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Tsvangirai’s Restore Hope Campaign

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai, in his 30 May 2008 State of the Nation address to MDC MPs, outlined his “Restore Hope Campaign” and reminded his MPs that they now controlled the House of Assembly.

He said they were no longer the opposition party and urged them to embark on numerous initiatives aimed at restoring Zimbabwe and reversing the economic and social deterioration of the country.

Tsvangirai declared that “Zimbabweans should not ask what their government will do for them, but what they will also do for government”.

He described the five necessary components to fulfil his “Restore Hope Campaign”:

  1. Promote national healing,
  2. Restore people’s freedom,
  3. Restore people’s dignity,
  4. Restore basic services, and
  5. Restore Zimbabwe to the community of nations.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE482, TSVANGIRAI OUTLINES GOALS FOR MDC-LED PARLIAMENT

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE482

2008-06-03 17:02

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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R 031702Z JUN 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2980

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2020

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2141

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0683

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1418

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1776

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2197

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4628

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1283

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000482

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E. LOKEN AND L. DOBBINS

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/03/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM KDEM ZI

SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI OUTLINES GOALS FOR MDC-LED PARLIAMENT

 

Classified By: Charge d’affaires, a.i. Glenn Warren for reasons 1.4(b)

and (d).

 

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On May 30, Movement for Democratic Change

(MDC) Presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai addressed MDC

Members of Parliament (MPs), outlining his initiatives for

parliament. Describing his goals as the “Restore Hope

Campaign,” he laid out a number of ambitious initiatives

intended to put Zimbabwe on the right track. However, even

as Tsvangirai described his vision for the first MDC-led

parliament in Zimbabwe’s history, MDC leaders continue to

fear arrest. The ability of the MDC to successfully organize

and plan for the runoff remains in question. END SUMMARY.

 

—————————

MDC: Unified and in Control

—————————

 

2. (U) In his May 30 State of the Nation address to MDC MPs,

President Morgan Tsvangirai outlined his “Restore Hope

Campaign” and reminded his MPs that they now control the

House of Assembly. No longer the opposition party, he urged

his MPs to embark on numerous initiatives aimed at restoring

Zimbabwe and reversing the economic and social deterioration

of the country. The speech contained such Americanisms as “a

government of the people by the people” and declared that

“Zimbabweans should not ask what their government will do for

them, but what they will also do for government.” Tsvangirai

spoke of creating a “New Zimbabwe” or a “Third Republic” that

would follow the “First Republic” of Colonialism and the

“Second Republic” of Liberation.

 

3. (SBU) Significantly, Tsvangirai welcomed the presence of

MDC members from the MDC faction led by Arthur Mutambara and

declared both factions were committed to working together.

(COMMENT: Despite the note of unity candidates from both

factions filed notices last week to contest three

by-elections on June 27. Since all three constituencies are

heavily MDC, it is doubtful split votes will result in

ZANU-PF victories. END COMMENT.) Before his speech,

Tsvangirai led a moment of silence to remember “all

Zimbabweans killed in the struggle for democracy”, an

apparent reference not only to victims of the current

violence but also the liberation movement.

 

——————————————— ————

Zim: “Unmitigated Embarrassment to the African Continent”

——————————————— ————

 

4. (U) Tsvangirai congratulated his MPs for winning their

constituencies, but declared that it was time to get to work.

Describing Zimbabwe as an “unmitigated embarrassment to the

African continent”, Tsvangirai went on to describe the five

necessary components to fulfill his “Restore Hope Campaign”:

(1) Promote national healing, (2) Restore people’s freedom,

(3) Restore people’s dignity, (4) Restore basic services, and

(5) Restore Zimbabwe to the community of nations.

 

————————

Promote National Healing

————————

 

5. (U) To promote national healing, Tsvangirai declared that

MDC would not replace old oppressors for new ones, and

explained his intention to restore even ZANU-PF, as it is the

party of Zimbabwe’s history. He went on to acknowledge that

members of ZANU-PF have been victimized, and he called on the

MDC to seek out those ZANU-PF members whose “eyes are open”

and invite them where they have agreements. He further

called for the establishment of a Truth and Justice

Commission to investigate human rights violations and

corruption. However, he said, truth is not enough to

 

HARARE 00000482 002 OF 003

 

 

compensate for Operation Gukurahundi, massacres in the early

1980s in Matabeleland directed against the minority Ndebele

population that left an estimated 20,000 dead, and Operation

Murambatsvina, a 2005 government campaign to destroy

opposition strongholds that left some 700,000 displaced.

