US embassy cable - 00HARARE3168

IRI AND NDI OBSERVER DELEGATIONS FACE CONFIDENTIAL

Identifier: 00HARARE3168
Wikileaks: View 00HARARE3168 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2000-06-13 16:55:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PREL KDEM EAID PHUM ZI
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.



                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6551

PAGE 01        HARARE  03168  01 OF 03  131650Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   COR-01   NP-00    AID-00   AMAD-01  ACQ-00   CIAE-00  
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        /011W
                  ------------------62589F  131651Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6311
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 003168 
 
SIPDIS 
 
CORRECTED COPY OF HARARE 3167, RIGHT MARGIN 
 
AF FOR 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, PREL, KDEM, EAID, PHUM, ZI 
SUBJECT: IRI AND NDI OBSERVER DELEGATIONS FACE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  03168  01 OF 03  131650Z 
PROBLEMS OVER ACCREDITATION 
 
REF: HARARE 3098 
 
CLASSIFIED BY EARL M. IRVING, DCM.  REASONS: 1.5 
(B) AND (D). 
 
1.  (U)  THIS MESSAGE CONTAINS AN ACTION REQUEST; 
SEE PARAS 8-10. 
 
2.  (C)  SUMMARY:  OBSERVER DELEGATIONS FROM THE 
NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTE (NDI) AND 
INTERNATIONAL REPUBLICAN INSTITUTE (IRI) ARE 
FACING BUREAUCRATIC HURDLES THAT SO FAR HAVE 
PREVENTED THEM FROM RECEIVING ACCREDITATION FROM 
THE GOZ.  BOTH GROUPS HAVE TOLD US THAT THEY WILL 
HAVE TO REASSESS HOW TO PROCEED IF THEY DO NOT 
RECEIVE ACCREDITATION SOON.  THE PROBLEMS STEM 
FROM NEW ELECTORAL REGULATIONS (REFTEL) THAT 
APPARENTLY PROVIDE NO MECHANISM FOR ACCREDITATION 
OF FOREIGN NGO'S.  A SENIOR MFA OFFICIAL, WHO WAS 
AWARE OF THE NON-GOVERNMENTAL STATUS OF THE 
IRI/NDI TEAMS, SUGGESTED TO DCM THAT THEY COULD 
RECEIVE ACCREDITATION IF THE EMBASSY INCLUDED THE 
GROUPS IN A DIPLOMATIC NOTE LISTING THEM AS 
OFFICIAL USG OBSERVERS.  HOWEVER, THIS POSES A 
NUMBER OF POTENTIAL PROBLEMS FOR BOTH THE USG AND 
NOI/IRI, INCLUOING THE FACT THAT THE USG WOULD BE 
IOENTIFIED WITH THE GROUPS' CONCLUSIONS.  OTHER 
POSSIBILITIES INCLUDE RAISING THE ISSUE WITH THE 
ELECTION DIRECTORATE (TO WHICH MFA IS REFERRING 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  03168  01 OF 03  131650Z 
NGO APPLICATIONS) AND OTHER RELEVANT OFFICIALS, 
AND A USG ASSESSMENT THAT IT IS TOO LATE FOR 
FURTHER INTERVENTION.  EMBASSY REQUESTS 
DEPARTMENT'S GUIDANCE ON HOW TO PROCEED.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
NEW REGULATIONS COMPLICATE ACCREDITATION 
 
3.  (C)  THE PUBLICATION OF NEW REGULATIONS 
SETTING OUT ACCREDITATION PROCEDURES FOR ELECTION 
OBSERVERS (REFTEL), AND THE LACK OF CLEAR 
INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE GOVERNMENT ON HOW TO COMPLY 
WITH THEM, HAVE CREATED CONSIDERABLE CONFUSION ON 
THE PART OF INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS ATTEMPTING TO 
OBTAIN ACCREDITATION.  MONITORING TEAMS DIRECTLY 
AFFILIATED WITH FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS AND 
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, INCLUDING THE 150- 
STRONG EU OBSERVER MISSION, FACE A CUMBERSOME BUT 
RELATIVELY STRAIGHTFORWARD PROCESS.  THEY ARE 
REQUIRED TO SUBMIT THE NAMES OF THEIR TEAM 
MEMBERS UNDER COVER OF A DIPLOMATIC NOTE, RECEIVE 
APPROVAL FROM THE FOREIGN MINISTRY, AND THEN 
APPLY TO THE ELECTION DIRECTORATE (AN INTER- 
GOVERNMENTAL BODY WHICH OVERSEES THE 
ACCREDITATION OFFICE) FOR CREDENTIALS.  EU 
ACCREDITATION IS APPARENTLY PROCEEDING FAIRLY 
SMOOTHLY, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF SEVERAL KENYANS, 
WHOSE ELIGIBILITY TO TAKE PART IN THE DELEGATION 
THE GOZ HAS QUESTIONED. 
 
