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Zvobgo says people of Masvingo are disenchanted with Mugabe

Masvingo Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front provincial supremo Eddison Zvobgo said he was not going to campaign for the party candidate in the Masvingo mayoral elections to show his disenchantment.

He said a loss by ZANU-PF in the mayoral election would send a powerful message to the ruling party’s old guard that they could no longer “impose” candidates and leaders on the Zimbabwean public.

The people of Masvingo, he said, were “enormously disenchanted” with President Robert Mugabe and he could lose the province in the 2002 presidential election.

Zvobgo said the Movement for Democratic Change and ZANU-PF were both going to lose the election with independent candidate Femias Chakabuda winning because he was the best known candidate.

Chakabuda had left ZANU-PF in disgust to join the MDC and had intended to run on the MDC ticket but the party distrusted him because of his previous political affiliation.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 01HARARE1584, MASVINGO TENSE AS CITY BRACES FOR MAYORAL

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE1584

2001-05-11 11:17

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.

 

111117Z May 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ8133

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 01584 01 OF 02 111109Z

ACTION AF-00

 

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

SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-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-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /010W

——————EA50D8 111109Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8850

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001584

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 05/07/11

TAGS: PGOV KDEM PINS ZI

SUBJECT: MASVINGO TENSE AS CITY BRACES FOR MAYORAL

ELECTION

 

REF: HARARE 1556

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 01584 01 OF 02 111109Z

 

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D’AFFAIRES EARL IRVING. REASONS: 1.5

B) AND (D).

 

1. (C) THE VIOLENCE REPORTED REFTEL HAS CONTINUED

UNABATED IN MASVINGO TOWN IN THE RUNUP TO THE MAYORAL

ELECTION MAY 12-13, WITH CONTINUING SKIRMISHES BETWEEN

SUPPORTERS OF THE RULING ZANU-PF AND THOSE OF THE

OPPOSITION MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC).

ACCORDING TO THE INDEPENDENT “DAILY NEWS,” ZANU-PF

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT AND WAR VETERAN LEADER CHENJERAI

“HITLER” HUNZVI IS CIRCULATING WITH AN AK-47 RIFLE,

ACCOMPANIED BY OTHER ARMED WAR VETERANS, AS HE

SUPERVISES THE LATEST CHAPTER IN THE GOVERNMENT’S

ONGOING TERROR CAMPAIGN AGAINST OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS.

GANDI MUDZINGWA, PERSONAL ASSISTANT TO MDC PRESIDENT

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, TOLD POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF ON MAY

11 THAT POLICE HAVE ESTABLISHED A HEAVY PRESENCE ON

ALL ROADS INTO MASVINGO, AND ARE SEARCHING ALL

VEHICLES CARRYING MORE THAN FIVE PASSENGERS. A SENIOR

POLICE OFFICIAL IN MASVINGO CONFIRMED TO JOURNALISTS

THAT SOME POLICE OFFICERS WERE BEING INVESTIGATED FOR

PARTICIPATING ACTIVELY IN ZANU-PF’S “CAMPAIGN TEAMS.”

 

2. (U) ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS REPORTEDLY ORDERED ALL

BUSINESSES IN TOWN TO CLOSE ON MAY 10 SO THAT WORKERS

COULD ATTEND CAMPAIGN RALLIES ADDRESSED BY VICE-

PRESIDENTS SIMON MUZENDA AND JOSEPH MSIKA, AND OTHER

SENIOR ZANU-PF OFFICIALS. ONE BUSINESSMAN CONDEMNED

THE ACTION, SAYING “IT IS IRRATIONAL FOR A PARTY TO

ORDER THE CLOSURE OF ALL BUSINESSES WHEN THE ECONOMY

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 01584 01 OF 02 111109Z

OF THE COUNTRY IS AILING.” ANOTHER SAID HE HAD BEEN

THREATENED BY WAR VETERANS WITH DEATH IF HE DID NOT

CLOSE SO HAD HAD NO OTHER CHOICE. MEANWHILE, 18 MDC

SUPPORTERS APPEARED IN COURT ON MAY 11 ON CHARGES OF

INCITING VIOLENCE AND WERE RELEASED ON BAIL, WHILE

FOUR REMAINED IN DETENTION BECAUSE THEY HAD VIOLATED

PREVIOUS BAIL RESTRICTIONS. ACCORDING TO PRESS

REPORTS, NOT A SINGLE ZANU-PF SUPPORTER OR WAR VETERAN

HAS BEEN ARRESTED OR CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH THE

VIOLENCE WHICH HAS MARRED THE LAST TWO WEEKS OF THE

MAYORAL CAMPAIGN, ALTHOUGH FOLLOWERS OF BOTH OF

ZIMBABWE’S LARGEST PARTIES HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN

SKIRMISHES.

