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Mugabe predicted to win one year before elections

University of Zimbabwe research fellow Brian Raftopoulos, described by the United States embassy as one of Zimbabwe’s best thinkers with an uncanny knack for predicting events that come to pass, said President Robert Mugabe was going to win the 2002 presidential elections which were more than a year away but this would be an illegitimate election.

Raftopoulos said President Mugabe did not have the support to win a free and fair election, so he was going to achieve victory “by any means necessary”.

He said ZANU-PF’s tactics of intimidation and harassment would make it extremely difficult for the MDC to develop slowly and patiently into a genuine, mature and effective opposition party.

The MDC did not have the resources either to confront head-on state-sponsored violence or to contest effectively numerous by-elections so the party had to focus its campaign strategy on the election mechanics, particularly getting its supporters to register and to ensure that the voters’ roll was compiled in a transparent and accurate manner.

The MDC also had to work hard to mobilise older rural voters, who had historically voted overwhelmingly for ZANU-PF.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 01HARARE662, MUGABE PROBABLY WILL WIN ILLEGITIMATE ELECTION IN

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE662

2001-02-07 15:59

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.

 

071559Z Feb 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ1425

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00662 01 OF 02 071600Z

ACTION AF-00

 

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

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

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

L-00     VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01

PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   STR-00

TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00

NFAT-00 SAS-00   SWCI-00   /010W

——————C249A9 071601Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8185

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000662

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 02/05/11

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR ZI

SUBJECT: MUGABE PROBABLY WILL WIN ILLEGITIMATE ELECTION IN

2002

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00662 01 OF 02 071600Z

REF: HARARE 644

 

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D’AFFAIRES EARL IRVING. REASONS: 1.5

(B) AND (D).

 

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) UNIVERSITY OF ZIMBABWE RESEARCH FELLOW BRIAN

RAFTOPOULOS TOLD CHARGE AND POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF ON

FEBRUARY 1 THAT, IN PREPARATION FOR THE 2002 PRESIDENTIAL

ELECTION, ZANU-PF WILL EMPLOY INCREASED VIOLENCE AGAINST

THE OPPOSITION PARTY MOVEMENT FOR DQOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC),

INDEPENDENT MEDIA, AND JUDICIARY, AND WILL WORK TO

NEUTRALIZE THE LABOR MOVEMENT AS A KEY SOURCE OF SUPPORT

AND ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY FOR THE MDC. PRESIDENT MUGABE,

RAFTOPOULOS BELIEVES, WILL SECURE VICTORY IN 2002 BY ANY

MEANS NECESSARY, AND THE MDC MUST DECIDE NOW HOW IT WILL

RESPOND TO MUGABE’S WINNING AN ILLEGITIMATE ELECTION. FOR

ITS PART, THE MDC SHOULD FOCUS ON GETTING ITS SUPPORTERS

REGISTERED, ENSURING AN ACCURATE VOTERS’ ROLL, AND

MOBILIZING RURAL VOTERS, AS WELL AS CULTIVATING SUPPORT

WITHIN THE ARMY AND POLICE. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (U) CHARGE D’AFFAIRES, ACCOMPANIED BY POLITICAL SECTION

CHIEF AND LABOFF, MET ON FEBRUARY 1 WITH BRIAN RAFTOPOULOS,

RESEARCH FELLOW AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ZIMBABWE’S INSTITUTE

OF DEVELOPMENT STUDIES AND AN ASTUTE OBSERVER OF ZIMBABWE’S

POLITICAL SCENE.

 

ZANU-PF’S STRATEGY FOR 2002

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00662 01 OF 02 071600Z

—————————

 

3. (C) ACCORDING TO RAFTOPOULOS, ZANU-PF WILL EMPLOY A

MULTI-FACETED STRATEGY IN PREPARATION FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL

ELECTION IN 2002. FIRST, HE SAID, THE MID-JANUARY

PARLIAMENTARY BY-ELECTION IN BIKITA CONFIRMED THE RULING

PARTY’S DETERMINATION TO USE A SIGNIFICANT DEGREE OF

VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION TO COW OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS AND

REVEALED ITS INTENTION TO USE TRADITIONAL LEADERS TO

MOBILIZE THE PARTY’S SUPPORT BASE. THE PARTY, HOWEVER,

DOES NOT HAVE THE CAPACITY TO DEPLOY ITS SHOCK TROOPS OF

WAR VETERANS AND RENT-A-THUGS NATIONWIDE, AND WILL LIKELY

TARGET ITS CAMPAIGN MOST INTENSELY IN THE PROVINCES OF

MASHONALAND AND MASVINGO.

