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The MDC’s big mistake

The Movement for Democratic Change, which embarked on the major restructuring exercise with the appointment of Isaac Maposa as national coordinator, was making a big mistake in assuming that the popularity of the party would translate into electoral triumph in the 2002 presidential elections.

This observation was made by a United States embassy official after the MDC launched an internal restructuring exercise and got sympathetic media coverage.

The party had appointed Isaac Maposa, formerly of the National Constitutional Assembly to strengthen the organisation’s structures.

Maposa told an embassy official that when he began his work he was surprised by the number of employees at the MDC’s offices without clear responsibilities.

He fired a number of people and had concentrated on developing position descriptions for those who remained.

He had also worked to ensure accountability among the opposition party’s ten departments, by helping department heads develop realistic work plans and requiring regular activity reports.

MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai had scored a major political and media coup when he visited the mass graves of victims of the government’s 1980’s brutal campaign against dissidents.

The visit is reported to have demonstrated leadership on a painful, unresolved issue about which government remained extremely sensitive and had generated significant positive press coverage and helped consolidate Tsvangirai’s already strong support in Matabeleland.

“The internal restructuring and better use of the media have made the MDC a stronger, more effective organisation,” the embassy official commented. “In addition, the MDC remains overwhelmingly popular in urban areas and appears to be making inroads in some rural districts, judging from the increase in attendance at many of the party’s rallies.”

“The leadership of the opposition party, however, is making a big mistake in assuming that that popularity will translate into electoral triumph in 2002. Morgan Tsvangirai would almost certainly win an election that is close to free and fair, but President Mugabe has stated explicitly on several occasions – most recently in public remarks on Zimbabwe’s independence day on April 18 — that he will never allow the MDC to assume power.”

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 01HARARE1495, MDC CAMPAIGNING ACTIVELY BUT QUIETLY FOR PRESIDENCY, BUT

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE1495

2001-05-02 15:46

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.

 

021546Z May 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ3229

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 01495 01 OF 03 021539Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 SMEC-00 DINT-00

DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   OIGO-00 FBIE-00

VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00     VCE-00

AC-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   IRM-00   STR-00   TRSE-00

USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00

SAS-00   SWCI-00   /009W

——————E675BC 021540Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8775

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 001495

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 05/02/11

TAGS: PGOV KDEM PINS ZI

SUBJECT: MDC CAMPAIGNING ACTIVELY BUT QUIETLY FOR PRESIDENCY, BUT

UNSURE HOW IT WOULD REACT TO MUGABE VICTORY

CONFIDENTIAL

 

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 01495 01 OF 03 021539Z

 

REF: A) HARARE 1247   B) HARARE 930

 

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D’AFFAIRES EARL IRVING. REASONS: 1.5

(B) AND (D).

 

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) THE OPPOSITION MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) HAS

STRENGTHENED ITS INTERNAL STRUCTURES AND PUT IN PLACE A RIGOROUS

POLICY-VETTING PROCESS. THE LACK OF ADEQUATE RESOURCES, HOWEVER,

CONTINUES TO POSE A PROBLEM, EXACERBATED BY THE GOVERNMENT’S

REFUSAL TO GIVE THE MDC FUNDS TO WHICH IT IS LEGALLY ENTITLED AND

BY THE PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION PROHIBITING POLITICAL PARTIES FROM

RECEIVING FOREIGN FUNDING. THE MDC WILL TRY TO PLAY ABOVEBOARD AS

MUCH AS POSSIBLE BUT LIKELY WILL HAVE TO ENGAGE IN A BIT OF

“CREATIVE FINANCING.” IN AN EFFORT TO AVOID PROVOKING ZANU-PF, THE

MDC IS CAMPAIGNING FOR THE 2002 PRESIDENCY ACTIVELY BUT QUIETLY.

IT IS HOLDING FEWER LARGE RALLIES AND IS SENDING SMALL TEAMS TO

RURAL AREAS AROUND THE COUNTRY TO CAMPAIGN DOOR-TO-DOOR. THE

OPPOSITION PARTY HAS NOT AGREED HOW TO REACT IN THE EVENT THAT

PRESIDENT MUGABE WINS AN ILLEGITIMATE ELECTION, AN INCREASINGLY

LIKELY SCENARIO. END SUMMARY.

