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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06HARARE977
2006-08-03 13:04:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

ZIMBABWE - FY-2006 ESF REQUEST

Tags:  AFIN AMGT EAID ECON PGOV PHUM PREL XA ZI 
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R 031304Z AUG 06
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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0459
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1295
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1143
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1299
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RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1764
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUFGNOA/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1510
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000977 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

AF/S FOR H.SERVIN-BAEZ
SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE
USAID FOR M. COPSON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AFIN AMGT EAID ECON PGOV PHUM PREL XA ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE - FY-2006 ESF REQUEST

REF: REF: STATE 59002

-------------------------------
Overview of FY-2006 ESF Request
-------------------------------



1. (SBU) As stated in the Mission Performance Plan, Zimbabwe
today is a paradox. On the one hand, President Robert Mugabe
and his ruling party have tightened their grip over the
country in the past year and have benefited from the split in
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). On the
other hand, the worsening economy, the increasingly open
succession battle, and growing international isolation are
driving deep wedges into the ruling party. In this context,
we believe the request below is the absolute minimum amount
needed to sustain democratic forces in this country and keep
alive prospects for a national, democratic revival in
Zimbabwe. As Zimbabwe's protracted political crisis
continues, it is essential for the U.S. to maintain support
to democratic forces.



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


FY 2006 ESF Request


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



Elections and Political Processes--$300,000 ($300,000 Annual)



3. (SBU) The anticipated rural council elections will be the
last nationwide elections before the 2008 presidential
election, providing a key testing ground for local election
observers and political parties. The funds requested will
help local election monitors document electoral
irregularities and conduct a parallel vote count. These
funds would also help all democratic political parties
prepare for national elections by developing non-violent
standards of behavior, conducting voter education, and
articulating campaign messages. These activities serve U.S.
policy interests by increasing pressure on the GOZ to hold
free and fair elections. USAID would obligate the funds
through existing mechanisms.

Sustaining Civil Society--$1,670,000 ($1,670,000 Annual)



4. (SBU) The GOZ, convinced that civil society is directly
supporting the opposition party, has stepped up its
surveillance and persecution of the NGO sector. NGO meetings
and workshops are routinely prohibited or interrupted by
security agents. NGO leaders are detained, harassed, and
threatened. The NGO Bill was not signed into law, but the
threat of introducing new draconian legislation to increase
the government's powers to control the funding, registration,
and activities of NGOs remains. Despite government
repression, the NGO sector remains, for now, alive and
energized.



5. (SBU) This allocation would continue and extend Post's
existing activities in support of a wide range of NGOs, both
local and regional, working in the areas of human rights,
legal aid, peace building, civic education, and lobbying.
These funds would sustain these organizations and preserve
independent democratic voices for a time when Zimbabwe is
ready for democratic change. These programs support U.S.
policy in Zimbabwe by ensuring that important vestiges of the
country's democratic infrastructure are not extinguished
until that moment inevitably comes. USAID would obligate the
funds through a US-based nonprofit organization that provides
small grants to local NGOs.

Sustaining Independent Media--$1,000,000 ($1,000,000 Annual)

HARARE 00000977 002 OF 002





6. (SBU) The independent media in Zimbabwe have been badly
damaged by the GOZ's aggressive campaign to stifle criticism,
at home and abroad, of its flawed policies and to prevent the
democratic opposition from communicating with the electorate.
The people of Zimbabwe are desperate for alternative sources
of news, information, and platforms for free speech.



7. (SBU) This allocation would support the continued
existence of the independent media in Zimbabwe. Funds would
support the Voice of America Studio 7 radio program, which
now boosts approximately one million listeners per day.
Aiding the continued existence of independent media in
Zimbabwe directly serves U.S. policy by ensuring checks
against the government monopoly on information and providing
important outlets for opposing viewpoints. USAID would
obligate the funds through VOA.
RAYNOR