Mutasa was no saint in the 2008 elections either


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Former Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front Secretary for Administration Didymus Mutasa’s threat to spill the beans about the 2008 elections could backfire on him as well because he was not an innocent bystander.

Mutasa, who was Minister of State Security at the time, was reportedly one of the key players in the violence that erupted in the run-up to the presidential elections run-off after ZANU-PF refused to concede defeat.

According to diplomatic cables filed by then United States ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee, Mugabe had indeed sent emissaries to Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai informing him that he would concede defeat but wanted some accommodation from Tsvangirai.

The plan was, however, scuttled by Mugabe’s lieutenants who promised to give him the presidency in the run-off. One of the diplomatic cables named then Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono and Defence Forces chief Constantine Chiwenga as those who asked Mugabe to stay on.

A cable dispatched by McGee on 10 April 2008, 12 days after the elections, said that ZANU-PF had agreed to launch a violent campaign to “ drive out MDC kingpins” in the run-up to the elections.

The cable said the key players were Oppah Muchinguri who had lost in the election, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Kumbirai Kangai, Air Commander Perence Shiri, and State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa, “none of whom was willing to let power slip from ZANU-PF as each had blood on his or her hands”.

The cable said Mutasa needed to redeem himself for having failed to prevent ZANU-PF’s election defeat.  An earlier cable said Mutasa who actually chair the committee responsible for the run-off.

While ZANU-PF conceded that Tsvangirai had won the elections, it insisted that he won 48 percent of the vote against Mugabe’s 43 percent. But the MDC and Mutasa have now latched on to 73 percent that Mugabe mentioned at the party congress last year.

However, when MDC Secretary-General Tendai Biti announced the party’s own results on 2 April 2008 in an effort to pre-empt the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and ZANU-PF from rigging, he said Tsvangirai had won 50.3 percent of the vote and Mugabe 43 percent, with independent candidate Simba Makoni polling 7 percent.

Mutasa, who has threatened to expose the rigging if he is invited by the MDC to testify in court, could play a crucial role in this because the MDC failed to prove the rigging though it had set-up an anti-rigging machinery with the help of telecoms boss Strive Masiyiwa and right-wing “think-tanks” from the United States such as the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute.

MDC advisor Kathi Walters, who had worked for IRI, said their parallel voting centre had failed because they had waited too late to get it going and had captured only 80 percent of the votes.

Below:

  • McGee’s cable on Mutasa being one of the key players in the violence leading to the presidential elections run off
  • McGee’s cable in which Mugabe conceded defeat but changed his mind
  • Bost’s cable on Walters admitting that the MDC’s anti-rigging machinery had failed.

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE317, DISILLUSIONED CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FORESEES

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE317

2008-04-10 15:09

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO8883

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RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1165

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC

RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC//DHO-7//

RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK//DOOC/ECMO/CC/DAO/DOB/DOI//

RUZEHAA/CDR USEUCOM INTEL VAIHINGEN GE//ECJ23-CH/ECJ5M//

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000317

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN AND BENJAMIN LEO

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

TREASURY FOR J. RALYEA AND T.RAND

COMMERCE FOR BECKY ERKUL

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/10/2018

TAGS: PGOV ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: DISILLUSIONED CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FORESEES

INCREASED VIOLENCE

 

REF: A. HARARE 0314

B. HARARE 0294

C. HARARE 0231

 

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

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) Disillusioned Central Committee member Manatsa Mutasa

told us that the Politburo recognized MDC Tsvangirai had won

48 percent of the presidential vote against Mugabe’s 43

percent. Consequently, the ruling party had begun a campaign

of violence, spearheaded by Minister Oppah Muchinguri, Deputy

Speaker of Parliament Kumbirai Kangai, Air Marshall Perence

Shiri, and Minister Didymus Mutasa, to intimidate the

population and MDC leaders. Mutasa anticipated that ZANU-PF

would fire bomb its own offices and blame the MDC, thus

opening space for Mugabe to declare a state of emergency and

cancel the runoff. He also separately related an election

incident of a customs official tipping off the police about

stuffed ballot boxes coming across the border and their

subsequent seizure by the police. END SUMMARY.

