Jonathan Moyo holds balance of power


0

Tsholotsho legislator Jonathan Moyo held the balance of power in Parliament after Movement for Democratic Change chairman Lovemore Moyo was elected Speaker because the MDC-T now had 99 seats against the Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front’s 98.

Moyo could vote with ZANU-PF and they would both have 99.

Real power, however, rested with the smaller faction of the MDC which had 10 seats as they could sway the vote whichever way they wanted.

It was largely the rebels from the MDC-M who brought Moyo into power after the legislators defied party leader Arthur Mutambara to vote for Moyo instead of the party candidate Paul Themba Nyathi.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08HARARE819, OPPOSITION PARTY CONTROL OF PARLIAMENT AT RISK

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE819

2008-09-11 11:20

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO0539

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0819/01 2551120

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 111120Z SEP 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3419

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2277

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2397

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0922

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1674

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2030

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2451

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4883

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1546

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000819

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR G. GARLAND

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E. LOKEN AND L. DOBBINS

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/03/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: OPPOSITION PARTY CONTROL OF PARLIAMENT AT RISK

 

REF: A. HARARE 730

B. HARARE 741

 

Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4 (d)

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) The one-seat advantage MDC-Tsvangirai maintains over

ZANU-PF in Zimbabwe’s House of Assembly is at stake in

upcoming by-elections for two vacant parliamentary seats.

Matobo North in Matabeleland is likely to be a closely

contested campaign, while the Gokwe-Gumunyu seat in Midlands

will probably remain squarely in ZANU-PF’s camp. Although

there have not yet been reports of regime-directed

intimidation, ZANU-PF has begun mobilizing in Matobo-North.

Additionally, two MDC-T parliamentarians remain in police

custody, awaiting hearings before the High Court. END SUMMARY.

 

——————————————–

ZANU-PF and MDC-T Evenly Matched in Assembly

——————————————–

 

2. (SBU) When Lovemore Moyo was elected Speaker of the House

of Assembly on August 25 (reftel A) the MDC-Tsvangirai

(MDC-T) parliamentarian was forced to relinquish his Matobo

North seat in Zimbabwe’s Parliament, triggering what is

expected to be a hotly contested campaign in Matabeleland

South. With the loss of Moyo’s seat, the MDC-T currently has

a single-seat advantage over ZANU-PF in Zimbabwe’s lower

house. MDC-T is reduced to 99 seats and ZANU-PF has 98

seats. This slight advantage is negated by the lone

“independent” Jonathan Moyo, who is expected to vote along

ZANU-PF lines.

 

3. (SBU) The MDC-Mutambara faction (MDC-M) has 10 seats and

will continue to be a determining factor for control of

Parliament. It appears that seven or eight of these MPs

defied Arthur Mutambara on August 25 and voted for Lovemore

Moyo to be the House Speaker. Despite that vote, uncertainty

remains about the longer-term voting strategies of this bloc,

making the by-elections for the two vacant Matobo North and

Gokwe-Gumunyu seats critically important. Dates for the

by-elections are expected to be announced shortly.

 

——————————————— —-

Matobo North Race Close; Increasing ZANU Activity

——————————————— —-

 

4. (SBU) Just as in the case of the Assembly, control of

Matobo North will probably be determined by what the MDC-M

decides to do. Should MDC-M choose to field a candidate in

Matobo North, the MDC vote would be split which might result

in a ZANU-PF victory. In the March election, Lovemore Moyo

won his seat by a margin of only about 400 votes. In that

election, the MDC-M ran a candidate who finished third, but

had a strong showing. While the MDC-M’s intentions are as of

yet unknown to us, it is a given that the MDC-T will be

challenged to find as senior and well-known a candidate to

campaign as Lovemore Moyo.

 

5. (C) In recognition of the importance of Matobo North,

ZANU-PF has begun preparing for the campaign. In a meeting

on September 4 between the Ambassador and Lovemore Moyo, the

newly-elected Speaker warned that while currently there was

not any violence or intimidation in Matobo, ZANU-PF was

mobilizing in the region. Justina Mukoko, director of the

independent NGO Zimbabwe Peace Project, confirmed that their

monitors had seen ZANU-PF organizers setting up bases in

Matobo North.

 

HARARE 00000819 002 OF 002

 

 

 

———————————–

Gokwe Seat Likely to Remain ZANU-PF

———————————–

 

6. (SBU) The seat in Gokwe-Gumunyu, that was vacated by the

death of ZANU-PF MP Ephrem Mushoriwa is expected to remain in

ZANU hands following the upcoming by-election. In the March

29 election, Mushoriwa easily carried Gokwe-Gumunyu with 56

percent of the vote to the MDC-T candidate’s 36 percent.

Following the twin embarrassments of losing majority status

in Parliament and losing the selection for Speaker of the

House of Assembly, ZANU-PF can be expected to employ tactics

such as intimidation and politicization of food to maintain

this seat.

 

7. (C) John Makamure, the director of the Center for

International Development*a U.S.-funded organization that

provides legislative training to the Zimbabwean

Parliament*told poloff on September 9 that ZANU-PF was

likely to employ youth militia and war veterans to intimidate

and harass MDC supporters and eliminate any possibility for

MDC to campaign. Makamure, who was also formerly a resident

of Gokwe, anticipated that its voters would fall in line

behind local ZANU-PF chiefs and would re-elect a ruling party

candidate. Neither party has yet to announce their

candidates for the Gokwe-Gumunyu seat.

 

—————————————–

Meanwhile, Detention of MDC MPs Continues

—————————————–

 

8. (SBU) The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has continued to

harass and arrest MDC-T MPs (reftel B). According to attorney

Alec Muchadehama, who is defending the arrested MPs, there

are currently two MDC-T MPs in police custody: Bednock

Nyaude, Bindura South; and Pearson Mungofa, Highfield East.

Both were granted bail by magistrates; however, the

government appealed those decisions, and they were remanded

to jail, pending a hearing before the High Court.

 

9. (SBU) Eliah Jembere (the MDC-T MP arrested on rape charges

the morning of Parliament’s swearing-in) was released by the

ZRP last week. Muchadehama told us that the police returned

to Jembere’s residence at 03:00 on September 8, but he was

not home. They took his wife into custody instead, but

released her that same day. We have repeatedly heard from

regular Embassy contacts that the rape charges against

Jembere are trumped-up and unlikely to lead to a conviction.

In fact, charges against MDC MPs have routinely been

dismissed for lack of evidence.

 

10. (SBU) Under Zimbabwean law, if an MP is not present for

21 consecutive days while Parliament is in session, the MP

loses his seat and a by-election is held. However, Speaker

Lovemore Moyo would likely adjourn Parliament if an MDC-T MP

was in danger of losing his seat due to continued police

detention.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

11. (C) The loss of Parliament was a shock to ZANU-PF and we

expect the party will do what it can to regain a

parliamentary majority. A ZANU-PF/MDC power-sharing

agreement that resulted in a more relaxed political

environment could make these efforts more difficult. END

COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

(11 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHARETweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email
Print this page
Print

Like it? Share with your friends!

0
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.

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *