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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
01HARARE2666 2001-09-10 15:38:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

BULAWAYO MAYORAL VOTE AND MAKONI WEST BY-ELECTION MARRED

Tags:   PGOV PHUM 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.

101538Z Sep 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ1670

PAGE 01        HARARE  02666  01 OF 03  101552Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   AMAD-00  CIAE-00  INL-00   DODE-00  
      SRPP-00  DS-00    EB-00    EUR-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  CAEX-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     /011W
                  ------------------1CFF77  101553Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9677
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 03 HARARE 002666 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR GURNEY
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: DECL. 09/10/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: BULAWAYO MAYORAL VOTE AND MAKONI WEST BY-ELECTION MARRED
BY IRREGULARITIES


CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF MATT HARRINGTON. REASONS:
1.5 (B) AND (D).

REF: HARARE 2642

SUMMARY
-------



1. (C) THE SEPTEMBER 8-9 BULAWAYO MAYORAL ELECTION AND
PARLIAMENTARY BY-ELECTION IN MAKONI WEST WERE MARRED BY MISSION-
OBSERVED IRREGULARITIES, WHICH WOULD LEAD US TO CHARACTERIZE THEM
RESPECTIVELY AS "FLAWED" AND "NOT FREE AND FAIR." IN BULAWAYO,
LARGE NUMBERS OF VOTERS WERE TURNED AWAY FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS,
AND THE USE OF A LARGE SUPPLEMENTARY VOTERS ROLL WHICH HAD NOT
BEEN MADE AVAILABLE IN ADVANCE FOR PUBLIC INSPECTION RAISED
CONCERNS IN THE MINDS OF OBSERVERS. IN MID-AFTERNOON ON SEPTEMBER
10, THE ZIMBABWE BROADCASTING CORPORATION ANNOUNCED THAT THE MDC
HAD WON ALL SEVEN CITY COUNCIL SEATS, BUT WE DO NOT EXPECT
ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE MAYORAL RESULT UNTIL LATER ON SEPTEMBER 10 OR
EARLY ON SEPTEMBER 11. IN MAKONI WEST, VOTING WAS MOSTLY PEACEFUL
ALTHOUGH 3,000 FEWER VOTES WERE CAST THAN IN THE JUNE 2000
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION. WE OBSERVED THAT SIGNIFICANT NUMBERS OF
VOTERS WERE TURNED AWAY AT POLLING STATIONS, AND GOZ AND/OR ZANU-
PF OFFICIALS TRAVELLED FREELY IN THE CONSTITUENCY, GIVING ORDERS
TO POLICE OFFICERS AND OTHER RELEVANT ELECTORAL OFFICIALS AT
POLLING STATIONS. THE FINAL RESULTS LIKELY WILL BE ANNOUNCED BY
SEPTEMBER 11. IN MAKONI WEST, WE DISCERNED AN EMERGING GOZ
STRATEGY TO TRY TO CONTROL THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO
INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS BY TELLING DIPLOMATS NO ACCREDITATION WAS
REQUIRED WHILE INSTRUCTING RELEVANT LOCAL OFFICIALS NOT TO SHARE
INFORMATION WITHOUT PROOF OF ACCREDITATION. END SUMMARY.

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 02666 01 OF 03 101552Z
BULAWAYO


