Zimbabwe leaders protest reality show outcome

Zimbabweans are crying foul over the disputed results of another heated election.

This time the victim is Munya (Diamond Boy) Chidzonga, the country’s grand prize hopeful in Africa’s “Big Brother All Stars” reality series.

Chidzonga was runner-up in the show’s finale, which aired across Africa Oct. 17 on South Africa’s M-Net. The winner, Nigerian actor Uti Nwachukwu, walked off with the $200,000 jackpot — but not before cronies of President Robert Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF party alleged that the vote was rigged.

Declaring that the voting in the show’s finale wasn’t “free and fair,” Mugabe’s millionaire nephew, Philip Chiyangwa, told state media the show was a “disgrace to Africa.”

He and other allies of the president, who has ruled the economically impoverished nation for 30 years, vowed to launch a drive to raise $300,000 in compensation for Chidzonga.

M-Net officials said last week that Mugabe’s office had pressed them for recordings of the show’s finale. They refused to comment on the controversy, instead referring reporters to a statement explaining the show’s voting system.

Chidzonga, meanwhile, received a hero’s welcome on his return to Zimbabwe, where he was whisked from the airport to State House to have tea with the president.

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