US embassy cable - 01HARARE847

ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY MODERATES BOYCOTT "SHAM" PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS

Identifier: 01HARARE847
Wikileaks: View 01HARARE847 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2001-02-26 16:01:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PINR KDEM 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.

261601Z Feb 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTO5226

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                  ------------------CA6D71  261604Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8297
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 
C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000847 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER 
 
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY 
 
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS 
 
NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER 
 
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SA C. PALMA 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  00847  261603Z 
PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/26/11 
TAGS: PGOV, PINR, KDEM, ZI 
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY MODERATES BOYCOTT "SHAM" 
PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D'AFFAIRES EARL IRVING FOR REASONS: 
1.5 (B) AND (D). 
 
1.  (C) MODERATES ALIGNED TO MASVINGO ZANU-PF "SUPREMO" 
EDDISON ZVOBGO BOYCOTTED FEBRUARY 24'S PROVINCIAL PARTY 
ELECTIONS BECAUSE THEY WERE A "SHAM."  THE ZANU-PF 
FACTION ALIGNED WITH MASVINGO GOVERNOR JOSIAH HUNGWE, 
WHO IS AN ALLY OF PRESIDENT MUGABE AND VICE-PRESIDENT 
MUZENDA, WERE ELECTED TO THE PARTY'S PROVINCIAL 
EXECUTIVE UNOPPOSED.  MINISTER OF EDUCATION, SPORTS AND 
CULTURE SAMUEL MUMBENGEGWI WAS ELECTED CHAIRMAN OF THE 
MASVINGO PARTY STRUCTURE, AND WAR VETERANS WERE ELECTED 
TO MOST OTHER KEY POSTS, ACCORDING TO THE FEBRUARY 26 
EDITION OF THE GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED "THE HERALD."  THE 
NEW PROVINCIAL EXECUTIVE REPLACES THE ONE SUSPENDED LAST 
YEAR BY THE POLITBURO.  MUMBENGEGWI REPLACES LONG-TIME 
PROVINCIAL CHAIRMAN DZIKAMAI MAVHAIRE, AN ALLY OF 
ZVOBGO. 
 
2.  (C) ZVOBGO TOLD CHARGE AND POLOFF FEBRUARY 26 THAT 
THE PARTY ELECTIONS WERE "BOGUS" AND FLOUTED ZANU-PF'S 
OWN ELECTORAL PROCEDURES, WHICH WAS WHY HIS FACTION DID 
NOT PARTICIPATE.  ZVOBGO HAD MADE CLEAR TO NATIONAL 
CHAIRMAN JOHN NKOMO AND VICE-PRESIDENT JOSEPH MSIKA THAT 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  00847  261603Z 
THE "MINIMUM CONDITIONS DID NOT EXIST" FOR HIS 
PARTICIPATION, AND THAT HE WOULD NOT BE A CANDIDATE FOR 
PROVINCIAL CHAIRMAN.  HE TOLD THEM THAT THE ELECTION 
WOULD BE A "FRAUD" AND ASKED FOR THE ELECTION TO BE 
POSTPONED, BUT PARTY COMMISSAR BORDER GEZI ALLOWED THE 
ELECTIONS TO GO FORWARD ANYWAY. 
 
3.  (C) ZVOBGO TOLD US THAT THE PARTY DID NOT FOLLOW ITS 
OWN PROCEDURES FOR THE ELECTIONS.  NORMALLY, EVERY FOUR 
YEARS, THE PROVINCIAL LEADERSHIP PREPARES A REPORT ON 
THE STATE OF THE PROVINCE AND CONVENES A MEETING OF ALL 
LOCAL PARTY LEADERS AND STAKEHOLDERS.  AT THIS MEETING, 
THE MODALITIES OF NEW ELECTIONS, SUCH AS THE NUMBER OF 
ELECTORAL DISTRICTS AND DELEGATES, ARE DETERMINED, 
ZVOBGO STATED.  THIS TIME, SUCH A MEETING WAS NOT HELD, 
AND THE ORGANIZATION OF THE DISTRICTS WAS NOT MADE 
AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE.  RECORDS WERE REMOVED FROM THE 
PARTY OFFICES, AND THE PARTY REGISTER WAS TAMPERED WITH, 
ZVOBGO ASSERTED.  IN ADDITION, DISTRICT CHAIRMEN-- 
LOCALLY-ELECTED PARTY REPRESENTATIVES--ARE USUALLY 
APPOINTED AS THE DELEGATES WHO ELECT THE PROVINCIAL 
LEADERSHIP.  THIS TIME, UNELECTED PEOPLE FAVORABLE TO 
HUNGWE AND MUZENDA WERE APPOINTED, AND THE LOCAL 
CHAIRMEN WERE SIDELINED.  ZVOBGO CONCLUDED THAT HIS 
FACTION HAD NO CHANCE OF WINNING THE ELECTIONS, AND SO 
THEY BOYCOTTED THEM.  ZVOBGO DESCRIBED THE NEW 
PROVINCIAL LEADERSHIP AS "BOGUS" AND "ILLEGITIMATE." 
 
4.  (C) ZVOBGO HAD HOPED THE ELECTIONS WOULD UNITE THE 
LONG-DIVIDED PROVINCE, BUT INSTEAD, IT WILL BE MORE 
DIVIDED THAN EVER, HE OPINED.  THE MASVINGO "SUPREMO" 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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TOLD US THAT HE SOON PLANS TO HOLD A PROVINCE-WIDE PARTY 
CONFERENCE WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF SEVEN DISTRICT 
COUNCILS IN WHAT SOUNDS LIKE AN ATTEMPT TO ESTABLISH A 
PARALLEL ZANU-PF STRUCTURE IN MASVINGO.  ZVOBGO OFFERED 
NO OTHER DETAILS ABOUT THE TIMING AND PURPOSE OF THIS 
CONFERENCE, BUT SOUGHT FUNDING FROM US TO PULL IT OFF. 
 
5.  (C) COMMENT: THE MASVINGO ZANU-PF "ELECTIONS" 
PROVIDE YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF MUGABE'S CADRE RUNNING 
ROUGHSHOD OVER RULES AND REGULATIONS, EVEN IN ITS OWN 
PARTY.  EVEN THE NOMINAL DEMOCRATIC STRUCTURES OF ZANU- 
PF ARE GIVEN SHORT SHRIFT IN THIS CURRENT LAWLESS 
ENVIRONMENT.  UNLESS ZVOBGO CAN QUICKLY MARSHALL 
PROVINCE-WIDE SUPPORT AT HIS UPCOMING CONFERENCE, HIS 
DAYS AS A FORCE IN MASVINGO AND ZANU-PF POLITICS COULD 
BE NUMBERED.  HE REPRESENTS ONE OF THE ONLY BASTIONS OF 
RESISTANCE TO MUGABE'S POLICIES IN ZANU-PF, AND WILL 
UNDOUBTEDLY BE THE FOCUS OF THE PRESIDENT'S EFFORTS TO 
QUASH DISSENT IN ONE OF ZIMBABWE'S LARGEST AND MOST 
IMPORTANT PROVINCES.  END COMMENT. 
 
IRVING 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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