'Stalin' and 'Hitler' Run in Zimbabwe Poll

Zimbabweans will get the chance to vote for Stalin and Hitler in this weekend's parliamentary elections, or they could cast a ballot for Forgiveness.

A list of candidates standing in the 120 constituencies up for grabs reveals some colorful names and some even more colorful personalities.

Probably the best known is radical war veterans leader Chenjerai Hitler Hunzvi, who took his nom de guerre while training as a doctor in Poland. The full name appears on his identity card and passport.

Stalin Mau-Mau, another member of President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party, is standing as a candidate in Harare, while Forgiveness Manyika is an independent in Zvimba, west of the capital.

Voters can also cast a ballot for Kindness, Innocent, Blessing and Saviour, the first names of candidates Paradza, Chikiyi, Chebundo and Kasukuwere respectively.

There is also an Obey, Admire and Gift as well as a Clever, Omega and Egypt.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change candidate in Kuwadzana, on the outskirts of Harare, may benefit from some voter confusion in his constituency. His name is Learnmore Jongwe — the Shona language word for rooster and the symbol of the ruling ZANU-PF party.

Despite poll violence that has claimed the lives of at least 30 people in the last two months, the election also has a lighter side.

On Sunday Vice-President Simon Muzenda scolded ZANU-PF supporters who complained about the calibre of some candidates, saying that if ZANU-PF put forward a baboon for election, people should vote for it. It took just two days before the first T-shirt sported by an opposition supporter appeared with the legend "Vote for a baboon - vote ZANU-PF."