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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
01HARARE1178 2001-03-30 12:34:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

ZIMBABWE: HOW PRESIDENT MUGABE WILL HANG ON TO

Tags:   PGOV PINR PINS MCAP ZI ZANU PF 
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301234Z Mar 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6643

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                  ------------------D951C9  301231Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8541
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 05 HARARE 001178 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

SECDEF FOR OSD/SA

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/30/11
TAGS: PGOV PINR PINS MCAP ZI ZANU PF
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE: HOW PRESIDENT MUGABE WILL HANG ON TO
POWER

REFS: A) HARARE 975, B) HARARE 897, C) HARARE 871,

D) HARARE 779, E) HARARE 779

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D'AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING FOR
REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND (D).



1. (C) SUMMARY: PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE IS GEARING UP
FOR WHAT WILL BE THE MOST DIFFICULT ELECTION OF HIS
POLITICAL CAREER. MUGABE WILL USE ALL THE RESOURCES OF
HIS OFFICE, THE RULING PARTY, AND THE STATE TO WIN RE-
ELECTION AND DENY THE OPPOSITION MDC THE PRESIDENCY.
THE PRESIDENT WILL USE A WIDE RANGE OF TACTICS, FROM
INTIMIDATION AND VIOLENCE AGAINST VOTERS, MANIPULATION
OF ELECTORAL LAWS, VOTE-BUYING, AND BALLOT STUFFING, TO
ACHIEVE HIS GOAL. MUGABE STILL VALUES THE APPEARANCE OF
WINNING A LEGITIMATE ELECTION, SO HE WILL MAKE EVERY
EFFORT TO KEEP HIS TRANSGRESSIONS OUT OF PUBLIC VIEW.
MUGABE WILL DECLARE MARTIAL LAW OR A STATE OF EMERGENCY
ONLY AS A LAST RESORT TO FORESTALL A POPULAR UPRISING,
WHICH IS A POSSIBILITY ONCE MUGABE IS DECLARED THE
WINNER. THE ROLE OF THE MILITARY WILL BE CRUCIAL, AND
ALL INDICATIONS ARE THAT IT WILL BACK MUGABE. THERE
APPEAR TO BE ONLY TWO CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH MUGABE
WILL VOLUNTARILY LEAVE OFFICE: THERE IS A POPULAR
UPRISING OR A MASSIVE NUMBER OF PROTESTERS DESCEND ON
STATE HOUSE AND THE MILITARY DECIDES IT CANNOT PROTECT
THE PRESIDENT AND ASKS HIM TO STEP DOWN, OR HIS HEALTH
DECLINES SIGNIFICANTLY BY THE END OF THE YEAR AND HE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01178 01 OF 05 301230Z
DECIDES TO ANOINT EMMERSON MNANGAGWA AS ZANU-PF'S
CANDIDATE. END SUMMARY.

MUGABE WILL DO ALL IT TAKES TO WIN


--------------------------





2. (C) ALL INDICATIONS CURRENTLY POINT TO ANOTHER
MUGABE CANDIDACY FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION THAT MUST
BE HELD BETWEEN JANUARY 1 AND MARCH 31, 2002. IT IS OUR
ASSESSMENT THAT MUGABE WILL HOLD AN ELECTION, NO MATTER
HOW BAD THE ECONOMY GETS OR HOW UNPOPULAR HE BECOMES,
BECAUSE HE STILL VALUES THE LEGITIMACY AN ELECTION
CONVEYS, AND BECAUSE HE THINKS HE CAN WIN IT. WE
BELIEVE AN EARLY ELECTION, WHICH WOULD REQUIRE MUGABE TO
RESIGN AND HOLD A NEW ELECTION WITHIN 90 DAYS, IS
UNLIKELY BECAUSE IT WOULD BE PSYCHOLOGICALLY DIFFICULT
FOR MUGABE TO RELINQUISH POWER, EVEN TEMPORARILY, AND IT
WOULD DEMONSTRATE WEAKNESS, WHICH HE DESPISES. IT IS
OUR ASSESSMENT THAT THE PRESIDENT WILL USE ALL THE MEANS
AT HIS DISPOSAL TO WIN AN ELECTION OUTRIGHT, AND THAT
THE OPPOSITION DOES NOT HAVE THE RESOURCES TO OVERCOME
MUGABE'S ADVANTAGES AS INCUMBENT. THIS MESSAGE EXAMINES
MUGABE'S LIKELY BLUEPRINT FOR STAYING IN POWER THIS YEAR
AND BEYOND NEXT YEAR'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.

