Gil Noble Interviews Mugabe The Tsvangirai Conspiracy
Zimbabwe Election Results Non-Alignment Speech 2003
The Tsvangirai Conspiracy
The Tsvangirai Conspiracy - the plot to assassinate Robert Mugabe. Next month Mr Mugabe`s 22-year leadership of Zimbabwe will be tested again at the ballot box. He has been under intense pressure to allow international observers to witness the poll. But the President is resisting, claiming a conspiracy by his opponents and Britain to remove him. Challenging the 78-year-old Mugabe, is opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has campaigned as a democrat, seeking long-overdue change. Mr Tsvangirai has condemned the notorious invasions of white-owned farms by black `war veterans` - a stand which has endeared him to many in the liberal democratic West. But tonight, we present evidence that the opposition leader has had no intention of letting the electoral process take its course. While parading his supposed democratic credentials, Mr Tsvangirai has in fact, been plotting to kill President Robert Mugabe. Dateline`s Mark Davis with this world exclusive report.
REPORTER: Mark Davis
Parliament House Zimbabwe...now more than ever in the spotlight of international attention and tonight the focus of local journalists protesting against new media laws - which will criminalise 'false or inaccurate reporting'.
UGINA: He wants to confiscate all the cameras. So, us cameramen have moved away for a while but we are intending to sleep at parliament. We are going to spend the night here whether they like it or not. If they have to beat us with those baton sticks they are going to have to do it today, because we are not going anywhere.
ROBERT MUGABE, ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT: I don't see what the journalists really should worry about.
REPORTER: They're worried about imprisonment probably?
ROBERT MUGABE: Well yes. You must be imprisoned if you commit crime. Why not?
(Mugabe arrives at Parliament)
On the eve of a presidential election, Robert Mugabe is displaying more than a politician's customary fixation with media biases. He genuinely believes that he is facing a deliberate campaign of exaggeration and lies, orchestrated by white interests, local and international, to destroy him and reinstate the property rights of white farmers in Zimbabwe. A campaign that has seen him portrayed in the international media, almost without exception, as a disposable dictator rather than as an elected leader of an elected government.
REPORTER: There is a danger for you if you win this campaign that you will be denied legitimacy.
ROBERT MUGAGE: By whom?
By the international community and...
ROBERT MUGABE: What do you mean by international community? We are an African country in an African continent. We are going to invite African groups to be here. We will invite those we feel are unbiased from the international community. They will be here to judge the election.
REPORTER: What if you are denied legitimacy by...
ROBERT MUGABE: By Britain. They can go hang, the rest of the world, go hang. Go hang. Once we know we are right that's it, their biases, racism, we will not recognise at all. We continue. We can't die as a country. There has got to be some authority here. Whether Britain likes it or not. Whether America likes it or not.
To date all of his comments about Britain and the west seeking to remove him, whatever the wishes of the Zimbabwean electorate, have been dismissed as a conspiracy paranoia about whites.
ROBERT MUGABE: They continue attacking me.
A further sign he is mad, bad and dangerous, but now it appears he may be absolutely right.
ROBERT MUGABE: Lots of lies being told by the Blair Government about me.
In an extraordinary video, revealed tonight for the first time, new light is shed on the forces that are gathering against him. Forces that have been cloaking themselves in the gentle words of democracy.
SURVEILLANCE VIDEO - MR X (Subtitled): Suffice to say that for all appearances ultimately this meeting never happened.
Forces plotting to eliminate Mugabe, not at the ballot box, but to murder him before the upcoming election and to launch a coup d'etat.
SURVEILLANCE VIDEO - MR X (Subtitled): If you believe the press Mugabe is going to win the election and I think we have certainly proved that fact to be wrong today.
ARI BEN MENASHE: Do coffins win elections?
MR X (Subtitled): We are to proceed to implement a plan of introducing a transitional government through the termination of Mugabe.
We expose the plan to kill Robert Mugabe. We reveal the people behind it and, the most troubling part of this plot, their motives - why kill Mugabe when there is every chance of defeating him at an election in just a few weeks time.
(Victoria Falls Conference)
The annual conference of the ruling party, the ZANU PF. Mugabe sets the tone for the upcoming presidential election to be held on March 9.
ROBERT MUGABE (Giving speech): We will not desist from the process of giving the people their land back.