4.  (C)  HOWEVER, THERE IS APPARENTLY NO PROCEDURE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  03168  01 OF 03  131650Z 
IN PLACE FOR REGISTRATION OF INTERNATIONAL 
OBSERVER TEAMS WHICH ARE NOT OFFICIAL DELEGATIONS 
OF GOVERNMENTS, MISSIONS, OR INTERNATIONAL 
ORGANIZATIONS.  THIS INCLUDES THE NDI/IRI TEAMS, 
WHICH ARE FUNDED BY USAID.  (NOTE: THERE IS A 
PROCEDURE FOR REGISTRATION OF DOMESTIC NGO'S, BUT 
IT IS ONLY OPEN TO ZIMBABWEAN CITIZENS.  END 
NOTE.)  WHEN IRI AND NDI REPORTED TO THE FOREIGN 
MINISTRY FOR ACCREDITATION ON JUNE 12, THEY WERE 
TOLD THAT THEY WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO REGISTER 
UNLESS THE EMBASSY SENT A LETTER INCLUDING THE 
NAMES OF ALL AMERICAN OBSERVERS, INCLUDING THE 
NDI/IRI TEAMS.  THE EMBASSY CALLED THE FOREIGN 
MINISTRY SEVERAL TIMES THAT DAY IN AN ATTEMPT TO 
CLARIFY THE ACCREDITATION REQUIREMENTS, AND 
RECEIVED A NUMBER OF CONTRADICTORY RESPONSES. 
 
DISCUSSION WITH MFA 
 
5.  (C)  DCM AND POLOFF CALLED ON DR. NGONI 
CHIDEYA, DIRECTOR OF THE MFA'S OFFICE ON EUROPE 
AND THE AMERICAS, ON JUNE 13 TO ASK HOW THE 
NDI/IRI TEAM'S ACCREDITATION COULD BE 
FACILITATED.  CHIDEYA SAID THAT THE FOREIGN 
MINISTRY WAS ONLY AUTHORIZED TO APPROVE 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6553 
 
PAGE 01        HARARE  03168  02 OF 03  131651Z 
ACTION AF-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   COR-01   NP-00    AID-00   AMAD-01  ACQ-00   CIAE-00 
      SMEC-00  DODE-00  ANHR-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    EB-00    VC-00 
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      ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00 
      PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00 
        /011W 
                  ------------------6258AA  131651Z /38 
O 131655Z JUN 00 
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6312 
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE 
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY 
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 003168 
 
SIPDIS 
 
CORRECTED COPY OF HARARE 3167, RIGHT MARGIN 
 
AF FOR 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, PREL, KDEM, EAID, PHUM, ZI 
SUBJECT: IRI AND NDI OBSERVER DELEGATIONS FACE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  03168  02 OF 03  131651Z 
PROBLEMS OVER ACCREDITATION 
 
ACCREDITATION FOR DELEGATIONS REPRESENTING THREE 
TYPES OF ENTITIES: 1) INTERNATIONAL 
ORGANIZATIONS, SUCH AS THE UNITED NATIONS, SADC, 
THE COMMONWEALTH, AND THE OAU, TO WHICH ZIMBABWE 
BELONGS, 2) FOREIGN MISSIONS, SUCH AS THE EU, 
THAT HAD REQUESTED PERMISSION TO FIELD OBSERVER 
MISSIONS, AND 3) GOVERNMENTS, INCLUDING BOTSWANA, 
SOUTH AFRICA, AND THE UNITED STATES, THAT HAD 
BEEN INVITED TO SEND OFFICIAL DELEGATIONS. 
(COMMENT: CHIDEYA ASSERTED, INACCURATELY, THAT 
THE SECRETARY HAD REQUESTED PERMISSION TO SEND AN 
OFFICIAL OBSERVER DELEGATION DURING A RECENT 
TELEPHONE CONVERSATION WITH PRESIDENT MUGABE, AND 
THAT MUGABE HAD AGREED TO THIS REQUEST.  END 
COMMENT.) 
 
