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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
01HARARE181 2001-01-10 15:04:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION CONTINUE IN ZIMBABWE

Tags:   PGOV PHUM PINS PINR 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.

101504Z Jan 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ9628

PAGE 01        HARARE  00181  01 OF 02  101505Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   AMAD-00  ACQ-00   CIAE-00  DINT-00  
      DODE-00  DOTE-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    EB-00    EUR-00   FAAE-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     SCT-00   SP-00    
      IRM-00   STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00  PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-02   
      DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /011W
                  ------------------B49260  101506Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7977
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 000181 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

PASS USAID FOR A/AID RMCCALL, AA/AFR VDERRYCK, AFR/SA
CPALMA
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 00181 01 OF 02 101505Z

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/10/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR ZI
SUBJECT: VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION CONTINUE IN ZIMBABWE
BY-ELECTION DISTRICT

REFTEL: HARARE 7164

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



1. (C) SUMMARY: THE LEVEL OF VIOLENCE IN BIKITA WEST--
WHERE A SPECIAL PARLIAMENTARY BY-ELECTION WILL BE HELD
JANUARY 13-14 TO FILL A SEAT LEFT VACANT BY THE DEATH OF
THE INCUMBENT--HAS CONTINUED IN RECENT WEEKS AS ZANU-PF
SUPPORTERS STEP UP THEIR INTIMIDATION CAMPAIGN. WAR
VETERANS AND ZANU-PF YOUTH CONTINUE TO BEAT UP MDC
SUPPORTERS, WHEREAS THE MDC HAS DEPLOYED ITS OWN YOUTH
TO "PROTECT" ITS CAMPAIGNERS. THE GOVERNMENT OF
ZIMBABWE AND ZANU-PF ARE DOLING OUT LARGESSE IN AN
UNABASHED ATTEMPT TO BUY VOTES. BOTH PARTIES ARE
BRINGING IN HEAVY-HITTERS FROM HARARE TO HOLD RALLIES IN
THE MASVINGO DISTRICT, ACCORDING TO AN MDC ADVISOR.
GIVEN ZANU-PF'S HAM-FISTED TACTICS, AND THE WIDESPREAD
FEAR AMONG THE ELECTORATE, WE WOULD BE SURPRISED IF THE
MDC PULLED OUT A VICTORY HERE. END SUMMARY.



2. (C) OUR CONTACTS HAVE INFORMED US OF NEW INCIDENTS
OF VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION IN BIKITA WEST. AN ADVISOR
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 00181 01 OF 02 101505Z
TO MDC CANDIDATE BONIFACE PAKAI, ALEX MUPA, CLAIMED THAT
ON JANUARY 6 A DRIVER FOR MDC PRESIDENT MORGAN
TSVANGIRAI (WHO ADDRESSED A CAMPAIGN RALLY THAT

SIPDIS
WEEKEND), WAS SEVERELY BEATEN BY A GANG DIRECTED BY WAR
VETERANS LEADER AND ZANU-PF MP FOR CHIKOMBA CHENJERAI
HUNZVI, AND HAD TO BE HOSPITALIZED IN HARARE.
TSVANGIRAI TOLD JOURNALISTS ON JANUARY 10 THAT HUNZVI

SIPDIS
HAS BEEN GIVEN "CARTE BLANCHE" TO CARRY OUT A CAMPAIGN
OF TERROR IN THE AREA, WITH THE COMPLICITY OF SOME
POLICE OFFICERS. MUPA ALSO STATED THAT WAR VETERANS, IN
POLICE UNIFORMS, HAVE BEEN VISITING SUSPECTED MDC
SYMPATHIZERS IN THE NIGHT AND THREATENING THEM WITH
DEATH IF THEY VOTE FOR THE MDC, A REPORT CONFIRMED TO US
BY TSVANGIRAI'S RIGHT-HAND MAN, GANDI MUDZINGWA. HE
CLAIMED THAT ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS ARE INFLICTING INJURIES
ON VOTERS' HANDS SO THAT THEY CANNOT VOTE ON ELECTION
DAY. (NOTE: VOTERS ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE THEIR HANDS
STAMPED WITH INVISIBLE INK AFTER VOTING--IF THEY CANNOT
RECEIVE THE STAMP, THEY ARE DISQUALIFIED FROM VOTING.
END NOTE.) PRISCILLA MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA, MDC MP FOR
GLEN NORAH, TOLD POLOFF THAT SHE SENT TWO STAFF MEMBERS
TO BIKITA JANUARY 7 TO INSPECT THE VOTERS' ROLLS. THEY
WERE BEATEN WITHIN 24 HOURS OF ARRIVING IN THE DISTRICT,
THE MDC MP ASSERTED. MUPA REPORTED THAT PAKAI'S
CAMPAIGN MANAGER WAS ABDUCTED ON JANUARY 8 AND TAKEN TO
A REMOTE LOCATION WHERE HE WAS BEATEN WITH CLUBS.



