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US embassy expected MDC to win 30 seats in 2000

The United States embassy in Harare expected the Movement for Democratic Change to win at least 30 seats in the June 2000 elections despite the fact that it had defeated the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front in the constitutional referendum in February of the same year.

It attributed this performance to intimidation and violence that had erupted after the ZANU-PF defeat in the referendum.

The embassy also said the MDC’s main support was in urban areas which had 42 of the 120 contested seats. The majority, 78, were rural seats.

“While post (embassy) expects the MDC to certainly get a foot in the door of parliament, at this time we believe it will be nearly impossible for the party to secure a parliamentary majority of 76 seats,” the embassy said.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 00HARARE2734, MDC STILL LIKELY TO WIN AT LEAST 20 PERCENT OF

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE2734

2000-05-23 08:17

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.

 

230817Z May 00

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5608

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02734 01 OF 05 230816Z

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——————5A204B 230817Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6108

INFO NSC WASHDC

DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC

DEPTTREAS WASHDC

USDOC WASHDC

AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN

AMEMBASSY GABORONE

AMEMBASSY LILONGWE

AMEMBASSY LONDON

AMEMBASSY MAPUTO

AMEMBASSY PARIS

AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK

AMEMBASSY LUSAKA

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 05 HARARE 002734

 

SIPDIS

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02734 01 OF 05 230816Z

DEPT FOR DRL/ROBERT WARD

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

DOL FOR ILAB/ROBERT SHEPARD

TREASURY FOR OASIA/RALYEA AND NATAN EPSTEIN

USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

 

DEPT PASS USAID WASHDC FOR AFR/SA – NAN NEWMAN, OTI –

MARC SCOTT, AND A/AID – RICHARD MCCALL

 

DEPT PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/23/2000

TAGS: PGOV ELAB PINR ZI MDC

SUBJECT: MDC STILL LIKELY TO WIN AT LEAST 20 PERCENT OF

TOTAL PARLIAMENTARY SEATS

 

REF: (A) HARARE 00395, (B) HARARE 02560, (C) HARARE

 

01797

 

CLASSIFIED BY LABOFF SHAWN THORNE FOR REASONS 1.5 (B)

AND (D).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: DESPITE A STATE-SPONSORED CAMPAIGN OF

INTIMIDATION AND VIOLENCE, AND THE RULING PARTY’S

CONTROL OF THE ELECTORAL PROCESS, THE MOVEMENT FOR

DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) STILL IS LIKELY TO WIN AT LEAST

20 PERCENT OF THE 150 PARLIAMENTARY SEAT TOTAL (OR 30

SEATS) IN THE ELECTIONS NOW SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 24-25.

(NOTE: ONLY 120 OF THE 150 SEATS ARE ELECTED. THE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02734 01 OF 05 230816Z

REMAINING 30 ARE APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT. END NOTE.)

APPROXIMATELY 42 OF THE 120 SEATS UP FOR GRABS REPRESENT

URBAN AND/OR PERI-URBAN AREAS, WHILE 78 ARE LOCATED IN

RURAL AREAS. SUPPORT FOR THE MDC REMAINS STRONG IN MOST

URBAN CENTERS; HENCE OUR PREDICTION THAT THE OPPOSITION

MOVEMENT WILL MANAGE TO CAPTURE AT LEAST 30 SEATS (REF

A). HOWEVER, MDC LEADERS HAVE EXPRESSED THEIR SURPRISE

AT THE LEVEL OF SUSTAINED STATE SPONSORED VIOLENCE AND

INTIMIDATION TAKING PLACE IN THE COUNTRYSIDE — AND

INCREASINGLY IN THE CITIES — AND THE REFUSAL OF THE

POLICE TO INTERVENE. MEANWHILE, THE RULING PARTY ZANU-PF

IS TAKING ADVANTAGE OF ITS CONTROL OF THE ELECTORAL

PROCESS BY DELAYING THE OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT OF

CONSTITUENCY BOUNDARIES. THE MDC ARGUES THAT IT CANNOT

FORMALLY NOMINATE CANDIDATES FOR EACH CONSTITUENCY UNTIL

IT KNOWS WHAT THOSE CONSTITUENCIES ARE, AND THAT THE GOZ

IS PURPOSELY DELAYING THE RELEASE OF THIS INFORMATION.

