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Did MDC ask US to help remove Mugabe or not?

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai had to personally meet United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Tom McDonald to apologise for a diplomatic embarrassment after a press release from his party had implied that the party had asked the US for help to remove President Robert Mugabe from power.

The party was supposed to have made the request to United States assistant secretary of State Susan Rice during her visit to the country.

Rice was reported to have been chagrined by the report and had ordered that the issue be clarified immediately.

Tsvangirai said the statement had been issued by “an overzealous staffer”, Annabel Hughes, and he had told her that was not the way to secure Mugabe’s ouster.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 00HARARE6455, TSVANGIRAI APOLOGIZES TO AMBASSADOR FOR MDC

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE6455

2000-11-20 14:42

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.

 

201442Z Nov 00

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4913

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 06455 01 OF 02 201442Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   CIAE-00 SMEC-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 SRPP-00

DS-00   EUR-00   VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   L-00

VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   IRM-00   SSO-00   TRSE-00

USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     SSR-00   NFAT-00

SAS-00     /006W

——————A166F4 201442Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7651

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI IMMEDIATE

AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 006455

 

SIPDIS

 

NAIROBI PLEASE TO A/S RICE

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

LONDON FOR GURNEY

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/20/2010

TAGS: PGOV OPRC ZI

SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI APOLOGIZES TO AMBASSADOR FOR MDC

PRESS RELEASE

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 06455 01 OF 02 201442Z

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD FOR REASON 1.5

(D) .

 

1. (C) MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) PRESIDENT

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI CAME TO THE CHANCERY ON NOVEMBER 20

AND APOLOGIZED TO AMBASSADOR MCDONALD FOR A PRESS

RELEASE DATED NOVEMBER 16. AMONG OTHER THINGS, THE

PRESS RELEASE CLAIMS THAT TSVANGIRAI AND AF ASSISTANT

SECRETARY RICE DISCUSSED “HOW TO MANAGE A TRANSITION OF

 

SIPDIS

POWER” IN ZIMBABWE, AND CLAIMED A/S RICE SAID THAT “THE

U.S. GOVERNMENT WAS KEEN TO ASSIST THE MDC IN RESTORING

FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY IN THE COUNTRY AND ENDORSED THE

NEED FOR ADDED PRESSURE ON THE GOVERNMENT TO ENSURE LAW

AND ORDER RESUMED THROUGHOUT ZIMBABWE.” TSVANGIRAI

EXPLAINED THAT HE DID NOT AUTHORIZE THE MDC STATEMENT OF

THE 16TH, AND ONLY FIRST LEARNED OF IT WHEN THE SATURDAY

(NOVEMBER 18) EVENING TELEVISION NEWS ON THE ZIMBABWE

BROADCASTING CORPORATION LED WITH THE EMBASSY’S

STATEMENT REBUTTING THE CONTENTS OF THE NOVEMBER 16 MDC

STATEMENT. TSVANGIRAI EXPLAINED TO US THAT AFTER SEEING

THE STORY, HE IMMEDIATELY ATTEMPTED TO CONTACT THE

AMBASSADOR FOR AN EXPLANATION, BUT SPOKE WITH THE DCM.

THE DCM EXPLAINED THAT THE EMBASSY’S RESPONSE HAD BEEN

PROMPTED BY THE APPEARANCE TWO DAYS EARLIER ON THE

INTERNET OF AN APPARENTLY AUTHORITATIVE MDC RELEASE.

 

2. (C) THE MDC PRESIDENT CONTINUED THAT HE CHECKED WITH

HIS INFORMATION CHIEF, NOMORE SIBANDA, WHO DENIED ANY

KNOWLEDGE OF THE PIECE. AFTER RESEARCHING THE MATTER

FURTHER, THEY ESTABLISHED THAT ANNABEL HUQHES, “AN

OVERZEALOUS STAFFER”, HAD ISSUED THE STATEMENT.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 06455 01 OF 02 201442Z

TSVANGIRAI STRESSED SHE HAD BEEN DEALT WITH. TSVANQIRAI

 

SIPDIS

SAID HE TOLD HUQHES THAT THE STATEMENT HAD PUT HIM IN AN

EMBARRASSINQ POSITION AND IT WAS NOT THE WAY TO SECURE

MUGABE’S OUSTER. HE HOPED THAT THE AMBASSADOR WOULD

TAKE IT ON QOOD FAITH THAT HE HAD NOT ORDERED OR CLEARED

ON THE STATEMENT ISSUED, AND WOULD NOT BREACH THE

CONFIDENCE OF DISCUSSIONS HELD BEHIND CLOSED DOORS THIS

TIME OR ON ANY OTHER OCCASION.

