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01HARARE1495 2001-05-02 15:46:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

MDC CAMPAIGNING ACTIVELY BUT QUIETLY FOR PRESIDENCY, BUT

Tags:   PGOV KDEM PINS ZI 
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021546Z May 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ3229

PAGE 01        HARARE  01495  01 OF 03  021539Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00  SMEC-00  DINT-00  
      DODE-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    EB-00    EUR-00   OIGO-00  FBIE-00  
      VC-00    H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    L-00     VCE-00   
      AC-01    NSAE-00  OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    
      PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    IRM-00   STR-00   TRSE-00  
      USIE-00  PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  
      SAS-00   SWCI-00    /009W
                  ------------------E675BC  021540Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8775
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 001495 

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: DECL. 05/02/11
TAGS: PGOV KDEM PINS ZI
SUBJECT: MDC CAMPAIGNING ACTIVELY BUT QUIETLY FOR PRESIDENCY, BUT
UNSURE HOW IT WOULD REACT TO MUGABE VICTORY
CONFIDENTIAL


PAGE 02 HARARE 01495 01 OF 03 021539Z

REF: A) HARARE 1247 B) HARARE 930

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D'AFFAIRES EARL IRVING. REASONS: 1.5
(B) AND (D).

SUMMARY
-------



1. (C) THE OPPOSITION MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) HAS
STRENGTHENED ITS INTERNAL STRUCTURES AND PUT IN PLACE A RIGOROUS
POLICY-VETTING PROCESS. THE LACK OF ADEQUATE RESOURCES, HOWEVER,
CONTINUES TO POSE A PROBLEM, EXACERBATED BY THE GOVERNMENT'S
REFUSAL TO GIVE THE MDC FUNDS TO WHICH IT IS LEGALLY ENTITLED AND
BY THE PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION PROHIBITING POLITICAL PARTIES FROM
RECEIVING FOREIGN FUNDING. THE MDC WILL TRY TO PLAY ABOVEBOARD AS
MUCH AS POSSIBLE BUT LIKELY WILL HAVE TO ENGAGE IN A BIT OF
"CREATIVE FINANCING." IN AN EFFORT TO AVOID PROVOKING ZANU-PF, THE
MDC IS CAMPAIGNING FOR THE 2002 PRESIDENCY ACTIVELY BUT QUIETLY.
IT IS HOLDING FEWER LARGE RALLIES AND IS SENDING SMALL TEAMS TO
RURAL AREAS AROUND THE COUNTRY TO CAMPAIGN DOOR-TO-DOOR. THE
OPPOSITION PARTY HAS NOT AGREED HOW TO REACT IN THE EVENT THAT
PRESIDENT MUGABE WINS AN ILLEGITIMATE ELECTION, AN INCREASINGLY
LIKELY SCENARIO. END SUMMARY.

STRUCTURAL CHANGES


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





2. (C) DURING THE PAST TWO MONTHS, THE MDC HAS TAKEN STEPS TO
STRENGTHEN ITS ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES. ISAAC MAPOSA, WHO LAST
YEAR LED THE NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY'S OPPOSITION TO THE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01495 01 OF 03 021539Z
GOVERNMENT'S DRAFT CONSTITUTION, JOINED THE MDC IN EARLY MARCH AS
ITS NATIONAL COORDINATOR. MAPOSA TOLD POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF ON
APRIL 25 THAT, WHEN HE BEGAN WORK, HE WAS SURPRISED BY THE NUMBER
OF EMPLOYEES IN THE MDC'S OFFICES WITHOUT CLEAR RESPONSIBILITIES.
HE FIRED A NUMBER OF PEOPLE AND HAS CONCENTRATED ON DEVELOPING
POSITION DESCRIPTIONS FOR THOSE WHO REMAIN. IN ADDITION, HE HAS
WORKED TO ENSURE ACCOUNTABILITY AMONG THE OPPOSITION PARTY'S TEN
DEPARTMENTS, BY HELPING DEPARTMENT HEADS DEVELOP REALISTIC WORK
PLANS AND REQUIRING REGULAR ACTIVITY REPORTS. IN ADDITION, MAPOSA
EMPHASIZED THAT HE DOES NOT SET THE MDC'S POLICY AGENDA. RATHER,
HE SEES HIMSELF MORE AS A FACILITATOR, WHOSE ROLE IS TO BRING
TOGETHER THE PARTY LEADERSHIP WHEN IMPORTANT ISSUES MUST BE
DISCUSSED AND THEN IMPLEMENTS THEIR DECISIONS.