NONETHELESS, MDC LEADERS STATE THE PARTY ENJOYS

WIDESPREAD AND SUBSTANTIAL SUPPORT IN BOTH URBAN AND

RURAL AREAS, AND THAT THE RULING PARTY’S INTIMIDATION

TACTICS WILL BACKFIRE COME ELECTION DAY. WHILE POST

EXPECTS THE MDC TO CERTAINLY GET A FOOT IN THE DOOR OF

PARLIAMENT, AT THIS TIME WE BELIEVE IT WILL BE NEARLY

IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE PARTY TO SECURE A PARLIAMENTARY

MAJORITY OF 76 SEATS. END SUMMARY.

 

—————————————-

ZANU-PF’S CAMPAIGN OF VIOLENCE CONTINUES

—————————————-

 

2. (C) THE RULING PARTY’S CAMPAIGN OF INTIMIDATION AND

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 02734 01 OF 05 230816Z

VIOLENCE CONTINUES ACROSS THE COUNTRY, AND WE EXPECT IT

TO WORSEN IN THE RUN-UP TO THE JUNE 24-25 ELECTION DATE

(REF B). ACCORDING TO A RUNNING DATABASE BEING COMPILED

BY A MIXTURE OF HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS, CHURCHES,

OPPOSITION PARTIES, AND THE COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION,

OVER 5,000 ASSAULTS AND INJURIES, AND AT LEAST 21

MURDERS, HAVE OCCURRED SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE FARM

INVASIONS IN FEBRUARY. ALMOST ALL OF THE VIOLENT ACTS,

ACCORDING TO EYEWITNESSES, WERE CARRIED OUT BY ZANU-PF

SUPPORTERS. FOR THE MOST PART, THE POLICE, UNDER ORDERS

FROM THE POWERS-THAT-BE, HAVE STOOD IDLY BY — AND IN

SOME CASES EVEN ASSISTED THE ATTACKERS — AS THESE

CRIMES HAVE BEEN COMMITTED. THE BULK OF THE RULING

PARTY’S CAMPAIGN HAS BEEN FOCUSED IN THE RURAL AREAS

WHERE TWO-THIRDS OF THE COUNTRY’S POPULATION RESIDE. ON

INVADED COMMERCIAL FARMS (WHICH NOW TOTAL OVER 1,000),

WAR VETERANS AND GROUPS OF ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS (MAINLY

UNEMPLOYED YOUTH) CONTINUE TO TERRORIZE FARMERS AND

THEIR EMPLOYEES, FORCING THEM TO ATTEND “RE-EDUCATION”

RALLIES AND SEVERELY BEATING (IN SOME CASES MURDERING)

SUSPECTED MDC SUPPORTERS.

 

3. (C) IN RECENT WEEKS, THE WAVE OF VIOLENCE HAS SWEPT

INTO THE CITIES, IN PARTICULAR PERI-URBAN AREAS AND HIGH

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5611

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02734 02 OF 05 230817Z

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P-00     SP-00   USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00

NFAT-00 SAS-00     /011W

——————5A205B 230817Z /38

R 230817Z MAY 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6109

INFO NSC WASHDC

DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC

DEPTTREAS WASHDC

USDOC WASHDC

AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN

AMEMBASSY GABORONE

AMEMBASSY LILONGWE

AMEMBASSY LONDON

AMEMBASSY MAPUTO

AMEMBASSY PARIS

AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK

AMEMBASSY LUSAKA

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 05 HARARE 002734

 

