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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
00HARARE5951
2000-10-23 14:51:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

IMPEACHMENT OF MUGABE LOOMING

Tags:  PGOV PREL PINR ZI 
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231451Z Oct 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTO0518

PAGE 01        HARARE  05951  231447Z 
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      SRPP-00  DS-00    EB-00    EUR-00   FAAE-00  FBIE-00  VC-00    
      H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    DCP-01   
      NSAE-00  OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00   
      P-00     SP-00    IRM-00   SSO-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00  PMB-00   
      DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /008W
                  ------------------959E8A  231448Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7427
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 005951 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/23/10
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR ZI
SUBJECT: IMPEACHMENT OF MUGABE LOOMING

REFTEL: HARARE 5829

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 05951 231447Z
CLASSIFIED CHARGE D'AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING. REASONS:
1.5 (B) AND (D).



1. (C) IN A MEETING OCTOBER 23, MDC MP FOR HARARE
CENTRAL MICHAEL AURET INFORMED POLOFF THAT THE MDC PLANS
TO GIVE NOTICE OCTOBER 24 IN PARLIAMENT THAT IT WILL
TABLE A MOTION FOR THE IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT MUGABE
THE FOLLOWING WEEK. AURET CLAIMED THAT THE MDC HAS
COMPILED "OVERWHELMING" EVIDENCE THAT MUGABE DIRECTED
THE CAMPAIGN OF MASS TERROR AGAINST FARMERS, THEIR
WORKERS, AND OTHER OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS IN THE RUN-UP
TO THE JUNE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION. THE MDC
PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION WILL ATTEMPT TO GET THE MOTION
ON A SECRET BALLOT SO THAT MPS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE
AISLE CAN VOTE THEIR CONSCIENCE WITHOUT FEAR OF
RETRIBUTION. THE SPEAKER AND DEPUTY SPEAKER WERE
ELECTED BY SECRET BALLOT, AURET SAID, AND HE HOPED THAT
THE SAME COULD BE DONE WITH THE IMPEACHMENT MEASURE. IF
AT LEAST 50 MPS VOTE IN FAVOR, THE CONSTITUTION REQUIRES
THAT A SPECIAL PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE BE ESTABLISHED TO
DETERMINE WHETHER THE GROUNDS FOR IMPEACHMENT EXIST. A
SEPARATE VOTE OF TWO-THIRDS OF PARLIAMENT (100 VOTES)
WOULD THEN BE REQUIRED TO IMPEACH MUGABE. THERE ARE NOT
ENOUGH MPS WILLING TO CROSS THE AISLE TO IMPEACH MUGABE,
BUT IF EVEN A FEW ZANU-PF MPS VOTED WITH THE MDC ON THIS
ISSUE, IT WOULD BE A MAJOR BLOW TO THE PRESIDENT, AURET
OPINED.



2. (C) MDC MP TENDAI BITI TOLD USAIDOFFS THAT THE MDC
PLANS TO TABLE A SECOND MOTION THAT WOULD CLARIFY THE
STANDING RULES ON IMPEACHMENT PROCEDURE, WHICH IS NOT
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PAGE 03 HARARE 05951 231447Z
SPELLED OUT IN DETAIL IN THE CONSTITUTION. ACCORDING TO
BITI, THE MDC IS SEEKING AN IMPEACHMENT COMMITTEE
REPRESENTATIVE OF THE NUMBER OF SEATS IT HAS IN
PARLIAMENT AND ONE THAT CAN HOLD HEARINGS OPEN TO THE
PUBLIC. CURRENTLY, THE SPEAKER HAS THE POWER TO APPOINT
ALL THE SEATS ON THE COMMITTEE, AND HE COULD ALSO SHELVE
THE ISSUE WITHOUT DEBATE. THE MDC DOES NOT EXPECT TO
ACTUALLY REMOVE MUGABE FROM OFFICE THIS WAY, BUT IT
HOPES TO MAKE THE PROCESS MORE DEMOCRATIC, SAYS BITI.
WELSHMAN NCUBE, THE MDC SECRETARY-GENERAL, TOLD
USAIDOFFS THAT HE DOES NOT BELIEVE MUGABE WOULD DISSOLVE
PARLIAMENT TO HEAD OFF IMPEACHMENT. SUCH A MOVE WOULD
REQUIRE NEW PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS TO BE HELD WITHIN 90
DAYS, AND ZANU-PF IS MORE AFRAID OF AN ELECTION DEFEAT
NOW THAN IT WAS IN JUNE, ACCORDING TO NCUBE. INSTEAD,
THE ZANU-PF POLITBURO WAS DUE TO HAVE MET THIS PAST
WEEKEND TO DEBATE THE DECLARATION OF A STATE OF
EMERGENCY TO SHORT-CIRCUIT THE IMPEACHMENT EFFORT BEFORE
IT REACHES THE FLOOR OF PARLIAMENT NEXT WEEK, ACCORDING
TO NCUBE. (COMMENT: WE HAVE NOT HEARD WHETHER THIS
MEETING IN FACT TOOK PLACE. END COMMENT.)



3. (C) COMMENT: NCUBE'S REMARKS MAKE SENSE TO A POINT:
MUGABE IS MORE LIKELY TO DECLARE MARTIAL LAW BEFORE HE
DISSOLVES PARLIAMENT TO STAVE OFF HIS IMPEACHMENT. (A
STATE OF EMERGENCY WOULD REQUIRE PARLIAMENT'S APPROVAL,
WHEREAS MARTIAL LAW WOULD NOT.) HOWEVER, IT IS
DEBATABLE WHETHER MUGABE WOULD GO TO SUCH LENGTHS BEFORE
PARLIAMENT ACTS ON A MEASURE THAT HAS LITTLE CHANCE OF
SUCCESS. ON THE OTHER HAND, IT IS POSSIBLE TO IMAGINE A
SCENARIO IN WHICH A LARGE NUMBER OF ZANU-PF "YOUNG
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 05951 231447Z
TURKS" (SEE REFTEL) VOTE FOR THE IMPEACHMENT MEASURE
NEXT WEEK ON A SECRET BALLOT, AND THE MDC FOLLOWS
THROUGH ON ITS MASS ACTION PLANS AT THE SAME TIME.
ALTHOUGH WE JUDGE THE PROBABLITY OF IT COMING OFF AS
LOW, THIS SITUATION COULD MAKE MUGABE FEEL THREATENED
ENOUGH TO IMPOSE MARTIAL LAW. END COMMENT.

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

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