3. (U) AT A JANUARY 10 PRESS CONFERENCE, TSVANGIRAI
PRESENTED 11 OF 13 MDC SUPPORTERS WHO HE CLAIMED WERE
DETAINED AND TORTURED FOR FIVE DAYS AT BIKITA WEST
POLICE STATION, THEN DROPPED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 00181 01 OF 02 101505Z
IN NEARBY GONAREZHOU GAME PARK, WHICH IS FULL OF LIONS,
RHINO, AND OTHER WILD ANIMALS. TWO OF THE YOUNG MEN HAD
BADLY BRUISED FACES. MUDZINGWA TOLD POLOFF THAT MOST OF
THE ALLEGED VICTIMS DID NOT SHOW EVIDENT SIGNS OF
TORTURE AS THEY HAD BEEN BEATEN ON THE BOTTOMS OF THEIR
FEET. ELEVEN MANAGED TO FIND THEIR WAY OUT, BUT THE
OTHER TWO REMAIN UNACCOUNTED FOR. CALLING THE INCIDENT
"UNPRECEDENTED," TSVANGIRAI SAID THE ENVIRONMENT IN
BIKITA WAS NOT CONDUCIVE TO A FREE AND FAIR ELECTION.
THE MDC, HOWEVER, WAS DETERMINED NOT TO BOYCOTT THE
VOTE, BECAUSE DOING SO WOULD HAND THE SEAT TO ZANU-PF
AND BECAUSE THEIR SUPPORTERS IN THE AREA HAVE URGED THE
OPPOSITION PARTY TO PRESS ON. TSVANGIRAI STATED THAT
MANY LOCAL RESIDENTS HAD TOLD MDC OFFICIALS THAT THEY
WERE ATTENDING LOCAL ZANU-PF RALLIES OUT OF FEAR OF WHAT
WOULD HAPPEN IF THEY DID NOT, BUT THAT THEY INTENDED TO
CAST THEIR BALLOT FOR THE MDC ON ELECTION DAY.



4. (C) ZANU-PF IS ALSO DISPENSING GOVERNMENT LARGESS TO
SKEW THE VOTE IN ITS FAVOR. THE GOVERNMENT REPORTEDLY
HAS OFFERED TO PAY SCHOOL FEES FOR THOSE WHO VOTE FOR
ZANU-PF, AND WE HAVE HEARD A REPORT THAT YOUTH
DEVELOPMENT MINISTER BORDER GEZI HAS DOLED OUT Z$3
MILLION (US$50,000) TO ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS AND POTENTIAL
VOTERS TO SECURE THEIR VOTE FOR ZANU-PF. ACCORDING TO

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ9631

PAGE 01 HARARE 00181 02 OF 02 101505Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 DINT-00
DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EUR-00 FAAE-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 SCT-00 SP-00
IRM-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-02
DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /011W


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

B4926E 101506Z /38
P 101504Z JAN 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7978
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 000181

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

PASS USAID FOR A/AID RMCCALL, AA/AFR VDERRYCK, AFR/SA
CPALMA
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 00181 02 OF 02 101505Z

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/10/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR ZI
SUBJECT: VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION CONTINUE IN ZIMBABWE
BY-ELECTION DISTRICT

MUPA, THE LOCAL YOUTH ARE RECEIVING BETWEEN Z$1,000 AND
Z$10,000 EACH TO DO EVERYTHING FROM VOTING FOR ZANU-PF
TO BEATING UP MDC SUPPORTERS. MUPA CLAIMED THAT THE
GOVERNMENT HAS ESTABLISHED A NEW RESETTLEMENT AREA IN
THE SAVE CONSERVANCY--WHICH EXTENDS INTO BIKITA--IN
ORDER TO DISTRIBUTE LAND TO THOSE PROMISING TO VOTE FOR
ZANU-PF. HE STATED THAT ZANU-PF IS DRAWING UP A
"SUPPLEMENTAL" VOTERS' ROLL OF APPROXIMATELY 3,400 NEW
VOTERS--MOSTLY FROM AREAS OUTSIDE BIKITA WEST--WITH THE
COOPERATION OF THE ELECTORAL SUPERVISORY COMMISSION
(ESC). THE ESC ALSO FAILED TO NOTIFY THE MDC OF AN
EARLY JANUARY MEETING WHERE IT ASSIGNED MOSTLY LOCAL
CIVIL SERVANTS, POLICE AND CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE
ORGANIZAITON OFFICERS AS PRESIDING OFFICERS TO OVERSEE
THE POLLING STATIONS, ACCORDING TO MUPA.



