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Mugabe a dictator trying to intimidate Africa and the world

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai described President Robert Mugabe as a violent dictator who was trying to intimidate Africa and the world.

He was speaking about the presidential elections run-off from which he had pulled out because of widespread violence against the people.

Tsvangirai had sought refuge in the Dutch embassy to avoid being arrested.

He said he was ready to negotiate with Mugabe but this should be on the basis that Mugabe was illegitimate and that he (Tsvangirai) had won the 29 March elections.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08HARARE555, HARARE: ELECTION DAY SITREP

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE555

2008-06-27 16:45

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO5274

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0555/01 1791645

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 271645Z JUN 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3102

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2102

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2222

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0760

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1499

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1857

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2278

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4709

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1368

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000555

 

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: 06/27/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM KDEM ZI

SUBJECT: HARARE: ELECTION DAY SITREP

 

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

 

——————

Embassy Observation

——————-

 

1. (SBU) The Embassy sent four observer teams throughout

Harare in the morning and three teams in the afternoon,

including one led by the Ambassador.   We had not sought

accreditation, nor did we attempt to observe outside of

Harare in light of the MDC’s withdrawal from the election.

 

2. (C) Harare has been calm the entire day. Voter turnout

in general was greatly reduced from that of the March 29

elections. Turnout appeared dependent on the control ZANU-PF

had been able to exercise in particular areas. In Hatcliff,

for example, which has been the scene of significant

violence, turn out was relatively high, but in most other

areas it was low. Many people were afraid to talk with us,

and fear was palpable. Those people who did talk with us

told us ZANU-PF had attempted to intimidate them into voting

through what has been termed “Operation Red Finger.” Voters

dip their fingers in long-lasting ink after voting, and there

are reports that ZANU-PF will gather people tomorrow to

inspect their fingers; punishment will be imposed on those

who did not vote. Additionally some voters were told to

provide ZANU-PF officials with the serial number of their

ballots; presumably their votes could later be checked.

 

3. (C) Despite the intimidation and threats, a number of

people told us they would refuse to vote. Others said they

would vote but would submit spoiled ballots. While there

have been only few and scattered reports of violence

throughout Zimbabwe today, we are concerned that ZANU-PF

could renew its reign of terror tomorrow, seeking retribution

against MDC supporters who did not vote, or voted the wrong

way. We will closely monitor the situation.

 

——————-

Tsvangirai Briefing

——————-

 

4. (SBU) MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai briefed the press

and diplomats this afternoon. He called the election

illegitimate, said he was heartened that a growing number of

African leaders were standing with the Zimbabwean people, and

unsurprisingly condemned Mugabe as a violent dictator who was

trying to intimidate Africa and the world.

 

5. (SBU) On next steps, Tsvangirai said there should be

widespread acceptance that the election was illegitimate and

an international campaign to isolate the regime. He said he

was ready to negotiate, but it should be on the basis that

Mugabe was illegitimate and that he (Tsvangirai) had won the

March election. Finally, he said the focus should be on a

transition process and not a new election.

 

6. (SBU) Turning to South African president Thabo Mbeki,

Tsvangirai said he had expressed his discontent about Mbeki’s

role in the SADC mediation process to SADC and in a letter to

Mbeki. The destiny of Zimbabwe should not rest with one man,

averred Tsvangirai, and he urged a negotiation process that

would include the UN, AU, and other SADC leaders as

mediators. Finally, Tsvangirai said he had heard that Mbeki

would recognize Mugabe’s election. This would be

“outrageous.”

 

7. (SBU) Tsvangirai emphasized the important role he

believed SADC had in a resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis. He

had never seen SADC so unified, and he believed there was a

common understanding on the part of SADC that the crisis was

a result of Mugabe’s misgovernance and intransigence.

 

HARARE 00000555 002 OF 002

 

 

 

8. (C) Tsvangirai confirmed that he is still esiding at the

Dutch Embassy; he is evaluating hi security. (NOTE: In a

live interview with CNN after the briefing, Tsvangirai said

he will remain in Zimbabwe; he has no plans to leave. END

NOTE.) He said he would not attend the AU Summit in Egypt;

an MDC delegation is already there.

 

9. (C) According to Tsvangirai, MDC secretary-general Tendai

Biti, who was released on bail yesterday, is at his home.

The MDC was considering moving him to a more secure

environment.

 

————————–

South African Embassy IDPs

————————–

 

10. (C) After the South African ambassador insisted that

about 340 MDC supporters who had taken refuge in the parking

lot of the Embassy had to depart; UN and MDC representatives

persuaded the IDPs they would be safe if they left. The

refugees departed this evening for the town of Ruwa, east of

Harare, where there is a vocational training facility. The

IDPs were accompanied by IOM and IFRC representatives. In

Ruwa, they will be cared for by the national Red Cross.

 

————–

Jenny Williams

————–

 

11. (SBU) Embassy continues to monitor detentions of regime

opponents. Tendai Biti was released yesterday, and MDC MP

and lawyer Eric Matinenga was released earlier in the week.

WOZA leader Jenny Williams remains in custody; we will

attempt to visit her next week and report on her welfare. We

note that there are hundreds, if not thousands of persons

unlawfully detained, who do not have the benefit of the

international spotlight.

 

McGee

 

(3 VIEWS)

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