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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
00HARARE6297
2000-11-08 15:57:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

ZIMBABWE OPPOSITION INCREASINGLY DIVIDED OVER

Tags:  PGOV PREL ECON PINR 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.

081557Z Nov 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2477

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      STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00  PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   
      G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /012W
                  ------------------9C86A8  081559Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7588
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 006297 

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: 11/08/10
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 06297 01 OF 03 081558Z
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE OPPOSITION INCREASINGLY DIVIDED OVER
MASS ACTION; AMBASSADOR URGES RESTRAINT

REFTEL: HARARE 5983

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD FOR REASONS 1.5
(B) AND (D).



1. (C) SUMMARY: AMBASSADOR MET OPPOSITION MOVEMENT FOR
DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) SECRETARY-GENERAL WELSHMAN NCUBE
NOVEMBER 7 TO PRESS HOME THE NEED FOR ZIMBABWE'S
POLITICAL PARTIES TO UNDERTAKE DIALOGUE AND DEFLATE
TENSIONS. NCUBE ASSERTED THAT THERE ARE MANY PARTY
STALWARTS WILLING TO TALK WITH THE MDC IF MUGABE WOULD
LET THEM. HOWEVER, "MODERATES" IN THE MDC ARE LOSING
MOMENTUM TO THE PARTY'S "RADICALS," WHO ARE INCREASING
THE PRESSURE FOR MASS ACTION THAT WOULD FORCE MUGABE
FROM POWER, ACCORDING TO NCUBE. THE MDC'S NATIONAL
EXECUTIVE HAS BEEN TRYING TO DELAY MASS ACTION FOR AS
LONG AS POSSIBLE, BUT THE RADICALS ARE MAKING IT
INCREASINGLY DIFFICULT TO DO SO. NCUBE ESPOUSED THAT
THE KEY QUESTION IS THE WILLINGNESS OF THE PARTY'S
MAJORITY OF "FENCE-SITTERS" TO ENGAGE IN THE TYPE OF
MASS ACTION THAT COULD RESULT IN VIOLENCE. GIVEN THE
RAPID DECLINE OF THE ECONOMY, THE GROWING CLAMOR FOR
MUGABE'S OUSTER, AND THE LOW PROBABILITY ZANU-PF WILL
MAKE ANY CONCESSION ON ITS CURRENT COURSE, THE MDC
LEADERSHIP MAY ULTIMATELY GIVE IN TO THE RADICALS'
PRESSURE. THE AMBASSADOR MADE A STRONG APPEAL FOR
RESTRAINT. END SUMMARY.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 06297 01 OF 03 081558Z



2. (C) AMBASSADOR, DCM, AND POLOFF MET OPPOSITION MDC
SECRETARY-GENERAL WELSHMAN NCUBE NOVEMBER 7 TO PRESS

SIPDIS
HOME THE NEED FOR ZIMBABWE'S POLITICAL PARTIES TO ENGAGE
IN DIALOGUE AND DEFLATE TENSIONS. THE AMBASSADOR
CONVEYED TO NCUBE THAT THE U.S. IS CONCERNED THAT THE
MDC AND ZANU-PF REFUSE TO TALK TO EACH OTHER, AND THAT
THE GENERAL POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC SITUATION IS NOT
SUSTAINABLE. WE WOULD LIKE TO HELP, IF POSSIBLE, AND
KNOWING WHO IN ZANU-PF TO APPROACH WOULD FACILITATE A
HOPEFULLY CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE, THE AMBASSADOR STATED.



