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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
01HARARE3813
2001-12-21 10:13:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

ZIMBABWE PARLIAMENT POSTPONES PASSAGE OF

Tags:  PGOV PHUM ZI 
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                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4314

PAGE 01        HARARE  03813  01 OF 03  211114Z 
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  PA-00    PC-01    PM-00    PRS-00   
      ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    IRM-00   SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00  
      USIE-00  PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-00   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  
      SAS-00   SWCI-00    /010W
                  ------------------4EE6B7  211114Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0604
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 003813 

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/21/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE PARLIAMENT POSTPONES PASSAGE OF
REPRESSIVE LEGISLATION

REF: HARARE 3690

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



1. (C) SUMMARY: ON DECEMBER 20, THE ZIMBABWE PARLIAMENT
ADJOURNED FOR THE HOLIDAYS WITHOUT PASSING KEY
LEGISLATION DESIGNED TO TILT THE ELECTORAL PLAYING FIELD
IN FAVOR OF THE RULING PARTY. THE GENERAL LAWS
AMENDMENT BILL, WHICH INCLUDES SUBSTANTIAL AMENDMENTS TO
THE ELECTORAL ACT, THE PUBLIC ORDER AND SECURITY BILL,
AND THE ACCESS TO INFORMATION BILL, HAD BEEN HELD UP IN
THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE (PLC). EDDISON
ZVOBGO, THE ZANU-PF MP WHO CHAIRS THE PLC, TOLD
AMBASSADOR SULLIVAN DECEMBER 20 THAT THE PENDING
LEGISLATION HAS SERIOUS CONSTITUTIONAL FLAWS, AND
ADVERSE REPORTS WOULD LIKELY BE ISSUED. AN ADVERSE
REPORT ON THE LABOR RELATIONS AMENDMENT BILL, WHICH
WOULD PLACE MAJOR RESTRICTIONS ON LABOR STRIKES, IS
ALREADY DUE TO BE TABLED. PARLIAMENT WILL RECONVENE ON
JANUARY 8 TO TAKE UP THE LEGISLATION AGAIN. ZANU-PF'S
LEGAL STRATEGY TO HEM IN THE OPPOSITION BEFORE THE
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION HAS HIT A SNAG IN THE PERSON OF
EDDISON ZVOBGO, ONE OF MUGABE'S MOST RECALCITRANT
CRITICS. END SUMMARY.



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


DRACONIAN LEGISLATION DEFERRED


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





2. (C) PARLIAMENT ADJOURNED DECEMBER 20 WITHOUT PASSING
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 03813 01 OF 03 211114Z
THE DRACONIAN PUBLIC ORDER AND SECURITY BILL (POSB), THE
GENERAL LAWS AMENDMENT BILL (WITH ITS ELECTORAL ACT
AMENDMENTS), OR THE ACCESS TO INFORMATION BILL,
ACCORDING TO TSITSI TAWAMBA, WHO HEADS THE PAPERS OFFICE
IN PARLIAMENT. DESPITE ATTEMPTS BY ZANU-PF TO BULLDOZE
THE BILLS THROUGH THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY BEFORE THE
CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY, THE RULING PARTY RAN OUT OF TIME, AND
THEY WERE DEFERRED UNTIL PARLIAMENT RECONVENES ON
JANUARY 8. PART OF THE HOLD UP WAS DUE TO LATE-NIGHT
FLOOR DEBATE FROM THE OPPOSITION ON THE ELECTORAL ACT
AMENDMENTS DURING THE DECEMBER 18 AND 19 SESSIONS.
MINISTER OF JUSTICE PATRICK CHINAMASA AND MDC LEGAL
AFFAIRS SECRETARY DAVID COLTART PUT TO THE FLOOR
ADDITIONAL AMENDMENTS ON DECEMBER 19 DESIGNED TO
AMELIORATE THE OPPOSITION'S CONCERNS.



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


SOME GOOD, SOME BAD IN ELECTORAL AMENDMENTS


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





3. (C) SURPRISINGLY, CHINAMASA'S PROPOSED CHANGES WOULD
GIVE MORE POWER TO THE RELATIVELY TOOTHLESS ELECTORAL
SUPERVISORY COMMISSION (ESC). THE MAIN CHANGES WOULD:

-- GIVE THE ESC THE AUTHORITY TO ACCREDIT MONITORS, IN
ADDITION TO ITS CURRENT POWER TO APPOINT AND DEPLOY THEM

-- GIVE THE ESC THE AUTHORITY TO APPOINT THE OBSERVERS'
ACCREDITATION COMMITTEE, A POWER CURRENTLY ENJOYED BY
THE GOVERNMENT-BACKING REGISTRAR-GENERAL. THE COMMITTEE
WOULD ACCREDIT INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS INVITED TO
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 03813 01 OF 03 211114Z
ZIMBABWE BY THE FOREIGN MINISTER.

