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ZANU-PF was ready to go to war to stop Tsvangirai

Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front central committee member Manatsa Mutasa told United States embassy officials that ZANU-PF had told central committee members that Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai had won 48 percent of the 2008 presidential vote and Robert Mugabe 43 percent so ZANU-PF was preparing for war because there was no guarantee that Mugabe could win a run-off.

He said the central committee was informed on 4 April, five days after the elections. The official results were announced more than a month later.

Mutasa said bases and command centres were being set up in the bush as “centres of torture and even killing”. They were designed to intimidate people and “drive MDC kingpins to run away”.

The bases were manned by off-duty Shona soldiers rather than active duty soldiers because the Ndebele, who were deputy commanders in the Zimbabwe military command structure, would otherwise refuse to participate.

He said the Politburo had given the green light to begin invading all the remaining white-owned farms.

Mutasa said defeated Member of Parliament and Gender and Women’s Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri, Deputy Speaker of Parliament Kumbirai Kangai, Air Commander Perrence Shiri, and State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa, none of whom was willing to let power slip from ZANU-PF as each had blood on his or her hands, were leading the violence

Muchinguri was complicit in the “car accident” in which Defence Minister Moven Mahachi was killed in 2001.

Kangai was complicit in the assassination of liberation hero Herbert Chitepo in 1975.

Shiri led the Matabeleland massacres in the mid-1980s; and Didymus Mutasa needed to redeem himself for having failed to prevent ZANU-PF’s election defeat.

Asked why ZANU-PF had not protected Oppah Muchinguri from her humiliating defeat in Mutasa Central, Mutasa said that rigging had most likely been planned, but a customs official had tipped off the police that nine stuffed ballot boxes had crossed the nearby Mozambique border and police then intercepted them on the road to Mutasa Central.

Mutasa assumed they were destined for that district to pump up Muchinguri’s numbers.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08HARARE317, DISILLUSIONED CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FORESEES

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE317

2008-04-10 15:09

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO8883

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0317/01 1011509

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 101509Z APR 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2761

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1914

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1910

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2033

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1310

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1667

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2089

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4520

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1165

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC

RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC//DHO-7//

RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE 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 000317

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN AND BENJAMIN LEO

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR L.DOBBINS AND E.LOKEN

TREASURY FOR J. RALYEA AND T.RAND

COMMERCE FOR BECKY ERKUL

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/10/2018

TAGS: PGOV ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: DISILLUSIONED CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FORESEES

INCREASED VIOLENCE

 

REF: A. HARARE 0314

B. HARARE 0294

C. HARARE 0231

 

Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4 (d)

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) Disillusioned Central Committee member Manatsa Mutasa

told us that the Politburo recognized MDC Tsvangirai had won

48 percent of the presidential vote against Mugabe’s 43

percent. Consequently, the ruling party had begun a campaign

of violence, spearheaded by Minister Oppah Muchinguri, Deputy

Speaker of Parliament Kumbirai Kangai, Air Marshall Perence

Shiri, and Minister Didymus Mutasa, to intimidate the

population and MDC leaders. Mutasa anticipated that ZANU-PF

would fire bomb its own offices and blame the MDC, thus

opening space for Mugabe to declare a state of emergency and

cancel the runoff. He also separately related an election

incident of a customs official tipping off the police about

stuffed ballot boxes coming across the border and their

subsequent seizure by the police. END SUMMARY.

 

——————————————— ————

Politburo Concedes More Votes for MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai

——————————————— ————

 

2. (C) Mutasa (Ref C) told us today that Politburo

representatives on April 4 had informed the Manicaland

members of the ZANU-PF national Central Committee, including

himself, that MDC-Tsvangirai had won 48 percent of the

presidential vote and Robert Mugabe 43 percent. Mutasa was

convinced there would be no election runoff as, even with

rigging and intimidation, the ruling party could not

guarantee Mugabe’s victory. From the Politburo level down,

Mutasa said ZANU-PF was now preparing for war.

 

3. (C) Bases and command centers were being set up in the

bush as “centers of torture and even killing.” They were

designed to intimidate people and “drive MDC kingpins to run

away.”   The bases were manned by off-duty Shona soldiers

rather than active duty soldiers because the Ndebele, who are

deputy commanders in the Zimbabwe military command structure,

would otherwise refuse to participate, Mutasa explained. He

also said the Politburo had given the green light last week

to begin invading all the remaining white-owned farms (Ref

B). Violence was spreading. His own shop and office in

Watsomba in Mutasa Central had been ransacked and looted the

previous evening and he also reported violence against

resettled farmers, MDC supporters, and ZANU-PF members who

were deemed disloyal to the party around Old Mutare this week

(Ref C). Several of them had been dragged from their homes

in the night and beaten. Lists of targeted persons were

being drawn up at a provincial ZANU-PF meeting yesterday

before Mutasa was expelled from the meeting, although he said

in the provincial ZANU-PF structure he outranked all others

present. Mutasa assumed he would be a target of violence and

was weighing whether or not to return home. He added that

war veterans had met last week across the country and been

told by their leaders to &get geared.8

 

4. (C) Leading the violence, according to Mutasa, were

defeated Member of Parliament and Gender and Women’s Affairs

 

HARARE 00000317 002 OF 002

 

 

Minister Oppah Muchinguri, Deputy Speaker of Parliament

Kumbirai Kangai, Air Commander Perence Shiri, and State

Security Minister Didymus Mutasa, none of whom was willing to

let power slip from ZANU-PF as each had blood on his or her

hands: Muchinguri was complicit in the “car accident” in

which Defense Minister Moven Mahachi was killed in 2001;

Kangai was complicit in the assassination of liberation hero

Herbert Chitepo in 1975; Shiri led the Matabeleland massacres

in the mid-1980s; and Didymus Mutasa needed to redeem himself

for having failed to prevent ZANU-PF’s election defeat last

month. Manatsa Mutasa anticipated that the ruling party

would orchestrate fire bombings of ZANU-PF offices and blame

the MDC, thus opening up room for Mugabe to declare a state

of emergency and cancel a runoff.

 

5. (C) Asked why ZANU-PF had not protected Oppah Muchinguri

from her humiliating defeat in Mutasa Central, Mutasa related

that rigging had most likely been planned, but a customs

official had tipped off the police that nine stuffed ballot

boxes had crossed the nearby Mozambique border and police

then intercepted them on the road to Mutasa Central. Mutasa

assumed they were destined for that district to pump up

Muchinguri’s numbers.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

6. (C) Whether or not the picture, which contrasts with the

relative calm of Harare, is as dire as Mutasa relates, his

fear is real. Mutasa’s version of violence and intimidation

does comport with other referenced reports that we have

received. END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

(19 VIEWS)

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