Mudzingwa said Tsvangirai won’t compromise


Movement for Democratic Change secretary for presidential affairs Gandhi Mudzingwa said party leader Morgan Tsvangirai was going to stand his ground in the intra-party conflict over participating in the senate elections even if this meant driving the party’s current Ndebele leadership away.

He said that senate election participation was not the real issue dividing the party. It was just the ground disloyal elements had chosen to attack Tsvangirai.

Mudzingwa said some opposing faction members were motivated by personal greed or a misguided belief that by participating in the senate elections the party could “regain” political ground lost to the ruling party in the March parliamentary election.

He argued that the party was likely to lose further ground because of the election climate and government manipulation.

He said that despite their differences, Tsvangirai was prepared to work with secretary-general Welshman Ncube, vice president Gibson Sibanda, treasurer Fletcher Dhulini-Ncube, and chairman Isaac Matongo but not with deputy secretary-general Gift Chimanikire, whose public attacks on Tsvangirai had been beyond the pale.


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Reference ID






2005-11-04 09:20

2011-08-30 01:44


Embassy Harare

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

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 001512









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





REF: (A) HARARE 1509 (B) HARARE 1508 (C) HARARE 1490


(D) HARARE 1455 (E) HARARE 1421


Classified By: Ambassador Christopher Dell under Section 1.4 b/d






1. (C) MDC Secretary for Presidential Affairs Gandhi

Mudzingwa on November 2 told poloff that opposition President

Morgan Tsvangirai would stand his ground in the intra-party

conflict, even if it meant driving the party’s current

Ndebele leadership away. He said that Tsvangirai would make

his case at the November 5 National Council meeting and would

then go to the people of Matabeleland at rallies next week.

Mudzingwa said the MDC and civil society were co-planning

public “events,” starting next week and peaking in December.

Mudzingwa added that a &third force8 delegation led by

Jonathan Moyo approached him last month about making common

cause with the MDC. End Summary.



National Council Agenda



2. (C) Mudzingwa reported that the agenda for the National

Council meeting scheduled for November 3 included (1)

participation in senate elections, (2) preparations for the

National Congress, (3) an action plan for confronting the

regime, and (4) the status of MP Job Sikhala (who the party

suspended recently over his public statements that Nigeria,

Ghana and Taiwan had funded the party, a claim he later

publicly conceded was false).



Leadership Struggle Central



3. (C) Mudzingwa said that senate election participation was

not the real issue dividing the party. It was instead the

ground disloyal elements had chosen on which to attack

Tsvangirai. The opposing faction wanted Tsvangirai to



acknowledge procedural wrongdoing by in disregarding the

National Council’s vote in favor of participation. However,

Tsvangirai had done nothing wrong and would not compromise.



According to Mudzingwa, an earlier resolution of the National

Executive had required Councilors to consult with their

constituencies. However, the consultation in many cases had

been nonexistent or inadequate and therefore the Council vote

had been null and void.


4. (C) Mudzingwa said that leadership issues were central to

the party’s divisions and could only be resolved at a

National Congress. To that end, Tsvangirai intended to call

an Extraordinary Congress in December. The Congress would

require support from 3/4 of the National Council, which

Mudzinwa expressed confidence could be mustered. Ultimately,

Mudzingwa continued, the party’s constitution would have to

amended to better establish lines of authority and improve

party procedures. To this end, he was aware an amended

version had been drafted – by whom he did not know – but had

not been circulated.



“Irreparable” Fractures



5. (C) Mudzingwa said the opposing faction members were

motivated by personal greed or a misguided belief that by

participating in the senate elections the party could

“regain” political ground lost to the ruling party in the

most recent parliamentary election. In fact, the party was

likely only to further lose ground given the election climate

and certain GOZ manipulations. He claimed the Ndebele people

were solidly behind Tsvangirai and that Sibanda was the only

one of the party’s Ndebele leaders who commanded any real

support at the grassroots level. Mudzingwa discounted the

notion that an MDC split would sap the party’s historical

strength in Matabeleland.

