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Tsvangirai said war veterans were no match for MDC youth

G8 Representatives Caution Against Marches

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4. (C) Other G8 representatives objected to the use of mass

action in any form except a stayaway at this juncture on the

grounds that marches could get violently out of control and

ruin what hope there is for dialogue, and the Mbeki/Muluzi

mediation effort. Welshman Ncube responded that continually

trying to restart dialogue and doing nothing else was not an

option; it would bolster the GOZ's confidence and essentially

had achieved nothing since talks failed in May 2002.

 

5. (C) Tsvangirai and other officials have spoken at MDC

rallies in all of Zimbabwe's major cities in the past three

weeks exhorting Zimbabweans to heed the call to mass action.

Sub-national MDC structures have announced several smaller

community meetings, and prayer vigils over the next several

days. Though it is sometimes difficult to determine exactly

what the MDC plans to do and when, it appears the plan is to

start with smaller scale meetings and transition into a

general mass action of some type next week.

 

Mediation Efforts Stalled

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6. (C) Tsvangirai reported that the Mbeki/Muluzi initiative

was stalled. In separate conversations MDC Presidential

Advisor, Gandi Mudzingwa, said that a planned visit to Harare

by the two presidents had been delayed indefinitely by GOZ

machinations. Mudzingwa also reported that Bishops from

Manicaland were joining forces with the Capetown Anglican

Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, due to visit Harare again in

the end of May, to facilitate a mediation effort. In a

meeting with several Bishops on May 22, ZANU-PF Spokesman

Nathan Shamuyarira said the GOZ would prefer an internal

mediation effort over the Mbeki/Muluzi one. Mudzingwa said

the MDC leadership felt Mugabe was trying to play one

initiative off of the other and Mugabe has not yet approached

either one sincerely.

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