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MDC expected to win at least 80 seats in 2000

The Movement for Democratic Change, which was less than a year old, expected to win between 80 and 85 seats in the 2000 elections which would have catapulted it into power but the United States embassy expected it to win 60 seats.

In a cable on the eve of the elections the embassy said the MDC’s challenge would be the three Mashonaland East provinces which were traditional Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front strongholds.

The MDC itself expected to win 80 to 85 seats but the embassy said it was unlikely to reach that figure because of rigging.

The MDC needed to win 76 to beat ZANU-PF. Although there were 120 elected seats, the House had 150 seats with 30 appointed by the President.

Below is how the embassy assessed the MDC’s performance.

 

Viewing cable 00HARARE3460, DESPITE STIFF COMPETITION, POTENTIAL FOR

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE3460

2000-06-23 13:50

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.

 

231350Z Jun 00

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ3095

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03460 01 OF 07 231346Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00

DOTE-00 WHA-00   SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00

FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00  LAB-01   L-00

VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00

DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /007W

——————664AAA 231347Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6401

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC PRIORITY

DEPTTREAS WASHDC PRIORITY

USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 07 HARARE 003460

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF PDAS NANCY POWELL, AF DAS WITNEY SCHNEIDMAN,

AND AF/S – ARLENE RENDER

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

DOL FOR ILAB/ROBERT SHEPARD

 

TREASURY FOR OASIA/RALYEA AND NATAN EPSTEIN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03460 01 OF 07 231346Z

USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS

 

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

 

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

 

PASS USAID WASHDC FOR AFR/SA – NAN NEWMAN, OTI – MARC

SCOTT, AND A/AID – RICHARD MCCALL

 

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/22/2000

TAGS: PGOV PREL ELAB PINR ZI

SUBJECT: DESPITE STIFF COMPETITION, POTENTIAL FOR

VIOLENCE IN SOME AREAS, AND EXPECTED VOTE RIGGING, MDC

LIKELY TO WIN ABOUT 60 SEATS

 

REF: HARARE 3382

 

CLASSIFIED BY LABOFF SHAWN THORNE FOR REASONS 1.5 (B)

AND (D).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: ON THE EVE OF THE JUNE 24-25

PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS, THIS CABLE OFFERS POST’S

PREDICTIONS FOR HOTSPOTS AND TOUGH RACES AMONG

CONSTITUENCIES IN ZIMBABWE’S TEN PROVINCES. THE MDC IS

EXPECTED TO FARE VERY WELL IN MOST PROVINCES, WITH ITS

TOUGHEST CHALLENGE COMING FROM THE TRADITIONAL ZANU-PF

STRONGHOLDS OF THE “THREE MASHONALANDS” (MASHONALAND

CENTRAL, EAST, AND WEST), AND MASVINGO. POST PREDICTS A

WIN OF ABOUT 60 SEATS FOR THE MDC, ALTHOUGH OPPOSITION

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03460 01 OF 07 231346Z

LEADERS HAVE TOLD US THEY EXPECT TO WALK AWAY WITH 80-85

CONSTITUENCIES. LIKELY VOTE RIGGING CLEARLY WOULD AFFECT

THOSE NUMBERS. WHILE WE EXPECT THE ELECTION WEEKEND TO

BE REASONABLY QUIET, THE POTENTIAL FOR VIOLENCE WILL

INCREASE GREATLY IN THE JUNE 26-28 PERIOD, AS RESULTS

FROM EACH CONSTITUENCY ARE ANNOUNCED. IN THE RURAL

AREAS, MUGABE ALMOST CERTAINLY WILL GIVE WAR VETERANS

THE GREEN LIGHT TO SEEK REVENGE AGAINST COMMERCIAL

FARMERS, THEIR EMPLOYEES, AND COMMUNAL RESIDENTS SHOULD

THE RURAL VOTE NOT GO ZANU-PF’S WAY. END SUMMARY.

 

————————-

VIOLENCE DURING ELECTIONS

————————-

 

2. (C) ALTHOUGH THE POTENTIAL FOR VIOLENCE IN THE CITIES

AND ON OCCUPIED FARMS AFTER THE ELECTIONS IS HIGH, POST

EXPECTS JUNE 24 AND 25 TO BE REASONABLY QUIET DAYS AT

THE POLLS, WITH ONLY ISOLATED SKIRMISHES BETWEEN RIVAL

PARTIES OCCURRING IN SOME HOTSPOTS. THE ZIMBABWE

REPUBLIC POLICE INTENDS TO DEPLOY 30,000 OFFICERS TO THE

COUNTRY’S 4,000 POLLING STATIONS OVER THE VOTING

WEEKEND, AND ARMED MILITARY PERSONNEL ALSO ARE EXPECTED

TO BE VISIBLE. DESPITE SUCH DETERRENTS, SEVERAL HOTSPOTS

COULD SEE OUTBREAKS OF FIGHTING, PARTICULARLY IN THE

HIGH-DENSITY SUBURBS AND OCCUPIED FARMING AREAS.

FOLLOWING ARE SOME CONSTITUENCIES WHERE VIOLENCE IS MORE

LIKELY TO OCCUR:

 

— BUDIRIRO, HARARE PROVINCE: A HIGH-DENSITY SUBURB AND

HOME TO WAR VETERANS’ LEADER CHENJERAI “HITLER” HUNZVI’S

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03460 01 OF 07 231346Z

MEDICAL OFFICES, WHERE MDC SUPPORTERS ALLEGEDLY HAVE

BEEN TORTURED.

 

— CHITUNGWIZA AND HIGHFIELD, HARARE PROVINCE: TWO OF

THE CAPITAL’S LARGEST HIGH-DENSITY SUBURBS.

