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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
01HARARE930 2001-03-06 15:48:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE LEADERSHIP TAKES

Tags:   PGOV PHUM PINS PINR ZI MDC 
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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     PTQ5823

PAGE 01        HARARE  00930  01 OF 04  061550Z 
ACTION AF-00    

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      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  R-00     PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-01   
      DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /010W
                  ------------------CE44B7  061550Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8364
INFO NSC WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 HARARE 000930 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

PASS USAID FOR A/AA/AFR, VDICKSON-HORTON, AND AFR/SA, CPALMA

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 00930 01 OF 04 061550Z
PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL 03/06/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR ZI MDC
SUBJECT: MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE LEADERSHIP TAKES
STOCK OF PARTY DEFICIENCIES AND CONCRETE STEPS TO
ADDRESS THEM

REFS: A) HARARE 903, B) HARARE 856, C) HARARE 767,
D) HARARE 655

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

SUMMARY
-------



1. (C) THE OPPOSITION MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC)
HAS MOVED TO ADDRESS SERIOUS ORGANIZATIONAL PROBLEMS BY
HIRING A RESPECTED CIVIL SOCIETY ACTIVIST TO BE NATIONAL
COORDINATOR TO MANAGE THE PARTY'S AFFAIRS AND A PUBLIC
RELATIONS PROFESSIONAL TO RUN ITS INFORMATION DEPARTMENT.
THE PARTY IS WORKING HARD TO DEVISE A RANGE OF THOROUGHLY
VETTED POLICIES, AND TO DISSEMINATE THEM WIDELY. HOWEVER,
LACK OF RESOURCES AND DISTRUST BETWEEN THE PARTY'S YOUNG
AND OLD MEMBERS REMAIN SERIOUS PROBLEMS. DESPITE
INTENSIFYING INTIMIDATION AND HARASSMENT OF ITS SENIOR
LEADERS, THE MDC IS ACTIVELY PREPARING FOR THE UPCOMING
PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN. THE RECENT ELECTION OF A PRO-MDC
SLATE TO THE LEADERSHIP OF THE ZIMBABWE CONGRESS OF TRADE
UNIONS (ZCTU) PROVIDES A SIGNIFICANT BOOST TO THE ELECTORAL
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 00930 01 OF 04 061550Z
STRATEGY OF THE OPPOSITION PARTY, WHICH ALSO IS MOVING
ENERGETICALLY TO COURT RURAL VOTERS, HISTORICALLY A ZANU-PF
STRONGHOLD. END SUMMARY.



2. (U) WE HAVE MET RECENTLY WITH A VARIETY OF SENIOR
OFFICIALS OF THE OPPOSITION MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE
(MDC), INCLUDING DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL GIFT CHIMANIKIRE,
MPS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS TRUDY STEVENSON, DAVID
COLTART, PAUL NYATHI, AND TENDAI BITI, AND ASSISTANT TO THE
PRESIDENT GANDI MUDZINGWA. THEY PROVIDED KEEN INSIGHTS ON
THE MDC'S INTERNAL DYNAMICS AND ITS PRIORITIES, INCLUDING
THE PARTY'S STRATEGY FOR THE UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN.

RESTRUCTURING


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





3. (C) THE LACK OF AN EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
HAS SERIOUSLY HAMPERED THE MDC'S ABILITY TO MAINTAIN
INTERNAL COHESIVENESS, LET ALONE BUILD ON ITS ACHIEVEMENTS
IN LAST JUNE'S PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS. IN A FEBRUARY 27
CONVERSATION WITH POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF, MP DAVID COLTART
DESCRIBED THE PARTY'S INFORMATION DEPARTMENT AS A "DISASTER"
AND THE ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT AS A "MESS." HIS COLLEAGUE
TRUDY STEVENSON AGREED, POINTING OUT TO US ON FEBRUARY 23
THAT EVEN SENIOR OFFICIALS IN THE PARTY ARE NOT KEPT IN THE
LOOP ON MAJOR PARTY EVENTS. FOR INSTANCE, SHE HAD HEARD
THAT MDC RALLIES WOULD BE HELD THE FOLLOWING DAY IN
HARARE, BUT SHE, ALTHOUGH AN EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER,
HAD NOT BEEN INFORMED WHERE OR WHEN THEY WOULD BE HELD.