POLICY DEVELOPMENT


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





3. (C) ACCORDING TO MAPOSA, THE MDC HAS CONTINUED TO ORGANIZE
REGULAR RETREATS TO DEVELOP THE PARTY'S POLICY POSITIONS. IN
JANUARY, THE PARTY'S EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT,
AND PROVINCIAL LEADERS HELD A RETREAT TO DISCUSS LAND AND THE
ECONOMY AND, IN MARCH, HELD ONE ON HEALTH AND EDUCATION. ON MAY 5,
THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE PLANS TO MEET TO ENDORSE THE POSITIONS
DEVELOPED AND AGREE ON AN APPROACH FOR PUBLIC DISSEMINATION. A
MID-MAY RETREAT HAS BEEN ORGANIZED TO DEFINE THE PARTY'S IDEOLOGY,
PARTICULARLY WHAT IT MEANS TO BE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS IN THE ZIMBABWEAN
CONTEXT. AGREEMENT ON IDEOLOGY AND THE DETAILS, MAPOSA NOTED, WILL
HELP ENSURE DEVELOPMENT OF CONSISTENT POLICIES AND A CONSISTENT
MESSAGE. THE MID-MAY MEETING WILL ALSO FOCUS ON CRAFTING AN
EFFECTIVE DIPLOMATIC APPROACH TOWARD THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 01495 01 OF 03 021539Z
MEDIA STRATEGY


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





4. (C) THE MDC HAS IN RECENT WEEKS MADE NOTICEABLE IMPROVEMENTS IN
USING THE PRESS TO GET OUT ITS MESSAGE, DUE IN LARGE MEASURE TO
INTENSIVE TRAINING -- PROVIDED BY THE INTERNATIONAL REPUBLICAN
INSTITUTE (IRI) IN EARLY APRIL IN BOTSWANA -- ON MESSAGE
DEVELOPMENT AND PUBLIC SPEAKING. THE RECENT HIRING OF A MEDIA
RELATIONS PROFESSIONAL HAS ALSO HAD AN OBVIOUS POSITIVE IMPACT.
MAPOSA AGREED THAT THE PARTY'S MEDIA PERSON IS GOOD, BUT HE IS THE
ONLY OFFICER IN A DEPARTMENT THAT NEEDS AT LEAST FOUR PEOPLE TO BE
MOST EFFECTIVE. MAPOSA INDICATED THAT THE PARTY PLANS TO USE THE
PRESS EVEN MORE, AND HAS BEGUN TO ORGANIZE PUBLIC EVENTS AROUND THE
MEDIA ATTENTION THEY ARE LIKELY TO GENERATE. (COMMENT: MDC
PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI'S RECENT VISIT TO THE MASS GRAVES OF
VICTIMS OF THE GOVERNMENT'S 1980'S BRUTAL CAMPAIGN AGAINST
DISSIDENTS IS A CASE IN POINT. THE VISIT DEMONSTRATED LEADERSHIP
ON A PAINFUL, UNRESOLVED ISSUE ABOUT WHICH GOVERNMENT REMAINS
EXTREMELY SENSITIVE, GENERATED SIGNIFICANT POSITIVE PRESS COVERAGE
AND HELPED CONSOLIDATE TSVANGIRAI'S ALREADY STRONG SUPPORT IN
MATABELELAND. END COMMENT.)

