in Stories

US ambassador warns MDC not to speak of violent actions

United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Tom McDonald told Movement for Democratic Change chairman Isaac Matongo and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s political advisor Gandi Mudzingwa that the party should not speak about violent actions, even obliquely, because this could lead to a crackdown on the party by the government.

McDonald’s comments followed Tsvangirai’s outburst that President Robert Mugabe should go peacefully or he would be removed violently.

The ambassador said Tsvangirai’s statement was not helpful for democratic discourse and could provide the government the pretext that it was looking for to crack down harshly on the MDC.

Matongo said that the MDC and its president Morgan Tsvangirai had always stood for non-violence. He said Tsvangirai got carried away.

He also said the MDC had postponed indefinitely any mass action in light of Tsvangirai’s statement to avoid a harsh reaction from the government.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 00HARARE5666, AMBASSADOR WARNS MDC NOT TO USE VIOLENT

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE5666

2000-10-05 17:15

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTO2276

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 05666 051716Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 INL-00   DINT-00 DODE-00

DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00 FBIE-00

VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00     VCE-00

AC-01   DCP-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SSO-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00

PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00

/008W

——————8E3B69 051717Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7294

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 005666

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/05/10

TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR ZI MDC

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR WARNS MDC NOT TO USE VIOLENT

RHETORIC

 

REFS: A) SECSTATE 192558, B) HARARE 5629,

C) HARARE 5585, D) HARARE 5581, E) MDC STATEMENT

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 05666 051716Z

FAXED TO DEPARTMENT

 

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD. REASONS: 1.5 (B)

AND (D).

 

1. (C) AMBASSADOR MCDONALD DELIVERED REF A DEMARCHE TO

MDC NATIONAL CHAIRMAN ISAAC MATONGO, WHO WAS ACCOMPANIED

BY MORGAN TSVANGIRAI’S POLITICAL ADVISOR AND RIGHT-HAND

MAN, GANDI MUDZINGWA, IN THE ABSENCE OF MDC PRESIDENT

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, WHO IS CURRENTLY OUT OF THE COUNTRY.

WE DO NOT EXPECT HIM TO RETURN UNTIL NEXT WEEK AT THE

EARLIEST. DRAWING ON THE POINTS IN PARAGRAPH TWO OF REF

A, AMBASSADOR CONVEYED THE USG’S STRONG CONCERN ABOUT

TSVANGIRAI’S SEPTEMBER 30 STATEMENTS WARNING OF VIOLENCE

 

SIPDIS

AGAINST MUGABE IF HE DOES NOT RESIGN SOON. THESE

STATEMENTS ARE NOT HELPFUL FOR DEMOCRATIC DISCOURSE AND

COULD PROVIDE THE PRETEXT THE GOZ IS LOOKING FOR TO

CRACK DOWN HARSHLY ON THE MDC. AMBASSADOR ADVISED IN NO

UNCERTAIN TERMS THAT TSVANGIRAI, GIVEN HIS LEADERSHIP

POSITION AND THE TENSE POLITICAL ATMOSPHERE, SHOULD NOT

SPEAK OF VIOLENT ACTIONS, EVEN OBLIQUELY, AND ONLY

CONSIDER PEACEFUL MASS ACTION.

 

2. (C) MATONGO RESPONDED BY SAYING THAT THE MDC AND ITS

PRESIDENT, MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, HAVE ALWAYS STOOD FOR NON-

VIOLENCE. HE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT TSVANGIRAI GOT CARRIED

AWAY. MATONGO, WHO ATTENDED THE SEPTEMBER 30 RALLY AND

SAT NEXT TO THE MDC LEADER, QUOTED TSVANGIRAI AS SAYING

THE MDC WILL ALWAYS TRY TO CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT

PEACEFULLY, BUT IF MUGABE DOES NOT GO, THE PEOPLE WILL

TAKE MATTERS INTO THEIR OWN HANDS AND THE MDC LEADERSHIP

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 05666 051716Z

WILL BECOME BY-STANDERS. DESPITE MONTHS OF VIOLENCE AT

THE HANDS OF RULING PARTY SUPPORTERS, THE MDC HAS NEVER

RESPONDED VIOLENTLY AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT. ON THE

