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Mutambara and Tsvangirai were for reunification but …..

Movement for Democratic Change leaders Arthur Mutambara and Morgan Tsvangirai agreed that the merging of the two factions was the only way forward but they faced stiff resistance from hardliners within their factions.

Mutambara faced resistance from his secretary-general Welshman Ncube who was the driving force behind the initial split and Ncube’s deputy Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga.

Tsvangirai faced resistance from the leader of the women’s caucus Lucia Matibenga and national organising secretary Elias Mudzuri.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 06HARARE1398, MDC REUNIFICATION: THE WAY FORWARD

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

06HARARE1398

2006-11-24 09:05

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO7598

RR RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #1398/01 3280905

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 240905Z NOV 06

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0860

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1388

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1241

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1392

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0127

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0653

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1018

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1446

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 3831

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1215

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1868

RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RUFGNOA/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RUEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1609

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001398

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S.HILL

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E.LOKEN

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B.PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/24/2016

TAGS: PGOV PREL ZI

SUBJECT: MDC REUNIFICATION: THE WAY FORWARD

 

REF: HARARE 1360

 

Classified By: Ambassador Christopher Dell under Section 1.4 b/d

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) A little more than a year after its acrimonious split

in October 2005, the MDC may be heading for reunification.

Despite financial and organizational challenges, the

opposition made inroads into ruling party strongholds in

recent local elections reinforcing with leaders in both

factions that they could have done even better working as a

united party. Reunification has the apparent support of

faction leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, but

hardliners in both camps fear that reintegration would cost

them power and influence and they could yet derail efforts to

patch up differences. End Summary.

 

——————————-

REUNIFICATION: THE WAY FORWARD?

——————————-

 

2. (C) In spite of the financial and organizational

challenges resulting from a split MDC, the opposition made

some encouraging inroads into ruling party strongholds during

the latest Rural District Council (RDC) elections (reftel).

Senior leaders from both factions told us that a united party

could have picked up even more seats, and that a reunited

front is essential in mounting the strongest challenge to

ZANU-PF in the presidential election in 2008 and the

parliamentary elections in 2010. Their initial instinct is

to use the lesson as a catalyst for renewing talks about

reunification. To this end, the two factions held separate

executive retreats on Saturday, November 4 to discuss, among

other issues, the consequences of the split and the best way

forward.

 

3. (C) Reunification is gaining support at the highest levels

in each camp. Morgan Tsvangirai, president of the

anti-Senate faction, and Arthur Mutambara, president of the

pro-Senate faction, are reportedly in agreement that merging

the factions is the only way forward. Tendai Biti, secretary

general of the anti-Senate faction, recently told Ambassador

Dell that many of the senior leaders in the Tsvangirai camp,

including himself and Elton Mangoma, the deputy treasurer,

strongly support the move. For his part, Mutambara has met

several times with anti-Senate leadership within the past

months, including a one-on-one meeting with Tsvangirai.

 

4. (C) Both camps, however, have hardliners that passionately

resist the idea. On the anti-Senate side, these reportedly

include Lucia Matibenga, the women’s caucus leader in the

party, and Elias Mudzuri, the national organizing secretary;

notable on the pro-Senate side are Secretary General Welshman

Ncube, a driving force behind the initial split, and his

deputy, Pricilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga.

 

——————————–

COMMENT: THE CHANCES FOR SUCCESS

——————————–

 

5. (C) What gives reunification a chance for success is the

support of the top leaders on both sides, who have appointed

negotiating teams, and the increasing realization of many in

both factions that a united opposition is a stronger

opposition. A reunited MDC, according to even some of our

 

HARARE 00001398 002 OF 002

 

 

ZANU-PF interlocutors (reftel), would have a strong chance of

winning a free and fair election.

 

6. (C) Reconciliation leading to reunification, however, may

yet prove difficult. Deep personal differences between

senior leadership on both sides led to the split in the first

place and things have become even more rancorous over the

last year as the two sides have waged a public battle against

one another. Furthermore, significant intra-faction dissent

in both camps may yet be enough to scuttle the move. With

presidential elections now scheduled for 2008, the next

several months will be crucial if the MDC is to reunify and

put the opposition back on the path toward reinvigorating the

base, attracting new supporters, and ultimately getting out

the vote.

DELL

(4 VIEWS)

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