SIPDIS

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02734 02 OF 05 230817Z

DEPT FOR DRL/ROBERT WARD

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

DOL FOR ILAB/ROBERT SHEPARD

TREASURY FOR OASIA/RALYEA AND NATAN EPSTEIN

USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

 

DEPT PASS USAID WASHDC FOR AFR/SA – NAN NEWMAN, OTI –

MARC SCOTT, AND A/AID – RICHARD MCCALL

 

DEPT PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/23/2000

TAGS: PGOV ELAB PINR ZI MDC

SUBJECT: MDC STILL LIKELY TO WIN AT LEAST 20 PERCENT OF

TOTAL PARLIAMENTARY SEATS

 

DENSITY TOWNSHIPS. ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS HAVE BURNED THE

HOMES AND DESTROYED PROPERTY OF NUMEROUS MDC OFFICIALS

IN HARARE, GWERU, AND KWEKWE, AND VIOLENT SKIRMISHES

BETWEEN MDC AND ZANU-PF MEMBERS OCCUR REGULARLY AROUND

THE COUNTRY. WAR VETERANS AND OTHER ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS,

EMBOLDENED BY THE TACIT SUPPORT OF POLICE, HAVE BEGUN TO

TARGET FACTORIES AND OTHER BUSINESSES, MOST OF WHICH ARE

OWNED BY WHITES OR MEMBERS OF THE INDIAN COMMUNITY WITH

SUSPECTED MDC LOYALTIES. DURING THE WEEK OF MAY 15, FOR

EXAMPLE, TWO FACTORIES IN BULAWAYO AND ONE LUMBER MILL

IN CHIPINGE WERE STORMED BY GROUPS OF ZANU-PF THUGS

DEMANDING MONEY FOR THEIR CAMPAIGN, AS WELL AS

MANAGEMENT’S’ OATH OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE RULING PARTY.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02734 02 OF 05 230817Z

ACCORDING TO EYEWITNESSES, SEVERAL EMPLOYEES WERE BEATEN

AND THE MANAGEMENT STAFF “ROUGHED UP” AS POLICE STOOD BY

IN PLAIN VIEW AND DID NOTHING. ONE INDIAN BUSINESSMAN

TOLD LABOFF THAT THE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION GROUP, A

GOVERNMENT-SUPPORTED NGO OSTENSIBLY WORKING TO INCREASE

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR BLACK ZIMBABWEANS, HAS

LAUNCHED A PUBLIC CAMPAIGN IN BULAWAYO, HARARE, AND

MUTARE THAT TARGETS INDIAN BUSINESSPEOPLE AS “AGENTS OF

THE MDC.” THE CONTACT STATED THAT HE AND OTHER

COLLEAGUES ALSO HAVE RECEIVED ANONYMOUS THREATS THAT,

SHOULD THE MDC WIN IN THEIR CONSTITUENCIES, THEIR

FAMILIES AND PROPERTY WOULD SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES.

 

——————————————— ——–

RULING PARTY STACKS THE DECK IN THE ELECTORAL PROCESS

——————————————— ——–

 

4. (C) IN ADDITION TO ITS CAMPAIGN OF INTIMIDATION, THE

RULING PARTY ALSO IS USING ITS CONTROL OF THE ELECTORAL

PROCESS TO STACK THE DECK IN ITS FAVOR. SUPREME COURT

JUSTICE WILSON SANDURA HAS STATED PUBLICLY THAT, AS OF

MAY 19, THE DELIMITATION COMMISSION WHICH HE CHAIRS HAD

NOT RELEASED ITS OFFICIAL WRITTEN REPORT. HOWEVER,

JUSTICE SANDURA TOLD REPRESENTATIVES OF THE NATIONAL

DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTE (NDI) PRE-ELECTION SURVEY TEAM

DURING THE WEEK OF MAY 15 THAT WHILE HE HAS DISCUSSED

THE BOUNDARIES OF THE NEW CONSTITUENCIES VERBALLY WITH

PRESIDENT MUGABE, HE HAS NOT PROVIDED HIM WITH ANY

WRITTEN REPORT. SANDURA SAID THE PROPOSED MAPS SHOWING

THE NEW BOUNDARIES WERE NOT EVEN PREPARED YET, AS THEY

ARE STILL BEING WORKED ON BY THE SURVEYOR GENERAL’S

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 02734 02 OF 05 230817Z

OFFICE, AND ARE NOT LIKELY TO BE READY UNTIL MAY 26.

