SA official said Makoni’s presidential bid was premature


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South Africa’s assistant director in the Department of Foreign Affairs Eden Reid said Mavambo leader Simba Makoni’s presidential bid was premature.

He said this before the 2008 elections adding that Makoni should have waited until the 2009 Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front congress where he likely would have been elected party leader.

Instead he was now out of ZANU-PF forever and ZANU-PF was not forgiving of “traitors”.

War veterans leader Joseph Chinotimba had labelled Makoni a traitor when he announced his intention to challenge President Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe was re-elected party leader at the 2009 party congress.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08PRETORIA482, ZIMBABWE ELECTIONS: SOUTH AFRICA TO SEND 50

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

08PRETORIA482

2008-03-07 14:54

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Pretoria

VZCZCXRO8623

RR RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSA #0482/01 0671454

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 071454Z MAR 08

FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3742

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 5385

RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN 9639

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 PRETORIA 000482

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF/S S. HILL

NSC FOR AF DIRECTOR B. LEO

DEPT PASS TO USAID E. LOKEN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/06/2018

TAGS: PREL KDEM SF ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE ELECTIONS: SOUTH AFRICA TO SEND 50

OBSERVERS AS PART OF SADC DELEGATION

 

REF: A. STATE 018257

 

B. PRETORIA 0454

C. PRETORIA 0375

 

PRETORIA 00000482 001.2 OF 003

 

 

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires Donald Teitelbaum. Reasons 1.4(b) and

(d).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY. South Africa will deploy approximately 50

election observers to Zimbabwe as part of the SADC

delegation. Angola, as chair of the SADC Troika, will lead

the SADC delegation, which the South African Government hopes

will include at least 100 regional observers. Ambassador

Kingsley Mamabolo will serve as the senior South African

member on the delegation. The South African Government is

aware of the decision to deny SADC-PF separate accreditation

(ref B), but said merely that it was the prerogative of the

Government of Zimbabwe to accredit observers. The

Pan-African Parliament will separately send approximately 20

observers to Zimbabwe, led by Swazi MP Marwick Khumalo.

Several South African civil society groups, who were either

denied accreditation or never bothered trying, will send

“informal observers.” END SUMMARY.

 

——————————————— –

South Africa to Participate in SADC Delegation

——————————————— –

 

2. (SBU) Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Deputy Director

for Southern Africa Gabriel Setlhoke and Assistant Director

Eden Reid told PolOff March 7 that South Africa plans to

deploy approximately 50 observers to Zimbabwe for the March

29 elections as part of the Southern African Development

Community (SADC) delegation. South Africa will not/not

deploy a separate bilateral South African Government (SAG)

delegation, as they did for the 2005 parliamentary elections

in Zimbabwe. An advance South African team will arrive in

Harare March 9 or 10, with the bulk of the delegation

deploying on March 20. The South African delegation will

include government officials, civil society, and Members of

Parliament. SAG Great Lakes Envoy Kingsley Mamabolo told

PolCounselor and PolOff March 6 that he will lead the South

African component of the SADC delegation. No South African

ministers or deputy ministers will participate in the

mission.

 

3. (C) Angola, as chair of the SADC Troika on Politics,

Defence and Security, will lead the SADC election observation

mission, according to Reid. He expects that an Angolan

minister, yet to be determined, will serve as delegation

head. South Africa hopes that the SADC delegation will

include more than 100 observers, although the total number

will depend on the willingness, capacity and resources of the

SADC countries. SADC expects to launch the election

observation mission March 9 or 10 in Harare, although both

Reid and Mamabolo acknowledged that the SADC planning has

been “chaotic.”

 

4. (SBU) Reid underscored that the SADC delegation will

deploy throughout the country, and will meet with the

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the Registrar-General, the

political parties, and civil society organizations. Reid,

who served at the South African Embassy in Zimbabwe, said

that the South African observers will be fully briefed on the

“challenges” around registration, delimitation, and media

restrictions, and will take those issues into account during

their observations.

 

5. (C) Speaking personally, Reid (protect) said he expects

President Mugabe to win. Simba Makoni, if he is “very

QPresident Mugabe to win. Simba Makoni, if he is “very

lucky,” could make it to a second round. In Reid’s view,

Makoni’s presidential bid was “premature.” He should have

waited until the 2009 ZANU-PF Congress, where he likely would

have been elected party head. Instead, Makoni is now out of

ZANU-PF forever, Reid argued, noting that the party is not

forgiving of “traitors.”

