US poured US$250 000 to SA groups to monitor 2005 elections


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The United States government, through its international aid agency, poured US$250 000 to South African groups led by the South African Council of Churches and the Institute of Democracy in South Africa to monitor the 2005 parliamentary elections.

The consortium was headed by Reverend Molefe Tsele secretary general of SACC and Paul Graham of IDASA.

Other were members of the consortium were the Catholic Bishops Conference, the Centre for Policy Studies and the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation.

The group recognised that the elections would not solve Zimbabwe’s fundamental constitutional problems of excessive, unchecked executive power exercised by Robert Mugabe but they felt that their work had begun to generate increased regional civil society interest in Zimbabwe that would extend beyond the March 31 election.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 05HARARE182, SACC AND IDASA READY TO LAUNCH ZIMABABWE ELECTION

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

05HARARE182

2005-02-04 14:09

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000182

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

AF/SA D. MOZENA, B. NEULING

AFR/SA P. FLEURET, L. PIERSON, M.COPSON

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE,

D. TEITELBAUM

PRETORIA FOR T. TRENKLE

 

E. O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: EAID PREL PHUM PGOV AMGT ECON XA AFIN ZI

SUBJECT: SACC AND IDASA READY TO LAUNCH ZIMABABWE ELECTION

OBSERVATION

 

1.   (SBU) One day after the the

Governament of Zimbabwe’s (GOZ)

announcement of March 31 as the date for

general Parliamentary elections, a group

consisting of the South African Council of

Churches (SACC) and the Institute for

Democracy in South Africa (IDASA) quitely

traveled to Harare to finalize plans for

election monitoring. The consortium,

which is operating with USAID funds, is

headed by Reverand Molefe Tsele, Secretary

General of SACC, and Paul Graham,

Executive Director of IDASA. Other South

African members include the Catholic

Bishops Conference (CBC), the Center for

Policy Studies (CPS), and the Institute

for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR).

 

2. (SBU) In meeting with the Ambassador

and USAID staff on February 3rd, the group

laid out a comprehensive plan for election

monitoring, including:

 

A. (SBU) Five different small delegations

quietly coming to Zimbabwe over the next

four weeks for relatively short periods (3-

4 days each) to assess the overall

electoral environment. These groups will

look at specific sub-sectors of society

including, civil society, the churches,

gender organizations and political

parties. As a result of the recent

expulsion of the Congress of South African

Trade Unions, a group of non-South African

but regional labor organizations may also

visit under the auspices of the SACC/IDASA

consortium.

 

B. (SBU) Four medium-term monitors will

plan to arrive quietly at the end of

February or early March. They will stay

through the election and travel around the

country. These monitors will be election

specialists from South Africa, Kenya and

Nigeria who have worked in numerous

elections aound Africa.

 

C.(SBU) Fifty poll watchers will arrive

four to five days before the elections,

consisting of people from all over the

region. The hope is that the SACC and

IDASA consortium will receive official

accreditation, but if not, they will

consider “donating” the poll watchers to

another group that does receive

accreditation or, alternatively, bringing

them into Zimbabwe quietly.

 

3.   (SBU) There remains a great deal of

uncertainity regarding how the GOZ will

handle election observation teams as well

as how the official SADC election

observers will be constituted. Reverand

Tsele and Mr. Graham indicated that they

 

SIPDIS

will continue to explore the process for

official accreditation, but remain

flexible to adapt to the evolving

situation. The overall goal of the group

will remain to bring a broad cross-section

of civil society groups from the region

into Zimbabawe to objectively observe the

election environment and inform the

ultimate assessment of whether the

elections are free and fair.

 

4.   (SBU) The group recognized that the

elections will not solve Zimbabwe’s

fundamental constitutional problems of

excessive, unchecked executive power

exercised by Robert Mugabe. They,

nontheless, feel that their work has begun

to generate increased regional civil

society interest in Zimbabawe that will

extend beyond the March 31 election.

Hopefully, these regional groups can

continue to exert pressure on SADC

governments to push for democratic change

in Zimbabwe, but, to date, there has been

no evidence that SADC governments are

willing to press the GOZ to mend its ways.

 

5. (SBU) This project is being funded by

a USD 250,000 grant from USAID, using a

combination of funds from the RCSA and the

bilateral mission in Zimbabwe.

DELL

(6 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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