in Stories

Jonathan Moyo said election observers are no different from tourists

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said election observers were “no different from tourists” because they merely watched the proceedings and had no right to intervene.

He was commenting on proposed legislation to amend the Electoral Act to give the presidentially-appointed Electoral Supervisory Commission explicit responsibility for recruitment, training, and deployment of election monitors.

The proposed legislation was viewed as a way of trying to shut out civil society and international observers and election monitors.

Moyo dismissed the concerns that the government move would prevent civil society from monitoring elections.

He said civil society groups had no inherent right to serve as monitors, as they were “donor created and have no constitutional standing”.

Moyo said election monitors supervised elections and had the right to point out and correct irregularities that might occur during voting and they should be drawn from a domestic pool of impartial Zimbabweans.

“Observers, on the other hand, are ‘no different from tourists’, as they merely watch the proceedings and have no right to intervene,” he said.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 01HARARE3356, ZIMBABWE MOVES TO PROHIBIT INDEPENDENT DOMESTIC

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE3356

2001-11-09 11:54

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

091154Z Nov 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTO8826

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03356 141519Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   COR-01   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 A-00     ACQ-00

CIAE-00 INL-00   USNW-00 DODE-00 WHA-00   DS-00   EAP-00

EB-00   EUR-00   FBIE-00 VC-00   FSI-00   TEDE-00 INR-00

IO-00   JUSE-00 L-00     VCE-00   NEA-00   DCP-01   NSAE-00

OIC-02   OIG-03   IRM-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 SA-00   R-00

EPAE-00 IIP-00   SNIS-00 NISC-00 DSCC-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00

/007W

——————3E1E07 141519Z /02

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0251

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY CANBERRA

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

AMEMBASSY ABUJA

AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS

AMEMBASSY OTTAWA

AMEMBASSY KINGSTON

AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM

AMEMBASSY OSLO

AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 003356

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

 

BRUSSELS ALSO FOR USEU

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y : (TEXT R/H MARGIN)

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/31/11

TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE MOVES TO PROHIBIT INDEPENDENT DOMESTIC

ELECTION MONITORS

 

REF: STATE 195461

 

CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF MATT HARRINGTON.

REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

1.(U) MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL, AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS

PATRICK CHINAMASA ANNOUNCED ON NOVEMBER 6 THE GOVERNMENT’S

INTENTION TO AMEND THE ELECTORAL ACT TO GIVE THE

PRESIDENTIALLY-APPOINTED ELECTORAL SUPERVISORY COMMISSION

(ESC) EXPLICIT RESPONSIBILITY FOR RECRUITMENT, TRAINING, AND

DEPLOYMENT OF ELECTION MONITORS. THE ESC HAS OVERSEEN THE

ACCREDITATION OF DOMESTIC MONITORS AND INTERNATIONAL

OBSERVERS IN THE PAST, BUT THIS HAS BEEN AN AD HOC

ARRANGEMENT, AS NEITHER THE CONSTITUTION NOR THE ELECTORAL

ACT CURRENTLY CONTAINS REFERENCES TO ELECTION MONITORS. THE

AMENDMENT, EXPECTED TO BE TABLED ONCE PARLIAMENT RECONVENES

ON NOVEMBER 20, WILL REQUIRE THE ESC TO DRAW DOMESTIC

MONITORS EXCLUSIVELY FROM THE RANKS OF CIVIL SERVANTS. IN

THE JUNE 2000 PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS, MOST OF THE MORE THAT

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03356 141519Z

17,000 DOMESTIC MONITORS WERE DRAWN FROM PERSONNEL TRAINED

LOCAL NGO’S, WHOSE IMPARTIALITY, ACCORDING TO CHINAMASA, WAS

“QUESTIONABLE.” THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE SAID THAT

ARRANGEMENT “HAS BEEN DISCOVERED TO BE UNDESIRABLE,

CONSIDERING THE FACT THAT MOST NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

ARE PARTIAL, FOREIGN FUNDED, LOYAL TO THEIR FUNDERS AND

THEREFORE PRODUCE MONITORS WHO WERE PARTISAN.” CHINAMASA

PROMISED THAT INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS WOULD BE INVITED AFTER

THE DATES FOR THE ELECTION ARE ANNOUNCED (NOTE: ZANU-PF’S

ACTING POLITICAL COMMISSAR TOLD US ON NOVEMBER 8 THAT THE

ELECTION WOULD LIKELY BE HELD IN MARCH AND THAT SPECIFIC.