3. (C) NCUBE ACKNOWLEDGED THE NEED FOR DIALOGUE AND
STATED THERE ARE PEOPLE MUGABE LISTENS TO THAT ARE
WILLING TO TALK TO THE OPPOSITION. NCUBE CITED SPEAKER
OF PARLIAMENT EMMERSON MNANGAGWA, FORMER ZIMBABWE
DEFENSE FORCES CHIEF AND POLITBURO MEMBER SOLOMON
MUJURU, ZANU-PF SECRETARY FOR ADMINISTRATION DIDYMUS
MUTASA, AND FORMER MINISTER OF STATE FOR NATIONAL
SECURITY SYDNEY SEKERAMAYI AS THE CORE PEOPLE MUGABE
STILL CONSULTS. THE PROBLEM LIES IN THE FACT THAT THEY
HAVE NOT TAKEN THE NECESSARY STEPS TO INITIATE A
DIALOGUE WITH THE MDC. (COMMENT: MDC SUPPORTER CLIVE
PUZEY TOLD US THAT HIS PARTY HAD MADE SOME OVERTURES TO
MUJURU TO SELL THE ZANU-PF LEADERSHIP ON AN AMNESTY
DEAL. THE EFFORT WAS STILLBORN. END COMMENT.)
MNANGAGWA, ZANU-PF CHAIRMAN JOHN NKOMO, AND VICE-
PRESIDENT JOSEPH MSIKA HAVE ALL MADE STATEMENTS ON
RESOLVING THE LAND PROBLEM IN A RATIONAL WAY. EVERYBODY
IN THE PARTY, EXCEPT FOR THE VICE-PRESIDENTS, AGREE
PRIVATELY THAT MUGABE MUST GO, AND NCUBE BELIEVES THAT
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 06297 01 OF 03 081558Z
MNANGAGWA CAN BE PERSUADED TO GET THE PARTY HIERARCHY TO
BACK MUGABE'S EARLY DEPARTURE.



4. (C) INSIDE THE MDC, NCUBE STATED, THE PRESSURE TO
RESORT TO MASS ACTION IS "PHENOMENAL." HE MENTIONED THE
SIX MDC MPS WHO TOLD A CROWD OF CHITUNGWIZA RESIDENTS
NOVEMBER 5 TO PREPARE FOR MASS ACTION IN DECEMBER TO
FORCE MUGABE OUT. NCUBE EMPHASIZED THAT THE MPS WERE
ACTING ON THEIR OWN AND DID NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY OF
THE MDC NATIONAL EXECUTIVE TO MAKE THOSE STATEMENTS.
THE EXECUTIVE IS STILL UNDECIDED ON THE TIMING AND FORM
OF MASS ACTION--IT HAS BEEN TRYING TO PUT OFF A DECISION
FOR TWO MONTHS NOW. NCUBE SAID THE PLAN OF ACTION TO BE
PRESENTED TO THE EXECUTIVE IN TWO WEEKS ENTAILS A THREE-
DAY GENERAL STRIKE FOLLOWED BY A MASS MARCH ON HARARE ON
THE FOURTH DAY. WHEN ASKED WHAT THE GOVERNMENT COULD DO
TO AVOID A POTENTIALLY VIOLENT MASS ACTION, NCUBE
RESPONDED THAT THE MDC WOULD ACCEPT A CLEAR INDICATION
FROM MUGABE OF HIS INTENTION NOT TO RUN FOR RE-ELECTION
AND AN ANNOUNCEMENT OF AN EARLY ELECTION IN JANUARY 2002
(THE ELECTION IS DUE BY APRIL 2002). THIS WOULD DIFFUSE
A LOT OF TENSION, NCUBE STATED, AND THE MDC COULD WAIT
15 MONTHS FOR AN ELECTION IF IT KNEW MUGABE WOULD NOT
RUN, EVEN THOUGH THE MDC STANDS A BETTER CHANCE OF
WINNING AGAINST MUGABE. HE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT NEITHER
MUGABE NOR ZANU-PF LIKELY WOULD TAKE SUCH A STEP.

