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Cablegate: Historic Results in, Opposition Wins Majority

VZCZCXRO2518
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSB #0273/01 0941544
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 031544Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2692
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1874
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1997
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0570
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1274
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1631
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2053
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4484
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1124
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUAEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000273

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

SES-O
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: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM ASEC ZI
SUBJECT: HISTORIC RESULTS IN, OPPOSITION WINS MAJORITY

REF: HARARE 00245

1. (U) SUMMARY: For the first time in the country's 28 year history,
ZANU-PF will not control the House of Assembly. After five days of
slowly releasing results, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)
finally announced the winners of the remaining seats. Of the 210
seats, MDC Tsvangirai formation won 99, ZANU-PF 97, MDC Mutambara
formation 10, and an independent one. The remaining three seats
will be filled with by-elections because contesting candidates on
the ballot died of natural causes before Election Day.

2. (U) The MDC Tsvangirai formation penetrated rural areas and
scored gains in Mashonaland - traditionally ruling party
strongholds. Maintaining strong support in Harare, Bulawayo and
Matabeleland, the swing provinces for MDC Tsvangirai proved to be
Manicaland and Masvingo where they picked up huge gains. Several
ZANU-PF bigwigs lost their seats, including Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa and Women's Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri. END
SUMMARY.

----------------------------------
Opposition Scores Historic Victory
----------------------------------

3. (U) For the first time in the country's 28 year history, the
ruling ZANU-PF party will not control the House of Assembly. After
five days of slowly releasing results, the ZEC finally announced the
winners of the remaining seats on April 3. Up until that point, the
ZEC had been announcing 10 - 15 seats at a time, alternating between
calling seats for the opposition and the ruling party.

4. (U) Of the 210 seats, the MDC Tsvangirai formation won 99,
ZANU-PF 97, MDC Mutambara formation 10, and an independent one. The
remaining three seats will be filled with by-elections because
contesting candidates on the ballot died of natural causes before
Election Day. No single party won the absolute majority of more
than 105 seats, but the two opposition parties together will control
at least 109 seats and the independent candidate, Jonathan Moyo, is
expected to ally himself with the opposition. The MDC is expected
to win the three by-election seats as well.

5. (U) According to official results published in the state-run
newspaper The Herald, there was a total of 2,405,147 million valid
votes cast, with ZANU-PF garnering 1,112,773 (46.3 percent), MDC
Tsvangirai 1,038,512 (43.2 percent), MDC Mutambara 203,146 (8.4

SIPDIS
percent), and independent and other minor parties 66,721 (2.8
percent). There were 10 races won by ZANU-PF in which the total
combined votes for the two MDC formations were more than the ZANU
votes. There was only one race in which two ZANU-PF candidates
split the vote and lost the seat to the MDC Tsvangirai candidate.

-----------------------------
Rural Areas & Swing Provinces
-----------------------------

6. (U) Beyond an almost total sweep of 28 seats in the Harare and 12
seats in the Bulawayo urban constituencies, MDC Tsvangirai also
managed to penetrate rural areas and Mashonaland provinces -
traditional ZANU-PF strongholds. Prior to this election, the
opposition held only one seat in Mashonaland provinces. In this
election, MDC Tsvangirai picked up six seats in Mashonaland West,
four in Mashonaland East and two in Mashonaland Central. These
provinces were previously considered "no-go" areas for the
opposition. This time around, however, the opposition was able to
conduct door-to-door campaigning in the rural areas, and even
managed to hold some small rallies.

7. (U) The MDC Tsvangirai formation also scored large gains in
Manicaland and Masvingo provinces where it previously held two seats
and one seat, respectively. This time around, however, it won 20

HARARE 00000273 002 OF 002


seats in Manicaland and 14 seats in Masvingo. The MDC Mutambara
formation managed to win three seats in Matabeleland North and seven
seats in Matabeleland South.

8. (U) Of interest was the number of votes and high turn-out for
some of the ZANU-PF victories in the rural areas. There were 13
constituencies in which ZANU-PF garnered more than 10,000 votes,
with 18,413 voters turning out for the ruling party in Chiredzi
North. Meanwhile, MDC Tsvangirai only had two constituencies in
which it attracted more than 10,000 votes.

-----------------
Interesting Races
-----------------

9. (U) On the ZANU-PF side, there were some interesting losses for
ruling party big wigs. Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, Women's
Affairs Minister and head of ZANU-PF Women's League Oppah
Muchinguri, Mines and Mining Development Minister Amos Midzi, Farm
Mechanization Minister Joseph Made, and Energy Minister Mike
Nyambuya all lost. Vice President Joice Mujuru, National Security,
Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement Minister Didymus Mutasa, Home
Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, Industry and International Trade
Minister Obert Mpofu, and Economic Development Minister Sylvester
Nguni managed to win their races. As for the leaders of the MDC
Mutambara formation, Arthur Mutambara and Welshman Ncube both lost.


-------
COMMENT
-------

10. (SBU) A combined MDC control of the House of Assembly has
far-reaching implications. If Tsvangirai ultimately becomes
president, and assuming support of Mutambara formation MPs, he will
be able to gain legislative support for economic and political
reform. If Mugabe remains in office, the opposition will halt
ZANU-PF's ability to pass repressive and confiscatory legislation.
Additionally, with Constitutional Amendment 18 giving power to
Parliament to sit as an electoral college should the president
vacate the office for any reason, the ability of President Mugabe or
his inner circle to manage a succession has been entirely
compromised. END COMMENT.

MCGEE

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