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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
01HARARE3689
2001-12-12 14:41:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

ZIMBABWE OPPOSITION WINS A THIRD MAYORAL

Tags:  EAGR PGOV PINR ZI 
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                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ7568

PAGE 01        HARARE  03689  01 OF 02  121537Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AGRE-00  ACQ-00   CIAE-00  COME-00  INL-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   LAB-01   
      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   
      SWCI-00    /008W
                  ------------------4A7AD4  121538Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0514
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 003689 

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/12/11
TAGS: EAGR PGOV PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE OPPOSITION WINS A THIRD MAYORAL
ELECTION AND LOOKS TO WIN A FOURTH

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



1. (U) IN DECEMBER 8-9 POLLING, THE OPPOSITION MOVEMENT
FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) WON ITS THIRD MAYORAL
ELECTION IN NINE MONTHS IN THE TOWN OF CHEGUTU, WHICH IS
ABOUT 100 KM SOUTHWEST OF HARARE IN THE TRADITIONAL
RULING PARTY STRONGHOLD OF MASHONALAND WEST PROVINCE.
MDC CANDIDATE BLESSING DHLAKAMA EDGED OUT THE ZANU-PF
CANDIDATE STANLEY MAJIRI BY FEWER THAN 500 VOTES (2,900
TO 2,452). VOTER TURNOUT WAS ONLY 28 PERCENT OF
REGISTERED VOTERS, BUT CONSIDERABLY HIGHER THAN THE FIVE
PERCENT TURNOUT IN THE SEPTEMBER BULAWAYO MAYORAL
CONTEST. THE MDC ALSO WON THE APRIL MASVINGO MAYORAL
POLL.



2. (C) STATE-CONTROLLED MEDIA PORTRAYED THE DECEMBER 8-
9 VOTING AS MARRED BY MDC INTIMIDATION AND VIOLENCE.
THE ZBC CLAIMED THAT TWO ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS WERE INJURED
IN ATTACKS BY MDC YOUTH, INCLUDING ONE IN AN INCIDENT
WHERE MDC SUPPORTERS STONED A CONVOY OF ZANU-PF VEHICLES
THAT PASSED NEAR DHLAKAMA'S RESIDENCE. POLICE RAIDED
THE MDC CANDIDATE'S HOME AND ARRESTED TEN MDC SUPPORTERS
FOLLOWING THE INCIDENT, ACCORDING TO THE ZBC. MAJIRI,
THE LOSING ZANU-PF CANDIDATE, STATED HE WOULD CHALLENGE
THE ELECTION RESULT IN COURT BECAUSE OF THE POLLING-DAY
VIOLENCE. WE HEARED FROM OTHER SOURCES, HOWEVER, THAT
MOST OF THE PRE-ELECTION VIOLENCE IN CHEGUTU WAS
PERPETRATED BY ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS.

LONG-DELAYED HARARE POLL SET
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 03689 01 OF 02 121537Z


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





3. (U) THE CHEGUTU WIN HELPS BUILD MDC MOMENTUM FOR THE
HARARE MAYORAL AND COUNCIL ELECTIONS, WHICH THE SUPREME
COURT RULED MUST TAKE PLACE BY FEBRUARY 11, 2002. THE
DECEMBER 7 RULING OVERTURNED A HIGH COURT JUDGMENT THAT
HAD SET AN ELECTION DATE FOR DECEMBER 28, 2001. CHIEF
JUSTICE GODFREY CHIDYAUSIKU LEFT OPEN THE POSSIBILITY
THAT THE DATE COULD BE CHANGED IF THE GOVERNMENT AMENDED
THE LAW. THE HARARE RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION HAD
CHALLENGED THE GOVERNMENT IN COURT TO HOLD THE HARARE
ELECTIONS, WHICH UNDER THE LAW, SHOULD HAVE TAKEN PLACE
NEARLY TWO YEARS AGO. SINCE THE LAST COUNCIL RESIGNED
IN 1999 UNDER A CLOUD OF CORRUPTION CHARGES, HARARE HAS
BEEN RUN BY A GOVERNMENT-APPOINTED COMMISSION.