 

— PLUMTREE, BULAWAYO PROVINCE: A LARGE PERI-URBAN AREA

ON THE BOTSWANA BORDER.

 

— KWEKWE, MIDLANDS: TERRITORY OF MINISTER OF JUSTICE

AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS EMMERSON MNANGAGWA, A ZANU-PF

HARD-LINER WHO HAS FULLY EMBRACED PRESIDENT MUGABE’S

CAMPAIGN STRATEGY OF VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION.

 

— THE FOLLOWING AREAS IN MASHONALAND EAST: WEDZA,

MUTOKO NORTH, MUTOKO SOUTH, MUDZI, MUREHWA NORTH,

MUREHWA SOUTH, GOROMONZI, AND CHIKOMBA. THESE ARE

COMMERCIAL FARMING AREAS HEAVILY OCCUPIED BY MILITANT

WAR VETERANS AND OTHER ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS. MDC PRESIDENT

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI HAS DECLARED THESE “NO-GO” AREAS FOR

CAMPAIGNING MDC CANDIDATES, AND INCIDENTS OF VIOLENCE

AGAINST FARM WORKERS — AS WELL AS THREATS OF PUNISHMENT

IF MDC WINS HERE — ARE EXTREMELY NUMEROUS.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ3098

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03460 02 OF 07 231347Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00

DOTE-00 WHA-00   SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00

FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01   L-00

VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00

DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /007W

——————664AC0 231347Z /38

P 231350Z JUN 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6402

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC PRIORITY

DEPTTREAS WASHDC PRIORITY

USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PRIORITY

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 07 HARARE 003460

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF PDAS NANCY POWELL, AF DAS WITNEY SCHNEIDMAN,

AND AF/S – ARLENE RENDER

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

DOL FOR ILAB/ROBERT SHEPARD

 

TREASURY FOR OASIA/RALYEA AND NATAN EPSTEIN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03460 02 OF 07 231347Z

USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS

 

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

 

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

 

PASS USAID WASHDC FOR AFR/SA – NAN NEWMAN, OTI – MARC

SCOTT, AND A/AID – RICHARD MCCALL

 

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/22/2000

TAGS: PGOV PREL ELAB PINR ZI

SUBJECT: DESPITE STIFF COMPETITION, POTENTIAL FOR

VIOLENCE IN SOME AREAS, AND EXPECTED VOTE RIGGING, MDC

LIKELY TO WIN ABOUT 60 SEATS

 

—————————–

PREDICTIONS FOR EACH PROVINCE

—————————–

 

3. (C) IN POST’S VIEW, THE ELECTION BATTLE IS LIKELY TO

CENTER ON THE MDC’S EFFORTS TO WIN 76 SEATS AND SECURE A

SIMPLE MAJORITY IN THE 150-SEAT PARLIAMENT. THE RACE

WILL BE CLOSE, BUT IN THE END, WE PREDICT THE MDC

PROBABLY WILL FALL SHORT OF THE 76. (OF COURSE, IN THE

CASE OF RAMPANT RIGGING OR BALLOT BOX STUFFING, ALL BETS

ARE OFF.) THE FOLLOWING IS A BREAKDOWN OF OUR

PREDICTIONS BY PROVINCE, INCLUDING SOME NOTES ON TOUGH

RACES IN PARTICULAR CONSTITUENCIES.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03460 02 OF 07 231347Z

4. (C) HARARE (19 SEATS): THE MDC IS EXPECTED TO WIN A

LARGE MAJORITY OF CONSTITUENCIES WITH VOTES FROM

WORKERS, UNEMPLOYED YOUTH, THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY (WHITE

AND BLACK), AND OTHER WELL INFORMED ZIMBABWEANS WHO

BLAME THE RULING PARTY FOR THE COLLAPSE OF ZIMBABWE’S

ECONOMY.

 

— IN HARARE NORTH, THOUGH, THE INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE

CHESTER MHENDE IS FAVORED TO WIN OVER THE ZANU-PF AND

MDC CANDIDATES. (TRUDY STEVENSON, THE MDC NOMINEE, IS A

CONTROVERSIAL FIGURE AND NOT A NATIVE-BORN ZIMBABWEAN;

SHE MAY HAVE DIFFICULTY GARNERING VOTES.)

 

— HARARE SOUTH ALSO IS EXPECTED TO BE A TOUGH RACE

BETWEEN INCUMBENT MARGARET DONGO, PRESIDENT OF THE

ZIMBABWE UNION OF DEMOCRATS AND CURRENTLY THE ONLY

INDEPENDENT PARLIAMENTARIAN, ZANU-PF CANDIDATE VIVIAN

MWASHITA, AND MDC CHALLENGER GABRIEL CHAIBVA. THE

OUTCOME IS DIFFICULT TO PREDICT; DONGO HAS STOOD THE

TEST OF TIME IN HER CONSTITUENCY, RETAINS SUBSTANTIAL

POPULARITY, BUT HAS BEEN SOMEWHAT MARGINALIZED ON THE

NATIONAL POLITICAL SCENE. SHE HAS COMPLAINED

VOCIFEROUSLY, HOWEVER, THAT AS A RESULT OF THE REDRAWING

OF THE HARARE SOUTH BOUNDARIES BY THE DELIMITATION

COMMISSION, ABOUT 5,000 SOLDIERS ON A NEARBY MILITARY

BASE NOW ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE IN HER DISTRICT. DONGO

IS WORRIED THAT THE MILITARY VOTES (EITHER GENUINE OR

DOCTORED BY THE RULING PARTY) COULD SWING THE ELECTION

IN FAVOR OF MWASHITA. THE MDC ALSO IS EXTREMELY POPULAR

THROUGHOUT THE HARARE CONSTITUENCIES, AND CHAIBVA, WHILE

NOT WELL KNOWN, CANNOT BE RULED OUT.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03460 02 OF 07 231347Z

 

— MDC CANDIDATES ARE EXPECTED TO WIN IN THE INFAMOUS

CONSTITUENCIES OF BUDIRIRO (HOME OF HUNZVI’S SURGERY),

AND CHITUNGWIZA (HARARE’S MOST CROWDED HIGH DENSITY

SUBURB AND SITE OF FREQUENT VIOLENT CLASHES).

