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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
01HARARE1515
2001-05-04 10:14:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

ZIMBABWE LABOR DAY CELEBRATION DISRUPTED BY WAR

Tags:  ELAB PGOV PHUM 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.

041014Z May 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2167

PAGE 01        HARARE  01515  051624Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   AID-00   CIAE-00  DODE-00  SRPP-00  EB-00    EUR-00   
      VC-00    H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    LAB-01   L-00     
      AC-01    NSAE-00  NSCE-00  OIC-02   OMB-01   PA-00    PM-00    
      PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    SSO-00   SS-00    STR-00   
      TRSE-00  T-00     USIE-00  PMB-00   PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     
      SAS-00     /009W
                  ------------------E7D11E  051624Z /23    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8796
INFO NSC WASHDC
DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
						C O N F I D E N T I A L  HARARE 001515 

SIPDIS

DRL/IL FOR KBRYANT
NSC FOR JFRAZER
ILAB FOR RSHEPHARD
LONDON FOR CGURNEY
PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD - DWELLER, AFR/SA - CPALMA,
NNEWMAN, AA/AFR - VDICKSON-HORTON

E.O. 12958: DECL 05/04/11
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01515 051624Z
TAGS: ELAB PGOV PHUM PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE LABOR DAY CELEBRATION DISRUPTED BY WAR
VETERANS AND ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS

REF: HARARE 1447

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D' AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING FOR
REASONS 1.5 (B/D).



1. (U) THE ZIMBABWE CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS (ZCTU) MAY
DAY CELEBRATION HELD AT RUFARO STADIUM IN HARARE ON MAY
1, WITH A CROWD ESTIMATED AT ABOUT 6,000 WORKERS, WAS
DISRUPTED BY THE ARRIVAL OF WAR VETERANS AND RULING
PARTY SUPPORTERS SHORTLY AFTER THE ZCTU SECRETARY-
GENERAL, WELLINGTON CHIBHEBHE, HAD CONCLUDED HIS OPENING
REMARKS. THE NEW CHAIRMAN OF THE HARARE WAR VETERANS
ASSOCIATION, AND PREVIOUSLY THE SELF-STYLED LEADER OF
FARM INVASIONS, JOSEPH CHINOTIMBA, ARRIVED AT THE
STADIUM IN A CHAUFFEURED LIMO, WITH ABOUT 1000 ZIMBABWE
AFRICAN NATIONAL UNION-PATRIOTIC FRONT (ZANU-PF)
SUPPORTERS FOLLOWING IN BUSES. WHEN CHINOTIMBA ENTERED
THE STADIUM AND TRIED TO FORCE HIS WAY TO THE STAGE
WHERE THE MEMBERS OF THE ZCTU EXECUTIVE WERE SEATED,
THERE OCCURRED A STANDOFF BETWEEN MOVEMENT FOR
DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) SUPPORTERS (THE MAJORITY BEING
UNIVERSITY OF ZIMBABWE STUDENTS), INTENT ON KEEPING
CHINOTIMBA OFF THE STAGE, AND A GROUP OF RULING PARTY
YOUTHS BROUGHT IN BY CHINOTIMBA, INTENT ON GETTING HIM
TO THE STAGE. HEAVILY ARMED RIOT POLICE HAD TO
INTERCEDE TO KEEP THE TWO GROUPS FROM CLASHING.

