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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
01HARARE2387
2001-08-10 11:38:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

ZIMBABWE: GRIGSBY STAFFDEL MEETS WITH MDC

Tags:  PGOV PREL 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.



                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6459

PAGE 01        HARARE  02387  01 OF 02  101141Z 
ACTION H-01     

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AF-00    DS-00    TEDE-00  SS-00    DSCC-00  
      SAS-00     /001W
                  ------------------108419  101141Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9448
INFO NSC WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 002387 

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/10/11
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE: GRIGSBY STAFFDEL MEETS WITH MDC
LEADERSHIP

CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL OFFICER TODD FAULK FOR REASONS:
1.5 (B) AND (D).



1. (C) ON AUGUST 6, SENATE STAFFDEL, LED BY GARRETT
GRIGSBY, MET WITH THE MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 02387 01 OF 02 101141Z
(MDC) LEADERSHIP IN THEIR NEW DOWNTOWN HEADQUARTERS.
MDC PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI WAS ACCOMPANIED BY
SECRETARY-GENERAL WELSHMAN NCUBE, NATIONAL COORDINATOR

SIPDIS
ISAAC MAPOSA, INCOMING ELECTION COORDINATOR NOMORE
SIBANDA, PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS SECRETARY FORMAN FOTO,
AND PRESIDENTIAL ASSISTANT GANDI MUDZINGWA. CHARGE
AUBREY HOOKS AND POLOFFS ACCOMPANIED STAFFDEL TO THE
MEETING.

THE SITUATION


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





2. (C) AFTER INITIAL PLEASANTRIES, TSVANGIRAI OPENED BY
SAYING THE CURRENT POLITICAL SITUATION IN ZIMBABWE IS
"UNPRECEDENTED" AND THE COUNTRY IS SLIDING INTO
DICTATORSHIP. HE OUTLINED THE EVENTS LEADING TO THE
FORMATION OF THE MDC AND THE GOVERNMENT'S HEAVY-HANDED
RESPONSE IN ATTEMPTING TO SUPPRESS THE OPPOSITION. EVEN
AFTER THE MDC WON 57 OUT OF 120 ELECTED SEATS IN
PARLIAMENT -- AN ELECTION IN WHICH THE MDC WAS
SHORTCHANGED, HE ADDED -- THE GOVERNMENT STILL REFUSES
TO DEAL WITH THE MDC AS A LEGITIMATE OPPOSITION PARTY.
TSVANGIRAI ARGUED THAT THE UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL

SIPDIS
ELECTION WILL BE THE MOST CRITICAL IN ZIMBABWE'S
HISTORY. A FREE AND FAIR ENVIRONMENT IS CRUCIAL TO ITS
LEGITIMACY; IF THE ELECTION IS FRAUDULENT, ZIMBABWE
COULD "GO OVER THE PRECIPICE."

THE BILL


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



CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 02387 01 OF 02 101141Z


3. (C) ON THE ISSUE OF THE ZIMBABWE DEMOCRACY AND
ECONOMIC RECOVERY ACT (ZDERA), TSVANGIRAI AGREED WITH
THE CONTEXT IN WHICH THE BILL HAS BEEN FORMULATED, BUT
HE FEARED THAT IT WOULD BE "POLITICIZED AS A SANCTIONS
BILL" BY THE GOVERNMENT. HE SAID THAT THE MDC CANNOT
TELL THE U.S. HOW TO DRAFT THE LEGISLATION, BUT OPINED
THAT BROAD ECONOMIC SANCTIONS ARE "NOT AN OPTION" IN THE
CURRENT DETERIORATING ECONOMY. THE U.S. CONGRESS HAS
"GIVEN HOPE TO ZIMBABWE," AND HAS FOCUSED MUCH
INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION ON THE COUNTRY, WHICH IT NEEDS
TO GO IN A NEW DIRECTION, HE REMARKED.

INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS WILL BE CRUCIAL


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





4. (C) ON THE ISSUE OF SENDING INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS
FOR NEXT YEAR'S ELECTION, THE MDC PRESIDENT SAID THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MUST INSIST ON THEM, EVEN IF THE
GOZ OBJECTS AND CREATES OBSTACLES TO THEIR ARRIVAL.
ISAAC MAPOSA ADDED THAT THE U.S. SHOULD NOT TRY TO SEND
NDI, IRI, OR OTHER NGOS AS OBSERVERS BECAUSE THEY WILL
NOT BE ACCREDITED. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT OFFICIAL
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE USG, SUCH AS MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
OR STATE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES, BE SENT AS THEY WILL BE
ACCREDITED IN THE END. ONLY ACCREDITED OBSERVERS CAN
ENTER POLLING PLACES AND TRAVEL FREELY FROM PLACE TO
PLACE, MAPOSA NOTED. THEY SHOULD ALSO COME A FEW TIMES
SEVERAL MONTHS AHEAD OF THE ELECTION BECAUSE THEY WILL
NOT LIKELY SEE ANYTHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY ON THE
POLLING DAYS. EVEN A MONTH IN ADVANCE, THE CAMPAIGN
WILL BASICALLY BE OVER. THE MDC PRESIDENT REMARKED THAT
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PAGE 04 HARARE 02387 01 OF 02 101141Z
THE PRESENCE OF OBSERVERS BEFOREHAND WILL GIVE
ZIMBABWEANS HOPE AND ENCOURAGE THEM TO GO OUT AND VOTE
ON ELECTION DAY. WHEN ASKED IF SOUTH AFRICA PLANNED TO
SEND OBSERVERS, TSVANGIRAI THOUGHT IT WOULD. SOUTH
AFRICA SENT A PARLIAMENTARY OBSERVER MISSION FOR LAST
YEAR'S ELECTIONS. A NUMBER OF TRADE UNIONS AND NGOS
FROM SOUTH AFRICA WENT AS WELL, BUT MAPOSA BELIEVED
THESE WOULD BE REFUSED ACCREDITATION THIS TIME.



