in Stories

Chamisa, Musekiwa, Jongwe and Sikhala were ZANU-PF plants!

Senior Movement for Democratic Change official Trudy Stevenson said she did not trust MPs Tafadzwa Musekiwa, Job Sikhala and Learnmore Jongwe and youth leader Nelson Chamisa because they were possibly ZANU-PF plants.

She said the group of MDC youths, whom she described as gatekeepers, stuck to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai like glue and prevented anyone else from getting close to him.

She did not trust Tsvangirai’s special advisor Gandi Mudzingwa either. “I don’t trust anyone”, she said.

United States embassy officials said it had no evidence to substantiate Stevenson’s claims.

“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,” embassy officials said.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 01HARARE930, MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE LEADERSHIP TAKES

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE930

2001-03-06 15:48

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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

 

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

——————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,

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00930 04 OF 04 061551Z

WILL CONTINUE TO POSE A REAL PROBLEM FOR THE PARTY, AND THERE

IS NO EASY SOLUTION TO IT IN SIGHT. END COMMENT.

 

IRVING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

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