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





2. (C) THE MAYORAL ELECTION IN BULAWAYO SEPTEMBER 8-9 WAS MOSTLY
PEACEFUL, BUT WAS MARRED BY A NUMBER OF IRREGULARITIES, OBSERVED
FIRST-HAND BY EMBASSY OFFICERS. AS THE SECOND DAY OF VOTING DREW
TO AN END, ONLY 16 PERCENT OF REGISTERED VOTERS HAD CAST THEIR
BALLOTS, IN CONTRAST TO 46 PERCENT IN THE JUNE 2000 PARLIAMENTARY
ELECTION (60,000 VERSUS 170,000, OUT OF A TOTAL OF 369,294
REGISTERED VOTERS). IT IS DIFFICULT TO DRAW ANY DEFINITIVE
CONCLUSIONS FROM THE LOW TURNOUT FIGURES, AS ZIMBABWEANS RARELY
TURN UP IN LARGE NUMBERS TO VOTE IN LOCAL ELECTIONS. WE HAVE
HEARD AN UNCONFIRMED REPORT THAT, IN THE FIRST DIRECT ELECTION FOR
BULAWAYO'S MAYOR IN THE MID-1990'S, ONLY FIVE PERCENT OF
REGISTERED VOTERS CAST BALLOTS. ADDITIONAL FACTORS THIS TIME WERE
LIKELY A WIDESPREAD EXPECTATION THAT THE OPPOSITION MOVEMENT FOR
DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) WOULD WIN HANDILY AND A RELUCTANCE TO RISK
ONE'S SKIN TO VOTE IN A MAYORAL ELECTION. WE ALSO HAVE HEARD
COMPLAINTS THAT THERE WERE TOO FEW POLLING STATIONS; THEY WERE FAR
APART, MAKING ACCESS PROBLEMATIC FOR THOSE WITHOUT CARS. SHARI
EPPEL, DIRECTOR OF THE BULAWAYO BRANCH OF THE RESPECTED HUMAN
RIGHTS ORGANIZATION AMANI TRUST, TOLD US THAT GROUPS OF ZANU-PF
SUPPORTERS WERE DROPPED THE WEEK PRIOR TO THE ELECTION IN SEVERAL
TOWNSHIPS, WHERE THEY SUBJECTED THE RESIDENTS TO THREATS OF
VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION. WE ALSO HEARD REPORTS OF LARGE NUMBERS
OF ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS BEING BUSED IN ON THE VOTING DAYS.



3. (C) WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM A VARIETY OF RELIABLE SOURCES
REPORTS OF PROCEDURAL IRREGULARITIES IN BULAWAYO. A HIGH NUMBER
OF VOTERS, FOR INSTANCE -- RANGING BETWEEN TEN AND FORTY PERCENT
AT EACH POLLING STATION -- WERE TURNED AWAY, EITHER BECAUSE THEIR
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 02666 01 OF 03 101552Z
NAMES WERE NOT ON THE ROLL OR BECAUSE THEY WERE UNABLE TO PRESENT
PROPER IDENTIFICATION. EMBASSY OFFICERS SPOKE WITH MANY PEOPLE
WHO WERE NOT ALLOWED TO VOTE, A MAJORITY OF WHOM WERE MALES
BETWEEN THE AGES OF 25 AND 45, A DEMOGRAPHIC WIDELY ASSUMED IN
THIS REGION TO BE SYMPATHETIC TOWARDS THE MDC. WE ALSO HAVE HEARD
TROUBLING ACCOUNTS OF VOTER ROLL MANIPULATION. BELINDA MUSANO,
DEPUTY COORDINATOR OF THE ZIMBABWE ELECTION SUPPORT NETWORK
(ZESN), WHICH CONDUCTS THE DOMESTIC MONITORING EFFORT, TOLD
POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF THAT A NUMBER OF RESIDENTS HAD CONFIRMED
THEIR NAMES WERE ON THE VOTERS ROLL DURING THE PERIOD OF PUBLIC
INSPECTION (JUNE 25-JULY 16), BUT ARRIVED ON VOTING DAY TO FIND
THAT THEIR NAMES HAD BEEN REMOVED. MOST OF THE RESIDENTS IN THIS
SITUATION WERE REPORTEDLY WHITE.