 

STRUCTURAL CHANGES

——————

 

2. (C) DURING THE PAST TWO MONTHS, THE MDC HAS TAKEN STEPS TO

STRENGTHEN ITS ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES. ISAAC MAPOSA, WHO LAST

YEAR LED THE NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY’S OPPOSITION TO THE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 01495 01 OF 03 021539Z

GOVERNMENT’S DRAFT CONSTITUTION, JOINED THE MDC IN EARLY MARCH AS

ITS NATIONAL COORDINATOR. MAPOSA TOLD POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF ON

APRIL 25 THAT, WHEN HE BEGAN WORK, HE WAS SURPRISED BY THE NUMBER

OF EMPLOYEES IN THE MDC’S OFFICES WITHOUT CLEAR RESPONSIBILITIES.

HE FIRED A NUMBER OF PEOPLE AND HAS CONCENTRATED ON DEVELOPING

POSITION DESCRIPTIONS FOR THOSE WHO REMAIN. IN ADDITION, HE HAS

WORKED TO ENSURE ACCOUNTABILITY AMONG THE OPPOSITION PARTY’S TEN

DEPARTMENTS, BY HELPING DEPARTMENT HEADS DEVELOP REALISTIC WORK

PLANS AND REQUIRING REGULAR ACTIVITY REPORTS. IN ADDITION, MAPOSA

EMPHASIZED THAT HE DOES NOT SET THE MDC’S POLICY AGENDA. RATHER,

HE SEES HIMSELF MORE AS A FACILITATOR, WHOSE ROLE IS TO BRING

TOGETHER THE PARTY LEADERSHIP WHEN IMPORTANT ISSUES MUST BE

DISCUSSED AND THEN IMPLEMENTS THEIR DECISIONS.

 

POLICY DEVELOPMENT

——————

 

3. (C) ACCORDING TO MAPOSA, THE MDC HAS CONTINUED TO ORGANIZE

REGULAR RETREATS TO DEVELOP THE PARTY’S POLICY POSITIONS. IN

JANUARY, THE PARTY’S EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT,

AND PROVINCIAL LEADERS HELD A RETREAT TO DISCUSS LAND AND THE

ECONOMY AND, IN MARCH, HELD ONE ON HEALTH AND EDUCATION. ON MAY 5,

THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE PLANS TO MEET TO ENDORSE THE POSITIONS

DEVELOPED AND AGREE ON AN APPROACH FOR PUBLIC DISSEMINATION. A

MID-MAY RETREAT HAS BEEN ORGANIZED TO DEFINE THE PARTY’S IDEOLOGY,

PARTICULARLY WHAT IT MEANS TO BE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS IN THE ZIMBABWEAN

CONTEXT. AGREEMENT ON IDEOLOGY AND THE DETAILS, MAPOSA NOTED, WILL

HELP ENSURE DEVELOPMENT OF CONSISTENT POLICIES AND A CONSISTENT

MESSAGE. THE MID-MAY MEETING WILL ALSO FOCUS ON CRAFTING AN

EFFECTIVE DIPLOMATIC APPROACH TOWARD THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04      HARARE 01495 01 OF 03 021539Z

MEDIA STRATEGY

————–

 

4. (C) THE MDC HAS IN RECENT WEEKS MADE NOTICEABLE IMPROVEMENTS IN

USING THE PRESS TO GET OUT ITS MESSAGE, DUE IN LARGE MEASURE TO

INTENSIVE TRAINING — PROVIDED BY THE INTERNATIONAL REPUBLICAN

INSTITUTE (IRI) IN EARLY APRIL IN BOTSWANA — ON MESSAGE

DEVELOPMENT AND PUBLIC SPEAKING. THE RECENT HIRING OF A MEDIA

RELATIONS PROFESSIONAL HAS ALSO HAD AN OBVIOUS POSITIVE IMPACT.

