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Mutambara said opposition was united to drive out Mugabe

The leader of the smaller faction of the Movement for Democratic Change Arthur Mutambara said the opposition was united to drive out President Robert Mugabe and his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

Addressing a press conference where he was flanked by Tendai Biti secretary-general of the Morgan Tsvangirai faction of the MDC and Lovemore Madhuku leader of the National Constitutional Assembly soon after the brutal beating of MDC activists, Mutambara said the opposition was in total rebellion and would continue defiantly with rallies and demonstrations.

He said Mugabe had better take note because he would not stand against Tsvangirai in national elections.

Tsvangirai could not attend the press conference as he was resting at home soon after being discharged from hospital after injuries he sustained when he was arrested.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 07HARARE218, OPPOSITION TELLS OF ASSAULT, CHARTS UNITED WAY

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

07HARARE218

2007-03-16 13:23

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO7649

PP RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0218/01 0751323

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 161323Z MAR 07

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1255

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1521

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1379

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1525

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0198

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0787

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1151

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1580

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 3984

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1348

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2008

RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1742

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000218

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/16/2017

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: OPPOSITION TELLS OF ASSAULT, CHARTS UNITED WAY

FORWARD

 

REF: REFTEL: HARARE 213 AND PREVIOUS

 

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

 

——-

Summary

——-

 

1. (C) Key opposition leaders, excluding Morgan Tsvangirai

(released from the hospital but recovering at home) held a

press conference March 16 during which they recounted the

brutal beatings they and other opposition members sustained

at the hands of police and security officials. The

opposition leaders pledged a continuing, united, and

sustained drive against Mugabe and ZANU-PF. Meanwhile, the

funeral service for the MDC activist killed has been

scheduled for Monday, March 19. Separately, the Tanzanian

political counselor told us his Embassy has no readout of the

March 15 Kikwete-Mugabe meeting, but he believed a direct

message had been delivered. End Summary.

 

—————————

Horrifying Tales of Assault

—————————

 

2. (U) Anti-Senate MDC secretary general Tendai Biti told

the press conference that Tsvangirai had been released from

the hospital that morning but was still recovering from his

injuries at home and would not be present. Biti then

described in horrifying detail the beatings administered

March 11 by police and other security officials to the

opposition leaders and activists. Biti said that those

arrested were initially held at Machipisa Police Station

where officers indiscriminately beat them. When Tsvangirai

arrived at the station to inquire as to the status of the

detainees he too was taken into custody and also beaten.

 

3. (U) According to Biti, Tsvangirai and NCA chairman

Lovemore Madhuku were singled out for especially savage

treatment. Madhuku noted that the Zimbabwean police, in

addition to paramilitaries and security forces, were

definitely involved in the beatings. Madhuku said Commanding

Officer Mandara of the Police law and order division ) which

is responsible to disrupting protests ) was present at

Machipisa station and called on police to further beat the

detainees.

 

———————

Call for United Front

———————

 

4. (U) Madhuku, his broken arm in a sling and his head

recovering from a deep gash, pledged that the opposition

would fight for a “meaningful” election in 2008, which he

defined as one with fair electoral rules, no matter the cost

in lives, broken heads, or broken bones.

 

5. (U) Seated between the ant-Senate faction’s Biti and

Madhuku, rival MDC pro-Senate faction leader Arthur Mutambara

reiterated Madhuku’s defiance. He said the past six days

were a confirmation of the brutality and criminal nature of

the Mugabe “dictatorship,” and pledged that the opposition,

including opposing MDC factions, would manage their

differences and unite in opposition to “drive out Mugabe and

ZANU-PF.” The opposition was in “total rebellion” and would

continue defiantly with rallies and demonstrations. Saying

that Mugabe had better take note, Mutambara said that he

would not stand against Tsvangirai in national elections.

 

HARARE 00000218 002 OF 002

 

 

 

—————————-

Funeral Scheduled for Monday

—————————-

 

6. (C) MDC advisor Jameson Timba told poloff that the church

service and funeral for slain MDC activist Gift Tandare would

be held on Monday, March 19 in Harare. The Christian

Alliance pastors planned to identify a suitable church later

today. Timba said that the diplomatic community would be

invited.

 

——————————

Private Kikwete-Mugabe Meeting

——————————

 

7. (C) The political counselor at the Tanzanian Embassy in

Harare, who was at the press conference, told polecon chief

on the margins that President Kikwete had met with Mugabe

one-on-one and did not brief the Tanzanian Ambassador after

the meeting. However, he said prior to the meeting Kikwete

had indicated an intention to deliver a strong message. He

had planned to raise the serious concerns about Zimbabwe he

had heard recently during a trip to Europe, to press for

recognition by Mugabe of the MDC as a legitimate party, and

to advocate for more democratic space in Zimbabwe.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

8. (C) Adding further credence that Kikwete delivered a

stern warning was his demeanor at the two Presidents joint

press conference. Kikwete said little about what was

discussed during the meeting and there was virtually none of

the usual diplomatic spin. That said, even if such a message

was delivered, Mugabe’s vitriolic attack on the opposition

and the West during the press conference would seem to

indicate it had little effect. The time for quiet African

diplomacy is past.

DELL

(16 VIEWS)

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