4. (C) IN ADDITION, A SUPPLEMENTARY VOTERS ROLL -- WHICH WAS
NEVER MADE AVAILABLE IN ADVANCE FOR PUBLIC INSPECTION -- WAS SEEN
AT SOME POLLING STATIONS, AND, IN SOME INSTANCES, IT WAS THICKER
THAN THE REGULAR ROLL. THERE ALSO WAS SIGNIFICANT CONFUSION ABOUT
WHERE PEOPLE WERE SUPPOSED TO VOTE. MOST VOTERS BELIEVED THAT
THEY COULD CAST THEIR BALLOTS ANYWHERE IN THE CONSTITUENCY IN
WHICH THEY WERE REGISTERED, BUT WERE TOLD WHEN THEY SHOWED UP TO
VOTE THAT THEY WERE REQUIRED TO VOTE IN THE WARD IN WHICH THEY
WERE RESIDENT (A CONSTITUENCY COMPRISES SEVERAL WARDS). THIS
REQUIREMENT WAS APPARENTLY IMPOSED BECAUSE SEVEN CITY COUNCIL

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ1673

PAGE 01 HARARE 02666 02 OF 03 101553Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 DODE-00
SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EUR-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 CAEX-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 /011W


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

1CFF96 101553Z /38
P 101538Z SEP 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9678
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 03 HARARE 002666

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR GURNEY
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: DECL. 09/10/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: BULAWAYO MAYORAL VOTE AND MAKONI WEST BY-ELECTION MARRED
BY IRREGULARITIES

SEATS -- REPRESENTING PARTICULAR WARDS -- WERE ON THE BALLOT BUT,
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 02666 02 OF 03 101553Z
BECAUSE OF A LACK OF PRE-ELECTION VOTER EDUCATION, VOTERS WERE
NEVER INFORMED OF THIS REQUIREMENT DURING THE CAMPAIGN.



5. (C) ONE INCIDENT WHICH HAS GARNERED SIGNIFICANT PRESS
ATTENTION WAS THE SEPTEMBER 9 ARREST IN BULAWAYO OF THREE
BODYGUARDS OF MDC MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT DAVID COLTART. COLTART
TOLD US THAT THE BODYGUARDS WERE ARRESTED AFTER VIDEOTAPING A
LARGE BUS OFF-LOADING YOUNG MEN WITH SHAVED HEADS WHOM THEY
BELIEVED TO BE TROUBLEMAKERS OR ILLEGAL VOTERS BROUGHT IN BY THE
RULING PARTY. THE BODYGUARDS WERE DETAINED AND CHARGED WITH
FIREARMS VIOLATIONS AFTER A SEARCH OF THEIR HOUSES TURNED UP 17
GUNS. COLTART INSISTED THAT HIS BODYGUARDS HAVE LICENSES FOR EACH
OF THE FIREARMS, BUT THEY REMAINED IN DETENTION AS OF LATE
AFTERNOON SEPTEMBER 10.



6. (C) IT IS DIFFICULT TO ASSESS HOW MUCH THE IRREGULARITIES
AFFECTED THE ULTIMATE OUTCOME, BUT IT IS CLEAR THAT THEY WERE
SERIOUS AND NUMEROUS ENOUGH TO JUSTIFY A DESCRIPTION OF THE
ELECTION AS "FLAWED" AND RAISE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE TACTICS WE ARE
LIKELY TO SEE EMPLOYED IN FUTURE BY-ELECTIONS AND THE PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION EXPECTED IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2002.



7. (U) SHORTLY BEFORE THIS CABLE WENT TO PRESS, THE ZIMBABWE
BROADCASTING CORPORATION (ZBC) ANNOUNCED THAT THE MDC HAD WON ALL
SEVEN OF THE CITY COUNCIL SEATS, REPORTEDLY BY A HANDY MARGIN.
THE MAYORAL RESULT LIKELY WILL NOT BE ANNOUNCED UNTIL LATE
SEPTEMBER 10 OR EARLY ON SEPTEMBER 11.

