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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
01HARARE2678
2001-09-12 09:09:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

MDC WINS BULAWAYO IN LANDSLIDE BUT LOSES MAKONI WEST

Tags:  PGOV PHUM ZI 
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120909Z Sep 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6394

PAGE 01        HARARE  02678  01 OF 02  120925Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   AMAD-00  CIAE-00  INL-00   DODE-00  
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      INR-00   IO-00    L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    NSAE-00  OIC-02   
      OMB-01   OPIC-01  CAEX-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00   
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                  ------------------1DD89A  120925Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9687
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 002678 

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: DECL. 09/12/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: MDC WINS BULAWAYO IN LANDSLIDE BUT LOSES MAKONI WEST
PARLIAMENTARY SEAT


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

REF: A) HARARE 2666 B) HARARE 2642

BULAWAYO
--------



1. (U) AS EXPECTED, THE OPPOSITION MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE
(MDC) SWEPT THE SEPTEMBER 8-9 ELECTIONS IN BULAWAYO, WINNING THE
MAYORAL RACE AND ALL SEVEN CITY COUNCIL SEATS UNDER CONTENTION BY
A LANDSLIDE. THE MDC'S MAYORAL CANDIDATE, JAPHET NDABENI-NCUBE,
WON 83 PERCENT OF THE VOTES CAST (REPRESENTING 60,988 VOTES),
WHILE ZANU-PF'S GEORGE MLILO GARNERED ONLY 17 PERCENT (12,783
VOTES). THIS WAS THE FIRST DIRECT POPULAR ELECTION FOR THE
MAYORSHIP OF BULAWAYO; PREVIOUS MAYORS WERE APPOINTED OR SELECTED
BY THE CITY COUNCIL. AN ECSTATIC NDABENI-NCUBE TOLD JOURNALISTS
AFTER HIS VICTORY WAS ANNOUNCED, "WE ARE REALLY ON THE ROAD TO
DEMOCRATIC CHANGE. THIS IS A VICTORY FOR THE PEOPLE OF BULAWAYO."
THE OPPOSITION PARTY WON ALL SEVEN COUNCIL SEATS BY HUGE MARGINS,
GARNERING 72 PERCENT OF THE VOTE IN THE CLOSEST WARD AND 85
PERCENT IN THE MDC'S MOST CONVINCING WIN. THE MDC NOW HOLDS NINE
OF THE 29 SEATS ON BULAWAYO'S CITY COUNCIL (ZANU-PF CONTROLS 17
AND THE REMAINING 3 SEATS ARE HELD BY INDEPENDENTS).



2. (C) THE RESULTS WERE MARRED BY SOME VIOLENCE AND THE REPORTED
HARASSMENT OF MDC OFFICIALS, INCLUDING NDABENI-NCUBE HIMSELF. AS
NEWS SPREAD THAT THE MDC HAD WON ALL SEVEN CITY COUNCIL SEATS,
GROUPS OF WAR VETERANS AND ZANU-PF YOUTHS RAMPAGED THROUGH SEVERAL
STREETS IN BULAWAYO. ACCORDING TO PRESS REPORTS, THE GROUPS BEAT
AND STONED THOSE SUSPECTED OF BEING AN OPPOSITION SUPPORTER;
DOZENS OF CARS WERE REPORTEDLY STONED AND SOME PROPERTY WAS
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 02678 01 OF 02 120925Z
DAMAGED. ARMED RIOT POLICE WERE DEPLOYED TO DISPERSE THE GROUPS.
SHARI EPPEL, DIRECTOR OF THE BULAWAYO BRANCH OF THE RESPECTED
HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION AMANI TRUST, TOLD POLITICAL SECTION
CHIEF THAT TEN PEOPLE WERE INJURED IN THE MELEE, ONE OF WHOM WAS
HOSPITALIZED WITH A SERIOUS STAB WOUND. ASKED WHETHER THE VICTIMS
WERE PREDOMINANTLY SUPPORTERS OF ONE POLITICAL PARTY, EPPEL SAID
THEY ALL APPEARED TO BE INNOCENT PASSERS-BY.