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01515 051624Z


2. (U) AS THE STANDOFF CONTINUED ON THE FLOOR OF THE
STADIUM, THE ZCTU PRESIDENT, LOVEMORE MATOMBO, DECIDED
TO GO AHEAD WITH HIS PRESENTATION. HIS ADDRESS
HIGHLIGHTED THE MYRIAD PROBLEMS THAT ZIMBABWE'S WORKERS
FACE AS THE ECONOMY CONTINUES ITS RAPID COLLAPSE AND THE
GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE (GOZ) FAILS TO PROVIDE PROGRAMS
OR POLICIES TO HALT THE COLLAPSE OR PROVIDE A SAFETY NET
FOR WORKERS. AMONG OTHER ISSUES, MATOMBO HIGHLIGHTED
THE NEED FOR A NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE THAT WILL MAINTAIN
WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES ABOVE THE POVERTY LINE, A
DESIRE THAT THE ZCTU BE GIVEN 25 PERCENT OF THE NATIONAL
HIV/AIDS LEVY (WHICH IS A TAX ON WORKERS EARNINGS) IN
ORDER TO CONDUCT WORKPLACE HIV/AIDS EDUCATION PROGRAMS,
AND THE NEED TO ESTABLISH AN INDEPENDENT LABOR TRIBUNAL
TO SPEED UP THE RESOLUTION OF LABOR DISPUTES TAKEN TO
COURT (NOTE: THERE IS CURRENTLY A FIVE-YEAR BACKLOG OF
LABOR CASES IN THE COURTS. END NOTE.)



3. (U) AFTER MATOMBO COMPLETED HIS ADDRESS, THE MEMBERS
OF THE ZCTU EXECUTIVE LEFT THE STADIUM. CHINOTIMBA WAS
THEN ALLOWED ONTO THE STAGE. WHEN HE TOOK THE
MICROPHONE AND BEGAN TO ADDRESS THE CROWD, THE ASSEMBLED
WORKERS BEGAN STREAMING FROM THE STADIUM. AT THE
BEGINNING OF HIS ADDRESS HE CRITICIZED THE ZCTU FOR NOT
LOOKING AFTER THE INTERESTS OF WORKERS, AND ENCOURAGED
WORKERS TO TURN TO ZANU-PF FOR ASSISTANCE. THIS WAS MET
BY LOUD BOOING FROM THE CROWD AS IT FILED OUT OF THE
STADIUM. CHINOTIMBA ENDED UP ADDRESSING ONLY AN
ESTIMATED 2,000 PEOPLE, OF WHOM HALF WERE THE ZANU-PF
SUPPORTERS WHO HAD BEEN BUSED IN. HE READ OFF A LIST OF
COMPANIES THAT THE WAR VETS WOULD SOON BE "VISITING" IN
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 01515 051624Z
HARARE ON WORKERS BEHALF, TO THE CHEERING APPROVAL OF
THE BUSED IN ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS.



4. (U) THE MAY DAY CELEBRATION IN HARARE, AND OTHERS IN
LARGER CITIES AND TOWNS ACROSS ZIMBABWE, WERE MARKED BY
DECREASED ATTENDANCE FROM PRIOR YEARS AS A RESULT OF THE
HYPER-CHARGED POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT IN THE COUNTRY, AS
WELL AS THE SEVERE ECONOMIC CRISIS, WHICH HAS SEEN TENS
OF THOUSANDS OF WORKERS IN THE FORMAL SECTOR LOSE THEIR
JOBS AS COMPANIES LAY OFF STAFF OR SHUT DOWN.



