in Stories

Tsvangirai said Coltart could not account for party funds

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai told United States embassy officials that Bulawayo legislator David Coltart could not account for donor funds that he had received before the MDC split.

He was commenting on charges by Coltart that intra-party violence was being directed by some within the Tsvangirai faction of the MDC.

Tsvangirai said the party had no institutional mechanisms to pursue violence and was itself the principal victim of political violence in Zimbabwe.

He said political violence existed in Zimbabwe because of state-sponsored violence against his party and had been exacerbated by the breakdown of the rule of law.

Tsvangirai said that Coltart’s accountability themes were ironic in view of his own failure to account for much of the donor funds for the party that Coltart had received before the MDC split.

He also said Coltart had been with the Mutambara faction “from the start” and should no longer pretend to be an impartial arbiter between the factions.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 06HARARE702, TSVANGIRAI ON EUROPE TRIP, NEXT STEPS

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

06HARARE702

2006-06-14 11:29

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO8404

PP RUEHMR

DE RUEHSB #0702/01 1651129

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 141129Z JUN 06

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0206

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1236

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1080

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1242

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0500

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 0866

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1293

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 3665

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1065

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1704

RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC//DHO-7//

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1451

RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK//DOOC/ECMO/CC/DAO/DOB/DOI//

RUEPGBA/CDR USEUCOM INTEL VAIHINGEN GE//ECJ23-CH/ECJ5M//

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000702

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B. NEULING

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE

AFR/SA FOR E. LOKEN

COMMERCE FOR BECKY ERKUL

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2011

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM EAID ZI

SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI ON EUROPE TRIP, NEXT STEPS

 

 

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Eric T. Schultz under Section 1

 

——

Summary

——-

 

1. (C) In a June 11 meeting with the Charge, MDC anti-senate

faction President Morgan Tsvangirai said he made important

progress in refurbishing the faction’s relationships with

donors and the diaspora during a European tour earlier in the

month. The opposition leader reiterated the faction’s

commitment to what he saw as mutually reinforcing strategies

of contesting elections and pressing the regime with

non-violent civil resistance. Rebuffing criticism from MDC

MP David Coltart over intra-party violence, he attributed

violence in Zimbabwe to a culture of ruling party oppression

and the absence of rule of law. End summary.

 

———————

Europe Tour a Success

———————

 

2. (C) Tsvangirai cast his tour of the UK, Sweden, Denark,

Norway, Holland and Belgium as largely successful.

Principally, his faction overcame “demonization” efforts by

the rival pro-senate faction and ZANU-PF and allayed concerns

at foreign ministries and among NGO partners about

intra-party violence. He said the faction also built

important relationships with the diaspora, including at two

energetic and well-attended rallies in the UK.

 

3. (C) Tsvangirai said his engagement with audiences in

Europe revolved largely around his faction’s refurbishment in

the wake of factional splintering last October. In this

regard, he highlighted three “benchmarks” that indicated the

anti-senate faction’s vitality: a successful Congress,

productive post-Congress planning and restructuring, and the

Budiriro by-election victory. He agreed with the Charge that

the faction had “held serve” in Budiriro, where it was under

considerable pressure to retain its own seat. Other themes

he pursued with European audiences included the country’s

economic meltdown and the need for continued resoluteness by

the international community against the regime.

 

4. (C) The former labor leader said that many Europeans,

notably the Norwegians and the Dutch, were skeptical,

especially about the impact of the splintering. “If the MDC

couldn’t dislodge ZANU-PF united, how can it do so divided?

Can’t ZANU-PF players be enticed to the democratic side? Why

shouldn’t we support both factions? Haven’t we heard this

action plan all before?” In response, Tsvangirai said he

acknowledged that the faction’s roadmap echoed action plans

of the past but it had learned from its experiences and its

performance would improve. He had no problem with a

multiplicity of parties but stressed that co-existence with

the pro-Senate faction did not imply cooperation for the time

being. For now, reflecting the popular will, his faction

would continue its focus on ZANU-PF. In that regard, he said

time was on the opposition’s side in view of the ruling

party’s propensity for unpopular and self-destructive

policies.

