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Zambian diplomat says ZIDERA is welcome if it will hasten Mugabe’s departure

Zambian diplomat Ben Shawa told United States embassy officials that the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act was welcome if it would hasten President Robert Mugabe’s departure from the scene.

He said this was the overwhelming sentiment among the literate class but the Zimbabwe African National Union -Patriotic Front propaganda was more effective with the less educated many of whom took the claims that the legislation was part of a Movement for Democratic Change plot to isolate and impoverish the country.

Shawa said the 2002 presidential elections were not likely to be free and fair because Mugabe wanted to engineer an election victory after which he would rein in the war veterans and launch a charm offensive to rehabilitate the country’s image in the international community and improve the chances of getting assistance.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 01HARARE2365, A ZAMBIAN TAKE ON ZIMBABWE SITUATION

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE2365

2001-08-09 13:57

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.

 

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ3284

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02365 01 OF 02 091356Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 INL-00   DODE-00 DS-00

VC-00   TEDE-00 INR-00   VCE-00   DCP-01   NSAE-00 CAEX-01

SSO-00   SS-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   NFAT-00 SAS-00     /004W

——————0FC837 091357Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9436

INFO NSC WASHDC

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 002365

 

SIPDIS

 

STATE FOR AF, AF/S, AND AF/RA

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS-MANIGAULT

NSC FOR SENIOR DIRECTOR FRAZIER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/09/06

TAGS: PREL PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: A ZAMBIAN TAKE ON ZIMBABWE SITUATION

 

CLASSIFIED BY DCM ROBERT E. WHITEHEAD FOR REASONS 1.5

(B) AND (D).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY. DCM PAID A COURTESY CALL ON ZAMBIAN

COUNTERPART BEN SHAWA ON AUGUST 9. THE EXCHANGE WAS

SURPRISINGLY FRANK AND PRODUCTIVE, WITH SHAWA

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02365 01 OF 02 091356Z

PROVIDING HIS TAKE ON ELECTION PROSPECTS, SADC

ELECTORAL MONITORING, NDEBELE RUMBLINGS, ZDERA, AND

THE IMPACT OF EVENTS IN ZIMBABWE ON ZAMBIA. END

SUMMARY.

 

——————————

FREE AND FAIR NOT IN THE CARDS

——————————

 

2. (C) SHAWA EXPRESSED THE VIEW THAT FREE AND FAIR

2002 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS ARE HIGHLY UNLIKELY. HE

PREDICTED WIDESPREAD GOZ-SPONSORED VIOLENCE IN AN

ATTEMPT TO INTIMIDATE WOULD-BE MDC VOTERS INTO EITHER

VOTING ZANU-PF OR STAYING AWAY FROM THE POLLS

ALTOGETHER. THE MUGABE STRATEGY, HE CONTINUED, WAS TO

ENGINEER AN ELECTORAL VICTORY, AT WHICH TIME HE

PLANNED TO REIN IN THE WAR VETERANS AND LAUNCH A CHARM

OFFENSIVE ON THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE TO REHABILITATE

ZIMBABWE’S IMAGE AND IMPROVE ITS PROSPECTS FOR RENEWED

ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE. SHAWA DOUBTED THAT MUGABE COULD

ACHIEVE THE LATTER AND WAS EQUALLY DUBIOUS ON THE

SECOND POINT. HE CONCLUDED THAT THE PERCEPTION OF A

STOLEN ELECTION RISKED SPARKING SERIOUS OUTBREAKS IN

URBAN AREAS, WHERE PEOPLE FEEL THAT THEY HAVE LITTLE

TO LOSE AND ACTUALLY WELCOME FACE-OFFS WITH SECURITY

FORCES.

