Britain was ready to pour one million pounds for Zimbabwe elections in 2008- Wikileaks

Britain was prepared to pour in nearly one million pounds  in support of  Zimbabwe elections soon after the controversial March  2008 general elections and was prepared to do this discreetly because the Southern African Development Community which was spearheading the negotiation process in the country was not accepting foreign contributions, one of the diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks says.

Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change beat Robert Mugabe of the Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front in the first round of the presidential elections but did not secure the required majority necessitating a re-run.

ZANU-PF unleashed an unprecedented wave of violence that led Tsvangirai to withdraw with Britain even complaining that elements within Mugabe’s ZANU-PF were running a “regime within a regime”.

According to the cable dispatched from the United States embassy in London on 5 June 2008, Britain was ready to contribute 100 000 pounds to the United Nations Trust for Electoral assistance, a fund established for country to draw funds for to hold free and fair elections.

The cable said Britain had intended to contribute double that amount but had reduced the figure upon learning that the SADC secretariat would not be accepting foreign contributions.

According to the same cable Britain had an additional 500 000 to 700 000 pounds to support elections in Zimbabwe. “At present it plans to do that discretely through direct bilateral support to SADC member states,” the cable says. “HMG (her majesty’s government) is currently finalising an arrangement with Botswana.”

The cable said Britain was lobbying other European states, like the Netherlands, to contribute to the UN fund.

Earlier cables had indicated that Britain believed that Mugabe would not pull through but at the same time it was worried about Tsvangirai’s absence from the country immediately after the results and the announcement of the re-run.

 

Full cable:

 

UK CONTRIBUTION TO THE UN TRUST FUND FOR ELECTORAL ASSISTANCE

 

Ref ID: 08LONDON1562

Date: 6/5/2008 11:07

Origin: Embassy London

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Destination: 08SECSTATE60286

Header: VZCZCXYZ0005RR RUEHWEBDE RUEHLO #1562 1571107ZNR UUUUU ZZHR 051107Z JUN 08FM AMEMBASSY LONDONTO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8846INFO RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0783RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE 0162RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 1155RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 0562RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 1394RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0248RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1202

Tags: PHUM,PREL,AA,UN,XA,ZI,UK

UNCLAS LONDON 001562 SENSITIVE SIPDIS E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PHUM, PREL, AA, UN, XA, ZI, UK SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE: UK CONTRIBUTION TO THE UN TRUST FUND FOR ELECTORAL ASSISTANCE REF: SECSTATE 60286 Zimbabwe Team Leader Ben Llewellyn-Jones said June 5 the UK plans to contribute GBP 100,000 (approx. 200,000 USD) to the UN Trust Fund for Electoral Assistance and is likely to finalize the letter of commitment today (June 5). HMG had initially intended to contribute GBP 200,000, but upon learning that the South African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat will not be accepting foreign contributions decided to reduce the UK's trust fund contribution. Llewellyn-Jones understands that the African Union (AU) will accept trust fund money, but has not yet officially made the request for support. The UK also has an additional GBP 500,000 to 700,000 (approx. 1 million to 1.4 million USD) to support the Zimbabwe elections. At present, it plans to do that discretely through direct bilateral support to SADC member states. HMG is currently finalizing an arrangement with Botswana.

3.(SBU) Llewellyn-Jones said HMG is lobbying other Europeans states, like Holland, to contribute to the UN Trust Fund. He understands that the European Commission will provide support directly to the AU, once an official request has been made. Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX LeBaron

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