NEVERTHELESS, IT IS CLEAR THAT THE NEW BOUNDARIES ARE

KNOWN TO THE RULING PARTY, AS MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL

AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS EMMERSON MNANGAGWA STATED ON

NATIONAL TELEVISION NEWS ON MAY 16 THAT THE DELIMITATION

COMMISSION HAD COMPLETED ITS WORK, AND THAT SEVERAL

CONSTITUENCIES HAD BEEN ELIMINATED IN THE PROCESS OF RE-

DRAWING THE VOTING BOUNDARIES. (NOTE: ONE OF THE

CONSTITUENCIES THAT HAS BEEN ELIMINATED, ACCORDING TO

THE MINISTER, IS BULAWAYO SOUTH, WHERE ATTORNEY DAVID

COLTART, THE MDC’S SECRETARY FOR LEGAL AFFAIRS, WAS

FAVORED TO WIN. MARGARET DONGO’S CONSTITUENCY IN HARARE

SOUTH WAS ALSO DISSOLVED. END NOTE.)

 

5. (C) MEANWHILE, THE GOZ HAS DECLARED MAY 29 AS THE

DEADLINE FOR THE SUBMISSION OF CANDIDATES’ NAMES TO THE

NOMINATING COURT. OUR SOURCES TELL US THAT THE GOZ IS

UNLIKELY TO RELEASE THE OFFICIAL RESULTS OF THE

DELIMITATION EXERCISE UNTIL ABOUT MAY 22. THE MDC AND

OTHER OPPOSITION PARTIES ARGUE THAT ONE WEEK IS NOT

ENOUGH TIME TO EXAMINE THE NEW CONSTITUENCIES AND

OFFICIALLY SUBMIT THEIR CANDIDATES’ CREDENTIALS TO THE

NOMINATING COURT. (NOTE: SEE REF (C) FOR A TIMELINE OF

PREREQUISITES THAT, ACCORDING TO THE ELECTORAL ACT, THE

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5615

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02734 03 OF 05 230817Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 SMEC-00 INL-01

DINT-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 DOTE-00 ANHR-00 WHA-00   SRPP-00

DS-00   EB-00   EUR-01   FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-01   H-01

TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01   DCP-01

NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00

P-00     SP-00   USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00

NFAT-00 SAS-00     /011W

——————5A2067 230817Z /38

R 230817Z MAY 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6110

INFO NSC WASHDC

DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC

DEPTTREAS WASHDC

USDOC WASHDC

AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN

AMEMBASSY GABORONE

AMEMBASSY LILONGWE

AMEMBASSY LONDON

AMEMBASSY MAPUTO

AMEMBASSY PARIS

AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK

AMEMBASSY LUSAKA

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 05 HARARE 002734

 

SIPDIS

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02734 03 OF 05 230817Z

DEPT FOR DRL/ROBERT WARD

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

DOL FOR ILAB/ROBERT SHEPARD

TREASURY FOR OASIA/RALYEA AND NATAN EPSTEIN

USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

 

DEPT PASS USAID WASHDC FOR AFR/SA – NAN NEWMAN, OTI –

MARC SCOTT, AND A/AID – RICHARD MCCALL

 

DEPT PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/23/2000

TAGS: PGOV ELAB PINR ZI MDC

SUBJECT: MDC STILL LIKELY TO WIN AT LEAST 20 PERCENT OF

TOTAL PARLIAMENTARY SEATS

 

