Zvobgo supporters boycott sham party elections


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Supporters of Masvingo ZANU-PF “supremo” Eddison Zvobgo boycotted provincial party elections claiming that they were a “sham”, allowing supporters of Masvingo governor Josiah Hungwe, who was an ally of President Robert Mugabe and Vice-President Simon Muzenda to be elected unopposed.

Education Minister Samuel Mumbengegwi was elected chairman replacing long-time provincial chairman Dzikamai Mavhaire, an ally of Zvobgo.

Zvobgo told a United States embassy official that the party elections were “bogus” and flouted ZANU-PF’s own electoral procedures, which was why his faction did not participate.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 01HARARE847, ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY MODERATES BOYCOTT “SHAM”

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE847

2001-02-26 16:01

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.

 

261601Z Feb 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTO5226

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00847 261603Z

ACTION AF-00

 

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——————CA6D71 261604Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8297

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000847

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SA C. PALMA

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00847 261603Z

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/26/11

TAGS: PGOV PINR KDEM ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY MODERATES BOYCOTT “SHAM”

PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS

 

 

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D’AFFAIRES EARL IRVING FOR REASONS:

1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

1. (C) MODERATES ALIGNED TO MASVINGO ZANU-PF “SUPREMO”

EDDISON ZVOBGO BOYCOTTED FEBRUARY 24’S PROVINCIAL PARTY

ELECTIONS BECAUSE THEY WERE A “SHAM.” THE ZANU-PF

FACTION ALIGNED WITH MASVINGO GOVERNOR JOSIAH HUNGWE,

WHO IS AN ALLY OF PRESIDENT MUGABE AND VICE-PRESIDENT

MUZENDA, WERE ELECTED TO THE PARTY’S PROVINCIAL

EXECUTIVE UNOPPOSED. MINISTER OF EDUCATION, SPORTS AND

CULTURE SAMUEL MUMBENGEGWI WAS ELECTED CHAIRMAN OF THE

MASVINGO PARTY STRUCTURE, AND WAR VETERANS WERE ELECTED

TO MOST OTHER KEY POSTS, ACCORDING TO THE FEBRUARY 26

EDITION OF THE GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED “THE HERALD.” THE

NEW PROVINCIAL EXECUTIVE REPLACES THE ONE SUSPENDED LAST

YEAR BY THE POLITBURO. MUMBENGEGWI REPLACES LONG-TIME

PROVINCIAL CHAIRMAN DZIKAMAI MAVHAIRE, AN ALLY OF

ZVOBGO.

 

2. (C) ZVOBGO TOLD CHARGE AND POLOFF FEBRUARY 26 THAT

THE PARTY ELECTIONS WERE “BOGUS” AND FLOUTED ZANU-PF’S

OWN ELECTORAL PROCEDURES, WHICH WAS WHY HIS FACTION DID

NOT PARTICIPATE. ZVOBGO HAD MADE CLEAR TO NATIONAL

CHAIRMAN JOHN NKOMO AND VICE-PRESIDENT JOSEPH MSIKA THAT

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00847 261603Z

THE “MINIMUM CONDITIONS DID NOT EXIST” FOR HIS

PARTICIPATION, AND THAT HE WOULD NOT BE A CANDIDATE FOR

PROVINCIAL CHAIRMAN. HE TOLD THEM THAT THE ELECTION

WOULD BE A “FRAUD” AND ASKED FOR THE ELECTION TO BE

POSTPONED, BUT PARTY COMMISSAR BORDER GEZI ALLOWED THE

ELECTIONS TO GO FORWARD ANYWAY.

 

3. (C) ZVOBGO TOLD US THAT THE PARTY DID NOT FOLLOW ITS

OWN PROCEDURES FOR THE ELECTIONS. NORMALLY, EVERY FOUR

YEARS, THE PROVINCIAL LEADERSHIP PREPARES A REPORT ON

THE STATE OF THE PROVINCE AND CONVENES A MEETING OF ALL

LOCAL PARTY LEADERS AND STAKEHOLDERS. AT THIS MEETING,

THE MODALITIES OF NEW ELECTIONS, SUCH AS THE NUMBER OF

ELECTORAL DISTRICTS AND DELEGATES, ARE DETERMINED,

ZVOBGO STATED. THIS TIME, SUCH A MEETING WAS NOT HELD,

AND THE ORGANIZATION OF THE DISTRICTS WAS NOT MADE

AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE. RECORDS WERE REMOVED FROM THE

PARTY OFFICES, AND THE PARTY REGISTER WAS TAMPERED WITH,

ZVOBGO ASSERTED. IN ADDITION, DISTRICT CHAIRMEN–

LOCALLY-ELECTED PARTY REPRESENTATIVES–ARE USUALLY

APPOINTED AS THE DELEGATES WHO ELECT THE PROVINCIAL

LEADERSHIP. THIS TIME, UNELECTED PEOPLE FAVORABLE TO

HUNGWE AND MUZENDA WERE APPOINTED, AND THE LOCAL

CHAIRMEN WERE SIDELINED. ZVOBGO CONCLUDED THAT HIS

FACTION HAD NO CHANCE OF WINNING THE ELECTIONS, AND SO

THEY BOYCOTTED THEM. ZVOBGO DESCRIBED THE NEW

PROVINCIAL LEADERSHIP AS “BOGUS” AND “ILLEGITIMATE.”

 

4. (C) ZVOBGO HAD HOPED THE ELECTIONS WOULD UNITE THE

LONG-DIVIDED PROVINCE, BUT INSTEAD, IT WILL BE MORE

DIVIDED THAN EVER, HE OPINED. THE MASVINGO “SUPREMO”

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00847 261603Z

TOLD US THAT HE SOON PLANS TO HOLD A PROVINCE-WIDE PARTY

CONFERENCE WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF SEVEN DISTRICT

COUNCILS IN WHAT SOUNDS LIKE AN ATTEMPT TO ESTABLISH A

PARALLEL ZANU-PF STRUCTURE IN MASVINGO. ZVOBGO OFFERED

NO OTHER DETAILS ABOUT THE TIMING AND PURPOSE OF THIS

CONFERENCE, BUT SOUGHT FUNDING FROM US TO PULL IT OFF.

 

5. (C) COMMENT: THE MASVINGO ZANU-PF “ELECTIONS”

PROVIDE YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF MUGABE’S CADRE RUNNING

ROUGHSHOD OVER RULES AND REGULATIONS, EVEN IN ITS OWN

PARTY. EVEN THE NOMINAL DEMOCRATIC STRUCTURES OF ZANU-

PF ARE GIVEN SHORT SHRIFT IN THIS CURRENT LAWLESS

ENVIRONMENT. UNLESS ZVOBGO CAN QUICKLY MARSHALL

PROVINCE-WIDE SUPPORT AT HIS UPCOMING CONFERENCE, HIS

DAYS AS A FORCE IN MASVINGO AND ZANU-PF POLITICS COULD

BE NUMBERED. HE REPRESENTS ONE OF THE ONLY BASTIONS OF

RESISTANCE TO MUGABE’S POLICIES IN ZANU-PF, AND WILL

UNDOUBTEDLY BE THE FOCUS OF THE PRESIDENT’S EFFORTS TO

QUASH DISSENT IN ONE OF ZIMBABWE’S LARGEST AND MOST

IMPORTANT PROVINCES. END COMMENT.

 

IRVING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

(8 VIEWS)

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