Cross, Stevenson wanted Mugabe impeached


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Movement for Democratic Change legislators, Eddie Cross and Trudy Stevenson, who is now an ambassador, were among the radicals within the MDC that piled pressure on party leader Morgan Tsvangirai to get President Robert Mugabe impeached, according to former secretary general Welshman Ncube.

Ncube told United States embassy officials in November 2000 that the MDC was under pressure from party radicals to stage mass action to get Mugabe to go.

Ncube had been invited to discuss how the MDC could talk to the rival Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front to ease the tension between the two parties and thus allow the country’s economy to recover.

Ncube said the people Mugabe listened to were: Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa, former Zimbabwe Defence Forces chief and politburo member Solomon Mujuru, ZANU-PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, and former Minister of State for National Security Sydney Sekeramayi but the problem was that they had not taken the necessary steps to initiate a dialogue with the MDC.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 00HARARE6297, ZIMBABWE OPPOSITION INCREASINGLY DIVIDED OVER

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

00HARARE6297

2000-11-08 15:57

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.

 

081557Z Nov 00

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2477

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 06297 01 OF 03 081558Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CEA-01   CIAE-00 COME-00

CTME-00 INL-00   DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00

EB-00   EUR-00   EXIM-01 E-00     FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00

FRB-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   ITC-01   LAB-01   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   IRM-00   SSO-00

STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02

G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /012W

——————9C86A8 081559Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7588

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 006297

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/08/10

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 06297 01 OF 03 081558Z

TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON PINR ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE OPPOSITION INCREASINGLY DIVIDED OVER

MASS ACTION; AMBASSADOR URGES RESTRAINT

 

REFTEL: HARARE 5983

 

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD FOR REASONS 1.5

(B) AND (D).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: AMBASSADOR MET OPPOSITION MOVEMENT FOR

DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) SECRETARY-GENERAL WELSHMAN NCUBE

NOVEMBER 7 TO PRESS HOME THE NEED FOR ZIMBABWE’S

POLITICAL PARTIES TO UNDERTAKE DIALOGUE AND DEFLATE

TENSIONS. NCUBE ASSERTED THAT THERE ARE MANY PARTY

STALWARTS WILLING TO TALK WITH THE MDC IF MUGABE WOULD

LET THEM. HOWEVER, “MODERATES” IN THE MDC ARE LOSING

MOMENTUM TO THE PARTY’S “RADICALS,” WHO ARE INCREASING

THE PRESSURE FOR MASS ACTION THAT WOULD FORCE MUGABE

FROM POWER, ACCORDING TO NCUBE. THE MDC’S NATIONAL

EXECUTIVE HAS BEEN TRYING TO DELAY MASS ACTION FOR AS

LONG AS POSSIBLE, BUT THE RADICALS ARE MAKING IT

INCREASINGLY DIFFICULT TO DO SO. NCUBE ESPOUSED THAT

THE KEY QUESTION IS THE WILLINGNESS OF THE PARTY’S

MAJORITY OF “FENCE-SITTERS” TO ENGAGE IN THE TYPE OF

MASS ACTION THAT COULD RESULT IN VIOLENCE. GIVEN THE

RAPID DECLINE OF THE ECONOMY, THE GROWING CLAMOR FOR

MUGABE’S OUSTER, AND THE LOW PROBABILITY ZANU-PF WILL

MAKE ANY CONCESSION ON ITS CURRENT COURSE, THE MDC

LEADERSHIP MAY ULTIMATELY GIVE IN TO THE RADICALS’

PRESSURE. THE AMBASSADOR MADE A STRONG APPEAL FOR

RESTRAINT. END SUMMARY.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 06297 01 OF 03 081558Z

 

2. (C) AMBASSADOR, DCM, AND POLOFF MET OPPOSITION MDC

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELSHMAN NCUBE NOVEMBER 7 TO PRESS

 

SIPDIS

HOME THE NEED FOR ZIMBABWE’S POLITICAL PARTIES TO ENGAGE

IN DIALOGUE AND DEFLATE TENSIONS. THE AMBASSADOR

CONVEYED TO NCUBE THAT THE U.S. IS CONCERNED THAT THE

MDC AND ZANU-PF REFUSE TO TALK TO EACH OTHER, AND THAT

THE GENERAL POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC SITUATION IS NOT

SUSTAINABLE. WE WOULD LIKE TO HELP, IF POSSIBLE, AND

KNOWING WHO IN ZANU-PF TO APPROACH WOULD FACILITATE A

HOPEFULLY CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE, THE AMBASSADOR STATED.

