Mutambara faction asked for help from US


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The Arthur Mutambara faction of the Movement for Democratic Change brushed off its loss in the Budiriro by-elections but went ahead to ask for assistance from the United States to strengthen its institutions.

Party secretary general Welshman Ncube and his deputy Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga claimed that the Morgan Tsvangirai faction had taken all their equipment so they wanted computers and office supplies and publicity training.

According to the United States officials, the Tsvangirai faction had told them that the Mutambara faction had taken the bulk of the equipment.

Ncube also asked for assistance with voter education but said the party wanted to conduct its own voter awareness and not rely on non-governmental organisations that were also receiving assistance from the United States government.

Ncube and Misihairabwi also asked for two plane tickets to the United States for unnamed officials who were to accompany party president Mutambara and legislator David Coltart.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 06HARARE698, FLAGGING PRO-SENATE MDC FACTION WRITES OFF

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

06HARARE698

2006-06-13 11:26

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO6803

RR RUEHMR

DE RUEHSB #0698/01 1641126

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 131126Z JUN 06

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0196

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1234

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1070

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1240

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0035

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0498

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 0864

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1291

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 3663

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1063

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1702

RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RUFGNOA/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1449

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000698

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B. NEULING

SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/13/2015

TAGS: ASEC PGOV PHUM PREL ZI

SUBJECT: FLAGGING PRO-SENATE MDC FACTION WRITES OFF

ELECTORAL LOSS, REQUESTS USG HELP

 

REF: REFTEL: HARARE 610

 

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

.4 b/d

 

——-

Summary

——-

 

1. (C) MDC pro-Senate faction leaders on June 6 outlined

their plans for the immediate future to emboffs, especially

including outreach to the Embassy and a possible trip to the

United States by the faction’s president. Pro-Senate faction

Secretary General Welshman Ncube and deputy Secretary General

 

SIPDIS

Priscilla Musihairambwi-Mushonga also asked for US Government

assistance. Deputy Treasurer Mariam Mushayi dismissed the

faction’s recent electoral loss (reftel) and described plans

to contest rural council elections scheduled for August.

Vice President Gibson Sibanda, the senior faction leader

present, appeared to be only a shadow of his former self.

End Summary.

 

——————————————— —

Faction Seeks USG Assistance, Broaches U.S. Trip

——————————————— —

 

2. (C) Ncube and Musihairambwi-Mushonga in a meeting with

USAID Country Director and democracy and governance officer

on June 6 stressed the faction’s interest in refurbishing

relations with the USG. At an Embassy-sponsored reception

for the pro-Senate faction later that night, Ncube and

Musihairambwi-Mushonga were uncharacteristically jovial with

Embassy staff. Their congenial posture contrasts with

complaints from pro-Senate faction leaders to Embassy

personnel and to political analysts over the past few months

that the USG had favored the anti-senate faction at their

exclusion.

 

3. (C) Ncube and Musihairambwi-Mushonga in their meeting

with USAID personnel requested US assistance to strengthen

the pro-Senate faction’s institutions. Alleging that the

anti-Senate faction had taken all of their equipment, they

requested computers and office supplies in addition to

publicity training. (N.B. The anti-Senate faction told us

months ago that Ncube and his supporters had taken the bulk

of the equipment.) Ncube also asked for assistance with

voter education and noted that they were prepared to conduct

their own voter awareness campaign when the USAID officials

asked about their level of coordination with existing

electoral NGOs.

 

4. (C) The pro-Senate leaders also stated that faction

president Arthur Mutambara and pro-Senate-leaning MP David

Coltart were planning a trip to the US beginning on July 7

and requested plane tickets for two unnamed additional

participants (N.B. Presumably Ncube and

Musihairambwi-Mushonga).

 

——————————————— ———–

Writing Off Budiriro Loss, Looking Toward Rural Election

——————————————— ———–

 

5. (C) At the Embassy-sponsored reception for the pro-Senate

faction also on June 6, Deputy Treasurer Mushayi dismissed

the faction’s performance in the Budiriro parliamentary

by-election last month where their candidate garnered only 4

percent of the vote. Mushayi said the faction never expected

to win in the Tsvangirai stronghold. Mushayi, who organized

logistics for the campaign, said that the faction merely

intended to test the waters in the Harare high-density suburb

 

HARARE 00000698 002 OF 002

 

 

and assess the faction’s strengths and weaknesses.

 

6. (C) The faction would contest the rural council elections

scheduled for August, according to Mushayi. She said the

faction had developed a rural strategy that had the

leadership conducting rallies and meetings in supporter’s

homes. Nkayi MP Abednico Bhebhe added that he recently held

rallies in all 26 wards of his rural constituency. Although

not specifically aimed toward the upcoming elections, Bhebhe

noted that the rallies were an important grassroots-building

exercise for the faction. Both Mushayi and Bhebhe said that

good rains had produced an ample harvest that would lessen

the rural areas’ dependency on government and free them for

more independent political action.

 

————————

Sibanda on the Sidelines

————————

 

7. (C) Sibanda, the faction’s senior-most leader at the

event, made a few disjointed remarks wishing well Embassy

staffers who were leaving this summer, but otherwise stayed

on the discussion’s sidelines. Sibanda spoke at length to

econoff about his family situation and bemoaned the passing

of his wife, Ntombizodwa, on Christmas Eve 2003. (N.B.

Numerous contacts have commented on Sibanda’s physical and

mental deterioration since his wife’s passing. Indeed, many

in the anti-Senate camp attribute Sibanda’s presence in the

other faction to this decline.)

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

8. (C) The pro-senate faction is unlikely to do

significantly better in rural council elections than it did

in Budiriro. The faction has signally failed to develop any

grass roots support, especially in comparison with the

anti-Senate faction, which has attracted thousands of

supporters to Morgan Tsvangiari,s recent series of rallies.

The pro-Senate faction has also begun to see increasing

desertions and many local commentators are openly speculating

on its shelf life. This has to come as a disappointment to

ZANU-PF, which had hoped to use the pro-Senate faction to

diminish Tsvangirai,s stature. It also likely comes as a

disappointment to some of the factions more outspoken

external supporters, including the South Africans and some of

our European friends. We find it interesting but

unsurprising that at this juncture Ncube and his faction

would turn to the international community, including the

U.S., for financial support needed to keep their fading

prospects alive.

SCHULTZ

(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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