GOZ MUST FOLLOW BEFORE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS. END

NOTE.) DAVID COLTART AND TENDAI BITI, THE MDC’S

SECRETARY FOR LANDS AND AGRICULTURE, ANNOUNCED TO THE

 

SIPDIS

PRESS ON MAY 18 THAT THE MDC INTENDS TO SUE PRESIDENT

MUGABE FOR FAILING TO ANNOUNCE THE NEW CONSTITUENCIES IN

SUFFICIENT TIME TO ALLOW CANDIDATES TO SUBMIT THEIR

NOMINATIONS, AS WELL AS OTHER GOVERNMENT TACTICS THAT

THE MDC ARGUES IS PRECLUDING THE POSSIBILITY OF FREE AND

FAIR ELECTIONS ON JUNE 24-25.

 

6. (C) COMMENT: WHEN THE DELIMITATION COMMISSION’S

OFFICIAL REPORT IS RELEASED, WE EXPECT TO SEE THE

BOUNDARIES REDRAWN TO SPLIT UP THOSE CONSTITUENCIES,

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02734 03 OF 05 230817Z

PARTICULARLY IN URBAN AREAS, THAT ARE KNOWN TO BE PRO-

MDC. IN SOME CASES, LIKE BULAWAYO SOUTH, THE

CONSTITUENCY WILL BE ELIMINATED ALTOGETHER. THE RULING

PARTY LIKELY WILL WAIT AS LONG AS POSSIBLE TO RELEASE

THE REPORT, GIVING THE MDC VERY LITTLE TIME TO SUBMIT

ITS CANDIDATES’ NOMINATIONS. THE RULING PARTY’S

TAMPERING WITH THE CONSTITUENT BOUNDARIES — AND ALMOST

CERTAINLY WITH THE VOTERS’ ROLL — IS CLEARLY AN ATTEMPT

TO DISADVANTAGE THE MDC AT THE POLLS IN JUNE. END

COMMENT.

 

——————-

MDC STILL CONFIDENT

——————-

 

7. (C) MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, PRESIDENT OF THE MDC, TOLD

REPORTERS ON MAY 10 THAT HIS PARTY WAS CONSIDERING

BOYCOTTING THE ELECTIONS BECAUSE, IN THE CURRENT CLIMATE

OF INTIMIDATION, A FREE AND FAIR VOTE WOULD NOT BE

POSSIBLE. THE GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED MEDIA SEIZED THE

OPPORTUNITY TO PORTRAY THE MDC AS TURNING TAIL AND

RUNNING WHEN THE GOING GOT TOUGH. DAVID COLTART

EXPLAINED THAT TSVANGIRAI’S STATEMENT WAS NOT ONE OF

COWARDICE, BUT RATHER AN OFFER TO MDC CANDIDATES OF A

WAY OUT OF THE VIOLENCE, IF THEY CHOSE TO TAKE IT.

ACCORDING TO COLTART AND WELSHMAN NCUBE, THE MDC’S

SECRETARY GENERAL, THE PARTY’S SENIOR LEADERSHIP IS

 

SIPDIS

DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE WELFARE OF ITS CANDIDATES AND

SUPPORTERS IN THE FIELD WHO ARE BEING, OR HAVE BEEN,

TARGETS OF VIOLENCE. BY SUGGESTING A BOYCOTT, TSVANGIRAI

WAS OFFERING HIS MEMBERS THE CHANCE TO DROP OUT OF THE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 02734 03 OF 05 230817Z

RACE AND REDUCE THEIR EXPOSURE, WHILE STILL SAVING FACE.

THE ANSWER FROM MDC CANDIDATES WAS A RESOUNDING “NO.”

