in Stories

ZANU-PF wins Marondera by-election

The Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front won the Marondera by-election but its candidate Ambrose Mutinhiri, a retired brigadier general and former ambassador to Yugoslavia, garnered far fewer votes than his predecessor whose death in a car accident brought about the by-election.

Mutinhiri polled 7 376 votes, 4 000 fewer than his predecessor Rufaro Gwanzura. Movement for Democratic Change candidate Shadreck Chipangura who contested on both occasions won 4 366 votes only 200 fewer than in the June elections.

ZANU-PF pulled out all the stops in the campaign with war veterans leader Chenjerai Hunzvi and former army commander Solomon Mujuru spearheading the campaign.

The campaign was marred by violence and intimidation with one observer reportedly asking Hunzvi:”Are we going to do this in a civilized manner?” to which Hunzvi, a medical doctor, angrily replied “I am not a civilized person”.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 00HARARE6658, ZANU-PF WINS MARONDERA WEST BY-ELECTION; LOW

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

00HARARE6658

2000-11-28 14:58

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     PTQ9032

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 06658 01 OF 02 282215Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-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   STR-00   TRSE-00

USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-02   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00

SAS-00     /011W

——————A4EBBA 282339Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 7724

INFO NSC WASHDC

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 006658

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CGURNEY

PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD – DWELLER, AND AFR/SA – CPALMA,

 

NNEWMAN

 

PASS USTR – ROSA WHITAKER

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 06658 01 OF 02 282215Z

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/28/10

TAGS: PGOV PINR PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: ZANU-PF WINS MARONDERA WEST BY-ELECTION; LOW

TURNOUT LIKELY THE RESULT OF PRE-ELECTION INTIMIDATION

 

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD FOR REASONS 1.5

(B) AND (D).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: THE RULING PARTY ZANU-PF CANDIDATE WON

THE BY-ELECTION FOR THE MARONDERA WEST PARLIAMENTARY

SEAT HELD NOVEMBER 25 AND 26. VOTING WAS PEACEFUL, BUT

THE TURNOUT WAS LOW – JUST UNDER A THIRD OF THE

REGISTERED VOTERS. DISTRICT RESIDENTS TOLD EMBASSY AND

NGO PERSONNEL ON NOVEMBER 25 THAT THERE HAD BEEN A HIGH

DEGREE OF INTIMIDATION OF VOTERS IN THE RUN-UP TO THE

BY-ELECTION BY ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS, WAR VETERANS, AND THE

POLICE AND MILITARY THAT RESULTED IN ONE DEATH.

INTIMIDATION OF VOTERS WAS NOT EVIDENT TO US ON THE

VOTING DAYS OF NOVEMBER 25 AND 26. POLL WATCHERS FOR

BOTH ZANU-PF AND MDC WERE ALLOWED TO MONITOR THE VOTING

AND SAFEGUARD THE BALLOT BOXES, BUT DUE TO THE PRE-

ELECTION INTIMIDATION, THE ELECTION CANNOT BE CONSIDERED

TO HAVE BEEN FREE AND FAIR IN OUR JUDGEMENT. END

SUMMARY.

 

——————————————— ———-

THE ZANU-PF CANDIDATE WINS, BUT WITH A SMALLER MAJORITY

——————————————— ———-

 

2. (C) THE ZANU-PF CANDIDATE IN THE MARONDERA WEST BY-

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 06658 01 OF 02 282215Z

ELECTION, AMBROSE MUTINHIRI, A RETIRED BRIGADIER GENERAL

AND FORMER AMBASSADOR TO YUGOSLAVIA, WON THE ELECTION,

BUT GARNERED FAR FEWER VOTES THAN HIS PREDECESSOR, WHOSE

DEATH IN A CAR ACCIDENT IN JULY BROUGHT ABOUT THE BY-

ELECTION. THE NOVEMBER 28 ISSUE OF THE GOZ-CONTROLLED

“THE HERALD” NEWSPAPER REPORTED MUTINHIRI RECEIVED 7,376

VOTES VERSUS 4,366 VOTES FOR THE MDC CANDIDATE SHADRECK

CHIPANGURA. MUTINHIRI RECEIVED ALMOST 4,000 FEWER VOTES

THAN THE ZANU-PF CANDIDATE IN LAST JUNE’S PARLIAMENTARY

ELECTION, WHILE THE MDC CANDIDATE ONLY RECEIVED 200

FEWER VOTES. THIS LOWERED VOTE TALLY OCCURRED EVEN

THOUGH ZANU-PF PULLED OUT ALL THE STOPS IN THE CAMPAIGN,

WITH BIASED MEDIA COVERAGE, THE USE OF WAR VETERANS TO

PROMOTE THE ZANU-PF CANDIDATE AND INTIMIDATE MDC

SUPPORTERS, AND PERSONAL CAMPAIGNING BY CHENJERAI

“HITLER” HUNZVI, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE ZIMBABWE NATIONAL

LIBERATION WAR VETERANS ASSOCIATION, AND RETIRED ZDF

GENERAL AND ZANU-PF HEAVYWEIGHT SOLOMON MUJURU.

 

——————————————— ———-

MARONDERA WEST BY-ELECTION HELD ON UNEVEN PLAYING FIELD

——————————————— ———-

 

3. (C) ECONOFF, THE USAID DEMOCRACY AND GOVERNANCE

OFFICER, A USAID FOREIGN SERVICE NATIONAL AND A SOUTH

AFRICA-BASED REPRESENTATIVE OF THE INTERNATIONAL

REPUBLICAN INSTITUTE OBSERVED THE BY-ELECTION ON

NOVEMBER 25 AND 26. CANDIDATES FROM THREE PARTIES RAN

FOR THE VACANT SEAT, BUT THE RACE REALLY BOILED DOWN TO

A CONTEST BETWEEN THE ZANU-PF CANDIDATE AND THE MDC

CANDIDATE. THERE WERE ALLEGATIONS THAT THE ZDF HAD SENT

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 06658 01 OF 02 282215Z

SOLDIERS TO CAMPAIGN FOR MUTINHIRI, AND THAT THE RULING

PARTY BROUGHT IN SUPPORTERS FROM NEIGHBORING AREAS TO

CAMPAIGN AND POSSIBLY EVEN VOTE ILLEGALLY FOR HIM.

THERE WERE ALSO ALLEGATIONS THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF

ZIMBABWE’S (GOZ) MINISTRY OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, GENDER

AND EMPLOYMENT CREATION HAD BOUGHT THE VOTES OF YOUTH

AND OTHER VOTERS IN THE DISTRICT.

 

4. (C) THE MDC HAS REPORTED THAT THERE WAS A CONCERTED

CAMPAIGN OF INTIMIDATION IN THE WEEKS PRECEDING THE BY-

ELECTION. THIS ALLEGEDLY INCLUDED MILITARY AND POLICE

PERSONNEL GOING FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE AT NIGHT

INTIMIDATING THE OCCUPANTS. WAR VETERANS WERE ALSO OUT

IN FORCE, AND WERE STILL SEEN BY US CAMPED OUT IN THE

DISTRICT ON NOVEMBER 25 AND 26. WAR VETS ALLEGEDLY

ATTACKED AND BROKE THE LEGS OF TWO MDC SUPPORTERS THE

DAY BEFORE THE ELECTIONS. ON NOVEMBER 25, CHENJERAI

“HITLER” HUNZVI ALLEGEDLY HELD A PISTOL TO THE HEAD OF

AN MDC POLL WATCHER, AND THEN CHASED THE POLL WATCHER

AND ANOTHER MDC SUPPORTER AWAY FROM THE POLLING STATION,

ACCORDING TO A EUROPEAN UNION ELECTION OBSERVER. OUR

SOURCE TOLD US THAT A ZIMBABWEAN WHO OBSERVED THIS

INCIDENT SAID TO HUNZVI “ARE WE GOING TO DO THIS IN A

CIVILIZED MANNER?”, TO WHICH HUNZVI ANGRILY REPLIED “I

AM NOT A CIVILIZED PERSON.” BOTH HUNZVI AND RETIRED

ZIMBABWE DEFENSE FORCES GENERAL SOLOMON MUJURU WERE SEEN

BY THE MISSION OBSERVERS IN THE DISTRICT ON NOVEMBER 25.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ9047

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 06658 02 OF 02 282215Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-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   STR-00   TRSE-00

USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-02   DRL-02   G-00    NFAT-00

SAS-00     /011W

——————A4EBE6 282340Z /38

R 281458Z NOV 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 7725

INFO NSC WASHDC

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 006658

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CGURNEY

PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD – DWELLER, AND AFR/SA – CPALMA,

 

NNEWMAN

 

PASS USTR – ROSA WHITAKER

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 06658 02 OF 02 282215Z

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/28/10

TAGS: PGOV PINR PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: ZANU-PF WINS MARONDERA WEST BY-ELECTION; LOW

TURNOUT LIKELY THE RESULT OF PRE-ELECTION INTIMIDATION

 

———————————

VOTING IN BY-ELECTION IS PEACEFUL

———————————

 

