Chinamasa wanted NGOs barred from voter education


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Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa proposed in 2001 that the Electoral Supervisory Commission should have the sole responsibility for carrying out voter education in the country.

He also wanted foreign funding for voter education to be banned unless the money went through the ESC.

The move was aimed at stopping foreign non-governmental organisations from conducting voter education.

Local NGOs could only carry out voter education if they were registered with the ESC, but they had to disclose their sources of funding.

Even political parties had to use modules developed by the Commission.

 

Full cable:

Viewing cable 01HARARE2505, JUSTICE MINISTER ANNOUNCES MOVE TO LIMIT CIVIC

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE2505

2001-08-24 09:47

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

240947Z Aug 01

 

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED     PTO9162

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02505 240956Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 EB-00

EUR-00   UTED-00 H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   LAB-01

L-00     NSAE-00 OIC-02   OPIC-01 CAEX-01 PRS-00   P-00

SP-00   SS-00   STR-00   TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 R-00

PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     SAS-00   SWCI-00   /009W

——————15F607 240956Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9543

INFO NSC WASHDC

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

UNCLAS HARARE 002505

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF/S (DELISI, KRAFT), AF/PD (SANDERS, ROBERTSON,

COX), AF (BELLAMY)

 

NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER

 

LONDON FOR GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: JUSTICE MINISTER ANNOUNCES MOVE TO LIMIT CIVIC

EDUCATION

 

 

1.   STATE-CONTROLLED ZIMBABWE BROADCASTING CORPORATION

TELEVISION AND RADIO, AND THE STATE-CONTROLLED DAILY

“HERALD,” REPORTED ON AUGUST 22 AND 23 THAT MINISTER OF

JUSTICE PATRICK CHINAMASA WILL PROPOSE LIMITS ON CIVIC

EDUCATION ACTIVITIES IN ZIMBABWE.

 

2.  UNDER THE HEADLINE “ESC TO APPROVE ALL VOTER

EDUCATION, THE AUGUST 23 “HERALD” REPORTED “.THE MINISTER.

HAS PROPOSED THAT THE ELECTORAL SUPERVISORY COMMISSION

(ESC) SHOULD HAVE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF CARRYING OUT VOTER

EDUCATION AHEAD OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION NEXT YEAR.

CHINAMASA SAID HE WILL PROPOSE TO CABINET A POLICY THAT

WOULD ENSURE THAT THE INFORMATION IS DISSEMINATED IN A

NEUTRAL, ACCURATE AND INFORMED MANNER… SOME OF

RECOMMENDATIONS TO BE PUT BEFORE CABINET INCLUDE THE

BANNING OF FOREIGN FUNDING FOR VOTER EDUCATION, EXCEPT WHEN

CHANNELED THROUGH THE ELECTORAL SUPERVISORY COMMISSION.

THIS WOULD PROHIBIT FOREIGN NGOS FROM CONDUCTING VOTER

EDUCATION AND PERMIT LOCAL NGOS TO CONDUCT THE EDUCATION

ONLY AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN REGISTERED BY THE ESC. HOWEVER,

NGOS WOULD NEED TO COMPLY WITH CONDITIONS SET BY THE ESC TO

DISCLOSE SOURCES OF FUNDING. ALL VOTER EDUCATION MODULES

WOULD ALSO BE APPROVED BY THE ESC.   ALL POLITICAL PARTIES

WILL BE ALLOWED TO CONDUCT VOTER EDUCATION BUT USING

MODULES DEVELOPED BY THE COMMISSION.”

 

3.   ACCORDING TO THE “HERALD” STORY, CHINAMASA WENT ON TO

SAY THAT THESE CHANGES WERE IN RESPONSE TO THE

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02505 240956Z

“.REALIZATION THAT SOME NGOS WERE APPROACHING PEOPLE UNDER

THE GUISE OF PROVIDING NEUTRAL EDUCATION, THEREBY GAINING

THE PEOPLE’S CONFIDENCE AND ABUSING THE TRUST BY

INFLUENCING THE ELECTORATE.”

 

4.   CHINAMASA’S COMMENTS WERE MADE DURING PARLIAMENTARY

QUESTION TIME ON AUGUST 22, IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST FROM

THE MDC CHIEF WHIP TO CLARIFY THE GOVERNMENT’S POSITION ON

VOTER EDUCATION CONDUCTED BY NGOS.

 

ROTH

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

>

 

(20 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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