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ZANU-PF wins key by-election

The Zimbabwe African national Union-Patriotic Front won a key by-election in its stronghold of Mashonaland Central when its candidate Elliot Manyika won the Bindura seat to replace Border Gezi.

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai attributed the victory to violence saying ZANU-PF had bussed large numbers of people into Bindura, established bases for war veterans and party thugs to beat and intimidate voters, and posted 200 youths outside every polling centre to intimidate voters.

He said it was therefore naive to expect the election to go any other way.

MDC elections director Paul Themba Nyathi said an opposition win in Bindura could have sparked a more harsh and widespread crackdown on the MDC.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 01HARARE2311, ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY HANDILY WINS KEY BY-

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE2311

2001-08-01 13:55

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.

 

011355Z Aug 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2457

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02311 01 OF 02 011401Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00

DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00

FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   LAB-01

L-00     VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01

PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SSO-00

STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02

G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /010W

——————0CB2F7 011401Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9402

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 002311

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/01/11

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINR ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY HANDILY WINS KEY BY-

ELECTION

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02311 01 OF 02 011401Z

REF: A) HARARE 2239, B) HARARE 1992

 

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D’AFFAIRES AUBREY HOOKS FOR

REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

1. (C) RULING PARTY CANDIDATE AND MASHONALAND CENTRAL

GOVERNOR ELLIOT MANYIKA SOUNDLY DEFEATED OPPOSITION

CANDIDATE ELLIOT PFEBVE IN THE PARLIAMENTARY BY-ELECTION

HELD JULY 28-29 IN BINDURA DISTRICT. THE RULING ZANU-PF

WIDENED ITS MARGIN OF VICTORY CONSIDERABLY OVER LAST

JUNE’S PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION, IN WHICH THE MDC LOST BY

JUST OVER 2,000 VOTES. MANYIKA POLLED 15,864 VOTES

AGAINST 9,456 FOR PFEBVE, AN INCREASE OF 4,300 VOTES IN

THE RULING ZANU-PF’S MARGIN OF VICTORY OVER LAST YEAR.

THE BY-ELECTION WAS HELD TO REPLACE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

MINISTER AND ZANU-PF COMMISSAR BORDER GEZI, WHO DIED IN

AN APRIL CAR ACCIDENT. THE TURNOUT OF 25,849 REGISTERED

VOTERS WAS VIRTUALLY THE SAME AS LAST JUNE. THE

DOMESTIC MONITORING ORGANIZATION ZIMBABWE ELECTION

SUPPORT NETWORK (ZESN) TOLD US THAT 56,651 VOTERS WERE

REGISTERED IN THE DISTRICT FOR THE ELECTION, A 6.5

PERCENT INCREASE OVER THE 53,191 REGISTERED LAST JUNE.

RINDAI CHIPFUNDE, COORDINATOR OF ZESN, SAID THE SIZE OF

THE INCREASE IN REGISTERED VOTERS RAISED EYEBROWS. SHE

SPECULATED THAT MOST OF THE NEWLY-REGISTERED VOTERS WERE

RECENTLY-RESETTLED PEASANT FARMERS, MOST OF WHOM SUPPORT

ZANU-PF. (COMMENT: THE INCREASE COULD ALSO BE

ATTRIBUTED TO REGISTRATION CAMPAIGNS BY BOTH ZANU-PF AND

MDC, BUT NOT TO DEMOGRAPHIC PATTERNS OR ECONOMIC GROWTH

IN THE REGION. END COMMENT.)

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02311 01 OF 02 011401Z

2. (C) THE POLLING DAYS WERE MARRED BY A NUMBER OF

VIOLENT INCIDENTS. THE INDEPENDENT “DAILY NEWS”

REPORTED THAT ON 28 JULY, 21 MDC SUPPORTERS WERE

ABDUCTED BY ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS, AN MDC VEHICLE WAS

STONED, AND FOUR OTHER SUPPORTERS WERE BEATEN AND

HOSPITALIZED. THE PRESS REPORTED THAT ON 29 JULY,

POLICE DETAINED MDC CANDIDATE PFEBVE AND 25 OTHERS FOR

ALLEGEDLY GETTING TOO CLOSE TO A POLLING STATION. MDC

PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI TOLD US JULY 31 THAT ZANU-PF

BUSED LARGE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE INTO BINDURA CONSTITUENCY,

ESTABLISHED BASES THAT WERE USED BY WAR VETERANS AND

PARTY THUGS TO BEAT AND INTIMIDATE VOTERS, AND POSTED

200 ZANU-PF YOUTHS OUTSIDE EVERY POLLING CENTER, A

PRESENCE THAT WAS INEVITABLY INTIMIDATING TO VOTERS. HE

ADDED THAT IN LIGHT OF THESE EFFORTS, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN

NAIVE TO EXPECT THE ELECTION TO GO ANY OTHER WAY. THE

MDC HAD EXPECTED TO RECEIVE ABOUT 40 PERCENT OF THE

VOTES (ITS CANDIDATE RECEIVED 36 PERCENT), AND

TSVANGIRAI SAID THE MDC WOULD NOT CONTEST THE RESULT.

