Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai wrote to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell briefing him about the state of affairs in Zimbabwe towards the end of 2003.
He said President Robert Mugabe continued to be intransigent and had refused to meet with him to discuss ways to end the crisis in the country.
One of his major concerns was the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front youth militias popularly known as Green Bombers, a unit which he said must be disbanded because it was terrorising the people instead of protecting them.
Viewing cable 03HARARE2437, LETTER FROM MORGAN TSVANGIRAI TO SECRETARY POWELL
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS HARARE 002437
E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: LETTER FROM MORGAN TSVANGIRAI TO SECRETARY POWELL
Post has just received a letter dated December 16 from Morgan
Tsvangirai, President of the Movement for Democratic Change,
addressed to Secretary Powell, whom we know is not in the
office. The following is the text-we will send the original
by pouch to the desk.
Dear General Powell,
Compliments of the season to you, President Bush, and other
friends in the United States of America who have not
forgotten the people of Zimbabwe, even as your own country
faces dire threats to freedom and democracy.
I am writing to extend appreciation on behalf of the Movement
for Democratic Change and the millions of brave and hungry
Zimbabweans who tragically know that their struggle for
justice and true liberation is far from over.
As 2003 draws to a close, we find ourselves far from a
solution to the catastrophe destroying our country. As you
may well know, the hoped- for national dialogue between the
MDC and the ZANU-PF has largely reached a deadlock.
One area of particular contention is ZANU-PF’s youth
militias. We strongly believe that the government should
disband this group as soon as possible. As you may know, the
youth militia (known as “Green Bombers”) are destabilizing
the country as well as provoking the country’s official
national security services. This private ZANU-PF army was
designed specifically to terrorize not protect and serve the
Zimbabwean people, particularly those not seen to be ardent
supporters of the government.
We are very worried about the days to come, yet remain firmly
committed to achieve democratic change in an organized and
peaceful way. In the past year, we have embarked on two
successful mass stay-aways and expect to work together with
our colleagues in civil society to continue to pressure for
new elections under free and fair conditions. We have stated
unequivocally that we are prepared to enter dialogue. As you
know, I have personally agreed to meet with Mr. Mugabe to
discuss the future of the country, but he has postponed our
planned meeting several times. On 20 December, the MDC will
hold its annual conference. At this meeting we will define
the agenda for 2004, as well as adopt our refined policies.
I understand that Presidents Obasango and Mbeki will be
visiting Zimbabwe again in the near future. Realizing the
holiday season approaches us, I would appreciate an
opportunity to briefly update you on the situation as we see
it and to share my thoughts for the way forward at his
In closing, I also want to thank you for sending such a
capable and committed team to our country. Ambassador
Sullivan and others in his team have certainly demonstrated
the best of what America stands for and we thank all of you
again for your support during these very troubled times.