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Sikhala said Tsvangirai plotted to kill him

Movement for Democratic Change legislator for St Mary’s Job Sikhala said party leader Morgan Tsvangirai had authorised two plots to kill him.

He said Tsvangirai’s bodyguards half-cut his car tyre valves on 2 April 2004 in such a way as to make a blowout likely.

Sikhala’s supporters allegedly saw the bodyguards cut the valves and an accident was averted.

His supporters within MDC headquarters allegedly heard that Tsvangirai loyalists planned to kill Sikhala by throwing a hand-grenade into his house.

The grenade was allegedly to be thrown during the attack on Sikhala’s house on 23 April. Sikhala called the youths who attacked his house on that day, “Tsvangirai’s thugs”.

Dennis Murira, personal assistant to the National Chairman Isaac Matongo, said that under Tsvangirai’s orders he had recruited Sikhala into the MDC from the student movement in 1999.

Murira said he had found out that Sikhala and former Zengeza MP Tafadzwa Musekiwa accepted bribes from Central Intelligence Office agents to “not” call protests when the two were student leaders.

Murira alleged that Sikhala and Musekiwa were obligated to do the CIO’s bidding under threat that the bribes would be made public.

He said Musekiwa’s response to this pressure was to flee to the UK while that of Sikhala was to play his standard role of maverick agitator.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 04HARARE765, MDC MP JOB SIKHALA DENIES SPLINTER PARTY PLOT —

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

04HARARE765

2004-05-07 09:23

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.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000765

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR J. FRAZER, D. TEITELBAUM

LONDON FOR C. GURNEY

PARIS FOR C. NEARY

NAIROBI FOR T. PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2014

TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR SF ZI MDC

SUBJECT: MDC MP JOB SIKHALA DENIES SPLINTER PARTY PLOT —

ALLEGES ASSASSINATION ATTEMPTS

 

REF: A. PRETORIA 1865

 

B. HARARE 716

C. HARARE 530

 

Classified By: Political Officer Audu Besmer for reasons 1.5 b/d

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: On May 4, maverick MDC MP Job Sikhala denied

rumors that he planned to create a splinter party with other

high-level MDC officials. Whether or not that rumor is true,

Sikhala and MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai currently appear

to be at odds — yet another example of internal conflict

distracting the MDC from its mission as an opposition party.

END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) Sikhala said he thought the rumor (Refs A, B) actually

originated from within MDC headquarters in Harare by staff

members loyal to MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai who sought

to discredit him (Sikhala). He said a splinter party would

serve no purpose. He was confident he would win the

nomination for MDC candidate for MP representing the Harare

suburb of St. Mary’s — a position he currently holds. He

said that if he lost the nomination, he would run as an

independent — and win.

 

3. (C) Sikhala also alleged that Tsvangirai authorized two

plots to kill him recently. Sikhala said Tsvangirai’s

bodyguards half-cut Sikhala’s car tire valves on April 2 in

such a way as to make a blowout likely. Sikhala’s supporters

allegedly saw the bodyguards cut the valves and an accident

was averted. Sikhala supporters within MDC headquarters

allegedly heard that Tsvangirai loyalists planned to kill

Sikhala by throwing a hand-grenade into his house. The

grenade was allegedly to be thrown during the attack on

Sikhala’s house on April 23 (Ref B). Sikhala called the

youths who attacked his house on that day, “Tsvangirai’s

thugs”.

 

4. (C) Dennis Murira, personal assistant to the National

Chairman, said that under Tsvangirai’s orders he had

recruited Sikhala into the MDC from the student movement in

1999. Murira said he recently found out that Sikhala and

former Zengeza MP Tafadzwa Musekiwa accepted bribes from

Central Intelligence Office agents to “not” call protests

when the two were student leaders. Murira alleged that

Sikhala and Musekiwa both felt compromised, i.e. they were

obligated to do the CIO’s bidding under threat that the

bribes would be made public. Murira said Musekiwa’s response

to this pressure was to flee to the U.K. He said Sikhala’s

has been to play his standard role of maverick agitator.

 

5. (C) Sikhala objected publicly to what he called the

“imposition” by the leadership of MDC candidate James Makore

in Zengeza. Tsvangirai and Sikhala were to meet soon to iron

out what appears to be significant bad blood between the two

over candidate selection. Sikhala has agitated for primaries

to select MP candidates. In an April 29 briefing to

diplomats, Tsvangirai suggested that the party was

considering primaries. (Comment: This would be an expensive

proposal for an already cash-strapped party. It remains

unclear how the MDC leadership will deal with this issue.

End Comment.) The MDC constitution currently provides for

consensus selection of candidates via MDC provincial

structure representatives. MDC officials acknowledged that

the Zengeza candidate was imposed by the National Chairman,

against MDC official rules (Ref C). The move reportedly

supplanted another candidate that the MDC Zengeza membership

put forth.

 

Comment:

——–

 

6. (C) It is hard to know what might be true when talking to

Sikhala. It is possible he asked Shumba to support him in a

splinter party, whether or not he actually intended to form

one, simply to demonstrate to Tsvangirai that he was a force

with whom Tsvangirai would need to reckon.

 

7. (C) Continued: There are many allegations that various MDC

officials have taken bribes from GOZ sources, or have

provided information to the GOZ. It is unlikely such

allegations will ever be proven. Rumors like these further

demonstrate that various MDC personalities and factions are

increasingly jockeying for pole position. As long as these

personnel conflicts claim center stage, party business will

remain secondary.

SULLIVAN

 

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