MAPOSA AGREED THAT THE PARTY’S MEDIA PERSON IS GOOD, BUT HE IS THE

ONLY OFFICER IN A DEPARTMENT THAT NEEDS AT LEAST FOUR PEOPLE TO BE

MOST EFFECTIVE. MAPOSA INDICATED THAT THE PARTY PLANS TO USE THE

PRESS EVEN MORE, AND HAS BEGUN TO ORGANIZE PUBLIC EVENTS AROUND THE

MEDIA ATTENTION THEY ARE LIKELY TO GENERATE. (COMMENT: MDC

PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI’S RECENT VISIT TO THE MASS GRAVES OF

VICTIMS OF THE GOVERNMENT’S 1980’S BRUTAL CAMPAIGN AGAINST

DISSIDENTS IS A CASE IN POINT. THE VISIT DEMONSTRATED LEADERSHIP

ON A PAINFUL, UNRESOLVED ISSUE ABOUT WHICH GOVERNMENT REMAINS

EXTREMELY SENSITIVE, GENERATED SIGNIFICANT POSITIVE PRESS COVERAGE

AND HELPED CONSOLIDATE TSVANGIRAI’S ALREADY STRONG SUPPORT IN

MATABELELAND. END COMMENT.)

 

FINANCING

———

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ3230

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 01495 02 OF 03 021540Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 SMEC-00 DINT-00

DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   OIGO-00 FBIE-00

VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00     VCE-00

AC-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   IRM-00   STR-00   TRSE-00

USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00

SAS-00   SWCI-00   /009W

——————E675C9 021540Z /38

P 021546Z MAY 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8776

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 001495

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 05/02/11

TAGS: PGOV KDEM PINS ZI

SUBJECT: MDC CAMPAIGNING ACTIVELY BUT QUIETLY FOR PRESIDENCY, BUT

UNSURE HOW IT WOULD REACT TO MUGABE VICTORY

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 01495 02 OF 03 021540Z

 

5. (C) SECURING ADEQUATE RESOURCES CONTINUES TO POSE A SERIOUS

OBSTACLE FOR THE MDC, A TASK MADE EVEN MORE DIFFICULT BY

PARLIAMENT’S RECENT PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION PROHIBITING DIRECT AND

INDIRECT FOREIGN FUNDING OF POLITICAL PARTIES (REF A). IN

ADDITION, THE GOVERNMENT HAS NOT YET FULFILLED ITS COMMITMENT —

MADE IN LATE FEBRUARY — TO RELEASE TO THE MDC WITHIN 30 DAYS 47

MILLION ZIMBABWEAN DOLLARS (NOW APPROXIMATELY U.S. $470,000) TO

WHICH IT IS LEGALLY ENTITLED, BY VIRTUE OF ITS STRONG SHOWING IN

THE JUNE 2000 PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION. INTER ALIA, THE NEW

POLITICAL PARTIES FINANCING LAW PRECLUDES THE PROVISION OF SERVICES

FOR PARTY-BUILDING ACTIVITIES, SUCH AS IRI’S RECENT WORKSHOP IN

BOTSWANA DESCRIBED IN PARA 5. NGOS AND DONORS ARE UNSURE ABOUT THE

IMPACT OF THE NEW LEGISLATION ON MANY OF THEIR ACTIVITIES. IRI

REGIONAL DIRECTOR KATHI WALTHER TOLD POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF ON

APRIL 30 THAT HER ORGANIZATION WOULD CONTINUE TO OFFER SIMILAR

TRAINING, BUT LIKELY WOULD HAVE TO PROVIDE IT OUTSIDE OF ZIMBABWE.

SOME DONORS HAVE MADE HURRIED CAPITAL INVESTMENTS OR DEPOSITED

MONEY IN FOREIGN BANK ACCOUNTS IN ANTICIPATION OF THE PRESIDENT’S

SIGNATURE OF THE BILL, WHICH IS SILENT ON THE QUESTION OF PENALTIES

FOR DONORS.

 

6. (C) MDC MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT DAVID COLTART TOLD POLITICAL

SECTION CHIEF RECENTLY THAT THE LAW WAS INTENDED TO CRUSH THE

OPPOSITION PARTY, AND MIGHT HAVE THE EFFECT OF DRIVING THE MDC

UNDERGROUND. IN THE MEANTIME, THE MDC WOULD SEEK TO SIGN

COMMERCIAL LOAN AGREEMENTS — WHICH ARE NOT PROHIBITED — WITH

DONOR NATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS. COLTART INDICATED THAT THE PARTY

PLANNED TO CHALLENGE THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE BILL, BECAUSE IT