5. (C) DESPITE THE VIOLENCE AND LEVEL OF FEAR AMONG THE
POPULACE, BOTH ZANU-PF AND MDC ARE BRINGING IN THEIR
HEAVY-HITTERS TO CAMPAIGN IN THE DISTRICT. ZANU-PF HAS
BROUGHT IN FOREIGN MINISTER MUDENGE, LOCAL GOVERNMENT
MINISTER CHOMBO, MASVINGO GOVERNOR JOSIAH HUNGWE, YOUTH
DEVELOPMENT MINISTER BORDER GEZI AND OTHERS TO CONDUCT
UP TO FIVE RALLIES A DAY IN THE DISTRICT. MUPA CLAIMED
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 00181 02 OF 02 101505Z
THAT THE ZANU-PF RALLIES ARE DRAWING FEWER THAN 200
PEOPLE EACH, AND MOST OF THEM ARE ELDERLY WOMEN--
TRADITIONAL ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS. THE MDC, FOR ITS PART,
HAS SENT VICE-PRESIDENT SIBANDA, SECRETARY-GENERAL
NCUBE, NATIONAL CHAIRMAN MATONGO, 10 MPS AND OTHER
MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE, IN ADDITION TO
TSVANGIRAI'S APPEARANCE LAST WEEKEND. THE MDC HAS HELD

SIPDIS
FOUR RALLIES ACROSS THE CONSTITUENCY, ACCORDING TO THE
PARTY'S E-MAIL UPDATE. MUPA CLAIMED THAT ITS RALLIES
HAVE ATTRACTED BETWEEN 500 AND 2,000 PEOPLE EACH.
ACCORDING TO THE MDC'S INFORMAL SURVEYS OF LIKELY
VOTERS, THE MDC WILL WIN THE ELECTION BY 2,500 VOTES
(7,500 FOR MDC AND 5,000 FOR ZANU-PF).



6. (C) GANDI MUDZINGWA, TSVANGIRAI'S ADVISOR, SAID THE
DEPLOYMENT OF MDC YOUTH HAS RESTORED A BIT OF STABILITY
TO THE AREA. THESE YOUTH, HOWEVER, HAVE FOCUSED ON
PROTECTING THE MDC CANDIDATE AND THOSE CAMPAIGNING FOR
HIM, LEADING WAR VETERANS AND ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS TO
FOCUS THEIR INTIMIDATION CAMPAIGN ON ORDINARY CIVILIANS.
MUDZINGWA WAS DUBIOUS ABOUT WHETHER DEPLOYING MDC YOUTHS
WAS A SUSTAINABLE LONG-TERM STRATEGY, AS IT REQUIRED
"COLOSSAL" RESOURCES, AND THE OPPOSITION PARTY WAS
CURRENTLY IN DESPERATE FINANCIAL STRAITS.



7. (C) COMMENT: GIVEN ZANU-PF'S WIDE RANGE OF HAM-
FISTED INTIMIDATION AND MANIPULATION TACTICS, AND OUR
CONTACTS' REPORTED LEVEL OF PERVASIVE FEAR AMONG VOTERS,
THE ODDS ARE AGAINST THE MDC HOLDING ONTO ITS BIKITA
WEST SEAT IN PARLIAMENT. IT WOULD TAKE A LARGE VOTER
TURNOUT FOR THE MDC TO WIN, AND THAT APPEARS UNLIKELY IN
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 00181 02 OF 02 101505Z
THE CURRENT ELECTION CLIMATE. THE MDC'S PROJECTIONS OF
VICTORY ARE A BIT OVEROPTIMISTIC, IN OUR ASSESSMENT,
ESPECIALLY IF IT BELIEVES ONLY 12,500 OUT OF 40,000
ELIGIBLE VOTERS WILL TURN OUT ON ELECTION DAY. THE
MARONDERA WEST BY-ELECTION AND THE JUNE PARLIAMENTARY
ELECTIONS SHOWED THAT LOW VOTER TURNOUTS DO NOT FAVOR
THE MDC, AND SOME OBSERVERS HERE ALREADY ARE CALLING THE
ELECTION A ZANU-PF WIN. END COMMENT.

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

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