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Tsvangirai needed armoured car

The National Coordinator of the Movement for Democratic Change Isaac Maposa told a visiting United States senate delegation that party leader Morgan Tsvangirai needed an armoured car ahead of the 2002 presidential elections.

Tsvangirai had told the delegation that his party was not going to hold any public rallies until the date for the presidential election had been announced because participants would just be targets of “regime-sponsored” violence.

He said the MDC had its own security arrangements and mechanisms in place, and was trying to increase the quality and numbers in its security apparatus.

When asked what the US could do to help, Maposa said they needed an armoured car for Tsvangirai, and radios, bullet-proof vests, printing materials, and a satellite communication platform.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 01HARARE2387, ZIMBABWE: GRIGSBY STAFFDEL MEETS WITH MDC

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE2387

2001-08-10 11:38

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.

 

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6459

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02387 01 OF 02 101141Z

ACTION H-01

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AF-00   DS-00   TEDE-00 SS-00   DSCC-00

SAS-00     /001W

——————108419 101141Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9448

INFO NSC WASHDC

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 002387

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/10/11

TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE: GRIGSBY STAFFDEL MEETS WITH MDC

LEADERSHIP

 

CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL OFFICER TODD FAULK FOR REASONS:

1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

1. (C) ON AUGUST 6, SENATE STAFFDEL, LED BY GARRETT

GRIGSBY, MET WITH THE MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02387 01 OF 02 101141Z

(MDC) LEADERSHIP IN THEIR NEW DOWNTOWN HEADQUARTERS.

MDC PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI WAS ACCOMPANIED BY

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELSHMAN NCUBE, NATIONAL COORDINATOR

 

SIPDIS

ISAAC MAPOSA, INCOMING ELECTION COORDINATOR NOMORE

SIBANDA, PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS SECRETARY FORMAN FOTO,

AND PRESIDENTIAL ASSISTANT GANDI MUDZINGWA. CHARGE

AUBREY HOOKS AND POLOFFS ACCOMPANIED STAFFDEL TO THE

MEETING.

 

THE SITUATION

————-

 

2. (C) AFTER INITIAL PLEASANTRIES, TSVANGIRAI OPENED BY

SAYING THE CURRENT POLITICAL SITUATION IN ZIMBABWE IS

“UNPRECEDENTED” AND THE COUNTRY IS SLIDING INTO

DICTATORSHIP. HE OUTLINED THE EVENTS LEADING TO THE

FORMATION OF THE MDC AND THE GOVERNMENT’S HEAVY-HANDED

RESPONSE IN ATTEMPTING TO SUPPRESS THE OPPOSITION. EVEN

AFTER THE MDC WON 57 OUT OF 120 ELECTED SEATS IN

PARLIAMENT — AN ELECTION IN WHICH THE MDC WAS

SHORTCHANGED, HE ADDED — THE GOVERNMENT STILL REFUSES

TO DEAL WITH THE MDC AS A LEGITIMATE OPPOSITION PARTY.

TSVANGIRAI ARGUED THAT THE UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL

 

SIPDIS

ELECTION WILL BE THE MOST CRITICAL IN ZIMBABWE’S

HISTORY. A FREE AND FAIR ENVIRONMENT IS CRUCIAL TO ITS

LEGITIMACY; IF THE ELECTION IS FRAUDULENT, ZIMBABWE

COULD “GO OVER THE PRECIPICE.”

 

THE BILL

——–

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02387 01 OF 02 101141Z

3. (C) ON THE ISSUE OF THE ZIMBABWE DEMOCRACY AND

ECONOMIC RECOVERY ACT (ZDERA), TSVANGIRAI AGREED WITH

THE CONTEXT IN WHICH THE BILL HAS BEEN FORMULATED, BUT

HE FEARED THAT IT WOULD BE “POLITICIZED AS A SANCTIONS

BILL” BY THE GOVERNMENT. HE SAID THAT THE MDC CANNOT

TELL THE U.S. HOW TO DRAFT THE LEGISLATION, BUT OPINED

THAT BROAD ECONOMIC SANCTIONS ARE “NOT AN OPTION” IN THE

CURRENT DETERIORATING ECONOMY. THE U.S. CONGRESS HAS

“GIVEN HOPE TO ZIMBABWE,” AND HAS FOCUSED MUCH

INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION ON THE COUNTRY, WHICH IT NEEDS

TO GO IN A NEW DIRECTION, HE REMARKED.