 

——————————–

TOOTHLESS SADC ELECTION MONITORS

——————————–

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02365 01 OF 02 091356Z

3. (C) DCM ASKED IF SADC WOULD MOUNT AN ELECTION

MONITORING EXERCISE AS IT HAD DONE FOR PARLIAMENTARY

ELECTIONS. SHAWA CONFIRMED THAT THIS WOULD CERTAINLY

HAPPEN, ALTHOUGH NO PLAN HAD YET BEEN FINALIZED. HE

ADDED THAT THE GRZ WOULD PUSH FOR THIS OUTCOME, SINCE

IT FAVORED THE “SOFT, TOOTHLESS” APPROACH OF SADC, A

LA MBEKI, RATHER THAN MORE RIGOROUS INTERNATIONAL

SCRUTINY. HE PREDICTED THAT THE GOZ WOULD ORGANIZE A

DIPLOMATIC OFFENSIVE TO ENSURE THAT OTHER SADC STATES

STAYED IN LINE. HE NOTED THAT THE MDC’S ATTEMPT TO

ARRANGE TOP-LEVEL MEETINGS FOR TSVANGIRAI IN SADC

CAPITALS HAD PROMPTED THE DISPATCH OF GOZ TEAMS TO

PRESSURE WOULD-BE HOSTS ON THIS POINT. A NUMBER OF

SADC COUNTRIES HAD SUBSEQUENTLY DUCKED THE MEETINGS.

IN ZAMBIA, TSVANGIRAI HAD BEEN SHUNTED OFF TO MMD

HATCHET MAN MICHAEL SATA, WHOM SHAWA (PROTECT) TERMED

“OUR (ZAMBIA’S) OWN WAR VET.”

 

—————————–

HIGH-LEVEL NDEBELE DISCONTENT

—————————–

 

4. (C) SHAWA SAID THAT THERE ARE SIGNIFICANT RIFTS AT

THE TOP OF ZANU-PF, AND THAT ONE OF THE MOST

SIGNIFICANT CLEAVAGES RUNS ALONG ETHNIC LINES. HE

DESCRIBED A RECENT APPROACH BY MEMBERS OF THE KAFELA

TRUST, WHICH HE DESCRIBED AS AN NDEBELE FOUNDATION.

VICE PRESIDENT MSIKA, HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER NKOMO, AND

MINISTER MOYO (HE DID NOT SPECIFY WHICH ONE)

APPROACHED THE ZAMBIAN HIGH COMMISSION WITH A REQUEST

TO SEND ARCHIVISTS AND CAMERAMEN TO ZAMBIA TO SEARCH

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 02365 01 OF 02 091356Z

FREEDOM HOUSE AND MILITARY ARCHIVES FOR DOCUMENTS

CHRONICLING ZIPRA’S ROLE IN THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE.

THEY COMPLAINED THAT OFFICIAL GOZ CHRONICLES OF THE

WAR EMPHASIZED THE CENTRAL ZANLA ROLE AND RELEGATED

ZIPRA TO THE FOOTNOTES.

 

5. (C) SHAWA SAID THAT THE UNITY AGREEMENT WAS SHAKY

AND POSITED THAT THE KAFELA TRUST INITIATIVE MIGHT BE

A HARBINGER OF A MOVEMENT TO RECREATE A ZAPU

ORGANIZATION AS OPPOSED TO THE ZAPU 2000 PARTY FORMED

BEFORE THE 2000 PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION, THAT FAILED TO

GARNER WIDESPREAD SUPPORT IN MATEBELELAND. THE

ZAMBIAN HIGH COMMISSIONER REQUESTED THAT THEY PUT

THEIR REQUEST THROUGH OFFICIAL GOZ CHANNELS, TO AVOID

ACCUSATIONS AFTER THE FACT THAT THE GRZ WAS PLAYING A

DOUBLE GAME. SHAWA ADDED IRONICALLY THAT WHATEVER THE

OUTCOME OF THE INITIATIVE, THE GRZ WOULD ENSURE THAT

NO ONE FROM A KAFELA TRUST DELEGATION WENT TO

BAROTSELAND.

