ZANU-PF planned to rig 2008 election a day after vote

The Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front planned to rig the 2008 elections in favour of President Robert Mugabe so that he could pull off a 51 percent victory, according to a cable released by Wikileaks.

The architects of the plan were defence forces chief Constantine Chiwenga, Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri, Minister of State Security Didymus Mutasa, Minister of Labour Nicholas Goche, Minister of Justice Patrick Chinamasa, CIO Director Happyton Bonyongwe, and presidential spokesperson George Charamba.

If the rigging plan was thwarted, they planned a state of emergency and ultimately a coup against Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai if he somehow became president.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE254, ZANU-PF PLANS VOTE-RIGGED VICTORY OR COUP

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE254

2008-04-01 07:19

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO9756

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0254/01 0920719

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 010719Z APR 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2656

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICQ8/_S~\G*H|SSY KAMPALA 2038

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4469

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1109

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000254

 

SIPDIS

 

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: 04/01/2018

TAGS: PREL PGOV ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: ZANU-PF PLANS VOTE-RIGGED VICTORY OR COUP

 

REF: HARARE 252 AND PREV.

 

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

 

1. (C) SUMMARY. Two contacts with direct access to the

ZANU-PF security apparatus told us the night of March 31 that

ZANU-PF is in the process of rigging the election and will

have the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announce that

President Robert Mugabe has won reelection with over 51

percent of the vote. An announcement is planned this morning

(April 1). If this plan is thwarted, the ruling party

intends to declare a state of emergency to prevent a Morgan

Tsvangirai victory. In an effort to preempt MufvQ/-Rhe ZANU-PF plot. Separately, the Zimbabwe Election

 

SIPDIS

Support Network (ZESN) announced results of a parallel vote

count. Based on a sample of 435 polling stations, ZESN

stated that Tsvangirai's projected vote was over 49 percent

with Mugabe winning 42 percent. The margin of error was

about 2.5 percent. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) We spoke separately the evening of March 31 with a

businessman with ties to the ruling party who has contacts

within the ZANU-PF security apparatus, and with ZANU-PF

dissident Ibbo Mandaza who is a close ally of Simba Makoni.

Mandaza has close Central Intelligence Organization (CIO)

contacts who are opposed to Mugabe. Both the businessman and

Mandaza related consistent versions of a ZANU-PF plot.

 

3. (C) According to both of our contacts, Mugabe's inner

circle became aware early on in the vote-counting process

that Mugabe was losing and that Tsvangirai would probably win

over 50 percent of the vote. Individuals who are part of

this coterie are Defense Chief Constantine Chiwenga, Police

Commissioner Augustine Chichuri, Minister of State Security

Didymus Mutasa, Minister of Labor Nicholas Goche, Minister of

Justice Patrick Chinimasa, CIO Director Happyton Bonyongwe,

and presidential spokesperson George Chy?QQ}xZ{with what they believed to be the actual

results. Instead of Tsvangirai receiving over 50 percent of

the votes, he would receive slightly less and Mugabe would

receive a little over 40 percent. This would create a runoff

and would be acceptable to ZANU-PF officials who are

anti-Mugabe. They concluded, however, that Mugabe would lose

a runoff. They then decided to rig to give Mugabe 51.6

percent. We understand there are plans to announce this

result today. Our contacts told us that to carry out the

plan, the group has established a command center which is

dictating results to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

If the rigging plan was thwarted, they planned a state of

emergency, and ultimately a coup against Tsvangirai if he

somehow became president.

 

5. (C) Mandaza said he met with MDC officials yesterday

morning and informed them of the plot. TPq.Q1Q_w/

Tsvangirai was to make the announcement--he has not been

 

SIPDIS

visible since the election, reportedly because of security

concerns--and possibly expose the ZANU-PF plot. For unknown

reasons, the MDC decided not to hold a press conference. One

is now scheduled for this morning.

 

6. (C) Separately, ZESN last night announced results of its

parallel vote count. Based on a sampling of 435 polling

 

HARARE 00000254 002 OF 002

 

 

stations, ZESN projected that Tsvangirai would win 49.4

percent of the vote, Mugabe would win 41.8 percent, and

Makoni would win 8.2 percent. The margin of error for

Tsvangirai was 2.4 percent, for Mugabe 2.6 percent, and for

 

SIPDIS

Makoni 1.1 percent. In a press conference where the results

were presented, ZESN urged the ZEC to make public the polling

station results which, according to the Electoral Act, were

required to be posted outside polling stations on completion

of counting.

 

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COMMENT

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7. (C) Armed with information, the MDC has dallied, and it

appears ZANU-PF will take advantage of the MDC's failure to

act. All signs point to Mugabe seizing the initiative and

declaring victory today. END COMMENT.

 

 

MCGEE

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