The essential message is to defend the land reforms and farm seizures that have occurred in the past two years. And to portray the MDC opposition and its leader Morgan Tsvangirai as puppets of the West intent on returning white farmers to their land.
ROBERT MUGABE (Giving speech): They are not themselves. They are agents of the white settlers. The Rhodesians have been organising themselves clandestinely all this time, from 1980. They have never rested. The have groups in South Africa, in Australia, in Britain, in Canada, like a spider. They are using every trick in the book, so take care, otherwise (Translation): 'You will wake up in the morning and your wife will be gone."
(Morgan Tsvangirai arrives to rally)
Thousands now believe that one man has emerged who is strong enough to defeat Mugabe after 22 years of rule - former trade union leader and now presidential challenger, Morgan Tsvangirai.
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, ZIMBABWEAN OPPOSITION LEADER: We want an integrated society - black, white, yellow, whoever. This is the principle that the people themselves have defined. That our problems do not arise out of the mischief of whites or any small group. Our problems arise out of misgovernance, corruption and lack of investment and creation of jobs. So that is the basis upon which people are defining their issues. Whether Mugabe defines it in his own paranoid obsession about whites, that' s his problem it's not our problem.
MAN AT RALLY: The small ruling elite of Robert Mugabe has betrayed the national struggle.
At the last parliamentary elections in June 2000 Tsvangarai's MDC shocked the ruling ZANU PF by winning almost half the seats in parliament. It was a curtain raiser for this year's direct challenge for the presidency.
REPORTER: You've accused the MDC of being a terrorist organisation...
ROBERT MUGABE: Organisation, yes.
REPORTER: Now, this is a party which has garnered nearly 50% of the popular vote?
ROBERT MUGABE: Yes, yes.
REPORTER: Is that a responsible term for a party that half of your people presumably support?
ROBERT MUGABE : The tone reflects what is on the ground. They have declared themselves by virtue of their actions as terrorists. If they undertake terrorist activities, mustn't we describe them as terrorists?
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: We have been actually at the receiving end of the terrorist actions of this government, not that we have initiated anything to warrant those kinds of labels. We have been maintaining...actually MDC is one that has maintained peace in this country. Can you imagine with all these young, angry, educated, unemployed youths under our control to say please don't engage. We have maintained peace in this country otherwise it would have blown out of control.
For past 12 months Mugabe has accused the MDC of waging a terror campaign, backed by British intelligence, to destabilise Zimbabwe. No one has taken the claims seriously. Internationally, the focus has been on the violence and terror being created by pro government groups...particularly the Zanu youth movement.
In recent months The MDC has been chased out of entire regions of the countryside. Some bombings and killings have occurred. And beatings and intimidation of MDC supporters is widely reported. The work, Mugabe says, of over enthusiastic party members, not the party itself or the government.
ROBERT MUGABE: We are going to embark on a campaign, I think we have already announced it, a campaign to educate the people and to make them peaceful. We'll engage the churches, we'll engage the chiefs and so on and so forth.
REPORTER: But your public statements to date have been that the opposition is a terrorist organisation.
ROBERT MUGABE: Yes, it is a terrorist, we will be saying that all the same.
REPORTER: But does that surprise you if there is violence against them in the countryside, an organisation...
ROBERT MUGABE: No, what I say is a reflection of what they have done and intend to do to the public, you see.
(Morgan rally - bashing)
Scenes like this are rarely seen internationally. The victims aren't MDC supporters they are suspected members of the ZANU PF. Although the violence hasn't all been one sided, most of the international reporting of beatings and gang violence has been. Unquestionably the MDC has gangs of its own...with bashings, bombings and murders to their name. But these groups are now largely overwhelmed by their Zanu counterparts...and the main victims are ordinary MDC supporters in the countryside.
At secret locations throughout Zimbabwe, known MDC members are taking refuge, together with workers who lived on white farms and are suspected of MDC sympathies.
(Man walks to barn)
MAN: Let us go to my...
REPORTER: To your residence?
A hundred or so people here have been chased from their homes and are hiding in these barnyards. There are probably thousands of others like them across the country.
MAN: My bedroom and I put another one in there.
REPORTER: Your what?
MAN: My bedroom. But we are two families. I've got three kids and they have got two kids. My wife and my kids in this corner. This corner another guy and his kids, they can sleep there. Four people here.