DATES COULD BE ANNOUNCED AS EARLY AS MID-DECEMBER, AT THE

RULING PARTY’S ANNUAL CONGRESS. END NOTE.)

 

2. (U) IN MORE BELLICOSE PUBLIC REMARKS, INFORMATION

MINISTER JONATHAN MOYO DISMISSED CONCERNS THAT THE GOZ MOVE

WOULD PREVENT CIVIL SOCIETY FROM MONITORING THE ELECTIONS.

CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS, HE SAID, HAVE NO INHERENT RIGHT TO

SERVE AS MONITORS, AS THEY ARE “DONOR CREATED AND HAVE NO

CONSTITUTIONAL STANDING.” MOYO LATER CLARIFIED THE

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ELECTION MONITORS AND ELECTION OBSERVERS

THE FORMER, HE SAID, SUPERVISE ELECTIONS AND HAVE THE RIGHT

TO POINT OUT AND CORRECT IRREGULARITIES THAT MIGHT OCCUR

DURING VOTING, AND THEY SHOULD BE DRAWN FROM A DOMESTIC POOL

OF IMPARTIAL ZIMBABWEANS. INTERNATIONAL MONITORS, HE

EMPHASIZED, HAVE NEVER PARTICIPATED IN ZIMBABWEAN ELECTIONS

OBSERVERS, ON THE OTHER HAND, ARE “NO DIFFERENT FROM

TOURISTS,” AS THEY MERELY WATCH THE PROCEEDINGS AND HAVE NO

RIGHT TO INTERVENE. ACCORDING TO MOYO, “THERE IS NO REASON

TO THINK” THAT ZIMBABWE WILL NOT INVITE INTERNATIONAL

OBSERVERS, AS IT HAS IN THE PAST, BUT HE STRESSED THAT ONLY

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03356 141519Z

ZIMBABWE’S FRIENDS WOULD RECEIVE INVITATIONS. “I DON’T THINK

THE AMERICANS WILL INVITE THE TALIBAN TO MONITOR THEIR

ELECTIONS,” HE REMARKED HELPFULLY. CHINAMASA SEPARATELY

EXPLAINED THAT, ALTHOUGH OBSERVERS WOULD NOT BE PERMITTED

INSIDE THE POLLING STATIONS, THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO BRING AN

IRREGULARITIES TO THE ATTENTION OF LOCAL ELECTION OFFICIALS.

 

REACTIONS FROM CIVIL SOCIETY

—————————-

 

3. (C) EILEEN SAWYER, NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF THE LEGAL

RESOURCES FOUNDATION (LRF), A WELL-RESPECTED LEGAL RIGHTS

NGO, CRITICIZED THE GOZ MOVE AS A CLEAR EFFORT TO PROHIBIT

INDEPENDENT MONITORS. SHE NOTED THAT THE ESC IS A PARTISAN

BODY WHICH DOES NOT HAVE THE RESOURCES (ONLY TWO OF THE FIVE

SEATS ON THE COMMISSION ARE CURRENTLY FILLED, FOR INSTANCE)

TO OVERSEE THIS EFFORT. ACCORDING TO SAWYER, CIVIL SERVANTS

PREDOMINANTLY TEACHERS, HAVE BEEN USED AS MONITORS IN PAST

ELECTIONS, BUT THE GOZ NOW SUSPECTS THAT MOST TEACHERS HARBOR

SYMPATHIES FOR THE OPPOSITION MDC. AS A RESULT, THE

GOVERNMENT WILL NOW TAKE GREAT CARE TO ENSURE THAT MONITORS

ARE DRAWN FROM A POOL OF SYMPATHETIC “CIVIL SERVANTS,”

INCLUDING WAR VETERANS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATION

(CIO) AGENTS, AND UNEMPLOYED YOUTHS CURRENTLY ENROLLED IN A

RECENTLY-INAUGURATED NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE TRAINING PROGRAM

THE LRF’S CHIEF LEGAL ADVISOR HAS DETERMINED THAT THE STEPS

ANNOUNCED BY CHINAMASA WOULD NOT VIOLATE THE CONSTITUTION OR

THE ELECTORAL ACT.

