It is mind-boggling that the Government of Zimbabwe’s spokesperson, Secretary for Information and Publicity, Mr. Nick Mangwana, has chosen to mislead the world into believing that Mr. Peter Murphy is a former Prime Minister of Australia (see a link to a social media message by Mr. Mangwana is pasted below my signature). For the record, Mr Murphy has never been a Prime Minister, let alone a legislator in Australia. He is one of those Australians who are gullible enough to accept Zanu PF propaganda as fact, a position many believe is influenced by Mrs. Sekai Holland with whom Mr. Murphy is closely associated and the two have worked together for many years. Mrs Holland, who had been in opposition politics since the formation of the Movement for Democratic Change, is suspected by many to have been bribed by the Government of Mr. Mnangagwa, and turned against the opposition since the November 2017 coup in Zimbabwe. The government of Zimbabwe is known for dishing out money to high-profile personalities to buy favors. Shortly before the 2023 elections, High Court Judges were given US$400,000.00 disguised as loans. Permanent Secretaries were given similar amounts. Each of 22 Government Ministers was given US$500,000.00 as “loans” while Deputy Ministers were each given $350,000.00 each. Chiefs in Zimbabwe receive new cars shortly before every election as they are used to coerce their subjects, through the village heads, to vote for Zanu PF.
How does the Australian Government feel when a senior Government of Zimbabwe lies that Mr. Murphy is a former Prime Minister? How does Mr. Murphy himself feel when a Government Official in the Government of Zimbabwe peddles such lies? The whole idea of inviting Mr. Murphy to Zimbabwe was to give credence to the election sham that took place in Zimbabwe, and unfortunately, Mr. Murphy seems to be ignoring the findings by all Election Observer Missions, notably the African Union, SADC, Comesa and the Commonwealth which noted that the elections did not meet the requirements of the Zimbabwe Electoral Act, the Constitution of Zimbabwe, SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections. In its assessment, the Commonwealth Observer Group noted a number of issues that “could impact on the credibility, transparency and inclusivity of the process”.
While the process appeared peaceful in the urban areas, it was a different story in the rural areas away from the election observers where a group called FAZ which is linked to Zanu PF set tables and deployed its officials to entrances to polling stations where villagers who had been intimidated prior to voting day, and told they should record the serial numbers of their ballot papers and present them to FAZ officials on leaving the polling stations, did as they had been instructed. The villagers had been told that because their serial numbers would be recorded, Zanu PF was to check the ballots and see who had voted for whom, and those who would have been seen to have voted would have their hands chopped off. This is really unacceptable.
If Mr. Murphy is still in Zimbabwe, he should contact officials of the opposition parties that contested the elections, and he will be told the stories about the way citizens in the rural areas were intimidated. He may also be shown footage of the FAZ officials on tables decorated by Zanu PF regalia. It is illegal to campaign 24 hours before voting begins, but the FAZ officials on entrances to rural polling stations displayed Zanu PF regalia. Mr. Murphy, would you still call this a free and fair election as you are recorded to be saying on the video? Were you in Zimbabwe during the elections? Did you visit both rural and urban polling stations? If you visited rural polling stations, did you ever hear about FAZ?
I call upon Mr. Murphy to be objective and do two things. Firstly, he should check the facts from as many stakeholders as possible before drawing a conclusion. Secondly, he must ask himself why all of a sudden a senior Government of Zimbabwe official decided to label him as a former Prime Minister of Australia.
I will be engaging Mr. Murhpy on this issue to get him to understand what he is dealing with.