5. (C) TSVANGIRAI CONTINUED, SAYING ZIMBABWE ALSO NEEDS
ASSISTANCE TO IMPROVE ITS ELECTORAL PROCESS, BECAUSE
ANYTHING LESS THAN MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY IN THE PROCESS
WILL ONLY AID THE RULING PARTY. THE WEST SHOULD HELP IN
ENSURING THAT THE 1.5 MILLION ZIMBABWEANS LIVING OUTSIDE
THE COUNTRY ARE NOT DISENFRANCHISED AS THE GOZ IS
ATTEMPTING TO DO. IT'S NO SECRET THAT MOST OF THOSE WHO
HAVE LEFT ZIMBABWE ARE NOT SUPPORTERS OF THE GOVERNMENT,
AND IT IS IN THE GOZ'S INTEREST TO MAKE SURE THERE IS NO
MECHANISM FOR THEM TO VOTE.

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ6460

PAGE 01 HARARE 02387 02 OF 02 101141Z
ACTION H-01

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AF-00 DS-00 TEDE-00 SS-00 DSCC-00
SAS-00 /001W


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

108420 101141Z /38
R 101138Z AUG 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9449
INFO NSC WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 002387

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/10/11
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE: GRIGSBY STAFFDEL MEETS WITH MDC
LEADERSHIP

DON'T LET THE GOZ OFF THE HOOK


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





6. (C) WELSHMAN NCUBE OPINED THAT IN ITS DEALINGS WITH
SOUTH AFRICA AND OTHER SADC STATES, THE U.S. SHOULD MAKE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 02387 02 OF 02 101141Z
CLEAR THAT IT WILL NOT BE "BUSINESS AS USUAL" WITH
ZIMBABWE IF IT HOLDS A FRAUDULENT ELECTION. IT MUST
ALSO MAKE CLEAR THAT A COUP D'ETAT WILL NOT BE
ACCEPTABLE, EITHER. NCUBE STATED THAT ZANU-PF IS
PREPARING TO GO TO WAR IF THE MDC WINS THE ELECTION, AND
THAT THERE ARE MANY ZIMBABWEANS WHO WOULD RATHER STARVE
THAN RISK GOING BACK TO WAR.

SECURITY HELP


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





7. (C) TSVANGIRAI STATED THAT THE MDC DOES NOT PLAN TO
HOLD ANY MORE PUBLIC RALLIES UNTIL THE DATE OF THE
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IS ANNOUNCED. PARTICIPANTS WILL
JUST BE TARGETS OF REGIME-SPONSORED VIOLENCE, HE
LAMENTED. AS FOR THE MDC'S OWN SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS,
TSVANGIRAI NOTED THAT IT HAS ITS OWN MECHANISMS IN

SIPDIS
PLACE, AND IT IS TRYING TO INCREASE THE QUALITY AND
NUMBERS IN ITS SECURITY APPARATUS. THE MDC SOMETIMES
EVEN INFORMS THE POLICE OF ITS MOVEMENTS AND DEMANDS
ESCORTS, GAMBLING THAT IT WILL GET THEM AT LEAST SOME OF
THE TIME. WHEN ASKED WHAT THE U.S. CAN DO TO HELP,
MAPOSA STATED THAT THE U.S. MAY BE LIMITED BY ZIMBABWE'S
RESTRICTIVE POLITICAL PARTIES FINANCE ACT, BUT AN
ARMORED CAR FOR TSVANGIRAI IS ESSENTIAL, AND RADIOS,
BULLET-PROOF VESTS, PRINTING MATERIALS, AND A SATELLITE
COMMUNICATION PLATFORM ARE ALSO NEEDED. GRIGSBY POINTED
OUT THAT THERE IS A U.S. LAW THAT PERMITS SECURITY
TRAINING FOR FOREIGN NATIONALS. GRIGSBY SUGGESTED THAT
THE MDC, EVEN THE RULING PARTY, COULD BENEFIT FROM SUCH
TRAINING. TSVANGIRAI APPEARED VERY RECEPTIVE TO THE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 02387 02 OF 02 101141Z
IDEA AND SAID HE WOULD BE IN TOUCH TO FIND OUT MORE
ABOUT IT.

COMMENT


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





8. (C) THE MEETING WAS VERY CORDIAL AND TSVANGIRAI
DELIVERED HIS POINTS IN A CONFIDENT AND REASONED MANNER,
WITH AN EYE TOWARD ELICITING GREATER SUPPORT FROM THE
U.S. HIS DEPUTIES WERE ALSO WELL PREPARED WITH SPECIFIC
IDEAS ON HOW THE U.S. COULD AID THE MDC IN ITS CAUSE.
THE MDC IS CLEARLY MORE FOCUSED THAN IT WAS AT THE
BEGINNING OF THE YEAR ON WHAT IS NEEDED TO OVERCOME
PRESIDENT MUGABE'S TREMENDOUS ADVANTAGES AS INCUMBENT.
END COMMENT.



9. (U) THIS CABLE WAS NOT CLEARED BY STAFFDEL BEFORE
ITS DEPARTURE FROM HARARE.

HOOKS

CONFIDENTIAL

>