 

4. (C) THE RESEARCH FELLOW SAID HE FULLY EXPECTS ZANU-PF

TO CONTINUE TO INTIMIDATE THE INDEPENDENT MEDIA AND TO

CREATE AS DIFFICULT AN OPERATING ENVIRONMENT FOR THEM AS

POSSIBLE, LIKELY INVOLVING BOTH PHYSICAL AND FINANCIAL

HARASSMENT. HE POINTED TO THE JANUARY 28 BOMBING OF THE

PRINTING PLANT OF THE INDEPENDENT “DAILY NEWS” AS THE

OPENING SHOT IN THIS COMPONENT OF THE CAMPAIGN. IN

ADDITION, RAFTOPOULOS PREDICTED THAT ZANU-PF WOULD CONTINUE

TO PRESSURE THE CURRENT JUSTICES OF THE SUPREME COURT INTO

LEAVING SO THAT THEY CAN BE REPLACED WITH MORE SYMPATHETIC

JURISTS. (COMMENT: EMBOFFS SPOKE WITH RAFTOPOULOS THE DAY

BEFORE THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHIEF JUSTICE GUBBAY’S FORCED

RESIGNATION, REPORTED REFTEL. END COMMENT.)

 

5. (C) RAFTOPOULOS SAID HE EXPECTS ZANU-PF WILL SHORTLY

TURN UP THE HEAT ON THE MDC’S LEADERSHIP. THE POLICE, HE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00662 01 OF 02 071600Z

NOTED, CONTINUE TO HOLD OUT THE POSSIBILITY OF PROSECUTING

MDC PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI FOR HIS REMARKS IN OCTOBER

PREDICTING THAT PRESIDENT MUGABE WOULD BE REMOVED FROM

OFFICE VIOLENTLY BY AN ANGRY, FRUSTRATED POPULATION IF HE

DOES NOT DEPART OF HIS OWN ACCORD. RAFTOPOULOS ANTICIPATED

THAT ZANU-PF LIKELY WOULD ALSO “GO AFTER” OTHER KEY

OPPOSITION OFFICIALS, INCLUDING YOUTH LEADERS. (NOTE:

RAFTOPOULOS’S PREDICTION PROVED PROPHETIC, AS THREE SENIOR

MDC LEADERS, INCLUDING THE OPPOSITION PARTY’S NATIONAL

YOUTH DIRECTOR, WERE ARRESTED AND OR/BEATEN FOUR DAYS

LATER, ON FEBRUARY 5. END NOTE.) IN ADDITION, THE RULING

PARTY IS ACTIVELY SEEKING TO NEUTRALIZE THE LABOR MOVEMENT

AS A SOURCE OF SUPPORT AND ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY FOR THE

MDC (DETAILS OF THE CONVERSATION RELATED TO THE LABOR

MOVEMENT ARE REPORTED SEPTEL).

 

6. (C) ASKED HIS PREDICTION OF THE LIKELIEST SCENARIO FOR

THE 2002 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, RAFTOPOULOS STATED WITHOUT

HESITATION THAT PRESIDENT MUGABE WOULD WIN AN ILLEGITIMATE

ELECTION. CLARIFYING, RAFTOPOULOS SAID THE PRESIDENT DOES

NOT HAVE THE SUPPORT TO WIN A FREE AND FAIR ELECTION, SO

WILL ACHIEVE VICTORY “BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.” IN THE

MEANTIME, IF THE HIGH COURT ORDERS THE HOLDING OF BY-

ELECTIONS IN RESPONSE TO PENDING LEGAL CHALLENGES BY THE

MDC TO THE RESULTS IN 37 CONSTITUENCIES IN LAST JUNE’S

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ1427

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00662 02 OF 02 071601Z

ACTION AF-00

 

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

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

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

L-00     VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01

PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   IRM-00

STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02

G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00   SWCI-00   /010W

——————C249B8 071601Z /38

P 071559Z FEB 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8186

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 000662

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 02/05/11

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR ZI

SUBJECT: MUGABE PROBABLY WILL WIN ILLEGITIMATE ELECTION IN

2002

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00662 02 OF 02 071601Z

ELECTION, MUGABE WILL LIKELY WORK TO MARGINALIZE PARLIAMENT

AND GOVERN PRINCIPALLY BY DECREE.

 

MDC’S STRATEGY FOR 2002

———————–

 

7. (C) ZANU-PF’S TACTICS OF INTIMIDATION AND HARASSMENT,

RAFTOPOULOS CONTENDED, MAKE IT EXTREMELY DIFFICULT FOR THE

MDC TO DEVELOP SLOWLY AND PATIENTLY INTO A GENUINE, MATURE,

AND EFFECTIVE OPPOSITION PARTY.  THE MDC DOES NOT HAVE THE

RESOURCES EITHER TO CONFRONT HEAD-ON STATE-SPONSORED

VIOLENCE OR TO CONTEST EFFECTIVELY NUMEROUS BY-ELECTIONS.

