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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
00HARARE5581
2000-09-29 15:59:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

MDC PRESIDENT TSVANGIRAI CALLS ON AMBASSADOR

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

291559Z Sep 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ3192

PAGE 01        HARARE  05581  01 OF 03  291557Z 
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        /010W
                  ------------------8BAEC1  291557Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7240
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 005581 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/15/10
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI MDC
SUBJECT: MDC PRESIDENT TSVANGIRAI CALLS ON AMBASSADOR


CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR MCDONALD. REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 05581 01 OF 03 291557Z
(D).

SUMMARY
-------



1. (C) IN A SEPTEMBER 29 MEETING WITH THE AMBASSADOR,
MDC PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI CALLED THE BOMBING OF MDC
HEADQUARTERS AND SUBSEQUENT RAIDS ON ITS OFFICES
"AMATEURISH." THE GOZ HAS NO EVIDENCE AGAINST THE MDC
LEADERSHIP BUT WOULD CONTINUE TO TRY TO PAINT THE PARTY
AS A SUBVERVISE ORGANIZATION. TSVANGIRAI AGREED THAT THE
GOZ WAS TRYING TO USE THE ZIMBABWE DEMOCRACY ACT AS A
SCAPEGOAT, BUT THE MDC WOULD TRY TO KEEP THE FOCUS ON THE
GOVERNMENT'S POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC MISMANAGEMENT. HE
LAMENTED THAT ZANU-PF MPS HAVE BEEN UNWILLING TO
COOPERATE WITH THE MDC ON ISSUES OF CRITICAL NATIONAL
IMPORTANCE. TSVANGIRAI EXPRESSED CONCERN THAT THE GOZ IS
USING WAR VETERANS AS A RESERVE ARMY, INDICATED BY THEIR
RECENT PLACEMENT UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE MINISTRY OF
DEFENSE. THE MDC PRESIDENT REPORTED THAT THE MDC IS
PLANNING A RALLY IN HARARE ON SEPTEMBER 30 TO CELEBRATE
THE PARTY'S ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY. THE PARTY'S EXECUTIVE
COMMITTEE WOULD MEET SUBSEQUENTLY TO DISCUSS ORGANIZING
MASS ACTION. THE AMBASSADOR URGED TSVANGIRAI TO EXERCISE
RESTRAINT AND CAUTION WHEN ORGANIZING SUCH ACTIVITIES.
END SUMMARY.



2. (C) MDC PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI CALLED ON
AMBASSADOR MCDONALD ON SEPTEMBER 29. HE WAS ACCOMPANIED
BY MDC CHAIRMAN ISAAC MATONGO AND SENIOR ADVISOR GANDI
MUDZINGWA. THE AMBASSADOR WAS JOINED BY THE DCM AND
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 05581 01 OF 03 291557Z
POLOFF.

BOMBING AND RAIDS OF MDC OFFICES


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





3. (C) TSVANGIRAI SAID HE HAD REQUESTED THE MEETING
BECAUSE HE WANTED TO TOUCH BASE AND TO RAISE SEVERAL
SPECIFIC POINTS. FIRST, HE SAID, THE RECENT BOMBING OF
MDC HEADQUARTERS AND THE SUBSEQUENT SEARCH OF THE PARTY'S
OFFICES HAD SIMPLY BEEN A PRETEXT TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE
MDC'S RECORDS AND STRATEGIES. TSVANGIRAI REPORTED THAT
TWO PEOPLE HAD BEEN CHARGED IN THE CASE (NOTE: ON TWO
COUNTS OF TERRORISM AND SABOTAGE UNDER THE LAW AND ORDER
MAINTENANCE ACT. END NOTE) -- A SERVING POLICE OFFICER
(ZACHARIA NKOMO) AND AN MDC SECURITY OFFICIAL (SOLOMON
CHIKOWERO). NKOMO, WHO ALLEGEDLY THREW THE GRENADE, HAD
PARTICIPATED IN THE MDC'S YOUTH MOVEMENT BUT HAD NEVER
DONE SECURITY WORK FOR THE PARTY, AS ALLEGED BY THE GOZ.
THE GOZ, TSVANGIRAI INSISTED, WAS TRYING TO FABRICATE A
LINKAGE BETWEEN NKOMO AND CHIKOWERO, WHOM IT HAS ACCUSED
OF GIVING THE GRENADE TO NKOMO. TSVANGIRAI SCOFFED AT
THE CHARGES AGAINST CHIKOWERO, WHO HAS BEEN RELEASED ON
BAIL, SAYING THE GOZ HAD NO EVIDENCE AGAINST HIM AND WAS
TRUMPING UP CHARGES AGAINST HIM TO JUSTIFY FURTHER ACTION
AGAINST THE OPPOSITION PARTY.



