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Tsvangirai condemns reengineering of results

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai said he had won the 2008 presidential elections and condemned any re-engineering of the results saying President Robert Mugabe would not get away with it this time.

“On March 29, the Zimbabwean people spoke with one voice. They voted for food, they voted for jobs, they voted for social security and new hope,” Tsvangirai said. “The result is known; the MDC has won this election.”

“If Mugabe thinks he can bulldoze his way into another presidency, history will be the judge.”

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE282, SITUATION REPORT: ONE WEEK LATER: TSVANGIRAI CALLS

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE282

2008-04-05 15:23

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

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DE RUEHSB #0282/01 0961523

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

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FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

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INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1890

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RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2069

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4500

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RUAEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000282

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

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: N/A

TAGS: KDEM PGOV PHUM ASEC CASC ZI

SUBJECT: SITUATION REPORT: ONE WEEK LATER: TSVANGIRAI CALLS

FOR RESULTS, RECONCILIATION

 

REF: HARARE 278

 

1. (SBU) SUMMARY One week after election day, in the wake of

a government crackdown on international journalists and NGO

staff, opposition presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai

held a press conference to reiterate his call for the

Zimbabwean Electoral Commission (ZEC) to announce the

official results of the presidential race. Confident that he

had won, Tsvangirai focused his speech on the importance of

national reconciliation and a peaceful transfer of power to

the opposition. Tsvangirai confirmed that the MDC’s April 5

attempt to petition the court to compel ZEC to release the

results was blocked by security forces, and called on the

international community to prevent violence and chaos. One

American, a New York Times reporter, remains in jail. An

Amcit NDI employee was released Friday night, but police are

holding his passport and he has been told he will not be

permitted to leave Zimbabwe before Monday. END SUMMARY

 

2. (SBU) On April 5, MDC presidential candidate Morgan

Tsvangirai held a press conference to renew his call for ZEC

 

SIPDIS

to release the full official results of the presidential

contest and for Robert Mugabe to respect the will of the

Zimbabwean people. Confident that he has won the race for

the presidency, Tsvangirai stated that “on March 29, the

Zimbabwean people spoke with one voice. They voted for food,

they voted for jobs, they voted for social security and new

hope. The result is known; the MDC has won this election.”

In a veiled reference to 2005’s Operation Murambatsvina, in

which some 750,000 Zimbabweans were displaced by the

government, Tsvangirai stated that “if Mugabe thinks he can

bulldoze his way into another presidency, history will be the

judge.”

 

3. (SBU) Condemning any “reengineering” of the result by the

Mugabe regime, Tsvangirai condemned the ZEC for the delay,

which had entered its seventh day. Tsvangirai confirmed that

an attempt by the MDC’s attorneys to file a petition at court

requesting that ZEC be compelled to release the results was

blocked by security forces, one of whom was wearing a ZANU-PF

t-shirt at the time. Nonetheless, Tsvangirai suggested that

a hearing could take place as soon as April 6.

 

4. (SBU) Tsvangirai also called on the Southern African

Development Community, the African Union and the UN to

prevent violence. He said that African leaders must say “no”

to Mugabe. Warning that ZANU-PF was “preparing war on the

Zimbabwean people, like in 2000 and 2001,” Tsvangirai stated

that for Mugabe “violence is the new weapon to reverse the

people’s will.” Tsvangirai suggested that ZANU-PF’s return

to campaign activities, including an announcement by Mugabe’s

spokesman that ZANU-PF would contest in a runoff, the

increased presence of security forces, and rumors of the

creation of “no-go areas” for the MDC, indicated that the

ruling party had “insider information” from ZEC about the

outcome of the election. Tsvangirai again stated that a

runoff would be “unreasonable” according to the MDC’s

internal tally and that he would not accept the “reversal” of

the people’s will. Tsvangirai said the MDC would challenge a

ZEC announcement that he had not won a majority of votes. He

hinted the MDC would not participate in a runoff if the

environment was too hostile.

 

5. (SBU) Despite some harsh rhetoric, Tsvangirai also devoted

much of his speech to calling for national reconciliation.

In an attempt to calm fears of a violent handover of power,

Tsvangirai addressed civil servants; including the security

 

SIPDIS

forces, war veterans and landowners. He said that none of

them would face persecution, or lose jobs or property under

an inclusive MDC presidency. Noting other African nations

 

HARARE 00000282 002 OF 002

 

 

which have made nonviolent political transitions, Tsvangirai

also made a direct appeal to Mugabe to enter into a dialogue

in order to “begin the peaceful transfer of government.”

 

6. (SBU) Charges against the imprisoned New York Times

reporter were adjusted today: he is now accused of practicing

journalism without accreditation during an election. His

attorney is confident that these charges can be successfully

defended, but his release does not appear imminent. The NDI

employee who was released Friday night spent seven hours

Saturday at Harare Central police station, hoping to recover

his passport and be cleared to depart the country. Instead,

he was told he will have to check in at the station Sunday

morning at 9, and further consideration will be given to his

case on Monday. There are no charges lodged against him. An

accredited Canadian journalist was reportedly detained today

after she checked in to depart the country; we believe she

was later releaed without charge.

 

6. (SBU) COMMENT: Aware that the eye of the international

media is on Zimbabwe in the wake of elections, the MDC

appears to be strategically employing public relations

tactics to ensure attention continues. By simultaneously

casting his presidency as an opportunity for reconciliation

and reaching out to those actors that have historically

supported Mugabe, Tsvangirai is seeking to secure either a

peaceful transfer of power or, if necessary, a runoff

victory. END COMMENT.

MCGEE

(4 VIEWS)

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