FINANCING


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



CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ3230

PAGE 01 HARARE 01495 02 OF 03 021540Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 SMEC-00 DINT-00
DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EUR-00 OIGO-00 FBIE-00
VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 L-00 VCE-00
AC-01 NSAE-00 OIC-02 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00
PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 IRM-00 STR-00 TRSE-00
USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00
SAS-00 SWCI-00 /009W


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

E675C9 021540Z /38
P 021546Z MAY 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8776
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 001495

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: DECL. 05/02/11
TAGS: PGOV KDEM PINS ZI
SUBJECT: MDC CAMPAIGNING ACTIVELY BUT QUIETLY FOR PRESIDENCY, BUT
UNSURE HOW IT WOULD REACT TO MUGABE VICTORY
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01495 02 OF 03 021540Z



5. (C) SECURING ADEQUATE RESOURCES CONTINUES TO POSE A SERIOUS
OBSTACLE FOR THE MDC, A TASK MADE EVEN MORE DIFFICULT BY
PARLIAMENT'S RECENT PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION PROHIBITING DIRECT AND
INDIRECT FOREIGN FUNDING OF POLITICAL PARTIES (REF A). IN
ADDITION, THE GOVERNMENT HAS NOT YET FULFILLED ITS COMMITMENT --
MADE IN LATE FEBRUARY -- TO RELEASE TO THE MDC WITHIN 30 DAYS 47
MILLION ZIMBABWEAN DOLLARS (NOW APPROXIMATELY U.S. $470,000) TO
WHICH IT IS LEGALLY ENTITLED, BY VIRTUE OF ITS STRONG SHOWING IN
THE JUNE 2000 PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION. INTER ALIA, THE NEW
POLITICAL PARTIES FINANCING LAW PRECLUDES THE PROVISION OF SERVICES
FOR PARTY-BUILDING ACTIVITIES, SUCH AS IRI'S RECENT WORKSHOP IN
BOTSWANA DESCRIBED IN PARA 5. NGOS AND DONORS ARE UNSURE ABOUT THE
IMPACT OF THE NEW LEGISLATION ON MANY OF THEIR ACTIVITIES. IRI
REGIONAL DIRECTOR KATHI WALTHER TOLD POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF ON
APRIL 30 THAT HER ORGANIZATION WOULD CONTINUE TO OFFER SIMILAR
TRAINING, BUT LIKELY WOULD HAVE TO PROVIDE IT OUTSIDE OF ZIMBABWE.
SOME DONORS HAVE MADE HURRIED CAPITAL INVESTMENTS OR DEPOSITED
MONEY IN FOREIGN BANK ACCOUNTS IN ANTICIPATION OF THE PRESIDENT'S
SIGNATURE OF THE BILL, WHICH IS SILENT ON THE QUESTION OF PENALTIES
FOR DONORS.



6. (C) MDC MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT DAVID COLTART TOLD POLITICAL
SECTION CHIEF RECENTLY THAT THE LAW WAS INTENDED TO CRUSH THE
OPPOSITION PARTY, AND MIGHT HAVE THE EFFECT OF DRIVING THE MDC
UNDERGROUND. IN THE MEANTIME, THE MDC WOULD SEEK TO SIGN
COMMERCIAL LOAN AGREEMENTS -- WHICH ARE NOT PROHIBITED -- WITH
DONOR NATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS. COLTART INDICATED THAT THE PARTY
PLANNED TO CHALLENGE THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE BILL, BECAUSE IT
VIOLATES THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND PREVENTS
ZIMBABWEAN CITIZENS LIVING ABROAD FROM CONTRIBUTING TO POLITICAL
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01495 02 OF 03 021540Z
PARTIES. ISAAC MAPOSA EMPHASIZED THAT THE MDC WOULD TRY TO PLAY
ABOVEBOARD AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, BUT HE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THE PARTY
INEVITABLY WOULD HAVE TO ENGAGE IN "CREATIVE FINANCING." ONE
OPTION THE MDC WAS EXPLORING WAS TO ASK FOREIGN DONORS TO DEPOSIT
FUNDS IN OVERSEAS ACCOUNTS BELONGING TO LOCAL ZIMBABWEAN COMPANIES,
WHICH COULD IN TURN MAKE OSTENSIBLY "LOCAL" CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE
OPPOSITION PARTY. IN ADDITION, JOHN MAKUMBE, A POLITICAL SCIENCE
PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ZIMBABWE, PRESIDENT OF TRANSPARENCY
INTERNATIONAL-ZIMBABWE, AND REGULAR ADVISOR TO THE MDC LEADERSHIP,
IS PRESSING THE OPPOSITION PARTY TO ESTABLISH ITS OWN OFFSHORE BANK
ACCOUNTS IN ORDER TO FACILITATE FOREIGN DONATIONS.