5. (C) COMMENT: CHINOTIMBA'S GATE-CRASHING OF HARARE'S
MAY DAY CELEBRATION WAS EXPECTED BY THE ZCTU EXECUTIVE.
CHINOTIMBA IS SPEARHEADING ZANU-PF'S URBAN CAMPAIGN TO
CAUSE DIVISION AND DISSENSION IN LABOR'S RANKS, AND
WEAKEN THE ZCTU AHEAD OF THE UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION. AS PART OF THIS CAMPAIGN, CHINOTIMBA RECENTLY
PROCLAIMED HIMSELF PRESIDENT OF THE ZCTU, ALTHOUGH THIS
PROCLAMATION WAS IMMEDIATELY REFUTED BY THE LAWFULLY
ELECTED ZCTU PRESIDENT. CHINOTIMBA AND THE WAR VETERANS
HE LEADS IN HARARE HAVE BEEN BEHIND THE RECENT INVASIONS
OF COMPANIES AND SOME NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS IN
HARARE (REFTEL). THEY HAVE ENTERED BUSINESSES AND
SHAKEN DOWN MANAGEMENT, FORCING THEM TO PAY COMPENSATION
TO WORKERS WHO HAVE HAD LABOR DISPUTES WITH THESE
COMPANIES. WE PREDICT THAT THIS CAMPAIGN IS GOING TO
FAIL TO GAIN WIDESPREAD WORKER SUPPORT. WHILE SOME
WORKERS WHO HAVE BEEN FIRED OR AGGRIEVED WILL TAKE UP
CHINOTIMBA ON HIS OFFER TO EXTRACT SOME EXTRA CASH FROM
THEIR FORMER EMPLOYERS, THE MAJORITY OF WORKERS
RECOGNIZE THAT IN THE LONG-RUN THESE ACTIONS WILL ONLY
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 05 HARARE 01515 051624Z
RESULT IN MORE CLOSINGS AND JOB LOSSES. IN ADDITION,
THE ZCTU AND ITS AFFILIATED UNIONS ARE HIGHLY ORGANIZED,
WITH TWENTY YEARS OF LABOR UNION ACTIVISM BEHIND THEM.
THEY ARE ACTIVELY REACHING OUT TO THEIR MEMBERSHIP TO
SPREAD THEIR MESSAGE ON POLICY CHANGES NEEDED TO HELP
WORKERS, AND IN HIGHLIGHTING THE FAILURE OF THE ZANU-PF-
LED GOVERNMENT TO EFFECTIVELY ADDRESS THE ECONOMIC
CRISIS. AS A RESULT, THE MAJORITY OF WORKERS REMAIN
UNITED BEHIND THEIR UNIONS AND THE ZCTU LEADERSHIP, AND
CONTINUE TO STRONGLY SUPPORT THE OPPOSITION MDC. END
COMMENT.

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

>
@@@OASYS@@@

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ2152

PAGE 01 HARARE 01515 01 OF 02 051505Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 AID-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 EB-00
UTED-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 LAB-01 L-00
NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02 PM-00 PRS-00 P-00 SP-00
SS-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 PRM-01 DRL-02
G-00 SAS-00 /007W


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

E7CE0E 051505Z /07
R 041014Z MAY 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8796
INFO NSC WASHDC
DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001515

SIPDIS

DRL/IL FOR KBRYANT
NSC FOR JFRAZER
ILAB FOR RSHEPHARD
LONDON FOR CGURNEY
PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD - DWELLER, AFR/SA - CPALMA,
NNEWMAN, AA/AFR - VDICKSON-HORTON

E.O. 12958: DECL 05/04/11
TAGS: ELAB PGOV PHUM PINR ZI
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01515 01 OF 02 051505Z
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE LABOR DAY CELEBRATION DISRUPTED BY WAR
VETERANS AND ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS

REF: HARARE 1447

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D' AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING FOR
REASONS 1.5 (B/D).



1. (U) THE ZIMBABWE CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS (ZCTU) MAY
DAY CELEBRATION HELD AT RUFARO STADIUM IN HARARE ON MAY
1, WITH A CROWD ESTIMATED AT ABOUT 6,000 WORKERS, WAS
DISRUPTED BY THE ARRIVAL OF WAR VETERANS AND RULING
PARTY SUPPORTERS SHORTLY AFTER THE ZCTU SECRETARY-
GENERAL, WELLINGTON CHIBHEBHE, HAD CONCLUDED HIS OPENING
REMARKS. THE NEW CHAIRMAN OF THE HARARE WAR VETERANS
ASSOCIATION, AND PREVIOUSLY THE SELF-STYLED LEADER OF
FARM INVASIONS, JOSEPH CHINOTIMBA, ARRIVED AT THE
STADIUM IN A CHAUFFEURED LIMO, WITH ABOUT 1000 ZIMBABWE
AFRICAN NATIONAL UNION-PATRIOTIC FRONT (ZANU-PF)
SUPPORTERS FOLLOWING IN BUSES. WHEN CHINOTIMBA ENTERED
THE STADIUM AND TRIED TO FORCE HIS WAY TO THE STAGE
WHERE THE MEMBERS OF THE ZCTU EXECUTIVE WERE SEATED,
THERE OCCURRED A STANDOFF BETWEEN MOVEMENT FOR
DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) SUPPORTERS (THE MAJORITY BEING
UNIVERSITY OF ZIMBABWE STUDENTS), INTENT ON KEEPING
CHINOTIMBA OFF THE STAGE, AND A GROUP OF RULING PARTY
YOUTHS BROUGHT IN BY CHINOTIMBA, INTENT ON GETTING HIM
TO THE STAGE. HEAVILY ARMED RIOT POLICE HAD TO
INTERCEDE TO KEEP THE TWO GROUPS FROM CLASHING.



