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Cablegate: Diplomatic Note to Government of Zimbabwe Concerning Ifes

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

141040Z Sep 01


UNCLASSIFIED PTQ3018

PAGE 01 HARARE 02710 141157Z
ACTION L-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AF-00 AMAD-00 CPR-02 SRPP-00 EUR-00
UTED-00 TEDE-00 LAB-01 PA-00 PRS-00 SSC-01 SS-00
TEST-00 USIE-00 R-00 DRL-02 SAS-00 /006W
------------------1F2DAD 141157Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9716
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

UNCLAS HARARE 002710

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR GURNEY
PARIS FOR NEARY
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: DECL. N/A
TAGS: OPDC ZI
SUBJECT: DIPLOMATIC NOTE TO GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE CONCERNING IFES
EXPULSION

REF: HARARE 2690

1. (SBU) AFTER THE DE FACTO EXPULSION OF THE TEAM FROM THE
INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR ELECTION SYSTEMS (REFTEL), POST SENT
THE FOLLOWING DIPLOMATIC NOTE EXPRESSING OUR CONCERN TO THE
GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE.

2. (SBU) BEGIN TEXT:

THE EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PRESENTS ITS
COMPLIMENTS TO THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF
ZIMBABWE, AND EXPRESSES ITS CONCERN THAT A TWO-MEMBER TEAM FROM
THE INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR ELECTION SYSTEMS (IFES) HAS BEEN
ASKED TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY BY THE DEPARTMENT OF IMMIGRATION. IFES
IS A HIGHLY-RESPECTED, INTERNATIONALLY-RECOGNIZED NON-GOVERNMENTAL
ORGANIZATION HEADQUARTERED IN WASHINGTON, DC. THE ORGANIZATION IS
NOT PART OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT BUT RECEIVES FUNDING FROM
THE UNITED STATES AND A VARIETY OF OTHER DONORS. IT HAS WORKED
WORLD-WIDE OBSERVING ELECTIONS, INCLUDING U.S. ELECTIONS, AND
CREATING LINKAGES BETWEEN ELECTORAL COMMISSIONS. IFES HAS EMERGED
AS A FINALIST IN THE COMPETITION TO EXAMINE THE STATE OF FLORIDA'S
ELECTORAL LAWS, WITH AN EYE TO PREVENTING FUTURE CONTROVERSIES
SUCH AS THE ONE REPORTED ON DURING THE 2000 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL
VOTING IN THAT STATE.

THE TWO INDIVIDUALS FROM IFES, BOTH OF WHOM ARE AMERICAN CITIZENS,
WERE HERE TO CONDUCT AN INITIAL ASSESSMENT OF YOUR GOVERNMENT'S
PREPARATIONS FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, IN ANTICIPATION OF
LAUNCHING THEIR OWN INDEPENDENT ELECTION OBSERVATION EFFORT.
IFES'S OBJECTIVE IS TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE AN INDEPENDENT
ASSESSMENT OF THE CONDUCT OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, INCLUDING
THE PRE-ELECTION PERIOD. TOWARD THAT END, WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE
IFES OFFICIALS MADE SEVERAL EFFORTS TO MEET WITH KEY GOVERNMENT
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 02710 141157Z
OFFICIALS RESPONSIBLE FOR OVERSEEING ELECTIONS, INCLUDING THE
REGISTRAR-GENERAL, TO EXPLAIN THEIR PURPOSE IN VISITING ZIMBABWE,
BUT WERE UNSUCCESSFUL.

TO THEIR SURPRISE, THE TEAM MEMBERS WERE SUBSEQUENTLY ASKED BY THE
DEPARTMENT OF IMMIGRATION TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY TWO DAYS EARLIER
THAN THEIR PLANNED DEPARTURE DATES ALTHOUGH, TO THE BEST OF THEIR
KNOWLEDGE, THEY WERE IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THEIR
BUSINESS VISAS.

WE ARE CONCERNED BY THE TREATMENT GIVEN TO THE IFES TEAM. THE
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT STRONGLY SUPPORTS THE ORGANIZATION'S
EFFORTS TO DISCUSS A WORK PLAN WITH RELEVANT OFFICIALS HERE AND
POINTS OUT THAT AN ASSESSMENT OF ZIMBABWE'S ELECTORAL PROCESS BY
SUCH A BROADLY-RESPECTED ORGANIZATION KNOWN FOR ITS INTEGRITY,
INDEPENDENCE, AND ELECTION EXPERTISE CAN BE A CRUCIAL, POSITIVE
ELEMENT IN SHAPING THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY'S PERCEPTION OF
ZIMBABWE'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. IN JUNE AND AUGUST, SPEAKER OF
PARLIAMENT EMMERSON MNANGAGWA ASSURED US ON TWO OCCASIONS THAT THE
GOZ WOULD WELCOME INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS, AND THUS WE WERE
PARTICULARLY SURPRISED BY THE WAY IN WHICH THE IFES TEAM'S CASE
HAS BEEN HANDLED.

WE WOULD APPRECIATE CLARIFICATION FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE
CONCERNING THE PROCEDURES IFES MUST FOLLOW IN ORDER TO CONTINUE
WITH THEIR ACTIVITIES IN ZIMBABWE.

THE EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AVAILS ITSELF OF THIS
OPPORTUNITY TO RENEW TO THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE
REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE THE ASSURANCES OF ITS HIGHEST CONSIDERATION.

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HARARE 02710 141157Z
EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
HARARE, SEPTEMBER 13, 2001.

END TEXT.

ROTH

UNCLASSIFIED

>

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