Mujuru, Ndlovu ordered Chinotimba to stay out Bulawayo mayoral elections

Former army commander Solomon Mujuru and Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front political commissar Sikhanyiso Ndlovu ordered war veterans leader Joseph Chinotimba and his militia to stay away from the Bulawayo mayoral elections campaign, according to a diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks.

It is believed that they did so because they had realised that ZANU-PF’s usual tactics of violence and intimidation would only backfire.

But the party is reported to have used other tactics like allegedly padding the voters’ roll and dishing out cash.

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo and Youth deputy Minister Shuvai Mahofa were reportedly handing out large amounts of cash at political rallies.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 01HARARE2642, SCENESETTER FOR BULAWAYO MAYORAL VOTE AND TWO BY-

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE2642

2001-09-07 10:48

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.

 

071048Z Sep 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6012

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02642 01 OF 02 071102Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00

DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00

IO-00   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 R-00     PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01

DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /009W

------------------1BFCF5 071102Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9665

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 002642

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 09/06/11

TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR BULAWAYO MAYORAL VOTE AND TWO BY-

ELECTIONS

 

 

CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF MATT HARRINGTON. REASONS:

1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

SUMMARY

-------

 

1. (C) THE VOTERS OF BULAWAYO WILL CHOOSE A NEW MAYOR AND THE

VOTERS OF MAKONI WEST A NEW MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT SEPTEMBER 8-9,

WHILE CHIKOMBA WILL CHOOSE A SUCCESSOR TO THE LATE WAR VETERAN

LEADER CHENJERAI "HITLER" HUNZVI IN A BY-ELECTION SCHEDULED FOR

SEPTEMBER 22-23. THE PRE-ELECTION PERIOD HAS BEEN MOSTLY PEACEFUL

IN BULAWAYO, ALTHOUGH THERE HAVE BEEN ACCUSATIONS OF VOTE-BUYING

AND OF PADDING OF THE VOTERS ROLL. THE MDC IS EXPECTED TO WIN,

BUT THE KEY ISSUE IS WHETHER THE OPPOSITION PARTY CAN MAINTAIN ITS

HUGE MARGIN OF VICTORY FROM THE JUNE 2000 PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION

-- IN WHICH IT WON 160,000 VOTES TO ZANU-PF'S 20,000 -- AND THUS

PROJECT A SENSE OF POLITICAL MOMENTUM. IN MAKONI WEST, LOCATED ON

THE BORDER BETWEEN THE MDC STRONGHOLD OF MANICALAND PROVINCE AND

ZANU-PF'S HEARTLAND OF MASHONALAND EAST, THE RULING PARTY HAS

EMPLOYED TACTICS OF VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION, ALTHOUGH APPARENTLY

ON A MORE LIMITED SCALE THAN IN PREVIOUS BY-ELECTIONS IN BINDURA,

BIKITA WEST, AND MARONDERA. THE MDC HAS BEEN FORCED TO CONDUCT A

LOW-KEY DOOR-TO-DOOR CAMPAIGN, AND HAD CONSIDERED SEEKING A COURT-

ORDERED DELAY UNTIL RESTORATION OF THE RULE OF LAW. UNTIL THE

LAST SEVERAL DAYS, THE CAMPAIGN IN CHIKOMBA HAS BEEN MOSTLY FREE

OF VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION, LIKELY BECAUSE HUNZVI WON BY ALMOST

9,000 VOTES AND ZANU-PF DOES NOT FEEL PARTICULARLY THREATENED

THERE. END SUMMARY.

 

BULAWAYO

--------

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02642 01 OF 02 071102Z

2. (C) THE RUN-UP TO THE SEPTEMBER 8-9 BULAWAYO MAYORAL ELECTION

HAS BEEN MOSTLY PEACEFUL AND THE OPPOSITION MOVEMENT FOR

DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) HAS BEEN ABLE TO CAMPAIGN FREELY. ZANU-PF

POLITICAL COMMISSAR -- AND POLITBURO MEMBER -- SIKHANYISO NDLOVU

TOLD POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF THAT HE AND FORMER ARMY COMMANDER

SOLOMON MUJURU HAD ORDERED JOSEPH CHINOTIMBA AND HIS MILITIA TO

STAY AWAY FROM THE BULAWAYO CAMPAIGN, PRESUMABLY BECAUSE THE

PARTY'S USUAL TACTICS OF VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION WOULD ONLY

BACKFIRE IN MATABELELAND. THAT SAID, HOWEVER, SENIOR MOVEMENT FOR

DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) OFFICIALS EXPRESSED CONCERN TO US ABOUT

TWO TACTICS BEING EMPLOYED BY ZANU-PF IN THE BULAWAYO CAMPAIGN.

