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Mutambara said Mugabe had betrayed the liberation struggle

The leader of the smaller faction of the Movement for Democratic Change Arthur Mutambara said President Robert Mugabe’s regime had betrayed the ideals of the liberation struggle and MDC activists were the true inheritors of the liberation struggle.

He was speaking at the memorial service of an MDC activist Gift Tandare who had was shot and killed during a protest march by opposition activists.

Mutambara said Tandare was a “national liberation hero” who had died in the fight for freedom.

Borrowing the words of Malcolm X, Mutambara said that Mugabe was an illegitimate leader that must be driven from power “by any means necessary”.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 07HARARE246, ACTIVIST’S MEMORIAL SERVICE PROVIDES CALL FOR

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

07HARARE246

2007-03-27 16:11

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO6676

PP RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0246/01 0861611

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 271611Z MAR 07

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1296

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1541

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1399

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1545

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0214

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0808

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1171

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1600

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4004

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1370

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2028

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0670

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC//DHO-7//

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1762

RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK//DOOC/ECMO/CC/DAO/DOB/DOI//

RUEPGBA/CDR USEUCOM INTEL VAIHINGEN GE//ECJ23-CH/ECJ5M//

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000246

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

USAID FOR E. LOKEN

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/27/2017

TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL ZI

SUBJECT: ACTIVIST’S MEMORIAL SERVICE PROVIDES CALL FOR

UNITY AGAINST REGIME

 

REF: A. HARARE 000245

B. HARARE 000227 AND PREVIOUS

 

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires, a.i. Eric Schultz under Section 1.4 b

/d

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (U) The Christian Alliance under the auspices of Save

Zimbabwe Campaign held a spirited memorial service in Harare

on March 27 for the opposition activist, Gift Tandare, killed

by police on March 11. A crowd of over 600 attended the

service at which MDC leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur

Mutambara, and NCA leader Lovemore Mahduku spoke. Despite

looming government threats, there was no overt police

presence near the church. However, there are reports that

following the event an MDC supporter who participated in the

memorial service was abducted at gun point by unidentified

men from a nearby shopping center. End Summary.

 

——————————————— –

Delayed Memorial Service Proves Spirited Event

——————————————— –

 

2. (U) The Christian Alliance under the auspices of Save

Zimbabwe Campaign held a spirited memorial service for Gift

Tandare, the young activist killed by police on March 11 at

the Save Zimbabwe prayer rally in the Highfield suburb of

Harare (reftels). The event occurred after several delays,

caused in large part by the government’s abduction of

Tandare’s body at gun point from his family on March 18.

Despite threats from the government, there was no overt

police presence around the church and a lively crowd of

approximately 600 turned out to fill the church to capacity.

 

3. (C) Organizers told us they had wanted to hold the

memorial service in the Glenview suburb of Harare, where

Tandare lived with his wife and three children. However,

local churches, intimidated by the GOZ, were reluctant to

provide a venue. The organizers ultimately settled on the

Northside Community Church in the affluent Borrowdale suburb,

far removed from the high-density areas that are centers of

MDC support.

 

———————————

Strong Words for Unity and Action

———————————

 

4. (U) Senior leadership from across the opposition movement

and civil society attended the service. In a show of unity,

Tsvangirai and Mutambara sat together in the front row near

 

SIPDIS

Tandare’s grieving widow and children. The service began

with a pastor from the Christian Alliance offering a sermon

of condolence and encouragement. Promise Mkwanazi, president

of Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (ZINASU), subsequently

invoked John F. Kennedy when he said “preventing a peaceful

revolution today, only leads to a violent revolution

tomorrow.”

 

5. (U) Madhuku, who spoke next, taunted the government for

its failure to follow through on threats to prevent the

service. He called Tandare a martyr who had paid the

 

HARARE 00000246 002 OF 003

 

 

ultimate price in pursuit of the opposition’s goal ) a free

and democratic Zimbabwe. He called on the opposition to

remember Tandare’s sacrifice by preserving its new found

unity of purpose. He also forcefully criticized African

leaders and South African President Mbeki in particular, for

their continued silence in response to Mugabe’s brutal

repression of Zimbabweans.

 

6. (U) Mutambara gave the event’s most fiery speech, one that

played well with the young MDC activists in attendance. He

said the Mugabe regime had betrayed the ideals of the

liberation struggle and that MDC activists were the true

inheritors of the liberation struggle. Tandare was a

“national liberation hero” who had died in the fight for

freedom. Borrowing the words of Malcolm X, Mutambara said

that Mugabe was an illegitimate leader that must be driven

from power “by any means necessary.” Mutambara also

paraphrased Patrick Henry in saying the mantra for the

opposition now had to be “give me freedom or give me death.”

 

7. (U) Tsvangirai, the last speaker at the service, received

a rapturous standing ovation from the assembly, including

singing and dancing in aisles, when he walked up to the

altar. He was more restrained than Mutambara, especially

with respect to the opposition’s response to government

violence. Tsvangirai said some people were calling for an

eye-for-an-eye but that the opposition had to remain

non-violent. He said the MDC’s goal was not to overthrow the

government but to negotiate an end to 27 years of misrule on

the basis of the party’s “roadmap” that called for a unity

government, a new constitution, and free and fair elections.

However, Tsvangirai warned that the opposition would not

participate in the presidential elections in 2008 under the

current rules.

 

—————–

Activist Abducted

—————–

 

8. (C) Marring an otherwise peaceful event, unknown

assailants abducted MDC activist Last Maengahama as he

departed the memorial service, according to Sydney Shisi, the

coordinator of a youth development civic group. Maengahama

had been invited by Tsvangirai during the memorial service to

lead the assembly in signing the MDC’s anthem before the

opposition leader spoke. Shisi told us that witnesses

reported that Maengahama — who is a former elected official

in the Harare suburb of Glenview — was abducted at gun point

from his vehicle as he drove to a nearby shopping center.

Shisi said he had reported the abduction to the local police

station.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

9. (C) The numbers would doubtless have been several times

larger if the event had been held in Glenview or another

high-density suburb. Still, it was an impressive turnout

under the circumstances and the venue may well have

contributed to the government’s relative restraint — concern

for Maengahama side. The ceremony itself was a powerful show

of unity with most of the leadership from Mutambara’s faction

present (Welshman Ncube was the only prominent exception) and

 

HARARE 00000246 003 OF 003

 

 

with Morgan Tsvangirai very much the man in charge. The

opposition will try to continue that unity of purpose with a

work stay-away planned by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade

Unions (ZCTU) for April 3-4, and another prayer rally on

April 14 in Bulawayo organized by the Save Zimbabwe

coalition. End Comment.

SCHULTZ

(13 VIEWS)

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