Embassy complains about expulsion of observers


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The United States embassy complained about the expulsion of two members of the International Foundation for Election Systems arguing that they had been assured by Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa that Zimbabwe would welcome international observers.

The two were asked to leave the country by the Department of Immigration.

They were in the country to conduct an initial assessment of the government's preparations for the presidential elections, in anticipation of launching their own independent election observation effort.

IFES’s objective was to be able to provide an independent assessment of the conduct of the presidential elections, including the pre-election period.

The officials had made several efforts to meet with key government officials responsible for overseeing elections, including the registrar-general, to explain their purpose in visiting Zimbabwe but were unsuccessful.

According to the embassy IFES is not part of the United States government but receives funding from the government and a variety of other donors.

 

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 01HARARE2710, DIPLOMATIC NOTE TO GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE CONCERNING IFES

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE2710

2001-09-14 10:40

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

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

 

141040Z Sep 01

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ3018

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02710 141157Z

ACTION L-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AF-00   AMAD-00 CPR-02   SRPP-00 EUR-00

UTED-00 TEDE-00 LAB-01   PA-00   PRS-00   SSC-01   SS-00

TEST-00 USIE-00 R-00     DRL-02   SAS-00     /006W

——————1F2DAD 141157Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9716

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

UNCLAS HARARE 002710

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. N/A

TAGS: OPDC ZI

SUBJECT: DIPLOMATIC NOTE TO GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE CONCERNING IFES

EXPULSION

 

REF: HARARE 2690

 

1. (SBU) AFTER THE DE FACTO EXPULSION OF THE TEAM FROM THE

INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR ELECTION SYSTEMS (REFTEL), POST SENT

THE FOLLOWING DIPLOMATIC NOTE EXPRESSING OUR CONCERN TO THE

GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE.

 

2. (SBU) BEGIN TEXT:

 

THE EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PRESENTS ITS

COMPLIMENTS TO THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF

ZIMBABWE, AND EXPRESSES ITS CONCERN THAT A TWO-MEMBER TEAM FROM

THE INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR ELECTION SYSTEMS (IFES) HAS BEEN

ASKED TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY BY THE DEPARTMENT OF IMMIGRATION. IFES

IS A HIGHLY-RESPECTED, INTERNATIONALLY-RECOGNIZED NON-GOVERNMENTAL

ORGANIZATION HEADQUARTERED IN WASHINGTON, DC. THE ORGANIZATION IS

NOT PART OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT BUT RECEIVES FUNDING FROM

THE UNITED STATES AND A VARIETY OF OTHER DONORS. IT HAS WORKED

WORLD-WIDE OBSERVING ELECTIONS, INCLUDING U.S. ELECTIONS, AND

CREATING LINKAGES BETWEEN ELECTORAL COMMISSIONS. IFES HAS EMERGED

AS A FINALIST IN THE COMPETITION TO EXAMINE THE STATE OF FLORIDA'S

ELECTORAL LAWS, WITH AN EYE TO PREVENTING FUTURE CONTROVERSIES

SUCH AS THE ONE REPORTED ON DURING THE 2000 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL

VOTING IN THAT STATE.

 

THE TWO INDIVIDUALS FROM IFES, BOTH OF WHOM ARE AMERICAN CITIZENS,

WERE HERE TO CONDUCT AN INITIAL ASSESSMENT OF YOUR GOVERNMENT'S

PREPARATIONS FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, IN ANTICIPATION OF

LAUNCHING THEIR OWN INDEPENDENT ELECTION OBSERVATION EFFORT.

IFES'S OBJECTIVE IS TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE AN INDEPENDENT

ASSESSMENT OF THE CONDUCT OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, INCLUDING

THE PRE-ELECTION PERIOD.   TOWARD THAT END, WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE

IFES OFFICIALS MADE SEVERAL EFFORTS TO MEET WITH KEY GOVERNMENT

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02710 141157Z

OFFICIALS RESPONSIBLE FOR OVERSEEING ELECTIONS, INCLUDING THE

REGISTRAR-GENERAL, TO EXPLAIN THEIR PURPOSE IN VISITING ZIMBABWE,

BUT WERE UNSUCCESSFUL.

 

TO THEIR SURPRISE, THE TEAM MEMBERS WERE SUBSEQUENTLY ASKED BY THE

DEPARTMENT OF IMMIGRATION TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY TWO DAYS EARLIER

THAN THEIR PLANNED DEPARTURE DATES ALTHOUGH, TO THE BEST OF THEIR

KNOWLEDGE, THEY WERE IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THEIR

BUSINESS VISAS.

 

WE ARE CONCERNED BY THE TREATMENT GIVEN TO THE IFES TEAM. THE

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT STRONGLY SUPPORTS THE ORGANIZATION'S

EFFORTS TO DISCUSS A WORK PLAN WITH RELEVANT OFFICIALS HERE AND

POINTS OUT THAT AN ASSESSMENT OF ZIMBABWE'S ELECTORAL PROCESS BY

SUCH A BROADLY-RESPECTED ORGANIZATION KNOWN FOR ITS INTEGRITY,

INDEPENDENCE, AND ELECTION EXPERTISE CAN BE A CRUCIAL, POSITIVE

ELEMENT IN SHAPING THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY'S PERCEPTION OF

ZIMBABWE'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.   IN JUNE AND AUGUST, SPEAKER OF

PARLIAMENT EMMERSON MNANGAGWA ASSURED US ON TWO OCCASIONS THAT THE

GOZ WOULD WELCOME INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS, AND THUS WE WERE

PARTICULARLY SURPRISED BY THE WAY IN WHICH THE IFES TEAM'S CASE

HAS BEEN HANDLED.

 

WE WOULD APPRECIATE CLARIFICATION FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE

CONCERNING THE PROCEDURES IFES MUST FOLLOW IN ORDER TO CONTINUE

WITH THEIR ACTIVITIES IN ZIMBABWE.

 

THE EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AVAILS ITSELF OF THIS

OPPORTUNITY TO RENEW TO THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE

REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE THE ASSURANCES OF ITS HIGHEST CONSIDERATION.

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 02710 141157Z

EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

HARARE, SEPTEMBER 13, 2001.

 

END TEXT.

 

ROTH

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

>

 

(22 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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