US embassy cable - 00HARARE3098

ZIMBABWEAN ELECTION MONITORS EXPRESS CONCERN ABOUT INTERNATIONAL ACCREDITATION PROCESS; AMENDMENTS TO ELECTORAL LAW GAZETTED CONFIDENTIAL

Identifier: 00HARARE3098
Wikileaks: View 00HARARE3098 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2000-06-09 07:30:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV ZI PREL KDEM EAID ZI EU
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

090730Z Jun 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4562

PAGE 01        HARARE  03098  01 OF 02  090725Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00  SMEC-00  INL-01   
      DODE-00  ANHR-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    EB-00    OIGO-02  VC-00    
      H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00   
      AC-01    NSAE-00  NSCE-00  OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    
      PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    IRM-00   STR-00   
      TRSE-00  USIE-00  R-00     IIP-00   PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-01   
      DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /013W
                  ------------------60EB04  090725Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6252
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
ALL EUROPEAN UNION POST COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 003098 
 
SIPDIS 
 
AF FOR A/S RICE, P/DAS POWELL, AND DAS SCHNEIDMAN 
AF/S FOR A. RENDER, D. BOOTH, AND C. GURNEY 
NSC FOR GAYLE SMITH 
PASS USAID FOR A/AID RMCALL AND AFR/SA WJEFFERS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/01/10 
TAGS: PGOV, ZI, PREL, KDEM, EAID, ZI, EU 
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWEAN ELECTION MONITORS EXPRESS CONCERN ABOUT 
INTERNATIONAL ACCREDITATION PROCESS; AMENDMENTS TO ELECTORAL LAW 
GAZETTED 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  03098  01 OF 02  090725Z 
 
CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD.  REASON: 1.5 (B) AND (D). 
 
1. (C)  SUMMARY:  DOMESTIC ELECTION MONITORS HAVE EXPRESSED SERIOUS 
CONCERN ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT'S DECISION THAT UN ACCREDITATION OF 
INTERNATIONAL ELECTION OBSERVERS WILL BE APPROVED BY AN INTER-MINISTERI 
AL 
GOVERNMENT BODY, RATHER THAN BY THE ELECTORAL SUPERVISORY COMMISSION 
(ESC), AS HAS BEEN THE CASE IN THE PAST.  (THE SHIFT, RUMORED FOR WEEKS 
, WAS 
MADE OFFICIAL IN AMENDED ELECTION REGULATIONS GAZETTED JUNE 7.)  THE 
DOMESTIC MONITORS, WHO VIEW THE ESC AS MORE INDEPENDENT, SEE THIS AS PA 
RT OF 
A BROADER EROSION OF THE ROLE OF THE ESC (TO WHICH THEY REPORT).  THEY 
HAVE 
SAID THAT THEY MAY REFUSE TO WORK WITH THE INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS IF T 
HEY 
ACCEPT ACCREDITATION THROUGH A GOVERNMENT BODY OTHER THAN THE ESC. 
OBSERVER DELEGATIONS ARE WORKING HARD TO FIND A FORMULA TO PRESERVE THE 
IR 
RELATIONS WITH DOMESTIC OBSERVERS WITHOUT JEOPARDIZING THEIR OWN EFFORT 
S. 
END SUMMARY. 
 
DOMESTIC OBSERVERS' CONCERNS 
---------------------------- 
 
2. (C)  AT A SERIES OF MEETINGS WITH INTERNATIONAL OBSERVER DELEGATIONS 
 
FROM THE EU, COMMONWEALTH, IRI/NDI, AND SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM, 
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE DOMESTIC MONITORING EFFORT EXPRESSED SERIOUS 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  03098  01 OF 02  090725Z 
CONCERN ABOUT A MOVE BY THE GOVERNMENT TO SHIFT RESPONSIBILITY FOR 
INTERNATIONAL OBSERVER ACCREDITATION TO AN INTER-MINISTERIAL BODY KNOWN 
 
AS THE ELECTION DIRECTORATE.  IN THE PAST, THIS ROLE WAS PLAYED BY THE 
ELECTORAL SUPERVISORY COMMISSION, WHICH THE NGO'S VIEW AS MORE 
INDEPENDENT.  THE PRIMARY SPOKESMAN FOR THE DOMESTIC OBSERVERS HAS BEEN 
 
ISAAC MAPOSA, COORDINATOR OF THE NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY (NCA) 
, 
WHICH IS A MEMBER ORGANIZATION IN THE ELECTION SUPPORT NETWORK, A 
CONSORTIUM OF NGO'S INVOLVED IN ELECTION MONITORING. 
 
3. (U) AFTER WEEKS OF UNCERTAINTY OVER WHO WOULD APPROVE ACCREDITATION 
OF INTERNATIONAL MONITORS, THE GOVERNMENT GAZETTED AMENDMENTS TO 
ELECTORAL REGULATIONS ASSIGNING THIS TASK TO "THE ELECTION DIRECTORATE, 
 ON 
THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS."  THE ROLE OF 
ACCREDITING DOMESTIC MONITORS REMAINS WITH THE ESC.  AMONG THE OTHER 
PROVISIONS OF THE AMENDED REGULATIONS ARE: 
 
-- A PROHIBITION AGAINST MEMBERS OF POLITICAL PARTIES ACTING AS ELECTIO 
N 
MONITORS AT POLLS WHERE A MEMBER OF THEIR PARTY IS CONTESTING (NOTE: ZA 
NU- 
PF AND THE MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) ARE CONTESTING IN ALL 
CONSTITUENCIES.  END NOTE.); 
 
-- A PROVISION ALLOWING THE REGISTRAR-GENERAL TO REQUIRE DOMESTIC MONIT 
ORS 
TO ATTEND A TRAINING COURSE; 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  03098  01 OF 02  090725Z 
-- A USD 100 ACCREDITATION FEE FOR INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS. 
 
SINCE THERE IS NO SITTING PARLIAMENT, THE LEGISLATION ENTERS INTO EFFEC 
T 
IMMEDIATELY. 
 
4. (C)  THE DOMESTIC OBSERVERS HAVE TOLD THE UN AND INTERNATIONAL 
OBSERVERS THAT THEY VIEW THE TRANSFER OF ACCREDITATION APPROVAL TO THE 
ELECTION DIRECTORATE AS ONE OF A NUMBER OF STEPS THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT 
 
HAS TAKEN TO SIDELINE THE ESC, TO WHICH THE DOMESTIC OBSERVERS REPORT, 
AND 
CENTRALIZE CONTROL OVER THE ELECTION PROCESS.  IN A JUNE 2 MEETING WITH 
 THE 
EUROPEAN COMMISSION OBSERVER DELEGATION, REPRESENTATIVES OF HUMAN RIGHT 
S 
ORGANIZATIONS AND OTHER CIVIL SOCIETY NGO'S ECHOED THESE CONCERNS. 
 
THE UN'S STANCE 
--------------- 
 
5. (C)  BEFORE THE NEW REGULATIONS APPEARED, MAPOSA AND OTHERS URGED TH 
E 
UN ELECTORAL OFFICE, WHICH IS C 

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