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGY


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





7. (C) THE CAMPAIGN FOR THE 2002 PRESIDENTIAL VOTE HAS BEGUN IN
EARNEST. ZANU-PF, THROUGH ITS GANGSTER MILITIA OF WAR VETERANS AND
THUGS FOR HIRE, HAS CONTINUED ITS INTIMIDATION OF RESIDENTS IN
RURAL AREAS AND HIGH-DENSITY SUBURBS, AND RECENTLY EXPANDED ITS
TERROR CAMPAIGN TO URBAN AREAS, WHERE IT IS TARGETTING COMPANIES
AND NGOS SUSPECTING OF SUPPORTING THE OPPOSITION. THE MDC IS
CAMPAIGNING ACTIVELY AS WELL, BUT HAS OPTED FOR A LOW-KEY, NON-
CONFRONTATIONAL APPROACH. MAKUMBE POINTED OUT THAT THE MDC IS
STRONGER THAN IT WAS A YEAR AGO, BUT IT REMAINS FRAGILE BECAUSE IT
IS THE ONLY HOPE FOR MOST ZIMBABWEANS OF A BETTER LIFE. IF THE
PARTY PUSHES TOO HARD FOR CHANGE, THE GOVERNMENT WOULD SIMPLY SHUT
IT DOWN AND PROHIBIT ANY FURTHER OPPOSITION POLITICAL ACTIVITY.
THAT IS PRECISELY WHY, ACCORDING TO MAPOSA, THE MDC IS ORGANIZING
FEWER LARGE RALLIES -- WHICH WOULD ATTRACT ZANU-PF'S ATTENTION AND
INVITE CONFRONTATION. INSTEAD, THE MDC IS SENDING SMALL TEAMS
THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY TO CAMPAIGN DOOR-TO-DOOR. THE TEAMS ARE
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PAGE 04 HARARE 01495 02 OF 03 021540Z
ADVISING PEOPLE TO DO EVERYTHING NECESSARY TO PROTECT THEMSELVES --
BY AVOIDING CONFRONTATION WITH THE RULING PARTY AND TO ATTEND ZANU-
PF RALLIES AND WEAR ZANU-PF T-SHIRTS IF THEY MUST. THE MDC IS
EXPENDING SIGNIFICANT EFFORT -- PARTICULARLY IN RURAL AREAS -- TO
CONVINCE VOTERS THAT THEIR BALLOT IS SECRET, DESPITE ZANU-PF'S
CLAIMS TO THE CONTRARY. THE OPPOSITION PARTY ALSO HAS BEGUN TO
DISTRIBUTE PAMPHLETS IN RURAL AREAS LAYING OUT ITS POSITIONS ON KEY
ISSUES.



8. (C) THE MDC LEADERSHIP HAS NOT AGREED HOW IT WOULD RESPOND IN
THE EVENT PRESIDENT MUGABE WINS A FRAUDULENT ELECTION, AN OUTCOME
MANY OBSERVERS CONSIDER INCREASINGLY LIKELY. ASKED HOW THE PARTY
WOULD REACT IF MUGABE STEALS THE ELECTION, MAPOSA SEEMED TAKEN
ABACK AND DEFENSIVE. AFTER A LONG PAUSE, HE ACKNOWLEDGED WEAKLY
ONLY THAT THERE HAD BEEN SOME INTERNAL DISCUSSION OF THE ISSUE. HE
SAID THE PARTY HAS BEEN WORKING WITH KEY REGIONAL PLAYERS -- SOUTH
AFRICA AND BOTSWANA, IN PARTICULAR -- TO PRESS MUGABE ON THE
IMPORTANCE OF ENSURING THAT THE ELECTION IS "AS FREE AND FAIR AS IT
CAN BE." MAPOSA ALSO EXPRESSED HOPE THAT THE UN MIGHT PROVIDE OR
COORDINATE THE PROVISION OF ELECTION MONITORS, AND INDICATED THAT
TSVANGIRAI MAY SEEK A MEETING WITH KOFI ANNAN TO DISCUSS THE ISSUE