 

INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS WILL BE CRUCIAL

—————————————

 

4. (C) ON THE ISSUE OF SENDING INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS

FOR NEXT YEAR’S ELECTION, THE MDC PRESIDENT SAID THE

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MUST INSIST ON THEM, EVEN IF THE

GOZ OBJECTS AND CREATES OBSTACLES TO THEIR ARRIVAL.

ISAAC MAPOSA ADDED THAT THE U.S. SHOULD NOT TRY TO SEND

NDI, IRI, OR OTHER NGOS AS OBSERVERS BECAUSE THEY WILL

NOT BE ACCREDITED. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT OFFICIAL

REPRESENTATIVES OF THE USG, SUCH AS MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

OR STATE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES, BE SENT AS THEY WILL BE

ACCREDITED IN THE END. ONLY ACCREDITED OBSERVERS CAN

ENTER POLLING PLACES AND TRAVEL FREELY FROM PLACE TO

PLACE, MAPOSA NOTED. THEY SHOULD ALSO COME A FEW TIMES

SEVERAL MONTHS AHEAD OF THE ELECTION BECAUSE THEY WILL

NOT LIKELY SEE ANYTHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY ON THE

POLLING DAYS. EVEN A MONTH IN ADVANCE, THE CAMPAIGN

WILL BASICALLY BE OVER. THE MDC PRESIDENT REMARKED THAT

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 02387 01 OF 02 101141Z

THE PRESENCE OF OBSERVERS BEFOREHAND WILL GIVE

ZIMBABWEANS HOPE AND ENCOURAGE THEM TO GO OUT AND VOTE

ON ELECTION DAY. WHEN ASKED IF SOUTH AFRICA PLANNED TO

SEND OBSERVERS, TSVANGIRAI THOUGHT IT WOULD. SOUTH

AFRICA SENT A PARLIAMENTARY OBSERVER MISSION FOR LAST

YEAR’S ELECTIONS. A NUMBER OF TRADE UNIONS AND NGOS

FROM SOUTH AFRICA WENT AS WELL, BUT MAPOSA BELIEVED

THESE WOULD BE REFUSED ACCREDITATION THIS TIME.

 

5. (C) TSVANGIRAI CONTINUED, SAYING ZIMBABWE ALSO NEEDS

ASSISTANCE TO IMPROVE ITS ELECTORAL PROCESS, BECAUSE

ANYTHING LESS THAN MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY IN THE PROCESS

WILL ONLY AID THE RULING PARTY. THE WEST SHOULD HELP IN

ENSURING THAT THE 1.5 MILLION ZIMBABWEANS LIVING OUTSIDE

THE COUNTRY ARE NOT DISENFRANCHISED AS THE GOZ IS

ATTEMPTING TO DO. IT’S NO SECRET THAT MOST OF THOSE WHO

HAVE LEFT ZIMBABWE ARE NOT SUPPORTERS OF THE GOVERNMENT,

AND IT IS IN THE GOZ’S INTEREST TO MAKE SURE THERE IS NO

MECHANISM FOR THEM TO VOTE.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6460

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02387 02 OF 02 101141Z

ACTION H-01

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AF-00   DS-00   TEDE-00 SS-00   DSCC-00

SAS-00     /001W

——————108420 101141Z /38

R 101138Z AUG 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9449

INFO NSC WASHDC

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 002387

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/10/11

TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE: GRIGSBY STAFFDEL MEETS WITH MDC

