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Embassy said Tsvangirai’s fears were unfounded

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai left Harare for Gaborone in April before the announcement of the results of the 2008 presidential elections fearing that he might be arrested as part of a military coup against President Robert Mugabe.

The United States embassy, however, said Tsvangirai’s fears were unfounded because the embassy had found nothing to corroborate it.

The MDC had taken the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to court to compel it to release the results of the presidential elections which were understood to be out but had not been released.

A lawyer for the ZEC was quoted as saying it would be dangerous to issue an order that might not be complied with because of “outside exigencies”.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08HARARE307, SITUATION REPORT: STILL WAITING IN ZIMBABWE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE307

2008-04-09 13:59

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0307 1001359

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 091359Z APR 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2747

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1900

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2023

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0591

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1300

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1657

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2079

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4510

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1155

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000307

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

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

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/09/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC CASC ZI

SUBJECT: SITUATION REPORT: STILL WAITING IN ZIMBABWE

 

REF: HARARE 295 AND PREVIOUS

 

Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4 (d)

 

1. (SBU) A hearing on the MDC’s application in the High

Court to compel the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) to

release presidential poll results continued today as the

judge considered the merits of the case. The attorney for

the MDC, Alec Muchadehama, told us he was confident the

results had been available for several days. He said that

the ZEC, through its attorneys, had no explanation for the

delay in announcing results, but insisted that it should be

allowed to operate independently. The ZEC attorney was

quoted on wire services as saying that it would be dangerous

to issue an order that might not be complied with because of

“outside exigencies.” Muchadehama expected a court decision

on Friday.

 

2. (C) MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai, concerned that he

might be arrested as part of a military coup against

President Robert Mugabe, left Harare Tuesday for Gabarone.

(COMMENT: Embassy believes that Tsvangirai’s concern is

unfounded; we have found nothing to corroborate it. END

COMMENT.) In Gaborone, Tsvangirai was to meet with Botswanan

President Ian Khama and then to proceed to South Africa for

MDC meetings.

 

3. (SBU) Authorities returned the passport of the NDI

employee who was detained April 3-4 and told him he was

authorized to leave the country; he expects to reach a

neighboring country this evening. The NYT reporter who was

granted bail on April 7 will have a court hearing on April 10.

 

4. (SBU) Harare remains quiet, although we have some reports

of assaults on MDC supporters in towns and rural areas. The

excitement surrounding what many thought was an MDC win has

largely dissipated; many people, as they wait for election

results, seem resigned to another ZANU-PF-rigged win.

 

MCGEE

(12 VIEWS)

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