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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
00HARARE6459 2000-11-20 15:36:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

TSVANGIRAI SAYS NO EARLY DECISION LIKELY ON

Tags:   PGOV PINS PHUM 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.

201536Z Nov 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5220

PAGE 01        HARARE  06459  201536Z 
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      TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    NSAE-00  
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      DSCC-00  PRM-02   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /010W
                  ------------------A171C5  201536Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7654
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI IMMEDIATE 
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 006459 

SIPDIS

NAIROBI PLEASE PASS TO ASSISTANT SECRETARY RICE

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/20/2010
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 06459 201536Z
TAGS: PGOV PINS PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI SAYS NO EARLY DECISION LIKELY ON
MASS ACTION


CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD FOR REASON 1.5
(D).



1. (C) DURING THE COURSE OF A CONVERSATION ON ANOTHER
MATTER NOVEMBER 20, MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE
PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI TOLD AMBASSADOR MCDONALD
THAT HIS PARTY HAD MADE NO DECISION REGARDING PLANS FOR
MASS ACTION IN DECEMBER. HE SAID THAT THE PARTY'S
EXECUTIVE WAS SCHEDULED TO MEET ON NOVEMBER 24 AND THAT
[THE DECISION TO ENGAGE IN MASS ACTION] "WON'T BE
CONCRETIZED THEN." THE AMBASSADOR URGED AGAINST THIS
COURSE OF ACTION BECAUSE IT WOULD RESULT IN A LIKELY
LOSS OF LIFE, AND CAUSE PRESIDENT MUGABE TO LASH OUT,
ALTHOUGH HE UNDERSTOOD THAT THE PARTY HAD TO BE TRUE TO
ITS SUPPORTERS. TSVANGIRAI REPLIED THAT HE WAS
"CONSCIOUS OF THE SENSITIVITIES" OF THE INTERNATIONAL
COMMUNITY AND PROMISED TO WORK TO CHANNEL HIS
SUPPORTERS' ANGER PRODUCTIVELY. HE BLAMED THE PRESS
BECAUSE IT "WHIPS UP ANGER," ADDING THAT HE WOULD "TAKE
OUR PEOPLE INTO OUR CONFIDENCE" SO THAT THEY MIGHT
"ARRIVE AT THE RIGHT CONCLUSION."



2. (C) TSVANGIRAI THEN COMMENTED ON THE WEEKEND FRACAS
BETWEEN SUPPORTERS OF THE RULING ZANU-PF AND THE MDC IN
RURAL BEATRICE, IN THE CONTEXT OF THE CAMPAIGN FOR THE
MARONDERA WEST BY-ELECTION. HE SAID THAT HE HAD BEEN
SCHEDULED TO ADDRESS A RALLY THERE, BUT UPON RECEIVING
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 06459 201536Z
INFORMATION OF THE SITUATION ON THE GROUND DECIDED NOT
TO DO SO. MDC SUPPORTERS WHO WENT TO BEATRICE TRIED TO
HOLD A RALLY, BUT FOUND WAR VETERANS AT THEIR CHOSEN
LOCATION. THE MDC SUPPORTERS TOLD THE VETERANS TO MOVE,
AS THEY HAD BOOKED THE SPOT, AT WHICH POINT SHOOTING
ENSUED. NO ONE WAS HIT, BUT AT LEAST ONE ZANU-PF
SUPPORTER WAS RUN OVER IN THE CONFUSION, AS THEY TRIED
TO BLOCK IN THE MDC SUPPORTERS. TSVANGIRAI ADMITTED
THAT SOME MDC MEMBERS WERE BOOKED BY THE POLICE AND WERE
ANSWERING CHARGES. HE CONTINUED THAT, "THE WAR VETERANS
AND MUGABE WON'T ABANDON VIOLENCE," AND REPORTED THAT
THERE WERE TWO BY-ELECTIONS COMING UP, ONE IN MARONDERA
WEST AND THE OTHER IN BIKITA, NEAR MASVINGO. "I WILL
NOT BE CAMPAIGNING THERE [IN MARONDERA WEST]," THE MDC
PRESIDENT STATED. HE EXPLAINED THAT HIS SUPPORTERS TOLD
HIM THEY WOULD VOTE FOR THE MDC AND IF HE CAME THEY
WOULD ATTEND THE RALLY, BUT HIS PRESENCE IN THE DISTRICT
WOULD ONLY INFLAME THE WAR VETERANS, WHO WOULD COME
AFTER THEM IN THE NIGHT.



3. (C) COMMENT: WE WELCOME THE NEWS ON THE AS YET NOT
DECIDED-FOR MASS ACTION PLAN. MASS ACTION IS A BLUNT
TOOL TO BE USED WITH EXTREME CARE AND WITH GOOD
PLANNING, NEITHER OF WHICH ELEMENT THE MDC IS EXERCISING
IN ABUNDANCE OUTSIDE OF PARLIAMENT. WE DO NOT BELIEVE
THAT PUBLIC SENTIMENT IS YET AT THE POINT WHERE IT WOULD
BRING ABOUT THE DESIRED RESULT, FROM EITHER A NUMERIC OR
PASSION STANDARD. IN ADDITION, THOUGH HE AND THE PARTY
HAVE MUCH ON THEIR PLATE, TSVANGIRAI AND THE MDC'S TOP
LEADERSHIP APPEAR, AT TIMES TO US, TO BE MORE DISTRACTED
AND UNFOCUSED THAN WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE. NEVERTHELESS,
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PAGE 04 HARARE 06459 201536Z
THE AMBASSADOR'S WORDS AND THOSE OF AF ASSISTANT
SECRETARY RICE AND AF/S DIRECTOR RENDER URGING CAUTION,

SIPDIS
GIVEN THAT THEY ARE PLAYING WITH FIRE (AND LIVES), SEEM
TO HAVE HAD SOME EFFECT. END COMMENT.

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

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