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ2480

PAGE 01 HARARE 06297 02 OF 03 081559Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00 COME-00
CTME-00 INL-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00
EB-00 EUR-00 EXIM-01 E-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00
FRB-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 ITC-01 LAB-01 L-00
VCE-00 AC-01 DCP-01 NSAE-00 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 /012W


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

9C86BB 081559Z /38
O 081557Z NOV 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7589
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 006297

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: 11/08/10
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 06297 02 OF 03 081559Z
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE OPPOSITION INCREASINGLY DIVIDED OVER
MASS ACTION; AMBASSADOR URGES RESTRAINT



5. (C) NCUBE WENT ON TO SAY THAT WITHOUT SOME
ASSURANCES FROM ZANU-PF THAT MUGABE IS ON HIS WAY OUT,
IT WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT TO CONTAIN THE RADICALS IN THE
MDC. THE PARTY MODERATES, EVEN THOUGH THEY CONSTITUTE A
MAJORITY OF MEMBERS, ARE FINDING IT INCREASINGLY
DIFFICULT TO ANSWER THE DEMANDS OF THE RADICALS, AND ARE
"LOSING MOMENTUM" TO THEM. WHEN MDC VICE-PRESIDENT
GIBSON SIBANDA TRIED TO CONVINCE A CROWD OF SUPPORTERS
IN BULAWAYO NOVEMBER 5 THAT THE MDC MUST WAIT FOR
ELECTIONS, THE CROWD SHOUTED BACK "NO," AND DEMANDED TO
KNOW THE DATE FOR MASS ACTION. SOME INDICATED TO
SIBANDA THAT THEY WOULD RATHER DIE THAN WAIT ANOTHER
YEAR TO OUST MUGABE. NCUBE POINTED OUT THAT THERE ARE
THOUSANDS OF HOMELESS IN THE CITIES JUST WAITING FOR THE
CHANCE TO MARCH, AND THAT MILITANT MDC YOUTHS ARE SAYING
THEY WILL FORCE RELUCTANT BYSTANDERS TO JOIN IN ONCE A
DEMONSTRATION IS UNDER WAY. NCUBE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THE
"FENCE-SITTERS" IN THE MDC WILL DETERMINE THE SUCCESS OF
ANY MASS ACTION. THE RADICALS KEEP TELLING THE NATIONAL
EXECUTIVE THEY CAN DELIVER THE "FENCE-SITTERS" AND BRING
OUT A MILLION PEOPLE IN HARARE AND A HALF MILLION IN
BULAWAYO. NCUBE ADDED THAT SOME RADICALS DON'T CARE IF
THOUSANDS DIE IF IT REMOVES MUGABE FROM POWER.



6. (C) NCUBE REITERATED THAT THE RADICALS IN THE PARTY
DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THE MAJORITY. THE RADICALS
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 06297 02 OF 03 081559Z
MOST FREQUENTLY DOMINATE RALLIES AND ARE TYPICALLY THE
MOST OUTSPOKEN. THEY ARE THE ONES SPREADING THE WORD OF
AN EARLY DECEMBER MASS ACTION IN AN ATTEMPT TO PRESSURE
THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE, WHICH IS STILL DOMINATED BY
MODERATES, INTO ANNOUNCING A MASS ACTION DATE, ACCORDING
TO NCUBE. SOME RADICALS HAVE ACTED DISAPPOINTED ONCE
MDC LEADERS HAVE POINTED OUT THAT EVEN IF MUGABE
RESIGNS, THE MDC STILL MUST WIN AN ELECTION TO GET INTO
POWER--IT WON'T SIMPLY TAKE OVER IF MUGABE STEPS ASIDE.
THE AMBASSADOR URGED NCUBE TO INFORM MDC SUPPORTERS OF
THE ELECTORAL PROCESS AND TO RESTRAIN THEM FROM ENGAGING
IN MASS ACTION AND TRYING TO VIOLENTLY OVERTHROW THE
PRESIDENT. IN ORDER FOR THE MDC TO KEEP ITS CREDIBILITY
AND INTERNATIONAL GOODWILL, IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE
OPPOSITION TO KEEP ITS STRATEGY OF STICKING TO THE HIGH
ROAD IN THE FACE OF GOVERNMENT VIOLENCE AND REPRESSION.



