Israeli Nikuv Firm Shuts Zimbabwe Office After Robert Mugabe 'Landslide'

Is Company Hiding From Questions About Tainted Vote?

Election Protest: Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has filed a court protest over President Robert Mugabe’s landslide win, which critics say was tainted with the help of an Israeli firm.
getty images
Election Protest: Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has filed a court protest over President Robert Mugabe’s landslide win, which critics say was tainted with the help of an Israeli firm.

By Forward Staff

Published August 09, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

An Israeli company accused of helping rig Robert Mugabe’s reelection as Zimbabwe president reportedly hastily shut down its office in the capital of Harare as controversy swirls around its role in the tainted poll.

Nikuv’s office in the leafy Avondale section of Harare was closed down and company representatives were nowhere to be found this week, the weekly Independent newspaper reported.

The paper said Nikuv was a key player in Mugabe’s successful plan to win reeelection by stuffing ballot boxes, creating thousands of phony voter IDs and even creating polling places known only to supporters of his ZANU-PF party.

Nikuv issued fake voter registration slips that were used by Mugabe supporters to fraudulently vote, the paper said.

The 89-year-old Mugabe romped home to victory with more than 60% of the vote in the July 31 election, beating longtime rival Morgan Tsvangirai by about 1 million votes. He has ruled the southern African nation since independence in 1980.

Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change Party filed a court motion Friday asking judges to set aside the result and order a new election. The petition cited massive fraud and intimidation.

Few give the petition any hope of success, as the judiciary is packed with Mugabe supporters who have repeatedly toed his party’s line.

The petition called Nikuv’s involvement in the election “worrying” and quoted government documents saying the Israeli firm has received $10 million in payments from the government, Radio VOP reported.

Independent election observers say up to 1 million voters may have been turned away from the polls in the MDC’s urban strongholds while ghost voters were allowed to vote multiple times in rural ZANU-PF fiefdoms. Pliant soldiers and national service recruits were also bussed into some areas to bolster ZANU-PF’s support, critics alleged.

The tainted election has drawn condemnation from the U.S. and Britain. African observers mostly gave it a stamp of approval, with the notable exception of Zimbabwe’s neighbor Botswana, which demanded an audit of the voters roll that critics say was brazenly manipulated.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.