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Mamabolo said Mugabe’s votes might have been undercounted

South Africa’s former ambassador to Zimbabwe Kingsley Mamabolo, who was Pretoria’s special envoy to the Great Lakes, said he believed there was some truth in President Robert Mugabe’s statements that his votes were undercounted by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission officials in the 2008 elections because some of the officials were among the many ZANU-PF members who were “jumping ship to the MDC”.

He also believed that there was some truth in Movement for Democratic Change’s accusations of ZANU-PF’s role in ballot stuffing, placing deceased voters on rolls, and giving out plots of land so that people could double-vote.

Though he believed MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai had won the elections, he had not secured a clear majority.

The South African government therefore advocated a government of national unity rather than a run-off, but he added that the Zimbabwe’s political leaders were not listening.

 

Full cable:

Viewing cable 08PRETORIA740, SAG OFFICIAL FAVORS TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT IN

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08PRETORIA740

2008-04-09 12:56

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Pretoria

VZCZCXRO7485

PP RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSA #0740 1001256

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 091256Z APR 08

FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4088

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN PRIORITY 5493

RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN PRIORITY 9718

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L PRETORIA 000740

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF/S

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/08/2018

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL KDEM SF ZI

SUBJECT: SAG OFFICIAL FAVORS TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT IN

ZIMBABWE

 

REF: A. PRETORIA 727

 

B. PRETORIA 729

 

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Don Teitelbaum. Reasons 1.4(b)

and (d).

 

1. (C) DFA’s Great Lakes Special Envoy Ambassador Kingsley

Mamabolo, who headed South Africa’s SADC election observation

team in Zimbabwe, expressed frustration to PolCouns and

PolOff on 08 April about the current Zimbabwe crisis. He

started the conversation with the admission that “it looks

bad.” Though everyone was “very tolerant” on election day,

Mamabolo acknowledged he could see how both ZANU-PF and MDC

supporters could have rigged results either before or after

the actual election. Mamabolo believes there may be some

truth in Mugabe’s statements that his votes were undercounted

by ZEC officials, since some could be among the many ZANU-PF

members who are “jumping ship to the MDC.” He also believes

that there is some truth in MDC’s accusations of ZANU-PF’s

role in ballot stuffing, placing deceased voters on rolls,

and giving out plots of land so people could double-vote. In

this sense, Mamabolo believes that the SADC criteria for

election monitoring need to be revisited. “They are only

interested in the process on the actual day,” he said,

implying that this was not the only important criterion.

 

2. (C) The SAG is pushing Mugabe for the results, according

to Mamabolo, even though he himself believes Morgan

Tsvangirai won the presidential vote. However, since neither

 

SIPDIS

side won a clear majority, he said the SAG was pushing for a

transitional unity government without a run-off election, but

that “they’re not listening.” (COMMENT: It was not clear to

whom exactly Mamabolo was referring but PolOff was told on 08

April by numerous sources that both MDC and ZANU-PF are

becoming less and less flexible (septel). END COMMENT) When

asked whether Mugabe would be included in a unity government,

he replied “that would be up to MDC and ZANU-PF to work out,

but ideally no.” However, he admitted that some ZANU-PF

members are ready to join a MDC-ZANU-PF transitional

government. When asked about South Africa’s contingency

planning in the event Mugabe declares victory, Mamabolo

simply said “it’s been very difficult for us.”

 

3. (C) As an aside, Mamabolo complained about the inclusion

of opposition parliamentarians in South Africa’s elections

monitoring team. He accused Democratic Alliance observers of

“trying to score cheap political points,” and noted that

their individual public criticisms were not helpful to the

election mission. He believes that all South African

observers should have put aside personal political

differences, worked as a collective, and obeyed the rule they

had all agreed to and not spoken to the media. “I would have

liked to have expelled them if there was more time,” he said.

He also said that he will advise the SAG against including

parliamentarians in the next SADC observer mission.

BOST

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