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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
01HARARE1798 2001-06-05 12:41:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

MDC LEADER DISCUSSES ZANU-PF STRATEGY, SOUTH AFRICA, THE

Tags:   PGOV PHUM MARR PINS PINR ZI 
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051241Z Jun 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTO9070

PAGE 01        HARARE  01798  01 OF 02  051323Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   AMAD-00  ACQ-00   CIAE-00  INL-00   
      USNW-00  DINT-00  DODE-00  DOTE-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    EB-00    
      EUR-00   FAAE-00  FBIE-00  VC-00    H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   
      IO-00    LAB-01   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     /010W
                  ------------------F485EC  051323Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9028
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001798 

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: DECL. 06/04/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM MARR PINS PINR ZI
SUBJECT: MDC LEADER DISCUSSES ZANU-PF STRATEGY, SOUTH AFRICA, THE
ZIMBABWEAN MILITARY, AND SECRETARY POWELL'S REMARKS


CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01798 01 OF 02 051323Z
REF: HARARE 1784

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

SUMMARY
-------



1. (C) MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) PRESIDENT MORGAN
TSVANGIRAI TOLD CHARGE ON JUNE 4 THAT THE DEATHS THE PAST MONTH

SIPDIS
OF THREE ZANU-PF STALWARTS, THE LOSS OF THE MASVINGO MAYORAL
ELECTION, AND THE BACKLASH FROM THE WAR VETERANS' "LABOR DISPUTE"
CAMPAIGN MIGHT LEAD THE RULING PARTY TO REASSESS ITS CAMPAIGN
TACTICS. THE MDC PRESIDENT PRAISED SECRETARY POWELL'S RECENT
REMARKS, SAYING THEY PUT ADDITIONAL PRESSURE ON SOUTH AFRICA TO
DO SOMETHING ABOUT ZIMBABWE. TSVANGIRAI SAID THE MDC ENJOYS GOOD
RELATIONS WITH SOUTH AFRICA AND THE ANC, BUT HE WAS CONCERNED
THAT DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE LEADER TONY LEON'S OUTSPOKENNESS
BOLSTERS MUGABE'S EFFORTS TO PORTRAY THE ZIMBABWEAN OPPOSITION
PARTY AS A FRONT FOR WHITE INTERESTS. THE MDC TAKES SERIOUSLY
MUGABE'S THREAT "NEVER, EVER" TO ALLOW IT TO GOVERN ZIMBABWE AND
BELIEVES THREE-QUARTERS OF THE ARMED FORCES WILL SUPPORT IT IN
THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION EXPECTED IN 2002. END
SUMMARY.



2. (C) CHARGE, ACCOMPANIED BY POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF, CALLED
BRIEFLY ON MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) PRESIDENT MORGAN
TSVANGIRAI ON JUNE 4. CHARGE INFORMED TSVANGIRAI THAT ASSISTANT

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SECRETARY KANSTEINER HAD RECENTLY BEEN CONFIRMED BY THE U.S.

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SENATE AND NOTED THAT WE WERE AWARE THAT TSVANGIRAI PLANNED TO
VISIT WASHINGTON FOR SEVERAL DAYS AT THE END OF JUNE -- FOLLOWING
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01798 01 OF 02 051323Z
A TWO-WEEK LEADERSHIP SEMINAR AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY. HE
SUGGESTED THAT MEMBERS OF THE ADMINISTRATION WOULD BE INTERESTED
IN HEARING THE MDC PRESIDENT'S VIEWS.

