'Vote Mugabe or Die,' Thugs Warn

President's supporters terrorize voters ahead of Zimbabwe runoff
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2008 4:23 AM CDT
Pedestrians walk beneath an opposition election banner in downtown Harare, Zimbabwe Wednesday April 9 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Supporters of President Robert Mugabe have unleashed a wave of violence against opposition supporters ahead of a presumed second round of voting in Zimbabwe's presidential election. Armed men have driven from village to village and beaten voters in a chilling wave of intimidation designed to ensure another victory for Mugabe, the Guardian reports. Gun-wielding thugs warned patients at a hospital recently: "Next time you vote you must get it right or you will die."

No election results have been released 12 days after the polling. An opposition leader said people take the warnings seriously and that the strategy could cost Mugabe rival Morgan Tsvangirai an election he's convinced he has already won. During the recent campaign, people were told that if Mugabe's party loses "there will be a war," said one voter. "Now they are reminding them."