-- ALLOW UP TO THREE INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS TO ENTER OR
REMAIN IN ANY POLLING STATION AND BE PRESENT FOR THE
COUNTING OF VOTES AT A COUNTING CENTER



4. (C) HOWEVER, CHINAMASA'S AMENDMENTS EXPAND ON,
RATHER THAN REPEAL, THE PROOF OF RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS
FOR NEW VOTER REGISTRANTS. THEY ESSENTIALLY WOULD
CODIFY THE HIGH COURT'S RECENT RULING PROVIDING FOR
GREATER FLEXIBILITY IN THE TYPES OF DOCUMENTS NEW
REGISTRANTS WOULD BE REQUIRED TO PRESENT. AMONG THE
DOCUMENTS ALLOWED WOULD BE: 1) ELECTRICITY OR WATER
BILLS, 2) LETTER FROM A LANDLORD, 3) SWORN STATEMENT
FROM AN EMPLOYER, 4) A POST-MARKED ENVELOPE BEARING THE
REGISTRANT'S ADDRESS, OR 5) A VERBAL OR WRITTEN
STATEMENT FROM THE LOCAL CHIEF OR HEADMAN.



5. (C) DESPITE A FEW POSITIVE CHANGED PROPOSED BY
CHINAMASA, THE GENERAL LAWS AMENDMENT ACT, WHICH AMONG
MINOR REVISIONS TO MORE THAN THREE DOZEN OTHER LAWS,
SUBSTANTIALLY AMENDS THE ELECTORAL ACT TO DO THE
FOLLOWING:

-- CLARIFY THE ROLES OF THE MYRIAD GOZ BODIES THAT

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ4316

PAGE 01 HARARE 03813 02 OF 03 211114Z
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 PA-00 PC-01 PM-00 PRS-00
ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 IRM-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TRSE-00
USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00
SAS-00 SWCI-00 /010W


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

4EE6CE 211115Z /38
O 211013Z DEC 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0605
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 003813

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/21/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE PARLIAMENT POSTPONES PASSAGE OF
REPRESSIVE LEGISLATION

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 03813 02 OF 03 211114Z
OVERSEE AND RUN ELECTIONS

-- DEFINE THE PROCEDURES AND CODES OF CONDUCT GOVERNING
DOMESTIC ELECTION MONITORS AND INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS

-- RESTRICT VOTER EDUCATION TO THE ESC OR TO
ORGANIZATIONS THAT IT APPOINTS AND REGISTERS,

-- GIVE THE REGISTRAR-GENERAL GREATER POWERS TO AMEND
THE VOTERS' ROLL
-- REPEAL THE SECTION PERMITTING ABSENTEE BALLOTS
EXCEPT FOR MEMBERS OF THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS AND ILITARY

-- RESTRICT THE PLACEMENT OF POLITICAL OSTERS.



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


ZVBGO HOLDS UP BILLS IN COMMITTEE


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





6. (C) ZANU-PF MP FOR MASVING SOUTH AND CHAIR OF THE
PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMTTEE (PLC) TOLD AMBASSADOR
SULLIVAN AND POLOFF DCEMBER 20 THAT THE POSB, ELECTORAL
ACT AMENDMENT AND ACCESS TO INFORMATION BILL HAVE
SERIOUS CONSITUTIONAL FLAWS. THE POSB, IN PARTICULAR,
WOULDCLEARLY VIOLATE THE CONSTITUTION OF ZIMBABWE. HIS
COMMITTEE, WHICH REVIEWS EVERY PIECE OF LEGISLATON FOR
ITS CONSTITUTIONALITY, IS LIKELY TO ISSUE ADVERSE
REPORTS ON EACH OF THEM. HOWEVER, ZVOBGO SAID THE PLC
HAS NOT HAD ENOUGH TIME TO GIVE THE BILLS THE CAREFUL
REVIEW THEY REQUIRE. HE TOLD THE AMBASSADOR HE WAS
GOING TO INSIST THAT THE PLC BE GIVEN THE FULL 18 DAYS
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 03813 02 OF 03 211114Z
IT NORMALLY HAS TO CONSIDER LEGISLATION. (NOTE: THE
ADJOURNMENT OF PARLIAMENT TO JANUARY 8 WOULD GIVE THE
PLC 19 DAYS, INCLUDING HOLIDAYS. END NOTE.) ACCORDING
TO TAWAMBA, THE PLC HAS ISSUED A ADVERSE REPORT ON THE
LABOR RELATIONS AMENDMENTBILL, WHICH WOULD ALLOW THE
GOZ TO BAN NEARLY AL TYPES OF LABOR ACTIONS, BUT THAT
THE REPORT WASNOT TABLED BEFORE PARLIAMENT.



