Canada condemned the 2008 Presidential elections run-off which President Robert Mugabe won after Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out because of violence with Prime Minister Stephen Harper describing the elections as “stolen” and Foreign Minister David Emerson imposing restrictions on travel, work or study permits on senior government, military and police officials and their families.
According to one of the diplomatic cables jut released by Wikileaks, Harper said because no opposition candidate was fully engaged in the runoff election, Canada could not accept the results. “This ‘election’ was stolen,” he said.
Canada was therefore scrutinizing all aspects of its relationship with Zimbabwe and would take measures which could include travel and study bans, he said.
Two days later his Foreign Minister announced a series of sterner measures which included:
Restrictions on travel, work and study on senior Zimbabwean government, military and police officials and their families.
Summoning the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to Canada to convey messages to her home government.
Reconfirming its long-standing policy against exporting military goods to Zimbabwe.
Not allowing any aircraft registered in Zimbabwe to land in, or to fly over, Canada.
And encouraging Canadian companies to voluntarily divest from Zimbabwe.
Below is the full cable:
Viewing cable 08OTTAWA886, CANADA REJECTS ZIMBABWE’S ELECTION OUTCOME, IMPOSES NEW
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGA RUEHGI RUEHHA RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHMT
RUEHPA RUEHQU RUEHRN RUEHTRO RUEHVC
DE RUEHOT #0886/01 1821653
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 301653Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8116
INFO RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 OTTAWA 000886
E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: CANADA REJECTS ZIMBABWE’S ELECTION OUTCOME, IMPOSES NEW
REF: OTTAWA 874
¶1. (U) Prime Minister Stephen Harper on June 27 called Zimbabwe’s
presidential runoff election “stolen” and expressed Canada’s refusal
to accept their results. (Full text of the Prime Minister’s
statement in para 2.) One June 29, Foreign Minister David Emerson
announced further restrictions on Canada’s relations with Zimbabwe,
including tighter travel bans and calls for voluntary divestiture by
Canadian companies operating in Zimbabwe. (Full text in para 3.)
¶2. Text of statement from the Prime Minister’s Office
CANADA REJECTS ZIMBABWE’S STOLEN ELECTION
June 27, 2008
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement
rejecting Zimbabwe’s presidential runoff election of June 27, 2008
“Zimbabwe’s opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, withdrew from the
presidential runoff because he considered the election environment
to have been contaminated by violence and intimidation instigated by
President Robert Mugabe and his government. Canada agrees fully with
“Because no opposition candidate was fully engaged in the runoff
election, Canada refuses to accept that the results are an
indication of the will of the Zimbabwean people. This ‘election’ was
“We call on the Government of Zimbabwe and the Movement for
Democratic Change to work with each other and with regional and
international mediators toward a negotiated political settlement to
end this crisis, which continues to damage peace, security and
stability in Zimbabwe and the wider region.
“Any such settlement should respect the results of the March 29
elections. We stand with the United Nations Security Council, which
declared in its Presidential Statement of June 23 that, because of
the violence inflicted by the Mugabe government, the June 27
elections cannot be considered by the international community as a
credible expression of democratic will.
“In light of these negative developments, Canada is scrutinizing all
aspects of its relationship with the Government of Zimbabwe and will
bring in further measures as the situation develops. The measures
may include travel and study bans.
“We support the call for the UN Security Council to continue its
discussions on Zimbabwe.”
¶3. (U) Text of statement by Foreign Minister Emerson
June 29, 2008
CANADA IMPOSES IMMEDIATE RESTRICTIONS ON RELATIONS WITH ZIMBABWE
The Honourable David Emerson, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today
condemned the illegitimate and illegal actions of the government of
Robert Mugabe in the conduct of Zimbabwe’s June 27, 2008, election,
and has rejected the results of this “election.” As a result, Canada
will immediately put in place measures designed to seriously
restrict its relationship with the Government of Zimbabwe.
“The Government of Zimbabwe’s systematic use of violence and
intimidation represents a grave violation of human rights and
democratic principles,” said Minister Emerson. “The citizens of
Zimbabwe have been denied the opportunity to shape their future
through free and fair elections, and they remain in constant danger
of intimidation, injury and loss of life. Canada does not consider
the result of the June 27 election to be, by any reasonable standard
of democracy, a credible outcome. This ‘election’ is illegitimate
and will not be accepted by the Government of Canada.”
The Government of Canada will immediately put in place a series of
measures to severely restrict its relationship with the Government
of Zimbabwe, and to send a message of solidarity to the people of
Qof Zimbabwe, and to send a message of solidarity to the people of
Zimbabwe and convey our rejection of the actions of a desperate and
illegitimate regime. The following is an initial series of measures
Canada is undertaking:
Q Canada will impose restrictions on travel, work and study
on senior Zimbabwean government, military and police officials and
OTTAWA 00000886 002 OF 002
Q Canada will summon the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to Canada to
convey messages to her home government.
Q Canada reconfirms its long-standing policy against
exporting military goods to Zimbabwe.
Q The Government of Canada will not allow any aircraft
registered in Zimbabwe to land in, or to fly over, Canada.
The Government of Canada encourages Canadian companies to
voluntarily divest from Zimbabwe. Canada will continue to provide
humanitarian assistance to those in need in Zimbabwe through trusted
Canadian and international partners.
“Canada is working with its partners in the G8 and elsewhere to
ensure a concerted international approach to dealing with the
flagrant abuse of the democratic process in Zimbabwe. The current
government of Zimbabwe is illegitimate in the eyes of the
international community. We call upon the United Nations Security
Council and the African Union to condemn the election as
illegitimate and to take further measures,” added Minister Emerson.
Canada commends the work of regional election observers in Zimbabwe,
and notes in particular the interim report of the Pan African
Parliament Election Observation Mission, released today, which
stated that the elections had been marred by high levels of
intimidation, violence, displacement of people, abductions and loss
of life. It concluded that the elections were not free, fair, or
The Minister further stressed that the Government of Canada is fully
behind the people of Zimbabwe who have shown courage and
determination in these difficult times.