VIOLATES THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND PREVENTS

ZIMBABWEAN CITIZENS LIVING ABROAD FROM CONTRIBUTING TO POLITICAL

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 01495 02 OF 03 021540Z

PARTIES. ISAAC MAPOSA EMPHASIZED THAT THE MDC WOULD TRY TO PLAY

ABOVEBOARD AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, BUT HE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THE PARTY

INEVITABLY WOULD HAVE TO ENGAGE IN “CREATIVE FINANCING.” ONE

OPTION THE MDC WAS EXPLORING WAS TO ASK FOREIGN DONORS TO DEPOSIT

FUNDS IN OVERSEAS ACCOUNTS BELONGING TO LOCAL ZIMBABWEAN COMPANIES,

WHICH COULD IN TURN MAKE OSTENSIBLY “LOCAL” CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE

OPPOSITION PARTY. IN ADDITION, JOHN MAKUMBE, A POLITICAL SCIENCE

PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ZIMBABWE, PRESIDENT OF TRANSPARENCY

INTERNATIONAL-ZIMBABWE, AND REGULAR ADVISOR TO THE MDC LEADERSHIP,

IS PRESSING THE OPPOSITION PARTY TO ESTABLISH ITS OWN OFFSHORE BANK

ACCOUNTS IN ORDER TO FACILITATE FOREIGN DONATIONS.

 

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGY

——————————

 

7. (C) THE CAMPAIGN FOR THE 2002 PRESIDENTIAL VOTE HAS BEGUN IN

EARNEST. ZANU-PF, THROUGH ITS GANGSTER MILITIA OF WAR VETERANS AND

THUGS FOR HIRE, HAS CONTINUED ITS INTIMIDATION OF RESIDENTS IN

RURAL AREAS AND HIGH-DENSITY SUBURBS, AND RECENTLY EXPANDED ITS

TERROR CAMPAIGN TO URBAN AREAS, WHERE IT IS TARGETTING COMPANIES

AND NGOS SUSPECTING OF SUPPORTING THE OPPOSITION. THE MDC IS

CAMPAIGNING ACTIVELY AS WELL, BUT HAS OPTED FOR A LOW-KEY, NON-

CONFRONTATIONAL APPROACH. MAKUMBE POINTED OUT THAT THE MDC IS

STRONGER THAN IT WAS A YEAR AGO, BUT IT REMAINS FRAGILE BECAUSE IT

IS THE ONLY HOPE FOR MOST ZIMBABWEANS OF A BETTER LIFE. IF THE

PARTY PUSHES TOO HARD FOR CHANGE, THE GOVERNMENT WOULD SIMPLY SHUT

IT DOWN AND PROHIBIT ANY FURTHER OPPOSITION POLITICAL ACTIVITY.

THAT IS PRECISELY WHY, ACCORDING TO MAPOSA, THE MDC IS ORGANIZING

FEWER LARGE RALLIES — WHICH WOULD ATTRACT ZANU-PF’S ATTENTION AND

INVITE CONFRONTATION. INSTEAD, THE MDC IS SENDING SMALL TEAMS

THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY TO CAMPAIGN DOOR-TO-DOOR. THE TEAMS ARE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 01495 02 OF 03 021540Z

ADVISING PEOPLE TO DO EVERYTHING NECESSARY TO PROTECT THEMSELVES —

BY AVOIDING CONFRONTATION WITH THE RULING PARTY AND TO ATTEND ZANU-

PF RALLIES AND WEAR ZANU-PF T-SHIRTS IF THEY MUST. THE MDC IS

EXPENDING SIGNIFICANT EFFORT — PARTICULARLY IN RURAL AREAS — TO

CONVINCE VOTERS THAT THEIR BALLOT IS SECRET, DESPITE ZANU-PF’S

CLAIMS TO THE CONTRARY. THE OPPOSITION PARTY ALSO HAS BEGUN TO

DISTRIBUTE PAMPHLETS IN RURAL AREAS LAYING OUT ITS POSITIONS ON KEY

ISSUES.