Tsvangirai called for reparations for victims of those two

operations, as well as victims of the current post-election

violence. (NOTE: Before Tsvangirai arrived, MDC’s National

Chairman Lovemore Moyo called on parliamentarians

“experiencing problems” to speak with an MDC member

coordinating housing in Harare. As several MDC MPs have been

harassed and are staying in safe houses in Harare, they have

not been immune to this post-election violence. END NOTE.)

 

————————

Restore People’s Freedom

————————

 

6. (U) Tsvangirai called on parliament to create a

people-driven constitution within the next 18 months. He was

met with applause when he declared this constitution should

be parliament’s first task and should ensure that no person

or institution is above the law. Tsvangirai also reached out

to current civil servants working for the GOZ. Saying he

understood that civil servants had been fearful of

retribution, and losing their jobs, Tsvangirai pledged to

de-politicize the work of the GOZ’s civil service. He

further called on parliament to repeal acts that limit

freedoms, specifically AIPPA and POSA.

 

—————

Restore Dignity

—————

 

7. (U) Tsvangirai declared that an MDC-led government would

be small – a jab at the bloated structure of the current

government – and would work to restore the dignity of

Zimbabweans. In particular, he outlined measures to improve

the economy through increased accountability, a

business-friendly environment, and resolution to the land

issue. He called on Parliament to establish an Economic

Development Council to reverse the shrinking economy,

rehabilitate national industry, restore international

credibility, and address the humanitarian crisis – food

shortages in particular.

 

8. (U) On the controversial subject of land, he described

land ownership as a constitutional issue, and called on

parliament to consult with “everyone” and establish a land

commission. The commission would identify measures to

compensate or reincorporate land that was lost to ZANU-PF,

based on the commission’s findings. He optimistically

declared he expected the land commission to “depoliticize”

the land issue. (NOTE: The next day, The Herald, the

government mouthpiece newspaper, seized on this to reinforce

their claim that Tsvangirai intends to return land to the

“Rhodesians.” END NOTE.)

 

———————-

Restore Basic Services

———————-

 

9. (U) Tsvangirai briefly outlined his key priorities to

restore services to Zimbabweans: (1) provision of free

anti-retroviral drugs to HIV/AIDS patients, (2) provision of

affordable education, (3) rehabilitation of hospitals, (4)

de-politicization of food distribution, and (5) reforms in

the transportation sector.

 

——————————————–

Restore Zimbabwe to the Community of Nations

——————————————–

 

HARARE 00000482 003 OF 003

 

 

 

10. (U) Referring to the current president of Zimbabwe as

“Mr. Mugabe”, Tsvangirai appeared to belittle the legitimacy

of Robert Mugabe’s hold on the presidency. In contrast, he

portrayed himself as a statesman as he described his travels

throughout Africa since the March 29 presidential election.

He described other African leaders as “outraged” that the

will of the Zimbabwean people had been betrayed by the

government’s broken promises for a free and fair election.

He completed his speech, with a prediction of his own victory

in the upcoming presidential runoff on June 27: “People will

reconfirm on the 27th their vote of the 29th.”

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

11. (C) With less than a month remaining to the Presidential

runoff election, the MDC has to act fast to organize its

efforts and build up morale among voters. In calling the

“parliament” together, Tsvangirai sought to demonstrate his

leadership and to stand up to the current government.

However, these reminders to the MDC that they are now the

majority party ring hollow, as the MPs themselves flee

violence inflicted by ZANU-PF militias and are arrested on

drummed-up charges. While Tsvangirai is right to call upon

his allies to implement the changes for which they have

campaigned, they are unable to do so until they are sworn in

by the President. MDC still appears to be playing catch-up,

and it is unclear if they will be able to organize themselves

in the weeks before the runoff. Tsvangirai’s State of the

Nation address was announced to diplomats and the press less

than 24 hours before the event. Aside from the approximately

100 MDC members of parliament and a few dozen others, the

event was poorly attended. Just before it began, organizers

asked diplomats and journalists to fill in empty seats to

making the event appear better-attended. END COMMENT.

 

Warren

(6 VIEWS)

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