DEATHS OF GEZI, MAHACHI, AND HUNZVI


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





3. (C) ASKED HIS THOUGHTS ON THE LIKELY IMPACT OF THE DEATH OF
WAR VETERAN LEADER CHENJERAI "HITLER" HUNZVI, TSVANGIRAI REPLIED,
LOOKING SKYWARD, THAT "SOMEONE UP THERE WHERE ZANU-PF DOES NOT
HAVE A MONOPOLY ON POWER" MUST BE LOOKING AFTER ZIMBABWEANS.
THINGS ARE NOT GOING WELL FOR ZANU-PF, TSVANGIRAI ASSERTED.
DURING THE PAST MONTH, THE RULING PARTY HAS SUFFERED THE
DEVASTATING LOSS OF THREE FIGURES CRITICAL TO ITS TACTICS OF
VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION -- THE MINISTER OF DEFENSE, THE
MINISTER OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, GENDER, AND EMPLOYMENT CREATION,
AND NOW HUNZVI. ZANU-PF'S LOSS TO THE MDC IN THE MASVINGO
MAYORAL ELECTION HAD BEEN EMBARRASSING FOR THE RULING PARTY. IN
ADDITION, THE RECENT EFFORT BY WAR VETERANS TO RESOLVE LABOR
DISPUTES HAD BACKFIRED BADLY FOR ZANU-PF, ALIENATING BOTH
ZIMBABWEAN VOTERS AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. THE MDC
PRESIDENT SURMISED THAT THE RULING PARTY CONSEQUENTLY MIGHT BE
REASSESSING ITS STRATEGY AND COULD DECIDE TO TRY RUNNING A
"LEGITIMATE" CAMPAIGN IN THE BULAWAYO MAYORAL RACE SCHEDULED TO
TAKE PLACE JUNE 23-24. TSVANGIRAI INSISTED, HOWEVER, THAT SUCH A
TACTICAL CHANGE WOULD ACCOMPLISH LITTLE IN BULAWAYO, AS AN MDC
VICTORY THERE WAS ALL BUT A FOREGONE CONCLUSION.

SECRETARY POWELL'S REMARKS AND SOUTH AFRICA'S ROLE

SIPDIS


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



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



CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 01798 01 OF 02 051323Z


4. (C) THE MDC PRESIDENT SAID HE WAS PLEASED WITH SECRETARY
POWELL'S REMARKS ABOUT ZIMBABWE, DURING HIS VISIT TO PRETORIA,
AND THAT THEY HAD SENT A MESSAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE
THAT "MUGABE'S TIME IS UP." HE BELIEVED POWELL'S COMMENTS WOULD
PUT PRESSURE ON OTHER COUNTRIES WITH MORE INFLUENCE IN ZIMBABWE
TO STEP UP THEIR EFFORTS TO EFFECT POSITIVE CHANGE, SOUTH AFRICA
IN PARTICULAR.



5. (C) ASKED TO DESCRIBE THE MDC'S RELATIONSHIP WITH ZIMBABWE'S
SOUTHERN NEIGHBOR, TSVANGIRAI PROVIDED AN UPBEAT ASSESSMENT,
INSISTING THAT THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT (SAG) HAS "DEPARTED
COMPLETELY" FROM ITS ORIGINAL APPROACH. THE SAG, HE POINTED OUT,
IS BEING MUCH MORE CRITICAL OF PRESIDENT MUGABE AND HIS
GOVERNMENT, AND THE MDC ENJOYS POSITIVE TIES WITH THE SAG AND THE
ANC. TSVANGIRAI CONTINUED, HOWEVER, THAT PEOPLE LIKE DEMOCRATIC
ALLIANCE LEADER TONY LEON "DO NOT HELP MATTERS." LEON ACTS AS IF
HE IS SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF THE MDC, A FACT WHICH PLAYS INTO
MUGABE'S ATTEMPTS TO PORTRAY ZIMBABWE'S PRINCIPAL OPPOSITION
PARTY AS MERELY A FRONT FOR WHITE INTERESTS. TSVANGIRAI WAS
PARTICULARLY UPSET ABOUT A QUESTION LEON RECENTLY POSED TO
PRESIDENT THABO MBEKI IN PARLIAMENT ABOUT LAND REFORM IN
ZIMBABWE, WHICH APPARENTLY FORCED THE SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT TO
ENDORSE THE GOZ'S FAST TRACK RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM.

WILL MUGABE ALLOW MDC TO TAKE POWER?

