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Tsvangirai said Mutambara was just a figurehead

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai said the leader of the other faction Arthur Mutambara was just a figurehead, the main obstacle to reunification of the two factions was pro-senate secretary-general Welshman Ncube.

He said party unity would be ideal but more important than unity of individuals was unity of purpose.

When a United States embassy official suggested to him that reunification could provide momentum to the opposition, Tsvangirai agreed but said the pro-senate faction was resisting.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 07HARARE42, TSVANGIRAI OPPOSES 2010 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

07HARARE42

2007-01-18 15:17

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO1601

RR RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0042/01 0181517

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 181517Z JAN 07

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1046

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1445

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1301

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1449

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0153

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0710

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1075

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1503

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 3899

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1272

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1928

RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RUFGNOA/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RUEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1665

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000042

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S.HILL

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E.LOKEN

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B.PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/25/2016

TAGS: PGOV PREL ZI

SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI OPPOSES 2010 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

 

 

Classified By: Ambassador Christopher Dell under Section 1.4 b/d

 

——-

Summary

——-

 

1. (U) MDC anti-Senate faction leader Morgan Tsvangirai at a

press conference at MDC headquarters vowed to resist a

postponement of the 2008 presidential election until 2010.

Tsivangirai also said that constitutional reform should

 

SIPDIS

precede elections and allowed that negotiations on reform

among stakeholders could result in the election slipping

beyond 2008. On the issue of MDC reunification, he said this

would be “ideal,” but the pro-Senate faction had not

indicated a willingness to reunify. End Summary.

 

—————————-

Opposition to 2010 elections

—————————-

 

2. (U) Tsvangirai told the press that the MDC would do

everything possible to assure that presidential elections

take place in 2008. He further argued that elections should

take place under a new constitution to ensure they are fair.

Tsvangirai added that the MDC will work with the Save

 

SIPDIS

Zimbabwe Coalition to negotiate a new constitution with all

stakeholders.

 

3. (U) Although short on specifics, Tsvangirai said mass

action is necessary and that all Zimbabweans must sacrifice.

Noting increasingly difficult times, he stated that “the time

to act is now. Our call for elections in 2008 is out of the

realization that the national crisis cannot be extended by

another day….”

 

4. (U) As part of the MDC strategy, Tsvangirai said the MDC

would conduct an international public relations campaign

directed at SADC , the AU, and the UN to create additional

international pressure on the regime.

 

4. (C) Tsvangirai told polecon chief after the press

conference that constitutional reform is more of a priority

than elections. If negotiations for such reform are underway

in 2008, he would support a postponement of 2008 elections

until a new constitution is in place. (N.B. This has been

Tsvangirai,s position for some time. He has argued that

 

SIPDIS

there must be a new constitution and a transitional

government of unity in place prior to elections to ensure

that they are free and fair.)

 

—————-

On reunification

—————-

 

5. (C) Asked by the press about prospects for reunification,

Tsvangirai said “it takes two to tango.” He said party unity

 

SIPDIS

would be “ideal,” but that more important than unity of

individuals is unity of purpose. When polecon chief

suggested to him that reunification at this time could

provide momentum to the opposition, he agreed, but said the

pro-Senate faction is resisting. He dismissed pro-Senate

faction president Arthur Mutambara (whom he has not seen

since July) as a “figurehead,” and said the main obstacle is

pro-Senate secretary-general Welshman Ncube.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

HARARE 00000042 002 OF 002

 

 

 

6. (C) Tsvangirai and the MDC have talked for some time,

without results, of mass mobilization. Mugabe,s apparent

intention to remain in power and postpone elections until

2010 presents another potential rallying point. This is

particularly true as more and more Zimbabweans, including

many ZANU-PF members, are coming to the realization that

political change at the top is necessary to prevent a

complete economic implosion.

 

 

DELL

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