4. (C) THE MDC HAS RECENTLY MOVED TO ADDRESS THIS SERIOUS
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 00930 01 OF 04 061550Z
SHORTCOMING, HOWEVER, BY HIRING A NATIONAL COORDINATOR WHO
WILL, QUITE LITERALLY, COORDINATE AND ALL OF THE PARTY'S
ACTIVITIES. (COMMENT: THE PERSON SELECTED FOR THIS POSITION,
ISAAC MAPOSA, DEMONSTRATED AN IMPRESSIVE TALENT FOR
MARSHALING PEOPLE AND RESOURCES WHEN HE WAS EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY'S EFFORT
IN 1999 TO DRAFT A NEW CONSTITUTION. HE IS WELL-LIKED AND
WELL-RESPECTED, AND ALL OF THE MDC MEMBERS WITH WHOM WE
SPOKE WERE CONFIDENT THAT HE WOULD BE ABLE TO IMPOSE SOME
DISCIPLINE ON A PARTY WHICH SORELY NEEDS IT. MAPOSA
REPORTEDLY TOOK UP HIS NEW DUTIES IN EARLY MARCH, IN SPITE
OF UNRESOLVED QUESTIONS ABOUT REMUNERATION. END COMMENT.)



5. (C) STEVENSON TOLD US THAT THE MDC PLANS TO HOLD
REGULAR POLICY RETREATS ON PARTICULAR ISSUES. THE FIRST
ONE -- HELD IN LATE JANUARY -- FOCUSED ON THE ECONOMY AND
LAND; THE PARTY'S NATIONAL EXECUTIVE, MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT,
AND PROVINCIAL CHAIRPERSONS ALL PARTICIPATED. THE
OBJECTIVES OF THE RETREATS, STEVENSON STRESSED, ARE TO
THOROUGHLY VET POLICY POSITIONS BEFORE THEY ARE ANNOUNCED
PUBLICLY AND TO ENSURE THAT MPS AND OTHER SENIOR PARTY
OFFICIALS DELIVER A CONSISTENT MESSAGE. THE PARTY'S
POSITIONS WILL SUBSEQUENTLY BE EXPLAINED IN REGULAR
MEETINGS TO CONSTITUENTS AROUND THE COUNTRY.

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ5829

PAGE 01 HARARE 00930 02 OF 04 061551Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-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 R-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01
DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /010W


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

CE44CE 061551Z /38
R 061548Z MAR 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8365
INFO NSC WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 04 HARARE 000930

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

PASS USAID FOR A/AA/AFR, VDICKSON-HORTON, AND AFR/SA, CPALMA

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 00930 02 OF 04 061551Z
PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL 03/06/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR ZI MDC
SUBJECT: MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE LEADERSHIP TAKES
STOCK OF PARTY DEFICIENCIES AND CONCRETE STEPS TO
ADDRESS THEM



6. (C) STEVENSON LAMENTED THAT THE PARTY'S INFORMATION
AND PUBLICITY DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN INEFFECTUAL, IN LARGE
PART BECAUSE IT WAS RUN BY A LAWYER -- MP LEARNMORE
JONGWE -- WHO HAS NO ACADEMIC PREPARATION OR PRACTICAL
EXPERIENCE IN PUBLIC RELATIONS. SHE EXPRESSED HOPE,
HOWEVER, THAT THE RECENT HIRING OF A PERSON WITH A
GRADUATE DEGREE IN COMMUNICATIONS WOULD HELP THE PARTY
SHAPE AND DISSEMINATE A CONSISTENT, EFFECTIVE MESSAGE
AND DEVELOP A DYNAMIC PUBLIC RELATIONS STRATEGY.