THE MDC, RAFTOPOULOS SUGGESTED, SHOULD THUS FOCUS ITS

CAMPAIGN STRATEGY ON SEVERAL KEY ISSUES. FIRST AND

FOREMOST, IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT THE PARTY PAY CLOSE

ATTENTION TO ELECTION MECHANICS, PARTICULARLY GETTING ITS

SUPPORTERS REGISTERED AND ENSURING THAT THE VOTERS ROLL IS

COMPILED IN A TRANSPARENT AND ACCURATE MANNER. THE MDC

MUST ALSO WORK HARD TO MOBILIZE OLDER RURAL VOTERS, WHO

HISTORICALLY HAVE VOTED OVERWHELMINGLY FOR ZANU-PF.

 

8. (C) RAFTOPOULOS SAID HE DID NOT HAVE A GOOD FEEL FOR

THE ARMY’S POSITION ON RECENT DEVELOPMENTS, BUT EMPHASIZED

THAT THE MDC SHOULD BE WORKING TO NURTURE ALTERNATIVE

VOICES WITHIN THE MILITARY AND POLICE. THE OPPOSITION

PARTY, RAFTOPOULOS CONTINUED, MUST ALSO ACCEPT THAT MUGABE

WILL MAKE GOOD ON HIS VOW NEVER TO PERMIT THE MDC TO RULE

ZIMBABWE, AND STRATEGIZE NOW HOW IT WILL RESPOND IF THE

PRESIDENT STEALS THE 2002 ELECTION.

 

DROC

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00662 02 OF 02 071601Z

—-

 

9. (C) RAFTOPOULOS BELIEVES THAT ZIMBABWEAN OFFICIALS, UP

TO AND INCLUDING PRESIDENT MUGABE, WERE RELIEVED BY LAURENT

KABILA’S DEATH, AS THE ASSASSINATED CONGOLESE PRESIDENT HAD

BECOME A PROBLEM FOR EVERYONE, INCLUDING HIS SADC ALLIES,

AND HAD POSED THE PRIMARY OBSTACLE TO PEACE. HE SURMISED

THAT GOZ OFFICIALS CONSIDERED THE ASSASSINATION AN IDEAL

OPPORTUNITY TO WITHDRAW ZIMBABWEAN TROOPS AND WOULD NOW

PRESS AGGRESSIVELY FOR THE QUICK DEPLOYMENT OF THE

REMAINDER OF MONUC FORCES. HE AGREED THAT ZIMBABWE SEEMS

TO HAVE ABDICATED THE UPPER HAND IN THE DRC TO THE

ANGOLANS. ONE OF THE PRIMARY DOMESTIC CONSEQUENCES OF THE

WAR IN DRC IS INCREASING REPRESSION HERE, AS THE GOZ SEEKS

TO DENY THE MDC THE ABILITY TO CAPITALIZE ON WIDESPREAD

RESENTMENT AMONG ZIMBABWEANS OF THEIR GOVERNMENT’S

ENTANGLEMENT IN THIS COMPLICATED CONFLICT.

 

COMMENT

——-

 

10. (C) RAFTOPOULOS IS ONE OF ZIMBABWE’S BEST THINKERS AND

HAS AN UNCANNY KNACK FOR PREDICTING EVENTS THAT COME TO

PASS. BECAUSE HE IS NOT IDENTIFIED WITH ANY POLITICAL

PARTY AND IS ABLE TO STEP BACK FROM THE FRAY, WE CONSULT

HIM TO FILL LACUNAE IN OUR CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK ON

POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN ZIMBABWE. AT THIS WRITING, WE

AGREE WITH HIS ASSESSMENT THAT MUGABE COULD WELL WIN IN

2002, AMASSING THE NECESSARY MAJORITY OF VOTES IN HIS

TRADITIONAL BEDROCK OF SUPPORT, THE MASHONALAND-MASVINGO

AXIS, AND IN INTIMIDATING LARGE NUMBERS OF OPPOSITION

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00662 02 OF 02 071601Z

SUPPORTERS IN THE URBAN AREAS, THE MDC’S STRONGHOLD, INTO

STAYING HOME ON ELECTION DAY. BARRING SOME EXTERNAL SHOCK

TO THE SYSTEM AND ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL, THIS LOOKS

LIKE A DEPRESSINGLY WINNING STRATEGY FROM OUR VANTAGE

POINT. END COMMENT.

 

IRVING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

(15 VIEWS)

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