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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
01HARARE3221 2001-10-26 10:18:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

ZIMBABWE: NOT TOO LATE FOR FREE AND FAIR

Tags:   PGOV PREL 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.

261018Z Oct 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTO4342

PAGE 01        HARARE  03221  01 OF 02  261050Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    ACQ-00   CIAE-00  USNW-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   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    
      NSAE-00  OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PC-01    PM-00    PRS-00   
      ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    TRSE-00  USIE-00  PMB-00   DSCC-00  
      DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /007W
                  ------------------35C4FD  261050Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0124
INFO NSC WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 003221 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY
PARIS FOR CHARLES NEARY
NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/26/11
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE: NOT TOO LATE FOR FREE AND FAIR
ELECTION, ZVOBGO TELLS AMBASSADOR


CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL OFFICER TODD FAULK FOR REASONS:
1.5 (B) AND (D).



1. (U) IN AN INTRODUCTORY MEETING, AMBASSADOR SULLIVAN
MET WITH MASVINGO SOUTH MP AND LONG-STANDING ZANU-PF
POLITICIAN EDDISON ZVOBGO ON OCTOBER 19. AMBASSADOR WAS
JOINED BY POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF. AMBASSADOR AND
ZVOBGO QUICKLY FOUND COMMON GROUND: BOTH HAD ATTENDED
TUFTS UNIVERSITY IN THE U.S. AT THE SAME TIME DURING THE
1960S. THEIR DISCUSSION WAS WARM AND FRIENDLY.

PRESIDENTIAL POWERS SHOULD BE CURTAILED


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





2. (C) ZVOBGO BEGAN WITH A DISCUSSION OF PRESIDENT
MUGABE'S POWERS. ZVOBGO SUPPORTS THE IDEA OF AN
EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT, BUT BELIEVES THE PRESIDENT'S POWERS
SHOULD BE CURTAILED. IN WRITING THE 1986 CONSTITUTIONAL
AMENDMENT THAT TURNED MUGABE FROM A PRIME MINISTER INTO
A PRESIDENT, ZVOBGO HAD PROPOSED MORE LIMITED EXECUTIVE
POWERS FOR THE PRESIDENT, BUT THIS INITIAL DRAFT WAS
REJECTED. IN RETROSPECT, ZVOBGO BELIEVES THAT MORE
SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE TO MAKE MUGABE CONSTITUTIONALLY
ANSWERABLE TO HIS CABINET. HOWEVER, MUGABE EXPANDED HIS
"POLITICAL SPACE" TO SUCH AN EXTENT THAT HE DOES NOT
ANSWER TO ANYONE BUT HIMSELF. THE AMBASSADOR STATED
THAT AFRICA NEEDS TO MOVE AWAY FROM THE TRADITION OF THE
STRONG MAN LEADER, EVEN IF THAT MEANS PUTTING MORE
CONSTITUTIONAL RESTRICTIONS ON HIS POWER.

WE CAN'T BLAME THE WEST FOR OUR PROBLEMS


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


CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 03221 01 OF 02 261050Z



3. (C) THERE ARE A NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN GOVERNMENT, SUCH
AS FINANCE MINISTER SIMBA MAKONI, WHO HAVE A REALISTIC
VIEW OF THE CAUSES AND EXTENT OF ZIMBABWE'S SUBSTANTIAL
ECONOMIC PROBLEMS, ZVOBGO CONTINUED. UNFORTUNATELY,
THERE ARE JUST AS MANY WITH UNREALISTIC VIEWS OR WHO
FAIL TO EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE THAT PROBLEMS EXIST. SOME OF
THESE PEOPLE BLAME THE U.S. OR BRITAIN FOR ZIMBABWE'S
PROBLEMS. ZVOBGO SAID THIS IS PATENTLY ABSURD --
ZIMBABWE HAS ONLY ITSELF TO BLAME. HE WARNED THE
AMBASSADOR THAT HE MAY ENCOUNTER A LEVEL OF XENOPHOBIA
IN ZIMBABWE BECAUSE OF THE MORE POPULAR VIEW THAT OTHERS
ARE RESPONSIBLE.