 

——————————————— ————

Politburo Concedes More Votes for MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai

——————————————— ————

 

2. (C) Mutasa (Ref C) told us today that Politburo

representatives on April 4 had informed the Manicaland

members of the ZANU-PF national Central Committee, including

himself, that MDC-Tsvangirai had won 48 percent of the

presidential vote and Robert Mugabe 43 percent. Mutasa was

convinced there would be no election runoff as, even with

rigging and intimidation, the ruling party could not

guarantee Mugabe’s victory. From the Politburo level down,

Mutasa said ZANU-PF was now preparing for war.

 

3. (C) Bases and command centers were being set up in the

bush as “centers of torture and even killing.” They were

designed to intimidate people and “drive MDC kingpins to run

away.”   The bases were manned by off-duty Shona soldiers

rather than active duty soldiers because the Ndebele, who are

deputy commanders in the Zimbabwe military command structure,

would otherwise refuse to participate, Mutasa explained. He

also said the Politburo had given the green light last week

to begin invading all the remaining white-owned farms (Ref

B). Violence was spreading. His own shop and office in

Watsomba in Mutasa Central had been ransacked and looted the

previous evening and he also reported violence against

resettled farmers, MDC supporters, and ZANU-PF members who

were deemed disloyal to the party around Old Mutare this week

(Ref C). Several of them had been dragged from their homes

in the night and beaten. Lists of targeted persons were

being drawn up at a provincial ZANU-PF meeting yesterday

before Mutasa was expelled from the meeting, although he said

in the provincial ZANU-PF structure he outranked all others

present. Mutasa assumed he would be a target of violence and

was weighing whether or not to return home. He added that

war veterans had met last week across the country and been

told by their leaders to &get geared.8

 

4. (C) Leading the violence, according to Mutasa, were

defeated Member of Parliament and Gender and Women’s Affairs

 

HARARE 00000317 002 OF 002

 

 

Minister Oppah Muchinguri, Deputy Speaker of Parliament

Kumbirai Kangai, Air Commander Perence Shiri, and State

Security Minister Didymus Mutasa, none of whom was willing to

let power slip from ZANU-PF as each had blood on his or her

hands: Muchinguri was complicit in the “car accident” in

which Defense Minister Moven Mahachi was killed in 2001;

Kangai was complicit in the assassination of liberation hero

Herbert Chitepo in 1975; Shiri led the Matabeleland massacres

in the mid-1980s; and Didymus Mutasa needed to redeem himself

for having failed to prevent ZANU-PF’s election defeat last

month. Manatsa Mutasa anticipated that the ruling party

would orchestrate fire bombings of ZANU-PF offices and blame

the MDC, thus opening up room for Mugabe to declare a state

of emergency and cancel a runoff.

 

5. (C) Asked why ZANU-PF had not protected Oppah Muchinguri

from her humiliating defeat in Mutasa Central, Mutasa related

that rigging had most likely been planned, but a customs

official had tipped off the police that nine stuffed ballot

boxes had crossed the nearby Mozambique border and police

then intercepted them on the road to Mutasa Central. Mutasa

assumed they were destined for that district to pump up

Muchinguri’s numbers.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

6. (C) Whether or not the picture, which contrasts with the

relative calm of Harare, is as dire as Mutasa relates, his

fear is real. Mutasa’s version of violence and intimidation

does comport with other referenced reports that we have

received. END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

 

 

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE267, SITUATION REPORT: TSVANGIRAI DISCUSSES RUNOFF WITH

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

08HARARE267

2008-04-02 17:22

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO1462

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

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O 021722Z APR 08

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RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1117

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000267

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

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: 04/02/2018

TAGS: PREL PGOV ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: SITUATION REPORT: TSVANGIRAI DISCUSSES RUNOFF WITH

AMBASSADOR

 

REF: HARARE 254

 

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

 

1. (C) MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai requested a meeting

with the Ambassador after the MDC briefing (Septel) on

election results. Tsvangirai explained that yesterday the

MDC had negotiated with emissaries of President Robert Mugabe

and had reached a tentative deal. Mugabe had agreed to

concede defeat. He wanted an additional six months in office

which the MDC had rejected. He also wanted a government of

national unity. Tsvangirai said the MDC was not opposed in

principle to this; the MDC had always preached

reconciliation. The MDC had requested a list of 10 names to

consider for government positions. The parties agreed that

Mugabe and Tsvangirai would meet in the morning before a

concession speech by Mugabe and a later victory speech by

Tsvangirai. ZANU-PF negotiators failed today to contact the

 

SIPDIS

MDC about the meeting. According to Tsvangirai, he later

heard from an individual whom he described as a high-level

ZANU-PF insider that Mugabe had rejected the agreement.

