Mujuru takes advantage of void left by death of Zvobgo


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Retired army general Solomon Mujuru was taking advantage of the leadership vacuum in Masvingo left by the death of Eddison Zvobgo Snr by fielding military officers, both active and retired, who were loyal to him, according to United States ambassador Christopher Dell.

Dell made the comment after the two factions of the Movement for Democratic Change failed to field candidates to contest a by-election in Zaka East because they did not have the resources and there was going to a national election within a few months.

The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front fielded an army colonel Livingstone Chineka who had to retire to contest the seat but was said to be very unpopular in Zaka East.

Chineka was reported to be from the Mujuru faction of ZANU-PF.

Dell said Mujuru seemed to be filling the vacuum left by the death of Zvobgo with military officials loyal to him because before Chineka he had fielded Killian Gwanetsa in the provincial elections.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 07HARARE418, MDC CEDES BY-ELECTION TO ZANU-PF

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

07HARARE418

2007-05-14 15:42

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO4562

RR RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0418/01 1341542

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 141542Z MAY 07

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1468

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1598

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1465

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1602

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0263

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0867

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1230

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1658

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4064

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1427

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2085

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0725

RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1819

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000418

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/14/2017

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL ZI

SUBJECT: MDC CEDES BY-ELECTION TO ZANU-PF

 

Classified By: Ambassador Christopher W. Dell under Section 1.4 b/d

 

——-

Summary

——-

 

1. (SBU) The two factions of the MDC have decided not to

contest the Zaka East Parliamentary By-election on June 9,

virtually ensuring victory for the ZANU-PF candidate, retired

Colonel Livingstone Chineka, who is part of the Mujuru

faction. Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN) said it

plans to test its parallel vote count methodology during the

by-election, with an eye toward next year’s presidential and

parliamentary elections. End Summary.

 

————

MDC Bows Out

————

 

2. (SBU) Both factions of the opposition MDC decided against

contesting the Zaka East Parliamentary By-election on June 9,

almost certainly securing victory for the ruling ZANU-PF

party candidate, retired army colonel Livingstone Chineka.

The MDC factions said their decision was the result of

financial constraints and the fact that the incumbent would

face fresh Parliamentary elections at the start of next year.

ZANU-PF was the only major party to put forward a candidate

at the nomination court for the election to replace Deputy

Minister of Mining Tinos Rusere, who died of kidney failure

on March 1. Candidates from the minor United People’s Party

and the Zimbabwe People’s Democratic Party will run on June 9.

 

3. (SBU) Denford Beremauro, a program manager for local

election observation group ZESN, told poloff on May 14 that

Chineka was deeply unpopular in the constituency and secured

the ruling party’s nomination only after provincial leaders

forced a front-running businessman out of the primary.

Regardless, Beremauro assessed that Chineka would sail to

victory easily against his little-known contenders.

Beremauro added that Chineka retired from the army on May 9

in line with Parliament prohibitions against active duty

officers, and related that within Zaka East Chineka was

widely perceived as a member of Solomon Mujuru’s camp.

 

—————————————–

Election Observers Further Refine Methods

—————————————–

 

4. (SBU) While the outcome was not in doubt, Beremauro said

that ZESN planned to use the election as another opportunity

to further refine its observation and parallel vote counting

techniques with an eye toward next year’s presidential and

parliamentary elections. ZESN planned to field about 35

observers, using a mix of mobile and static observers, to

cover the 61 polling stations in Zaka East.

 

5. (SBU) Beremauro said ZESN was also conducting voter

education workshops in the constituency and had found a high

degree of interest in the election, especially from youths.

Many workshop participants, however, had expressed concerns

that the voter registration period was too short and that

traditional leaders had refused to issue youths letters

confirming their residency in the constituency ) a

requirement for registration. Meanwhile, other workshop

participants had expressed concern that the Zimbabwe

Electoral Commission would not conduct free and fair

elections, and suggested instead that future elections be

overseen by the African Union or UN.

 

HARARE 00000418 002 OF 002

 

 

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

6. (C) Since the death of Eddison Zvogbo Sr. in 2004, there

has been a ZANU-PF leadership vacuum in Masvingo. The vacuum

is being filled by military officers, both active and

retired, with ties to Solomon Mujuru. Chineka’s likely

victory follows that of Colonel Killian Gwanetsa, who won the

province’s last by-election in February. Moreover, the

recently conducted ZANU-PF elections to select the party’s

new provincial executive council ushered a retired major into

the provincial chairmanship.

DELL

 

(9 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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