IF YOU DON'T WANT TO JOIN THEM, BEAT THEM


--------------------------





3. (C) ALTHOUGH THE RULING ZANU-PF AND OPPOSITION MDC
HAVE NOT DECLARED THEIR OFFICIAL CANDIDATES, THE
PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN IS ALREADY IN FULL SWING. AT THE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 01178 01 OF 05 301230Z
FOREFRONT OF PRESIDENT MUGABE'S STRATEGY IS THE
SYSTEMATIC AND VIOLENT INTIMIDATION OF THE COUNTRY'S
ELECTORATE, ESPECIALLY POOR, RURAL COMMUNAL FARMERS, THE
TRADITIONAL BACKBONE OF ZANU-PF SUPPORT. THE STRATEGY
HAS WORKED MANY TIMES BEFORE FOR MUGABE. ACCORDING TO
MICHAEL QUINTANA, A DEFENSE CONSULTANT AND FREE-LANCE
JOURNALIST TO WHOM POLOFF SPOKE ON MARCH 22, THE AVERAGE
RURAL FARMER IS UNWILLING TO "STICK HIS NECK OUT FOR
PRINCIPLES." HE IS ALSO NOT POLITICALLY SOPHISTICATED
AND WILL LARGELY DO WHAT HE IS TOLD BY HIS SUPERIORS,
WHETHER IT IS THE LOCAL CHIEF OR THE PRESIDENT ON THE
RADIO, QUINTANA ADDED. WHEN RURAL SUPPORT FOR ZANU-PF
SEEMED TO WAVER IN LAST YEAR'S REFERENDUM AND
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS, THE PRESIDENT DECIDED NOT TO
TAKE ANY CHANCES AND RATCHETED UP THE INTIMIDATION AND
PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN.



4. (C) WINNING THE RURAL VOTE IS NOT ENOUGH TO LOCK THE
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, HOWEVER. THE URBAN VOTE WILL BE
CRITICAL, AND BY SOME ACCOUNTS, ZIMBABWE IS NOW 40
PERCENT URBAN, WITH THE ACCELERATION OF ECONOMIC
MIGRATION TO THE CITIES OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS. THE
SUPPORT FOR THE OPPOSITION REMAINS ALMOST TOTAL IN THE
URBAN AREAS. RANDOM BEATINGS BY POLICE AND ARMY UNITS

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D951DF 301231Z /38
P 301234Z MAR 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8542
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 05 HARARE 001178

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

SECDEF FOR OSD/SA

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/30/11
TAGS: PGOV PINR PINS MCAP ZI ZANU PF
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01178 02 OF 05 301231Z
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE: HOW PRESIDENT MUGABE WILL HANG ON TO
POWER

HAVE BECOME ALMOST ROUTINE IN THE HIGH-DENSITY SUBURBS
OF HARARE. WAR VETERANS ARE INCREASINGLY ACTIVE IN THE
CITIES AS WELL, RAIDING THE OFFICES OF COMPANIES SEEN TO
BE HARMING THE INTERESTS OF THEIR WORKERS. MUGABE IS
ALSO ATTACKING THE "INSTRUMENTS OF OPPOSITION" BASED IN
THE CITIES, SUCH AS THE INDEPENDENT PRESS, THE
JUDICIARY, AND THE PRINCIPAL OPPOSITION PARTY ITSELF.
ZANU-PF HAS ITS WORK CUT OUT FOR IT IN THE URBAN AREAS,
WHERE IT IS DEEPLY UNPOPULAR, SO IT IS STARTING ITS
CAMPAIGN EARLY.

