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MDC disputes poll results, rejects GNU

The Movement for Democratic Change complained that it had been cheated out of the 2002 presidential elections and would only accept a transitional arrangement leading to new elections while the Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front sought to legitimise the presidency of Robert Mugabe and was prepared to offer some seats in government to the MDC in a government of national unity.

The MDC national executive declined the offer as it felt this was another way for ZANU-PF to “swallow” the party just like it had done to the Zimbabwe African People’s Union 15 years earlier.

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo accused MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai of sounding like a criminal, in calling for an election re-run, bent on subverting Zimbabwe’s constitution and laws.

MDC legal secretary David Coltart tabulated the conditions under which the party would negotiate with the government.

 

Full cable:

 

 

Viewing cable 02HARARE731, MDC WILL ONLY TALK TRANSITION

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

02HARARE731

2002-03-20 13:04

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.

 

201304Z Mar 02

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTO3558

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00731 01 OF 02 201318Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 INL-00   USNW-00 DODE-00

DS-00   VC-00   TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   VCE-00   M-00

NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02   SSO-00   SS-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02

NFAT-00 SAS-00   SWCI-00   /004W

——————77F3C2 201319Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1279

INFO USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY

AMEMBASSY ABUJA PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000731

 

SIPDIS

 

STATE FOR AF/FO AND AF/S, DRL FOR A/S CRANER, S/WCI FOR

AMBASSADOR PROSPER

 

NSC FOR AFRICA SR DIR FRAZER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/20/2012

TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PGOV PHUM ZI MDC

SUBJECT: MDC WILL ONLY TALK TRANSITION

 

REF: HARARE 721

 

CLASSIFIED BY JOSEPH G. SULLIVAN FOR REASONS 1.5B/D

 

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: THE MDC SHARPLY DEFINED ITS WILLINGNESS

TO ENGAGE IN FACILITATED DIALOGUE WITH ZANU-PF AS

LIMITED TO A TRANSITIONAL FORMULA TOWARD NEW ELECTIONS

AND REJECTED A UNITY GOVERNMENT. THIS PUTS THEM ON A

CONFLICTING COURSE WITH ZANU-PF WHICH SEEKS TO FORCE MDC

AND THE NATION TO ACCEPT MUGABE’S LEGITIMACY AS

PRESIDENT. WE URGE DIRECT AND INDIRECT US EFFORTS TO

HIGHLIGHT AND PRESS FOR AN END TO STATE-SPONSORED

VIOLENT RETRIBUTION AGAINST OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS. END

SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) MDC MP DAVID COLTART ASKED TO SEE THE BRITISH

HIGH COMMISSIONER AND THE AMERICAN AMBASSADOR THE

EVENING OF MARCH 19 TO BRIEF ON RESULTS OF THE MDC

NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING HELD THAT DAY.

COLTART SAID THAT THE COMMITTEE WAS UNITED IN OPPOSITION

TO MDC PARTICIPATION IN A NATIONAL UNITY GOVERNMENT.

GRASSROOTS SENTIMENT WAS EXTREMELY STRONG BECAUSE PEOPLE

IN THE COUNTRYSIDE WERE BEING BEATEN UP AND KILLED BY

ZANU-PF, THE ARMED FORCES AND THE POLICE FOR HAVING

SUPPORTED THE MDC. THE REQUIREMENT TO PUBLISH THE NAMES

AND ADDRESSES OF MDC POLLING AGENTS WAS NOW BEING USED

AS A WAY TO PERSECUTE AND PUNISH MDC SUPPORTERS.

COLTART SAID THAT SHOULD THE MDC LEADERSHIP SEEK TO

PARTICIPATE IN A UNITY GOVERNMENT, THEIR FOLLOWERS WOULD

REVOLT. MDC ANALYSIS WAS THAT PRESIDENTS MUGABE WAS

SEEKING TO BUY TIME BY ENTERING “RECONCILIATION TALKS”

IN THE HOPE THAT PRESSURE ON HIM WOULD BE RELIEVED AND

HE WOULD GET SOME FOOD, FOREIGN EXCHANGE AND FUEL

ASSISTANCE IN RETURN. MDC BELIEVED THAT PRESIDENT MBEKI

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00731 01 OF 02 201318Z

HAD HIS OWN REASONS FOR BUYING TIME TO PUT OFF A CRISIS

AND DIMINISH PRESSURE ON SOUTH AFRICA TO RESOLVE THE

CRISIS.

