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Page last updated at 17:12 GMT, Tuesday, 29 April 2008 18:12 UK

Zimbabwe blogs dismiss recount

A woman walks past posters of Zimbabwean presidential candidates Robert Mugabe, Simba Makoni and Morgan Tsvangirai in Harare
Final parliamentary results are due to be released shortly

The following is a selection of comments which appeared on Zimbabwean blogs between 24 and 29 April 2008, including Kubatanablogs, Zimbabwemetro, and This is Zimbabwe. All are largely pro-opposition English-language web forums with contributors based both in Zimbabwe and overseas.

Vote recount

Bloggers unanimously dismissed the recount of votes from 23 parliamentary constituencies, which confirmed the opposition win, as a ploy by President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party to hide the fact that the 29 March elections were rigged.

"People are happy that MDC has retained its majority in Parliament, it's a disguise by ZANU for people to believe that there was no rigging in the recount whilst they are busy rigging the presidential elections," wrote Zvairwadza on This is Zimbabwe

In agreement, Predator wrote on the same blog, "This was a ploy, the parliamentary results won't change so as to give us an impression that they [Zanu-PF] are honest people, who do not rig elections. [Chairman of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission George] Chiweshe has manipulated the presidential results. They have changed the results to force a run-off! These people are insulting our intelligence and what are we going to do?"

Tsvangirai in Botswana

Kubatanablogs solicited people's comments on opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai's continued stay in Botswana. In her entry on 24 April, Sandra said the real point for discussion was whether "Tsvangirai has to come back or not". She said, "He is not on holiday and is doing some great work to push pressure."

Echoing this, Charlotte, another contributor, said on 25 April: "If we were a 'normal' democracy of course Tsvangirai should be at home leading the populace. But Zimbabwe is far from being one - you may recall that rallies are banned, the state press - TV and radio - is inaccessible to the opposition. So how on earth could Tsvangirai effectively rally the people/challenge Mugabe when people are unable to move freely, when the MDC leadership are now all targets for elimination?"

Charlotte added, "At this stage, Tsvangirai is of more use to us outside our borders - applying diplomatic pressure, shaming Mugabe's African neighbours into taking a definitive position against Zimbabwe's broken democracy and ensuring that Mugabe never gets the legitimacy he craves".

MDC unity

Bloggers on This is Zimbabwe discussed the new-found unity of the two MDC factions. Writing on 28 April S.N. hailed the news as "brilliant", but wished that "they had done this before elections so we would not have lost some of those seats as a result of their egos. Can you imagine if we had really shown ZANU-PF how much the people did not want them. I feel like this stupid fight they were having has cost the people something. I hope that it is over now."

Tara, another blogger, said the unity move was "good news", adding that "announcing unity after the final parliamentary results, not before" was "a good strategic move".

MDC visit to UN

In apparent support of Mugabe and the ruling ZANU-PF, Scarface, a contributor on Botswana-based zimbabwemetro.com, attacked MDC Secretary-General Tendai Biti who is due to brief the UN Security Council on the situation in Zimbabwe. "Mr Biti you have spread the virus in the Africans continent - now the MDC virus is heading to New York. I hope the Americans realise there is no cure for it," he said, adding "Only the Zimbabwe people will let you govern zimbabwe - the rest of the world can only stand - watch-talk all day long. The power is in our hands not those imperialists you are begging!!!!!! The people have the power - us Zimbabweans."

Mr Biti has been visiting African countries, highlighting the crisis in Zimbabwe. He is expected to ask the Security Council to appoint a special envoy to investigate claims of violence and human rights abuses by Mr Mugabe's security agents.

Al-Jazeera

Another blogger, Zimbabwe Image, took issue with Al-Jazeera TV's reporting on the crisis in Zimbabwe. On Kubatanablogs, an online community of Zimbabwean activists, she wrote: "I liked how the Al-Jazeera girl glossed over the fact the MDC people had also beat and burnt houses belonging to ZANU supporters. She kept on insisting on ZANU violence, while showing victims wearing ZANU t-shirts..."

Mike Dykins, also on Kubatanablogs, appealed for "an absolute cleansing of the murderous clan supporting Mugabe once he is deposed" saying "Mugabe must be the first and executed by public hanging in Cecil Square, before his cronies suffer the same fate".

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




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