This report is the complete version of the shortened paper that can also be found on the website [www.researchandadvocacyunit.org].
The central concern of the report is an attempt to fathom the source of the remarkable number of votes garnered by President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF party in the “harmonised” July 2013 election when compared with the polls of 2008. The report investigates this issue by using the published results in the presidential elections from 2008 and 2013 and voter registration statistics, the latter derived both from the voters’ roll and figures officially announced in the press. The conclusion reached is that the additional 1.03 million gained by Mugabe votes cannot be explained by:
a) a large increase in registered voters;
b) a large swing in allegiance toward Mugabe and away from Morgan Tsvangirai – the former’s main opponent in the presidential race; or
c) both of the above.
The report demonstrates that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission was not fully in control of the electoral process, as it ought to have been, opening the door to manipulation, particularly in regard to voter registration. However, even if every one of the 7792 279 newly registered voters were Mugabe supporters and voted for him in 2013, roughly 200 000 votes (about 6% of the poll) remain unexplained.
Additional sources of the ballots counted must be found. The only other immediately obvious sources are the slight decrease in Tsvangirai’s vote (23 213 votes), and the votes which accrued to outside candidates in 2008 looking for a home in 2013. Even taking these factors into account about 130 000 votes (conservatively estimated) still cannot be explained.
This then leaves two, and only two, other possibilities: that people who were registered as voters in 2008, but who did not vote in that election, voted in 2013 (considered unlikely in the circumstances), and/or the 1.03 million votes included fraudulent ballots, included either by way of ghost polling stations or multiple voting. The report shows that the manner in which the elections were conducted by ZEC was highly conducive for the latter.
However, the findings made do not allow any definitive determination to be made in respect of these alternatives, and it is concluded that there is a crucial need for more comprehensive research in order to conclusively accept or reject the outcome of the 2013 Harmonised elections. Access full report here: Syncopated Numbers Full Report Final 3 March 2014-1