 

3. (C) NCUBE ACKNOWLEDGED THE NEED FOR DIALOGUE AND

STATED THERE ARE PEOPLE MUGABE LISTENS TO THAT ARE

WILLING TO TALK TO THE OPPOSITION. NCUBE CITED SPEAKER

OF PARLIAMENT EMMERSON MNANGAGWA, FORMER ZIMBABWE

DEFENSE FORCES CHIEF AND POLITBURO MEMBER SOLOMON

MUJURU, ZANU-PF SECRETARY FOR ADMINISTRATION DIDYMUS

MUTASA, AND FORMER MINISTER OF STATE FOR NATIONAL

SECURITY SYDNEY SEKERAMAYI AS THE CORE PEOPLE MUGABE

STILL CONSULTS. THE PROBLEM LIES IN THE FACT THAT THEY

HAVE NOT TAKEN THE NECESSARY STEPS TO INITIATE A

DIALOGUE WITH THE MDC. (COMMENT: MDC SUPPORTER CLIVE

PUZEY TOLD US THAT HIS PARTY HAD MADE SOME OVERTURES TO

MUJURU TO SELL THE ZANU-PF LEADERSHIP ON AN AMNESTY

DEAL. THE EFFORT WAS STILLBORN. END COMMENT.)

MNANGAGWA, ZANU-PF CHAIRMAN JOHN NKOMO, AND VICE-

PRESIDENT JOSEPH MSIKA HAVE ALL MADE STATEMENTS ON

RESOLVING THE LAND PROBLEM IN A RATIONAL WAY. EVERYBODY

IN THE PARTY, EXCEPT FOR THE VICE-PRESIDENTS, AGREE

PRIVATELY THAT MUGABE MUST GO, AND NCUBE BELIEVES THAT

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 06297 01 OF 03 081558Z

MNANGAGWA CAN BE PERSUADED TO GET THE PARTY HIERARCHY TO

BACK MUGABE’S EARLY DEPARTURE.

 

4. (C) INSIDE THE MDC, NCUBE STATED, THE PRESSURE TO

RESORT TO MASS ACTION IS “PHENOMENAL.” HE MENTIONED THE

SIX MDC MPS WHO TOLD A CROWD OF CHITUNGWIZA RESIDENTS

NOVEMBER 5 TO PREPARE FOR MASS ACTION IN DECEMBER TO

FORCE MUGABE OUT. NCUBE EMPHASIZED THAT THE MPS WERE

ACTING ON THEIR OWN AND DID NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY OF

THE MDC NATIONAL EXECUTIVE TO MAKE THOSE STATEMENTS.

THE EXECUTIVE IS STILL UNDECIDED ON THE TIMING AND FORM

OF MASS ACTION–IT HAS BEEN TRYING TO PUT OFF A DECISION

FOR TWO MONTHS NOW. NCUBE SAID THE PLAN OF ACTION TO BE

PRESENTED TO THE EXECUTIVE IN TWO WEEKS ENTAILS A THREE-

DAY GENERAL STRIKE FOLLOWED BY A MASS MARCH ON HARARE ON

THE FOURTH DAY. WHEN ASKED WHAT THE GOVERNMENT COULD DO

TO AVOID A POTENTIALLY VIOLENT MASS ACTION, NCUBE

RESPONDED THAT THE MDC WOULD ACCEPT A CLEAR INDICATION

FROM MUGABE OF HIS INTENTION NOT TO RUN FOR RE-ELECTION

AND AN ANNOUNCEMENT OF AN EARLY ELECTION IN JANUARY 2002

(THE ELECTION IS DUE BY APRIL 2002). THIS WOULD DIFFUSE

A LOT OF TENSION, NCUBE STATED, AND THE MDC COULD WAIT

15 MONTHS FOR AN ELECTION IF IT KNEW MUGABE WOULD NOT

RUN, EVEN THOUGH THE MDC STANDS A BETTER CHANCE OF

WINNING AGAINST MUGABE. HE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT NEITHER