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


THE SPEAKER SOUNDS OUT ON BILLS


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





7. (C) SPEAKER O PARLIAMENT EMMERSON MNANGAGWA TOLD
THE AMBASSADR DECEMBER 21 THAT THE ZANU-PF CAUCUS HAD
NOT GOE ALONG WITH AN ALTERATION IN ELECTORAL
AMENDMENS TO PERMIT NGO ELECTION MONITORS ALONGSIDE
PUBLI SERVANTS (REFTEL). HE CLAIMED THAT THE MDC IN
HE END ACCEPTED THIS FORMULATION. MNANGAGWA SAID HAT
NONE OF THE DELAYED PIECES OF LEGISLATION WOLD BE
APPROVED DURING THE PARLIAMENTARY ADJOURNMNT. HE
INDICATED, AS WELL, THAT HE HOPED THAT TH SO-CALLED
"ACCESS TO INFORMATION" BILL WOULD NEER BE PASSED AND
VOICED HIS DISDAIN FOR INFORMATON MINISTER JONATHAN
MOYO. MNANGAGWA ALSO PROMIED TO EXPLORE ADDITIONAL
AREAS OF CONCERN EXPRESED BY THE AMBASSADOR: POLITICAL
VIOLENCE AND INTIIDATION, THE "ILLOGICAL" PROHIBITION
OF FOREIGN UNDING OF NGO VOTER EDUCATION, AND THE
POSSIBILIY OF FINDING A CONSENSUS CANDIDATE WITH THE
MDC OR THE SPEAKER'S NOMINEES TO THE ELECTORAL
SUPERISORY COMMISSION.

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 03813 02 OF 03 211114Z


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


COMMENT


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




8. (C) ZVOBGO, WHO HAS BEEN ONE OF MUGABE'S MOST
RECALCITRANT CRITICS IN THE LAST YEAR, IS DOING WAT HE
CAN TO SLOW DOWN THE RULING PARTY'S PASSAG OF
REPRESSIVE LEGISLATION. THE FACT THAT PARLIMENT
ADJOURNED FOR THE HOLIDAYS WITHOUT PASSING TE BILLS IS
TESTAMENT TO ZVOBGO'S LINGERING INFLUNCE IN PARLIAMENT,
AND SHOWS THAT ZANU-PF WAS UNBLE TO BULLDOZE
LEGISLATION PAST THE OPPOSITION S WAS DONE EARLIER THIS
YEAR. HOWEVER, THIS TEMORARY SNAG IN MUGABE'S
ELECTORAL STRATEGY IS LIKEY TO BE OVERCOME WHEN
PARLIAMENT RECONVENES NEXTMONTH SINCE ADVERSE REPORTS
HAVE BEEN IGNORED INTHE PAST. WITH THE PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION LESS TAN THREE MONTHS AWAY, THE RULING PARTY
IS NOT LIKELY TO ALLOW CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES STAND IN
ITS WAY. ON THE OTHER HAND, THE SPEAKER, AND TO A
LESSER EXTENT ZANU-PF, APPEAR MORE INTERESTED THAN
PREVIOUSLY IN DEMONSTRATING SOME FLEXIBILITY TOWARD
INTERNATIONAL, OPPOSITION, AND CIVIL SOCIETY CONCERNS.
END COMMENT.

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ4317

PAGE 01 HARARE 03813 03 OF 03 211115Z
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 PA-00 PC-01 PM-00 PRS-00
ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 IRM-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TRSE-00
USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00
SAS-00 SWCI-00 /010W


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

4EE6CF 211115Z /38
O 211013Z DEC 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0606
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 003813

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/21/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE PARLIAMENT POSTPONES PASSAGE OF
REPRESSIVE LEGISLATION

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 03813 03 OF 03 211115Z
SULLIVAN

CONFIDENTIAL

>