 

ZESN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 05       HARARE 03356 141519Z

4. (U) THE UMBRELLA NGO ZIMBABWE ELECTION SUPPORT NETWORK

(ZESN), WHICH HAS COORDINATED THE DOMESTIC MONITORING EFFORT

IN RECENT ELECTIONS, ISSUED A PUBLIC STATEMENT OF CONCERN

AFTER CHINAMASA’S ANNOUNCEMENT. ZESN LIKENED THE MONITORING

OF ELECTIONS BY CIVIL SERVANTS TO STUDENTS GRADING THEIR OWN

EXAMS AND REITERATED PREVIOUS CALLS FOR FORMATION OF AN

INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION, WHICH IT TERMED AN

“ESSENTIAL PREREQUISITE FOR FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS.” IN THE

MEANTIME, ZESN VOWED TO “INTENSIFY VOTER EDUCATION AND

ELECTION MONITORING WHICH IS ALREADY UNDERWAY” AND INSISTED

IT WOULD “NOT SHY AWAY FROM BOTH OUR RIGHT AND DUTY TO

OBSERVE THE COMING ELECTIONS.” IN A POINTED CONCLUDING

PARAGRAPH, ZESN OFFERED TO SHARE WITH GOVERNMENT “THE

ELECTORAL MONITORING EXPERTISE AND RESOURCES WE HAVE

PAINSTAKINGLY DEVELOPED OVER SEVERAL YEARS.”

 

COMMENT

——-

 

5. (C) IT IS DIFFICULT TO OFFER DEFINITIVE CONCLUSIONS AND

ANALYSES UNTIL WE SEE THE TEXT OF THE PROPOSED LEGISLATION,

BUT IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT GOVERNMENT INTENDS TO PREVENT

MONITORS IT PERCEIVES AS ANTI-ZANU-PF FROM PARTICIPATING IN

THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. AS THE COMMENTS BY CHINAMASA AND

MOYO REVEAL, SENIOR GOZ OFFICIALS BELIEVE THAT A MAJORITY OF

LOCAL NGO’S ARE FRONT ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTING THE

INTERESTS OF WESTERN COUNTRIES, AND ARE WORKING TO ENSURE AN

MDC VICTORY IN NEXT YEAR’S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. AS A

RESULT, THE GOVERNMENT WILL ATTEMPT TO PUT IN PLACE MONITOR

SYMPATHETIC TO IT. ANOTHER EQUALLY LIKELY POSSIBILITY, IN

OUR VIEW, IS THAT THE ESC SIMPLY WILL BE UNABLE TO RECRUIT,

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 06       HARARE 03356 141519Z

TRAIN, AND ACCREDIT SUFFICIENT NUMBERS OF PEOPLE, MEANING

VERY FEW DOMESTIC MONITORS WILL BE IN PLACE ON ELECTION DAY

THE PROSPECT THAT EITHER SCENARIO WILL COME TO PASS FURTHER

DAMPENS OUR HOPE THAT NEXT YEAR’S ELECTION WILL APPROACH FR

AND FAIR. THAT SAID, IT APPEARS THAT, ALTHOUGH CIVIL SOCIETY

GROUPS SUCH AS ZESN WILL BE BARRED FROM ENTERING THE POLLING

STATIONS ON ELECTION DAYS, THEY WILL CONTINUE TO BE ABLE TO

MONITOR PREPARATIONS AND POLITICAL VIOLENCE DURING THE PRE-

ELECTION PERIOD. THEIR EXCLUSION FROM THE POLLING STATIONS

ON ELECTION DAYS WILL MAKE THE ROLE OF THE POLITICAL PARTY

AGENTS WHO ARE PERMITTED INSIDE PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT.

 

6. (C) MOYO’S REMARKS PROVIDED USEFUL CLARIFICATION OF THE

GOVERNMENT’S DISTINCTION BETWEEN MONITORS AND OBSERVERS,

WHILE   CHINAMASA’S COMMENTS LEAVE OPEN THE POSSIBILITY THAT

INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS COULD BE INVITED AS EARLY AS MID-

DECEMBER. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT GOVERNMENT IS WORKING TO

NARROW THE LOOPHOLES FOR EFFECTIVE DOMESTIC MONITORING AND

INTERNATIONAL OBSERVATION, BUT WE NEED TO KEEP PRESSING EVERY

OPPORTUNITY.

