Elements from the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, including retired general Solomon Mujuru, were in contact with Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai two days after the elections seeking to deny President Robert Mugabe a victory.
The MDC insisted that Tsvangirai would win the election with over 50 percent of the vote but was already resigned to a run-off.
According to a cable released by Wikileaks, Mujuru and his people had contacts within the Zimbabwe Election Commission and could well be in a position to prevent rigging that would give Mugabe an outright victory.
Viewing cable 08HARARE252, POST-ELECTION UPDATE: MDC CONFIDENT OF SUCCESS
OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSB #0252 0911226
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O 311226Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2654
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1858
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1981
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0554
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1258
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1615
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2037
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4468
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1108
C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000252
AF/S FOR S. HILL
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: 03/31/2018
SUBJECT: POST-ELECTION UPDATE: MDC CONFIDENT OF SUCCESS
REF: HARARE 249 AND PREVIOUS
Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4 (d)
¶1. (U) Embassy Harare lifted its Stand Fast, issued last
night, this morning. Harare and the rest of the country are
calm as people await the announcement of election results.
¶2. (U) The MDC held a press conference at 11 am. MDC
secretary general Tendai Biti announced that the MDC had
results on 128 of the 210 House of Assembly seats. Of these,
the MDC had won 96. In the race for president, with 931,653
votes reported to the MDC by its polling agents, Biti said
Tsvangirai had won about 60 percent, Mugabe 30 percent, and
Simba Makoni 10 percent. Acknowledging the probability of
rigging in the vote count, Biti said a worse case scenario
was a runoff.
¶3. (U) Biti derided SADC for declaring yesterday that
Zimbabwe’s election was “free, fair, and credible.” Pointing
to problems in the run-up to the election and irregularities
during the election, he said that a free and fair election in
Zimbabwe under current conditions was not credible.
¶4. (C) A member of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network
(ZESN) told us that ZESN would not release its parallel vote
count until the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) results
were complete. She said ZESN did not have sufficient results
to credibly present findings at this time. (COMMENT: We had
hoped ZESN could release its findings before ZEC results in
order to place pressure on ZEC. END COMMENT.)
¶5. (C) The MDC told us that at its next press conference,
possibly this afternoon, it expects to have sufficient
election results to announce a Tsvangirai victory.
Tsvangirai will personally make the announcement.
¶6. (C) COMMENT: While the MDC insists Tsvangirai will gain
over 50 percent of the vote, it appears resigned to a runoff.
We understand dissident elements within ZANU-PF, including
General Solomon Mujuru have been in contact with Tsvangirai,
and are seeking to deny a Mugabe victory. Mujuru and his
people have contacts within the ZEC and may well be in a
position to prevent rigging that would give Mugabe an
outright victory. While Biti feels that a runoff is the
worst case scenario, given the perfidy of ZANU-PF, a runoff
may represent a best case scenario. END COMMENT.