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Home | ZimCrisis#41 -- Intimidation of White Voters in Rural Areas

Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2000 15:30:37 -0700
To: "Zimbabwe Crisis Mailing List":;
From: Zimbabwe Crisis
Subject: ZimCrisis#41 -- Intimidation of White Voters in Rural Areas
Cc: "Australian government":;, "British government":;,
"Canadian government":
;, "South African government":;,
"US government":;, Commonwealth:;, "NG organisations":;, Press:;

Hi everyone,

The information below comes from two different people about a situation I had neither considered nor heard of until now. My contacts in Zimbabwe are seeking some informed opinion on the matter, so if you would like to respond please answer this message. Any responses I receive will remain anonymous unless the writer offers him- or herself as a point of contact.


Message one:

I received this snippet from a letter from my sister in [name of small town deleted] today. She had previously mentioned there was a growing concern amongst white voters that being seen voting was tantamount to a request for retribution, and would probably result in having their homes torched or similar. I suggested every vote was vital and that the organisations in place should be informed (NOT the SA contingent). This is her reply, which shocks me further! What steps are being implemented to safeguard the white electorate in the smaller centres? Is postal voting the only option, and/or can it be freely utilised and kept secret? Please pass to those at interest!

"I couldn't agree with you more about the voting thing and if I lived in Bulawayo or Harare would not have a second thought. However in the horrible confines of this little dorp we are well known and even our workers have advised us not to vote. They are all going to vote for change - or so they say, but warn that any white will automatically be labelled MDC and targeted for retribution. I have considered a postal vote. [Name deleted] has made us promise to go to Bulawayo over that weekend and the week after. He says we are only 100kms from the Botswana border and if things do get too hot can just pop over in less than an hour. We are still considering our options and though we don't think things will get that bad, perhaps should take precautions. I really don't know.

"I hate to be a wimp and keep reminding myself of all the people who have died for what they believe in. Darling then tells me that being dead is not an option. What can I say!!??? I shall keep you informed, and promise that if we do go to Bulawayo will phone you and advise you of the situation."

Message two:

My family are all 3rd generation and so this is home. One big worry for us is whether or not to vote. We live in a small town and therefore whites are high profile. Maybe it would be better to let these elections be a black on black thing and not to make the whites any more vulnerable than they are. I am a feisty person normally and the decision not to use my vote goes against the grain. I feel I have as much right as any other Zimbabwean, but will it be worth it? Threats of retribution are being made in our town. Should one ignore them or not? It would be most helpful if we could hear some informed comment on the problem.

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Brief list of helpful sites on the issue:
- Comprehensive news updates -- http://www.1freespace.com/beetee
- Offers of and requests for help for Zimbabweans -- http://pub9.ezboard.com/boffersofhelp
- Commercial Farmers' Union -- http://www.mweb.co.zw/cfu
- Movement for Democratic Change -- http://www.in2zw.com/mdc
- Zimbabwe Democracy Trust -- http://www.zimbabwedemocracytrust.org
- BSAP Pursuit of Zimbabwean Criminals -- http://www.bsaphq.f9.co.uk