 

——————————————

Fund-raising, Budget, Action Priorities

——————————————

 

5. (C) Responding to the Charge’s queries on fund-raising,

Tsvangirai maintained that the trip had been “very useful,

 

SIPDIS

very timely” with European donors and the diaspora. He

 

HARARE 00000702 002 OF 003

 

 

elaborated that donors, particularly the Nordics, seemed

inclined to support the faction’s activities in the long

term, but short-term funds remained a challenge. He agreed

with the Charge that faction treasurer Roy Bennett’s presence

in South Africa, where he has applied for asylum, was a

powerful potential asset for the faction with the diaspora.

 

6. (C) Tsvangirai continued that the faction was revisiting

its budget priorities. Specifically, it would revise its

budget to focus more on the short-term — the next three to

four months. The budget reprioritization would seek to

advance a series of objectives in this context: identify

weaknesses in regime pillars of support; rejuvenate local

structures/activities; engage with civic society,

particularly with view to a church-convened meeting of

democratic forces; pursue mobilization strategies; advance a

communications strategy; develop action plan for civil

resistance; establish program of outreach/negotiation with

President Mugabe.

 

——————————————— —

Elections and Civil Action Mutually Reinforcing

——————————————— —

 

7. (C) Queried by the Charge about perceptions that the

faction was steering from a pledged “winter of discontent” to

an election-oriented path to power, Tsvangirai stressed that

the party remained firmly committed to an activist platform.

He said that the faction’s roadmap called for mutually

reinforcing prongs of election participation and non-violent

public pressure for change. Importantly, elections were part

of the resistance campaign in offering the opposition a

mobilization venue and giving voice to popular

dissatisfaction with the regime. Similarly, the numerous and

regular public rallies he had been holding had also been part

of the partyQ,s Q&resistance.Q8

 

8. (C) Tsvangirai reported that the party was conducting

rallies relentlessly, and expected to have completed rallies

in all 120 constituencies within the next two to three weeks.

The rallies were important confidence-building exercises

that developed momentum for more forceful action later. He

himself would spend the next weekend engaged in “constituency

exchanges” in Bulawayo’s seven constituencies. Involving

more give-and-take than rallies, the exchanges would serve to

solidify the faction’s rapport and credentials in

Matabeleland, one of the MDC’s traditional strongholds.

 

——————-

Response to Coltart

——————-

 

9. (C) In response to the Charge’s inquiry about MDC MP David

Coltart’s charges that intra-party violence had been directed

by some within the anti-senate faction, Tsvangirai said the

party had no institutional mechanisms to pursue violence and

was itself the principal victim of political violence in

Zimbabwe. Political violence existed in Zimbabwe because of

state-sponsored violence against his party and had been

exacerbated by the break down of the rule of law.

 

10. (C) Tsvangirai added that Coltart’s accountability

themes were ironic in view of his own failure to account for

much of the donor funds for the party that Coltart had

received before the MDC splintered. Tsvangirai also said

Coltart had been with the Mutambara faction “from the start”

and should no longer pretend to be an impartial arbiter

between the factions. He asserted that Coltart was trying to

provoke a self-serving public debate into which he refused to

 

HARARE 00000702 003 OF 003

 

 

be drawn. In that regard, he agreed with the Charge that

prolonged public internecine combat between the two factions

would only play into ZANU-PF’s hands.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

11. (C) Tsvangirai’s faction appears to be developing

momentum, primarily through the successful series of rallies

it has held, and has strengthened its position in the past

three months vis-Q-vis both its rival faction and the ruling

party. Given that momentum and the continuing meltdown of

the economy, Tsvangirai seems in no hurry to launch overt

anti-regime actions. While he may be concerned about the

appearance of not delivering on earlier pledges to take such

action, this course may prove wiser in the long run. Indeed,

among those most interested in goading him into premature

action may be the ruling party itself, which might prefer to

see polarizing incidents it can control — for now — before

pressures build to more unmanageable levels.

SCHULTZ

(17 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHAREShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

Write a Comment

Comment