 

5. (C) BULAWAYO (8 SEATS), MATABELELAND NORTH (7 SEATS),

AND MATABELELAND SOUTH (8 SEATS): THE MDC IS EXPECTED TO

WIN A LARGE MAJORITY OF THE SEATS IN THESE PROVINCES

DOMINATED BY THE MARGINALIZED NDEBELE ETHNIC GROUP. THE

MDC IS FIELDING A LOT OF UNKNOWN CANDIDATES IN THESE

PROVINCES, THOUGH, AND MANY INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES ALSO

ARE LOOKING TO SNATCH VOTES FROM THE RULING PARTY. FOR

THEIR PART, MDC LEADERS ARE CONFIDENT THAT THE NDEBELES

WILL SUPPORT THEM OVER INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES IN A

PROTEST VOTE AGAINST THE HUMAN RIGHTS ATROCITIES

SANCTIONED BY PRESIDENT MUGABE DURING THE MID-1980S. IN

BOTH BULAWAYO SOUTH AND MAKOBA, HOWEVER, TWO POPULAR

“INDEPENDENT” NDEBELE CANDIDATES STAND A GOOD CHANCE OF

BEATING BOTH THE ZANU-PF AND MDC NOMINEES. CHARLES MPOFU

(BULAWAYO SOUTH — SEE BELOW) AND MATSON HLALO (MAKOBA –

– SEE BELOW) ARE FORMER ZANU-PF’ERS WHO DEFECTED FROM

THE RULING PARTY AFTER THE 1999 BULAWAYO CITY COUNCIL

ELECTIONS AND STILL RETAIN SUBSTANTIAL POPULARITY IN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ3101

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03460 03 OF 07 231347Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00 CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00

DOTE-00 WHA-00   SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00

FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01   L-00

VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00

DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /007W

——————664ACA 231347Z /38

P 231350Z JUN 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6403

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC PRIORITY

DEPTTREAS WASHDC PRIORITY

USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PRIORITY

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 07 HARARE 003460

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF PDAS NANCY POWELL, AF DAS WITNEY SCHNEIDMAN,

AND AF/S – ARLENE RENDER

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

DOL FOR ILAB/ROBERT SHEPARD

 

TREASURY FOR OASIA/RALYEA AND NATAN EPSTEIN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03460 03 OF 07 231347Z

USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS

 

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

 

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

 

PASS USAID WASHDC FOR AFR/SA – NAN NEWMAN, OTI – MARC

SCOTT, AND A/AID – RICHARD MCCALL

 

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/22/2000

TAGS: PGOV PREL ELAB PINR ZI

SUBJECT: DESPITE STIFF COMPETITION, POTENTIAL FOR

VIOLENCE IN SOME AREAS, AND EXPECTED VOTE RIGGING, MDC

LIKELY TO WIN ABOUT 60 SEATS

 

THEIR AREAS.

 

— BULAWAYO SOUTH: THIS WILL BE A VERY DIFFICULT RACE

BETWEEN INDEPENDENT CHARLES MPOFU AND DAVID COLTART, THE

MDC SECRETARY FOR LEGAL AFFAIRS AND A PROMINENT ATTORNEY

AND HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST. THE ZANU-PF CANDIDATE,

CALLISTUS NDLOVU, IS NOT EXPECTED TO FARE WELL, AS HE IS

A KNOWN CRITIC OF FORMER VICE PRESIDENT AND NDEBELE

LEADER JOSHUA NKOMO.

 

— MAKOBA: THIS ALSO WILL BE A TOUGH RACE BETWEEN

INDEPENDENT MATSON HLALO, A WELL-KNOWN NDEBELE

POLITICIAN, POPULAR ZANU-PF CANDIDATE SITHEMBISO NYONI

(A MINISTER OF STATE IN THE OFFICE OF THE VICE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03460 03 OF 07 231347Z

PRESIDENT), AND LITTLE KNOWN MDC CANDIDATE THOKOZANI

KHUPE.

 

— NKULUMANE: A HIGH PROFILE AND DIFFICULT RACE WILL

TAKE PLACE BETWEEN MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS DUMISO

DABENGWA (AT ONE TIME A DISAFFECTED ZAPU DETAINEE), AND

MDC VICE PRESIDENT GIBSON SIBANDA. BOTH ARE NDEBELE, AND

BOTH ENJOY SUPPORT IN THE CONSTITUENCY. SIBANDA IS

FAVORED TO WIN, THOUGH, BOTH BECAUSE OF HIS TRADE UNION

ROOTS AND ASSOCIATION WITH THE MDC, AND BECAUSE OF

DABENGWA’S IMAGE AS A LAME DUCK IN MUGABE’S CABINET WHO

HAS TURNED HIS BACK ON HIS PEOPLE. IF SIBANDA WINS, IT

WILL BE A VERY BIG VICTORY FOR THE MDC.

 

— BULAWAYO NORTH: FORMER BULAWAYO MAYOR JOSHUA MAHLINGA

(ALSO AN ADVOCATE FOR THE RIGHTS OF THE DISABLED), FACES

MDC SECRETARY GENERAL WELSHMAN NCUBE IN WHAT WILL LIKELY

BE A VERY CLOSE RACE. NCUBE, A PROFESSOR OF LAW AT THE

UNIVERSITY OF ZIMBABWE, RESIDES IN HARARE, HOWEVER, AND

MAY NOT BE SEEN AS A MAN FROM THE COMMUNITY.

