Zvobgo was convinced Mugabe would lose 2002 elections


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Masvingo kingpin Eddison Zvobgo was convinced that President Robert Mugabe was going to lose the 2002 presidential elections because he was no longer listening to him or to anyone else.

“How do you convince voters to vote for you by beating them up?” he asked rhetorically, during a conversation with United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Joseph Sullivan who he went to college with in the United States.

He said one of the key areas Mugabe would lose would be Masvingo because he and his supporters would not be campaigning for Mugabe.

Zvobgo, however, objected to the idea that Mugabe would be losing the election to factionalism arguing: “Mugabe will lose the election on his own.”

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 02HARARE61, ZIMBABWE: ZVOBGO PREDICTS MUGABE WILL LOSE THE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

02HARARE61

2002-01-08 09:35

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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

 

080935Z Jan 02

 

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTO1299

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00061 081040Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00

SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00

H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00

OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PC-01   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00

P-00     SP-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02

G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00   SWCI-00   /007W

——————54A00C 081041Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0656

INFO NSC WASHDC

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000061

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR CHARLES NEARY

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/08/12

TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE: ZVOBGO PREDICTS MUGABE WILL LOSE THE

ELECTION

 

REF: ’01 HARARE 3813

 

CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL OFFICER TODD FAULK FOR REASONS:

1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

1. (C) IN A DECEMBER 20 LUNCH WITH AMBASSADOR SULLIVAN

AND POLOFF, ZANU-PF MP AND MASVINGO “SUPREMO” EDDISON

ZVOBGO RUMINATED ON REPRESSIVE LEGISLATION BEFORE

PARLIAMENT (REPORTED REFTEL), MASVINGO POLITICS, AND THE

UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. ZVOBGO HAD FEW KIND

WORDS FOR HIS OLD BROTHER-IN-ARMS MUGABE, SAYING THE

AGING PRESIDENT DOES NOT LISTEN TO HIM OR ANYONE ELSE

ANYMORE. ZVOBGO STATED THAT MUGABE IS BECOMING MORE

UNPOPULAR ALL THE TIME AND WOULD LOSE THE MARCH

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. “HOW DO YOU CONVINCE VOTERS TO

VOTE FOR YOU BY BEATING THEM UP?” HE ASKED RHETORICALLY.

 

2. (C) ZVOBGO INTIMATED THAT ONE OF THE KEY AREAS

MUGABE WOULD LOSE WOULD BE MASVINGO PROVINCE. HE HINTED

THAT HE AND HIS SUPPORTERS WOULD NOT BE CAMPAIGNING FOR

THE PRESIDENT. HOWEVER, HE DENIED THAT ZANU-PF SPLITS

IN MASVINGO WOULD COST MUGABE THE ELECTION, OBJECTING TO

THE IDEA THAT “FACTIONALISM” IS A PROBLEM IN THE

PROVINCE. ZVOBGO DID NOTE THAT VIRTUALLY NO

KARANGANS (THE SHONA SUBGROUP THAT DOMINATES MASVINGO)

WERE IN CABINET OR PERMANENT SECRETARY POSITIONS, A FACT

THAT WILL HURT MUGABE IN THE ELECTION. “MUGABE WILL

LOSE THE ELECTION ON HIS OWN,” THE MP PREDICTED.

 

3. (U) BELYING ZVOBGO’S CLAIMS, THE JANUARY 3 EDITION

OF THE GOVERNMENT-SUPPORTED “ZIMBABWE MIRROR” REPORTED

THAT THE ZVOBGO FACTION (BACKED BY OUSTED GOVERNOR

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00061 081040Z

DZIKAMAI MAVHAIRE AND THE PROVINCIAL WAR VETERANS

ASSOCIATION) RECENTLY SENT A LETTER TO PRESIDENT MUGABE

IMPLORING HIM TO RESOLVE THE ZANU-PF SPLITS IN MASVINGO.

THE LETTER REPORTEDLY DEMANDED THAT MUGABE REMOVE THE

PROVINCIAL EXECUTIVE INSTALLED LAST YEAR AND HEADED BY

HIGHER EDUCATION MINISTER SAMUEL MUMBENGEGWI AND CURRENT

GOVERNOR JOSIAH HUNGWE (AND BACKED BY VICE-PRESIDENT

SIMON MUZENDA), OR FACE LOSING THE ELECTION. THE

ARTICLE REPORTED THAT THE ZANU-PF TOP BRASS WAS DIVIDED

OVER HOW TO HANDLE THE ZVOBGO DEMAND.

 

4. (C) COMMENT: AS ZIMBABWE’S MOST POPULOUS PROVINCE,

AND ONE NEARLY EVENLY DIVIDED IN SUPPORT FOR THE MDC AND

ZANU-PF, MASVINGO WILL BE CRUCIAL TO MUGABE’S CHANCES

FOR RE-ELECTION. IF MUGABE CANNOT PLACATE ZVOBGO, WHO

REMAINS POPULAR IN THE PROVINCE, AND GET HIS BACKING IN

THE ELECTION, THE PRESIDENT RISKS LOSING A LARGE BLOCK

OF VOTES. THE FACTIONAL SPLITS THAT HAVE WRACKED ZANU-

PF IN MASVINGO FOR YEARS ARE PROBABLY NOT AS GREAT A

FACTOR FOR MUGABE AS THE PRESS WOULD SUGGEST BECAUSE THE

EXECUTIVE INSTALLED BY MUGABE AND MUZENDA HAS LITTLE

PUBLIC SUPPORT. THE KEY WILL BE CONVINCING ZVOBGO AND

HIS CADRES TO BACK THE PRESIDENT, AND THAT APPEARS

INCREASINGLY UNLIKELY AS IT WOULD REQUIRE A HUMILIATING

ABOUT-FACE BY MUGABE. END COMMENT.

 

SULLIVAN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

(13 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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