MDC sweeps Bulawayo elections


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The Movement for Democratic Change swept the September 8-9 elections in Bulawayo, winning the mayoral race and all seven city council seats under contention by a landslide.

MDC’s mayoral candidate, Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, won 83 percent of the votes cast representing 60 988 votes while ZANU-PF George Mlilo garnered only 17 percent, 12 783 votes.

This was the first direct popular election for the mayorship of Bulawayo. Previous mayors were appointed or selected by other councillors.

However, there was some disturbing news when reports said three shots were fired in the general direction of a group of senior MDC officials which included vice-President Gibson Sibanda, secretary-general Welshman Ncube, director for elections Paul Themba-Nyathi, and national treasurer Fletcher Dulini.

No one was injured.

MDC spokesman Learnmore Jongwe described the incident as a “naked attempt to assassinate the vice-president.”

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 01HARARE2678, MDC WINS BULAWAYO IN LANDSLIDE BUT LOSES MAKONI WEST

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE2678

2001-09-12 09:09

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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

 

120909Z Sep 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6394

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02678 01 OF 02 120925Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 CIAE-00 INL-00   DODE-00

SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00

INR-00   IO-00   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02

OMB-01   OPIC-01 CAEX-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00

P-00     SP-00   IRM-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00

DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /010W

——————1DD89A 120925Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9687

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 002678

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 09/12/11

TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: MDC WINS BULAWAYO IN LANDSLIDE BUT LOSES MAKONI WEST

PARLIAMENTARY SEAT

 

 

CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF MATT HARRINGTON. REASONS:

1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

REF: A) HARARE 2666 B) HARARE 2642

 

BULAWAYO

——–

 

1. (U) AS EXPECTED, THE OPPOSITION MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE

(MDC) SWEPT THE SEPTEMBER 8-9 ELECTIONS IN BULAWAYO, WINNING THE

MAYORAL RACE AND ALL SEVEN CITY COUNCIL SEATS UNDER CONTENTION BY

A LANDSLIDE. THE MDC’S MAYORAL CANDIDATE, JAPHET NDABENI-NCUBE,

WON 83 PERCENT OF THE VOTES CAST (REPRESENTING 60,988 VOTES),

WHILE ZANU-PF’S GEORGE MLILO GARNERED ONLY 17 PERCENT (12,783

VOTES).   THIS WAS THE FIRST DIRECT POPULAR ELECTION FOR THE

MAYORSHIP OF BULAWAYO; PREVIOUS MAYORS WERE APPOINTED OR SELECTED

BY THE CITY COUNCIL.   AN ECSTATIC NDABENI-NCUBE TOLD JOURNALISTS

AFTER HIS VICTORY WAS ANNOUNCED, “WE ARE REALLY ON THE ROAD TO

DEMOCRATIC CHANGE. THIS IS A VICTORY FOR THE PEOPLE OF BULAWAYO.”

THE OPPOSITION PARTY WON ALL SEVEN COUNCIL SEATS BY HUGE MARGINS,

GARNERING 72 PERCENT OF THE VOTE IN THE CLOSEST WARD AND 85

PERCENT IN THE MDC’S MOST CONVINCING WIN. THE MDC NOW HOLDS NINE

OF THE 29 SEATS ON BULAWAYO’S CITY COUNCIL (ZANU-PF CONTROLS 17

AND THE REMAINING 3 SEATS ARE HELD BY INDEPENDENTS).

 

2. (C) THE RESULTS WERE MARRED BY SOME VIOLENCE AND THE REPORTED

HARASSMENT OF MDC OFFICIALS, INCLUDING NDABENI-NCUBE HIMSELF. AS

NEWS SPREAD THAT THE MDC HAD WON ALL SEVEN CITY COUNCIL SEATS,

GROUPS OF WAR VETERANS AND ZANU-PF YOUTHS RAMPAGED THROUGH SEVERAL

STREETS IN BULAWAYO. ACCORDING TO PRESS REPORTS, THE GROUPS BEAT

AND STONED THOSE SUSPECTED OF BEING AN OPPOSITION SUPPORTER;

DOZENS OF CARS WERE REPORTEDLY STONED AND SOME PROPERTY WAS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02678 01 OF 02 120925Z

DAMAGED. ARMED RIOT POLICE WERE DEPLOYED TO DISPERSE THE GROUPS.

SHARI EPPEL, DIRECTOR OF THE BULAWAYO BRANCH OF THE RESPECTED

HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION AMANI TRUST, TOLD POLITICAL SECTION

CHIEF THAT TEN PEOPLE WERE INJURED IN THE MELEE, ONE OF WHOM WAS

HOSPITALIZED WITH A SERIOUS STAB WOUND. ASKED WHETHER THE VICTIMS

WERE PREDOMINANTLY SUPPORTERS OF ONE POLITICAL PARTY, EPPEL SAID

THEY ALL APPEARED TO BE INNOCENT PASSERS-BY.