5. (C) THE VOTING TOOK PLACE IN A PEACEFUL MANNER ON

NOVEMBER 25 AND 26. OUR OBSERVERS DID NOT WITNESS ANY

CLEAR INTIMIDATION OF VOTERS ON THESE TWO DAYS. THEY

WERE NOT ACCREDITED BY THE GOZ, AND THEREFORE OBSERVED

VOTING ON AN UNOFFICIAL BASIS. ON NOVEMBER 25, THEY

ENTERED A NUMBER OF POLLING STATIONS AND WERE ABLE TO

VERIFY THAT POLL WATCHERS FOR BOTH ZANU-PF AND THE MDC

WERE PRESENT AT ALL STATIONS VISITED. POLICE AND

ELECTION OFFICIALS WERE GENERALLY FRIENDLY WHEN

APPROACHED. THE OBSERVERS ALSO VISITED THE CENTRAL

COMMAND STATION FOR THE ELECTION, AND WERE INTRODUCED TO

THE HEAD ELECTION OFFICIAL, WHO STATED THAT HE WAS FROM

THE MINISTRY OF INFORMATION. (NOTE: THE GOZ MINISTRY OF

INFORMATION NO LONGER EXISTS, AS IT WAS RECENTLY FOLDED

INTO THE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE. END NOTE.) MISSION

OBSERVERS HAD TO SIGN THEIR NAMES ON VISITORS’ ROLLS AT

TWO OF THE POLLING STATIONS VISITED, AND POLL OFFICIALS

NOTED THAT THE PERSONNEL WERE FROM THE U.S. EMBASSY. ON

NOVEMBER 26, THE ATTITUDE AND RECEPTION AT THE POLLING

STATIONS TOWARD THE AMERICAN OBSERVERS WAS NOTABLY

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 06658 02 OF 02 282215Z

FROSTIER. IT APPEARED THAT POLLING OFFICIALS AND

POLICEMEN HAD RECEIVED WORD NOT TO INTERACT OR TALK WITH

THE OBSERVERS.

 

——————————–

LOW TURNOUT FOR THE BY-ELECTION

——————————–

 

6. (C) THE BY-ELECTION HAD BEEN TOUTED AS A TEST OF

ZANU-PF’S, AND INDIRECTLY PRESIDENT MUGABE’S, STRENGTH

AND POPULARITY VERSUS THE MDC. THERE WAS AN INTENSE

PRE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN PERIOD MARRED BY VIOLENCE BETWEEN

ZANU-PF AND MDC SUPPORTERS, WHICH CULMINATED IN A

CONFRONTATION THAT RESULTED IN THE DEATH OF A BYSTANDER,

KILLED BY A STRAY BULLET. A PLANNED VISIT TO THE

DISTRICT BY MDC PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI TO ADDRESS A

CAMPAIGN RALLY WAS CANCELLED, BECAUSE OF CONCERN THAT

TSVANGIRAI’S SAFETY COULD NOT BE GUARANTEED AND THAT

 

SIPDIS

VIOLENCE MIGHT ERUPT. AFTER THIS INTENSE CAMPAIGN, LESS

THAN ONE-THIRD OF THE REGISTERED VOTERS WENT TO THE

POLLS. THE NOVEMBER 28 ISSUE OF “THE HERALD” REPORTED

THAT 12,322 VOTERS OUT OF 37,600 REGISTERED VOTERS, OR

32.88 PERCENT OF THE ELECTORATE, CAST THEIR VOTE. THIS

COMPARES TO 16,947 VOTES CAST IN THE DISTRICT IN THE

JUNE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS.

 

7. (C) COMMENT: WHILE THE VOTING OCCURRED IN A

RELATIVELY PEACEFUL ENVIRONMENT WITH POLL WATCHERS FROM

BOTH ZANU-PF AND MDC ABLE TO MONITOR THE VOTING, THE

FACT THAT THE BALLOT WAS PRECEDED BY BIASED MEDIA

COVERAGE AND A TWO-WEEK CAMPAIGN OF INTIMIDATION AND

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 06658 02 OF 02 282215Z

VIOLENCE CHIEFLY BY ZANU-PF AND ITS SUPPORTERS, STRONGLY

SUGGESTS THIS WAS NOT A FREE AND FAIR ELECTION IN OUR

JUDGEMENT. THE PREVAILING VIEW OF THE MISSION OBSERVERS

WAS THAT THE PRE-ELECTION INTIMIDATION CLEARLY PLAYED A

SIGNIFICANT PART IN REDUCING VOTER TURNOUT. EVEN WITH

THIS PRE-ELECTION INTIMIDATION, AND THE PERSONAL

INVOLVEMENT OF “HITLER” HUNZVI AND SOLOMON MUJURU, THE

ZANU-PF CANDIDATE RECEIVED ALMOST 4,000 FEWER VOTES THAN

HIS PREDECESSOR, WHILE THE MDC CANDIDATE RECEIVED ONLY

200 FEWER VOTES THAN IN LAST JUNE’S PARLIAMENTARY

ELECTIONS. TO US, THIS IS AN INDICATION THAT THE MDC

HAS HELD ONTO ITS CORE SUPPORT UNDER DIFFICULT

CIRCUMSTANCES, WHILE ZANU-PF’S SUPPORT HAS ERODED. END

COMMENT.

 

MCDONALD

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

(10 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHAREShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

Write a Comment

Comment