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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
00HARARE5460 2000-09-27 14:59:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI INFORMS BRITISH HIGH

Tags:   PGOV ELAB PINS ZI 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

271459Z Sep 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2526

PAGE 01        HARARE  05460  01 OF 02  271458Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    ACQ-00   CIAE-00  SMEC-00  INL-00   DINT-00  
      DODE-00  DOEE-00  WHA-00   SRPP-00  DS-00    EB-00    EUR-00   
      FBIE-00  VC-00    H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   LAB-01   L-00     
      VCE-00   AC-01    NSAE-00  OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    
      PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    IRM-00   SSO-00   TRSE-00  
      USIE-00  PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  
      SAS-00     /008W
                  ------------------8A8DF2  271458Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7210
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 005460 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 1.6X5,6
TAGS: PGOV ELAB PINS ZI
SUBJECT: MORGAN TSVANGIRAI INFORMS BRITISH HIGH
COMMISSION OF MASS ACTION PLANS


CLASSIFIED BY DCM EARL M. IRVING FOR REASONS 1.5 B/D.

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 05460 01 OF 02 271458Z


1. (C) ON SEPTEMBER 27 THE BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION HERE
SHARED WITH US THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE, CLASSIFIED
"CONFIDENTIAL" AND SENT SEPTEMBER 22, CONCERNING MDC-
SPONSORED MASS ACTION IN ZIMBABWE. PLEASE PROTECT THE
SOURCE. MARK LYALL GRANT, REFERRED TO IN PARA. 2, IS A
SENIOR OFFICER IN THE FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE'S
AFRICA DEPARTMENT.

BEGIN TEXT:

SUMMARY

MDC OPPOSITION PARTY PREPARING FOR MASS ACTION NEXT
MONTH. PROBABLY LONG-RUNNING GENERAL STRIKE.
MEMBERSHIP BEING PREPARED THROUGH MPS' OUTREACH
MEETINGS. FORMAL NOTICE WILL BE DELIVERED AT MASS RALLY
ON SEPTEMBER 30. PARTY LEADERS ANTICIPATE VIOLENT
GOVERNMENT RESPONSE.

DETAIL

WITH LYALL GRANT (VISITING) I HAD SEPARATE MEETINGS ON
SEPTEMBER 20 AND 21 WITH MDC LEADER MORGAN TSVANGIRAI
AND HIS DEPUTY, GIBSON SIBANDA, WHO IS ALSO PARTY LEADER
IN PARLIAMENT. OUR CALLS FOLLOWED CLOSELY ON THE POLICE
RAIDS ON THE PARTY OFFICES AND THE STATEMENT BY HOME
AFFAIRS MINISTER NKOMO THAT WEAPONS AND INCRIMINATING
PAPERS HAD BEEN FOUND.

WE ASKED THEM TO EXPAND ON TSVANGIRAI'S PASSING
REFERENCES TO MASS ACTION IN HIS REMARKS TO THE PRESS
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 05460 01 OF 02 271458Z
AFTER NKOMO'S STATEMENT. TSVANGIRAI SAID THE PRESSURE
FROM THE MEMBERSHIP AND THE PUBLIC AT LARGE FOR DIRECT
ACTION WAS HUGE. THE GOVERNMENT'S REFUSAL TO BUDGE FROM
PRE-ELECTION POSITIONS HAD CREATED ANGER AND
FRUSTRATION. MUGABE HAD PUSHED THE PEOPLE TO THE POINT
WHERE MASS ACTION WAS "NOT NEGOTIABLE".

PLANNING WAS WELL ADVANCED. THE CORE FEATURE WOULD BE A
SNAP GENERAL STRIKE. MDC LEADERS ARE STILL UNDECIDED ON
ITS DURATION, BUT ONE OPTION DESCRIBED BY SIBANDA WAS TO
KEEP IT GOING UNTIL MUGABE IS FORCED OUT OF OFFICE. THE
PLAN IS FOR ALL MDC MEMBERS AND LIKE-MINDED PARTIES TO
WORK AS NORMAL UNTIL LUNCHTIME ON A SPECIFIED DAY,
RETURN TO THEIR HOMES AND NOT COME BACK.

NEITHER TSVANGIRAI NOR SIBANDA MENTIONED A DATE, BUT THE
MESSAGE WILL BE SPELLED OUT IN PLAIN TERMS AT CROSS-
COUNTRY RALLIES TO BE HELD ON SEPTEMBER 30 TO MARK THE
MDC'S FIRST ANNIVERSARY. THE STRIKE WILL BEGIN WITHIN
ONE OR TWO WEEKS OF THAT EVENT. TSVANGIRAI HAS
CANCELLED A VISIT TO BRUSSELS PLANNED FOR THE FIRST WEEK
OF OCTOBER.