4. (C) WHAT STEPS WAS THE GOZ PLANNING TO TAKE NEXT
AGAINST THE MDC, THE AMBASSADOR ASKED? TSVANGIRAI
DESCRIBED THE WHOLE BOMBING INCIDENT AND SUBSEQUENT RAID
AS "AMATEURISH." THE GOZ IS TRYING TO PAINT THE MDC AS A
SUBVERSIVE ORGANIZATION SO THAT IT CAN ARREST THE PARTY
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PAGE 04 HARARE 05581 01 OF 03 291557Z
LEADERSHIP. THEIR ATTEMPT HAS FAILED, AS THEY HAVE NO
EVIDENCE, BUT THEY WILL TRY AGAIN. ASKED BY THE
AMBASSADOR WHETHER HE FEELS INCREASINGLY THREATENED,
TSVANGIRAI REPLIED THAT SOME IN THE GOZ WOULD LOVE TO SEE

SIPDIS
HIM "DISAPPEAR FROM THE EARTH." BRINGING THAT ABOUT,
HOWEVER, WOULD BE VERY RISKY FOR THE GOZ. THE MDC WANTS
TO IMPROVE THE PROTECTION OF ITS LEADERSHIP, TSVANGIRAI
NOTED, AND HE HOPED HIS SECURITY DIRECTOR COULD CONTINUE
TO SEEK ADVICE FROM THE EMBASSY'S NEW REGIONAL SECURITY
OFFICER, AS WAS DONE WITH HIS PREDECESSOR. THE
AMBASSADOR STATED THAT, WITHIN OUR LIMITATIONS, WE WOULD
BE PLEASED TO CONTINUE TO ASSIST.

ECONOMY


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





5. (C) TSVANGIRAI SAID ZIMBABWEANS ARE GETTING
INCREASINGLY ANGRY ABOUT THE CONTINUED DETERIORATION OF
THE ECONOMY. THERE HAD BEEN SOME HOPE, HE NOTED, WHEN
THE NEW CABINET WAS APPOINTED, BUT THE ECONOMY HAS ONLY
WORSENED. ALTHOUGH HE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT FINANCE MINISTER
SIMBA MAKONI AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INDUSTRY
MINISTER NKOSANA MOYO WERE CAPABLE, THEY ARE PART OF A
CORRUPT SYSTEM AND WILL NOT BE GIVEN THE NECESSARY
AUTHORITY TO MAKE DECISIONS. THE MDC HAD PROVIDED THAT

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ3194

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SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EUR-00 VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00
INR-00 IO-00 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 DCP-01 NSAE-00
OIC-02 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00
P-00 SP-00 IRM-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00
PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00
/010W


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

8BAED5 291557Z /38
O 291559Z SEP 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7241
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 005581

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/15/10
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI MDC
SUBJECT: MDC PRESIDENT TSVANGIRAI CALLS ON AMBASSADOR

ASSESSMENT TO THE IMF TEAM DURING ITS RECENT VISIT.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 05581 02 OF 03 291557Z

ZIMBABWE DEMOCRACY ACT


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





6. (C) TSVANGIRAI RAISED THE ZIMBABWE DEMOCRACY ACT
(ZDA), NOTING THE GOZ'S ATTEMPTS TO PORTRAY IT AS A
SANCTIONS BILL WHICH UNDERMINES THE COUNTRY'S
SOVEREIGNTY. THE AMBASSADOR AGREED THAT GOZ OFFICIALS
HAVE TRIED TO USE THE ZDA AS A SCAPEGOAT FOR PROBLEMS OF
THEIR OWN MAKING. HE POINTED OUT THAT THE ZDA CONVEYS A
VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE WHICH THE GOZ SHOULD TAKE TO
HEART. ACCORDING TO TSVANGIRAI, THE MDC POSITION IS THAT
THE BILL LAYS OUT, ACCURATELY, THE UNFORTUNATE CURRENT
FACTS OF LIFE IN ZIMBABWE. THE OPPOSITION PARTY, HE
SAID, WOULD CONTINUE TO TRY TO KEEP THE FOCUS ON THE
VIOLENCE IN THE COUNTRY AND THE GOVERNMENT'S REFUSAL TO
RESTORE AND ENSURE THE RULE OF LAW.