ZANU-PF was returning to Plan A–a runoff.

 

2. (C) Tsvangirai also told the Ambassador he had received

information that ZANU-PF would allege that a runoff election

within 21 days, as required by the Electoral Act, was not

logistically feasible. Mugabe, by presidential decree, would

set the runoff election 90 days from the date of the

election, March 29. Tsvangirai said he was concerned about

ZANU-PF violence and intimidation during the electoral

period, especially since the MDC, knowing it had strong

support in the urban areas, would focus campaigning in the

rural areas. Expressing strong concern about a 90-day

electoral period, Tsvangirai asked that the diplomatic

community support the 21-day period called for by the

Electoral Act.

 

3. (C) A business contact with excellent ZANU-PF contacts

confirmed to us today that the ruling party’s plan was a

runoff election. He said the ZEC would declare Tsvangirai

the winner of the March 29 election with about 48 percent of

the vote, and with Mugabe winning about 43 percent.

According to our contact, Mugabe and his inner circle had

yesterday agreed that Mugabe would step down, as outlined by

Tsvangirai, but Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono and Defense

 

SIPDIS

Chief Constantine Chiwenga had convinced Mugabe to reverse

course and contest a runoff election. A committee to oversee

the runoff election had been set up. It would be chaired by

Didymus Mutasa (Minister of State Security) and would also

include Nicholas Goche (Minister of Labor), Elliot Manyika

(ZANU-PF commissar), and Emmerson Mnangagwa. Our contact

said the Central Intelligence Office (CIO) had informed him

that ZANU-PF would attempt to limit observers for the runoff

and limit the MDC’s access to rural areas. He also believed

that Gono was preparing to raise USD 200 million through the

sale of diamonds in London.

 

4. (C) Harare remains calm. We expect that the announcement

of a runoff will be greeted with acceptance, if not

resignation, by most people. It will damper any short-term

prospects for violence.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

5. (C) Mugabe and his inner circle have discussed several

scenarios during the last several days (Reftel) and as

recently as yesterday were discussing a deal whereby Mugabe

would step down. It appears probable they have settled on a

runoff. We note that a sub-headline in today’s The Herald,

 

HARARE 00000267 002 OF 002

 

 

the government mouthpiece, stated “Presidential Poll Rerun

Expected.”

 

6. (C) The question arises as to why ZANU-PF would not steal

the election outright, since it has obviously resorted to

fraud during the election process. Under the Electoral Act

as amended in January as a resulQof the SADC negotiations,

each polling station was required to post a form outside the

station with results of counting. The ZEC is required to

maintain custody of the originals, and it is logical to

believe that Mugabe’s total vote, as revealed by the forms,

would be less than 50 percent and would approximate the 43

percent it appears the ZEC will ultimately declare he has

won.

 

7. (C) ZANU-PF appears to have suffered a stunning defeat.

We believe it will pull out all the stops to ensure that this

does not happen again in a runoff election. END COMMENT.

 

 

MCGEE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference id

 aka Wikileaks id #150091  ? 

Subject

Mdc Undecided About Runoff

Origin

Embassy Pretoria (South Africa)

Cable time

Wed, 16 Apr 2008 15:03 UTC

Classification

CONFIDENTIAL

Source

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2008/04/08PRETORIA812.html

History

VZCZCXRO9783 PP RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN DE RUEHSA #0812/01 1071503 ZNY CCCCC ZZH P 161503Z APR 08 FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4187 INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 0659 RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1498 RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 0619 RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1338 RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN PRIORITY 5528 RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN PRIORITY 9753 RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