7. (C) IN RESPONSE TO A QUESTION FROM DCM, NCUBE
CLARIFIED REMARKS MADE BY TSVANGIRAI IN DUBLIN URGING
WESTERN COUNTRIES TO CUT DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH
MUGABE'S GOVERNMENT. ALTHOUGH NCUBE WAS NOT PRESENT, HE
SAID THAT TSVANGIRAI MAY HAVE MISSTATED HIS POINT--THAT
THE MDC IS URGING THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO SUSPEND
AID AND BALANCE OF PAYMENTS SUPPORT IN ORDER TO ISOLATE
THE GOVERNMENT. THE MDC DOES NOT WANT FOREIGN COUNTRIES
TO CUT RELATIONS WITH ZIMBABWE. ZIMBABWE IS BIGGER THAN
MUGABE OR ZANU-PF, NCUBE SAID, AND THE MDC DOES NOT WANT
TO SEE FOREIGN INVESTORS PASSING UP ZIMBABWE, EVEN IF IT
MEANS DEALING WITH MUGABE. THE MDC IS TALKING TO
MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE NKOSANA
MOYO TO ENSURE THAT TRADE WITH ZIMBABWE CONTINUES. THE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 06297 02 OF 03 081559Z
MDC IS TRYING TO KEEP INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CHANNELS
OPEN BECAUSE IT DOES NOT WANT TO INHERIT A COMPLETELY
DESTROYED ECONOMY.



8. (C) COMMENT: DESPITE THE AMBASSADOR'S URGINGS OF
RESTRAINT, NCUBE RETURNED AGAIN AND AGAIN TO THE THEME
OF RADICALS IN THE MDC GAINING MORE INFLUENCE OVER
MODERATES IN THE PARTY. THIS APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN BORNE
OUT IN THE MDC TABLING OF THE MUGABE IMPEACHMENT MOTION
IN LATE OCTOBER. TWO OF THE PARTY'S "RADICALS," TRUDY
STEVENSON AND EDDIE CROSS, HAD PUSHED HARD OVER
TSVANGIRAI'S OBJECTIONS TO BEGIN THE IMPEACHMENT PROCESS

SIPDIS
(REFTEL). WHILE IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE MDC IS MERELY
TRYING TO PROVIDE US AN EXCUSE FOR INSTIGATING MASS
ACTION, IT ALSO HAS GOOD REASON TO ACT SOON RATHER THAN
WAIT UNTIL 2002 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS TO OUST MUGABE.
IT IS ALSO POSSIBLE THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO
DESTROY THE COUNTRY'S ECONOMY SO THAT IF THE MDC DOES
COME TO POWER, IT WILL BE SET UP FOR FAILURE, AND ZANU-
PF CAN SWEEP BACK IN AT SOME POINT. IN ANY CASE, THE
VOICES OF ACTION IN THE MDC DO APPEAR TO BE GETTING THE
UPPER HAND, AND THE MDC LEADERSHIP MAY NOT BE ABLE TO
FORESTALL MASS ACTION AND ASSOCIATED VIOLENCE MUCH
LONGER, PARTICULARLY IF IT GETS NO HELP FROM THE
GOVERNMENT IN THIS CONNECTION. END COMMENT.

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ2481

PAGE 01 HARARE 06297 03 OF 03 081559Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00 COME-00
CTME-00 INL-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00
EB-00 EUR-00 EXIM-01 E-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00
FRB-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 ITC-01 LAB-01 L-00
VCE-00 AC-01 DCP-01 NSAE-00 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 /012W


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

9C86C1 081559Z /38
O 081557Z NOV 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7590
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 006297

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: 11/08/10
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 06297 03 OF 03 081559Z
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE OPPOSITION INCREASINGLY DIVIDED OVER
MASS ACTION; AMBASSADOR URGES RESTRAINT

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

>