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Khupe described the 2008 elections as a “slow moving coup”

The vice-President of the Tsvangirai faction of the Movement for Democratic Change Thokozani Khupe described the continued withholding of the presidential results in the 2008 elections and the announcement by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to recount results in 23 constituencies as a “slow moving coup”.

She told a press conference two weeks after the elections that the Central Intelligence Organisation was now in charge and not the ZEC, so any recount or run-off could not take place in a safe and secure setting.

Khupe said that any challenge to the results should have been lodged within 48 hours of the declaration of the duly elected parliamentary winners at the constituency level, and this was not done.

The MDC therefore planned to file a petition in the High Court to stop the recount.

But she added that regardless of the court’s decision, the MDC would not participate in or recognise the results of any recount because the chain of custody of the ballot boxes to be used in the recount had been compromised when the ZEC closed its national command centre and moved the ballots to an undisclosed location.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08HARARE327, SITUATION REPORT: MDC CALLS ELECTIONS A SLOW

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE327

2008-04-14 16:14

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO7194

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0327/01 1051614

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 141614Z APR 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2775

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1922

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1918

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2041

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0604

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1318

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1675

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2097

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4528

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1173

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC//DHO-7//

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK//DOOC/ECMO/CC/DAO/DOB/DOI//

RUZEHAA/CDR USEUCOM INTEL VAIHINGEN GE//ECJ23-CH/ECJ5M//

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000327

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

USAID FOR L.DOBBINS AND E. LOKEN

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/14/2018

TAGS: ASEC PHUM PGOV KDEM ZI

SUBJECT: SITUATION REPORT: MDC CALLS ELECTIONS A SLOW

MOVING COUP

 

REF: HARARE 313 AND PREVIOUS

 

Classified By: AMBASSADOR JAMES D. MCGEE FOR REASONS 1.4 (B & D)

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (U) At a press conference on April 14, MDC-Tsvangirai Vice

President Thokozani Khupe called the Zimbabwe Electoral

Commission,s (ZEC) continued withholding of presidential

results and the announcement of recounts in 23 constituencies

a “slow moving coup.” Additionally, Khupe sounded an alarm

about the state-run campaign of escalating violence and

applauded the extraordinary meeting of SADC heads of state

held on April 12 – 13. Khupe also reemphasized the

MDC-Tsvangirai position that the party would not participate

in any run-off. END SUMMARY.

 

———————

Reengineering Results

———————

 

2. (U) At a press conference on April 14, MDC-Tsvangirai Vice

President Thokozani Khupe called the continued withholding of

presidential results and an announcement to recount results

in 23 constituencies a “slow moving coup.” She stated that

the Central Intelligence Organization (CIO) rather than the

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) was now in charge of the

electoral process, so any recount or run-off could not take

place in a “safe and secure” setting.

 

3. (U) Khupe rejected as illegal and unconstitutional the ZEC

announcement published in the media over that weekend that it

intended to recount results in 23 constituencies on April 19.

She stated that any challenge to the results should have

been lodged within 48 hours of the declaration of the duly

elected parliamentary winners at the constituency level,

which was not done. As such, the MDC planned to file a

petition in the High Court to stop the recount. Regardless

of the court’s decision, Khupe said the MDC would not

participate in nor recognize the results of any recount

because the chain of custody of the ballot boxes to be used

in the recount had been compromised when the ZEC closed its

national command center and moved the ballots to an

undisclosed location.

 

——————–

Violence on the Rise

——————–

 

4. (U) Khupe reported that since the elections on March 29

more than 100 MDC supporters had been victimized and required

medical attention after being attacked by uniformed Zimbabwe

Republic Police (ZRP), war veterans, and youth militia

supporting ZANU-PF. The attacks had been mainly in areas

that were formally ZANU-PF strongholds, but that voted for

the opposition this time around. Dr. Francis Lovemore,

director of Counseling Services Unit (CSU), added that more

than 50 victims had required hospitalization for serious

injuries. Additionally, many farm workers had been attacked

and displaced with the recent invasions of white-owned farms.

Dr. Lovemore expressed concern that the pattern of attacks

and intimidation match what happened after the dubious

presidential elections in 2002.

 

——————-

Zimbabwe in Crisis?

——————-

 

5. (U) Khupe applauded SADC for calling the extraordinary

 

HARARE 00000327 002 OF 002

 

 

meeting on April 12 – 13 to discuss the Zimbabwe crisis. She

noted that MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai was invited to the

meeting and gave a closed-door briefing to the SADC heads of

state. Khupe added that it was noteworthy that SADC had

discussed the Zimbabwe situation for some 13 hours. She also

strongly dismissed South African President Thabo Mbeki’s

comment after talking with President Mugabe that there was no

crisis in Zimbabwe.

 

—————————–

MDC to keep applying pressure

—————————–

 

6. (U) Khupe said the MDC-Tsvangirai party has called for a

“stay-in” starting on April 15 to continue until results were

finally released. She added that the MDC had written to SADC

asking for observers to return to Zimbabwe to witness the

escalation of violence and intimidation. Khupe also stressed

that MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai was the clear winner of

the presidential election and the party would not participate

in a run-off.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

7. (C) MDC President Tsvangirai was not at the press

conference; we understand he is in South African and planned

to next travel to Botswana. The timing of his return to

Zimbabwe is unknown at this time.

 

8. (U) Harare remains calm, and most observers expect the

“stay in” to have little impact. END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

(21 VIEWS)

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