Bennett said MDC groups sold each other out


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Roy Bennett said the mass stay-away that was organised by the Movement for Democratic Change was a success, but it suffered from organisational problems because the party had funded two separate groups which ended up competing against each other.

MDC Action Committees received funding from party headquarters to plan for the mass action and organise at the local level.

Party leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s special advisor Gandi Mudzingwa spearheaded the creation of these committees to organise for the mass action, but these committees were set up alongside existing party structures.

The two groups competed against one another for funding and control, and significant resentment arose. In some cases, each group informed police of the other’s activities and police subsequently cracked down on one or the other, negating both groups’ efforts to organise the people for mass action.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 03HARARE1359, MDC OFFICIALS REFLECT ON MASS ACTION – SUCCESSES

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

Classification

Origin

03HARARE1359

2003-07-03 14:46

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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

 

031446Z Jul 03

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001359

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR J. FRAZER

LONDON FOR C. GURNEY

PARIS FOR C. NEARY

NAIROBI FOR T. PFLAUMER

BANGKOK FOR WIN DAYTON

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2013

TAGS: PGOV PINR ZI MDC

SUBJECT: MDC OFFICIALS REFLECT ON MASS ACTION – SUCCESSES

AND FAILURES

 

REF: A. HARARE 1161

 

B. HARARE 1149

C. HARARE 1136

D. HARARE 1122

E. HARARE 1101

 

Classified By: Political Officer Audu Besmer for reasons 1.5 b/d

 

Summary

——-

 

1. (C) MDC Presidential Advisor Gandi Mudzingwa and MDC MP

Roy Bennett both said recently that the June mass action was

a success overall, but suffered from organizational problems

that the party is resolving. Mudzingwa thought the problems

were due to too many MPs becoming involved in key

decision-making, but Bennett said parallel local MDC

structures competed for resources, preventing adequate

organizing for the mass action. It would appear that

although the MDC would like to send the outward message that

the June mass action was a resounding success, they

acknowledge organizational and command and control problems

that detracted from its overall impact. End Summary.

 

Too Many Cooks

————–

 

2. (C) Mudzingwa said the MDC viewed the June mass action as

a success primarily because it forced Mugabe to use security

forces against the populace. This was a sign that Mugabe

acknowledges that the populace in sufficient numbers is

sufficiently willing to protest so as to require a show of

military force to prevent public protest. Gandi said that in

contrast to the previous mass action, over which he had

primary command and control, this most recent mass action

suffered from too many others becoming involved in key

decision-making. As a result of the success of the March

2003 stayaway, many MDC MPs wanted to get into the limelight,

and in on decision-making, for the June mass action. Hence

some bad decisions were made; in particular, public comments

(like Tsvangirai’s “Final Push” speech) were not cleared

properly. Though scolding those responsible would be

destructive at this point, Gandi said the party did have a

plan to sort out decision-making and planning was already

underway for future mass action.

 

Parallel Local Structures Counterproductive

——————————————-

 

3. (C) On July 2 MDC MP Roy Bennett told Poloff the June mass

action was a success, but suffered from organizational

problems. MDC Action Committees received funding from party

headquarters to plan for the mass action and organize at the

local level. Bennett said that Mudzingwa spearheaded the

creation of these committees in February 2002 to organize for

the March 2003 mass action. Bennett said these committees

were set up alongside existing party structures. The two

groups apparently competed against one another for funding

and control, and significant resentment arose. In some

cases, each group informed police of the other’s activities

and police subsequently cracked down on one or the other,

negating both groups’ efforts to organize the people for mass

action. According to Bennett, the Zimbabwean people heeded

the call to protest, but the party leaders and organizers did

not show up in significant numbers to galvanize people who

had gathered into marches. Bennett said this problem has led

to resentment between some elected MPs and Mudzingwa and

technocrats under his leadership. The issue was hotly

debated at the recent MDC executive meeting, and the two

local structures are subsequently being incorporated and the

MDC’s reach hopefully deepened in the process. Bennett also

confirmed that future mass actions were being planned.

 

Comment:

——–

 

4. (C) It appears that although the MDC would like to send

the outward message that the June mass action was a

resounding success, they acknowledge internally that there

were shortcomings in its organization that detracted from its

overall impact. The Party’s message leading up to the mass

action was ambiguous and led to exaggerated expectations of

what could be achieved and consequent disappointment that no

breakthrough in Zimbabwe’s crisis was achieved. It would

also appear there are internal power struggles and

differences of opinion which need to be resolved before the

party undertakes further mass action. End Comment.

SULLIVAN

 

(463 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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