LEADERSHIP

 

DON’T LET THE GOZ OFF THE HOOK

——————————

 

6. (C) WELSHMAN NCUBE OPINED THAT IN ITS DEALINGS WITH

SOUTH AFRICA AND OTHER SADC STATES, THE U.S. SHOULD MAKE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02387 02 OF 02 101141Z

CLEAR THAT IT WILL NOT BE “BUSINESS AS USUAL” WITH

ZIMBABWE IF IT HOLDS A FRAUDULENT ELECTION. IT MUST

ALSO MAKE CLEAR THAT A COUP D’ETAT WILL NOT BE

ACCEPTABLE, EITHER. NCUBE STATED THAT ZANU-PF IS

PREPARING TO GO TO WAR IF THE MDC WINS THE ELECTION, AND

THAT THERE ARE MANY ZIMBABWEANS WHO WOULD RATHER STARVE

THAN RISK GOING BACK TO WAR.

 

SECURITY HELP

————-

 

7. (C) TSVANGIRAI STATED THAT THE MDC DOES NOT PLAN TO

HOLD ANY MORE PUBLIC RALLIES UNTIL THE DATE OF THE

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IS ANNOUNCED. PARTICIPANTS WILL

JUST BE TARGETS OF REGIME-SPONSORED VIOLENCE, HE

LAMENTED. AS FOR THE MDC’S OWN SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS,

TSVANGIRAI NOTED THAT IT HAS ITS OWN MECHANISMS IN

 

SIPDIS

PLACE, AND IT IS TRYING TO INCREASE THE QUALITY AND

NUMBERS IN ITS SECURITY APPARATUS. THE MDC SOMETIMES

EVEN INFORMS THE POLICE OF ITS MOVEMENTS AND DEMANDS

ESCORTS, GAMBLING THAT IT WILL GET THEM AT LEAST SOME OF

THE TIME. WHEN ASKED WHAT THE U.S. CAN DO TO HELP,

MAPOSA STATED THAT THE U.S. MAY BE LIMITED BY ZIMBABWE’S

RESTRICTIVE POLITICAL PARTIES FINANCE ACT, BUT AN

ARMORED CAR FOR TSVANGIRAI IS ESSENTIAL, AND RADIOS,

BULLET-PROOF VESTS, PRINTING MATERIALS, AND A SATELLITE

COMMUNICATION PLATFORM ARE ALSO NEEDED. GRIGSBY POINTED

OUT THAT THERE IS A U.S. LAW THAT PERMITS SECURITY

TRAINING FOR FOREIGN NATIONALS. GRIGSBY SUGGESTED THAT

THE MDC, EVEN THE RULING PARTY, COULD BENEFIT FROM SUCH

TRAINING. TSVANGIRAI APPEARED VERY RECEPTIVE TO THE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02387 02 OF 02 101141Z

IDEA AND SAID HE WOULD BE IN TOUCH TO FIND OUT MORE

ABOUT IT.

 

COMMENT

——-

 

8. (C) THE MEETING WAS VERY CORDIAL AND TSVANGIRAI

DELIVERED HIS POINTS IN A CONFIDENT AND REASONED MANNER,

WITH AN EYE TOWARD ELICITING GREATER SUPPORT FROM THE

U.S. HIS DEPUTIES WERE ALSO WELL PREPARED WITH SPECIFIC

IDEAS ON HOW THE U.S. COULD AID THE MDC IN ITS CAUSE.

THE MDC IS CLEARLY MORE FOCUSED THAN IT WAS AT THE

BEGINNING OF THE YEAR ON WHAT IS NEEDED TO OVERCOME

PRESIDENT MUGABE’S TREMENDOUS ADVANTAGES AS INCUMBENT.

END COMMENT.

 

9. (U) THIS CABLE WAS NOT CLEARED BY STAFFDEL BEFORE

ITS DEPARTURE FROM HARARE.

 

HOOKS

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

(10 VIEWS)

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