 

6. (C) MANICALAND (14 SEATS): THE MDC IS EXPECTED TO WIN

AT LEAST HALF THE SEATS HERE, ALTHOUGH A FEW LIKELY WILL

BE LOST TO MORE POPULAR INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES. SEVERAL

ZANU-PF’ERS WHO, ALTHOUGH POPULAR IN THEIR

CONSTITUENCIES, LOST IN THE PRIMARIES TO CANDIDATES

SUBMITTED AT THE LAST MINUTE BY THE RULING PARTY

POLITBURO, ARE NOW RUNNING ON INDEPENDENT TICKETS. SOME,

LIKE FORMER PARLIAMENTARY CHIEF WHIP MOSES MVENGE IN

MUTARE CENTRAL, LAZARUS NZARAYEBANI IN MUTARE SOUTH, AND

SHEPHERD MUKWEKWEZEKE IN MUTARE WEST, FORMERLY WERE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03460 03 OF 07 231347Z

OUTSPOKEN ZANU-PF PARLIAMENTARIANS WHOM THE POLITBURO

EFFECTIVELY SIDELINED FOR CRITICIZING RULING PARTY

POLICIES. THEY AND OTHER INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES ARE

POPULAR IN MANICALAND, A PROVINCE KNOWN FOR ITS LONG-

TIME SUPPORT OF INDEPENDENTS. MDC NONETHELESS EXPECTS TO

FARE EXTREMELY WELL IN MANICALAND, PARTLY BECAUSE THOSE

VOTES THAT THE RULING PARTY DOES RECEIVE ARE LIKELY TO

BE SPLIT BETWEEN THE NEW “ZANU-PF INDEPENDENTS” AND

FORMAL RULING PARTY CANDIDATES. CONSTITUENCIES IN

MANICALAND WHERE THE OUTCOME LOOKS REASONABLY CERTAIN AT

THIS POINT INCLUDE:

 

— BUHERA NORTH, WHERE MORGAN TSVANGIRAI IS PITTED

AGAINST MANICALAND GOVERNOR KENNETH MANYONDA. ALTHOUGH

WELL RESPECTED, MANYONDA ALMOST CERTAINLY WILL NOT BE

ABLE TO COMPETE WITH TSVANGIRAI’S IMMENSE NATIONAL

POPULARITY.

 

— MAKONI NORTH, WHERE ZANU-PF INCUMBENT DIDIMUS MUTASA,

THE RULING PARTY’S SECRETARY FOR ADMINISTRATION, IS

EXPECTED TO DEFEAT THE MDC’S LITTLE KNOWN V.T. ZISWA.

 

— CHIPINGE NORTH, WHERE ZANU-PF’S GIDDEON GOKO LIKELY

WILL DEFEAT THE MDC’S MATHIAS MLAMBO.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ3104

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03460 04 OF 07 231347Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00

DOTE-00 WHA-00   SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00

FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01   L-00

VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00

DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /007W

——————664AD6 231347Z /38

P 231350Z JUN 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6404

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC PRIORITY

DEPTTREAS WASHDC PRIORITY

USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PRIORITY

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 04 OF 07 HARARE 003460

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF PDAS NANCY POWELL, AF DAS WITNEY SCHNEIDMAN,

AND AF/S – ARLENE RENDER

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

DOL FOR ILAB/ROBERT SHEPARD

 

TREASURY FOR OASIA/RALYEA AND NATAN EPSTEIN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03460 04 OF 07 231347Z

USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS

 

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

 

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

 

PASS USAID WASHDC FOR AFR/SA – NAN NEWMAN, OTI – MARC

SCOTT, AND A/AID – RICHARD MCCALL

 

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/22/2000

TAGS: PGOV PREL ELAB PINR ZI

SUBJECT: DESPITE STIFF COMPETITION, POTENTIAL FOR

VIOLENCE IN SOME AREAS, AND EXPECTED VOTE RIGGING, MDC

LIKELY TO WIN ABOUT 60 SEATS

 

7. (C) MIDLANDS (17 SEATS): THE MDC IS LIKELY TO WIN

MORE THAN HALF OF THE SEATS IN THIS PROVINCE,

PARTICULARLY AMONG THE NDEBELE CONSTITUENCIES THAT

COMPRISE ABOUT HALF OF ALL MIDLANDS SEATS. THE FOLLOWING

TWO CONSTITUENCIES, HOWEVER, ARE EXPECTED TO GO TO ZANU-

PF:

 

— KWEKWE: MINISTRY OF JUSTICE AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS

EMMERSON MNANGAGWA IS FAVORED TO BEAT UNKNOWN MDC

CANDIDATE BLESSING CHEBUNDO. THE MINISTER IS A

NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED ZANU-PF HARD-LINER AND ONE OF

ZIMBABWE’S MOST POWERFUL FIGURES, AND HE USED HIS

INFLUENCE TO SECURE FOOD, INFRASTRUCTURE, AND OTHER

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03460 04 OF 07 231347Z

ITEMS OF PATRONAGE FOR HIS CONSTITUENTS OVER THE YEARS.

UNDER MNANGAGWA’S WATCHFUL EYE, VIOLENT CLASHES HAVE

OCCURRED FREQUENTLY BETWEEN RULING PARTY AND MDC

SUPPORTERS IN KWEKWE, AND THE MINISTER IS EXPECTED TO GO

TO ANY LENGTH TO RETAIN HIS PARLIAMENTARY SEAT.

