LEGEND has it that in 2008 after losing the first round of elections, then Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe sanctioned what was called “Operation wavotera papi” (meaning who have you voted for). The narrative is that after Morgan Tswangirai beat Mugabe’s Zanu-PF in the first round of elections that year, a rerun was called between the two front runners and the sitting president could not afford to be humiliated by a man he had brutalized for so many years. To secure his victory, Mugabe ordered soldiers to patrol polling stations during...

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