MAKONI WEST


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



CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 02666 02 OF 03 101553Z


8. (C) AFTER A PRE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN IN MAKONI WEST MARRED BY THE
INCIDENTS OF VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION WE HAVE COME TO EXPECT IN
ZIMBABWEAN ELECTIONS (REFTEL) -- ALTHOUGH LESS INTENSE AND
WIDESPREAD THAN IN THE LAST THREE BY-ELECTIONS IN BINDURA, BIKITA
WEST, AND MARONDERA -- THE VOTING DAYS THEMSELVES SEPTEMBER 8-9
WERE MOSTLY PEACEFUL. VOTER TURNOUT WAS SLIGHTLY LOWER THAN IN
THE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION, AS THIS TIME 17,067 PEOPLE CAST
BALLOTS (OUT OF A TOTAL OF 42,788 REGISTERED VOTERS), IN CONTRAST
TO 20,279 IN JUNE 2000.



9. (C) U.S. EMBASSY OFFICERS OBSERVED THE VOTING, COORDINATING
CLOSELY WITH OTHER DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS TO ENSURE THAT ALL 44
POLLING STATIONS RECEIVED A VISIT. SEVERAL INCIDENTS PROVIDED
CAUSE FOR CONCERN. ON SEPTEMBER 8, POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF CAME
ACROSS A GROUP OF 200-300 PEOPLE, MOST OF THEM MEN APPARENTLY
UNDER THE AGE OF FORTY, WHO HAD BEEN TURNED AWAY, ALTHOUGH THEIR
NAMES WERE ON THE VOTERS ROLL. THEY WERE TOLD THAT THEY NOW HAD
TO VOTE IN THE CONSTITUENCY OF MUTARE WEST, EVEN THOUGH MOST HAD
CAST BALLOTS IN JUNE 2000 AND EVEN THOUGH SOME OF THEIR NEIGHBORS
HAD BEEN ALLOWED TO VOTE. AS FAR AS WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO
DETERMINE, THERE HAS BEEN NO NEW DEMARCATION OF MAKONI WEST SINCE
THE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION. WE DO NOT YET HAVE A GOOD SENSE OF
WHETHER THIS WAS MORE THAN AN ISOLATED INCIDENT, BUT WE HAVE HEARD
ANECDOTAL REPORTS OF SIMILAR PROBLEMS ELSEWHERE IN THE
CONSTITUENCY. AT MOST OF THE POLLING STATIONS WE OBSERVED, MORE
THAN TEN PERCENT OF VOTERS WERE TURNED AWAY EITHER BECAUSE THEY
WERE NOT ON THE VOTERS ROLL OR BECAUSE THEY DID NOT PRESENT
IDENTIFICATION SUFFICIENT TO SATISFY THE PRESIDING OFFICER. (N.B.
WE ARE NOT CERTAIN WHETHER OR NOT THIS WAS DUE TO DELIBERATE
GOVERNMENT ACTIONS OR POOR INFORMATION PROVIDED TO THE VOTERS.)
WHEN THE CHIEF OF THE EUROPEAN UNION'S HARARE-BASED ELECTION
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 02666 02 OF 03 101553Z
OBSERVATION UNIT SOUGHT AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE LOCAL REGISTRAR-
GENERAL TO ASK ABOUT THIS AND OTHER ALLEGED IRREGULARITIES, THE
REGISTRAR-GENERAL REFUSED TO MEET WITH HIM.



10. (C) IN A PATTERN CONSISTENT WITH THAT IN PAST BY-ELECTIONS,
GOVERNMENT AND/OR ZANU-PF OFFICIALS WITHOUT ACCREDITATION MOVED
UNHINDERED IN AND OUT OF POLLING STATIONS AND, IN SOME CASES, GAVE
ORDERS TO THE POLICE OFFICERS ON-SITE. AT ONE POLLING STATION,
MEN IN A VEHICLE WITH GOVERNMENT PLATES -- WHO DID NOT IDENTIFY
THEMSELVES -- HARASSED THE DRIVER OF OUR EMBASSY VEHICLE, TELLING
HIM WE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN THERE. THEY TOLD THE DRIVER THAT, "IF
YOU ALL (IN AN APPARENT REFERENCE TO INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS )
INSIST ON CONTINUING TO OBSERVE, THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WILL BE
TOUGHER." THE EFFECTS OF THE PRE-ELECTION VIOLENCE AND
INTIMIDATION WERE CLEAR, AS EVERYONE -- THOSE WITH AN OFFICIAL
ROLE RELATED TO THE VOTING AS WELL AS ORDINARY VOTERS -- WERE
CLEARLY UNCOMFORTABLE TALKING TO US. AT ONE POLLING STATION, A
WELL-DRESSED MAN CAME UP TO US, IDENTIFIED HIMSELF IN A FURTIVE
WHISPER AS AN MDC OFFICIAL, AND SAID HE HAD BEEN SENT FROM HARARE
TO OBSERVE THE CONDUCT OF THE ELECTION.



