in Stories

Biti says MDC will not take part in runoff

Movement for Democratic Change secretary-general Tendai Biti told a press conference in South Africa that his party would not participate in a runoff because its leader Morgan Tsvangirai had won the presidential contest outright but most people believed that the party was once again posturing.

Party leader Morgan Tsvangirai was on a diplomatic tour of the region ahead of the Southern African Development Community summit in Lusaka appealing to Zimbabwe’s neighbours for assistance in concluding the elections.

The Zimbabwe Election Commission had not announced the results of the presidential elections almost two weeks after voting.

Tsvangirai had already met African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma, Botswana President Ian Khama and planned to meet Mozambican President Armando Guebuza before Flying to Lusaka to meet Zambia leader Levy Mwanawasa who was also SADC chairman.

Reports said President Robert Mugabe was also planning to attend the meeting armed with a “dossier” defending the delay in releasing results and ZANU-PF’s calls for a recount.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08HARARE323, ZIM NOTES April 11, 2008

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE323

2008-04-11 11:02

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO9779

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0323/01 1021102

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 111102Z APR 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2768

RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1916

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1912

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2035

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0601

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1312

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1669

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2091

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4522

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1167

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000323

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S.HILL

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B.PITTMAN

TREASURY FOR J.RALYEA AND T.RAND

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR L.DOBBINS AND E.LOKEN

COMMERCE FOR BECKY ERKUL

CIA WASHDC

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O.12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ECON ZI

 

SUBJECT: ZIM NOTES April 11, 2008

 

 

————-

1. SUMMARY

————-

Topics of the week:

– Election Results Still Pending

– Regional Engagement On Zimbabwe

– Electoral Commission Under Fire

– Post-Election Surge In Violence And Intimidation

– *Zimbabwe Dollar Dives

– Punitive New Income Tax Bands, Higher Rates, And Steep Increase In

Social Security Deduction

– Wheat/Barley Farmers Still Awaiting Payment For 2007 Crop

– Delta Beverages Warns Of Unviable Prices

– Corrigendum

 

——————————

2. Price Movements-Exchange Rate

and Selected products

——————————

*Parallel rate for cash shot to ZW$65million:US$1;

Bank transfer rate: Z$73 million; official rate: ZW$$30,000:US$1

 

Sugar rose to Z$90 million/2kg vs. controlled price of

Z$8million/2kg

 

*Cooking oil increased to Z$110 million/750ml vs. controlled price

of Z$9.3million/750ml

 

Petrol and diesel moved to Z$90 million/liter vs. controlled price

of Z$60,000/liter

 

—————————–

On the Political/Social Front

—————————–

3.Election Results Still Pending … As Zimbabwe ends its second

week without the announcement of official results in the March 29

presidential election, rumors of runoffs, recounts and reruns

continue to swirl. The Herald reported today that the Zimbabwe

Electoral Commission (ZEC) had taken the position it could not

announce presidential election results until the completion of the

court hearing on the MDC’s application to compel the ZEC to announce

results. The hearing ended yesterday; the judge presiding over the

case indicated he would give his judgment on the morning of April

14.

 

4. Regional Engagement On Zimbabwe… In advance of the April 12

emergency SADC summit on Zimbabwe to be held in Lusaka, Zambia (see

Lusaka 412), the MDC spent much of the week on a regional diplomatic

tour, appealing to Zimbabwe’s neighbors for assistance in concluding

the election. MDC presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai, met

with South Africa’s ANC president Jacob Zuma and President of

Botswana Ian Khama (see Gaborone 264). Tsvangirai reportedly plans

to travel to Mozambique to meet President Armando Guebuza before

arriving in Lusaka for the SADC summit and a meeting with Zambian

President and SADC Chairman Levy Mwanawasa. The Zimbabwe

Independent reported that Mugabe also planned attend this weekend’s

summit, equipped with a “dossier” defending the delay in releasing

results and ZANU-PF’s calls for a recount. Meanwhile, MDC Secretary

General Tendai Biti held a press conference in South Africa to

announce that the MDC would not participate in a runoff, contending

that Tsvangirai won the presidential contest outright. The MDC made

similar claims in previous elections, including the March 29

contest, before ultimately deciding to participate and many believe

the MDC is once again posturing.