 

SULLIVAN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

@@@OASYS@@@

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5019

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03356 01 OF 02 141418Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   COR-01   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 A-00     ACQ-00

CIAE-00 INL-00   USNW-00 DODE-00 WHA-00   DS-00   EAP-00

EB-00   EUR-00   FBIE-00 UTED-00 FOE-00   VC-00   FSI-00

TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   JUSE-00 L-00     VCE-00   NEA-00

DCP-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02   OIG-03   IRM-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00

SA-00   R-00     EPAE-00 IIP-00   SNIS-00 NISC-00 DSCC-00

NFAT-00 SAS-00     /007W

——————3E15D6 141418Z /07

O 091154Z NOV 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0251

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY CANBERRA

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

AMEMBASSY ABUJA

AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS

AMEMBASSY OTTAWA

AMEMBASSY KINGSTON

AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM

AMEMBASSY OSLO

AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 003356

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03356 01 OF 02 141418Z

BRUSSELS ALSO FOR USEU

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y : (TEXT R/H MARGIN)

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/31/11

TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE MOVES TO PROHIBIT INDEPENDENT DOMESTIC

ELECTION MONITORS

 

REF: STATE 195461

 

CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF MATT HARRINGTON.

REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

1.(U) MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL, AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS

PATRICK CHINAMASA ANNOUNCED ON NOVEMBER 6 THE GOVERNMENT’S

INTENTION TO AMEND THE ELECTORAL ACT TO GIVE THE

PRESIDENTIALLY-APPOINTED ELECTORAL SUPERVISORY COMMISSION

(ESC) EXPLICIT RESPONSIBILITY FOR RECRUITMENT, TRAINING, AND

DEPLOYMENT OF ELECTION MONITORS. THE ESC HAS OVERSEEN THE

ACCREDITATION OF DOMESTIC MONITORS AND INTERNATIONAL

OBSERVERS IN THE PAST, BUT THIS HAS BEEN AN AD HOC

ARRANGEMENT, AS NEITHER THE CONSTITUTION NOR THE ELECTORAL

ACT CURRENTLY CONTAINS REFERENCES TO ELECTION MONITORS. THE

AMENDMENT, EXPECTED TO BE TABLED ONCE PARLIAMENT RECONVENES

ON NOVEMBER 20, WILL REQUIRE THE ESC TO DRAW DOMESTIC

MONITORS EXCLUSIVELY FROM THE RANKS OF CIVIL SERVANTS. IN

THE JUNE 2000 PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS, MOST OF THE MORE THAT

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03356 01 OF 02 141418Z

17,000 DOMESTIC MONITORS WERE DRAWN FROM PERSONNEL TRAINED

LOCAL NGO’S, WHOSE IMPARTIALITY, ACCORDING TO CHINAMASA, WAS

“QUESTIONABLE.” THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE SAID THAT

ARRANGEMENT “HAS BEEN DISCOVERED TO BE UNDESIRABLE,

CONSIDERING THE FACT THAT MOST NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

ARE PARTIAL, FOREIGN FUNDED, LOYAL TO THEIR FUNDERS AND

THEREFORE PRODUCE MONITORS WHO WERE PARTISAN.” CHINAMASA

PROMISED THAT INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS WOULD BE INVITED AFTER

THE DATES FOR THE ELECTION ARE ANNOUNCED (NOTE: ZANU-PF’S

ACTING POLITICAL COMMISSAR TOLD US ON NOVEMBER 8 THAT THE

ELECTION WOULD LIKELY BE HELD IN MARCH AND THAT SPECIFIC.

DATES COULD BE ANNOUNCED AS EARLY AS MID-DECEMBER, AT THE

RULING PARTY’S ANNUAL CONGRESS. END NOTE.)

 

2. (U) IN MORE BELLICOSE PUBLIC REMARKS, INFORMATION

MINISTER JONATHAN MOYO DISMISSED CONCERNS THAT THE GOZ MOVE

WOULD PREVENT CIVIL SOCIETY FROM MONITORING THE ELECTIONS.

CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS, HE SAID, HAVE NO INHERENT RIGHT TO

SERVE AS MONITORS, AS THEY ARE “DONOR CREATED AND HAVE NO

CONSTITUTIONAL STANDING.” MOYO LATER CLARIFIED THE

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ELECTION MONITORS AND ELECTION OBSERVERS

THE FORMER, HE SAID, SUPERVISE ELECTIONS AND HAVE THE RIGHT

TO POINT OUT AND CORRECT IRREGULARITIES THAT MIGHT OCCUR

DURING VOTING, AND THEY SHOULD BE DRAWN FROM A DOMESTIC POOL

OF IMPARTIAL ZIMBABWEANS. INTERNATIONAL MONITORS, HE

EMPHASIZED, HAVE NEVER PARTICIPATED IN ZIMBABWEAN ELECTIONS

OBSERVERS, ON THE OTHER HAND, ARE “NO DIFFERENT FROM

TOURISTS,” AS THEY MERELY WATCH THE PROCEEDINGS AND HAVE NO

RIGHT TO INTERVENE. ACCORDING TO MOYO, “THERE IS NO REASON

TO THINK” THAT ZIMBABWE WILL NOT INVITE INTERNATIONAL

OBSERVERS, AS IT HAS IN THE PAST, BUT HE STRESSED THAT ONLY

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03356 01 OF 02 141418Z

ZIMBABWE’S FRIENDS WOULD RECEIVE INVITATIONS. “I DON’T THINK

THE AMERICANS WILL INVITE THE TALIBAN TO MONITOR THEIR

ELECTIONS,” HE REMARKED HELPFULLY. CHINAMASA SEPARATELY

EXPLAINED THAT, ALTHOUGH OBSERVERS WOULD NOT BE PERMITTED

INSIDE THE POLLING STATIONS, THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO BRING AN

IRREGULARITIES TO THE ATTENTION OF LOCAL ELECTION OFFICIALS.

 

REACTIONS FROM CIVIL SOCIETY

—————————-

 

3. (C) EILEEN SAWYER, NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF THE LEGAL

RESOURCES FOUNDATION (LRF), A WELL-RESPECTED LEGAL RIGHTS

NGO, CRITICIZED THE GOZ MOVE AS A CLEAR EFFORT TO PROHIBIT

INDEPENDENT MONITORS. SHE NOTED THAT THE ESC IS A PARTISAN

BODY WHICH DOES NOT HAVE THE RESOURCES (ONLY TWO OF THE FIVE

SEATS ON THE COMMISSION ARE CURRENTLY FILLED, FOR INSTANCE)

TO OVERSEE THIS EFFORT. ACCORDING TO SAWYER, CIVIL SERVANTS

PREDOMINANTLY TEACHERS, HAVE BEEN USED AS MONITORS IN PAST

ELECTIONS, BUT THE GOZ NOW SUSPECTS THAT MOST TEACHERS HARBOR

SYMPATHIES FOR THE OPPOSITION MDC. AS A RESULT, THE

GOVERNMENT WILL NOW TAKE GREAT CARE TO ENSURE THAT MONITORS

ARE DRAWN FROM A POOL OF SYMPATHETIC “CIVIL SERVANTS,”

INCLUDING WAR VETERANS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATION

(CIO) AGENTS, AND UNEMPLOYED YOUTHS CURRENTLY ENROLLED IN A

RECENTLY-INAUGURATED NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE TRAINING PROGRAM

THE LRF’S CHIEF LEGAL ADVISOR HAS DETERMINED THAT THE STEPS

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5025

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03356 02 OF 02 141419Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   COR-01   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 A-00     ACQ-00

CIAE-00 INL-00   USNW-00 DODE-00 WHA-00   DS-00   EAP-00

EB-00   EUR-00   FBIE-00 UTED-00 FOE-00   VC-00   FSI-00

TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   JUSE-00 L-00     VCE-00   NEA-00

DCP-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02   OIG-03   IRM-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00

SA-00   R-00     EPAE-00 IIP-00   SNIS-00 NISC-00 DSCC-00

NFAT-00 SAS-00     /007W

——————3E15F6 141419Z /07

O 091154Z NOV 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0252

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY CANBERRA

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

AMEMBASSY ABUJA

AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS

AMEMBASSY OTTAWA

AMEMBASSY KINGSTON

AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM

AMEMBASSY OSLO

AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 003356

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03356 02 OF 02 141419Z

BRUSSELS ALSO FOR USEU

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (TEXT R/H MARGIN)

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/31/11

TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE MOVES TO PROHIBIT INDEPENDENT DOMESTIC

ELECTION MONITORS

 

ANNOUNCED BY CHINAMASA WOULD NOT VIOLATE THE CONSTITUTION OR

THE ELECTORAL ACT.