 

—–

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ3286

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02365 02 OF 02 091357Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 USNW-00 DODE-00 DS-00

VC-00   TEDE-00 INR-00   VCE-00   DCP-01   NSAE-00 SSO-00

SS-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   NFAT-00 SAS-00     /004W

——————0FC844 091357Z /38

O 091357Z AUG 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9437

INFO NSC WASHDC

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 002365

 

SIPDIS

 

STATE FOR AF, AF/S, AND AF/RA

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS-MANIGAULT

NSC FOR SENIOR DIRECTOR FRAZIER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/09/06

TAGS: PREL PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: A ZAMBIAN TAKE ON ZIMBABWE SITUATION

 

ZDERA

—–

 

6. (C) DCM NOTED BROAD LOCAL PRESS COVERAGE OF SENATE

PASSAGE OF ZDERA AND ASKED SHAWA WHAT HIS ZAMBIAN

INTERLOCUTORS WERE SAYING ABOUT THE BILL. SHAWA

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02365 02 OF 02 091357Z

REPLIED THAT THE OVERWHELMING SENTIMENT AMONG THE

LITERATE CLASS WAS THAT IF ZDERA HASTENED MUGABE’S

DEPARTURE FROM THE SCENE, THEN THEY WERE FOR IT.

ZANU-PF PROPAGANDA WAS MORE EFFECTIVE WITH THE LESS

EDUCATED, HOWEVER, MANY OF WHOM TAKE AT FACE VALUE

CLAIMS THAT THE LEGISLATION IS PART OF AN MDC PLOT TO

ISOLATE AND IMPOVERISH THE COUNTRY.

 

———————————

ZAMBIA KEEPS ITS HEAD IN THE SAND

———————————

 

7. (C) DCM QUERIED SHAWA ABOUT THE EFFECTS ON ZAMBIA

OF THE GROWING CRISIS IN ZIMBABWE. SHAWA OBSERVED

THAT THERE WAS LITTLE CONCERN IN LUSAKA THAT THE

UNREST WOULD CROSS THE BORDER. LAND IS NOT AN ISSUE

IN ZAMBIA, RACIAL/ETHNIC CLEAVAGES RUN LESS DEEP, AND

THE WAR VETERAN PHENOMENON IS NON-EXISTENT. HE NOTED

THAT THIS IS NOT THE CASE IN SOUTH AFRICA, WHERE THERE

IS FERTILE SOIL FOR SIMILAR UNREST. DCM POINTED OUT

THAT WHILE ZAMBIA MAY NOT BE POLITICALLY VULNERABLE TO

THE ZIMBABWE DISEASE, IT IS NOT IMMUNE TO AN ECONOMIC

DOWNTURN IN A MAJOR TRADING PARTNER, POSSIBLE

INTERRUPTION OF VITAL TRANSPORTATION LINKS, OR EVEN

POTENTIAL REFUGEE FLOWS. SHAWA REPEATED THAT THE GRZ

IS NOT DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF THE

CRISIS, INCLUDING REFUGEE FLOWS. CLEAR-THINKING

REFUGEES WOULD HEAD SOUTH, NOT NORTH.

 

——-

COMMENT

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02365 02 OF 02 091357Z

——-

 

8. (C) THERE WAS NOT MUCH SURPRISING HERE OTHER THAN

EX-ZIPRA MEMBERS LOOKING TO SET THE HISTORICAL RECORD

STRAIGHT. WE CANNOT COMMENT ON SHAWA’S “ZAPU REBORN”

THEORY, ALTHOUGH IT IS WORTH CONSIDERING THE

POSSIBILITY THAT NDEBELE MEMBERS OF ZANU-PF MIGHT BE

EXAMINING THEIR OPTIONS. SHAWA’S COMMENTS ON THE SADC

ELECTION MONITORING MECHANISM WERE NOT ENCOURAGING.

CONCERTED EFFORT IN ALL SADC CAPITALS TO COUNTER GOZ

PRESSURE MAY BE ESSENTIAL TO PREVENT A SADC MONITORING

EXERCISE FROM BECOMING A ZANU-PF RUBBER STAMP.

 

HOOKS

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

(16 VIEWS)

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