Pius Ncube said MDC was not the answer- Tsvangirai was inept

A despondent Archbishop Pius Ncube told United States embassy officials that most Zimbabweans had "given up" any hope for change.

The Movement for Democratic Change was ineffective. Its leader Morgan Tsvangirai vacillated and was inept.

Ncube criticized Tsvangirai for announcing that "nobody else" would lead the MDC and for announcing and failing to follow through on a popular uprising.

In addition to lack of leadership, Ncube added that the MDC was handicapped by corruption and infiltration by the government.

Even the church was divided and ineffective.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 06HARARE1376, ARCHBISHOP PIUS NUBE ON THE STATE OF ZIMBABWE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

06HARARE1376

2006-11-17 17:22

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001376

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

USAID FOR M. COPSON AND E. LOKEN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/17/2011

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL ZI

SUBJECT: ARCHBISHOP PIUS NUBE ON THE STATE OF ZIMBABWE

 

REF: HARARE 1299

 

Classified By: Ambassador Christopher Dell under Section 1.5 b/d

 

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Summary

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1. (C) A despondent Archbishop Pius Ncube told polchief and

visiting deskofficer November 16 at Catholic Church offices

in Bulawayo that most Zimbabweans average have "given up" any

hope for change. Mugabe and ZANU-PF are interested only in

clinging to power and will rig elections. The MDC is without

strong leadership, is corrupt, and divided. The Church is

divided and ineffective. Ncube said he will participate in a

dialogue on the controversial National Vision document

presented to President Mugabe on October 27 but he doubts it

will bear fruit.

 

-------------------

A Country in Crisis

-------------------

 

2. (C) Ncube said that 98 percent of Zimbabweans have given

up on any hope for things changing for the better. People

are going without food and many are becoming dishonest as

they try to survive until "it,s over." Youth are

frustrated; many are unable to attend school because their

parents cannot pay school fees. They believe they have no

power to press for change and that a solution is in "God,s

hands."

 

3. (C) Ncube said the people have lost faith and confidence

in the government, the opposition, the churches, the military

and virtually every other institution. Mugabe is not

interested in solutions; he cares only about remaining in

power and will continue to rig elections. A popular uprising

is unlikely*there is nobody to organize it and people

believe they will be shot if they threaten Mugabe. In the

long run, he mused, civic education will teach people how to

hold their leaders accountable. "Perhaps we,re in for a

long haul," he concluded.

 

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The MDC is not the Answer

-------------------------

 

4. (C) Ncube believed the MDC has been ineffective. Morgan

Tsvangirai vacillates and is inept. Ncube criticized

 

SIPDIS

Tsvangirai for announcing that "nobody else" would lead the

 

SIPDIS

MDC and for announcing and failing to follow through on a

popular uprising. Pro-Senate faction leader Arthur Mutambara

has significant support in Matabeleland but is at a

disadvantage nationally because he has spent so much time

outside of the country. In addition to lack of leadership,

Ncube added that the MDC is handicapped by corruption and

infiltration by the government.

 

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The Church and the National Vision Document

-------------------------------------------

 

5. (C) Ncube said that as a member of the Zimbabwe Catholic

Bishops Conference he signed the National Vision of Zimbabwe

document (ref). He believed, however, that it had been

watered down by the government and now belonged to the

government rather than the church. As a signatory to the

document, he said he would participate in a national dialogue

 

HARARE 00001376 002 OF 002

 

 

on the issues it raises, although he is not hopeful it will

bear fruit.

 

6. (C) As a force for change, Ncube said the Church, like

other Zimbabwean institutions, is hurt by division. Mugabe

has exacerbated those divisions by buying off some church

leaders with land and money. The government has infiltrated

some parishes and recruited some priests and nuns as spies

within the Church.

 

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Comment

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7. (C) Ncube is internationally-recognized as a passionate

and outspoken critic of Mugabe and the ZANU-PF government.

However, he has much less resonance within Zimbabwe, in part

because he is also an outspoken--and often trenchant--critic

of other Mugabe opponents. In that regard, his comments

regarding Tsvangirai are neither new nor completely without

basis. What is new is his praise for Mutambara at a time

when he and his faction have all but disappeared from view

and when much of the MDC has realized (septel) that they need

to reunite to be effective ) and under Tsvangirai because

there is currently no other opposition leader with his

stature and reach.

DELL

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