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US embassy said MDC stay-away was a PR failure

Full cable:

 

 

Viewing cable 03HARARE1171, TSVANGIRAI FACES NEW TREASON CHARGES, AWAITS BAIL

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

03HARARE1171

2003-06-09 14:40

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.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001171

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR J FRAZER

LONDON FOR C. GURNEY

PARIS FOR C. NEARY

BANGKOK FOR WIN DAYTON

DS/OP/AF

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/09/2008

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINR ASEC ZI MDC

SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI FACES NEW TREASON CHARGES, AWAITS BAIL

HEARING: MUGABE DERIDES MDC, CONDEMNS OUTSIDE INTERFERENCE

 

Classified By: POLITICAL OFFICER PEGGY BLACKFORD FOR REASONS 1.5B/D

 

SUMMARY

——–

1. (C) AFTER A WEEK OF MASS ACTION WHICH PRODUCED LESS THAN

THE OPPOSITION WOULD HAVE LIKED, MDC LEADER, MORGAN

TSVANGIRAI FOUND HIMSELF UNDER ARREST FOR TREASON ONCE AGAIN.

 

SIPDIS

HE SPENT THE WEEKEND IN JAIL AND IS CURRENTLY AWAITING A

RULING IN A BAIL HEARING. PRESIDENT MUGABE SOUNDED

TRIUMPHANT IN SPEECHES OVER THE WEEKEND GLOATING OVER HIS

GOVERNMENT'S ABILITY TO PREVENT DEMONSTRATIONS AND PLACING

THE BLAME FOR "ILLEGAL" ACTIONS ON THE MDC AND ITS

SUPPORTERS, THE BRITISH AND US EMBASSIES. NEGOTIATIONS MAY

BE MORE DIFFICULT IF THE GOZ BELIEVES IT NOW HAS THE UPPER

HAND.

 

MDC LEADER PUTS POSITIVE SPIN ON WEEK'S EVENTS

——————————————— –

 

2. (U) AT A PRESS CONFERENCE HELD EARLY ON THE AFTERNOON OF

JUNE 6 AT THE HOME OF THE MDC LEADER, MORGAN TSVANGIRAI TOLD

JOURNALISTS AND DIPLOMATS THAT HE VIEWED THE WEEK'S MASS

ACTION AS A SUCCESS. THE STAYAWAY HAD BEEN WIDELY SUPPORTED

AND THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE HAD ONLY PREVENTED MASS

DEMONSTRATIONS BY MASSIVE AND WIDESPREAD USE OF THE POLICE

AND MILITARY. HE PROMISED THAT ROLLING MASS ACTIONS WOULD

CONTINUE WITHOUT NOTICE.

 

TSVANGIRAI ARRESTED ANEW ON FRESH TREASON CHARGES

 

SIPDIS

——————————————— —–

 

3. (C) SHORTLY AFTER THE CONCLUSION OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE,

TSVANGIRAI WAS PICKED UP BY POLICE AND CHARGED WITH TREASON

 

SIPDIS

FOR ALLEGEDLY CALLING ON ZIMBABWEANS TO OUST MUGABE FROM

POWER IN A NUMBER OF PUBLIC GATHERINGS OVER THE LAST FEW

MONTHS. HE WAS INCARCERATED AT THE BORROWDALE POLICE STATION

OVER THE WEEKEND. ACCORDING TO SPECIAL PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR,

GANDI MUDZINGWA, SEVERAL HIGH RANKING GOZ OFFICIALS INCLUDING

THE MINISTER FOR STATE SECURITY AND THE HEAD OF THE CENTRAL

INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATION SOUGHT TO TALK TO TSVANGIRAI BUT HE

WAS ALLOWED NO VISITORS EXCEPT FOR HIS WIFE. FATHER FIDELIS

MUKONORI, WHO HAS BEEN TRYING TO FACILITATE DIALOGUE BETWEEN

TSVANGIRAI AND MUGABE, ALSO SOUGHT TO SEE THE MDC LEADER AND

 

SIPDIS

TOLD MUDZINGWA THAT HE WAS TRYING TO ARRANGE A MEETING

BETWEEN TSVANGIRAI AND MUGABE FOR THURSDAY. MUDZINGWA WAS

SKEPTICAL THAT SUCH A MEETING WOULD TAKE PLACE. WELSHMAN

NCUBE, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE MDC, WAS ALSO BEING SOUGHT

AND, AFTER STAYING OUT OF SIGHT FOR THE WEEKEND, HE PRESENTED

HIMSELF FOR QUESTIONING BY THE POLICE MONDAY MORNING IN THE

COMPANY OF HIS ATTORNEY.

Continued next page

(47 VIEWS)

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