 

———————————

GOZ Prerogative to Exclude SADC-PF

———————————

 

6. (C) The SAG was aware of the Government of Zimbabwe’s

(GOZ) refusal to accredit the SADC-Parliamentary Forum

 

PRETORIA 00000482 002.2 OF 003

 

 

(SADC-PF) for the elections. Reid said it is the prerogative

of the GOZ to invite observers, and not the place of South

Africa to second-guess their internal decisions. He noted

that SADC’s role in the elections will be “significant” since

it will be one of the only large international election

observation missions in the country.

 

—————

ANC Delegation?

—————

 

7. (C) To date, Post has been unable to confirm whether the

ANC will send a separate delegation to Zimbabwe, as they did

in 2005. Neither DFA nor the Electoral Institute for

Southern Africa (EISA) were aware of ANC plans. (COMMENT:

Elements of the new ANC leadership, particularly COSATU and

the South African Communist Party (SACP), have been critical

of Mugabe. If an ANC delegation includes COSATU or SACP

members, the ANC delegation might provide a more honest and

independent assessment of the electoral process. END

COMMENT.)

 

———————-

Pan-African Parliament

———————-

 

8. (C) The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) plans to deploy

approximately 20 observers o/a March 22, including both PAP

Members of Parliament and secretariat staff. PAP Member

Marwick Khumalo from Swaziland will serve as head of the PAP

delegation, according to Khalid Dahab, Senior Information,

Communications & Media Relations Officer. Dahab, a Sudanese

national, will be part of the delegation. Dahab told PolOff

March 6 that the situation in Zimbabwe is “very sad,”

expressing his personal hope that the elections in Zimbabwe

would lead to positive change.

 

————-

Civil Society

————-

 

9. (C) South African civil society organizations that plan to

send observers to Zimbabwe include:

 

— Electoral Institute for Southern Africa (EISA): EISA has

formally requested accreditation from the GOZ, but expects to

be denied permission, as they were in 2005. In that event,

they plan to “embed” several of their Zimbabwean staff in the

domestic Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) observation

teams. EISA Senior Researcher Bertha Chiroro told PolOff

March 06 that her contacts told her President Mugabe himself

made the decisions on observer accreditation. EISA has also

been asked to deploy one of their staff as part of the

African Union delegation. Chiroro reported that EISA offered

to provide assistance and even funds to the Zimbabwe Election

Commission to assist with the elections, but the head of the

Commission refused.

 

— Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA): IDASA

plans to send approximately 15 members of their staff to

Zimbabwe, including institute head Paul Graham and analyst

Sydney Masamvu, as “informal observers” (ref C). The

Government of Norway is funding their mission.

 

— Anglican Church: The South African Anglican Church is

sending approximately 10-15 “informal observers,” and will

interact with their counterparts in Zimbabwe (ref C).

 

— Institute for a Democratic Alternative for Zimbabwe

(IDAZIM): A new think tank based in Midrand, IDAZIM will

likely receive funding from the Embassy of Germany to send

15-20 informal observers for the election. IDAZIM is

focusing its research and programs on transitional democracy,

economics, justice, and leadership. Its board members

include prominent South Africans Fredrick van Zyl Slabbert

Qinclude prominent South Africans Fredrick van Zyl Slabbert

and Alex Boraine, as well as Zimbabwean civil society

activists Deprose Muchena, Arnold Tsunga, Tawanda Mutasah,

Berita Kopolo, Nontokozo Mema, and IDAZIM Director David

Malungisa.

 

——-

Comment

 

PRETORIA 00000482 003.2 OF 003

 

 

——-

 

10. (C) We doubt that the South Africans on the election

observation delegation will be willing to criticize the

obvious flaws in the Zimbabwe election. Based on our

conversations with SAG officials and others, we would

speculate that the SADC would be inclined to use language

similar to its 2005 statement on the elections, calling them

“credible, well managed and transparent.” That said, we are

somewhat encouraged by the involvement of Ambassador

Mamabolo, who lived in Zimbabwe in exile in the 1980s, and

understands well the impact of Mugabe’s misrule. Mamabolo is

reasonable and accessible, and may be willing to push for

some nuance in the SADC statement. We would also recommend

that the MDC, ZESN, and other civil society organizations

engage the SADC delegation early and often. In 2005, we

heard several reports from the South African observers who

charged that the MDC complained about the election, but never

provided them with concrete evidence.

TEITELBAUM

(8 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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