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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
01HARARE662 2001-02-07 15:59:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

MUGABE PROBABLY WILL WIN ILLEGITIMATE ELECTION IN

Tags:   PGOV PHUM PINS 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.

071559Z Feb 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ1425

PAGE 01        HARARE  00662  01 OF 02  071600Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   AMAD-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   IO-00    LAB-01   
      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   SWCI-00    /010W
                  ------------------C249A9  071601Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8185
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 000662 

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: DECL. 02/05/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR ZI
SUBJECT: MUGABE PROBABLY WILL WIN ILLEGITIMATE ELECTION IN
2002


CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 00662 01 OF 02 071600Z
REF: HARARE 644

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D'AFFAIRES EARL IRVING. REASONS: 1.5
(B) AND (D).

SUMMARY
-------



1. (C) UNIVERSITY OF ZIMBABWE RESEARCH FELLOW BRIAN
RAFTOPOULOS TOLD CHARGE AND POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF ON
FEBRUARY 1 THAT, IN PREPARATION FOR THE 2002 PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION, ZANU-PF WILL EMPLOY INCREASED VIOLENCE AGAINST
THE OPPOSITION PARTY MOVEMENT FOR DQOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC),
INDEPENDENT MEDIA, AND JUDICIARY, AND WILL WORK TO
NEUTRALIZE THE LABOR MOVEMENT AS A KEY SOURCE OF SUPPORT
AND ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY FOR THE MDC. PRESIDENT MUGABE,
RAFTOPOULOS BELIEVES, WILL SECURE VICTORY IN 2002 BY ANY
MEANS NECESSARY, AND THE MDC MUST DECIDE NOW HOW IT WILL
RESPOND TO MUGABE'S WINNING AN ILLEGITIMATE ELECTION. FOR
ITS PART, THE MDC SHOULD FOCUS ON GETTING ITS SUPPORTERS
REGISTERED, ENSURING AN ACCURATE VOTERS' ROLL, AND
MOBILIZING RURAL VOTERS, AS WELL AS CULTIVATING SUPPORT
WITHIN THE ARMY AND POLICE. END SUMMARY.



2. (U) CHARGE D'AFFAIRES, ACCOMPANIED BY POLITICAL SECTION
CHIEF AND LABOFF, MET ON FEBRUARY 1 WITH BRIAN RAFTOPOULOS,
RESEARCH FELLOW AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ZIMBABWE'S INSTITUTE
OF DEVELOPMENT STUDIES AND AN ASTUTE OBSERVER OF ZIMBABWE'S
POLITICAL SCENE.

ZANU-PF'S STRATEGY FOR 2002
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 00662 01 OF 02 071600Z


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





3. (C) ACCORDING TO RAFTOPOULOS, ZANU-PF WILL EMPLOY A
MULTI-FACETED STRATEGY IN PREPARATION FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION IN 2002. FIRST, HE SAID, THE MID-JANUARY
PARLIAMENTARY BY-ELECTION IN BIKITA CONFIRMED THE RULING
PARTY'S DETERMINATION TO USE A SIGNIFICANT DEGREE OF
VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION TO COW OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS AND
REVEALED ITS INTENTION TO USE TRADITIONAL LEADERS TO
MOBILIZE THE PARTY'S SUPPORT BASE. THE PARTY, HOWEVER,
DOES NOT HAVE THE CAPACITY TO DEPLOY ITS SHOCK TROOPS OF
WAR VETERANS AND RENT-A-THUGS NATIONWIDE, AND WILL LIKELY
TARGET ITS CAMPAIGN MOST INTENSELY IN THE PROVINCES OF
MASHONALAND AND MASVINGO.



4. (C) THE RESEARCH FELLOW SAID HE FULLY EXPECTS ZANU-PF
TO CONTINUE TO INTIMIDATE THE INDEPENDENT MEDIA AND TO
CREATE AS DIFFICULT AN OPERATING ENVIRONMENT FOR THEM AS
POSSIBLE, LIKELY INVOLVING BOTH PHYSICAL AND FINANCIAL
HARASSMENT. HE POINTED TO THE JANUARY 28 BOMBING OF THE
PRINTING PLANT OF THE INDEPENDENT "DAILY NEWS" AS THE
OPENING SHOT IN THIS COMPONENT OF THE CAMPAIGN. IN
ADDITION, RAFTOPOULOS PREDICTED THAT ZANU-PF WOULD CONTINUE
TO PRESSURE THE CURRENT JUSTICES OF THE SUPREME COURT INTO
LEAVING SO THAT THEY CAN BE REPLACED WITH MORE SYMPATHETIC
JURISTS. (COMMENT: EMBOFFS SPOKE WITH RAFTOPOULOS THE DAY
BEFORE THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHIEF JUSTICE GUBBAY'S FORCED
RESIGNATION, REPORTED REFTEL. END COMMENT.)



