There were differences of opinion over the success of the two-day stay-stay organised by the Broad Alliance with National Constitutional Assembly leader Lovemore Madhuku describing it as a partial success while his colleagues thought otherwise.
Madhuku, who was the principal organiser, said the Broad Alliance was going to engage in more active protests in the coming weeks.
Movement for Democratic Change secretary for Presidential Affairs Gandhi Mudzingwa said the party did not regard the stay-away as a success.
He said many in the party were critical of Madhuku for not having better organised the action and felt that only the MDC could truly lead such an effort.
Mudzingwa said the failure of the stay away was the latest evidence that new methods of resistance were needed.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions Information Officer Mlamleli Sibanda said the stay-away had a poor response due to bad organisation and lack of consultation among Broad Alliance partners, like the ZCTU.
Viewing cable 05HARARE831, MODEST STAY-AWAY RESULTS CHALLENGE BROAD ALLIANCE
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 000831
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
SUBJECT: MODEST STAY-AWAY RESULTS CHALLENGE BROAD ALLIANCE
Classified By: Charge d’ Affaires a.i. under Section 1.4 b/d
¶1. (C) The NCA,s Lovemore Madukhu, organizer of last
week,s stayaway action, called it a limited success.
However, Madhuku acknowledged that poor organization and
communications had hampered the effort. Other opposition
leaders were less charitable. While some alliance members
felt slighted in the planning stages, others questioned the
efficacy of stayaways in general. None of the alliance
members discussed specific plans to initiate any mass action
in the coming week. End Summary.
NCA: More Protests Coming
¶2. (C) Lovemore Madhuku of the National Constitutional
Assembly (NCA) told PolOff on June 13 that the stay away had
been partially successful and that the Broad Alliance would
engage in more active protests in the coming weeks, although
nothing was planned for this week. Madhuku said he would not
know further details of planned protests until after
consulting with other opposition leaders.
MDC: More Meetings Coming
¶3. (C) Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Secretary for
Presidential Affairs Gandhi Mudzingwa told PolOff on June 14
that the MDC did not regard the stay away as a success. He
said many in the party were critical of Madhuku for not
having better organized the action and felt that only the MDC
could truly lead such an effort. Mudzingwa said the MDC
planned no mass actions were for this week, nor did he know
of any other organization planning such activities. The
party leadership did plan to meet its Broad Alliance partners
on June 21 to assess the situation and strategize. He
expected the party would push for tactics of broad localized
resistance in the coming months.
¶4. (C) Mudzingwa said the failure of the stay away was the
latest evidence that such new methods of resistance were
needed. To that end, the party had formed a Democratic
Resistance Committee to move its focus from a democratic
political party to a democratic resistance movement. The MDC
leadership would discuss this and other issues at a Bulawayo
retreat on June 16. When asked about whether the MDC would
apply its new tactics in response to Operation Restore Order,
Mudzingwa said the MDC had chosen not to spearhead a direct
response. Diverting party attention to the operation would
“distract” it from the larger agenda.
ZCTU: Inactive and Left Out
¶5. (C) On June 13, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)
Information Officer Mlamleli Sibanda told PolOff that the
recent stayaway action had a poor response due to bad
organization and lack of consultation among Broad Alliance
partners, like the ZCTU. Sibanda intimated that the ZCTU was
more concerned about fostering consensus in its General
Council than with planning stayaway follow-on actions for now
in any event. (N.B. Key ZCTU players were in Geneva for ILO
meetings during the run-up to the stay-away.)
CHRA: Skeptical of Broad Alliance’s Capacity
¶6. (C) Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) Chairman
Mike Davies said the stayaway was not a failure but
recognized that organization and communications problems
existed. He told PolOff on June 13 that the opposition must
better harness the population,s anger, and suggested the
establishment of &a shadow government outside of the
occupied state8 with regional and international support.
Davies added that a significant obstacle for the opposition
is the fact that many of the educated middle-class people who
would normally have protested have left the country.
¶7. (C) Most of the opposition sat on their hands last week
and yet have chosen to blame Madhuku for the failure of the
stay away ) the first real action by the opposition since
the March election. This apparent lack of solidarity
suggests we may be in for an extended period of relative
inaction by the opposition, an unfortunate response to rising