 

3. (C) COLTART SAID THAT MDC WOULD ENTER INTO

NEGOTIATIONS BEING ENCOURAGED BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN

PRESIDENTS ONLY IF THE NEGOTIATIONS WERE BASED ON THE

FOLLOWING PRINCIPLES:

 

— THEY WOULD BE HELD UNDER THE MEDIATION OF AN

ACCEPTABLE NEUTRAL AFRICAN. THE MDC LATER TOLD THE

NIGERIAN HC THAT THEY COULD NOT ACCEPT CHIEF SHONEKAN’S

DESIGNATION IN THAT ROLE BECAUSE OF HIS ACCEPTANCE OF

THE ELECTION RESULT. PRESIDENT OBASSANJO INSTEAD NAMED

PROFESSOR ADEDEJE(SPELLING ?), WHO SERVED FOR TEN YEARS

AS REPRESENTATIVE TO THE ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR AFRICA

IN ADDIS.)

 

— MBEKI AND OBASSANJO MUST COMMIT TO A FINITE, TIME-

LIMITED NEGOTIATION.

 

— THE GOZ MUST RELEASE ALL MDC SUPPORTERS ARRESTED

DURING THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN AND SUSPEND PROSECUTION OF

MDC LEADERS.

 

— THE OBJECTIVE OF NEGOTIATIONS IS NOT A UNITY

GOVERNMENT, BUT A GOVERNMENT OF TRANSITION FOR NO MORE

THAN SIX MONTHS LEADING TO NEW ELECTIONS HELD UNDER

UNITED NATIONS OR COMMONWEALTH AUSPICES AND HELD UNDER

THE NORMS AND STANDARDS FOR ELECTIONS SET FORTH BY THE

SADC-PARLIAMENTARY FORUM. (COLTART, A LAWYER, SAID THAT

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00731 01 OF 02 201318Z

NO CONSTITUTIONAL REVISION WAS NECESSARY SINCE PRESIDENT

MUGABE HAD FREQUENTLY DEMONSTRATED THAT HE COULD DECREE

ANYTHING HE WISHED WITHOUT REFERENCE TO THE PARLIAMENT.)

 

— MINISTERS IN SUCH A TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE

DIVIDED IN PROPORTION TO THE RESULTS OF THE 2000

PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION(ALMOST EVENLY SPLIT) AND EACH

SIDE’S MINISTERS SHALL BE CHOSEN BY THEIR OWN

PARTY.(THIS TO BLOCK THE ONGOING ZANU-PF EFFORT TO PICK

OFF JUNIOR MDC PARLIAMENTARIANS AND ENTICE THEM INTO

ZANU-PF.)

 

4. (C) COLTART SAID THAT THE MDC WOULD SUPPORT THE

ZIMBABWE CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS(ZCTU) CALL FOR A

THREE-DAY STAY-AWAY MARCH 20-22 BECAUSE IT WAS IMPORTANT

TO MAINTAIN PRESSURE ON THE GOZ. HE SAID THAT

NEGOTIATIONS AND MASS ACTION NEEDED TO BE MAINTAINED.

BUT HE SAID THAT TSVANGIRAI HAD CAUTIONED HIS OWN

RADICALS TO AVOID VIOLENCE, WHICH WOULD BE USED TO

REPRESS THEM. COLTART NOTED THAT THE NEW PUBLIC ORDER

AND SECURITY ACT SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED “STAY-AWAYS”

AND THE POSSIBILITY OF CONFRONTATION WAS HIGH. HE ALSO

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ8832

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00731 02 OF 02 201319Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 INL-00   USNW-00 DODE-00

DS-00   VC-00   TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   VCE-00   M-00

NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02   SSO-00   SS-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02

NFAT-00 SAS-00   SWCI-00   /004W

——————77F3D8 201319Z /38

O 201304Z MAR 02

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1280

INFO USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY

AMEMBASSY ABUJA PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PRIORITY

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 000731

 

SIPDIS

 

STATE FOR AF/FO AND AF/S, DRL FOR A/S CRANER, S/WCI FOR

AMBASSADOR PROSPER

 

NSC FOR AFRICA SR DIR FRAZER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/20/2012

TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PGOV PHUM ZI MDC

SUBJECT: MDC WILL ONLY TALK TRANSITION

 

SAID THAT IF PARTICIPATION WAS HIGH, IT MIGHT CONTINUE

BEYOND THE THREE DAYS.

