Cablegate: Media Reaction Mass Action in Zim; Harare

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




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Under headline "What next after mass action?" the
independent daily "The Daily News" dedicated its
June 5 editorial to challenging the leadership of
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
to "come up with an imaginative and focused plan
that can save Zimbabwe" from the current
socioeconomic and political tragedy. The call comes
in the wake of a week-long strike called by the MDC
that has successfully shut commerce and industry
during the last three days, despite government
threats to punish companies that failed to open.

2. "Zimbabweans, who stayed away from work this week to
demonstrate their anger at the government's
mismanagement of the country, will wake up next
Monday to find themselves facing exactly the same
problems which have killed their nation. . .But most
significantly, President Robert Mugabe will not have
resigned or conceded that he has failed to run
Zimbabwe and agreed to negotiations with the MDC,
the stated objectives of the opposition party's mass
action. If anything, Zimbabweans can expect Mugabe
terrified into action by the huge success of this
week's stayaway to come out fighting to shore up his
tottering regime. Having called upon Zimbabweans to
make the sacrifices that they made this week, with
many arrested or beaten up in public by State
security agents, we ask MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai: what next now? Does the opposition
party. . .have any alternative and viable plan
beyond mere mass stayaways to free Zimbabweans from
this dictatorship. . .? In as much as the mass
action this week is a sign that the government has
run out of options beyond brute military force, it
is also a wake-up call to Tsvangirai and the MDC to
strategize beyond stayaways and to always have an
alternative plan should the first one be thwarted by
the besieged government. . .The opposition party
must rapidly get its act together and come up with
an imaginative and focused plan that can save
Zimbabwe now and not to prolong the crisis. . . ."


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