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Gandi Mudzingwa says planning for mass action taking most of his time

Gandi Mudzingwa, special advisor to the Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai, said planning for mass action was taking most of his time and attention.

He said groups of 20 women, each, had converged on police stations in Harare’s high density suburbs to deliver a petition demanding that the people’s human rights be respected.

They invited the police to join them in a prayer seeking divine assistance in extricating Zimbabwe from its difficulties.

Mudzingwa said some of the women were arrested on minor charges, such as obstructing traffic, but most of them were not, and police at some stations agreed to join the prayer.

He said the objective of this action was to help people overcome their fear of the police and to provide a peaceful method for residents to express their increasing anger and frustration.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 02HARARE2620, MDC MASS ACTION: NEXT STEPS

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

02HARARE2620

2002-11-20 12:44

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.

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 002620

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR CGURNEY

PARIS FOR CNEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/19/2012

TAGS: PGOV PREL ELAB ZI

SUBJECT: MDC MASS ACTION: NEXT STEPS

 

 

Classified By: polchief Matt Harrington. Reasons: 1.5 (B) and (D).

 

Mass Action

———–

 

1.   (C) Gandi Mudzingwa, special advisor to MDC leader

Morgan Tsvangirai, told polchief on November 20 that planning

for mass action is consuming most of his time and attention.

One element of the MDC’s efforts on this front, he reported,

had occurred on November 14, when groups of 20 women each had

converged on police stations in Harare’s high-density suburbs

to deliver a petition demanding that the people’s human

rights be respected. They invited the police to join them in

a prayer seeking divine assistance in extricating Zimbabwe

from its difficulties. Mudzingwa said some of the women were

arrested on minor charges, such as obstructing traffic, but

that most of them were not, and police at some stations even

agreed to join in the prayer. The objective of this action

was to help people overcome their fear of the police and to

provide a peaceful method for residents to express their

increasing anger and frustration.

 

2. (C) Mudzingwa told us that the MDC is working closely

with the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) to organize

a one-day national work stayaway on December 9.   The ZCTU,

he said, planned to announce the stayaway only “a couple of

days” in advance, so that the GOZ would not have significant

lead time in which to disrupt the action. If the stayaway is

successful, Mudzingwa said the MDC would then “go for the

jugular.” Asked what he meant by that, Mudzingwa replied

that the next activity would be designed to force Mugabe from

office, but he declined to be drawn on what sort of activity

was being contemplated.

 

Tsvangirai-Mbeki letter

 

SIPDIS

———————–

 

3. (C) Mudzingwa told us that, the week of November 11, he

had personally met in South Africa with officials in the

office of South African President Thabo Mbeki to deliver a

letter from Morgan Tsvangirai to Mbeki. The letter (the text

of which is conveyed septel) welcomes South African

engagement on Zimbabwe but expresses concern that the failure

of several recent visiting SAG delegations to engage with the

MDC “compromises your image as an impartial broker.” The

letter was particularly critical of recent public remarks by

Foreign Minister Zuma during her recent visit to Zimbabwe and

emphasizes the necessity of solving Zimbabwe’s political

crisis. “The Zimbabwe crisis is real and needs resolution

rather than management,” Tsvangirai wrote.

 

Comment

——-

 

4. (C) Mudzingwa clearly believes that pressure in the form

of mass action stands the best chance of resolving Zimbabwe’s

political crisis. Judging from the November 14 effort at

peacefully targeting police stations, the MDC appears to be

proceeding very carefully in this direction, engaging in

small-scale forms of protest that provide an outlet for party

supporters while avoiding triggering the wrath of GOZ

security services. A successful one-day stayaway would

demonstrate the ability of the labor movement to shut down

the country while avoiding the imposition of too heavy an

economic burden on workers who are already struggling to make

ends meet. We are discreetly checking with our ZCTU sources

to learn more about the status of organizing efforts and will

then be able to provide a better assessment of the chances of

success and possible consequences.

 

5. (C) The Tsvangirai-Mbeki letter reveals an increasing

frustration in MDC circles that President Mbeki is more

interested in helping assuage Zimbabwe’s economic implosion

than in brokering a sustainable resolution of the political

crisis which is responsible for it.

SULLIVAN

 

(4 VIEWS)

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