Dell said effectiveness of NCA demonstrations was questionable


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Former United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell, the man who was reportedly sent to Zimbabwe to effect regime change, said the effectiveness of demonstrations by the National Constitutional Assembly was questionable because of the non-involvement of other opposition groups.

 Dell described, the NCA, a civic organisation, as the only opposition group willing to organise and participate in street demonstrations.

 NCA leader Lovemore Madhuku had just reported that a demonstration that was intended for a small group at the South African embassy had failed to materialise because police arrived at the embassy before the demonstration.

 Another demonstration was blocked by police and about 30 people were arrested.

 Madhuku said most other opposition organisations stayed away from the demonstrations, although they were informed about both in advance.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 04HARARE1497, CIVIL SOCIETY A NO-SHOW AT NCA DEMONSTRATION

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

04HARARE1497

2004-09-02 11:32

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

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

 

021132Z Sep 04

UNCLAS HARARE 001497

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR BNEULING

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVELLE, D. TEITELBAUM

PARIS FOR C. NEARY

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: CIVIL SOCIETY A NO-SHOW AT NCA DEMONSTRATION

 

REF: A. HARARE 778

 

B. HARARE 220

 

1. (SBU) The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) had

planned two demonstrations for September 1, according to NCA

Chairman Lovemore Madhuku. The first, intended to be a

demonstration by a small group in front of the South African

Embassy, failed to materialize. An NCA member delivered a

letter to the South African Ambassador before the

demonstration, and by the time he emerged the police had

arrived. The second, planned to include about 500 NCA members

and individuals from other organizations, occurred in

downtown Harare. According to Madhuku, about 200 NCA members

participated in the demonstration while a larger group of

about 300 was blocked by police from participating. Madhuku

said about 30 were arrested and several demonstrators were

injured.

 

2. (SBU) Madhuku said most other opposition organizations

stayed away from the demonstrations, although they were

informed about both in advance. He said another demonstration

would be planned for the near future, for which he hoped to

get better turnout.

 

3. (SBU) COMMENT: NCA continues to be the only part of the

opposition willing to organize and participate in street

demonstrations (see reftels). As evidenced by the lack of

turnout, members of other organizations and ordinary citizens

are not willing to risk physical and economic consequences.

Without the involvement of other opposition groups, the

effectiveness of the demonstrations is questionable. END

COMMENT

Dell

 

(4 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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