Sweden gave MDC $750 000


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Movement for Democratic Change policy advisor Eddie Cross said the party had no funds for the 2008 election campaign but admitted that it had received US$750 000, which included 17 trucks, from Sweden through the Olof Palme Foundation.

He told this to a United States embassy official who was on a tour of Matebeleland.

The official, who toured Nkayi, was told by the people that the split of the MDC had caused confusion among the people because they did not know which faction stood for what.

The people were, however, not going to vote for the Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front.

One woman told the official that given a choice between a donkey and ZANU-PF candidate, people would vote for the donkey.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 07HARARE849, MATABELELAND AND BULAWAYO OBSERVATIONS

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

Classification

Origin

07HARARE849

2007-09-17 13:12

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO9331

RR RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0849/01 2601312

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 171312Z SEP 07

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1898

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1698

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1570

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1702

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0339

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0968

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1331

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1759

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4177

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1530

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2192

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0823

RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1919

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000849

 

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: 07/09/2012

TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON ZI

SUBJECT: MATABELELAND AND BULAWAYO OBSERVATIONS

 

Classified By: Polecon chief Glenn Warren for reasons 1.5 (b) and (d)

 

——-

Summary

——-

 

1. (SBU) In addition to severe shortages of goods caused by

the GOZ’s price control policies, Bulawayo and Matabeleland

South are suffering from a critical lack of water.

Nevertheless, people are until now coping and there is no

evidence of starvation. Although this area of the country is

solidly anti-ZANU-PF, the ruling party has strong

administrative structures to manipulate and intimidate

voters. There is consensus the MDC split will hurt the party

in upcoming elections by splitting the vote. Most people do

not understand the inability of the party’s factions to form

a coalition, and are becoming increasingly convinced the MDC

cannot prevail against ZANU-PF in elections. The MDC

continues to complain about a lack of resources to prepare

for an election, although the anti-Senate faction recently

received $750,000 from Sweden.   End Summary.

 

2. (U) The following are polecon chief’s observations based

on visits to Bulawayo and Nkayi in rural Matabeleland South.

 

—————————-

Scarcities, but Still Coping

—————————-

 

3. (U) In Bulawayo, once the industrial engine of Zimbabwe,

shelves are empty and there is no automobile fuel in most

stations. There is a severe lack of water, a consequence of

this year’s drought, an inadequate reservoir system, and

crumbling infrastructure that includes disabled wells.

People continue to cope through mechanisms now well-known.

Young people go to South Africa to work, people whose rural

homes are in agricultural areas go to these homes for maize,

and cross border traders bring back food and goods, including

fuel, to sell on the black market to those who, mostly

through remittances, can pay. Entrepreneurial Zimbabweans

seek out new ways to profit from the situation. We heard of

one individual who bought a number of vans to ferry the

increasing number of Zimbabweans fleeing the country to the

border.

 

4. (U) Nkayi is about two hours north of Bulawayo in cattle

ranching country. There is little agriculture here; people

have traditionally relied on the sale of cattle for money to

buy food and goods. Price controls have resulted in beef

being withheld from the market. With the little money they

have, people buy grain from the government’s Grain Marketing

Board–when it’s available. We were told that many eat only

one meal a day. As in Bulawayo, there are acute water

shortages–equipment to pump water from the nearest river is

broken, and well have not been maintained.

 

5. (U) The scarcity of fuel has made it difficult for buses

and vans to ply the Nkayi-Bulawayo route. Additionally, the

mandated ceilings on passenger tariffs have made public

transportation uneconomical for vehicle owners. As a result,

when owners have fuel to travel, they will charge passengers

a tariff that allows them to profit, but issue passengers

with a receipt for the lesser, government-controlled amount.

If stopped at a police road block, they instruct passengers

to show the falsified receipt.

 

6. (U) The government secondary school in Nkayi has six

 

HARARE 00000849 002 OF 003

 

 

hundred co-educational students, many of them boarders.

School fees for the term (education and room and board) are

the parallel market equivalent of about $US 10. According to

the headmaster, the fees are insufficient to buy supplies,

but the government, pandering to parents with limited

incomes, refuses to raise them. The school has managed to

get limited supplies of food for the students, but

facilities, including science laboratories, are

deteriorating. While the school should have 31 teachers, it

now has 24. Some have left to become cross-boarder traders;

others have gone to South Africa.

 

——————————-

ZANU-PF Rural Structures Strong

——————————-

 

7. (C) We visited the school with Nkayi Member of

Parliament, Abenico Bhebbe. Bhebbe, a member of the

pro-Senate MDC faction, graduated from the school in 1982.

After discussing possible applications on the part of the

school to the Ambassador’s Self-Help Fund, we were informed

that the District Administrator (DA) wished to see us. We

proceeded to her office; also present for what she described

as a meeting of the district “Development Committee” were the

local head of police and members of the CIO. The DA insisted

that the provincial governor be notified of all visits and

projects to the province; Bhebbe insisted that the school was

under the jurisdiction of the local council and that such

notification was unnecessary.

 

8. (C) Bhebbe told us afterward that despite the

district–and province–being heavily MDC, ZANU-PF through

its appointed governor and through district administrators,

police, and CIO, continued to flex its muscle. Local ZANU-PF

administrators wanted to be informed of any projects in order

to take credit for them. Importantly, the Grain Marketing

Board (GMB) used maize sales to traditional leaders as a

means of extending patronage to their clan members, the

ultimate recipients. In this way, the government was

attempting to maintain its influence in elections.

 

—————–

MDC Split Harmful

—————–

 

9. (SBU) People we met in both Bulawayo and Nkayi opined

that the MDC split had resulted in confusion about what each

faction stood for, and had engendered a sense of apathy–if

the MDC couldn’t work together, what chance would it have of

winning? Some of our interlocutors also commented that the

MDC was being viewed ethnically, with the Mutambara-led

pro-Senate faction being the party of the Ndebele and the

Tsvangirai anti-Senate faction seen as the Shona party.

 

SIPDIS

ZANU-PF did not have much support–as one young woman said,

given a choice between a donkey and a ZANU-PF candidate, most

everyone would vote for the donkey–but the ruling party

nevertheless could benefit from reduced voter turnout in the

region.

 

10. (C) Eddie Cross, the anti-Senate faction coordinator in

Bulawayo, complained about an acute lack of resources for

campaigning in the upcoming election. He did note that

Sweden, through the Olaf Palme foundation, had recently given

his party $750,000, which included 17 pick-up trucks.

 

——-

Comment

 

HARARE 00000849 003 OF 003

 

 

——-

 

11. (C) With elections on the horizon, the MDC has held some

rallies, but has yet to begin organizing in the rural areas

of Matabeleland. Its task is made difficult by a lack of

resources, the failure to achieve a coalition of its two

factions, and ZANU-PF organization. The ruling party’s

structures in Matabeleland, which is MDC country, are

impressive. They are even stronger and more pervasive in

ZANU-PF’s traditional stronghold of Mashonaland where the MDC

must make some inroads to be competitive in a national

election.

DHANANI

 

(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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