CARROTS WILL HELP, TOO


--------------------------





5. (C) THERE CONTINUE TO BE REPORTS THAT ZANU-PF
POLITICOS ARE TOURING THE COUNTRY HANDING OUT MONEY IN
POOR CONSTITUENCIES WHILE REMINDING VOTERS TO CAST THEIR
BALLOT FOR THEIR PRESIDENT. PARTY COMMISSAR AND YOUTH
DEVELOPMENT MINISTER BORDER GEZI HAS BEEN REPORTED ON
SEVERAL OCCASIONS (INCLUDING TO US BY GOVERNMENT
OFFICIALS - SEE REF C) TO HAVE HANDED OUT MILLIONS OF
ZIMBABWE DOLLARS IN RURAL AREAS TO DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS,
AND IN SOME CASES, TO LOCAL OFFICIALS. CRUCIAL TO THE
CAMPAIGN IS KICKING THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE INTO HIGH
GEAR. THE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN INCESSANT IN ITS MESSAGE
THAT THE MDC IS INCAPABLE OF RULING ZIMBABWE AND THAT
ONLY ZANU-PF HAS THE WHEREWITHAL TO MAKE THEIR LIVES
BETTER.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01178 02 OF 05 301231Z

VOTERS' ROLL IMPROVED, BUT THERE'S STILL ROOM FOR FRAUD


--------------------------



--------------------------





6. (C) ZIMBABWE'S VOTERS' ROLL HAS BEEN GREATLY
IMPROVED AND IT WOULD BE VERY DIFFICULT FOR THE
GOVERNMENT TO MANIPULATE IT TO ZANU-PF'S ADVANTAGE,
ACCORDING TO KNUD RASMUSSEN, DIRECTOR OF THE DANISH NGO
THAT HAS WORKED WITH THE GOVERNMENT OVER THE LAST YEAR
TO COMPUTERIZE AND REFORM THE VOTERS' ROLL. THE VOTERS'
ROLL HAS BEEN FOLDED INTO THE NATIONAL REGISTRY, WHICH
CONTAINS BIRTH, MARRIAGE AND DEATH RECORDS AMONG OTHERS,
SO THAT THERE ARE NO LONGER TWO, MUTUALLY INCONSISTENT
NATIONAL DATABASES. THE VOTERS' ROLL IS NOW PRINTED
FROM THE NATIONAL REGISTRY, AN EXERCISE THAT TAKES TWO
TO THREE WEEKS BECAUSE OF LIMITED PRINTING RESOURCES.
NEARLY 3.2 MILLION RECORDS WERE ADDED OR UPDATED IN THE
RUN-UP TO LAST YEAR'S PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS.
APPROXIMATELY 385,000 PEOPLE WERE LEFT OFF THE VOTERS'
ROLL LAST YEAR BECAUSE OF DUPLICATIVE NATIONAL ID
NUMBERS. THAT NUMBER HAS SINCE BEEN REDUCED TO 86,000,
AND IS EXPECTED TO BE RECTIFIED BEFORE THE PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION, RASMUSSEN STATED. IT WOULD BE VERY DIFFICULT
FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO MANIPULATE THE VOTERS' ROLL
BECAUSE IT DOES NOT HAVE THE SOURCE CODE TO THE
PROGRAMMING, AND IT DOES NOT HAVE THE TECHNICAL
EXPERTISE TO ISOLATE INDIVIDUAL RECORDS BASED ON A
PERSON'S AGE OR LOCATION. NOR CAN IT REMOVE RECORDS
VERY EASILY, RASMUSSEN ASSERTED.