 

— MKOBA: THE POPULAR ZANU-PF CANDIDATE FREDERICK SHAVA

IS FAVORED TO BEAT MDC UNKNOWN STANLEY MAKWEMBERE.

 

8. (C) MASVINGO (14 SEATS): THIS WILL BE A TOUGHER

PROVINCE FOR THE MDC, WITH THE VOTES SPLIT ABOUT EVENLY

BETWEEN THE MDC AND ZANU-PF. SEVERAL OF THE RULING

PARTY’S MOST PROMINENT FIGURES ARE DEFENDING THEIR

TERRITORIES IN MASVINGO, AND MANY OF THE CONSTITUENCIES

WILL BE HOTLY CONTESTED.

 

— MASVINGO CENTRAL: ZANU-PF INCUMBENT DZIKIMAI

MAVHAIRE, WHOSE OUTSPOKEN CRITICISM OF PRESIDENT MUGABE

RESULTED IN HIS SUSPENSION FROM PARLIAMENT BETWEEN 1997

AND 1999, IS HEAVILY FAVORED TO BEAT MDC CANDIDATE SILAS

MANGONO.

 

— MASVINGO SOUTH: EDDISON ZVOGBO, A MODERATE BUT SENIOR

ZANU-PF’ER AND MINISTER OF STATE IN THE OFFICE OF THE

PRESIDENT, ALSO IS HEAVILY FAVORED TO BEAT MDC’ER

ZACHARIA RIOGA.

 

— MASVINGO NORTH: DESPITE HIS NATIONAL PERSONA AND

SENIOR POSITION IN THE PARTY, MINISTER OF FOREIGN

AFFAIRS STANISLAUS MUDENGE (WHOSE POPULARITY AMONG HIS

CONSTITUENTS HAS DECLINED SIGNIFICANTLY IN RECENT

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03460 04 OF 07 231347Z

YEARS), WILL HAVE A TOUGH BATTLE AGAINST MDC CANDIDATE

JOSEPH MUTEMA.

 

— GUTU NORTH: VICE PRESIDENT SIMON MUZENDA FACES MDC

LOCAL CRISPA MUSONI. ALTHOUGH THE VICE PRESIDENT’S NAME

IS MUCH BETTER KNOWN, HE IS REGARDED BY MOST AS TOO OLD

AND OUT OF TOUCH TO BE EFFECTIVE IN OFFICE, AND IN

RECENT YEARS HE HAS FAILED TO BRING THE PATRONAGE TO

GUTU NORTH THAT HIS CONSTITUENTS HAVE COME TO EXPECT.

DURING A RECENT CAMPAIGN RALLY, MUZENDA LEVIED HARSH,

BELITTLING REMARKS AT POPULAR FELLOW PARTY MEMBERS

MAVHAIRE AND ZVOGBO, BOTH OF WHOM FAILED TO ATTEND THE

VICE PRESIDENT’S RALLY BECAUSE THEY WERE BUSY

CAMPAIGNING IN THEIR OWN CONSTITUENCIES. WHETHER THIS

CRITICISM HAD ANY NEGATIVE EFFECT — ON ANY OF THE THREE

CANDIDATES — REMAINS TO BE SEEN. THE VICE PRESIDENT

ALSO MAY SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES OF TALKING DOWN TO

VOTERS BY TELLING THEM IN A RECENT CAMPAIGN SPEECH THAT

THEY MUST SUPPORT THE ZANU-PF CANDIDATE, EVEN IF THE

PARTY RUNS “A BABOON.”

 

9. (C) MASHONALAND EAST, WEST, AND CENTRAL (34 SEATS):

DESPITE WIDESPREAD VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION, WE EXPECT

THE MDC TO WIN SOME SEATS IN THESE AREAS, ALTHOUGH NOT

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ3106

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03460 05 OF 07 231348Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00

DOTE-00 WHA-00   SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00

FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01   L-00

VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00

DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /007W

——————664AE6 231348Z /38

P 231350Z JUN 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6405

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC PRIORITY

DEPTTREAS WASHDC PRIORITY

USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PRIORITY

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 05 OF 07 HARARE 003460

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF PDAS NANCY POWELL, AF DAS WITNEY SCHNEIDMAN,

AND AF/S – ARLENE RENDER

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

DOL FOR ILAB/ROBERT SHEPARD

 

TREASURY FOR OASIA/RALYEA AND NATAN EPSTEIN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03460 05 OF 07 231348Z

USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS

 

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

 

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

 

PASS USAID WASHDC FOR AFR/SA – NAN NEWMAN, OTI – MARC

SCOTT, AND A/AID – RICHARD MCCALL

 

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/22/2000

TAGS: PGOV PREL ELAB PINR ZI

SUBJECT: DESPITE STIFF COMPETITION, POTENTIAL FOR

VIOLENCE IN SOME AREAS, AND EXPECTED VOTE RIGGING, MDC

LIKELY TO WIN ABOUT 60 SEATS

 

THE MAJORITY. THE “MASHONALANDS” ARE ZANU-PF

STRONGHOLDS, WHERE FARM OCCUPATIONS AND THE WAR

VETERANS’ CAMPAIGN OF VIOLENCE HAVE BEEN THE MOST

AGGRESSIVE. NUMEROUS REPORTS HAVE SURFACED FROM THE

REGION THAT CIO AGENTS AND MEMBERS OF MUGABE’S

PRESIDENTIAL GUARD WERE BUSED IN TO LEAD THE WAR

VETERANS AND OTHER HIRED THUGS IN THE “RE-EDUCATION” OF

RURAL RESIDENTS, INCLUDING FORCED ATTENDANCE AT

POLITICAL RALLIES, PROPERTY DESTRUCTION, BEATINGS, AND

MURDERS. IN THE MIDST OF THESE SUBVERSIVE TACTICS, ZANU-

PF INCUMBENTS AND SENIOR POLITICIANS, INCLUDING

PRESIDENT MUGABE, HAVE CAMPAIGNED HERE VIGOROUSLY IN

RECENT WEEKS.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03460 05 OF 07 231348Z