 

5. (C) COLTART ASKED FOR ASSURANCES THAT THE UK AND US

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00731 02 OF 02 201319Z

WERE NOT PUSHING A UNITY GOVERNMENT, BUT TRANSITION TO A

NEW ELECTION, ASSURANCES WHICH WE PROVIDED. HE ALSO

EXPRESSED EXTREME DISTRUST THAT MUGABE WAS USING TIME-

TESTED METHODS OF SEEKING TO CRUSH OR ABSORB THE MDC BY

A COMBINATION OF PERSECUTION AND INCORPORATION OF TOKEN

MDC ELEMENTS. HE ASKED FOR PRESSURE THROUGH MBEKI AND

OBASSANJO IN PARTICULAR FOR AN END TO THE POLICY OF

RETRIBUTION AGAINST MDC SUPPORTERS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE.

HE ALSO SUGGESTED THAT THE UK OR ANOTHER SIGNATORY

COUNTRY SURFACE THE POSSIBLIITY OF INVOKING THE

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE. (US IS NOT A

SIGNATORY.)

 

6. COMMENT: ZANU HAS BEEN USING HEAVY PUBLIC PRESSURE

DIRECTLY AND THROUGH AFRICAN FRIENDS TO GET THE MDC TO

BUY INTO A RECONCILIATION PROCESS WHICH LEGITIMATES

MUGABE’S VICTORY AND RELIEVES PRESSURE ON THE GOZ FROM

THE BAD ELECTION PROCESS. FORMAL CHARGES AGAINST

TSVANGIRAI ON MARCH 20, HARASSMENT AND RETRIBUTION

 

SIPDIS

AGAINST MDC SUPPORTERS AND HEAVY-HANDED RHETORIC ABOUT

THE MDC’S NEED TO BE PATRIOTIC ARE ALL PART OF THAT

PRESSURE. THE ALWAYS HEAVY-HANDED INFORMATION

MINISTER JONATHAN MOYO WAS AT IT AGAIN IN A MARCH 20

“HERALD” ARTICLE, SAYING THAT TSVANGIRAI IS SOUNDING

LIKE A CRIMINAL (IN CALLING FOR AN ELECTION RE-RUN)

BENT ON SUBVERTING ZIMBABWE’S CONSTITUTION AND LAWS.

(REF B) THUS, THE AGENDAS FOR ZANU-PF AND THE MDC ARE

RADICALLY DIFFERENT WITH ZANU-PF OFFERING A FEW CRUMBS

AT MOST AND MDC SEEKING A NEW ELECTION. THE NIGERIANS

AND SOUTH AFRICANS PLAN TO BEGIN THE PROCESS ON

THURSDAY, BUT WILL HAVE GREAT DIFFICULTY RECONCILING

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00731 02 OF 02 201319Z

THE TWO WILDLY DIFFERENT AGENDAS. END COMMENT.

 

7. ACTION REQUESTS: 1.) WE RECOMMEND THAT WE DO

EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO HIGHLIGHT AND BRING PRESSURE

AGAINST THE GOZ’S CAMPAIGN OF POST-ELECTION REPRESSION,

INCLUDING URGING THE NIGERIANS AND SOUTH AFRICANS TO

BRING PRESSURE ON THE GOZ. 2.) WE ASK WHETHER THE

DEPARTMENT CAN OPEN OR STIMULATE THE OPENING A PUBLIC

INVESTIGATION OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE MANY ACTS OF

MURDERS, BEATINGS, TORTURE AND RAPE REPORTED IN THE

INTERNATIONAL PRESS AND MANY ELECTION OBSERVER REPORTS

DURING THE PRE- AND NOW POST-ELECTION PERIODS.

 

SULLIVAN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

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