 

ZESN

 

4. (U) THE UMBRELLA NGO ZIMBABWE ELECTION SUPPORT NETWORK

(ZESN), WHICH HAS COORDINATED THE DOMESTIC MONITORING EFFORT

IN RECENT ELECTIONS, ISSUED A PUBLIC STATEMENT OF CONCERN

AFTER CHINAMASA’S ANNOUNCEMENT. ZESN LIKENED THE MONITORING

OF ELECTIONS BY CIVIL SERVANTS TO STUDENTS GRADING THEIR OWN

EXAMS AND REITERATED PREVIOUS CALLS FOR FORMATION OF AN

INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION, WHICH IT TERMED AN

“ESSENTIAL PREREQUISITE FOR FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS.” IN THE

MEANTIME, ZESN VOWED TO “INTENSIFY VOTER EDUCATION AND

ELECTION MONITORING WHICH IS ALREADY UNDERWAY” AND INSISTED

IT WOULD “NOT SHY AWAY FROM BOTH OUR RIGHT AND DUTY TO

OBSERVE THE COMING ELECTIONS.” IN A POINTED CONCLUDING

PARAGRAPH, ZESN OFFERED TO SHARE WITH GOVERNMENT “THE

ELECTORAL MONITORING EXPERTISE AND RESOURCES WE HAVE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03356 02 OF 02 141419Z

PAINSTAKINGLY DEVELOPED OVER SEVERAL YEARS.”

 

COMMENT

——-

 

5. (C) IT IS DIFFICULT TO OFFER DEFINITIVE CONCLUSIONS AND

ANALYSES UNTIL WE SEE THE TEXT OF THE PROPOSED LEGISLATION,

BUT IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT GOVERNMENT INTENDS TO PREVENT

MONITORS IT PERCEIVES AS ANTI-ZANU-PF FROM PARTICIPATING IN

THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. AS THE COMMENTS BY CHINAMASA AND

MOYO REVEAL, SENIOR GOZ OFFICIALS BELIEVE THAT A MAJORITY OF

LOCAL NGO’S ARE FRONT ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTING THE

INTERESTS OF WESTERN COUNTRIES, AND ARE WORKING TO ENSURE AN

MDC VICTORY IN NEXT YEAR’S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. AS A

RESULT, THE GOVERNMENT WILL ATTEMPT TO PUT IN PLACE MONITOR

SYMPATHETIC TO IT. ANOTHER EQUALLY LIKELY POSSIBILITY, IN

OUR VIEW, IS THAT THE ESC SIMPLY WILL BE UNABLE TO RECRUIT,

TRAIN, AND ACCREDIT SUFFICIENT NUMBERS OF PEOPLE, MEANING

VERY FEW DOMESTIC MONITORS WILL BE IN PLACE ON ELECTION DAY

THE PROSPECT THAT EITHER SCENARIO WILL COME TO PASS FURTHER

DAMPENS OUR HOPE THAT NEXT YEAR’S ELECTION WILL APPROACH FR

AND FAIR. THAT SAID, IT APPEARS THAT, ALTHOUGH CIVIL SOCIETY

GROUPS SUCH AS ZESN WILL BE BARRED FROM ENTERING THE POLLING

STATIONS ON ELECTION DAYS, THEY WILL CONTINUE TO BE ABLE TO

MONITOR PREPARATIONS AND POLITICAL VIOLENCE DURING THE PRE-

ELECTION PERIOD. THEIR EXCLUSION FROM THE POLLING STATIONS

ON ELECTION DAYS WILL MAKE THE ROLE OF THE POLITICAL PARTY

AGENTS WHO ARE PERMITTED INSIDE PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT.

 

6. (C) MOYO’S REMARKS PROVIDED USEFUL CLARIFICATION OF THE

GOVERNMENT’S DISTINCTION BETWEEN MONITORS AND OBSERVERS,

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03356 02 OF 02 141419Z

WHILE   CHINAMASA’S COMMENTS LEAVE OPEN THE POSSIBILITY THAT

INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS COULD BE INVITED AS EARLY AS MID-

DECEMBER. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT GOVERNMENT IS WORKING TO

NARROW THE LOOPHOLES FOR EFFECTIVE DOMESTIC MONITORING AND

INTERNATIONAL OBSERVATION, BUT WE NEED TO KEEP PRESSING EVERY

OPPORTUNITY.

 

SULLIVAN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

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