7. (C) DESPITE HAVING A CLEANED-UP VOTERS' ROLL THAT IS
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 01178 02 OF 05 301231Z
RESISTANT TO FRAUD, THERE ARE STILL PLENTY OF WAYS THAT
GOVERNMENT CAN MANIPULATE THE VOTING PROCESS TO
PRESIDENT MUGABE'S ADVANTAGE, ACCORDING TO RASMUSSEN.
AMONG THEM ARE:

-- BECAUSE THE LAW SAYS ZIMBABWEAN CITIZENS MUST OBTAIN
A NATIONAL ID NUMBER BY THE AGE OF 16 AND THAT THEY MUST
HAVE AN ID NUMBER IN ORDER TO REGISTER TO VOTE, MANY
FIRST-TIME VOTERS COULD BE TURNED AWAY WHEN THEY GO TO
REGISTER. MANY POOR, RURAL PARENTS NEVER REGISTER THEIR
CHILDREN'S BIRTH BECAUSE OF THE EXPENSE OF DOING SO, SO
MANY YOUNG POTENTIAL VOTERS--MOST LIKELY MDC SUPPORTERS-
-COULD LEGALLY BE DENIED THE RIGHT TO VOTE.

-- THE GOVERNMENT REFUSES TO PRINT THE VOTERS' ROLL BY
NATIONAL ID NUMBER; INSTEAD, IT IS PRINTED
ALPHABETICALLY. MISSPELLINGS AND OTHER ERRORS OFTEN
MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR VOTING OFFICIALS TO VERIFY A
VOTER'S REGISTRATION, WHICH PROVIDES ANOTHER PRETEXT FOR
A VOTER MATCHING THE PROFILE OF AN OPPOSITION SUPPORTER
TO BE TURNED AWAY.

-- THE TRANSPORTATION OF BALLOT BOXES IS STILL THE POINT
IN THE VOTING PROCESS MOST VULNERABLE TO FRAUD. IF THE

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--------------------------

D9520A 301231Z /38
P 301234Z MAR 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8543
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 05 HARARE 001178

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

SECDEF FOR OSD/SA

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/30/11
TAGS: PGOV PINR PINS MCAP ZI ZANU PF
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01178 03 OF 05 301231Z
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE: HOW PRESIDENT MUGABE WILL HANG ON TO
POWER

BOXES ARE NOT WATCHED EVERY STEP OF THE WAY TO THE
COUNTING CENTER, IT IS EASY TO STUFF THE BALLOT BOX
WITH, SAY, 300 BALLOTS AND CROSS OFF THE NAMES OF 300
PEOPLE ON THE VOTERS' ROLL WHO DID NOT VOTE. ALTHOUGH
ZANU-PF AND THE MDC ASSIGN POLLING AGENTS TO MOST VOTING
CENTERS, INSUFFICIENT RESOURCES PREVENT THE OPPOSITION
PARTY FROM COVERING EVERY SINGLE POLLING PLACE.

-- UNLIKE WITH PREVIOUS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, THE
GOVERNMENT PLANS TO CONDUCT THE NEXT ELECTION ON A
CONSTITUENCY BASIS, RATHER THAN ALLOWING VOTERS TO VOTE
ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY. IF A VOTER HAS MOVED TO A
DIFFERENT CONSTITUENCY FROM WHERE HE LAST VOTED (AND
MANY HAVE), HE IS REQUIRED TO REREGISTER. MANY RURAL
VOTERS WILL NOT DO SO BECAUSE THEY CANNOT AFFORD THE
HIGH COST OF BUSFARE TO THE REGISTRATION SITE, OR THEY
DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE NECESSITY OF REREGISTERING. MOST
WILL NOT TRAVEL LONG DISTANCES TO VOTE IN THEIR OLD
CONSTITUENCY, EITHER, ACCORDING TO RASMUSSEN. THIS
COULD ALSO HAVE A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON THE LARGE
NUMBERS OF URBAN VOTERS REGISTERED IN RURAL AREAS WHO
SUPPORT THE MDC. HOLDING THE ELECTION ON A CONSTITUENCY
BASIS WILL ALSO ALLOW PRESIDENTIAL SUPPORTERS TO TARGET
ANTI-MUGABE CONSTITUENCIES FOR VIOLENCE, INTIMIDATION,
AND FRAUD.