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTO9067

PAGE 01 HARARE 01798 02 OF 02 051323Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 USNW-00
DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EUR-00
FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00
LAB-01 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 /010W


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

F485D1 051323Z /38
P 051241Z JUN 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9029
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 001798

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: DECL. 06/04/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM MARR PINS PINR ZI
SUBJECT: MDC LEADER DISCUSSES ZANU-PF STRATEGY, SOUTH AFRICA, THE
ZIMBABWEAN MILITARY, AND SECRETARY POWELL'S REMARKS

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01798 02 OF 02 051323Z


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





6. (C) POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF RECALLED PRESIDENT MUGABE'S
REMARK ON SEVERAL PUBLIC OCCASIONS THAT HE WOULD "NEVER, EVER"
ALLOW THE MDC TO GOVERN ZIMBABWE AND ASKED HOW THE MDC WOULD
RESPOND IF MUGABE STEALS NEXT YEAR'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
TSVANGIRAI RESPONDED THAT HIS PARTY TAKES MUGABE'S THREAT

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SERIOUSLY, AS IT WOULD BE NAIVE NOT TO, AND REALIZES THAT THERE
IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WINNING AN ELECTION AND WINNING POWER.
THAT IS WHY HE AND OTHER SENIOR MDC OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN TRYING TO
ENSURE THAT THE POLICE AND MILITARY ABIDE BY THE OUTCOME OF THE
ELECTION, AN EFFORT WHICH HE CLAIMED HAD BORNE FRUIT. WHILE
ACKNOWLEDGING THAT THE MILITARY'S TOP BRASS RETAIN STRONG
LOYALTIES TO MUGABE, TSVANGIRAI ASSERTED THAT THREE-QUARTERS OF
THE ARMED FORCES ARE "WITH US."

TSVANGIRAI'S COURT CASE

SIPDIS


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





7. (C) WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE CHARGES PENDING AGAINST HIM FOR
ALLEGEDLY INCITING VIOLENCE, TSVANGIRAI SEEMED GENUINELY
UNCONCERNED ABOUT THE POTENTIAL OUTCOMES. HE STATED THAT HE
THOUGHT HIS LEGAL TEAM SHOULD HAVE AGREED TO PROCEED IN THE HIGH
COURT, AS THE CHARGES WERE BASELESS AND THE CASE WOULD HAVE BEEN
DISMISSED ON THE MERITS. IN THE END, HOWEVER, TSVANGIRAI YIELDED
TO HIS LAWYERS, WHO MAINTAINED THAT THE BEST STRATEGY WAS FIRST
TO ASK THE SUPREME COURT TO RULE ON THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE
COLONIAL-ERA LAW UNDER WHICH HE HAS BEEN CHARGED.

COMMENT


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


CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01798 02 OF 02 051323Z



8. (C) TSVANGIRAI WAS CONFIDENT AND UPBEAT, BUT OBVIOUSLY
DISTRACTED BY HIS IMMINENT DEPARTURE FOR THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
IN DURBAN AND, SUBSEQUENTLY, FOR THE UNITED STATES. HE WAS
CLEARLY PLEASED ABOUT THE EVOLUTION OF THE MDC'S RELATIONSHIP
WITH SOUTH AFRICA, AND THOUGHT THE PRIMARY VALUE OF SECRETARY
POWELL'S RECENT REMARKS WAS TO EXERT PRESSURE ON PRETORIA TO "DO
SOMETHING" TO STOP THE LAWLESSNESS AND STANCH THE ECONOMIC
BLEEDING TO THE NORTH. THE DEATHS OF GEZI, MAHACHI, AND HUNZVI
HAVE CAUSED SIGNIFICANT PARANOIA WITHIN THE RULING PARTY, BUT
THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT TSVANGIRAI'S SPECULATION THAT
ZANU-PF MIGHT AS A RESULT DECIDE TO JETTISON ITS TIME-TESTED
CAMPAIGN TACTICS OF VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION. INDEED,
INDICATIONS ARE THAT URBAN AND RURAL VIOLENCE WILL CONTINUE TO BE
ZANU-PF'S SIGNATURE TACTIC. THAT THE MDC IS MAKING A DETERMINED
EFFORT TO CULTIVATE THE MILITARY REVEALS POLITICAL MATURITY AND
SAVVY, BUT TSVANGIRAI'S CLAIM THAT THREE-QUARTERS OF THE ARMED
FORCES SUPPORT THE MDC STRIKES US AS A BIT OPTIMISTIC.

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

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