3. (U) IN WHAT APPEARED TO BE PRIMARILY A CASE OF SOUR GRAPES,
NDABENI-NCUBE WAS ACCUSED BY POLICE OF BRIBING A VOTER WHEN HE
HANDED A Z$20 NOTE (EQUIVALENT TO SIX U.S. CENTS) TO HIS UNCLE TO
BUY A DRINK, WHILE HIS UNCLE WAS WAITING TO CAST HIS BALLOT. THE
PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE DECLINED TO PROSECUTE. MORE DISTURBING,
DURING THE EVENING OF SEPTEMBER 9, THREE SHOTS WERE FIRED IN THE
GENERAL DIRECTION OF A GROUP OF SENIOR MDC OFFICIALS WHICH
INCLUDED VICE-PRESIDENT GIBSON SIBANDA, SECRETARY-GENERAL WELSHMAN
NCUBE, DIRECTOR FOR ELECTIONS PAUL THEMBA-NYATHI, AND NATIONAL
TREASURER FLETCHER DULINI. FORTUNATELY, NO ONE WAS INJURED. MDC
SPOKESMAN LEARNMORE JONGWE DESCRIBED THE INCIDENT AS A "NAKED
ATTEMPT TO ASSASSINATE THE VICE-PRESIDENT." WE ARE NOT
COMFORTABLE WITH THIS CHARACTERIZATION ABSENT ANY INDEPENDENT
CORROBORATION.

MAKONI WEST


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





4. (C) ZANU-PF'S GIBSON MUNYORO EASILY WON THE PARLIAMENTARY BY-
ELECTION IN MAKONI WEST WITH 62 PERCENT OF THE VOTE (10,610
VOTES), DEFEATING THE MDC'S REMUS MAKUWAZA, WHO GARNERED 34
PERCENT (5841 VOTES). THREE THOUSAND FEWER VOTERS CAST THEIR
BALLOTS THAN IN THE JUNE 2000 PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION; THE MDC
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 02678 01 OF 02 120925Z
SECURED 1515 FEWER VOTES THIS TIME WHILE ZANU-PF RECEIVED 528
FEWER VOTES. THE DECLINE IN VOTER TURNOUT MAY BE EXPLAINED BY THE
FACT THAT THIS WAS A BY-ELECTION. WE SUSPECT THAT MANY RESIDENTS
DID NOT BELIEVE IT WAS WORTH MAKING THE SIGNIFICANT EFFORT TO GET
TO THE NEAREST POLLING STATION WHEN THE STAKES DID NOT APPEAR
PARTICULARLY HIGH. PRE-ELECTION VIOLENCE PROBABLY ALSO DETERRED
SOME VOTERS. THE ZANU-PF LEADERSHIP WAS ELATED BY THE OUTCOME,
WHICH THE PROVINCIAL PARTY SPOKESMAN CHARLES PEMHENAYI HERALDED AS
A SIGN THAT "IMPERIALISM IS ON THE WAY OUT. THE ELECTION WAS AN
INDICATION OF HOW THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WILL GO AFTER
REALIZING THAT THE MDC WAS BEING SPONSORED BY IMPERIALISTS."

COMMENT


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





5. (C) THE RESULTS IN BULAWAYO AND MAKONI WEST, WHICH SURPRISED
FEW OBSERVERS, CONFIRMED THE MDC'S OVERWHELMING ADVANTAGE IN
URBANIZED AREAS AND THE RULING PARTY'S CONTINUING STRENGTH IN
RURAL REGIONS. THE BULAWAYO RESULT IS PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT, AS
IT GIVES THE MDC CONTROL OF THE MAYORAL SEATS IN TWO OF ZIMBABWE'S
PRINCIPAL CITIES -- MASVINGO IS THE OTHER ONE -- AND POTENTIAL
OPPORTUNITIES TO DEMONSTRATE EFFECTIVE EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP.
SENIOR MDC OFFICIALS HAVE TOLD US REGULARLY THAT THEIR PARTY ONLY
NEEDS TO GARNER 30-40 PERCENT OF THE VOTE IN RURAL CONSTITUENCIES

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ6397

PAGE 01 HARARE 02678 02 OF 02 120925Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00
DS-00 EB-00 EUR-00 VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00
IO-00 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 /009W


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

1DD8A3 120925Z /38
P 120909Z SEP 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9688
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 002678

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: DECL. 09/12/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: MDC WINS BULAWAYO IN LANDSLIDE BUT LOSES MAKONI WEST
PARLIAMENTARY SEAT

IN ORDER TO WIN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION; BY THAT MEASURE, WE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 02678 02 OF 02 120925Z
EXPECT THE MDC WILL CONSIDER THE MAKONI RESULT SATISFACTORY.

ROTH

CONFIDENTIAL

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