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Tsvangirai’s strategy

Despite ultimatums to president Robert Mugabe that he would pull out of negotiations if the government did not release abducted Movement for Democratic Change activists, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai never planned to abandon talks and had mapped out a 60-day plan which included continued negotiations.

The plan included efforts to channel humanitarian assistance to the needy, diplomatic outreach, an information campaign, a “Friends of Zimbabwe” international summit, and MDC party building.

Although he was frustrated over the lack of progress in implementing the Global Political Agreement, Tsvangirai believed that the MDC needed to pursue a more pro-active transitional strategy.

 

Full cable:

Viewing cable 08HARARE1139, TSVANGIRAI BRIEFS ON MDC STRATEGY

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE1139

2008-12-30 08:28

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO6644

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #1139 3650828

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 300828Z DEC 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3861

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2515

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2638

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1131

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1907

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2262

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2687

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5115

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1794

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 001139

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B.WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

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

STATE PASS TO USAID/OTI FOR J. SHERMAN AND J. RIGBY

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/30/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC EAID ZI

SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI BRIEFS ON MDC STRATEGY

 

Classified By: CDA Katherine Dhanani for reason 1.4 (d)

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai briefed

Embassy Harare representatives in Gabarone on December 18 and

December 20 on a 60-day strategic plan he hopes to launch in

early January. The plan will include continued negotiations

on power sharing, efforts to channel humanitarian assistance

to the needy, diplomatic outreach, an information campaign, a

“Friends of Zimbabwe” international summit, and MDC party

building. Tsvangirai said he would return to Zimbabwe after

receiving his passport (which he has since received). END

SUMMARY

 

2. (C) At Tsvangirai’s request, representatives of

USAID/Harare’s Democracy and Governance unit and

OTI/Washington met with Tsvangirai and senior MDC advisors in

Gabarone on December 18 and December 20 to discuss MDC plans

and how the USG can assist. Tsvangirai expressed his

frustration over the lack of progress in implementing the

Inter-Party Political Agreement signed on September 15 and

said he believed the MDC need to pursue a more pro-active

transitional strategy. The MDC leadership planned to meet in

South Africa on January 5 to finalize a 60-day plan that had

been conceptualized in meetings during the last two months.

 

3. (C) Outlining the plan, Tsvangirai said the MDC would

continue to participate in power-sharing negotiations and

would attempt to apply more pressure on SADC, the AU, and the

UN to in turn pressure ZANU-PF to equitably share power and

schedule timely and internationally supervised elections.

Additionally, the MDC would attempt to channel humanitarian

assistance to the needy and point out the ineffectiveness of

the GOZ in responding to the humanitarian crisis. The MDC

would speak out more forcefully on the government’s human

rights abuses and political prosecutions. Other components

of the strategy were MDC party strengthening and a “Friends

of Zimbabwe” international summit to discuss Zimbabwe’s

future and donor assistance.

 

4. (C) Tsvangirai stated the 60-day plan would require

significant resources that the MDC would seek from donors.

He planned to designate a senior MDC official to help

formulate proposals and serve as a liaison with donors. He

added he hoped to discuss the overall plan as soon as

possible with Ambassador McGee.

 

5. (C) Regarding his return to Zimbabwe, Tsvangirai said

Mugabe had recently (through intermediaries) invited him to

return to Zimbabwe to resume power-sharing discussions. He

said he wished to return but only after receiving his

passport (which he has since received) and assurances of his

safety and that of other MDC leaders.

 

6. (C) COMMENT. The MDC has lacked an overall strategy

apart from its participation in negotiations with ZANU-PF,

and we await with interest the specifics of the strategy to

be discussed next week in South Africa. The cornerstone of

any strategy will be the presence of Tsvangirai in Harare to

speak out on humanitarian and human rights issues, and to

provide leadership to his party and supporters. END COMMENT.

 

DHANANI

 

(2 VIEWS)

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