2. (U) AS THE STANDOFF CONTINUED ON THE FLOOR OF THE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01515 01 OF 02 051505Z
STADIUM, THE ZCTU PRESIDENT, LOVEMORE MATOMBO, DECIDED
TO GO AHEAD WITH HIS PRESENTATION. HIS ADDRESS
HIGHLIGHTED THE MYRIAD PROBLEMS THAT ZIMBABWE'S WORKERS
FACE AS THE ECONOMY CONTINUES ITS RAPID COLLAPSE AND THE
GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE (GOZ) FAILS TO PROVIDE PROGRAMS
OR POLICIES TO HALT THE COLLAPSE OR PROVIDE A SAFETY NET
FOR WORKERS. AMONG OTHER ISSUES, MATOMBO HIGHLIGHTED
THE NEED FOR A NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE THAT WILL MAINTAIN
WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES ABOVE THE POVERTY LINE, A
DESIRE THAT THE ZCTU BE GIVEN 25 PERCENT OF THE NATIONAL
HIV/AIDS LEVY (WHICH IS A TAX ON WORKERS EARNINGS) IN
ORDER TO CONDUCT WORKPLACE HIV/AIDS EDUCATION PROGRAMS,
AND THE NEED TO ESTABLISH AN INDEPENDENT LABOR TRIBUNAL
TO SPEED UP THE RESOLUTION OF LABOR DISPUTES TAKEN TO
COURT (NOTE: THERE IS CURRENTLY A FIVE-YEAR BACKLOG OF
LABOR CASES IN THE COURTS. END NOTE.)



3. (U) AFTER MATOMBO COMPLETED HIS ADDRESS, THE MEMBERS
OF THE ZCTU EXECUTIVE LEFT THE STADIUM. CHINOTIMBA WAS
THEN ALLOWED ONTO THE STAGE. WHEN HE TOOK THE
MICROPHONE AND BEGAN TO ADDRESS THE CROWD, THE ASSEMBLED
WORKERS BEGAN STREAMING FROM THE STADIUM. AT THE
BEGINNING OF HIS ADDRESS HE CRITICIZED THE ZCTU FOR NOT
LOOKING AFTER THE INTERESTS OF WORKERS, AND ENCOURAGED
WORKERS TO TURN TO ZANU-PF FOR ASSISTANCE. THIS WAS MET
BY LOUD BOOING FROM THE CROWD AS IT FILED OUT OF THE
STADIUM. CHINOTIMBA ENDED UP ADDRESSING ONLY AN
ESTIMATED 2,000 PEOPLE, OF WHOM HALF WERE THE ZANU-PF
SUPPORTERS WHO HAD BEEN BUSED IN. HE READ OFF A LIST OF
COMPANIES THAT THE WAR VETS WOULD SOON BE "VISITING" IN
HARARE ON WORKERS BEHALF, TO THE CHEERING APPROVAL OF
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 01515 01 OF 02 051505Z
THE BUSED IN ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS.



4. (U) THE MAY DAY CELEBRATION IN HARARE, AND OTHERS IN
LARGER CITIES AND TOWNS ACROSS ZIMBABWE, WERE MARKED BY
DECREASED ATTENDANCE FROM PRIOR YEARS AS A RESULT OF THE
HYPER-CHARGED POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT IN THE COUNTRY, AS
WELL AS THE SEVERE ECONOMIC CRISIS, WHICH HAS SEEN TENS
OF THOUSANDS OF WORKERS IN THE FORMAL SECTOR LOSE THEIR
JOBS AS COMPANIES LAY OFF STAFF OR SHUT DOWN.