MDC MPS AND OFFICIALS HAVE ALREADY BEEN ALERTING
CONSTITUENTS TO THE PLANS FOR MASS ACTION. WITH
PARLIAMENT IN RECESS SINCE YESTERDAY, THEY WILL BE
STEPPING UP THEIR ACTIVITIES NATIONWIDE IN PREPARATION
FOR SEPTEMBER 30.

IT IS NOT CLEAR WHETHER THE STRIKE WILL BE ACCOMPANIED
BY PLANNED RALLIES AND DEMONSTRATIONS, BUT SPONTANEOUS
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 05460 01 OF 02 271458Z
ACTION, PARTICULARLY IN THE HIGH-DENSITY AREAS IS NOT
UNLIKELY. TSVANGIRAI AND SIBANDA BELIEVE THAT THE
GOVERNMENT WILL CRACK DOWN ON THE MOVEMENT WITH ALL THE
MEANS AT THEIR DISPOSAL - VIOLENCE, TEARGAS, ARRESTS,
THE WHOLE PANOPLY OF THE POLICE STATE. TSVANGIRAI IS
CONFIDENT THAT THIS WILL NOT BREAK THE MOMENTUM. HE
SAID THE ACTION WOULD BE MASSIVE AND COUNTRYWIDE: THE
SECURITY FORCES SIMPLY DID NOT HAVE THE RESOURCES TO
CONTAIN IT. HE ADDED THAT ONCE THE ACTION HAD BEGUN, IT
WAS UNLIKELY THAT HE WOULD BE ABLE TO CONTROL IT.

COMMENT

THE MASS ACTION AS DESCRIBED BY THE TWO MDC LEADERS HAS
BEEN IN GESTATION FOR SOME TIME. THEIR ACCOUNT CONFIRMS
THE REPORTS WE HAVE BEEN GETTING OF MDC PLANNING
SESSIONS AND WELL-ATTENDED PREPARATORY MEETINGS IN THE
HARARE CONSTITUENCIES. THE STRATEGY IS A RESPONSE TO
THE INCREASING ANGER OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC TO THE SEVERE
HARDSHIP OF LIFE IN ZIMBABWE AND THEIR FRUSTRATION AT
WHAT THEY SEE AS THE GOVERNMENT'S REFUSAL TO BUDGE FROM
THE POLICIES AND ATTITUDES WHICH BROUGHT THIS ABOUT.

TSVANGIRAI CAN EXPECT MASSIVE SUBSTANTIAL IN THE CITIES

SIPDIS
AND MATABELELAND, BUT A KEY FACTOR WILL BE THE RESPONSE

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ2527

PAGE 01 HARARE 05460 02 OF 02 271458Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 SMEC-00 DINT-00 DODE-00
DOEE-00 WHA-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EUR-00 FBIE-00
VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00
AC-01 NSAE-00 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00
ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 IRM-00 SSO-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00
PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00
/008W


--------------------------

8A8DFD 271459Z /38
O 271459Z SEP 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7211
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 005460

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 1.6X5,6
TAGS: PGOV ELAB PINS ZI
SUBJECT: MORGAN TSVANGIRAI INFORMS BRITISH HIGH
COMMISSION OF MASS ACTION PLANS

IN THE RURAL AREAS. HE AND SIBANDA DESCRIBED MASS
TURNOUTS AT RECENT MDC RALLIES IN COMMUNITIES WHICH WERE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 05460 02 OF 02 271458Z
SERIOUSLY HIT BY PRE-ELECTION VIOLENCE AND RETURNED
ZANU-PF MS. TSVANGIRAI HAS NO DOUBT THAT THE CALL FOR
ACTION WILL SWEEP THE COUNTRY.

IT IS HIGH RISK. MUGABE'S INSTINCT WILL BE TO RESPOND
WITH THE USUAL BATTERIES OF RIOT POLICE SUPPORTED BY THE
MILITARY. HE WILL WISH TO PUT DOWN THE ACTION IN ITS
EARLY STAGES AND PROBABLY USE IT AS A PRETEXT TO SEIZE
THE MDC LEADERSHIP. AN IMPORTANT QUESTION FOR HIM IS
WHETHER SUCH A TACTIC WILL ALSO REVERSE THE GROUNDSWELL
AGAINST HIM WITHIN ZANU-PF OR WHETHER POTENTIAL
DISSIDENTS AND CHALLENGERS WILL RALLY BEHIND HIM IN THE
FACE OF A COMMON THREAT.

WE NEED TO CONSIDER HOW TO RESPOND TO A POSSIBLY
EXTENDED PERIOD OF CIVIL STRIFE AND ASSOCIATED
REPRESSION. IN THE MEANTIME WE ARE REDRAFTING OUR
TRAVEL ADVICE TO ALERT VISITORS TO POSSIBLE TROUBLE
ASSOCIATED WITH THE SEPTEMBER 30 RALLIES.

END TEXT.

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

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