 

5. Electoral Commission Under Fire… The Zimbabwe Electoral

Commission (ZEC) has drawn a spate of criticism for disbanding its

 

HARARE 00000323 002 OF 003

 

 

central command center, where votes from the March 29 election were

being counted, in favor of returning to its main offices. The move

comes amid calls for results to be released by the international

community and ongoing deliberation by the High Court on an MDC

petition for the court to compel ZEC to release their results. ZEC

claims that it is continuing to count votes and has not yet begun

the verification process. Under fire from both sides, several ZEC

officials and poll workers have been arrested by the Mugabe regime

for allegedly prejudicing results for the MDC. See Harare 313.

 

6. Post-Election Surge In Violence And Intimidation… We have

received reports from around the country of intimidation and

violence against opposition supporters, civil society and white

farmers in the past week. For example, one ZANU-PF dissident

reported that command centers run by off-duty soldiers had been

established in rural areas to coordinate attacks, and that his own

properties had been looted (see Harare 317); while a newly elected

MP raised concerns that war veterans and ZANU-PF youth militia were

reassembling in his province, causing fear amongst his constituents.

In addition to threats and beatings targeting election observers

and party agents, as many as 45 white-owned farms were seized in the

days following the election, again by war veterans and ZANU-PF youth

militia (see Harare 314). These reports track with MDC Secretary

General Tendai Biti’s public reports of the “militarization” of the

countryside by ZANU-PF; Biti claims that security forces have been

systematically deployed by the Mugabe regime to force a ZANU-PF win

in the event of a runoff (see Harare 313).

 

————————–

Economic and Business News

————————–

7. *Zimbabwe Dollar Dives… After having maintained its value for

the past three weeks, the local currency swooned on the parallel

market these last days, losing half its value on the street in one

week. We hear from bankers that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, a

major parallel market player, has returned to the forex market,

apparently with a bursting wallet.

 

8. Punitive New Income Tax Bands, Higher Rates, And Steep Increase

In Social Security Deduction… The GOZ announced last week

punitive new income tax bands and an increase in the tax rate for

the highest bracket, i.e. for those earning over Z$5 billion/month

(that’s about US$77/month), effective April 1. On top of those

deductions come a 3% AIDS Levy, pension deductions that range from

5-8%, and a huge increase in the National Social Security Authority

(NSSA) deduction that works out to Z$150 million/month for employees

and employers alike on wages and salaries of Z$5 billion/month.

 

9. Wheat/Barley Farmers Still Awaiting Payment For 2007 Crop… The

Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) reported last week that the vast

majority of growers were still waiting for the hard currency portion

of their payment for last year’s winter wheat and barley crops. The

CFU suggested that the delays in payment would discourage farmers

from growing wheat, which is primarily grown by commercial farmers,

this approaching season.

 

10. Delta Beverages Warns Of Unviable Prices… The Herald reported

today that Delta Beverages could stop producing carbonated soft

drinks and cut off the production line if prices are not reviewed to

economic levels. The state-owned newspaper quoted an approved

selling price of less than Z$10 million while apparently it costs

Delta Z$22 million to get the product (content only) off the

production line.

 

11. Corrigendum… In last week’s Zim Notes, an error crept into

our calculation of the value of the just-released Z$50 million note

– it was worth US$1.16 at issuance, not 58 US cents. However, a

 

HARARE 00000323 003 OF 003

 

 

week later, its value on the street has already tumbled to about 75

US cents.

 

 

MCGEE

(43 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHAREShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

Write a Comment

Comment