6. (C) Mudzingwa said breaches between Tsvangirai and others

in the “Top Six” were “irreparable.” When pressed, he

allowed that Tsvangirai could probably continue to work with

Secretary-General Welshman Ncube, Vice President Gibson



Sibanda, Treasurer Fletcher Dhulini-Ncube, and Chairman Isaac

Matongo (who historically has been closely aligned with

Tsvangirai) but not Deputy Secretary-General Gift



Chimanikire, whose public attacks on Tsvangirai had been

beyond the pale. Mudzingwa added that the dissidents meeting

with South African President Mbeki had further alienated

Tsvangirai and the party faithful.




——————————————— —

Collaboration With Civics; Action Plan Emerging

——————————————— —


7. (C) Mudzingwa reported that Tsvangirai was personally

leading the party,s interaction with civil society leaders

on a combined strategy of civil action against the Mugabe

regime. The party was working particularly closely with the

Zimbabwe Confederation of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the

National Constitutional Assembly (NCA). They also intended

to secure the participation of churches, students, resident

associations, women, the Crisis Coalition, and other

democratic elements.


8. (C) According to Mudzingwa, Tsvangirai wanted a series of

different kinds of events – party rallies, public

demonstrations, civil disobedience in various guises – that

would build toward a December peak. The NCA was planning

unspecified street action in several locations within the

next week (Ref A); the party would “activate local

structures” to be supportive. Mudzingwa anticipated that the

principal rallying issue would be the economy, particularly

prices. Actions would have to be geographically dispersed,

not just in Harare and Bulawayo where the GOZ would be well

prepared to respond. He said the MDC was already mobilizing

for events in Masvingo, Midlands, and Manicaland.



Third Force Pitch



9. (C) Mudzingwa said he had met on Tsvangirai’s behalf

three weeks ago with &third force8 leaders Moyo, ex-ZANU-PF

Central Committee member Pearson Mbalekwa, and former ZANU-PF

Chairman for Masvingo and telecom magnate Daniel Shumba at

the threesome’s confidential instigation. They had confirmed

that the “United People’s Movement” or UPM was a vehicle for

Emmerson Mnangagwa and had asked if Tsvangirai would

collaborate with them and consider joining forces under

Mnangagwa. Mudzingwa said he told them that there was

nothing to discuss until the UPM and the identity of its

principals emerged publicly.



Bio Note



10. (S/NF) Mudzingwa has frequently been accused by his

critics within the party and civil society of being behind

intra-party violence and of being compromised by GOZ security

forces. Sensitive reporting indicates that his name was

disclosed by a South African agent (who is still being held

by the GOZ) as one of several MDC figures on the SAG payroll.

This information may have been used by the GOZ to induce

Mudzingwa’s cooperation. In this vein, though not

conclusive, Mudzingwa had difficulty explaining to poloff

(and no doubt to his MDC colleagues) the recent hiring of his

wife as a professor at Chinhoyi University of Science and

Technology after she was fired as a secondary school teacher

years ago for her association with the MDC. In any event

(and unfortunately if these allegations are correct), he

appears for now to retain Tsvangirai’s confidence.






11. (C) While Mudzingwa is a close and important aide, we do

not necessarily take his characterizations of Tsvangirai’s

position as fully accurate. Nonetheless, his posture is

illustrative of the “unelected kitchen cabinet” that many in

the party and civil society – even outside the Ncube faction

– resent. Mudzingwa,s comments would seem to confirm MDC

mediator Brian Raftopolous’ suspicions (Ref B) that this

group of advisors appears to be encouraging Tsvangirai not to

compromise with the Ncube faction by offering a face-saving

concession on process issues ) a compromise Tsvangirai

appeared prepared to accept when the Ambassador met with him

the evening of the October 27 leadership meeting (Ref C). As

to the UPM’s approach, we would argue that this testifies to

a growing power vacuum in Zimbabwe as Mugabe,s grip loosens,

as well as to the internal weaknesses of both principal

political parties.



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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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