5. (C) RAFTOPOULOS SAID HE EXPECTS ZANU-PF WILL SHORTLY
TURN UP THE HEAT ON THE MDC'S LEADERSHIP. THE POLICE, HE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 00662 01 OF 02 071600Z
NOTED, CONTINUE TO HOLD OUT THE POSSIBILITY OF PROSECUTING
MDC PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI FOR HIS REMARKS IN OCTOBER
PREDICTING THAT PRESIDENT MUGABE WOULD BE REMOVED FROM
OFFICE VIOLENTLY BY AN ANGRY, FRUSTRATED POPULATION IF HE
DOES NOT DEPART OF HIS OWN ACCORD. RAFTOPOULOS ANTICIPATED
THAT ZANU-PF LIKELY WOULD ALSO "GO AFTER" OTHER KEY
OPPOSITION OFFICIALS, INCLUDING YOUTH LEADERS. (NOTE:
RAFTOPOULOS'S PREDICTION PROVED PROPHETIC, AS THREE SENIOR
MDC LEADERS, INCLUDING THE OPPOSITION PARTY'S NATIONAL
YOUTH DIRECTOR, WERE ARRESTED AND OR/BEATEN FOUR DAYS
LATER, ON FEBRUARY 5. END NOTE.) IN ADDITION, THE RULING
PARTY IS ACTIVELY SEEKING TO NEUTRALIZE THE LABOR MOVEMENT
AS A SOURCE OF SUPPORT AND ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY FOR THE
MDC (DETAILS OF THE CONVERSATION RELATED TO THE LABOR
MOVEMENT ARE REPORTED SEPTEL).



6. (C) ASKED HIS PREDICTION OF THE LIKELIEST SCENARIO FOR
THE 2002 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, RAFTOPOULOS STATED WITHOUT
HESITATION THAT PRESIDENT MUGABE WOULD WIN AN ILLEGITIMATE
ELECTION. CLARIFYING, RAFTOPOULOS SAID THE PRESIDENT DOES
NOT HAVE THE SUPPORT TO WIN A FREE AND FAIR ELECTION, SO
WILL ACHIEVE VICTORY "BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY." IN THE
MEANTIME, IF THE HIGH COURT ORDERS THE HOLDING OF BY-
ELECTIONS IN RESPONSE TO PENDING LEGAL CHALLENGES BY THE
MDC TO THE RESULTS IN 37 CONSTITUENCIES IN LAST JUNE'S

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ1427

PAGE 01 HARARE 00662 02 OF 02 071601Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-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 IO-00 LAB-01
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 IRM-00
STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02
G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 SWCI-00 /010W


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

C249B8 071601Z /38
P 071559Z FEB 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8186
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 000662

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: DECL. 02/05/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR ZI
SUBJECT: MUGABE PROBABLY WILL WIN ILLEGITIMATE ELECTION IN
2002

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 00662 02 OF 02 071601Z
ELECTION, MUGABE WILL LIKELY WORK TO MARGINALIZE PARLIAMENT
AND GOVERN PRINCIPALLY BY DECREE.