KEEP THE DIRTY BUSINESS OUT OF SIGHT


--------------------------


CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01178 03 OF 05 301231Z



8. (C) PRESIDENT MUGABE WILL MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO KEEP
HIS TRANSGRESSIONS OUT OF SIGHT--JUST AS HE DID DURING
THE MATABELELAND REPRESSIONS OF THE MID-1980S--KNOWING
THAT WIDELY PUBLICIZED FRAUD OR INTIMIDATION DURING THE
ELECTION WILL TARNISH HIS LEGITIMACY. TWO FOREIGN
JOURNALISTS HAVE ALREADY BEEN EXPELLED THIS YEAR, AND
NEW REGULATIONS UNDER CONSIDERATION WILL MAKE IT
DIFFICULT FOR MANY FOREIGN JOURNALISTS TO REPORT OVERTLY
ON THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION FROM ZIMBABWE(REF B).
MUGABE HAS TOLD THE LOCAL DIPLOMATIC CORPS THAT THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SHOULD NOT INTERFERE IN
ZIMBABWE'S INTERNAL AFFAIRS AND SUGGESTED THAT ITS
REPRESENTATIVES WOULD NOT BE PERMITTED TO OBSERVE THE
UPCOMING ELECTION (REF D). DESPITE THIS STATEMENT, THE
PRESIDENT WILL LIKELY ALLOW MONITORS FROM INTERNATIONAL
ORGANIZATIONS LIKE SADC AND THE OAU TO MAINTAIN THE
CHARADE OF TRANSPARENCY, BUT HE IS LIKELY TO RAISE EVERY
KIND OF ADMINISTRATIVE OBSTACLE TO OTHER INTERNATIONAL
(ESPECIALLY WESTERN) OBSERVERS SO AS TO LIMIT THEIR
NUMBERS. DOMESTIC MONITORS WILL FIND THEIR ACTIVITIES
HAMPERED AS WELL, PARTICULARLY IN REMOTE AREAS,
INCLUDING BY THE SETTING UP OF ROADBLOCKS AND
DIFFICULTIES WITH ACCREDITATION. BECAUSE THERE ARE
NORMALLY 5,000 POLLING STATIONS IN ZIMBABWE'S NATIONAL
ELECTIONS, LIMITING THE NUMBERS AND ACTIVITIES OF
MONITORS WILL BE CRITICAL TO CARRYING OUT ELECTORAL
FRAUD THAT COULD SKEW THE RESULTS IN MUGABE'S FAVOR.

MUGABE COULD LEGALLY SCRAP THE RESULTS


--------------------------


CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 01178 03 OF 05 301231Z



9. (C) IF IT APPEARS MUGABE'S VOTE TALLY WOULD FALL
SLIGHTLY SHORT OF HIS OPPONENT'S (TSVANGIRAI WOULD NEED
ONLY ONE MORE VOTE THAN MUGABE TO WIN OUTRIGHT IN THE
STRAIGHT HEAD COUNT), THE PRESIDENT WOULD LIKELY
POSTPONE ANNOUNCING THE RESULTS SO THAT HE WOULD HAVE
TIME TO RIG THE OUTCOME. IF IT APPEARED THAT THE MARGIN
WAS TOO GREAT AND HE COULD NOT CREDIBLY POSTPONE THE
ANNOUNCEMENT, HE WOULD LIKELY ANNUL THE ELECTION, CHARGE
THE OPPOSITION WITH FRAUD, AND ANNOUNCE A NEW ELECTION
IN A FEW WEEKS' TIME TO BEAT THE CONSTITUTIONAL DEADLINE
OF MARCH 31. (NOTE: MUGABE COULD CONCEIVABLY CALL A NEW
ELECTION AFTER THIS DATE, BUT THIS COULD BE SUBJECT TO
LEGAL CHALLENGES AND COULD UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMACY OF
THE ELECTION. END NOTE.) MUGABE COULD USE THE LEGAL
COVER OF THE BROAD POWERS GIVEN TO THE PRESIDENT IN THE
ELECTORAL ACT TO DO THIS. ACCORDING TO THE ACT, THE
PRESIDENT CAN ISSUE STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS (DECREES) TO
"SUSPEND OR AMEND ANY PROVISION OF THIS ACT OR ANY OTHER
LAW IN SO FAR AS IT APPLIES TO ANY ELECTION" OR TO
"VALIDATE ANYTHING DONE IN CONNECTION WITH, ARISING OUT
OF OR RESULTING FROM ANY ELECTION IN CONTRAVENTION OF
ANY PROVISION OF THIS ACT OR ANY OTHER LAW."