6.  (C)  MFA, CHIDEYA CONTINUED, HAS NO MECHANISM 
FOR ACCREDITING FOREIGN NGO'S.  HE NOTED THAT HE 
HAD REFERRED, OR WAS PLANNING TO REFER, SEVERAL 
SUCH APPLICATIONS FROM NGO'S (INCLUDING ONE FROM 
THE FRIEDRICH NAUMANN STIFTUNG, A GERMAN 
POLITICAL PARTY-AFFILIATED NGO WITH FUNCTIONS 
SIMILAR TO THOSE OF NDI AND IRI) TO THE ELECTION 
DIRECTORATE FOR FURTHER ACTION.  CHIDEYA 
SUGGESTED THAT THE GOZ WOULD BE ABLE TO APPROVE 
ACCREDITATION FOR THE NDI/IRI TEAM MEMBERS IF 
THEIR NAMES WERE SUBMITTED, ALONG WITH THOSE OF 
EMBASSY PERSONNEL PLANNING TO ACT AS OBSERVERS, 
UNDER COVER OF A DIPLOMATIC NOTE STATING THAT 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  03168  02 OF 03  131651Z 
THESE PEOPLE CONSTITUTED AN OFFICIAL USG 
DELEGATION.  (COMMENT:  WE ASSUME THAT THE REASON 
THAT DR. CHIDEYA DID NOT REFER NDI AND IRI TO THE 
ELECTION DIRECTORATE ALONG WITH OTHER NGO'S WAS 
HIS PURPORTED UNDERSTANDING THAT THEY WERE PART 
OF THE "OFFICIAL" USG DELEGATION.  END COMMENT.) 
 
IRI'S AND NDI'S VIEWS 
 
7.  (C)  DCM AND POLOFFS BRIEFED NDI AND IRI 
REPRESENTATIVES ON THE MEETING WITH CHIDEYA JUNE 
13.  BOTH ORGANIZATIONS TOLD US THAT BEING 
PORTRAYED AS AN OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT DELEGATION 
WOULD BE PROBLEMATIC FROM THEIR POINT OF VIEW. 
BOTH IRI AND NDI TOLD US THAT IF THEY ARE NOT 
ABLE TO REGISTER IN THE NEXT DAY OR SO THEY WILL 
HAVE TO REASSESS THEIR PLANS.  A PARTICULAR WORRY 
FOR IRI IS THE GOVERNMENT'S RECENT DECISION TO 
SHUT DOWN THE ACCREDITATION CENTER ON JUNE 22. 
REGISTRATION IS A TWO-DAY PROCESS, FOR WHICH 
OBSERVERS MUST BE PHYSICALLY PRESENT, AND THE IRI 
OBSERVERS ARRIVING FROM OVERSEAS ARE NOT 
CURRENTLY SCHEDULED TO ARRIVE UNTIL JUNE 21. 
NDI, FOR ITS PART, IS CONCERNED ABOUT THE 
SECURITY OF ITS OBSERVERS, WHO WERE ALREADY IN- 
COUNTRY WHEN THE NEW REGULATIONS WERE INTRODUCED. 
THE NDI REPRESENTATIVE NOTED THAT THE OBSERVERS' 
SECURITY, ALREADY A CONCERN, IS FURTHER 
ENDANGERED BY THEIR INABILITY TO OBTAIN 
ACCREDITATION.  NDI INFORMED US ON THE EVENING OF 
JUNE 13 THAT IT HAD RAISED THE ACCREDITATION 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  03168  02 OF 03  131651Z 
ISSUE WITH THE ELECTION DIRECTORATE, BUT HAD BEEN 
REFERRED BACK TO THE FOREIGN MINISTRY. 
 