MUGABE NOR ZANU-PF LIKELY WOULD TAKE SUCH A STEP.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2480

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 06297 02 OF 03 081559Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CEA-01   CIAE-00 COME-00

CTME-00 INL-00   DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00

EB-00   EUR-00   EXIM-01 E-00     FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00

FRB-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   ITC-01   LAB-01   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   IRM-00   SSO-00

STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02

G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /012W

——————9C86BB 081559Z /38

O 081557Z NOV 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7589

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 006297

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/08/10

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 06297 02 OF 03 081559Z

TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON PINR ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE OPPOSITION INCREASINGLY DIVIDED OVER

MASS ACTION; AMBASSADOR URGES RESTRAINT

 

5. (C) NCUBE WENT ON TO SAY THAT WITHOUT SOME

ASSURANCES FROM ZANU-PF THAT MUGABE IS ON HIS WAY OUT,

IT WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT TO CONTAIN THE RADICALS IN THE

MDC. THE PARTY MODERATES, EVEN THOUGH THEY CONSTITUTE A

MAJORITY OF MEMBERS, ARE FINDING IT INCREASINGLY

DIFFICULT TO ANSWER THE DEMANDS OF THE RADICALS, AND ARE

“LOSING MOMENTUM” TO THEM. WHEN MDC VICE-PRESIDENT

GIBSON SIBANDA TRIED TO CONVINCE A CROWD OF SUPPORTERS

IN BULAWAYO NOVEMBER 5 THAT THE MDC MUST WAIT FOR

ELECTIONS, THE CROWD SHOUTED BACK “NO,” AND DEMANDED TO

KNOW THE DATE FOR MASS ACTION. SOME INDICATED TO

SIBANDA THAT THEY WOULD RATHER DIE THAN WAIT ANOTHER

YEAR TO OUST MUGABE. NCUBE POINTED OUT THAT THERE ARE

THOUSANDS OF HOMELESS IN THE CITIES JUST WAITING FOR THE

CHANCE TO MARCH, AND THAT MILITANT MDC YOUTHS ARE SAYING

THEY WILL FORCE RELUCTANT BYSTANDERS TO JOIN IN ONCE A

DEMONSTRATION IS UNDER WAY. NCUBE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THE

“FENCE-SITTERS” IN THE MDC WILL DETERMINE THE SUCCESS OF

ANY MASS ACTION. THE RADICALS KEEP TELLING THE NATIONAL

EXECUTIVE THEY CAN DELIVER THE “FENCE-SITTERS” AND BRING

OUT A MILLION PEOPLE IN HARARE AND A HALF MILLION IN

BULAWAYO. NCUBE ADDED THAT SOME RADICALS DON’T CARE IF

THOUSANDS DIE IF IT REMOVES MUGABE FROM POWER.

 

6. (C) NCUBE REITERATED THAT THE RADICALS IN THE PARTY

DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THE MAJORITY. THE RADICALS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 06297 02 OF 03 081559Z

MOST FREQUENTLY DOMINATE RALLIES AND ARE TYPICALLY THE

MOST OUTSPOKEN. THEY ARE THE ONES SPREADING THE WORD OF

AN EARLY DECEMBER MASS ACTION IN AN ATTEMPT TO PRESSURE

THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE, WHICH IS STILL DOMINATED BY

MODERATES, INTO ANNOUNCING A MASS ACTION DATE, ACCORDING

TO NCUBE. SOME RADICALS HAVE ACTED DISAPPOINTED ONCE

MDC LEADERS HAVE POINTED OUT THAT EVEN IF MUGABE

RESIGNS, THE MDC STILL MUST WIN AN ELECTION TO GET INTO

POWER–IT WON’T SIMPLY TAKE OVER IF MUGABE STEPS ASIDE.

