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US embassy requested US$3 million to fight Mugabe

The United States embassy in Harare requested US$3 million a year to sustain democratic forces in Zimbabwe and keep alive prospects for a national democratic revival arguing that this was necessary because President Robert Mugabe had tightened his grip on the country.

“As Zimbabwe’s protracted political crisis continues,” the embassy said, “it is essential for the US to maintain support to democratic forces.”

It requested US$300 000 a year for Elections and Political Processes.

The money was, among other things, expected to help all democratic political parties prepare for national elections by developing non-violent standards of behaviour, conducting voter education, and articulating campaign messages.

“These activities serve US policy interests by increasing pressure on the GOZ (government) to hold free and fair elections,” the embassy said.

It also requested US$1 670000 a year to sustain civil society and US$1 million annually to sustain the independent media including its propaganda radio station Studio 7.

Both programmes reportedly served US policy.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 06HARARE977, ZIMBABWE – FY-2006 ESF REQUEST

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

06HARARE977

2006-08-03 13:04

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

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R 031304Z AUG 06

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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0459

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1295

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1143

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RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0060

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RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1122

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1764

RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RUFGNOA/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1510

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000977

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR H.SERVIN-BAEZ

SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE

USAID FOR M. COPSON

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: AFIN AMGT EAID ECON PGOV PHUM PREL XA ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE – FY-2006 ESF REQUEST

 

REF: REF: STATE 59002

 

——————————-

Overview of FY-2006 ESF Request

——————————-

 

1. (SBU) As stated in the Mission Performance Plan, Zimbabwe

today is a paradox. On the one hand, President Robert Mugabe

and his ruling party have tightened their grip over the

country in the past year and have benefited from the split in

the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). On the

other hand, the worsening economy, the increasingly open

succession battle, and growing international isolation are

driving deep wedges into the ruling party. In this context,

we believe the request below is the absolute minimum amount

needed to sustain democratic forces in this country and keep

alive prospects for a national, democratic revival in

Zimbabwe. As Zimbabwe’s protracted political crisis

continues, it is essential for the U.S. to maintain support

to democratic forces.

 

——————-

FY 2006 ESF Request

——————-

 

Elections and Political Processes–$300,000 ($300,000 Annual)

 

3. (SBU) The anticipated rural council elections will be the

last nationwide elections before the 2008 presidential

election, providing a key testing ground for local election

observers and political parties. The funds requested will

help local election monitors document electoral

irregularities and conduct a parallel vote count. These

funds would also help all democratic political parties

prepare for national elections by developing non-violent

standards of behavior, conducting voter education, and

articulating campaign messages. These activities serve U.S.

policy interests by increasing pressure on the GOZ to hold

free and fair elections. USAID would obligate the funds

through existing mechanisms.

 

Sustaining Civil Society–$1,670,000 ($1,670,000 Annual)

 

4. (SBU) The GOZ, convinced that civil society is directly

supporting the opposition party, has stepped up its

surveillance and persecution of the NGO sector. NGO meetings

and workshops are routinely prohibited or interrupted by

security agents. NGO leaders are detained, harassed, and

threatened. The NGO Bill was not signed into law, but the

threat of introducing new draconian legislation to increase

the government’s powers to control the funding, registration,

and activities of NGOs remains. Despite government

repression, the NGO sector remains, for now, alive and

energized.

 

5. (SBU) This allocation would continue and extend Post’s

existing activities in support of a wide range of NGOs, both

local and regional, working in the areas of human rights,

legal aid, peace building, civic education, and lobbying.

These funds would sustain these organizations and preserve

independent democratic voices for a time when Zimbabwe is

ready for democratic change. These programs support U.S.

policy in Zimbabwe by ensuring that important vestiges of the

country’s democratic infrastructure are not extinguished

until that moment inevitably comes. USAID would obligate the

funds through a US-based nonprofit organization that provides

small grants to local NGOs.

 

Sustaining Independent Media–$1,000,000 ($1,000,000 Annual)

 

HARARE 00000977 002 OF 002

 

 

 

6. (SBU) The independent media in Zimbabwe have been badly

damaged by the GOZ’s aggressive campaign to stifle criticism,

at home and abroad, of its flawed policies and to prevent the

democratic opposition from communicating with the electorate.

The people of Zimbabwe are desperate for alternative sources

of news, information, and platforms for free speech.

 

7. (SBU) This allocation would support the continued

existence of the independent media in Zimbabwe. Funds would

support the Voice of America Studio 7 radio program, which

now boosts approximately one million listeners per day.

Aiding the continued existence of independent media in

Zimbabwe directly serves U.S. policy by ensuring checks

against the government monopoly on information and providing

important outlets for opposing viewpoints. USAID would

obligate the funds through VOA.

RAYNOR

 

(4 VIEWS)

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