LACK OF RESOURCES


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





7. (C) A LACK OF RESOURCES CONTINUES TO POSE A SERIOUS
IMPEDIMENT FOR THE MDC. MDC MP AND DIRECTOR OF ELECTIONS
PAUL NYATHI SAID THE PARTY LITERALLY HAS ALMOST NO MONEY
IN THE BANK. ONE REASON THE PARTY FINDS ITSELF IN SUCH
DIRE FINANCIAL STRAITS IS THE GOVERNMENT'S STEADFAST
REFUSAL TO RELEASE FUNDS TO WHICH THE MDC IS ENTITLED
UNDER THE POLITICAL PARTIES ACT, BY VIRTUE OF ITS STRONG
SHOWING IN LAST JUNE'S PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS. ON
FEBRUARY 22, THE GOVERNMENT FINALLY AGREED TO HONOR ITS
OBLIGATION UNDER THE LAW AND RELEASE WITHIN 30 DAYS 47
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 00930 02 OF 04 061551Z
MILLION ZIMBABWEAN DOLLARS (APPROXIMATELY U.S. $630,000)
TO THE MDC. MDC MPS DAVID COLTART AND PAUL NYATHI BELIEVE,
HOWEVER, THAT THE GOVERNMENT WILL FIND WAYS TO AVOID HONORING
THIS COMMITMENT. WHY, THEY BOTH ASKED, WOULD A GOVERNMENT
WHICH HAS DEMONSTRATED DISDAIN FOR THE RULE OF LAW PROVIDE
THE MDC WITH A FINANCIAL WINDFALL AS BOTH PARTIES GEAR UP
FOR A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION? MANY OF THE MDC'S DOMESTIC
SOURCES OF REVENUE HAVE DRIED UP, TESTAMENT TO THE
EFFECTIVENESS OF THE GOVERNMENT'S CAMPAIGN OF INTIMIDATION
AGAINST THE PARTY'S SUPPORTERS. COLTART AND NYATHI ARE
PLANNING A FUNDRAISING TRIP IN LATE MARCH TO LONDON,
NEW YORK, AND WASHINGTON, WHICH WILL TARGET PRIMARILY
ZIMBABWEAN EXPATRIATES.

INCREASING THREATS/HARASSMENT


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





8. (C) THE MDC'S EFFORT TO TRANSFORM ITSELF FROM A PROTEST
MOVEMENT INTO A GENUINE, EFFECTIVE POLITICAL PARTY HAS BEEN
HAMPERED BY INTENSIFYING GOVERNMENT-SANCTIONED HARASSMENT
AND INTIMIDATION. DURING THE LAST MONTH, SENIOR MDC
OFFICIALS -- INCLUDING PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI AND
VICE PRESIDENT GIBSON SIBANDA -- HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH
INCITING VIOLENCE (REFS C AND D), WHILE SECURITY SECRETARY
JOB SIKHALA AND HIS PREGNANT WIFE WERE TWICE BEATEN IN THEIR
HOME BY MEN WEARING ARMY UNIFORMS. IN ADDITION, FOUR MEN IN
CIVILIAN CLOTHES ARRIVED AT SIKHALA'S HOUSE IN A POLICE
VEHICLE AT MIDNIGHT ON FEBRUARY 25 THREATENING TO ARREST
SIKHALA, BUT HE AND HIS FAMILY HID IN A NEARBY FIELD AFTER
BEING WARNED BY THEIR GUARD. THE UNKNOWN MEN BEAT SIKHALA'S
GUARD AND FIRED AT LEAST ONE SHOT AT HIM AFTER HE MANAGED TO
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 00930 02 OF 04 061551Z
FLEE. ON FEBRUARY 21, FOUR MDC OFFICIALS FROM VICTORIA FALLS
WERE ARRESTED AND CHARGED UNDER THE COLONIAL-ERA LAW AND ORDER
MAINTENANCE ACT (LOMA) WITH INCITING PUBLIC VIOLENCE AT A
FEBRUARY 4 MDC RALLY. THE FILING OF THESE CHARGES THREE WEEKS
AFTER THE ALLEGED CRIME -- FLASHING RED CARDS DURING THE RALLY
-- LIKELY WAS MOTIVATED BY A DESIRE TO ENSURE THAT THE MDC
WOULD NOT TRY TO DISRUPT PRESIDENT MUGABE'S 77TH BIRTHDAY
CELEBRATION IN VICTORIA FALLS ON FEBRUARY 24. IN ADDITION,
RUMORS CONTINUE TO CIRCULATE OF THE EXISTENCE OF A DEATH LIST
CONTAINING THE NAMES OF SENIOR MDC OFFICIALS (REF B).

INTERNAL FACTIONS


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





9. (C) TENSIONS BETWEEN THE MDC'S SHONA AND NDEBELE MEMBERS
CONTINUE TO SIMMER, BUT THE STRAINS BETWEEN THE PARTY'S OLDER
AND YOUNGER MEMBERS SEEM TO BE THE MOST SERIOUS. ACCORDING
TO STEVENSON, SOME OF THE PARTY'S YOUNG STARS USE
UNNECESSARILY SHARP RHETORIC AT PUBLIC RALLIES PORTRAYING THE
CURRENT POLITICAL STRUGGLE AS PITTING THE YOUNGER GENERATION
-- REPRESENTED BY THE MDC -- VERSUS THE OLDER, DISCREDITED
GENERATION -- REPRESENTED BY ZANU-PF. AN ADDITIONAL CAUSE
FOR CONCERN, ACCORDING TO STEVENSON, IS THAT YOUNG,
SOPHISTICATED MDC CADRES STICK LIKE GLUE TO TSVANGIRAI.
THEY EXPERTLY PLAY ON THE MDC PRESIDENT'S SENSITIVITY ABOUT