THE AMBASSADOR URGED NCUBE TO INFORM MDC SUPPORTERS OF

THE ELECTORAL PROCESS AND TO RESTRAIN THEM FROM ENGAGING

IN MASS ACTION AND TRYING TO VIOLENTLY OVERTHROW THE

PRESIDENT. IN ORDER FOR THE MDC TO KEEP ITS CREDIBILITY

AND INTERNATIONAL GOODWILL, IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE

OPPOSITION TO KEEP ITS STRATEGY OF STICKING TO THE HIGH

ROAD IN THE FACE OF GOVERNMENT VIOLENCE AND REPRESSION.

 

7. (C) IN RESPONSE TO A QUESTION FROM DCM, NCUBE

CLARIFIED REMARKS MADE BY TSVANGIRAI IN DUBLIN URGING

WESTERN COUNTRIES TO CUT DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH

MUGABE’S GOVERNMENT. ALTHOUGH NCUBE WAS NOT PRESENT, HE

SAID THAT TSVANGIRAI MAY HAVE MISSTATED HIS POINT–THAT

THE MDC IS URGING THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO SUSPEND

AID AND BALANCE OF PAYMENTS SUPPORT IN ORDER TO ISOLATE

THE GOVERNMENT. THE MDC DOES NOT WANT FOREIGN COUNTRIES

TO CUT RELATIONS WITH ZIMBABWE. ZIMBABWE IS BIGGER THAN

MUGABE OR ZANU-PF, NCUBE SAID, AND THE MDC DOES NOT WANT

TO SEE FOREIGN INVESTORS PASSING UP ZIMBABWE, EVEN IF IT

MEANS DEALING WITH MUGABE. THE MDC IS TALKING TO

MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE NKOSANA

MOYO TO ENSURE THAT TRADE WITH ZIMBABWE CONTINUES. THE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 06297 02 OF 03 081559Z

MDC IS TRYING TO KEEP INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CHANNELS

OPEN BECAUSE IT DOES NOT WANT TO INHERIT A COMPLETELY

DESTROYED ECONOMY.

 

8. (C) COMMENT: DESPITE THE AMBASSADOR’S URGINGS OF

RESTRAINT, NCUBE RETURNED AGAIN AND AGAIN TO THE THEME

OF RADICALS IN THE MDC GAINING MORE INFLUENCE OVER

MODERATES IN THE PARTY. THIS APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN BORNE

OUT IN THE MDC TABLING OF THE MUGABE IMPEACHMENT MOTION

IN LATE OCTOBER. TWO OF THE PARTY’S “RADICALS,” TRUDY

STEVENSON AND EDDIE CROSS, HAD PUSHED HARD OVER

TSVANGIRAI’S OBJECTIONS TO BEGIN THE IMPEACHMENT PROCESS

 

SIPDIS

(REFTEL). WHILE IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE MDC IS MERELY

TRYING TO PROVIDE US AN EXCUSE FOR INSTIGATING MASS

ACTION, IT ALSO HAS GOOD REASON TO ACT SOON RATHER THAN

WAIT UNTIL 2002 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS TO OUST MUGABE.

IT IS ALSO POSSIBLE THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO

DESTROY THE COUNTRY’S ECONOMY SO THAT IF THE MDC DOES

COME TO POWER, IT WILL BE SET UP FOR FAILURE, AND ZANU-

PF CAN SWEEP BACK IN AT SOME POINT. IN ANY CASE, THE

VOICES OF ACTION IN THE MDC DO APPEAR TO BE GETTING THE

UPPER HAND, AND THE MDC LEADERSHIP MAY NOT BE ABLE TO

FORESTALL MASS ACTION AND ASSOCIATED VIOLENCE MUCH

LONGER, PARTICULARLY IF IT GETS NO HELP FROM THE

GOVERNMENT IN THIS CONNECTION. END COMMENT.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2481

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 06297 03 OF 03 081559Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CEA-01   CIAE-00 COME-00

CTME-00 INL-00   DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00

EB-00   EUR-00   EXIM-01 E-00     FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00

FRB-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   ITC-01   LAB-01   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   IRM-00   SSO-00

STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02

G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /012W

——————9C86C1 081559Z /38

O 081557Z NOV 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7590

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 006297

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/08/10

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 06297 03 OF 03 081559Z

TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON PINR ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE OPPOSITION INCREASINGLY DIVIDED OVER

MASS ACTION; AMBASSADOR URGES RESTRAINT

 

MCDONALD

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

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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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