QUESTION OF MASS ACTION, THE MDC IS CONSULTING WITH

OTHER ORGANIZATIONS, BUT DOES NOT HAVE ANY PLANS FOR

MASS ACTION ANY TIME SOON. MATONGO STATED THAT AT A

RALLY NEAR MUTARE EARLIER THIS WEEK, PEOPLE TOLD HIM

THAT THEY CANNOT WAIT UNTIL 2002 TO SEE MUGABE GO.

ZANU-PF IS INSTITUTING VIOLENCE AS ITS SOLE MEANS OF

STAYING IN POWER, MATONGO PROFESSED, AND CITED RENEWED

INTIMIDATION IN MARONDERA WEST, WHERE A PARLIAMENTARY

BY-ELECTION IS DUE TO BE HELD, MBERENGWA WEST, MREWA,

AND OTHER DISTRICTS. SEVERAL MDC SUPPORTERS HAVE BEEN

BEATEN UP AND ONE HOSPITALIZED IN THE LAST WEEK,

ACCORDING TO THE MDC CHAIRMAN.

 

3. (C) COMMENT: IN OUR DISCUSSIONS WITH OTHER MDC

OFFICIALS THIS WEEK, WE HAVE IMPRESSED UPON THEM THE

IMPORTANCE OF REFRAINING FROM VIOLENT RHETORIC IN THIS

TENSE POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT. ON SEPTEMBER 29,

AMBASSADOR HAD URGED TSVANGIRAI TO USE RESTRAINT AND

ABIDE BY THE LAW IN ANY MASS ACTION (REF D). IT IS

CLEAR THAT THE MDC LEADERSHIP WAS EMBARRASSED BY

TSVANGIRAI’S IMPRUDENT REMARKS. PUBLICLY, IT HAS GONE

 

SIPDIS

OUT OF ITS WAY TO PLAY DOWN THE STATEMENTS, SAYING THAT

TSVANGIRAI WAS MERELY WARNING MUGABE THAT PUBLIC ANGER

 

SIPDIS

COULD FORCE HIM FROM POWER, AS IT HAS DONE WITH OTHER

DICTATORS (REF E). INTERESTINGLY, MINISTER OF STATE FOR

NATIONAL SECURITY NICHOLAS GOCHE TOLD THE AMBASSADOR ON

OCTOBER 4 THAT THE BACK-AND-FORTH WITH THE MDC OVER THE

REMARKS IS MORE ABOUT POLITICS THAN ANYTHING ELSE (REF

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 05666 051716Z

B). ON OCTOBER 4, IAN HAY-CAMPBELL, THE BRITISH DEPUTY

HIGH COMMISSIONER HERE, INFORMED US THAT THE MDC

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE HAD DECIDED TO POSTPONE INDEFINITELY

ANY MASS ACTION IN LIGHT OF TSVANGIRAI’S STATEMENT TO

AVOID A HARSH REACTION FROM THE GOVERNMENT. MATONGO

CONFIRMED THIS INFORMATION, EXPLAINING THAT THE

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE HAD NOT DECIDED ON THE DATE OR THE

MEANS TO CONDUCT MASS ACTION. THE MDC CHAIRMAN ALSO

HINTED THAT TSVANGIRAI MAY POSTPONE HIS RETURN FROM

EUROPE UNTIL THIS EPISODE BLOWS OVER. WE DO NOT BELIEVE

THE MDC IS ABOUT TO STRAY FROM ITS POLICY OF NON-

VIOLENCE, AND ITS DECISION TO POSTPONE MASS ACTION IS A

GOOD INDICATION OF THIS. WE THINK OUR MESSAGE HAS BEEN

RECEIVED AND TAKEN TO HEART. END COMMENT.

 

MCDONALD

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

(22 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHAREShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

Write a Comment

Comment