US embassy cable - 00HARARE6455

TSVANGIRAI APOLOGIZES TO AMBASSADOR FOR MDC PRESS RELEASE

Identifier: 00HARARE6455
Wikileaks: View 00HARARE6455 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2000-11-20 14:42:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV OPRC ZI
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

201442Z Nov 00


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FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7651
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 006455 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NAIROBI PLEASE TO A/S RICE 
 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH 
 
LONDON FOR GURNEY 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/20/2010 
TAGS: PGOV, OPRC, ZI 
SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI APOLOGIZES TO AMBASSADOR FOR MDC 
PRESS RELEASE 
 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  06455  01 OF 02  201442Z 
CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD FOR REASON 1.5 
(D) . 
 
1.  (C) MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) PRESIDENT 
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI CAME TO THE CHANCERY ON NOVEMBER 20 
AND APOLOGIZED TO AMBASSADOR MCDONALD FOR A PRESS 
RELEASE DATED NOVEMBER 16.  AMONG OTHER THINGS, THE 
PRESS RELEASE CLAIMS THAT TSVANGIRAI AND AF ASSISTANT 
SECRETARY RICE DISCUSSED "HOW TO MANAGE A TRANSITION OF 
 
SIPDIS 
POWER" IN ZIMBABWE, AND CLAIMED A/S RICE SAID THAT "THE 
U.S. GOVERNMENT WAS KEEN TO ASSIST THE MDC IN RESTORING 
FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY IN THE COUNTRY AND ENDORSED THE 
NEED FOR ADDED PRESSURE ON THE GOVERNMENT TO ENSURE LAW 
AND ORDER RESUMED THROUGHOUT ZIMBABWE."  TSVANGIRAI 
EXPLAINED THAT HE DID NOT AUTHORIZE THE MDC STATEMENT OF 
THE 16TH, AND ONLY FIRST LEARNED OF IT WHEN THE SATURDAY 
(NOVEMBER 18) EVENING TELEVISION NEWS ON THE ZIMBABWE 
BROADCASTING CORPORATION LED WITH THE EMBASSY'S 
STATEMENT REBUTTING THE CONTENTS OF THE NOVEMBER 16 MDC 
STATEMENT.  TSVANGIRAI EXPLAINED TO US THAT AFTER SEEING 
THE STORY, HE IMMEDIATELY ATTEMPTED TO CONTACT THE 
AMBASSADOR FOR AN EXPLANATION, BUT SPOKE WITH THE DCM. 
THE DCM EXPLAINED THAT THE EMBASSY'S RESPONSE HAD BEEN 
PROMPTED BY THE APPEARANCE TWO DAYS EARLIER ON THE 
INTERNET OF AN APPARENTLY AUTHORITATIVE MDC RELEASE. 
 
2.  (C) THE MDC PRESIDENT CONTINUED THAT HE CHECKED WITH 
HIS INFORMATION CHIEF, NOMORE SIBANDA, WHO DENIED ANY 
KNOWLEDGE OF THE PIECE.  AFTER RESEARCHING THE MATTER 
FURTHER, THEY ESTABLISHED THAT ANNABEL HUQHES, "AN 
OVERZEALOUS STAFFER", HAD ISSUED THE STATEMENT. 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  06455  01 OF 02  201442Z 
TSVANGIRAI STRESSED SHE HAD BEEN DEALT WITH.  TSVANQIRAI 
 
SIPDIS 
SAID HE TOLD HUQHES THAT THE STATEMENT HAD PUT HIM IN AN 
EMBARRASSINQ POSITION AND IT WAS NOT THE WAY TO SECURE 
MUGABE'S OUSTER.  HE HOPED THAT THE AMBASSADOR WOULD 
TAKE IT ON QOOD FAITH THAT HE HAD NOT ORDERED OR CLEARED 
ON THE STATEMENT ISSUED, AND WOULD NOT BREACH THE 
CONFIDENCE OF DISCUSSIONS HELD BEHIND CLOSED DOORS THIS 
TIME OR ON ANY OTHER OCCASION. 
 