PARLIAMENT


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





7. (C) TSVANGIRAI NOTED THAT THE MDC MEMBERS OF
PARLIAMENT HAD BEEN "RAISING LOTS OF VOICES," AND HE
APPEALED FOR ASSISTANCE AIMED AT STRENGTHENING PARLIAMENT
AS AN INSTITUTION. THE AMBASSADOR DESCRIBED THE MDC'S
WINNING OF 57 SEATS IN JUNE AS A VERY POSITIVE
DEVELOPMENT BUT EXPRESSED CONCERN THAT IT MAY BE
DIFFICULT FOR DEMOCRACY TO TAKE HOLD UNDER THE CURRENT
SERIOUS POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC PROBLEMS. ZANU-PF,
TSVANGIRAI REPLIED, HAS NOT ACCEPTED THE ELECTION RESULTS

SIPDIS
AND THAT IS WHY THE RULING PARTY CONTINUES TO BE SO
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 05581 02 OF 03 291557Z
CONFRONTATIONAL. HE LAMENTED THAT ZANU-PF MPS HAVE
EVINCED NO WILLINGNESS TO ENGAGE IN BIPARTISAN
COOPERATION, EVEN ON ISSUES OF CRITICAL NATIONAL
IMPORTANCE, SUCH AS LAND, ECONOMY, AND RESTORATION OF THE
RULE OF LAW.

WAR VETERANS


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





8. (C) TSVANGIRAI CLAIMED THAT THE GOZ IS USING WAR
VETERANS AS A RESERVE ARMY BECAUSE PRESIDENT MUGABE DOES
NOT TRUST THE REGULAR ARMY TO DO HIS DIRTY WORK.
THE RECENT PLACEMENT OF THE WAR VETERANS ASSOCIATION
UNDER THE MINISTRY OF DEFENSE, HE SAID, FORMALIZES THEIR
MILITARY ROLE, WHICH WORRIES THE MDC A GREAT DEAL. IN
THE MEANTIME, THE LAWLESSNESS CONTINUES THROUGHOUT THE
COUNTRY AND THE GOZ IS MAKING NO ATTEMPT TO CONTROL IT.

MASS ACTION


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





9. (C) THE AMBASSADOR ASKED TSVANGIRAI TO COMMENT ON
REPORTS OF THE MDC'S INTENTION TO ORGANIZE SOME SORT OF
MASS ACTION. THE PARTY, TSVANGIRAI REPLIED, IS PLANNING
TO HOLD A MID-DAY RALLY IN HARARE'S RUFARO STADIUM ON
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 (NOTE: MDC CHAIRMAN ISAAC MATONGO
LATER TOLD DCM AND POLOFF THAT THE PARTY EXPECTS 50-
60,000 PEOPLE FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY TO ATTEND. END
NOTE.) THE PURPOSE OF THE RALLY IS TO CELEBRATE THE ONE-
YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE PARTY'S FOUNDING, TO THANK MDC
SUPPORTERS FOR THEIR COURAGE DURING THE PAST YEAR, AND TO
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 05581 02 OF 03 291557Z
DISCUSS THE PARTY'S NEXT STEPS.



10. (C) ASKED WHETHER STAYAWAYS WOULD BE ORGANIZED AFTER
THE RALLY, TSVANGIRAI SAID THEY WERE UNAVOIDABLE BUT THAT
NOTHING HAD BEEN PLANNED. THE AMBASSADOR URGED THE MDC
TO EXERCISE RESTRAINT AND CAUTION IN PLANNING THE NEXT
STEPS. THE OPPOSITION PARTY, HE POINTED OUT, HAS BEEN
SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE IT HAS MAINTAINED PUBLIC FOCUS ON
ISSUES WHICH MATTER TO MOST ZIMBABWEANS, WITHOUT TRYING
TO INFLAME AN ALREADY EXPLOSIVE SITUATION. HE EXPRESSED
HOPE THAT THE PARTY WOULD CONTINUE TO TAKE THIS APPROACH
AND WOULD NOT GIVE THE GOVERNMENT AN EXCUSE TO CRACK
DOWN. TSVANGIRAI ACCEPTED THE POINT, BUT SAID HE WAS IN
A DELICATE POSITION -- PEOPLE ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE
ANGRY AND ARE DEMANDING ACTION, AS THE CURRENT COURSE OF
EVENTS IN ZIMBABWE IS UNSUSTAINABLE. THE SEPTEMBER 30
RALLY, HE SAID, WOULD SET THE TONE FOR A SUBSEQUENT
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING, WHICH WOULD DECIDE ON THE
PARTY'S FUTURE ACTIONS.