SIPDIS
IN AN UPCOMING VISIT TO THE UNITED STATES.



9. (C) MAKUMBE AGREED THAT AN ILLEGITIMATE MUGABE VICTORY IS THE
LIKELIEST SCENARIO IN 2002. THE MDC'S INCLINATION IN SUCH AN

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ3231

PAGE 01 HARARE 01495 03 OF 03 021540Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 SMEC-00 DINT-00
DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EUR-00 OIGO-00 FBIE-00
VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 L-00 VCE-00
AC-01 NSAE-00 OIC-02 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00
PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 IRM-00 STR-00 TRSE-00
USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00
SAS-00 SWCI-00 /009W


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

E675CB 021540Z /38
P 021546Z MAY 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8777
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 001495

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: DECL. 05/02/11
TAGS: PGOV KDEM PINS ZI
SUBJECT: MDC CAMPAIGNING ACTIVELY BUT QUIETLY FOR PRESIDENCY, BUT
UNSURE HOW IT WOULD REACT TO MUGABE VICTORY
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01495 03 OF 03 021540Z

EVENT, HE SAID, WAS TO "SCREAM TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY," AN
APPROACH THAT WOULD NOT BE PARTICULARLY PRODUCTIVE. MAKUMBE HAS
INSTEAD URGED TSVANGIRAI AND OTHERS IN THE PARTY TO BE PREPARED TO
WORK WITH CIVIL SOCIETY IN ORGANIZING MASS ACTION TO PROTEST THE
OUTCOME. MOST ZIMBABWEANS, MAKUMBE PREDICTED, WOULD BE VERY ANGRY
IN THE EVENT OF A MUGABE VICTORY, AND THE MDC MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO
PREVENT THE OUTBREAK OF BLOODY CONFRONTATIONS AROUND THE COUNTRY.

COMMENT


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





10. (C) THE INTERNAL RESTRUCTURING AND BETTER USE OF THE MEDIA HAVE
MADE THE MDC A STRONGER, MORE EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATION. IN ADDITION,
THE MDC REMAINS OVERWHELMINGLY POPULAR IN URBAN AREAS AND APPEARS
TO BE MAKING INROADS IN SOME RURAL DISTRICTS, JUDGING FROM THE
INCREASE IN ATTENDANCE AT MANY OF THE PARTY'S RALLIES. THE
LEADERSHIP OF THE OPPOSITION PARTY, HOWEVER, IS MAKING A BIG
MISTAKE IN ASSUMING THAT THAT POPULARITY WILL TRANSLATE INTO
ELECTORAL TRIUMPH IN 2002. MORGAN TSVANGIRAI WOULD ALMOST
CERTAINLY WIN AN ELECTION THAT IS CLOSE TO FREE AND FAIR, BUT
PRESIDENT MUGABE HAS STATED EXPLICITLY ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS -- MOST
RECENTLY IN PUBLIC REMARKS ON ZIMBABWE'S INDEPENDENCE DAY ON APRIL
18 -- THAT HE WILL NEVER ALLOW THE MDC TO ASSUME POWER. IT IS
TIME FOR THE MDC TO TAKE MUGABE AT HIS WORD, AND TO BEGIN TO DO
SOME SERIOUS CONTINGENCY PLANNING ABOUT WHAT STEPS IT WILL TAKE IF
THE PRESIDENT STEALS THE ELECTION.

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01495 03 OF 03 021540Z

CONFIDENTIAL

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