ACTION REQUEST 
 
8. (C)  EMBASSY SEES THREE POSSIBLE WAYS TO 
PROCEED WITH THE ACCREDITATION ISSUE, NONE OF 
THEM VERY PROMISING: 1) SUBMIT THE NAMES OF THE 
IRI/NDI OBSERVERS, AS WELL AS THOSE OF EMBASSY 
PERSONNEL ACTING AS OBSERVERS, UNDER COVER OF A 
DIPLOMATIC NOTE, POSSIBLY INCLUDING WORDING 
CLARIFYING THAT THE IRI AND NDI OBSERVERS ARE NOT 
DIRECTLY AFFILIATED WITH THE USG; 2) ATTEMPT TO 
INTERVENE WITH DR. NZUWAH OF THE ELECTION 
DIRECTORATE, AND WITH OTHER APPROPRIATE 
GOVERNMENT INTERLOCUTORS, TO OBTAIN OBSERVER 
STATUS FOR IRI/NDI; OR 3) DETERMINE THAT THERE 
ARE NO REALISTIC MECHANISMS FOR FURTHER 
INTERVENTION BY THE USG ON THE ACCREDITATION 
ISSUE. 
 
9.  (C)  THE FIRST OPTION POSES A NUMBER OF 
PROBLEMS, IN EMBASSY'S VIEW.  INCLUDING THE 
IRI/NDI DELEGATIONS IN A LIST OF U.S. OBSERVER 
WOULD PROBABLY GIVE THE GROUP OFFICIAL STATUS IN 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6555 
 
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ACTION AF-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   COR-01   NP-00    AID-00   AMAD-01  ACQ-00   CIAE-00 
      SMEC-00  DODE-00  ANHR-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    EB-00    VC-00 
      H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    L-00     VCE-00   AC-01 
      NSAE-00  OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00 
      ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00 
      PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00 
        /011W 
                  ------------------6258B4  131651Z /38 
O 131655Z JUN 00 
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6313 
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE 
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY 
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 003168 
 
SIPDIS 
 
CORRECTED COPY OF HARARE 3167, RIGHT MARGIN 
 
AF FOR 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, PREL, KDEM, EAID, PHUM, ZI 
SUBJECT: IRI AND NDI OBSERVER DELEGATIONS FACE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  03168  03 OF 03  131651Z 
PROBLEMS OVER ACCREDITATION 
 
THE EYES OF THE GOZ, EVEN IF LANGUAGE IN THE NOTE 
CLARIFIED THE GROUP'S INDEPENDENT STATUS.  THIS 
WOULD PROBABLY CAUSE THE GOZ TO IDENTIFY THE 
DELEGATIONS' FINDINGS WITH USG OPINION.  (WE NOTE 
THAT NDI HAS ALREADY STATED PUBLICLY THAT THE 
ELECTIONS CANNOT BE FREE AND FAIR.)  FURTHERMORE, 
IF THE DIPLOMATIC NOTE DID C 
LARIFY THE NON- 
OFFICIAL STATUS OF NDI/IRI, IT IS QUITE LIKELY 
THAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD REFUSE TO ACCREDIT THE 
GROUP.  DEPARTMENT MAY BE AWARE OF ADDITIONAL 
COMPLICATIONS THAT WOULD SURROUND THE 
ACCREDITATION OF IRI/NDI AS PART OF AN OFFICIAL 
USG OBSERVER MISSION. 
 
10.  (C)  THE SECOND OPTION IS, IN EMBASSY'S 
ASSESSMENT, LESS PROBLEMATIC.  HOWEVER, GIVEN THE 
ELECTION DIRECTORATE'S NEGATIVE RESPONSE TO NDI, 
AND MORE GENERALLY THE APPARENT LACK OF 
PROCEDURES IN PLACE ON ACCREDITATION OF 
INTERNATIONAL NGO'S BY THE DIRECTORATE, IT IS NOT 
AT ALL CLEAR THAT SUCH INTERVENTION WOULD YIELD 
PROMPT AND POSITIVE RESULTS.  INDEED, THE 
ELECTION DIRECTORATE MAY DELAY MAKING A DECISION 
UNTIL IT IS PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE IRI 
OBSERVERS TO BE ACCREDITED IN TIME.  THE THIRD 
OPTION MAY BE THE MOST REALISTIC, BUT COULD 
CREATE AN IMPRESSION THAT THE USG DID NOT DO ALL 
IT COULD TO FACILITATE ACCREDITATION FOR IRI/NDI. 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  03168  03 OF 03  131651Z 
 
11. (C)  EMBASSY REQUESTS DEPARTMENT'S 
INSTRUCTION ON HOW TO PROCEED. 
 
MCDONALD 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
> 

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