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Thursday, 27 March, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 27 Mar 08, 06:36 PM

zimbabwe203x100.jpgZimbabweans go to the polls on Saturday for presidential elections. Incumbent Robert Mugabe, who's been in power for 28 years, is seeking another term as president. The Local, Senate, Assembly and Presidential polls come against the backdrop of a disintegrating economy - the annual rate of inflation exceeded 100,000% in February. Opposition activists have complained of intimidation, unequal media coverage and other anomalies. The opposition itself is divided and has failed to unite behind a single figure. Former Finance Minister Simba Makoni is challenging Mr Mugabe as an independent and could split the vote of the ruling Zanu-PF party.
With only a day to go there are still major questions and arguments of voter registration and the number of ballot papers printed - one report suggest that an extra three million ballot papers have been printed. The BBC as you may know is banned from Zimbabwe. Only a handful of international journalists were granted accreditation, one of those was RTE's Richard Downes - but he was only given official access to the country for three days around polling day. Undeterred by such bureaucratic irritations he slipped into Zimbabwe as a tourist to try to assess the state of the country in the run up to the election. See his exclusive report on the programme tonight.
We'll be speaking to Simba Makoni who is challenging Robert Mugabe for the presidency.

Scores of people have been killed in fighting between the Mahdi Army, Iraqi, and in many instances, US troops during a crackdown on the militia of firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Why is this happening now and is Iraq on the verge of a civil war? We'll be speaking to a senior adviser to the Iraqi army.

More than 30 flights have been cancelled at Heathrow's new Terminal Five because of problems with its high-tech baggage handling system. Thousands of passengers have been stuck at the airport awaiting flights and trying to trace their bags.

George Orwell's world of Big Brother seems to be alive and well in supermarket chain Lidl. Detectives hired by Lidl, which has thousands of stores worldwide, including 450 in Britain - have been monitoring employees in Germany. Several hundred pages of surveillance records have been passed on to Stern magazine, causing outrage among the unions and data protection officials. Peter Marshall is on the case.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 07:06 PM on 27 Mar 2008,
  • June Gibson wrote:

Why single out Lidl? The top lot everywhere, private and government, seem to have twigged that data should be collected and stored just because it is there, and in case it is useful one day. Knowledge is power, as every dictator knows.

  • 2.
  • At 08:11 PM on 27 Mar 2008,
  • David Nettleton wrote:

Nobody in their right mind would deliberately turn up at a new airport terminal on the first day. I have little sympathy, therefore, for those who were delayed today at Heathrow. Try thinking!


My bank asked me some security questions. I turned out to be "not me" because THEY had my ex wife's DOB and phone number. She has never used this bank and I was long gone from the address related to that phone, before I opened my accounts. If government data for identity cards gets similarly scrambled life will become complicated.

  • 4.
  • At 09:43 PM on 27 Mar 2008,
  • Liam Coughlan wrote:

Anyone who has read BA's in-flight magazines, visited the Terminal 5 website or read the extensive coverage in the media will not have missed the claims that the new terminal had been tested to destruction, over months, with tens of thousands of volunteer members of the public.

The shambles of Heathrow today typify what is wrong with Britain today, and why people should think twice about allowing both British and French to build nuclear power stations.

Oh dear - poor Jeremy gave up when asking George Shires who would win the Zimbabwean election, as he didn't seem to know what 2 words were!!!! Excellent interview with Leith Kuba & Maj. Cordingly on Iraq.

  • 6.
  • At 12:11 AM on 28 Mar 2008,
  • Jake wrote:

I enjoyed Jeremy trying to decide whether the picture of Sarkozy + Bruni constituted a 'snog' or not very much!

  • 7.
  • At 01:12 AM on 28 Mar 2008,
  • Adrian Harper wrote:

I bet the tibetan monks would like the freedom to campaign in elections like this but sadly they don t get the support from western politicians and journalists like the zimbabwe opposition.

  • 8.
  • At 01:59 AM on 28 Mar 2008,
  • terry mellor wrote:

its interesting how british politicians and media do not hold countries like china,saudi arabia,egypt,kuwait etc to the same standards it demands of zimbabwe.

  • 9.
  • At 08:07 AM on 28 Mar 2008,
  • Jim wrote:


Looks like the Curse of the Useless British Manager has struck again.

  • 10.
  • At 10:12 AM on 28 Mar 2008,
  • paul miller wrote:

countries which are supported by the west like uganda,ethiopia,saudi,egypt,etc are judged by different standards. unbiased journalism is a myth.

  • 11.
  • At 05:13 PM on 28 Mar 2008,
  • Steven H. wrote:

Great comedy German accent on the Lidl report - straight out of 'Allo 'Allo.

  • 12.
  • At 06:42 PM on 28 Mar 2008,
  • Steven H. wrote:

Great comedy German accent on the Lidl report - straight out of 'Allo 'Allo.

  • 13.
  • At 10:42 AM on 29 Mar 2008,
  • Steven H. wrote:

Great comedy German accent on the Lidl report - straight out of 'Allo 'Allo.

  • 14.
  • At 03:20 PM on 29 Mar 2008,
  • Steven H. wrote:

Great comedy German accent on the Lidl report - straight out of 'Allo 'Allo.

  • 15.
  • At 06:42 PM on 29 Mar 2008,
  • Steven H. wrote:

Great comedy German accent on the Lidl report - straight out of 'Allo 'Allo.

  • 16.
  • At 09:51 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Steven H. wrote:

Great comedy German accent on the Lidl report - straight out of 'Allo 'Allo.

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