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--------------------------

D9521C 301231Z /38
P 301234Z MAR 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8544
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 04 OF 05 HARARE 001178

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

SECDEF FOR OSD/SA

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/30/11
TAGS: PGOV PINR PINS MCAP ZI ZANU PF
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01178 04 OF 05 301231Z
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE: HOW PRESIDENT MUGABE WILL HANG ON TO
POWER



10. (C) AS A LAST RESORT, THE PRESIDENT COULD INVOKE A
NUMBER OF EMERGENCY POWERS UNDER THE LAW IF IT APPEARED
THE PUBLIC WOULD NOT ACCEPT HIS RE-ELECTION OR THE
ANNULMENT OF THE RESULTS. GIVEN MUGABE'S DEEP
UNPOPULARITY IN THE CITIES AND THE PUBLIC'S EAGER
ANTICIPATION OF A CHANGE IN LEADERSHIP, LARGE-SCALE
URBAN DEMONSTRATIONS WOULD BE A STRONG POSSIBILITY.
(NOTE: THIS SCENARIO COULD ALSO ARISE IF MDC PRESIDENT
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI IS FOUND GUILTY OF INCITING VIOLENCE
AND BARRED FROM RUNNING FOR THE PRESIDENCY. SEE REF E.
THE HIGH COURT IS SCHEDULED TO HEAR HIS CASE ON APRIL


30. END NOTE.) UNDER THE PRESIDENTIAL POWERS
(TEMPORARY MEASURES) ACT, THE PRESIDENT CAN "MAKE URGENT
REGULATIONS" IF "A SITUATION HAS ARISEN OR IS LIKELY TO
ARISE" THAT THREATENS PUBLIC SAFETY OR ORDER, OR CANNOT
"AWAIT THE PASSAGE THROUGH PARLIAMENT OF AN ACT DEALING
WITH THE SITUATION." THESE REGULATIONS WOULD BE VALID
FOR SIX MONTHS, AND COULD BE USED TO IMPLEMENT A MASSIVE
CRACKDOWN ON DEMONSTRATORS AND OPPOSITION ACTIVITIES.



11. (C) IF THE SITUATION PROVED MORE THREATENING, THE
PRESIDENT COULD, UNDER THE CONSTITUTION, DECLARE A STATE
OF EMERGENCY, WHICH IS VALID FOR 14 DAYS. IF PARLIAMENT
RATIFIES IT IN THAT TIMEFRAME, IT WOULD BECOME VALID FOR
SIX MONTHS. THE EMERGENCY POWERS ACT SPECIFIES THAT
UNDER A STATE OF EMERGENCY, THE PRESIDENT CAN ISSUE
REGULATIONS THAT PROVIDE FOR THE SUMMARY ARREST AND
DETENTION OF PERSONS THREATENING PUBLIC SAFETY, THE
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PAGE 03 HARARE 01178 04 OF 05 301231Z
DEPORTATION OF ANY NON-CITIZEN, THE SEIZING OF ANY
PROPERTY, AND THE SEARCHING OF ANY PREMISES. UNDER THE
MOST EXTREME CIRCUMSTANCES, IN WHICH HIS CONTINUED RULE
IS THREATENED BY UNRULY MOBS, MUGABE COULD DECLARE
MARTIAL LAW, A BROAD POWER GIVEN HIM BY THE CONSTITUTION
THAT WOULD NOT REQUIRE PARLIAMENTARY APPROVAL OR BE
SUBJECT TO TIME LIMITS.