 

3. (U) IN WHAT APPEARED TO BE PRIMARILY A CASE OF SOUR GRAPES,

NDABENI-NCUBE WAS ACCUSED BY POLICE OF BRIBING A VOTER WHEN HE

HANDED A Z$20 NOTE (EQUIVALENT TO SIX U.S. CENTS) TO HIS UNCLE TO

BUY A DRINK, WHILE HIS UNCLE WAS WAITING TO CAST HIS BALLOT. THE

PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE DECLINED TO PROSECUTE.   MORE DISTURBING,

DURING THE EVENING OF SEPTEMBER 9, THREE SHOTS WERE FIRED IN THE

GENERAL DIRECTION OF A GROUP OF SENIOR MDC OFFICIALS WHICH

INCLUDED VICE-PRESIDENT GIBSON SIBANDA, SECRETARY-GENERAL WELSHMAN

NCUBE, DIRECTOR FOR ELECTIONS PAUL THEMBA-NYATHI, AND NATIONAL

TREASURER FLETCHER DULINI. FORTUNATELY, NO ONE WAS INJURED. MDC

SPOKESMAN LEARNMORE JONGWE DESCRIBED THE INCIDENT AS A “NAKED

ATTEMPT TO ASSASSINATE THE VICE-PRESIDENT.”   WE ARE NOT

COMFORTABLE WITH THIS CHARACTERIZATION ABSENT ANY INDEPENDENT

CORROBORATION.

 

MAKONI WEST

———–

 

4. (C) ZANU-PF’S GIBSON MUNYORO EASILY WON THE PARLIAMENTARY BY-

ELECTION IN MAKONI WEST WITH 62 PERCENT OF THE VOTE (10,610

VOTES), DEFEATING THE MDC’S REMUS MAKUWAZA, WHO GARNERED 34

PERCENT (5841 VOTES). THREE THOUSAND FEWER VOTERS CAST THEIR

BALLOTS THAN IN THE JUNE 2000 PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION; THE MDC

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 02678 01 OF 02 120925Z

SECURED 1515 FEWER VOTES THIS TIME WHILE ZANU-PF RECEIVED 528

FEWER VOTES. THE DECLINE IN VOTER TURNOUT MAY BE EXPLAINED BY THE

FACT THAT THIS WAS A BY-ELECTION. WE SUSPECT THAT MANY RESIDENTS

DID NOT BELIEVE IT WAS WORTH MAKING THE SIGNIFICANT EFFORT TO GET

TO THE NEAREST POLLING STATION WHEN THE STAKES DID NOT APPEAR

PARTICULARLY HIGH. PRE-ELECTION VIOLENCE PROBABLY ALSO DETERRED

SOME VOTERS. THE ZANU-PF LEADERSHIP WAS ELATED BY THE OUTCOME,

WHICH THE PROVINCIAL PARTY SPOKESMAN CHARLES PEMHENAYI HERALDED AS

A SIGN THAT “IMPERIALISM IS ON THE WAY OUT. THE ELECTION WAS AN

INDICATION OF HOW THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WILL GO AFTER

REALIZING THAT THE MDC WAS BEING SPONSORED BY IMPERIALISTS.”

 

COMMENT

——-

 

5. (C) THE RESULTS IN BULAWAYO AND MAKONI WEST, WHICH SURPRISED

FEW OBSERVERS, CONFIRMED THE MDC’S OVERWHELMING ADVANTAGE IN

URBANIZED AREAS AND THE RULING PARTY’S CONTINUING STRENGTH IN

RURAL REGIONS. THE BULAWAYO RESULT IS PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT, AS

IT GIVES THE MDC CONTROL OF THE MAYORAL SEATS IN TWO OF ZIMBABWE’S

PRINCIPAL CITIES — MASVINGO IS THE OTHER ONE — AND POTENTIAL

OPPORTUNITIES TO DEMONSTRATE EFFECTIVE EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP.

SENIOR MDC OFFICIALS HAVE TOLD US REGULARLY THAT THEIR PARTY ONLY

NEEDS TO GARNER 30-40 PERCENT OF THE VOTE IN RURAL CONSTITUENCIES

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6397

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02678 02 OF 02 120925Z

ACTION AF-00

 

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

DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00

IO-00    L-00     VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01

OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00

STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02

G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /009W

——————1DD8A3 120925Z /38

P 120909Z SEP 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9688

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 002678

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 09/12/11

TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: MDC WINS BULAWAYO IN LANDSLIDE BUT LOSES MAKONI WEST

PARLIAMENTARY SEAT

 

IN ORDER TO WIN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION; BY THAT MEASURE, WE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02678 02 OF 02 120925Z

EXPECT THE MDC WILL CONSIDER THE MAKONI RESULT SATISFACTORY.

 

ROTH

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

(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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