ACCORDING TO COLTART, ATTENDEES OF A MAY 13 MEETING OF

THE PARTY LEADERSHIP OVERWHELMINGLY VOTED AGAINST

BOYCOTTING THE ELECTION, ARGUING THAT THE RULING PARTY’S

CAMPAIGN OF TERROR WAS HAVING THE OPPOSITE EFFECT ON

VOTERS, AND THAT THEY WERE WILLING TO SUFFER THE

CONSEQUENCES OF CONTINUED CAMPAIGNING IN ORDER TO “BRING

AN END TO MUGABE’S DICTATORSHIP.” THE MDC’S ELECTION

CAMPAIGN THEREFORE CONTINUES.

 

8. (C) WELSHMAN NCUBE CONFIRMED THAT THE PARTY STILL

INTENDS TO FIELD CANDIDATES IN EVERY DISTRICT EXCEPT

THAT OF INDEPENDENT PARLIAMENTARIAN MARGARET DONGO.

ALTHOUGH FUNDING CONTINUES TO BE A PROBLEM, NCUBE STATED

THAT SMALL, INDIVIDUAL, AND OFTEN ANONYMOUS DONATIONS

CONTINUE TO ARRIVE REGULARLY, AND THAT ALL OF THESE

“DROPS IN THE BUCKET” ARE ADDING UP. BEFORE THE START OF

THE COMMERCIAL FARM INVASIONS IN FEBRUARY, WHITE FARMERS

AND BUSINESSPEOPLE WERE MAKING SOME SUBSTANTIAL

DONATIONS. TSVANGIRAI’S NUMEROUS TRIPS TO SOUTH AFRICA

AND EUROPE IN RECENT MONTHS YIELDED SOME CONTRIBUTIONS

FROM FELLOW TRADE UNIONISTS IN THOSE COUNTRIES. NCUBE

ADDED THAT THE PARTY CONTINUES TO RECEIVE FREQUENT

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5619

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02734 04 OF 05 230818Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 SMEC-00 INL-01

DINT-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 DOTE-00 ANHR-00 WHA-00   SRPP-00

DS-00   EB-00   EUR-01   FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-01   H-01

TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01   DCP-01

NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00

P-00     SP-00   USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00

NFAT-00 SAS-00     /011W

——————5A2078 230818Z /38

R 230817Z MAY 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6111

INFO NSC WASHDC

DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC

DEPTTREAS WASHDC

USDOC WASHDC

AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN

AMEMBASSY GABORONE

AMEMBASSY LILONGWE

AMEMBASSY LONDON

AMEMBASSY MAPUTO

AMEMBASSY PARIS

AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK

AMEMBASSY LUSAKA

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 04 OF 05 HARARE 002734

 

SIPDIS

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02734 04 OF 05 230818Z

DEPT FOR DRL/ROBERT WARD

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

DOL FOR ILAB/ROBERT SHEPARD

TREASURY FOR OASIA/RALYEA AND NATAN EPSTEIN

USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

 

DEPT PASS USAID WASHDC FOR AFR/SA – NAN NEWMAN, OTI –

MARC SCOTT, AND A/AID – RICHARD MCCALL

 

DEPT PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/23/2000

TAGS: PGOV ELAB PINR ZI MDC

SUBJECT: MDC STILL LIKELY TO WIN AT LEAST 20 PERCENT OF

TOTAL PARLIAMENTARY SEATS

 

DONATIONS (MANY OVER THE INTERNET) FROM INDIVIDUALS

LIVING ABROAD, PARTICULARLY ZIMBABWEAN EXPATRIATES IN

THE U.K. ALTHOUGH THE MONEY IS COMING IN, NCUBE ADMITTED

THAT IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO MOUNT THE TYPE OF MEDIA AND

GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGN THAT THE MDC NEEDS. “WE NEED ABOUT

U.S.$3.5 MILLION TO RUN THE CAMPAIGN THAT WE WANT,” HE

SAID. “WE HAVEN’T EVEN GOT HALF OF THAT.”

 

9. (C) BEYOND FUNDING SHORTFALLS, THE WAVE OF STATE-

SPONSORED VIOLENCE ACROSS ZIMBABWE HAS FORCED THE MDC’S

CAMPAIGN LARGELY UNDERGROUND AT THIS POINT. NCUBE TOLD

EMBOFFS THAT THE PARTY WAS “SURPRISED” BY, AND

“UNPREPARED” FOR, THE LEVEL OF INTIMIDATION THAT THE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02734 04 OF 05 230818Z

RULING PARTY HAS BEEN ABLE TO SUSTAIN. IN PARTICULAR,

SAID NCUBE, MDC LEADERS DID NOT EXPECT THE POLICE TO

TOTALLY ABDICATE THEIR RESPONSIBILITY AND ALLOW VICIOUS

BEATINGS AND KILLINGS TO TAKE PLACE WITHOUT CONSEQUENCE.

AS A RESULT, THE MDC NOW IS HOLDING ALMOST NO RALLIES ON

COMMERCIAL FARMS, EITHER BECAUSE THE AREAS HAVE BEEN

INVADED BY WAR VETERANS AND THEIR FOLLOWERS, AND/OR

BECAUSE THE FARMERS, FEARFUL OF RETALIATION PERPETRATED

BY THE RULING PARTY TOUGHS, REFUSE TO ALLOW THE EVENTS

TO TAKE PLACE ON THEIR PROPERTIES. MOREOVER, SAID NCUBE,

THE MDC RECOGNIZES THAT AGENTS FROM THE CENTRAL

INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATION (CIO) ARE PRESENT AT MOST OF

THEIR GATHERINGS, AND THAT ANY FARM WORKER THAT ATTENDS

ONE OF THEIR RALLIES IS LIKELY TO BE “VISITED LATER IN

THE NIGHT.” IN THE CITIES AND PERI-URBAN AREAS WHERE THE

MDC ENJOYS WIDESPREAD SUPPORT, SAID NCUBE, THE PARTY IS

STILL ABLE TO HOLD SMALL RALLIES AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO

SO. THE MAJORITY OF THE MDC’S CAMPAIGNING NOW IS BEING

DONE BY WORD OF MOUTH, THOUGH, IN SMALL GROUPS AT

PEOPLE’S HOMES AND OTHER PRIVATE LOCATIONS. PARTY

LEADERS HAVE ADVISED THEIR MEMBERS — PARTICULARLY IN

THE TROUBLED AREAS OF THE MASHONALAND PROVINCES — TO

PUT THEIR PERSONAL SAFETY FIRST AND AVOID WEARING MDC T-

SHIRTS OR CHANTING MDC SLOGANS IN PUBLIC. THE LEADERS

THEMSELVES ALSO ARE TAKING EXTRA SECURITY PRECAUTIONS,

INCLUDING SENDING THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBERS TO STAY

WITH FRIENDS OR DISTANT RELATIVES.

 

10. (C) DESPITE THE RULING PARTY’S ATTEMPTS TO “RE-

EDUCATE” ITS WAYWARD CITIZENS, THE MDC STILL IS

CONFIDENT OF WINNING A MAJORITY OF 76 SEATS IN

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 02734 04 OF 05 230818Z

PARLIAMENT. MDC MEMBERS ASSERT THAT ZANU-PF WILL

DISCOVER ON ELECTION DAY THAT ITS INTIMIDATION TACTICS

HAVE BACKFIRED. NCUBE PREDICTS WITH GREAT CONFIDENCE

THAT, “PEOPLE WILL VOTE THEIR CONSCIENCE” AT THE POLLS.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

11. (C) THE RULING PARTY’S SCARE TACTICS AND “RE-

EDUCATION” CAMPAIGN, BOTH ON THE FARMS AND IN THE

GOVERNMENT-OWNED MEDIA, UNDOUBTEDLY HAVE HAD SOME EFFECT

ON VOTERS. IN THE RURAL AREAS, FARM WORKERS AND COMMUNAL

RESIDENTS — TWO-THIRDS OF THE COUNTRY’S POPULATION —

GENERALLY ARE UNSOPHISTICATED; LACK ACCESS TO ANY MEDIA

EXCEPT THAT CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT; AND, ACCORDING