ACCORDING TO MDC VICE-PRESIDENT GIBSON SIBANDA AND ELECTIONS

DIRECTOR PAUL THEMBA NYATHI, THERE IS SOME EVIDENCE THAT THE

VOTERS ROLL IS BEING PADDED WITH ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS, ALTHOUGH THEY

DID NOT YET HAVE A SENSE OF THE SCOPE OF THAT EFFORT.   THAT

CONCERN HAS BEEN EXACERBATED BY THE FACT THAT THE VOTERS ROLL HAD

NOT YET BEEN MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE REQUISITE PUBLIC INSPECTION,

NINE DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION. IN ADDITION, RULING PARTY

HEAVYWEIGHTS SUCH AS INFORMATION MINISTER JONATHAN MOYO, LOCAL

GOVERNMENT MINISTER IGNATIUS CHOMBO, AND YOUTH DEVELOPMENT,

GENDER, AND EMPLOYMENT CREATION DEPUTY MINISTER SHUVAI MAHOFA ARE

HANDING OUT LARGE AMOUNTS OF CASH AT POLITICAL RALLIES. ALTHOUGH

SIGNIFICANT NUMBERS OF WOMEN HAVE BEEN ATTENDING THESE RALLIES AND

ACCEPTING THE HANDOUTS, IT IS NOT CLEAR THAT IT WILL AFFECT THE

WAY THEY VOTE.

 

3. (C) BOTH ZANU-PF AND THE MDC HAVE CHOSEN AS THEIR CANDIDATES

TECHNOCRATS WITH LONG RECORDS OF SERVICE TO THE CITY. THE MDC'S

JAPHET NDABENI NCUBE HAS SERVED AS BULAWAYO'S DIRECTOR OF HOUSING

FOR 15 YEARS, WHILE GEORGE MLILO FROM ZANU-PF HAS BEEN THE CITY'S

WATER ENGINEER OF LONGSTANDING. ACCORDING TO THEMBA NYATHI, MLILO

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 02642 01 OF 02 071102Z

HAS BEEN TRYING TO DISTANCE HIMSELF FROM ZANU-PF, REGULARLY URGING

VOTERS AT PUBLIC RALLIES TO CAST THEIR BALLOTS FOR THE CANDIDATE

OF THEIR CHOOSING, REGARDLESS OF THE PARTY THEY REPRESENT. MOST

OBSERVERS AGREE, HOWEVER, THAT THE PARTY LABEL WILL CARRY MUCH

MORE WEIGHT WITH VOTERS THAN THE CREDENTIALS OF THE INDIVIDUAL

CANDIDATES.

 

4. (C) BULAWAYO, WHERE RESIDENTS HAVE LONG BEEN BRUTALIZED AND

MARGINALIZED BY THE MUGABE GOVERNMENT, IS THE HEART OF MDC

TERRITORY. IN THE JUNE 2000 PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION, THE

OPPOSITION PARTY WON 160,000 VOTES IN BULAWAYO TO ZANU-PF'S

20,000. FEW OBSERVERS DOUBT THAT THE MDC WILL WIN THE MAYORAL

RACE, BUT THEY POINT OUT THAT THE KEY ISSUE IS THE MARGIN OF

VICTORY. A LARGE MARGIN FOR THE MDC WOULD CREATE A SENSE OF

MOMENTUM FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN 2002 AND LIKELY WILL

EMBOLDEN NERVOUS MDC SUPPORTERS IN OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY TO

COME OUT ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION DAY. A MARGIN SMALLER THAN THAT

WHICH OBTAINED IN JUNE 2000 WOULD PROVIDE AMMUNITION FOR ZANU-PF'S

CONTENTION THAT IT HAS MADE INROADS IN URBAN AREAS SINCE THE

PARLIAMENTARY VOTE. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT BULAWAYO IS AN

EXPECTATIONS GAME, AND A SMALLER THAN EXPECTED VICTORY FOR THE MDC

WILL BE SPUN BY THE RULING PARTY AS A SIGN OF ITS IMPROVED

POLITICAL FORTUNES. THEMBA NYATHI ADMITTED AS MUCH WHEN HE TOLD

US THAT THE MDC'S BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN BULAWAYO IS OVERCOMING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6014

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02642 02 OF 02 071102Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00

DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00

IO-00   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 R-00     PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01

DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /009W

------------------1BFD07 071103Z /38

P 071048Z SEP 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9666

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 002642

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 09/06/11

TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR BULAWAYO MAYORAL VOTE AND TWO BY-

ELECTIONS

 

VOTER COMPLACENCY AND GETTING ITS SUPPORTERS TO THE POLLS.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02642 02 OF 02 071102Z

 

MAKONI WEST

-----------

 

5. (C) THE BY-ELECTION IN MAKONI WEST, ALSO SCHEDULED FOR

SEPTEMBER 8-9, WILL FILL THE SEAT LEFT VACANT BY THE DEATH OF THE

LATE MINISTER OF DEFENSE MOVEN MAHACHI. MAHACHI WON 55% OF THE

VOTE IN JUNE 2000, BUT IT IS DIFFICULT TO PREDICT WHICH WAY THE

ELECTION WILL GO THIS TIME. MAKONI WEST IS LOCATED IN THE

STRONGLY PRO-MDC MANICALAND PROVINCE, BUT IT IS ON THE BORDER WITH

MASHONALAND EAST, A ZANU-PF STRONGHOLD.