 

3. (C) AMBASSADOR MCOONALD ACCEPTED TSVANQIRAI’S

APOLOQY AND NOTED THAT ASSISTANT SECRETARY RICE HAD BEEN

“QUITE CHAQRINED” WHEN SHE LEARNED OF THE STATEMENT’S

CONTENTS AND THOUQHT IT REQUIRED AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE.

HE STRESSED THAT THE USG DID NOT FAVOR A PARTICULAR

PARTY IN ZIMBABWE AND INDEED, MAINTAINED ACTIVE DIALOQUE

WITH THE GOZ AND OPPOSITION QROUPS. THE AMBASSADOR SAID

THAT THE EMBASSY HAD MAINTAINED QOOD RELATIONS WITH THE

MDC IN THE PAST AND HOPED THAT THERE WOULD BE NO REPEAT

OF THIS UNFORTUNATE INCIDENT. “ONCE BURNED, TWICE SHY,”

THE MOC PRESIDENT STATED, AND SAID HE WOULD PERSONALLY

PEN AN APOLOQY TO ASSISTANT SECRETARY RICE. HE ALSO

SHARED WITH US A COPY OF A PRESS RELEASE, WHICH THE MOC

ISSUED NOVEMBER 19, CLARIFYINQ THE MATTER, THE TEXT OF

WHICH APPEARS IN PARAQRAPH 4.

 

4. (U) BEQIN TEXT OF MOC PRESS RELEASE.

 

LAST WEEK THE UNITED STATES ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE

SUSAN RICE WAS IN ZIMBABWE AND HELD CONSULTATIONS WITH A

WIDE CROSS SECTION OF ZIMBABWEAN SOCIETY. WE CONFIRM

THAT THE MOC HELD A MEETINQ WITH SUSAN RICE AND HER

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 06455 01 OF 02 201442Z

DELEQATION DURINQ HER CONSULTATIVE TOUR.

 

AT NO TIME DURINQ THE MEETINQ DID THE MOC REQUEST FOR

ASSISTANCE TO REMOVE PRESIDENT MUQABE FROM POWER OR

INDEED ANY OTHER FORM OF ASSISTANCE FROM THE U.S.

GOVERNMENT. INSTEAD THE MOC PRESENTED TO SUSAN RICE AND

HER DELEGATION ITS PERSPECTIVE OF THE CURRENT ECONOMIC,

POLITICAL AND SOCIAL CRISIS AS WELL AS THE MOC

PERSPECTIVE ON HOW TO RESOLVE IT.

 

THE MDC STRONQLY BELIEVES THAT THE MANDATE OF PRESIDENT

MUQABE LIES WITH THE ZIMBABWEAN PEOPLE AND THEY ALONE

HAVE THE RIQHT TO DECIDE THE POLITICAL FUTURE OF THIS

COUNTRY.

 

CONTRARY TO THE STATEMENT ISSUED ON NOVEMBER 16, 2000,

ON THE INTERNET THE MDC HAS MAINTAINED THE CONFIDENCE OF

THE DISCUSSION. NO OFFICIAL STATEMENT WAS ISSUED,

THEREFORE ANY SUGGESTION THAT THE MDC SOUGHT THE

ASSISTANCE OF THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT IS TOTALLY

UNFOUNDED AND MISCHIEVOUS.

 

END TEXT.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4914

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 06455 02 OF 02 201442Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   CIAE-00 SMEC-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 SRPP-00

DS-00   EUR-00   VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   L-00

VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SSO-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00

PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     SSR-00   NFAT-00 SAS-00

/006W

——————A166F8 201442Z /38

O 201442Z NOV 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7652

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI IMMEDIATE

AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 006455

 

SIPDIS

 

NAIROBI PLEASE TO A/S RICE

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

LONDON FOR GURNEY

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/20/2010

TAGS: PGOV OPRC ZI

SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI APOLOGIZES TO AMBASSADOR FOR MDC

PRESS RELEASE

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 06455 02 OF 02 201442Z

MCDONALD

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

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