10. (C) MEANWHILE, SAFETY CONCERNS AND VOCIFEROUS

THREATS FROM THE WAR VETERANS HAVE PREVENTED THE MDC

FROM CAMPAIGNING IN THE REGION, WITH TSVANGIRAI

DECLARING THE MOST VIOLENT CONSTITUENCIES “NO GO” AREAS

FOR HIS PARTY’S CANDIDATES. ALTHOUGH THE MDC ASSERTS

THAT MASHONALAND RESIDENTS ARE KEEPING THEIR LOYALTY TO

THE PARTY HIDDEN AND WILL VOTE THEIR CONSCIENCE ON

ELECTION DAY, IT IS MORE LIKELY THAT THE STATE-SPONSORED

VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION HAS TAKEN ITS TOLL. WE EXPECT

MANY FARM WORKERS AND RURAL RESIDENTS TO SIMPLY ABSTAIN

FROM VOTING, WHILE OTHERS, FEARING THAT THEIR BALLOT

WILL NOT BE SECRET, WILL VOTE ZANU-PF. ECONOMIC DECLINE

AND DISGUST WITH THE RULING PARTY’S SCARE TACTICS

PROBABLY WILL PROMPT VOTERS TO HAND THE MDC QUITE A FEW

OF THE 34 SEATS IN THE REGION, BUT CERTAINLY NOT A

MAJORITY.

 

11. (C) FOLLOWING ARE SOME HIGH PROFILE RACES IN THE

“MASHONALANDS”:

 

— BINDURA, MASH. CENTRAL: THE INFAMOUS PROVINCIAL

GOVERNOR, BORDER GEZI, RESPONSIBLE FOR A SUBSTANTIAL

NUMBER OF SERIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND DUBBED

ZANU-PF’S CAMPAIGN “MASCOT” BY THE INDEPENDENT PRESS,

HAS CAMPAIGNED VIGOROUSLY FOR THE RULING PARTY. GEZI HAS

PERSONALLY SPEARHEADED THE WAR VETERANS’ REIGN OF TERROR

IN THE AREA. HIS ENORMOUS PERSONA IS FAVORED TO WIN OVER

LITTLE-KNOWN MDC CANDIDATE ELLIOT PFEBVE.

 

— MAZOWE EAST, MASH. CENTRAL: MINISTER OF INFORMATION,

POSTS, AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS CHEN CHIMUNTENGWENDE IS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03460 05 OF 07 231348Z

WILL HAVE A DIFFICULT FIGHT AGAINST POPULAR MDC

CANDIDATE SHEPHERD MUSHONGA.

 

— GURUVE SOUTH, MASH. CENTRAL: THIS WILL BE A VERY

CLOSE RACE BETWEEN THE POLISHED AND POPULAR DEPUTY

MINISTER OF MINES, ENVIRONMENT, AND TOURISM, EDWARD

CHINDORI-CHININGA, AND THE EQUALLY POPULAR DEPUTY

SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE MDC, GIFT CHIMANIKIRE (WHO ALSO

 

SIPDIS

IS HEAD OF THE PTC WORKERS’ UNION). BOTH WERE BORN IN

GURUVE SOUTH AND HAVE RUN VERY SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGNS.

 

— SHAMVA, MASH. CENTRAL: DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER

NICHOLAS GOCHE, WHOSE POPULARITY HAS WANED IN RECENT

YEARS, PROBABLY WILL MANAGE TO RETAIN HIS SEAT, FENDING

OFF A DIFFICULT CHALLENGE FROM POPULAR LOCAL MDC

CANDIDATE JOSEPH MASHINYA.

 

— MARONDERA EAST, MASH. EAST: MINISTER OF NATIONAL

SECURITY SYDNEY SEKERAMAYI PROBABLY WILL WIN OVER LITTLE

KNOWN MDC CANDIDATE DIDIMUS MUNHENZVA — NOT BECAUSE OF

HIS POPULARITY, BUT MORE BECAUSE OF HIS ROLE AS THE HEAD

OF ZIMBABWE’S SINISTER CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATION

(WHOSE AGENTS HAVE BEEN INTIMIDATING VOTERS IN HIS AREA

FOR SEVERAL MONTHS).

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ3110

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03460 06 OF 07 231348Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00

DOTE-00 WHA-00   SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00

FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01   L-00

VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00

DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /007W

——————664AF9 231348Z /38

P 231350Z JUN 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6406

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC PRIORITY

DEPTTREAS WASHDC PRIORITY

USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PRIORITY

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 06 OF 07 HARARE 003460

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF PDAS NANCY POWELL, AF DAS WITNEY SCHNEIDMAN,

AND AF/S – ARLENE RENDER

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

DOL FOR ILAB/ROBERT SHEPARD

 

TREASURY FOR OASIA/RALYEA AND NATAN EPSTEIN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03460 06 OF 07 231348Z

USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS

 

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

 

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

 

PASS USAID WASHDC FOR AFR/SA – NAN NEWMAN, OTI – MARC

SCOTT, AND A/AID – RICHARD MCCALL

 

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/22/2000

TAGS: PGOV PREL ELAB PINR ZI

SUBJECT: DESPITE STIFF COMPETITION, POTENTIAL FOR

VIOLENCE IN SOME AREAS, AND EXPECTED VOTE RIGGING, MDC

LIKELY TO WIN ABOUT 60 SEATS

 

12. (C) MASHONALAND EAST IN PARTICULAR PROBABLY HAS THE

GREATEST POTENTIAL FOR VIOLENCE DURING THE ELECTIONS.

