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Madhuku said Mutambara had an internet view of Zimbabwe

National Constitutional Assembly leader Lovemore Madhuku said he did not believe there was any chance of the two factions of the Movement for Democratic Change re-uniting.

His association did not support either faction, when the party split at the end of 2005, but it might consider aligning itself with the faction that seemed stronger.

In his view Morgan Tsvangirai still had much more support at the grassroots level, but Arthur Mutambara was out of touch and had an “internet view of Zimbabwe” built on his long years away from the country.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 06HARARE321, CIVIL SOCIETY LEADER DISSES MDC FACTIONS AND

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

06HARARE321

2006-03-15 17:00

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO9641

RR RUEHMR

DE RUEHSB #0321/01 0741700

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 151700Z MAR 06

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9750

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1156

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 0988

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1160

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 0780

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1214

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 3558

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0986

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1614

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0420

RUFGNOA/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1371

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000321

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B. NEULING

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE

USAID/AFR/SA FOR E. LOKEN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/15/2016

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL ZI

SUBJECT: CIVIL SOCIETY LEADER DISSES MDC FACTIONS AND

ZANU-PF

 

 

Classified By: Charge d,Affaires, a.i., Eric T. Schultz for reasons 1.5

b/d

 

——-

Summary

——-

 

1. (C) The chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly

(NCA), Lovemore Madhuku, told poloffs March 13 that the

opposition MDC was failing to exploit Zimbabweans’ deepening

economic frustration and that civil society would take the

lead if necessary. Madhuku said ZANU-PF was doing a better

job of reaching out to the grassroots but had its own

problems, primarily over the succession issue, with Emmerson

Mnangagwa,s faction playing for time and hoping to undermine

Joyce Mujuru before open presidential elections, probably in

2010. Madhuku added that civil society had been pleased with

the March 8 IMF vote, which had underscored the regime,s

isolation. He also said he planned to remain at NCA,s helm

despite the organization,s term limits. End Summary.

 

——————

Grassroots Appeals

——————

 

2. (C) Madhuku said Zimbabweans were looking for firm

leadership on basic issues such as food, education, and youth

unemployment. The NCA was trying to convince the MDC to

confront the regime on these basic issues. To that end, the

NCA and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) were

organizing a civil society summit in early April. Both

factions of the MDC would be invited to present their visions

for future action. If either MDC faction agreed to take the

lead, the NCA would support their efforts. In the absence of

MDC leadership on civil action, the NCA would take the lead

itself.

 

3. (C) Madhuku said that most people blamed their problems on

the government, giving MDC a natural following. However, the

MDC risked becoming irrelevant with both factions inward

looking and focused on competing with each other rather than

confronting the regime. The only engagement each faction had

with the grassroots level at the moment was toward the end of

getting support for itself instead of the other faction.

 

4. (C) Madhuku said that ZANU-PF, by contrast, was working

hard to reach out to the grassroots. Joyce Mujuru was

speaking out on the basic issues of food and education.

Madhuku said some Zimbabweans equated her with a &good8

part of ZANU-PF, which they distinguished from bad elements

that were to blame for the country,s woes. He said that in

that regard Mujuru was having some success blaming corrupt

bureaucrats, rather than the ZANU-PF leadership, for the

country’s failed state. The MDC had to do a better job of

reinforcing the fact that ZANU-PF,s leaders were to blame.

 

——————–

Intra-Party Dynamics

——————–

 

5. (C) Madhuku said he did not think prospects for the MDC

reuniting in the near future were very good. The NCA did not

want to choose sides, although the organization might

consider aligning itself with one faction if it seemed

stronger. In that regard, he said Morgan Tsvangirai still

had much more support at the grassroots level. By contrast,

Madhuku said Mutambara was out of touch and had an &internet

view of Zimbabwe8 built on his long years away from the

country.

 

6. (C) Madhuku noted that the intra-ZANU-PF crackdown on

Mnangagwa and his faction was continuing. However, Mnangagwa

 

HARARE 00000321 002 OF 003

 

 

was not out of the succession game but was instead playing

for time. Madhuku said one of Mnangagwa’s people had

confided to him that Mnangagwa had decided not to oppose

Joyce Mujuru as Mugabe,s successor. However, Mnangagwa

wanted the succession to happen as soon as possible and no

later than 2008, with a presidential election scheduled for

2010.

 

7. (C) According to Madhuku, Mnangagwa,s plan was to let

Mujuru inherit the many crises bedeviling the country in the

expectation that she would not prove up to the task.

Mnangagwa could then use the nation’s economic distress to

challenge and supplant her at the 2009 Party Congress in the

run-up to the 2010 election. Madhuku added that he believed

Mnangagwa would win an open competition with Mujuru for the

party,s presidential nomination whenever it occurred.

 

——————————————

International Community Should Remain Firm

——————————————

 

8. (C) Madhuku said the international community had to

maintain its pressure on the regime in order for there to be

change in Zimbabwe. In that regard, civil society had been

universally pleased with the IMF vote not to restore

Zimbabwe’s voting rights, which had sent a strong signal to

the GOZ of its continuing isolation. A contrary result, he

added, would have breathed life into regime hopes for

international engagement on its terms.

 

9. (C) Madhuku noted that the NCA had no formal position on

sanctions but that the organization would continue to draw

international attention to the deterioration of rule-of-law

that was the foundation of sanctions. He believed that

increased civil action would force the regime to become more

repressive and unpopular, thus inviting further international

condemnation.

 

—————————-

Madhuku,s Term Limit Busting

—————————-

 

10. (C) Madhuku said the NCA was planning to conduct its

congress this year in two stages. The first, an

extraordinary congress in June, would amend the NCA

constitution to change the term limits to allow certain NCA

leaders to run again in NCA elections at the regular congress

slated for October.

 

11. (C) Madhuku, one of the leaders bumping up against the

existing term limits, said he realized that this would give

ZANU-PF an opportunity to call the organization undemocratic,

but to change key leaders at this point would cripple the

organization. All of civil society, including the NCA, was

having difficulty grooming future leaders. Promising young

leaders were taking opportunities to leave the country and

usually did not return.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

12. (C) Madhuku is probably correct that the MDC splinters

are too inwardly focused to confront the regime effectively

in the near future. That said, both factions know they need

to reconnect with the populace and feel pressure to do

something soon. The civil society summit in April may

stimulate action in that regard. It may also help stimulate

some sort of working arrangement between the two factions to

oppose the regime, with civil society serving as a

facilitator. As to the succession struggle in ZANU-PF, the

report of Mnangagwa,s plans has the ring of truth. The

 

HARARE 00000321 003 OF 003

 

 

Mujuru faction probably also would prefer an early

transition, given Solomon Mujuru,s ill health. It is

possible that this could mean Mugabe,s retirement within the

next 12-18 months, which would dramatically alter Zimbabwe,s

political landscape.

SCHULTZ

 

(4 VIEWS)

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