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Zimbabwe president drawn into Big Brother vote row

A group of President Robert Mugabe's loyalists say voting was not "free and fair" in the Big Brother Africa TV reality show.

Officials of MNET Africa, the continentwide satellite television company, said Tuesday that Mugabe's office has demanded recordings of the show that a Zimbabwean narrowly lost Sunday.

A former Mugabe lawmaker who now heads a black empowerment body said voting by mobile phone from across Africa made the show "a disgrace," state television reported.

The Zimbabwean, often draped in the national flag, showed patriotism and had asked to meet Mugabe. State television said a consortium headed by another loyalist of Mugabe's party launched a fund to raise $300,000 compensation for the runner-up and buy him a house.

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