MILITARY SUPPORT WILL BE KEY


--------------------------





12. (C) SHOULD THE POST-ELECTION PERIOD DEGENERATE INTO
WIDESPREAD UNREST, THE MILITARY'S SUPPORT OF MUGABE WILL
BE KEY TO HIS CONTINUED RULE. ALL INDICATIONS ARE THAT
ZIMBABWE'S MILITARY WILL BACK PRESIDENT MUGABE'S RE-
ELECTION, EVEN IF IT APPEARS ILLEGITIMATE. ACCORDING TO
QUINTANA, THE DEFENSE CONSULTANT, THE ARMY AND AIR FORCE
ARE "COMPLETELY IN BED WITH MUGABE AND COMPANY." AS
RECENTLY AS EARLY LAST YEAR, THE MILITARY WAS LARGELY
AMBIVALENT ABOUT MUGABE'S ELECTION TACTICS, AND SOME
LOWER-LEVEL OFFICERS VOICED DISMAY THAT THEY WERE ASKED
TO DELIVER THE VOTE FOR ZANU-PF. NOW, ALL THAT HAS
CHANGED, QUINTANA REMARKED. MUGABE HAS BOUGHT THE
LOYALTY OF NEARLY ALL OFFICERS BY LETTING THEM PICK OUT
CHOICE PARCELS OF LAND--ORIGINALLY DESIGNATED FOR
RESETTLEMENT--FOR THEIR OWN USE. THE LEVEL OF
CORRUPTION HAS INCREASED MARKEDLY, AND NEARLY "EVERYONE
IS OPENLY CORRUPT." "A COUP D'ETAT IS SIMPLY NOT
POSSIBLE," THE CONSULTANT OPINED.



13. (C) PRESIDENT MUGABE RELIES ON HIS SPECIAL FORCES
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 01178 04 OF 05 301231Z
MORE THAN EVER, ACCORDING TO QUINTANA. UNITS LIKE THE
PARACHUTE BATTALION AND PRESIDENTIAL GUARD ARE MORE
FREQUENTLY CALLED UPON TO CARRY OUT SPECIAL TASKS, SUCH
AS THE BEATING OF CHITUNGWIZA RESIDENTS. BECAUSE OF
THEIR GREATER DISCIPLINE AND LOYALTY, THEY WOULD ALSO BE
CALLED UPON TO PROTECT THE PRESIDENT SHOULD CROWDS
DESCEND ON STATE HOUSE, QUINTANA STATED. THEY LEARNED
AT COURSES IN CHINA THAT "IF YOU KILL ONE PERSON, YOU
WILL FRIGHTEN A THOUSAND;" THE SPECIAL UNITS WOULD NOT
HESITATE TO FIRE ON THREATENING DEMONSTRATORS TO KEEP
MUGABE IN POWER, QUINTANA OPINED. THE MILITARY WOULD BE
EVEN MORE LIKELY TO FIRE ON CROWDS IF THERE ARE NO
INTERNATIONAL NEWS CREWS TO RECORD THE EVENT.

