Madhuku masterminded Broad Alliance


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National Constitutional Assembly chairman Lovemore Madhuku organised a stay-away to protest against Operation Restore Order (Murambatsvina) through the Broad Alliance, which was reportedly a grouping of civic organisations and opposition parties including the Movement for Democratic Change.

He said the stay-away was just the first step with follow on street protests planned.

Gandhi Mudzingwa, MDC Director of Presidential Affairs, confirmed that Lovemore Madhuku was the impetus behind the stay-away.

He said that the party could not go against it and would thus support it but that he, personally, and many in the party felt that there should be more preparation before any mass action.

Mudzingwa said even if the stay-away did not fully succeed it could project a message that the opposition was still active, and might thereby give people hope.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 05HARARE788, STAY-AWAY PLANNED FOR JUNE 9 AND 10

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

05HARARE788

2005-06-07 12:26

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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

 

071226Z Jun 05

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000788

 

SIPDIS

 

AF FOR DAS T. WOODS

AF/S FOR B. NEULING

OVP FOR NULAND

NSC FOR DNSA ABRAMS, SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2010

TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM ZI MDC

SUBJECT: STAY-AWAY PLANNED FOR JUNE 9 AND 10

 

 

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires, a.i. Eric T. Schultz under Section 1.

4 b/d

 

——-

Summary

——-

 

1. (C) The “Broad Alliance” of civil society and opposition

groups, including the MDC, is organizing a mass work stoppage

for June 9 and 10, as a first step toward possible later mass

protests. However, the National Constitutional Assembly’s

(NCA) Lovemore Madhuku appears to the stay-away’s driving

force, rather than the MDC. End Summary.

 

————————————-

First Large-Scale Mass-Action Planned

————————————-

 

2. (C) Through the Broad Alliance, Madhuku is organizing a

mass stay-away June 9 and 10, calling for citizens to stay

home from work those days to protest Operation Restore Order.

Madhuku told emboffs that, depending on the response to the

stay-away, the Broad Alliance would organize follow-on mass

protests next week. He said that the organizations under the

Broad Alliance were trying their best to disseminate

information about the stay-away, adding that those with

Internet access would certainly receive the information but

that he was worried that ordinary industrial workers would

not get the message.

 

3. (C) Madhuku said not all in the Broad Alliance were giving

equal effort to getting the message out, which he attributed

to a delay in forming a consensus as to the timing of the

stay-away. However, Madhuku expressed confidence that it

would be successful and said the stay-away was just the first

step, with follow-on street protests planned for next week.

(N.B. In a positive development, the independent weekly The

Standard reported the stay-away plans in a front-page article

June 5, providing much needed publicity for the mass action.)

 

——–

MDC Role

——–

 

4. (C) Gandhi Mudzingwa, MDC Director of Presidential

Affairs, confirmed that Lovemore Madhuku was the impetus

behind the stay-away. He said that the party could not go

against it and would thus support it but that he, personally,

and many in the party felt that there should be more

preparation before any mass action. That said, although the

MDC was not planning any particular activity as a party it

was trying to spread word of the stay-away through the

party,s structures. He added that even if the stay-away did

not fully succeed it could project a message that the

opposition was still active, and might thereby give people

hope.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

5. (C) The success of the stay-away may be hard to measure.

With economic activity at such a low level, even if most

employed Zimbabweans stay away from work, the impact may not

be very noticeable. The opposition hopes to turn downtown

Harare, as well as other major cities, into ghost towns, but

Operation Restore Order has already accomplished that to some

extent. Moreover, the plan,s passivity fails to tap into

the anger of the tens of thousands who have lost their homes

and businesses through the GOZ’s recent actions. That said,

the opposition had to start somewhere and the stay-away has

the advantage of avoiding direct confrontation with the

regime while potentially building momentum. For its part,

the MDC,s unwillingness to a leading role in this event will

likely reinforce the perception of many Zimbabweans that the

party remains paralyzed by the March parliamentary election

results and is unable to respond effectively to the

government.

SCHULTZ

 

(7 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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