Hide header C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PRETORIA 000812 SIPDIS SIPDIS PLEASE E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/15/2018 TAGS: PGOV [Internal Governmental Affairs], PREL [External Political Relations], KHUM, KDEM [Democratization], SF [South Africa], ZI [Zimbabwe] SUBJECT: MDC UNDECIDED ABOUT RUNOFF PRETORIA 00000812 001.2 OF 002 Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Donald Teitelbaum. Reasons 1.4( b) and (d). ¶1. (C) SUMMARY. MDC advisor Kathi Walters (strictly protect) told PolOff on 15 April that MDC Leader Morgan Tsvangirai is still in Johannesburg, having received death threats. She does not believe Tsvangirai is afraid to go back, but could not say if or when he was going to return. Today, Tsvangirai and other MDC leaders are in a workshop to decide on the party's strategy for moving forward, specifically whether they should participate in a runoff or boycott. Personally, she does not believe in participating because she does not think voters will turn out for a "5th rigged election." Walters, who was deeply involved in the parallel voting center, also admitted that it suffered from lack of preparation and may not have the impact MDC hoped. END SUMMARY. ———————————-

RUNOFF OR BOYCOTT? STILL UNDECIDED

¶2. (C) MDC advisor Kathi Walters (strictly protect) told PolOff on 15 April that MDC Leader Morgan Tsvangirai and other officials were in a "workshop" in Johannesburg trying to decide if they should boycott a runoff or participate, and if so, under what conditions. (BIO NOTE: Walters, who resides in South Africa, is a former IRI consultant and has worked officially and unofficially with the MDC for the past 8 years. END NOTE) When asked why this is only being discussed now, she said, "We never imagined a run-off would be under these conditions." However, not soon after, she said she personally believes the MDC should not participate, saying it would be "useless" because people would not come out to vote. "A run-off would make the fifth election in which Zimbabweans have voted and the election rigged," she said matter of factly. ¶3. (C) However, Walters said that if they do decide to participate, the MDC would probably want to have an outside observer, like SADC, actually run the election — from printing and distributing the ballots to actually counting them. As for uniting opposition forces for a runoff, she said the two MDC camps are "virtually reunited" and that the MDC does not need Makoni's votes since he took most of his votes away from MDC, not ZANU-PF, anyway. (COMMENT: She said she was next to Tsvangirai on 2 April when he called Makoni to ask if he wanted to make a joint statement with him; she said Makoni flatly refused. END COMMENT) ————————————

WEAKNESSES OF PARALLEL VOTING CENTER

¶4. (C) PolOff also asked why the parallel voting center did not have the intended impact. Walters admitted they waited too late to get it going. She believes they had about 80 percent of votes captured, but could not say Tsvangirai won definitively without having 100 percent of votes unless Tsvangirai's numbers were higher. She also admitted that SIPDIS getting ahold of individual polling agents was difficult, especially with the phone lines in Zimbabwe being so unreliable. She fears now that there may be little proof of MDC votes as most data came in through text messages, but does not know if this information was captured. She said she Qdoes not know if this information was captured. She said she hopes that MDC Headquarters gathered and kept copies of voter results outside individual polling stations. ———————————

TSVANGIRAI RECEIVES DEATH THREATS 

¶5. (C) Asked about Tsvangirai's busy travel schedule, Walters said that Tsvangirai is still in Johannesburg and has been receiving death threats. She said some MDC members believe that Tsvangirai would be killed by the military once he steps foot back in Harare, but that Tsvangirai feels comfortable going back. When asked if/when he was returning to Harare, she said she thinks he should go back, but then quoted MDC spokesperson Tendai Biti, who apparently said "(Morgan) is his own man," implying he'll return when he wants.

ZERO CONFIDENCE IN MBEKI

¶6. (U) Walters, who was in Lusaka for the SADC conference with MDC leaders, said that MDC has now lost all confidence in Mbeki, but that the MDC is pleased with recent ANC comments, especially from ANC President Jacob Zuma. She believes the ANC has given Mbeki his marching orders and could threaten him with a vote of no confidence if Mbeki does not synchronize his views on Zimbabwe with the ANC leadership. (NOTE: Members of the ANC national working committee announced on 15 April that contrary to Mbeki's statements at the SADC summit, Zimbabwe is in a crisis (septel).

COMMENT

¶7. (C) It is no surprise MDC has finally lost all confidence in Mbeki. After all, Mbeki's statement during the SADC conference that "there is no crisis in Zimbabwe" has unleashed a flurry of editorials worldwide condemning Mbeki for turning a blind eye. Mbeki's rivals in the ANC, namely the Zuma camp, seem to be taking advantage of the situation while Mbeki is weak. However, whether their vocal support is genuine or orchestrated, or more importantly, whether their words can translate into action (i.e., moving Mbeki on Zimbabwe policy) remains to be seen.

 

BOST

 

(440 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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