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ5830

PAGE 01 HARARE 00930 03 OF 04 061551Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-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 R-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01
DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /010W


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

CE44D7 061551Z /38
R 061548Z MAR 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8366
INFO NSC WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 04 HARARE 000930

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

PASS USAID FOR A/AA/AFR, VDICKSON-HORTON, AND AFR/SA, CPALMA

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 00930 03 OF 04 061551Z
PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL 03/06/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR ZI MDC
SUBJECT: MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE LEADERSHIP TAKES
STOCK OF PARTY DEFICIENCIES AND CONCRETE STEPS TO
ADDRESS THEM

HIS LACK OF HIGHER EDUCATION TO MAINTAIN THEIR ACCESS TO HIM
AND TO PREVENT OTHERS IN THE PARTY FROM GETTING TOO CLOSE.
AFTER OLDER MEMBERS OF THE PARTY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE RECENTLY
COMPLAINED TO TSVANGIRAI THAT THE VEHEMENCE OF HIS YOUNG
GATEKEEPERS WAS BECOMING A PROBLEM, THE MDC LEADER AGREED TO
MAKE SOME CHANGES. STEVENSON, WHO IS PROBABLY IN HER 50S,
DESCRIBED FOUR YOUNG MDC MEMBERS WHOM SHE DOES NOT TRUST AS
BEING POSSIBLE ZANU-PF PLANTS -- MPS TAFADZWA MUSEKIWA, JOB
SIKHALA, AND LEARNMORE JONGWE (THE PARTY'S SPOKESMAN), AND
NATIONAL YOUTH LEADER NELSON CHAMISA. ASKED WHETHER SHE
TRUSTED TSVANGIRAI'S PERSONAL ASSISTANT GANDI MUDZINGWA,
STEVENSON REPLIED, "I DON'T TRUST ANYONE." (COMMENT: WE
HAVE NO EVIDENCE TO SUBSTANTIATE STEVENSON'S SUSPICIONS
ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. WE CAN SAY WITH A FAIR DEGREE OF
CONFIDENCE THAT HER DISTRUST OF CERTAIN YOUNGER MEMBERS
IS A RESULT OF ZANU-PF'S STRATEGY TO SOW DOUBT AND DISCORD
WITHIN THE OPPOSITION PARTY. END COMMENT).

GEARING UP FOR A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION


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





10. (C) DESPITE THE CHALLENGES ELABORATED ABOVE, THE MDC
IS PREPARING ENERGETICALLY FOR THE UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 00930 03 OF 04 061551Z
ELECTION. ACCORDING TO MDC DIRECTOR FOR ELECTIONS PAUL
NYATHI, THE PARTY HAS FORMED A "HUSH-HUSH" NATIONAL ELECTION
DIRECTORATE IN HARARE THAT IS PLOTTING STRATEGY. THE MDC
HAS BEEN HOLDING WELL-ATTENDED RALLIES NATIONWIDE, WHERE IT
IS ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO HANG TOUGH IN THE FACE OF VIOLENCE
AND INTIMIDATION, AND TO VOTE, AS THE PRIZE THIS TIME IS
MUCH MORE VALUABLE THAN LAST JUNE'S. IN A MARCH 1 MEETING
WITH POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF, MP FOR HARARE EAST TENDAI BITI
WAS IN UNUSUALLY HIGH SPIRITS, NOTING THAT TURNOUT FOR HIS
CONSTITUENCY MEETINGS AND THOSE OF MANY OF HIS PARTY
COLLEAGUES HAD INCREASED DRAMATICALLY DURING THE PAST MONTH.
ACCORDING TO NYATHI, THE MDC HOPES TO LAUNCH OFFICIALLY ITS
PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN IN THE TOWNSHIP OF CHITUNGWIZA, WHERE
SECURITY FORCES HAVE BEEN BEATING SUSPECTED OPPOSITION
SUPPORTERS, "TO GIVE PEOPLE COURAGE."