 

6. (C) WE UNDERSTAND FROM SEVERAL SOURCES THAT ZANU-PF'S WAR

VETERANS AND PARTY THUGS HAVE ESTABLISHED AT LEAST FIVE BASE CAMPS

IN THE CONSTITUENCY TO COORDINATE A CAMPAIGN OF VIOLENCE AND

INTIMIDATION AGAINST SUSPECTED OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS. TIM SHEEHY,

WHO WILL HEAD THE EUROPEAN UNION'S NEW ELECTION SUPPORT UNIT IN

HARARE, MET WITH A NUMBER OF LOCAL RESIDENTS IN MAKONI WEST ON

SEPTEMBER 5. DURING HIS VISIT, SHEEHY WAS TOLD BY A PROMINENT

CLERGYMAN THAT THE CAMPAIGN HAS BECOME MORE VIOLENT IN RECENT

WEEKS, AND THAT MDC SUPPORTERS HAVE BEEN THE VICTIMS IN THE

OVERWHELMING NUMBER OF INCIDENTS. THE HOUSE OF THE CONSTITUENCY'S

MDC CHAIRMAN WAS BURNED DOWN, MANY RESIDENTS HAVE BEEN FORCED BY

WAR VETERANS TO ATTEND ALL-NIGHT POLITICAL RALLIES, AND TEACHERS

AT SOME SCHOOLS HAVE BEEN THREATENED WITH PHYSICAL HARM FOR

ALLEGEDLY SUPPORTING THE OPPOSITION. THE CLERGYMAN ALSO EXPRESSED

CONCERN ABOUT POSSIBLE PADDING OF THE VOTERS ROLL, NOTING REPORTS

THAT VOTERS CONTINUE TO BE REGISTERED, LONG AFTER THE LEGAL PERIOD

FOR DOING SO ENDED. IN ITS WRITTEN PRE-ELECTION REPORT, THE

ZIMBABWE ELECTION SUPPORT NETWORK -- WHICH PROVIDES DOMESTIC

MONITORS AT ALL POLLING STATIONS -- DESCRIBED THE CONSTITUENCY AS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02642 02 OF 02 071102Z

"TENSE, WITH REPORTS THAT INTIMIDATION AND VOTE-BUYING ARE RIFE."

 

7. (C) MDC ELECTIONS DIRECTOR THEMBA-NYATHI TOLD US THAT, AS A

RESULT OF THE CLIMATE OF INTIMIDATION, HIS PARTY HAS HAD TO

CONDUCT A LOW-KEY DOOR-TO-DOOR CAMPAIGN. THE MDC LEADERSHIP HAD

CONSIDERED ASKING THE COURT TO DELAY THE ELECTION INDEFINITELY,

UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THE RULE OF LAW WAS RESTORED, BUT ULTIMATELY

DECIDED AGAINST THAT COURSE OF ACTION.

 

CHIKOMBA

--------

 

8. (C) A SECOND BY-ELECTION IS SCHEDULED IN THE MASHONALAND EAST

CONSTITUENCY OF CHIKOMBA SEPTEMBER 22-33 TO FILL THE SEAT LEFT

VACANT BY LATE WAR VETERAN LEADER CHENJERAI "HITLER" HUNZVI.

SINCE HUNZVI WON 65 PERCENT OF THE BALLOTS CAST -- BY 7,000 VOTES

-- IN JUNE 2000. GIVEN THAT MARGIN OF VICTORY AND CHIKOMBA'S

LOCATION IN THE ZANU-PF HEARTLAND OF MASHONALAND EAST, THE RULING

PARTY LIKELY WILL RETAIN THIS SEAT. THE CAMPAIGN HAS,

SURPRISINGLY, BEEN MOSTLY PEACEFUL, THANKS TO THE INSISTENCE BY

ZANU-PF'S PROVINCIAL CHAIRMAN THAT HE WOULD NOT TOLERATE THE

TACTICS USED BY THE PARTY IN OTHER BY-ELECTIONS. IN ADDITION, WE

UNDERSTAND THAT HUNZVI'S PREDECESSOR IN CHIKOMBA, SOLOMON MUJURU

-- WHO IS A MEMBER OF THE RULING PARTY POLITBURO AND A RETIRED ARMY

COMMANDER WHO RETAINS THE LOYALTIES OF MANY ACTIVE DUTY OFFICERS

-- HAS BEEN WORKING BEHIND THE SCENES TO ENSURE THAT THE PRE-

ELECTION PERIOD IS PEACEFUL. ZANU-PF COULD HAVE COME TO THE

CONCLUSION THAT IT HAD CHIKOMBA IN THE BAG SO IT COULD AFFORD TO RUN A

PEACEFUL CAMPAIGN. DURING THE PAST WEEK, HOWEVER, WE HAVE HEARD

REPORTS OF SOME VIOLENT CLASHES BETWEEN MDC AND ZANU-PF

SUPPORTERS.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 02642 02 OF 02 071102Z

 

ELECTION OBSERVATION

--------------------

 

9. (C) EMBASSY OFFICERS PLAN TO OBSERVE ALL THREE ELECTIONS AND

ARE COORDINATING OUR EFFORTS WITH OTHER DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS.

 

ROTH

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

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