 

8. (C) THE MDC LEADERSHIP HAS NOT AGREED HOW IT WOULD RESPOND IN

THE EVENT PRESIDENT MUGABE WINS A FRAUDULENT ELECTION, AN OUTCOME

MANY OBSERVERS CONSIDER INCREASINGLY LIKELY. ASKED HOW THE PARTY

WOULD REACT IF MUGABE STEALS THE ELECTION, MAPOSA SEEMED TAKEN

ABACK AND DEFENSIVE. AFTER A LONG PAUSE, HE ACKNOWLEDGED WEAKLY

ONLY THAT THERE HAD BEEN SOME INTERNAL DISCUSSION OF THE ISSUE. HE

SAID THE PARTY HAS BEEN WORKING WITH KEY REGIONAL PLAYERS — SOUTH

AFRICA AND BOTSWANA, IN PARTICULAR — TO PRESS MUGABE ON THE

IMPORTANCE OF ENSURING THAT THE ELECTION IS “AS FREE AND FAIR AS IT

CAN BE.” MAPOSA ALSO EXPRESSED HOPE THAT THE UN MIGHT PROVIDE OR

COORDINATE THE PROVISION OF ELECTION MONITORS, AND INDICATED THAT

TSVANGIRAI MAY SEEK A MEETING WITH KOFI ANNAN TO DISCUSS THE ISSUE

 

SIPDIS

IN AN UPCOMING VISIT TO THE UNITED STATES.

 

9. (C) MAKUMBE AGREED THAT AN ILLEGITIMATE MUGABE VICTORY IS THE

LIKELIEST SCENARIO IN 2002. THE MDC’S INCLINATION IN SUCH AN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ3231

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 01495 03 OF 03 021540Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 SMEC-00 DINT-00

DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   OIGO-00 FBIE-00

VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00     VCE-00

AC-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   IRM-00   STR-00   TRSE-00

USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00

SAS-00   SWCI-00   /009W

——————E675CB 021540Z /38

P 021546Z MAY 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8777

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 001495

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 05/02/11

TAGS: PGOV KDEM PINS ZI

SUBJECT: MDC CAMPAIGNING ACTIVELY BUT QUIETLY FOR PRESIDENCY, BUT

UNSURE HOW IT WOULD REACT TO MUGABE VICTORY

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 01495 03 OF 03 021540Z

 

EVENT, HE SAID, WAS TO “SCREAM TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY,” AN

APPROACH THAT WOULD NOT BE PARTICULARLY PRODUCTIVE. MAKUMBE HAS

INSTEAD URGED TSVANGIRAI AND OTHERS IN THE PARTY TO BE PREPARED TO

WORK WITH CIVIL SOCIETY IN ORGANIZING MASS ACTION TO PROTEST THE

OUTCOME. MOST ZIMBABWEANS, MAKUMBE PREDICTED, WOULD BE VERY ANGRY

IN THE EVENT OF A MUGABE VICTORY, AND THE MDC MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO

PREVENT THE OUTBREAK OF BLOODY CONFRONTATIONS AROUND THE COUNTRY.

 

COMMENT

——-

 

10. (C) THE INTERNAL RESTRUCTURING AND BETTER USE OF THE MEDIA HAVE

MADE THE MDC A STRONGER, MORE EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATION. IN ADDITION,

THE MDC REMAINS OVERWHELMINGLY POPULAR IN URBAN AREAS AND APPEARS

TO BE MAKING INROADS IN SOME RURAL DISTRICTS, JUDGING FROM THE

INCREASE IN ATTENDANCE AT MANY OF THE PARTY’S RALLIES. THE

LEADERSHIP OF THE OPPOSITION PARTY, HOWEVER, IS MAKING A BIG

MISTAKE IN ASSUMING THAT THAT POPULARITY WILL TRANSLATE INTO

ELECTORAL TRIUMPH IN 2002. MORGAN TSVANGIRAI WOULD ALMOST

CERTAINLY WIN AN ELECTION THAT IS CLOSE TO FREE AND FAIR, BUT

PRESIDENT MUGABE HAS STATED EXPLICITLY ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS — MOST

RECENTLY IN PUBLIC REMARKS ON ZIMBABWE’S INDEPENDENCE DAY ON APRIL

18 — THAT HE WILL NEVER ALLOW THE MDC TO ASSUME POWER.   IT IS

TIME FOR THE MDC TO TAKE MUGABE AT HIS WORD, AND TO BEGIN TO DO

SOME SERIOUS CONTINGENCY PLANNING ABOUT WHAT STEPS IT WILL TAKE IF

THE PRESIDENT STEALS THE ELECTION.

 

IRVING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 01495 03 OF 03 021540Z

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

(6 VIEWS)

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