11. (C) IN EARLY MARCH, MDC ACTIVISTS FROM RURAL AREAS WERE
PLANNING TO GATHER IN HARARE TO STRATEGIZE ON HOW TO BOLSTER
SUPPORT IN THE RURAL AREAS. IN THE MEANTIME, THE PARTY IS
DISSEMINATING ITS MESSAGE THROUGH RURAL CHURCHES AND
RURAL-BASED MEMBERS OF THE ZCTU. THE RECENT ELECTION OF A
PRO-MDC SLATE TO THE ZCTU LEADERSHIP, NYATHI POINTED OUT,
WAS CRUCIAL TO THE MDC'S ABILITY TO PENETRATE THE RURAL AREAS.
IN LIGHT OF THE GOVERNMENT'S ONGOING CAMPAIGN OF INTIMIDATION
AGAINST COMMERCIAL FARM OWNERS AND THEIR WORKERS, THE
120,000-STRONG FARM WORKERS UNION REPRESENTS ESPECIALLY
FERTILE GROUND FOR THE MDC. THE OPPOSITION PARTY IS ALSO
PAYING SUPPORTERS LIVING IN URBAN AREAS TO RETURN TO THEIR
RURAL VILLAGES TO CAMPAIGN QUIETLY. (COMMENT: WE DO NOT KNOW
THE SOURCE OF THE MONEY WITH WHICH THIS IS OSTENSIBLY BEING
DONE. END COMMENT). THIS IS POTENTIALLY AN EFFECTIVE APPROACH,
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 00930 03 OF 04 061551Z
AS RURAL RESIDENTS WILL BE MUCH MORE WILLING TO LISTEN TO A
FAMILIAR FACE, WHO IS LESS LIKELY TO ATTRACT THE ATTENTION --
AND WRATH -- OF ZANU-PF THUGS. SO FAR, 52 WARDS HAVE BEEN
"ASSIGNED" AN URBAN-DWELLING RESIDENT. (NOTE: EACH OF
ZIMBABWE'S 120 ELECTORAL CONSTITUENCIES COMPRISES BETWEEN
FIVE AND TWENTY WARDS. END NOTE.)



12. (C) ACCORDING TO NYATHI, THE MDC IS "ASSURED" OF WINNING
THE PROVINCES OF MATABELELAND NORTH AND SOUTH, MANICALAND,
AND MIDLANDS. MASHONALAND EAST, WEST, AND CENTRAL WERE
PROBLEMATIC, AS GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED INTIMIDATION THERE HAS
BEEN SIGNIFICANT. HOWEVER, NYATHI BELIEVED THERE IS ROOM FOR
THE MDC TO INCREASE ITS SUPPORT IN THOSE TRADITIONAL
STRONGHOLDS OF THE RULING PARTY, AS THE SEATS WON BY ZANU-PF
IN JUNE WERE BY VERY HIGH MARGINS, WHILE TURNOUT WAS LOW IN
THOSE CONSTITUENCIES WON BY THE MDC. NYATHI SAID MASVINGO
IS THE KEY BATTLEGROUND PROVINCE, CALLING IT "OUR FLORIDA."
THE SOUTHERN PROVINCE HAS THE LARGEST POPULATION AND IS
POLITICALLY ASTUTE. IN ADDITION, THE RECENT EXPULSION OF
LONG-TIME ZANU-PF STALWART AND MASVINGO "SUPREMO" EDDISON
ZVOBGO FROM THE POLITBURO HAS ANGERED MANY OF HIS SUPPORTERS
AND COULD LEAD THEM TO SHIFT THEIR ALLEGIANCE TO THE MDC.



13. (C) THERE WAS NOT CONSENSUS AMONG OUR MDC INTERLOCUTORS
ABOUT WHETHER PRESIDENT MUGABE WOULD CALL AN EARLY ELECTION,

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ5834

PAGE 01 HARARE 00930 04 OF 04 061551Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-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 R-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01
DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /010W


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

CE44F0 061552Z /38
R 061548Z MAR 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8367
INFO NSC WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 04 OF 04 HARARE 000930

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

PASS USAID FOR A/AA/AFR, VDICKSON-HORTON, AND AFR/SA, CPALMA

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 00930 04 OF 04 061551Z
PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL 03/06/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR ZI MDC
SUBJECT: MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE LEADERSHIP TAKES
STOCK OF PARTY DEFICIENCIES AND CONCRETE STEPS TO
ADDRESS THEM