 

SIPDIS

MDC ELECTIONS DIRECTOR PAUL THEMBA NYATHI TOLD US

EARLIER THAT AN OPPOSITION WIN IN BINDURA COULD HAVE

SPARKED A MORE HARSH AND WIDESPREAD CRACKDOWN ON THE

MDC, OR HAVE CONVINCED ZANU-PF NOT TO HOLD MORE

ELECTIONS AS THEY COULD NOT WIN THEM. THE SEVERAL

MONTHS PRECEDING THE ELECTION WERE BADLY MARRED BY

POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION, MAINLY AT THE

EXPENSE OF MDC SUPPORTERS (REF B). HUNDREDS OF ZANU-PF

SUPPORTERS ATTACKED TSVANGIRAI’S MOTORCADE ON 22 JULY AS

HE TRIED TO CAMPAIGN FOR PFEBVE (REF A).

 

3. (C) COMMENT: THE BINDURA VOTE, THE FIRST

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 02311 01 OF 02 011401Z

PARLIAMENTARY BY-ELECTION IN NEARLY SEVEN MONTHS, WAS A

CRUCIAL TEST FOR ZIMBABWE’S TWO MAIN PARTIES. THE

RESULT DEMONSTRATED THAT THERE ARE STILL A LARGE NUMBER

OF RURAL RESIDENTS WILLING TO VOTE FOR ZANU-PF; A HEAVY

INVESTMENT IN PATRONAGE AND GOVERNMENT HANDOUTS BY

BINDURA’S FORMER MP, BORDER GEZI, CERTAINLY HELPED

MAINTAIN SUPPORT AMONG THE RULING PARTY’S CORE CADRE IN

THE DISTRICT. DIRTY TRICKS, SUCH AS REGISTERING NON-

RESIDENT VOTERS AND TURNING AWAY SUSPECTED MDC

SUPPORTERS FROM THE POLLING BOOTH, PROBABLY PLAYED A

ROLE AS WELL. WE SUSPECT THAT VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION

WERE ALSO SIGNIFICANT FACTORS. MORE THAN HALF OF ALL

REGISTERED VOTERS STAYED HOME, AND THE NUMBER OF MDC

VOTES FELL BY 16 PERCENT FROM LAST YEAR. ZANU-PF’S

ABILITY TO CONCENTRATE ITS INTIMIDATION MACHINERY ON A

SINGLE DISTRICT ACCOUNTS FOR MUCH OF THE SWING IN VOTES

FROM LAST YEAR. THE MDC LIKELY WILL NOT CONSIDER THE

BINDURA RESULT A SIGNIFICANT BLOW TO ITS PRESIDENTIAL

PROSPECTS, GIVEN THAT MASHONALAND HAS LONG BEEN A ZANU-

PF STRONGHOLD. MDC SECRETARY-GENERAL WELSHMAN NCUBE

TOLD US RECENTLY THAT THE OPPOSITION PARTY NEEDS TO

GARNER 40 PERCENT OF THE VOTES IN MASHONALAND TO WIN THE

PRESIDENCY.

 

4. (C) COMMENT CONTINUED: THE ELECTION OF ELLIOT

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2458

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02311 02 OF 02 011401Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00

DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00

FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   LAB-01

L-00   VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01

PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   IRM-00

SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01

DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /010W

——————0CB300 011401Z /38

O 011355Z AUG 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9403

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 002311

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/01/11

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINR ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY HANDILY WINS KEY BY-

ELECTION

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02311 02 OF 02 011401Z

MANYIKA PLACES HIM ON THE NATIONAL STAGE, AND HIS SEAT

IN PARLIAMENT IS A LIKELY STEPPING STONE TO NATIONAL

OFFICE. PRESIDENT MUGABE STILL HAS SEVERAL VACANT

CABINET POSITIONS, AND MANYIKA’S ABILITY TO HELP ZANU-PF

SECURE A CORE AREA OF SUPPORT MAY WELL BE REWARDED WITH

AN APPOINTMENT AS MINISTER OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, GENDER

AND EMPLOYMENT CREATION, GEZI’S OLD JOB. END COMMENT.

 

HOOKS

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

(4 VIEWS)

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