 

3. (C) LONGTIME ZANU-PF POLITICIAN EDDISON ZVOBGO —

WHO HAILS FROM MASVINGO PROVINCE AND RETAINS

SIGNIFICANT INFLUENCE THERE — PREDICTED TO CHARGE ON

MAY 10 THAT NEITHER ZANU-PF NOR THE MDC WOULD WIN THE

MAYORAL ELECTION. RATHER, INDEPENDENT FEMIAS

CHAKABUDA WAS THE BEST-KNOWN CANDIDATE IN MASVINGO AND

WOULD LIKELY BE THE VICTOR. CURRENTLY HEAD OF THE

CITY’S TAXPAYERS’ ASSOCIATION, CHAKABUDA HAD

LONGSTANDING TIES TO ZANU-PF AND HAD SERVED ON THE

CITY COUNCIL FOR TWENTY YEARS, BUT LEFT THE RULING

PARTY IN DISGUST A YEAR AGO TO JOIN THE MDC. HE HAD

INTENDED TO RUN ON THE MDC TICKET FOR MAYOR, BUT HIS

CANDIDACY WAS NIXED BY THE PARTY’S NATIONAL

LEADERSHIP, WHICH DISTRUSTED HIM BECAUSE OF HIS

PREVIOUS POLITICAL AFFILIATION. CHAKABUDA THEN

DECIDED TO STAND AS AN INDEPENDENT.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 01584 01 OF 02 111109Z

4. (C) ZVOBGO TOLD CHARGE THAT HE HAD TURNED DOWN A

REQUEST FROM VICE-PRESIDENT MSIKA TO CAMPAIGN FOR THE

ZANU-PF CANDIDATE. HE POINTED OUT THAT HE HAD BEEN

ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN EVERY ELECTION IN MASVINGO SINCE

INDEPENDENCE, SO HIS STANDING ON THE SIDELINES IN THIS

CASE WAS IN ITSELF A TELLING STATEMENT. A ZANU-PF

LOSS IN THE MAYORAL ELECTION, ZVOBGO ANTICIPATED,

WOULD SEND A POWERFUL MESSAGE TO THE RULING PARTY’S

OLD GUARD THAT THEY CAN NO LONGER “IMPOSE” CANDIDATES

AND LEADERS ON THE ZIMBABWEAN PUBLIC. THE PEOPLE OF

MASVINGO, ZVOBGO SAID, ARE “ENORMOUSLY DISENCHANTED”

WITH PRESIDENT MUGABE, WHO COULD LOSE THE PROVINCE IN

THE 2002 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.

 

COMMENT

——-

 

5. (C) WE ARE NOT SURPRISED BY THE FERVOR WITH WHICH

ZANU-PF AND THE MDC ARE CONTESTING THIS MUNICIPAL

ELECTION. THE POLITICAL STAKES ARE VERY HIGH IN

MASVINGO, WHICH MOST OBSERVERS CONSIDER THE KEY

BATTLEGROUND PROVINCE IN NEXT YEAR’S PRESIDENTIAL

ELECTION. AS WE INDICATED IN REFTEL, ZANU-PF WANTS TO

PROVE IT CAN CARRY AN URBAN AREA, AND THE WINNING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ8135

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 01584 02 OF 02 111109Z

ACTION AF-00

 

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

SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-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-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /010W

——————EA50DA 111109Z /38

P 111117Z MAY 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8851

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 001584

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 05/07/11

TAGS: PGOV KDEM PINS ZI

SUBJECT: MASVINGO TENSE AS CITY BRACES FOR MAYORAL

ELECTION

 

PARTY WILL TRUMPET A VICTORY AS PROOF THAT IT HAS THE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 01584 02 OF 02 111109Z

MOMENTUM HEADING INTO 2002.   IF, HOWEVER, ZVOBGO IS

RIGHT ABOUT THE OUTCOME — AND HE KNOWS THE POLITICAL

LANDSCAPE IN MASVINGO BETTER THAN ANY OTHER ZIMBABWEAN

POLITICIAN — NEITHER PARTY WILL BE ABLE TO CLAIM IT

HAS THE UPPER HAND AFTER THIS WEEKEND’S VOTING.

 

IRVING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

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