PRIOR TO JANUARY 1, 2002. COLTART AND NYATHI WERE CONVINCED
THAT THE RECENT INTENSIFICATION OF VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION
-- AGAINST THE JUDICIARY, THE INDEPENDENT MEDIA, THE MDC, AND
ORDINARY CITIZENS IN HARARE'S HIGH-DENSITY SUBURBS --
SUGGESTS AN EARLY ELECTION. ON THE OTHER HAND, TSVANGIRAI'S
ASSISTANT GANDI MUDZINGWA BELIEVES MUGABE WILL NOT STAND AGAIN,
AS HE KNOWS HE CANNOT WIN, AND NEEDS TIME TO GROOM EITHER
SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT EMMERSON MNANGAGWA OR FINANCE MINISTER
SIMBA MAKONI AS HIS SUCCESSOR. TRUDY STEVENSON DOUBTED THE
POSSIBILITY OF AN EARLY ELECTION, AS ZANU-PF WAS NOT
WELL-ORGANIZED ENOUGH TO PULL OFF A VICTORY IN SO SHORT A TIME.

ELECTORAL CHALLENGES


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





14. (C) THE MDC'S CHALLENGES OF THE RESULTS IN 37 ELECTORAL
CONSTITUENCIES ARE PROCEEDING APACE IN THE HIGH COURT. FOUR
CASES HAVE NOW BEEN COMPLETED, BUT THE JUDGES HAVE NOT YET
RENDERED THEIR DECISIONS. IN FACT, MOST OBSERVERS EXPECT
THEM TO RESERVE JUDGMENT UNTIL ALL 37 CASES HAVE BEEN HEARD,
MEANING WE ARE UNLIKELY TO SEE A FINAL RESOLUTION FOR MANY
MORE MONTHS. COLTART SAID THE INITIAL CASES DID NOT GO
PARTICULARLY WELL -- SOME OF THE MDC'S WITNESSES WERE TOO
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 00930 04 OF 04 061551Z
AGGRESSIVE OR UNABLE TO EXPLAIN HOLES IN THEIR STORIES --
BUT THE CASES CURRENTLY BEING HEARD ARE EXPOSING SIGNIFICANT
EVIDENCE OF INTIMIDATION AND ELECTORAL FRAUD. EVEN IF THE
JUDGES DO NOT ULTIMATELY SET ASIDE THE RESULTS IN ANY OF
THE 37 CONSTITUENCIES, THE CASES AT LEAST WILL HAVE FOCUSED
THE WORLD'S ATTENTION ON THE SERIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES
THAT OCCURRED DURING THE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION CAMPAIGN.

COMMENT


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





15. (C) THE MDC APPEARS TO BE REGAINING SOME OF THE
POLITICAL MOMENTUM IT CEDED TO ZANU-PF IN THE MONTHS AFTER
LAST JUNE'S PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION IN SPITE OF THE GOVERNMENT'S INTIMID
ATION
CAMPAIGN -- OR PERHAPS BECAUSE OF IT. THERE IS
A SENSE OF EXCITEMENT AMONG ITS SENIOR OFFICIALS THAT WE HAVE
NOT SEEN SINCE THE EUPHORIA OF THEIR ELECTORAL SHOWING LAST
JUNE. THE HIRING OF A NATIONAL COORDINATOR AND A PUBLIC
RELATIONS PROFESSIONAL, ALONG WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF A
RIGOROUS INTERNAL POLICY-VETTING SHOP, WILL HELP ADDRESS SOME
OF THE PARTY'S STRUCTURAL WEAKNESSES, ESPECIALLY THE ABSENCE
OF CLEAR POLICY POSITIONS AND INEFFECTUAL INTERNAL AND
EXTERNAL COMMUNICATION. THE NATIONAL COORDINATOR LIKELY WILL
BE ABLE TO USE HIS IMPRESSIVE MANAGEMENT AND INTERPERSONAL
SKILLS TO ALLEVIATE SOME OF THE PARTY'S FACTIONAL TENSIONS.
THE MDC IS BEGINNING TO SHOW SIGNS OF POLITICAL MATURITY AS
WELL, BY REACHING OUT TO THE DIPLOMATIC HEADS OF MISSION
(REF A) AND ADVOCATING THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY'S
CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT WITH THE MUGABE GOVERNMENT, AS OPPOSED
TO IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS. THE LACK OF RESOURCES, HOWEVER,
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WILL CONTINUE TO POSE A REAL PROBLEM FOR THE PARTY, AND THERE
IS NO EASY SOLUTION TO IT IN SIGHT. END COMMENT.

IRVING

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