TO SOME COMMERCIAL FARMERS, ARE EASILY INTIMIDATED BY

THE RULING PARTY. HIGH PRICES, UNEMPLOYMENT, AND

DECLINING DISPOSABLE INCOME HAVE TAUGHT RURAL RESIDENTS,

HOWEVER, THAT ALL IS NOT WELL WITH ZANU-PF’S MANAGEMENT

OF THE ECONOMY. MEANWHILE, MANY OF THEIR CHILDREN AND

OTHER RELATIVES LIVE IN THE CITY AND RETURN HOME ON

WEEKENDS WITH TALES OF THEIR FINANCIAL STRAITS — A

STATE OF AFFAIRS THAT THE MDC IS PROMISING TO REVERSE.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5620

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02734 05 OF 05 230818Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 SMEC-00 INL-01

DINT-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 DOTE-00 ANHR-00 WHA-00   SRPP-00

DS-00   EB-00   EUR-01   FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-01   H-01

TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01   DCP-01

NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00

P-00     SP-00   USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00

NFAT-00 SAS-00     /011W

——————5A207E 230818Z /38

R 230817Z MAY 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6112

INFO NSC WASHDC

DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC

DEPTTREAS WASHDC

USDOC WASHDC

AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN

AMEMBASSY GABORONE

AMEMBASSY LILONGWE

AMEMBASSY LONDON

AMEMBASSY MAPUTO

AMEMBASSY PARIS

AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK

AMEMBASSY LUSAKA

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 05 OF 05 HARARE 002734

 

SIPDIS

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02734 05 OF 05 230818Z

DEPT FOR DRL/ROBERT WARD

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

DOL FOR ILAB/ROBERT SHEPARD

TREASURY FOR OASIA/RALYEA AND NATAN EPSTEIN

USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

 

DEPT PASS USAID WASHDC FOR AFR/SA – NAN NEWMAN, OTI –

MARC SCOTT, AND A/AID – RICHARD MCCALL

 

DEPT PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/23/2000

TAGS: PGOV ELAB PINR ZI MDC

SUBJECT: MDC STILL LIKELY TO WIN AT LEAST 20 PERCENT OF

TOTAL PARLIAMENTARY SEATS

 

IT IS THEREFORE DIFFICULT TO JUDGE HOW RURAL RESIDENTS

WILL VOTE IN JUNE, PARTICULARLY NOW THAT THE RULING

PARTY HAS EFFECTIVELY QUELLED THEIR ABILITY TO FREELY

EXPRESS THEIR POLITICAL VIEWS. IN THE URBAN CENTERS, WE

CONTINUE TO SEE A HIGH DEGREE OF SUPPORT FOR THE MDC,

PARTICULARLY AMONG WORKING CLASS ZIMBABWEANS WHO

SUPPORTED THE PARTY’S EMERGENCE FROM THE ZIMBABWEAN

CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS (ZCTU). GIVEN THE LIKELIHOOD OF

HIGH NUMBERS OF MDC VOTES IN THE APPROXIMATELY 38 URBAN

CONSTITUENCIES, AS WELL AS THE STILL LARGELY UNCLEAR

SYMPATHIES OF RURAL VOTERS, WE BELIEVE THAT AN MDC WIN

OF AT LEAST 30 OF THE PARLIAMENTARY SEATS IS PROBABLE.

GIVEN THE UNREMITTING CAMPAIGN OF VIOLENCE, HOWEVER, THE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02734 05 OF 05 230818Z

MDC IS UNLIKELY TO WIN MANY MORE — AND CERTAINLY NOT

THE 76 SEATS IT EARLIER BOASTED WERE IN THE BAG — IN

THIS ELECTION. END COMMENT.

 

MCDONALD

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

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