11. (C) THE DCM ASKED FOR TSVANGIRAI'S ASSESSMENT OF
PRESIDENT MUGABE'S CURRENT THINKING ON THE 2002
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION -- IS HE CONSIDERING STEPPING DOWN
OR WOULD HE SERVE OUT HIS TERM. HE HAS SEEN NO
INDICATION, TSVANGIRAI RESPONDED, THAT MUGABE WILL STEP

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ3196

PAGE 01 HARARE 05581 03 OF 03 291557Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 DODE-00
SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EUR-00 VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00
INR-00 IO-00 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 DCP-01 NSAE-00
OIC-02 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00
P-00 SP-00 IRM-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00
PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00
/010W


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

8BAEDD 291557Z /38
O 291559Z SEP 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7242
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 005581

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/15/10
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI MDC
SUBJECT: MDC PRESIDENT TSVANGIRAI CALLS ON AMBASSADOR

DOWN. THE ZANU-PF EXTRAORDINARY CONGRESS LATER THIS YEAR
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 05581 03 OF 03 291557Z
WOULD FOCUS PRIMARILY ON THE SUCCESSION ISSUE, AND WAS
POTENTIALLY A WATERSHED EVENT. HE THOUGHT MUGABE WOULD
SERVE OUT HIS TERM BUT WOULD AGREE THAT SOMEONE ELSE --
UNDER HIS CONTROL OR INFLUENCE -- SHOULD CONTEST THE
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. THE DCM EXPRESSED SOME SKEPTICISM
ABOUT THAT SCENARIO, EMPHASIZING THAT A DECISION TO SERVE
OUT HIS TERM BUT NOT TO STAND FOR REELECTION COULD MAKE
MUGABE A LAME DUCK DURING HIS FINAL TWO YEARS IN OFFICE.
ASKED WHETHER MUGABE IS GROOMING FINANCE MINISTER MAKONI
AS HIS SUCCESSOR, TSVANGIRAI WAS DOUBTFUL, SAYING THAT
MAKONI DOES NOT HAVE A STRONG POLITICAL BASE. TSVANGIRAI
AFFIRMED THAT MUGABE'S DEPARTURE IS INEVITABLE AND THAT
HE MUST BE PERSUADED TO RETIRE. THE PROBLEM IS THAT HE
HAS NOTHING TO LOSE BY EMPLOYING CONFRONTATION AND WILL
ONLY RESPOND TO PRESSURE. THAT, TSVANGIRAI STRESSED, IS
WHY MASS ACTION IS NECESSARY.

COMMENT


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





12. (C) TSVANGIRAI WAS SOMEWHAT CALMER THAN THE LAST
TIME WE MET WITH HIM, BUT CLEARLY VERY WORRIED ABOUT
RECENT POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS. IT WAS
OBVIOUS FROM HIS COMMENTS THAT THE MDC IS FEELING INTENSE
PRESSURE FROM ITS SUPPORTERS NATIONWIDE TO TAKE A FIRM
STAND AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT'S FAILURE TO TURN THE
ECONOMY AROUND AND TO RESTORE THE RULE OF LAW. HE IS
UNDERSTANDABLY RELUCTANT, HOWEVER, TO ENCOURAGE LARGE-
SCALE PROTESTS FOR FEAR OF UNLEASHING A GOVERNMENT
CRACKDOWN THAT COULD TURN BLOODY. AT THE SAME TIME, THE
MDC RISKS LOSING LEGITIMACY IF IT DOES NOT RESPOND TO THE
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PAGE 03 HARARE 05581 03 OF 03 291557Z
ANGER AND FRUSTRATION OF ITS CONSTITUENTS. TSVANGIRAI
AND THE REST OF THE MDC ARE CLEARLY BETWEEN A ROCK AND A
HARD PLACE. THE SEPTEMBER 30 RALLY, AND THE LIKELY
DEMANDS FOR ACTION BY THOSE IN ATTENDANCE, WILL BE A
SIGNIFICANT TEST OF THE MDC LEADERSHIP'S METTLE.
MEANWHILE, WE HAVE ADVISED EMBASSY STAFF AND THE AMERICAN
COMMUNITY TO AVOID THE AREA NEAR THE STADIUM ON SEPTEMBER


30.

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

>