5. (C) COMMENT: CHINOTIMBA'S GATE-CRASHING OF HARARE'S
MAY DAY CELEBRATION WAS EXPECTED BY THE ZCTU EXECUTIVE.
CHINOTIMBA IS SPEARHEADING ZANU-PF'S URBAN CAMPAIGN TO
CAUSE DIVISION AND DISSENSION IN LABOR'S RANKS, AND
WEAKEN THE ZCTU AHEAD OF THE UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION. AS PART OF THIS CAMPAIGN, CHINOTIMBA RECENTLY
PROCLAIMED HIMSELF PRESIDENT OF THE ZCTU, ALTHOUGH THIS
PROCLAMATION WAS IMMEDIATELY REFUTED BY THE LAWFULLY
ELECTED ZCTU PRESIDENT. CHINOTIMBA AND THE WAR VETERANS
HE LEADS IN HARARE HAVE BEEN BEHIND THE RECENT INVASIONS
OF COMPANIES AND SOME NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS IN
HARARE (REFTEL). THEY HAVE ENTERED BUSINESSES AND
SHAKEN DOWN MANAGEMENT, FORCING THEM TO PAY COMPENSATION

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ2153

PAGE 01 HARARE 01515 02 OF 02 051505Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 AID-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 EB-00
UTED-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 LAB-01 L-00
NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02 PM-00 PRS-00 P-00 SP-00
SS-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 PRM-01 DRL-02
G-00 SAS-00 /007W


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

E7CE0F 051505Z /07
R 041014Z MAY 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8797
INFO NSC WASHDC
DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 001515

SIPDIS

DRL/IL FOR KBRYANT
NSC FOR JFRAZER
ILAB FOR RSHEPHARD
LONDON FOR CGURNEY
PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD - DWELLER, AFR/SA - CPALMA,
NNEWMAN, AA/AFR - VDICKSON-HORTON

E.O. 12958: DECL 05/04/11
TAGS: ELAB PGOV PHUM PINR ZI
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01515 02 OF 02 051505Z
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE LABOR DAY CELEBRATION DISRUPTED BY WAR
VETERANS AND ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS

TO WORKERS WHO HAVE HAD LABOR DISPUTES WITH THESE
COMPANIES. WE PREDICT THAT THIS CAMPAIGN IS GOING TO
FAIL TO GAIN WIDESPREAD WORKER SUPPORT. WHILE SOME
WORKERS WHO HAVE BEEN FIRED OR AGGRIEVED WILL TAKE UP
CHINOTIMBA ON HIS OFFER TO EXTRACT SOME EXTRA CASH FROM
THEIR FORMER EMPLOYERS, THE MAJORITY OF WORKERS
RECOGNIZE THAT IN THE LONG-RUN THESE ACTIONS WILL ONLY
RESULT IN MORE CLOSINGS AND JOB LOSSES. IN ADDITION,
THE ZCTU AND ITS AFFILIATED UNIONS ARE HIGHLY ORGANIZED,
WITH TWENTY YEARS OF LABOR UNION ACTIVISM BEHIND THEM.
THEY ARE ACTIVELY REACHING OUT TO THEIR MEMBERSHIP TO
SPREAD THEIR MESSAGE ON POLICY CHANGES NEEDED TO HELP
WORKERS, AND IN HIGHLIGHTING THE FAILURE OF THE ZANU-PF-
LED GOVERNMENT TO EFFECTIVELY ADDRESS THE ECONOMIC
CRISIS. AS A RESULT, THE MAJORITY OF WORKERS REMAIN
UNITED BEHIND THEIR UNIONS AND THE ZCTU LEADERSHIP, AND
CONTINUE TO STRONGLY SUPPORT THE OPPOSITION MDC. END
COMMENT.

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

>