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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
01HARARE859
2001-02-28 05:43:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

ZCTU UNION LEADER CONFIRMS THAT LABOR CONGRESS

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.

280543Z Feb 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ9635

PAGE 01        HARARE  00859  01 OF 02  281811Z 
ACTION DRL-02   

INFO  LOG-00   AF-00    AID-00   CIAE-00  DODE-00  SRPP-00  EB-00    
      EUR-00   H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    L-00     NSAE-00  
      OIC-02   PM-00    PRS-00   P-00     SP-00    SS-00    STR-00   
      TRSE-00  USIE-00  PMB-00   PRM-01   G-00     SAS-00     /006W
                  ------------------CBB2E4  281811Z /45    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8301
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 000859 

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 02/27/11
TAGS: ELAB PGOV PHUM PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZCTU UNION LEADER CONFIRMS THAT LABOR CONGRESS
CONFIDENTIAL


PAGE 02 HARARE 00859 01 OF 02 281811Z
OUTCOME ASSURES COOPERATION BETWEEN THE ZCTU AND THE MDC

REFTEL: HARARE 846

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

--------
SUMMARY
--------



1. (C) ACCORDING TO A HIGH-LEVEL UNION OFFICIAL WHO IS
ALSO A MEMBER OF THE OPPOSITION PARTY'S NATIONAL
EXECUTIVE, THE JUST-ENDED ZIMBABWE CONGRESS OF TRADE
UNION'S (ZCTU) FIVE-YEAR CONGRESS RESULTED IN THE
ELECTION OF A NATIONAL EXECUTIVE BODY THAT SOLIDLY
SUPPORTS THE MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC).
ZIMBABWE'S RULING PARTY, ZANU-PF, TRIED TO BUY
DELEGATES' VOTES RIGHT UP TO VOTING TIME AT THE
CONGRESS, BUT NOT A SINGLE PRO-ZANU-PF LABOR LEADER WAS
ELECTED TO THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE. WHILE THE NEW
NATIONAL EXECUTIVE PUBLICLY AFFIRMED THAT THE ZCTU IS
NOT AFFILIATED WITH ANY POLITICAL PARTY, AND THAT IT IS
NON-PARTISAN IN CHARACTER, IT IS CLEAR THAT THE NEW
LEADERSHIP WILL WORK CLOSELY WITH THE MDC IN SUPPORTING
THE PARTY'S CANDIDATE IN THE UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION. END SUMMARY.



2. (U) ON FEBRUARY 26, LABOFF MET WITH NICHOLAS
MUDZENGERERE, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE ZIMBABWE CATERING
AND HOTEL WORKERS UNION, TO DISCUSS THE OUTCOME OF THE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 00859 01 OF 02 281811Z
JUST-ENDED LABOR CONGRESS. MUDZENGERERE IS ALSO THE
FORMER DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE ZCTU, AND A
MEMBER OF THE MDC NATIONAL EXECUTIVE.



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


A PRO-MDC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE IS ELECTED


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





3. (C) MUDZENGERERE REVEALED THAT THE MDC IS VERY
PLEASED WITH THE OUTCOME OF THE CONGRESS. ACCORDING TO
MUDZENGERERE, ALL THE MEMBERS ELECTED TO THE NEW ZCTU
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ARE PRO-MDC LABOR LEADERS (REFTEL).
THE NEW SECRETARY-GENERAL, WILLARD CHIBHEBHE, IS THE
FORMER PRESIDENT, AND NOW A TRUSTEE OF THE ZIMBABWE
RAILWAY ARTISANS WORKERS UNION, AND HAD THE BACKING OF
THE OTHER TWO RAILWAY UNIONS. HE ALSO WAS A CANDIDATE
FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE MDC WHEN THE PARTY WAS
FIRST FORMED IN 1999, AND LATER WAS THE SECRETARY OF
POLICY AND RESEARCH FOR THE MDC. THE NEW ZCTU
PRESIDENT, LOVEMORE MATAMBO, IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE
ZIMBABWE POST AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS WORKERS UNION, AND
WAS PART OF THE ZCTU GENERAL COUNCIL WHEN THE LABOR BODY
VOTED TO ORGANIZE THE MDC IN 1998. THE OTHER NEW
MEMBERS OF THE ZCTU EXECUTIVE HAVE SIMILARLY STRONG
UNION AND MDC CREDENTIALS. THE FIRST VICE-PRESIDENT,
LUCIA MATIBENGU, IS THE HEAD OF THE MDC WOMEN'S LEAGUE.



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


ZANU-PF'S VOTE BUYING FAILS


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



CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 00859 01 OF 02 281811Z


4. (C) MUDZENGERERE ALLEGED THAT ZANU-PF WAS TRYING TO
BUY THE OUTCOME OF THE CONGRESS RIGHT UP UNTIL THE VOTES

WERE CAST. HE STATED THAT ZANU-PF BAGMEN CAME TO THE
CONGRESS WITH BAGS OF CASH, AND WERE TRYING TO BRIBE
CONGRESS DELEGATES TO ENSURE THAT THEY WOULD VOTE FOR
THE PRO-ZANU-PF SLATE OF CANDIDATES. THIS IS ON TOP OF
THE RUMORED ZIMBABWE $1.5 MILLION THAT THE RULING PARTY
PAID IN DUES ARREARAGES ON BEHALF OF VARIOUS UNIONS SO
THAT THEY COULD ATTEND THE CONGRESS AND VOTE FOR THE
PRO-ZANU-PF CANDIDATES. HOWEVER, MUDZENGERERE INDICATED
THAT BECAUSE THE VOTING WAS BY SECRET BALLOT, ZANU-PF'S
STRATEGY BACKFIRED, AS THE DELEGATES TOOK THE MONEY AND
THEN CAST THEIR BALLOTS FOR THE PRO-MDC CANDIDATES.
EVEN THOUGH THE PRO-MDC FORCES WERE UNABLE TO PRESENT A
SINGLE SLATE, NOT ONE PRO-ZANU-PF CANDIDATE WAS ELECTED.
ISIDORE ZINDOGA, THE FORMER ACTING SECRETARY-GENERAL OF
THE ZCTU AND HEAD OF THE PRO-ZANU-PF SLATE, RECEIVED
ONLY 35 VOTES, WHILE CHIBHEBHE RECEIVED 81 VOTES.



