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Mugabe cheated in election shock

It scarcely counts as news:

Herbert Ndlovu, 43, who retired from the Zimbabwean National Army in August after 23 years service, said he had been ordered to put a cross against Mugabe’s names on ballot papers that should have been sent to soldiers.

Instead, the papers were resealed in envelopes and driven to Harare where they were used to support claims that Mugabe won the controversial presidential poll in March last year.

There were numerous secondhand accounts of vote rigging and gerrymandering, but the statement in Johannesburg by Ndlovu, who was tortured by the regime and has fled Zimbabwe fearing for his life, is the first personal account.

Accusations of electoral fraud were so convincing that the Commonwealth expelled Zimbabwe, and the United States and the European Union imposed travel and financial sanctions on Mugabe and his cronies.

Mr Ndlovu, said: “I filled in hundreds of ballot papers, maybe thousands. There were six of us working from early in the morning.”

The real shock would have been if this kind of thing had turned out not to have been happening. If Mr Ndlovu has said: “I know everyone assumes there was cheating, but there wasn’t. I know. I was directly involved. Everything was done correctly, with no shady business.” If he’d said that, and been believed, that would have been a story. But “yes there was cheating”?

Put it this way. I don’t know where this story was in the paper version of the Telegraph, but not on page one would be my guess.

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