MDC'S STRATEGY FOR 2002


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





7. (C) ZANU-PF'S TACTICS OF INTIMIDATION AND HARASSMENT,
RAFTOPOULOS CONTENDED, MAKE IT EXTREMELY DIFFICULT FOR THE
MDC TO DEVELOP SLOWLY AND PATIENTLY INTO A GENUINE, MATURE,
AND EFFECTIVE OPPOSITION PARTY. THE MDC DOES NOT HAVE THE
RESOURCES EITHER TO CONFRONT HEAD-ON STATE-SPONSORED
VIOLENCE OR TO CONTEST EFFECTIVELY NUMEROUS BY-ELECTIONS.
THE MDC, RAFTOPOULOS SUGGESTED, SHOULD THUS FOCUS ITS
CAMPAIGN STRATEGY ON SEVERAL KEY ISSUES. FIRST AND
FOREMOST, IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT THE PARTY PAY CLOSE
ATTENTION TO ELECTION MECHANICS, PARTICULARLY GETTING ITS
SUPPORTERS REGISTERED AND ENSURING THAT THE VOTERS ROLL IS
COMPILED IN A TRANSPARENT AND ACCURATE MANNER. THE MDC
MUST ALSO WORK HARD TO MOBILIZE OLDER RURAL VOTERS, WHO
HISTORICALLY HAVE VOTED OVERWHELMINGLY FOR ZANU-PF.



8. (C) RAFTOPOULOS SAID HE DID NOT HAVE A GOOD FEEL FOR
THE ARMY'S POSITION ON RECENT DEVELOPMENTS, BUT EMPHASIZED
THAT THE MDC SHOULD BE WORKING TO NURTURE ALTERNATIVE
VOICES WITHIN THE MILITARY AND POLICE. THE OPPOSITION
PARTY, RAFTOPOULOS CONTINUED, MUST ALSO ACCEPT THAT MUGABE
WILL MAKE GOOD ON HIS VOW NEVER TO PERMIT THE MDC TO RULE
ZIMBABWE, AND STRATEGIZE NOW HOW IT WILL RESPOND IF THE
PRESIDENT STEALS THE 2002 ELECTION.

DROC
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 00662 02 OF 02 071601Z


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





9. (C) RAFTOPOULOS BELIEVES THAT ZIMBABWEAN OFFICIALS, UP
TO AND INCLUDING PRESIDENT MUGABE, WERE RELIEVED BY LAURENT
KABILA'S DEATH, AS THE ASSASSINATED CONGOLESE PRESIDENT HAD
BECOME A PROBLEM FOR EVERYONE, INCLUDING HIS SADC ALLIES,
AND HAD POSED THE PRIMARY OBSTACLE TO PEACE. HE SURMISED
THAT GOZ OFFICIALS CONSIDERED THE ASSASSINATION AN IDEAL
OPPORTUNITY TO WITHDRAW ZIMBABWEAN TROOPS AND WOULD NOW
PRESS AGGRESSIVELY FOR THE QUICK DEPLOYMENT OF THE
REMAINDER OF MONUC FORCES. HE AGREED THAT ZIMBABWE SEEMS
TO HAVE ABDICATED THE UPPER HAND IN THE DRC TO THE
ANGOLANS. ONE OF THE PRIMARY DOMESTIC CONSEQUENCES OF THE
WAR IN DRC IS INCREASING REPRESSION HERE, AS THE GOZ SEEKS
TO DENY THE MDC THE ABILITY TO CAPITALIZE ON WIDESPREAD
RESENTMENT AMONG ZIMBABWEANS OF THEIR GOVERNMENT'S
ENTANGLEMENT IN THIS COMPLICATED CONFLICT.

COMMENT


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





10. (C) RAFTOPOULOS IS ONE OF ZIMBABWE'S BEST THINKERS AND
HAS AN UNCANNY KNACK FOR PREDICTING EVENTS THAT COME TO
PASS. BECAUSE HE IS NOT IDENTIFIED WITH ANY POLITICAL
PARTY AND IS ABLE TO STEP BACK FROM THE FRAY, WE CONSULT
HIM TO FILL LACUNAE IN OUR CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK ON
POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN ZIMBABWE. AT THIS WRITING, WE
AGREE WITH HIS ASSESSMENT THAT MUGABE COULD WELL WIN IN
2002, AMASSING THE NECESSARY MAJORITY OF VOTES IN HIS
TRADITIONAL BEDROCK OF SUPPORT, THE MASHONALAND-MASVINGO
AXIS, AND IN INTIMIDATING LARGE NUMBERS OF OPPOSITION
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 00662 02 OF 02 071601Z
SUPPORTERS IN THE URBAN AREAS, THE MDC'S STRONGHOLD, INTO
STAYING HOME ON ELECTION DAY. BARRING SOME EXTERNAL SHOCK
TO THE SYSTEM AND ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL, THIS LOOKS
LIKE A DEPRESSINGLY WINNING STRATEGY FROM OUR VANTAGE
POINT. END COMMENT.

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

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