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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
01HARARE1584 2001-05-11 11:17:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

MASVINGO TENSE AS CITY BRACES FOR MAYORAL

Tags:   PGOV KDEM PINS ZI 
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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    

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      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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