name.

    NB: it's not so much African nations as leaders - and far from all of them. This is where the hope of change in Zimbabwe lies; with Africans and some of their leaders. Only today, South Africans through COSATU and some wings of the ANC announced more mobilisation.