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Was Mt Darwin vote rigged?

The campaign manager for the Movement for Democratic Change- Mutambara candidate during the 2008 elections complained to United States embassy officials that the votes that Vice-President Joice Mujuru got for the Mt Darwin West constituency was “dubiously high” for the support that she had.

Embassy officials seemed to agree with Raphael Shanya who was also the father of Joseph, the MDC-M candidate.

Mujuru polled 13 2236 votes to win the seat with the MDC- Tsvangirai candidate Madzudo Gora getting 1 792 votes and Shanya 887 votes.

According to a diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks, “Shanya was convinced that ZANU-PF must have stuffed ballot boxes with votes because Joice Mujuru did not have this level of support given that the constituency had not benefited from her position as vice president and, in his opinion, most constituents favoured the MDC.”

Embassy officials said Shanya’s assessment tallied with theirs because a pre-election embassy observation team in the Mt. Darwin area found substantial pro-MDC and anti-Mujuru sentiment.

“Additionally, an analysis of the election results shows that the 83.2 percent of the vote Joice Mujuru captured in Mt. Darwin was considerably better than the 73.8 percent average ZANU-PF won with in the other three Mt. Darwin House of Assembly races.”

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE308, ZIMBABWE ELECTION IRREGULARITIES IN MT. DARWIN

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE308

2008-04-09 15:41

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO7692

RR RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0308/01 1001541

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 091541Z APR 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2748

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1910

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1901

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2024

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0592

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1301

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1658

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2080

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4511

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1156

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC//DHO-7//

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK//DOOC/ECMO/CC/DAO/DOB/DOI//

RUZEHAA/CDR USEUCOM INTEL VAIHINGEN GE//ECJ23-CH/ECJ5M//

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000308

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

SES-O

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

USAID FOR L.DOBBINS AND E. LOKEN

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/09/2018

TAGS: PHUM PGOV KDEM ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE ELECTION IRREGULARITIES IN MT. DARWIN

 

REF: HARARE 00270

 

Classified By: AMBASSADOR JAMES D. MCGEE FOR REASONS 1.4 (B & D)

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) Raphael Shanya, campaign manager for and father of

Joseph Shanya, the MDC Mutambara House of Assembly candidate

for Mt. Darwin West constituency in Mashonaland Central

province, reported to PolOffs on April 7 several problems

their campaign had encountered on Election Day. His primary

concern was that MDC polling agents had been denied entry

into numerous polling stations or only allowed in hours after

voting had begun. Additionally, he said many of the polling

stations in the constituency were not identified or

misidentified on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC)

map of polling stations. Therefore, there were no polling

agents or observers at these polling stations. END SUMMARY.

 

————————————–

Irregularities in a ZANU-PF Stronghold

————————————–

 

2. (C) According to Shanya, out of the 52 polling stations in

the Mt. Darwin West constituency (in which Vice President

Joice Mujuru was the winning candidate), seven polling

stations were not identified on the ZEC map and at least 10

polling stations were misidentified. Shanya, a life-long

resident of Mt. Darwin, told us that using the ZEC map as a

guide, he had a difficult time locating about 30 percent of

the polling stations on Election Day.

 

3. (C) Another problem Shanya highlighted was the difficulty

MDC polling agents had gaining access to some polling

stations, especially those located in commercial farming

areas. He said that war veterans (staunch ZANU-PF

supporters) were stationed at many of these polling stations

and did not allow or delayed entry of MDC polling agents to

observe the voting process. When he complained to the

election officials at one such polling station, he was told

to raise his objections at the constituency command center

which was over 30 kilometers away.

 

4. (C) Shanya pointed out that because MDC polling agents

were denied or delayed entry into several polling stations

there was no way to confirm that the ballot boxes were empty

when polls opened and that voting took place in a proper

manner throughout the day. He referenced the dubiously high

level of support Joice Mujuru attracted (13,236 votes/ 83.2

percent) compared with the MDC Tsvangirai candidate Madzudo

Gora (1,792 votes/ 11.3 percent), and MDC Mutambara candidate

Joseph Shanya (887 votes/ 5.6 percent).

 

5. (C) Shanya was convinced that ZANU-PF must have stuffed

ballot boxes with votes because Joice Mujuru did not have

this level of support given that the constituency had not

benefited from her position as vice president and, in his

opinion, most constituents favored the MDC. (NOTE: A

pre-election Embassy observation team in the Mt. Darwin area

found substantial pro-MDC and anti-Mujuru sentiment.

Additionally, an analysis of the election results shows that

the 83.2 percent of the vote Joice Mujuru captured in Mt.

Darwin was considerably better than the 73.8 percent average

ZANU-PF won with in the other three Mt. Darwin House of

Assembly races. END NOTE.)

 

——–

COMMENT

——–

 

HARARE 00000308 002 OF 002

 

 

 

6. (C) Shanya’s observations comport with MDC and Zimbabwe

Electoral Support Network (ZESN) complaints about the conduct

of the election in Mashonaland Central, the ZANU-PF

heartland. It is highly probable that ZANU-PF manipulated

the vote in Mt. Darwin and other strongholds to bolster

support for certain party big-wigs such as Joice Mujuru. It

also was an apparent effort to build electoral support for

Mugabe who faced an unexpectedly strong challenge from Morgan

Tsvangirai. The Mashonaland Central experience, as

 

SIPDIS

illustrated by Shanya, demonstrates the importance of polling

agents and observers at every polling station in the country

for the runoff election. END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

(21 VIEWS)

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