Zimbabweans forced to vote


Honorary Master
Jan 26, 2006
No surprises here:

HARARE, Zimbabwe: Zimbabweans voted Friday in a runoff presidential election with only one candidate — President Robert Mugabe — and some said they were coerced, fearing punishment or even death unless they could produce a finger colored by red ink as evidence they had cast their ballot.


In some other suburbs of Harare, residents said they were rounded up Thursday night, forced to chant pro-Mugabe slogans until daybreak and then force-marched to the polls. They were told to copy the serial number off their ballot so it could be confirmed later that they had voted for their 84-year-old president.

"I voted for Mugabe because I didn't want to risk my life," said a man who identified himself only as Abel. He had obediently copied the serial number off his ballot in Warren Park, just outside of Harare. His finger was red.


In Mbare, another Harare suburb, vendors in the Green Market and the Mupedzanhamo Flea Market said they were not allowed to sell their wares unless they had proven they had voted.

"One has to show his or her finger before being allowed to enter," said one vendor at the Mupedzanhamo market. "Those who did not vote will have their stalls taken away and their people chased away."

In the town of Chipinge, near the border with Mozambique, supporters from ZANU-PF — Mugabe's political party — were said to have forced people from their homes and demanded that they vote.

"Everyone is going to vote, like it or not," said a shopkeeper at Tanganda Business Center, about 30 miles from Chipinge. "It's an order." Like others, the shopkeeper asked not to be identified by name for fear of reprisals.


May 15, 2008
at least I will hopefully still have the right not to vote in the next SA election.