MUGABE WILL GO ONLY UNDER SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES


--------------------------

---



14. (C) THERE IS ONLY ONE CASE IN WHICH THE MILITARY
WOULD TURN ON MUGABE, QUINTANA OFFERED, AND THAT WOULD
BE IF THE BULLETS RAN OUT BEFORE THE PEOPLE DID. IF A
CROWD OF 100,000 DESCENDED ON STATE HOUSE, FOR INSTANCE,
AND THEY DID NOT DISPERSE AFTER A LARGE NUMBER WERE
KILLED, IT IS CONCEIVABLE THAT THE MILITARY LEADERSHIP
WOULD GO TO MUGABE AND TELL HIM THAT THEY COULD NO

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ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 DINT-00 DOTE-00 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 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01
DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /008W


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D95222 301232Z /38
P 301234Z MAR 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8545
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 05 OF 05 HARARE 001178

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

SECDEF FOR OSD/SA

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/30/11
TAGS: PGOV PINR PINS MCAP ZI ZANU PF
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PAGE 02 HARARE 01178 05 OF 05 301231Z
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE: HOW PRESIDENT MUGABE WILL HANG ON TO
POWER

LONGER PROTECT HIM, AND ASK HIM TO RESIGN. IN THAT
CASE, MUGABE PROBABLY WOULD STEP DOWN, QUINTANA
BELIEVES. THIS IS A VERY UNLIKELY SCENARIO, HOWEVER,
BECAUSE THE NUMBER OF PROTESTERS REQUIRED WOULD BE FAR
MORE THAN ZIMBABWE HAS EVER SEEN, THE CONSULTANT
AVERRED.



15. (C) BY OUR RECKONING, THERE IS ONE OTHER
CIRCUMSTANCE UNDER WHICH MUGABE MIGHT VOLUNTARILY LEAVE
OFFICE. IF HIS HEALTH DECLINES SIGNIFICANTLY BY THE END
OF THE YEAR, HE MAY DECIDE TO ANOINT A SUCCESSOR--
PROBABLY EMMERSON MNANGAGWA--TO RUN AS ZANU-PF'S
CANDIDATE (REF A). (NOTE: THERE HAVE LONG BEEN RUMORS
OF MUGABE'S DECLINING HEALTH, WHICH HAVE BEEN RIDICULED
BY GOVERNMENT SPOKESMEN BUT NOT FLATLY DENIED. RECENT,
PERSISTENT REPORTS OF MUGABE FREQUENTLY FALLING DOWN
LEND CREDENCE TO THE NOTION THAT HE HAS A SERIOUS HEALTH
CONDITION. END NOTE.) HE MAY ALSO DECIDE TO STEP DOWN
SHORTLY AFTER WINNING RE-ELECTION AND ALLOW A VICE-
PRESIDENT TO SUCCEED HIM, CONFIDENT IN THE KNOWLEDGE
THAT HIS PHYSICAL AND FINANCIAL SECURITY WOULD BE
PROTECTED.

CONCLUSION


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16. (C) BARRING ANY UNFORESEEN DEVELOPMENTS, IT IS OUR
ASSESSMENT THAT MUGABE WILL WIN RE-ELECTION AND WILL
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INVOKE A HOST OF LEGAL MEASURES, BACKED BY THE MILITARY,
TO OVERCOME ANY POPULAR BACKLASH. MUGABE STILL VALUES
THE STAMP OF LEGITIMACY THAT AN ELECTION CONVEYS TO THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, AND WILL DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE
TO ENSURE THAT THE ELECTORATE MAKES THE "CORRECT"
CHOICE. THE PRESIDENT WILL USE EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES,
SUCH AS A STATE OF EMERGENCY OR MARTIAL LAW, AS A LAST
RESORT. IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE OPPOSITION OR CIVIL
SOCIETY HAS THE WHEREWITHAL OR ORGANIZATIONAL ABILITY AT
THIS TIME TO OVERCOME PRESIDENT MUGABE'S CONSIDERABLE
ADVANTAGES AS INCUMBENT, DESPITE HIS LACK OF POPULARITY.
MUGABE'S RELENTLESS ELECTIONEERING MAY EVEN TURN AROUND
HIS SAGGING POPULARITY IN TRADTIONAL ZANU-PF AREAS.

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

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