ZANU-PF CANDIDATES ARE FAVORED TO WIN HERE AS A RESULT

OF THE WAR VETERANS’ PARTICULARLY AGGRESSIVE TACTICS:

 

— MUTOKO NORTH

— MUTOKO SOUTH

— WEDZA

— MARONDERA WEST (NOTE: THE INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE, JOHN

TSIMBA, WHO FORMERLY BELONGED TO ZANU-PF MAY BEAT RUFARO

 

SIPDIS

GWANZURA, A NON-LOCAL CANDIDATE INSERTED BY THE RULING

PARTY POLITBURO AT THE LAST MINUTE. END NOTE.)

— MUDZI

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03460 06 OF 07 231348Z

— MUREHWA NORTH

— MUREHWA SOUTH

— GOROMONZI

— CHIKOMBA, WHERE WAR VETERANS’ LEADERS CHENJERAI

“HITLER” HUNZVI FACES POPULAR MDC CANDIDATE PETER

KAUNDA.

 

———————————-

FACTORS WORKING IN THE MDC’S FAVOR

———————————-

 

13. (C) VOTING FOR A PARTY, NOT AN INDIVIDUAL: THE

OVERRIDING SENTIMENT IN THE COUNTRY IS THAT ZIMBABWEANS

ARE VOTING FOR A PARTY MORE THAN THEY ARE CONSIDERING

THE INDIVIDUAL QUALIFICATIONS OF EACH CANDIDATE. THE

MDC’S SUPPORT STEMS FIRST AND FOREMOST FROM THE FACT

THAT IT PROMISES CHANGE, IN PARTICULAR ECONOMIC REFORM,

AND A NEW, MORE TRANSPARENT, AND MORE INCLUSIVE STYLE OF

GOVERNANCE. IN MANY CONSTITUENCIES, THE ZANU-PF

INCUMBENTS HAVE FAILED TO DELIVER ON THEIR PROMISES TO

THEIR CONSTITUENTS — INDEED, MANY HARDLY SET FOOT IN

THE AREA OUTSIDE OF ELECTION SEASON. THE MDC ALSO HAS

BEEN CAREFUL TO CHOOSE CANDIDATES WHO ARE FROM THE AREAS

IN WHICH THEY’RE RUNNING AND ARE KNOWN AT LEAST TO THOSE

CONSTITUENTS, EVEN IF THEY HAVE NO HISTORY IN POLITICS.

AS A RESULT, EVEN LITTLE KNOWN MDC CANDIDATES STAND A

GOOD CHANCE IN MANY CASES OF UNSEATING FAMOUS (IN SOME

CASES INFAMOUS) ZANU-PF INCUMBENTS WHOSE POPULARITY HAS

WANED IN RECENT YEARS.

 

14. (C) RURAL VOTE SLIPPING AWAY FROM ZANU-PF: ONCE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03460 06 OF 07 231348Z

BASTIONS OF RULING PARTY SUPPORT, THE RURAL AREAS NO

LONGER ARE SURE BETS FOR THE ZANU-PF INCUMBENTS. MANY

COMMUNAL RESIDENTS AND FARM WORKERS, WHO COMPRISE OVER

60 PERCENT OF ZIMBABWE’S 5.1 MILLION VOTERS, EITHER HAVE

LIVED OR WORKED IN CITIES THEMSELVES, OR HAVE RELATIVES

WHO WORK IN THE CITIES AND COMMUTE HOME OFTEN. AS A

RESULT, MDC LEADERS POINT OUT THAT RURAL RESIDENTS ARE

NO LONGER AS IGNORANT OF NATIONAL POLITICS AS THEY ONCE

WERE, AND INCREASINGLY THEY BLAME ZANU-PF FOR THE

DECLINE IN THEIR DISPOSABLE INCOME AND STANDARD OF

LIVING — PARTICULARLY NOW THAT THE GOZ CAN NO LONGER

AFFORD TO MAINTAIN THE PATRONAGE SYSTEM THAT IT ONCE

ROBUSTLY MAINTAINED IN RURAL AREAS.

 

15. (C) ALREADY DISILLUSIONED WITH THE RULING PARTY,

RURAL RESIDENTS (PARTICULARLY IN THE “MASHONALANDS”)

HAVE BEEN SUFFERING SINCE FEBRUARY FROM VIOLENT ATTACKS

AND SEVERE PSYCHOLOGICAL INTIMIDATION WHICH THEY KNOW

HAVE BEEN SANCTIONED BY MUGABE AND, IN MANY CASES,

ORGANIZED BY THEIR OWN LOCAL POLITICIANS. MDC LEADERS

TELL US THAT, IF MUGABE HAD HELD ELECTIONS IN APRIL OR

MAY, THE MDC WOULD HAVE LOST MANY OF THE RURAL

CONSTITUENCIES. NOW, ARGUES THE MDC, COMMUNAL RESIDENTS

AND PARTICULARLY FARM WORKERS SEE CLEARLY WHAT THE

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ3111

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03460 07 OF 07 231348Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00

DOTE-00 WHA-00   SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00

FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01   L-00

VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00

DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /007W

——————664B01 231348Z /38

P 231350Z JUN 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6407

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC PRIORITY

DEPTTREAS WASHDC PRIORITY

USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PRIORITY

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 07 OF 07 HARARE 003460

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF PDAS NANCY POWELL, AF DAS WITNEY SCHNEIDMAN,

AND AF/S – ARLENE RENDER

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

DOL FOR ILAB/ROBERT SHEPARD

 

