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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
01HARARE847
2001-02-26 16:01:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY MODERATES BOYCOTT "SHAM"

Tags:   PGOV  PINR  KDEM  ZI 
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261601Z Feb 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTO5226

PAGE 01        HARARE  00847  261603Z 
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                  ------------------CA6D71  261604Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8297
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
						C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000847 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SA C. PALMA

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 00847 261603Z
PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/26/11
TAGS: PGOV PINR KDEM ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY MODERATES BOYCOTT "SHAM"
PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS


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



1. (C) MODERATES ALIGNED TO MASVINGO ZANU-PF "SUPREMO"
EDDISON ZVOBGO BOYCOTTED FEBRUARY 24'S PROVINCIAL PARTY
ELECTIONS BECAUSE THEY WERE A "SHAM." THE ZANU-PF
FACTION ALIGNED WITH MASVINGO GOVERNOR JOSIAH HUNGWE,
WHO IS AN ALLY OF PRESIDENT MUGABE AND VICE-PRESIDENT
MUZENDA, WERE ELECTED TO THE PARTY'S PROVINCIAL
EXECUTIVE UNOPPOSED. MINISTER OF EDUCATION, SPORTS AND
CULTURE SAMUEL MUMBENGEGWI WAS ELECTED CHAIRMAN OF THE
MASVINGO PARTY STRUCTURE, AND WAR VETERANS WERE ELECTED
TO MOST OTHER KEY POSTS, ACCORDING TO THE FEBRUARY 26
EDITION OF THE GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED "THE HERALD." THE
NEW PROVINCIAL EXECUTIVE REPLACES THE ONE SUSPENDED LAST
YEAR BY THE POLITBURO. MUMBENGEGWI REPLACES LONG-TIME
PROVINCIAL CHAIRMAN DZIKAMAI MAVHAIRE, AN ALLY OF
ZVOBGO.



2. (C) ZVOBGO TOLD CHARGE AND POLOFF FEBRUARY 26 THAT
THE PARTY ELECTIONS WERE "BOGUS" AND FLOUTED ZANU-PF'S
OWN ELECTORAL PROCEDURES, WHICH WAS WHY HIS FACTION DID
NOT PARTICIPATE. ZVOBGO HAD MADE CLEAR TO NATIONAL
CHAIRMAN JOHN NKOMO AND VICE-PRESIDENT JOSEPH MSIKA THAT
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 00847 261603Z
THE "MINIMUM CONDITIONS DID NOT EXIST" FOR HIS
PARTICIPATION, AND THAT HE WOULD NOT BE A CANDIDATE FOR
PROVINCIAL CHAIRMAN. HE TOLD THEM THAT THE ELECTION
WOULD BE A "FRAUD" AND ASKED FOR THE ELECTION TO BE
POSTPONED, BUT PARTY COMMISSAR BORDER GEZI ALLOWED THE
ELECTIONS TO GO FORWARD ANYWAY.



3. (C) ZVOBGO TOLD US THAT THE PARTY DID NOT FOLLOW ITS
OWN PROCEDURES FOR THE ELECTIONS. NORMALLY, EVERY FOUR
YEARS, THE PROVINCIAL LEADERSHIP PREPARES A REPORT ON
THE STATE OF THE PROVINCE AND CONVENES A MEETING OF ALL
LOCAL PARTY LEADERS AND STAKEHOLDERS. AT THIS MEETING,
THE MODALITIES OF NEW ELECTIONS, SUCH AS THE NUMBER OF
ELECTORAL DISTRICTS AND DELEGATES, ARE DETERMINED,
ZVOBGO STATED. THIS TIME, SUCH A MEETING WAS NOT HELD,
AND THE ORGANIZATION OF THE DISTRICTS WAS NOT MADE
AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE. RECORDS WERE REMOVED FROM THE
PARTY OFFICES, AND THE PARTY REGISTER WAS TAMPERED WITH,
ZVOBGO ASSERTED. IN ADDITION, DISTRICT CHAIRMEN--
LOCALLY-ELECTED PARTY REPRESENTATIVES--ARE USUALLY
APPOINTED AS THE DELEGATES WHO ELECT THE PROVINCIAL
LEADERSHIP. THIS TIME, UNELECTED PEOPLE FAVORABLE TO
HUNGWE AND MUZENDA WERE APPOINTED, AND THE LOCAL
CHAIRMEN WERE SIDELINED. ZVOBGO CONCLUDED THAT HIS
FACTION HAD NO CHANCE OF WINNING THE ELECTIONS, AND SO
THEY BOYCOTTED THEM. ZVOBGO DESCRIBED THE NEW
PROVINCIAL LEADERSHIP AS "BOGUS" AND "ILLEGITIMATE."



4. (C) ZVOBGO HAD HOPED THE ELECTIONS WOULD UNITE THE
LONG-DIVIDED PROVINCE, BUT INSTEAD, IT WILL BE MORE
DIVIDED THAN EVER, HE OPINED. THE MASVINGO "SUPREMO"
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PAGE 04 HARARE 00847 261603Z
TOLD US THAT HE SOON PLANS TO HOLD A PROVINCE-WIDE PARTY
CONFERENCE WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF SEVEN DISTRICT
COUNCILS IN WHAT SOUNDS LIKE AN ATTEMPT TO ESTABLISH A
PARALLEL ZANU-PF STRUCTURE IN MASVINGO. ZVOBGO OFFERED
NO OTHER DETAILS ABOUT THE TIMING AND PURPOSE OF THIS
CONFERENCE, BUT SOUGHT FUNDING FROM US TO PULL IT OFF.



5. (C) COMMENT: THE MASVINGO ZANU-PF "ELECTIONS"
PROVIDE YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF MUGABE'S CADRE RUNNING
ROUGHSHOD OVER RULES AND REGULATIONS, EVEN IN ITS OWN
PARTY. EVEN THE NOMINAL DEMOCRATIC STRUCTURES OF ZANU-
PF ARE GIVEN SHORT SHRIFT IN THIS CURRENT LAWLESS
ENVIRONMENT. UNLESS ZVOBGO CAN QUICKLY MARSHALL
PROVINCE-WIDE SUPPORT AT HIS UPCOMING CONFERENCE, HIS
DAYS AS A FORCE IN MASVINGO AND ZANU-PF POLITICS COULD
BE NUMBERED. HE REPRESENTS ONE OF THE ONLY BASTIONS OF
RESISTANCE TO MUGABE'S POLICIES IN ZANU-PF, AND WILL
UNDOUBTEDLY BE THE FOCUS OF THE PRESIDENT'S EFFORTS TO
QUASH DISSENT IN ONE OF ZIMBABWE'S LARGEST AND MOST
IMPORTANT PROVINCES. END COMMENT.

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

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