COMMENT


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





4. (C) THE MDC CHEGUTU WIN SHOWS THAT THE OPPOSITION
CONTINUES TO HOLD SWAY OVER URBAN AREAS, NOT THAT ITS
POPULARITY IS NECESSARILY GROWING IN THE TRADITIONAL
ZANU-PF STRONGHOLD OF MASHONALAND. IN THE 2000
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION, ZANU-PF WON THE LARGER CHEGUTU
DISTRICT, WHICH IS PREDOMINANTLY RURAL, ALBEIT BY A
RELATIVELY SLENDER MARGIN. NONETHELESS, THE VICTORY IS
A MORALE BOOSTER FOR AN OPPOSITION PARTY UNDER SIEGE,
AND A MOMENTUM-BUILDER FOR THE HARARE POLL AND THE
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION DUE TO TAKE PLACE IN MARCH
(REPORTED SEPTEL). THE SUPREME COURT'S RULING ON THE
HARARE DATE HAS PROBABLY COMPLICATED THE GOZ'S ELECTION
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 03689 01 OF 02 121537Z
PLANNING. IT MAY BE RELUCTANT TO HOLD THE HARARE
CONTEST -- ONE THE MDC WOULD UNDOUBTEDLY WIN -- SO SOON
BEFORE THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AS IT WOULD GIVE THE
OPPOSITION EVEN MORE MOMENTUM. THE GOZ COULD STILL
AMEND THE LAW TO PERMIT A MAYORAL ELECTION SOME TIME
AFTER THE PRESIDENTIAL ONE, ALTHOUGH WE HAVE SEEN NO
INDICATION OF SUCH PLANNING TO DATE.



5. (C) HOWEVER, HARARE COULD SERVE AS AN IDEAL "TRIAL
RUN" FOR THE GOZ TO PRACTICE ITS VOTE MANIPULATION
TECHNIQUES AND COULD BE AN IMPORTANT BELLWETHER FOR
VOTER TURNOUT IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. IT COULD
ALSO PROVIDE US VALUABLE INSIGHTS INTO THE GOZ'S LARGER
ELECTORAL STRATEGY BY REVEALING WHAT THE GOZ PLANS TO DO
IN REDUCING THE NUMBER OF POLLING PLACES, SEEKING TO
FORCE VOTERS TO VOTE IN DISTRICTS DISTANT FROM THEIR
RESIDENCES, AND IN USING VOTER ROLLS TO DISENFRANCHISE
LIKELY OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS. THE QUESTION OF VOTER
TURNOUT REMAINS THE GREAT UNKNOWN. THE MDC HAS LONG
PREDICTED THAT A HEAVY TURNOUT BOLSTERS THEIR PROSPECTS
AND A 5 TO 25 PERCENT URBAN TURNOUT WOULD PROBABLY
SIGNAL THE MDC'S DOWNFALL. IT MAY WELL BE THE CASE,
HOWEVER, THAT MANY VOTERS HAVE CHOSEN TO DUCK THE POLLS
AND AVOID A POSSIBLE BEATING OVER THE RELATIVELY LOW-
STAKE MAYORAL RACES, AND ARE WAITING TO LAY DOWN THEIR

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ7566

PAGE 01 HARARE 03689 02 OF 02 121537Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AGRE-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 COME-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 LAB-01 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 SWCI-00
/008W


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

4A7AD7 121538Z /38
P 121441Z DEC 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0515
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 003689

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/12/11
TAGS: EAGR PGOV PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE OPPOSITION WINS A THIRD MAYORAL
ELECTION AND LOOKS TO WIN A FOURTH

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 03689 02 OF 02 121537Z
BET ON THE MAIN EVENT. END COMMENT.

SULLIVAN

CONFIDENTIAL

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