A gang of youths occupied the Movement for Democratic Change’s headquarters at Harvest House and demanded the removal of then secretary general Welshman Ncube, his deputy Gift Chimanikire and treasurer Fletcher Dulini-Ncube.
Spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi attributed the fracas to Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic front infiltrators but Ncube said the youths were known party members.
All three later broke away from the party after disagreeing with party leader Morgan Tsvangirai but Chimanikire who failed to make party president of the splinter group returned to the Tsvangirai faction.
Viewing cable 05HARARE713, DUST-UP AT MDC,S HARVEST HOUSE
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000713
AF/S FOR D. MOZENA, B. NEULING
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2010
SUBJECT: DUST-UP AT MDC,S HARVEST HOUSE
Classified By: Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Eric Schultz under Section 1.4
¶1. (U) According to local press reports, a gang of youths
occupied the MDC’s Harvest House headquarters May 16-17 and
demanded the removal of party Secretary-General Welshman
Ncube, Deputy Secretary-General Gift Chimanikire, Treasurer
Fletcher Dulini-Ncube and other senior executives. President
Morgan Tsvangirai and Chairman Isaac Matongo were not
included in the list. The youths reportedly attempted to
confiscate certain party vehicles, including those belonging
to Ncube and Chimanikire. MDC Spokesperson Paul
Themba-Nyathi publicly attributed the fracas to &ZANU-PF
¶2. (C) MDC Secretary General Welshman Ncube on May 18
confirmed to the Embassy details of the occupation by youths,
whom Ncube said were in fact party members. According to
Ncube, the attackers injured several people, including the
Party Secretary for Harare, who suffered a broken arm, and
the Mashonaland East Provincial Spokesperson, who had several
teeth knocked out. Ncube alleged that unnamed MDC senior
officials had orchestrated the disturbance because they
feared they would lose their positions at the Party Congress
(still scheduled for January). He said the party had called
on police assistance to quell the disturbance, and four
suspects had been arrested.
¶3. (C) COMMENT: Despite the March 31 parliamentary election
results, the MDC leadership remains firmly in control of the
party. However, internecine competition and debates over
tactics in the run-up to the Party Congress unfortunately
appear likely to fuel further tensions and to absorb the
party,s energies at a time when they would be better served
connecting with growing public discontent over the country,s
economic meltdown and especially the collapse of public