11. (C) GIVEN THE TENSE PRE-ELECTION ATMOSPHERE AND THE ELECTION-
DAY IRREGULARITIES NOTED ABOVE, IT IS NOT CLEAR THAT SOME
RESIDENTS FELT COMFORTABLE ABOUT VOTING AND THUS STAYED AWAY FROM

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ1675

PAGE 01 HARARE 02666 03 OF 03 101553Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 DODE-00
SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EUR-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 CAEX-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 /011W


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

1CFF9E 101553Z /38
P 101538Z SEP 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9679
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 002666

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR GURNEY
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: DECL. 09/10/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: BULAWAYO MAYORAL VOTE AND MAKONI WEST BY-ELECTION MARRED
BY IRREGULARITIES

THE POLLS. WE CANNOT, THEREFORE, CHARACTERIZE THE MAKONI WEST
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 02666 03 OF 03 101553Z
VOTE AS "FREE AND FAIR." WE DO NOT EXPECT THE FINAL RESULT TO BE
ANNOUNCED UNTIL LATE IN THE DAY ON SEPTEMBER 10 OR SOMETIME ON
SEPTEMBER 11.

COMMENT


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





12. (C) IN MAKONI WEST, WE OBSERVED WHAT APPEARS TO BE AN
EMERGING STRATEGY ON THE PART OF THE GOVERNMENT TO CONTROL THE
ABILITY OF INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS TO OBSERVE ALL ASPECTS OF THE
ELECTORAL PROCESS. THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS HAS REPEATEDLY
TOLD DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS THAT THEY DO NOT REQUIRE ACCREDITATION TO
OBSERVE BY-ELECTIONS, BUT, DESPITE NUMEROUS REQUESTS, HAS REFUSED
TO PROVIDE WRITTEN DOCUMENTATION TO THAT EFFECT, WHICH CAN BE USED
OUTSIDE OF HARARE AND OTHER URBANIZED AREAS. IN MAKONI WEST, FOR
EXAMPLE, THE PRESIDING OFFICERS AT EACH POLLING STATION REFUSED
EVEN TO SPEAK TO US WITHOUT "OFFICIAL" GOZ ACCREDITATION AND, IN
SOME CASES, REFUSED TO ALLOW CONTACT BETWEEN US AND THE PARTY
POLLING AGENTS. IN PAST BY-ELECTIONS, POLICE OFFICERS OFTEN WERE
WILLING TO SHARE WITH US THEIR ASSESSMENTS OF THE DAY'S VOTING
BUT, THIS TIME, THE POLICE AT EACH POLLING STATION SIMPLY REFERRED
US TO THE PRESIDING OFFICER. MOST OF THE LOCAL OFFICIALS SEEMED
TO HAVE A CLEAR SET OF INSTRUCTIONS. OUR SENSE IS THAT WE MAY
HAVE A FUTURE PROBLEM WHEREIN THE RELEVANT GOZ AUTHORITIES IN
HARARE CONTINUE TO TELL US WE DO NOT NEED ACCREDITATION, WHILE
LOCAL OFFICIALS ARE INSTRUCTED NOT TO SHARE INFORMATION WITH US
UNLESS WE ARE ACCREDITED, A CLASSIC CATCH-22.

ROTH

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 02666 03 OF 03 101553Z

CONFIDENTIAL

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