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


A WARM GREETING FOR TSVANGIRAI AND SIBANDA


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



CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ9639

PAGE 01 HARARE 00859 02 OF 02 281811Z
ACTION DRL-02

INFO LOG-00 AF-00 AID-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 EB-00
EUR-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 L-00 NSAE-00
OIC-02 PM-00 PRS-00 P-00 SP-00 SS-00 STR-00
TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 PRM-01 G-00 SAS-00 /006W


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

CBB2F4 281811Z /45
R 280543Z FEB 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8302
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 000859

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 02/27/11
TAGS: ELAB PGOV PHUM PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZCTU UNION LEADER CONFIRMS THAT LABOR CONGRESS
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 00859 02 OF 02 281811Z
OUTCOME ASSURES COOPERATION BETWEEN THE ZCTU AND THE MDC



5. (C) THE FORMER SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE ZCTU, AND
CURRENT PRESIDENT OF THE MDC, MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, AND THE
FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE ZCTU, AND CURRENT VICE-PRESIDENT
OF THE MDC, GIBSON SIBANDA, RECEIVED A STANDING OVATION
FROM THE DELEGATES WHEN THEY ADDRESSED THE CONGRESS.
TSVANGIRAI'S COMMENT THAT THE "ZCTU WAS THE SOUL OF THE

SIPDIS
MDC" WAS MET WITH AN ENTHUSIASTIC RESPONSE FROM THE
DELEGATES. ACCORDING TO MUDZENGERERE, THERE WERE NO
ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS EVIDENT AMONG THE DELEGATES AT THE
CONGRESS. WHILE THE NEW EXECUTIVE PUBLICLY AFFIRMED
THAT THE ZCTU IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH ANY POLITICAL
PARTY, MUDZENGERERE MADE CLEAR THAT IN PRIVATE THE
ENTIRE NEW EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, AS WELL AS WORKERS IN
GENERAL, STRONGLY SUPPORT THE MDC AND WILL FULLY SUPPORT
TSVANGIRAI'S CAMPAIGN FOR THE PRESIDENCY.

SIPDIS



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


MUDZENGERERE'S PENDING COURT CHALLENGE


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





6. (C) IN ADDITION TO HAVING STRONG LABOR CREDENTIALS,
MUDZENGERERE IS AN MDC ACTIVIST AS WELL. HE WAS ONE OF
THE MDC CANDIDATES DEFEATED IN LAST JUNE'S PARLIAMENTARY
ELECTION AS A RESULT OF ZANU-PF INTIMIDATION OF VOTERS.
MUDZENGERERE REPORTEDLY LOST BY LESS THAN 60 VOTES OUT
OF AROUND 15,000 VOTES CAST IN THE MAKONI EAST DISTRICT.
HE RELATED HOW ZANU-PF THUGS AND "WAR VETS" HAD
PREVENTED COMMERCIAL FARM WORKERS FROM VOTING DURING THE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 00859 02 OF 02 281811Z
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION. THE EVIDENCE OF THE IMPACT OF
THIS INTIMIDATION, ACCORDING TO MUDZENGERERE, IS THAT
25,000 VOTED IN THE DISTRICT IN THE CONSTITUTIONAL
REFERENDUM (WHEN THERE WAS NO INTIMIDATION), VERSUS ONLY
15,000 IN THE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION FOUR MONTHS LATER.
MUDZENGERERE'S COURT CHALLENGE IS TO BE HEARD IN THE
NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS.



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


COMMENT


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





7. (C) THE ELECTION OF A PRO-MDC NATIONAL EXECUTIVE AT
THE ZCTU CONGRESS WAS OF CRITICAL IMPORTANCE TO THE
FUTURE VIABILITY OF THE MDC AS A NATIONAL POLITICAL
PARTY. HAVING ACHIEVED THIS, MORGAN TSVANGIRAI AND THE
MDC LEADERSHIP CAN BREATHE A SIGH OF RELIEF. WHEN THE
NEW ZCTU PRESIDENT, LOVEMORE MATAMBO, TOLD THE GOZ-
CONTROLLED "THE HERALD" NEWSPAPER THAT "THE ZCTU IS A
NON-PARTISAN BODY THAT IS NOT THE SOUL OF THE MDC", THIS
WAS FOR THE CONSUMPTION OF PRESIDENT MUGABE AND COMPANY,
AND DID NOT SIGNIFY THE TRUE LEANINGS OF THE NEW
LEADERSHIP. WE EXPECT THAT THE NEW ZCTU LEADERSHIP WILL
WORK TO SUPPORT TSVANGIRAI'S CANDIDACY IN THE UPCOMING
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN WAYS THAT ON THE SURFACE ARE
NON-PARTISAN (E.G. VOTER REGISTRATION, VOTER EDUCATION,
GET OUT THE VOTE EFFORTS), BUT WHICH WILL SERVE TO HELP
LEVEL THE POLITICAL PLAYING FIELD. END COMMENT.

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 00859 02 OF 02 281811Z

CONFIDENTIAL

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