IT'S NOT TOO LATE FOR A FREE AND FAIR ELECTION


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

-



4. (C) ZVOBGO OPINED THAT IT IS NOT TOO LATE FOR A FREE
AND FAIR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN ZIMBABWE. THE MP
SUGGESTED THAT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SHOULD LAY
DOWN CLEAR, MINIMUM CONDITIONS THAT MUST BE MET IF THE
ELECTORAL PROCESS AND ELECTION OUTCOME ARE TO BE
CONSIDERED LEGITIMATE; OTHERWISE, THE RESULTS WILL NOT
BE RECOGNIZED. AGREEMENT BY THE U.S., EU, AND SADC TO A
MINIMUM SET OF STANDARDS COULD SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE
THE CHANCES THAT THE ELECTION WILL BE AS FREE AND FAIR
AS POSSIBLE. THE ELECTION WILL NOT BE PERFECT, ZVOBGO
ADMITTED, BUT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SHOULD AIM FOR
"SUBSTANTIAL COMPLIANCE" TO ITS CONDITIONS.



5. (C) THE AMBASSADOR ASKED IF THERE IS SPACE FOR
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 03221 01 OF 02 261050Z
OBSERVERS IN ZIMBABWE, AND ZVOBGO REPLIED "YES.
OBSERVERS WILL INSTILL CONFIDENCE IN THE POLITICAL
PROCESS." THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE RELUCTANT TO ALLOW
OBSERVERS -- THE AMBASSADOR NOTED THE EXPULSION OF THE
IFES OBSERVER TEAM IN SEPTEMBER -- BUT IF THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY LAYS DOWN OBSERVERS AS A
CONDITION FOR AN LEGITIMATE ELECTION, THEN THERE IS A
BETTER CHANCE OF A FAIR ELECTION. IF THE GOVERNMENT
DOES NOT MEET THESE CONDITIONS, DONORS SHOULD MAKE CLEAR
THAT IT WILL NOT BE BUSINESS AS USUAL WITH ZIMBABWE.
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION SINCE ZIMBABWE'S
INDEPENDENCE IN 1980, ZVOBGO OPINED, AND THE EFFORT
"SHOULD NOT END IN FUTILITY."



6. (C) WHEN ASKED ABOUT MUGABE'S INSISTENCE THAT HE
WOULD "NEVER, EVER ALLOW THE MDC TO TAKE POWER," ZVOBGO
REPLIED THAT HE INTERPRETS THIS STATEMENT TO MEAN THE
PRESIDENT CANNOT COMPREHEND LOSING THE ELECTION. ZVOBGO
BELIEVES THAT MUGABE WOULD LEAVE POWER IF SOUNDLY
DEFEATED IN THE ELECTION. ON THE ROLE OF THE MILITARY,
ZVOBGO THINKS THE ARMY WOULD NOT INTERFERE IN THE
ELECTION OUTCOME, AND WOULD ALLOW THE MDC TO ASSUME
POWER IF IT WON THE ELECTION BY A RESPECTABLE MARGIN.
ZVOBGO DOUBTED THAT A COUP BY MUGABE OR THE MILITARY

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ7189

PAGE 01 HARARE 03221 02 OF 02 261050Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-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 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00
OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PC-01 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00
P-00 SP-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02
G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /007W


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

35C4FF 261050Z /38
R 261018Z OCT 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0125
INFO NSC WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 003221

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY
PARIS FOR CHARLES NEARY
NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/26/11
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE: NOT TOO LATE FOR FREE AND FAIR
ELECTION, ZVOBGO TELLS AMBASSADOR

WOULD BE SUSTAINABLE IF THE MDC WON BIG.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 03221 02 OF 02 261050Z

SULLIVAN

CONFIDENTIAL

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