TREASURY FOR OASIA/RALYEA AND NATAN EPSTEIN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03460 07 OF 07 231348Z

USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS

 

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

 

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

 

PASS USAID WASHDC FOR AFR/SA – NAN NEWMAN, OTI – MARC

SCOTT, AND A/AID – RICHARD MCCALL

 

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/22/2000

TAGS: PGOV PREL ELAB PINR ZI

SUBJECT: DESPITE STIFF COMPETITION, POTENTIAL FOR

VIOLENCE IN SOME AREAS, AND EXPECTED VOTE RIGGING, MDC

LIKELY TO WIN ABOUT 60 SEATS

 

RULING PARTY REPRESENTS, AND THEY WILL VOTE TO REJECT

THEIR ZANU-PF AGGRESSORS ON ELECTION WEEKEND. POST

BELIEVES THE MDC WILL WIN, AND SURPRISINGLY SO, A

HEALTHY NUMBER OF RURAL CONSTITUENCIES (INCLUDING SOME

IN THE “MASHONALANDS”) AS A RESULT OF THE PARTY’S

ENERGETIC CAMPAIGNING IN THESE AREAS, AND AS A PROTEST

VOTE AGAINST STATE-SPONSORED INTIMIDATION. HOWEVER,

NEITHER THE MDC NOR POST BELIEVES THAT THE OPPOSITION

WILL SWEEP THE RURAL AREAS, EITHER BECAUSE OF CONTINUED

LOYALTY TO THE RULING PARTY, OR BECAUSE THE INTIMIDATION

HAS WORKED.

 

16. (C) “ZANU-PF INDEPENDENTS” SPLITTING THE VOTE:

ANOTHER SIGNAL OF THE RULING PARTY’S WANING SUPPORT IS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03460 07 OF 07 231348Z

THE RECORD NUMBER OF INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES RUNNING IN

THIS ELECTION. OF 566 TOTAL CANDIDATES, A STUNNING 40

PERCENT (OR 226) REPRESENT VARIOUS INDEPENDENT PARTIES

OTHER THAN ZANU-PF AND THE MDC. IN MANY CASES, THESE

INDEPENDENTS ACTUALLY ARE FORMER ZANU-PF’ERS WHO LOST IN

THE PRIMARIES TO OTHER RULING PARTY CANDIDATES. THE

ZANU-PF POLITBURO REPORTEDLY SIDELINED SOME OF ITS MORE

OUTSPOKEN MEMBERS, APPOINTING ZANU-PF LOYALISTS TO

REPLACE THEM IN THEIR OWN CONSTITUENCIES. THE DISPLACED

POLITICIANS — MANY OF WHOM STILL ENJOY WIDESPREAD

SUPPORT IN THEIR AREAS — THEREFORE ARE RUNNING AS

INDEPENDENTS, AND ARE EXPECTED TO TAKE AWAY A

SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF VOTES THAT NORMALLY WOULD BE FOR

THE RULING PARTY. SOME POPULAR FORMER ZANU-PF’ERS NOW

RUNNING AS INDEPENDENTS INCLUDE CHESTER MHENDE IN HARARE

NORTH, MOSES MVENGE IN MUTARE CENTRAL, VESTER SITHOLE IN

CHIPINGE NORTH (MANICALAND), LAZARUS NZARAYEBANI IN

MUTARE SOUTH, SHEPHERD MUKWEKWEZEKE IN MUTARE WEST, AND

JOHN TSIMBA IN MARONDERA WEST. WHETHER THE PRESENCE OF

THESE “ZANU-PF INDEPENDENTS” WILL HELP THE MDC REMAINS

TO BE SEEN.

 

———————————

ELECTION RIGGING: THE BIG UNKNOWN

———————————

 

17. (C) IF THERE IS A LIMITED AMOUNT OF VOTE RIGGING, WE

EXPECT THE MDC TO GARNER ABOUT 60 SEATS — MORE THAN THE

ONE-THIRD OF THE LEGISLATURE NECESSARY TO BLOCK

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS AND APPROPRIATIONS BILLS. THE

RULING PARTY HAS DEMONSTRATED THE DRASTIC LENGTHS TO

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03460 07 OF 07 231348Z

WHICH IT IS WILLING TO GO TO HANG ON TO POWER. THE

PRIMARY DETERRENTS TO ELECTION RIGGING WILL BE THE

DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL MONITORS, AS WELL AS THE

CANDIDATES’ POLLING AGENTS, WHOM ELECTION OFFICIALS ARE

SUPPOSED TO ALLOW TO REMAIN WITH THE BALLOT BOXES FROM

THE OPENING OF THE POLLS TO THE CONCLUSION OF THE COUNT.

ALTHOUGH DIPLOMATS WERE EVENTUALLY ACCREDITED, THE

ELECTION DIRECTORATE LIMITED THE NUMBER OF INTERNATIONAL

OBSERVERS IT WOULD ACCREDIT (INCLUDING DENYING NDI AND

IRI OBSERVER STATUS). IN THE END, WE EXPECT TO SEE A

TOTAL OF ABOUT 300 INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS ACTUALLY ON

THE GROUND. MEANWHILE, THE NUMBER OF DOMESTIC MONITORS

IS EXPECTED TO BE ABOUT 16,000, DOWN FROM THE 20,0000

ORIGINALLY PLANNED. THESE ACCREDITATION PROBLEMS

CERTAINLY ARE NO ACCIDENT. WITH THE NUMBER OF WATCHFUL

EYES ON THE BALLOT BOXES GREATLY REDUCED, IT REMAINS TO

BE SEEN WHETHER THE RULING PARTY WILL BE ABLE TO TAMPER

SIGNIFICANTLY WITH THE ELECTION RESULTS.

 

MCDONALD

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

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