3.  (C) AMBASSADOR MCOONALD ACCEPTED TSVANQIRAI'S 
APOLOQY AND NOTED THAT ASSISTANT SECRETARY RICE HAD BEEN 
"QUITE CHAQRINED" WHEN SHE LEARNED OF THE STATEMENT'S 
CONTENTS AND THOUQHT IT REQUIRED AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE. 
HE STRESSED THAT THE USG DID NOT FAVOR A PARTICULAR 
PARTY IN ZIMBABWE AND INDEED, MAINTAINED ACTIVE DIALOQUE 
WITH THE GOZ AND OPPOSITION QROUPS. THE AMBASSADOR SAID 
THAT THE EMBASSY HAD MAINTAINED QOOD RELATIONS WITH THE 
MDC IN THE PAST AND HOPED THAT THERE WOULD BE NO REPEAT 
OF THIS UNFORTUNATE INCIDENT.  "ONCE BURNED, TWICE SHY," 
THE MOC PRESIDENT STATED, AND SAID HE WOULD PERSONALLY 
PEN AN APOLOQY TO ASSISTANT SECRETARY RICE.  HE ALSO 
SHARED WITH US A COPY OF A PRESS RELEASE, WHICH THE MOC 
ISSUED NOVEMBER 19, CLARIFYINQ THE MATTER, THE TEXT OF 
WHICH APPEARS IN PARAQRAPH 4. 
 
4.  (U) BEQIN TEXT OF MOC PRESS RELEASE. 
 
LAST WEEK THE UNITED STATES ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE 
SUSAN RICE WAS IN ZIMBABWE AND HELD CONSULTATIONS WITH A 
WIDE CROSS SECTION OF ZIMBABWEAN SOCIETY.  WE CONFIRM 
THAT THE MOC HELD A MEETINQ WITH SUSAN RICE AND HER 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  06455  01 OF 02  201442Z 
DELEQATION DURINQ HER CONSULTATIVE TOUR. 
 
AT NO TIME DURINQ THE MEETINQ DID THE MOC REQUEST FOR 
ASSISTANCE TO REMOVE PRESIDENT MUQABE FROM POWER OR 
INDEED ANY OTHER FORM OF ASSISTANCE FROM THE U.S. 
GOVERNMENT.  INSTEAD THE MOC PRESENTED TO SUSAN RICE AND 
HER DELEGATION ITS PERSPECTIVE OF THE CURRENT ECONOMIC, 
POLITICAL AND SOCIAL CRISIS AS WELL AS THE MOC 
PERSPECTIVE ON HOW TO RESOLVE IT. 
 
THE MDC STRONQLY BELIEVES THAT THE MANDATE OF PRESIDENT 
MUQABE LIES WITH THE ZIMBABWEAN PEOPLE AND THEY ALONE 
HAVE THE RIQHT TO DECIDE THE POLITICAL FUTURE OF THIS 
COUNTRY. 
 
CONTRARY TO THE STATEMENT ISSUED ON NOVEMBER 16, 2000, 
ON THE INTERNET THE MDC HAS MAINTAINED THE CONFIDENCE OF 
THE DISCUSSION.  NO OFFICIAL STATEMENT WAS ISSUED, 
THEREFORE ANY SUGGESTION THAT THE MDC SOUGHT THE 
ASSISTANCE OF THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT IS TOTALLY 
UNFOUNDED AND MISCHIEVOUS. 
 
END TEXT. 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4914 
 
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INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    CIAE-00  SMEC-00  DODE-00  DOEE-00  SRPP-00 
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      VCE-00   AC-01    NSAE-00  OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00 
      PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    SSO-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00 
      PMB-00   DSCC-00  DRL-02   G-00     SSR-00   NFAT-00  SAS-00 
        /006W 
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O 201442Z NOV 00 
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7652 
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 
 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 006455 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NAIROBI PLEASE TO A/S RICE 
 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH 
 
LONDON FOR GURNEY 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/20/2010 
TAGS: PGOV, OPRC, ZI 
SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI APOLOGIZES TO AMBASSADOR FOR MDC 
PRESS RELEASE 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  06455  02 OF 02  201442Z 
MCDONALD 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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