REPORTER: And did you have your own house before?
MAN: Yes, a three-roomed house before.
MAN: Yes, with my kitchen again.
REPORTER: And what has happened to those houses now?
MAN: The war veterans are staying there.
REPORTER: They are in there now?
REPORTER: Have you been back?
MAN: Oh, we used to go there, but with wisdom because otherwise you'd be chased.
REPORTER: It's too dangerous?
MAN: Yes, sure.
REPORTER: Do you think, if the MDC won, do you think you'd have a chance to go back there?
MAN: Definitely. Exactly, we will.
REPORTER: So you are waiting to see?
MAN: It's our prayer. It's our prayer - sure. It's our prayer. You know, it's in our hearts. We can't wear the T-shirts or cannot have cards but it's in our hearts. We just want to thank God what's in our hearts.
(MDC security men drive)
These two men are part of the MDC's intelligence unit. They investigate reports of MDC members being attacked and provide assessments of safety and security in every region. It's now too dangerous for them to go into the countryside, even parts of the capital, like this suburb in Harare, are becoming off limits.
SECURITY MAN: Maybe just wait until we try and find out.
DRIVER: Just put it down.
REPORTER: Put the camera down?
DRIVER: Yes - until we find out.
This area is represented in the Parliament by an MDC member. It is regarded as a party stronghold, but no one would dare declare his or her support now. The men are investigating a reported attack on an MDC house the previous night by a group of Zanu youths.
(Speak to woman)
REPORTER: Does she know?
DRIVER: No. But I think she is lying. She is lying.
After an hour of secret handshakes and whispers they find the house.
SECURITY MAN: They come and victimize that house. Basically he is saying it's the tenant who lives just next who was beaten up. They were using stones, bricks, iron bars, sticks and almost everything they could lay their hands on.
The victim has now gone into hiding and there is little to do but file an internal report - to see the police, they say, would be a waste of time.
MDC intelligence at car window.
SECURITY MAN: The problem is this is an MDC area with lots of MDC people and ZANU PF are few, but they've got impunity. They are not arrested if they do anything. That is the problem. So they can do whatever they want. They control the streets. They control almost everything.
REPORTER: Could you say publicly you are an MDC supporter out there?
SECURITY MAN: Here? Then that would be the end of your life. Saying out publicly that you are an MDC supporter here, it is just like a death sentence.
REPORTER: What about the people in the villages who are too scared to say they represent MDC?
ROBERT MUGABE: Which people?
REPORTER: I've met dozens of people who would be terrified to proclaim they support MDC.
ROBERT MUGABE: Well I don't know, there may be some people who are too scared, but they voted for the MDC and the MDC is in parliament. As a party in parliament we expect it to behave in an orderly fashion.
Just about everything that Mugabe has said over the past few years has been met with disdain and disbelief in the West, but in one respect he is closer to the truth than anyone, even himself, could have dreamt.
ROBERT MUGABE: Tell me. Who is being oppressed in this country?
REPORTER: MDC and then...
ROBERT MUGABE: MDC? MDC being oppressed? Where? Tsvangirai is on record as having said that he was going to remove the President by violence. He is on record also as having said they were going to wage a violent campaign across the country.
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: But the people don't buy that. This is to ensure the MDC gets a bad name. We have, from day one, we have said we are committed constitutional process. We will not engage in any unorthodox means to gain power. We have maintained that principle.
Much has been made of Tsvangarai's fine principles in the capitals of the world, but perhaps his true principles were on display recently and secretly in Montreal.
December 4, the offices of Dickens and Madson - a firm of political consultants with extensive experience in Africa. Present are three staff members of Dickens and Madson. A gentleman whose identity has not been established. A British citizen and former Rhodesian who allegedly set up this meeting and Morgan Tsvangirai.
ARI BEN MENASHE(Subtitled): The MDC represented by the top man who's sitting here right now commits to let's call it whatever you want to call it, the coup d'etat or the elimination of the President.
Ari Ben Menashe, Dickens and Madson.
ARI BEN MENASHE (Subtitled): Ok, Mr Mugabe is eliminated. Now what?
ALEX LEGAULT: Are you in a position basically to ensure a smooth transition of power?
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: Yes. I've no doubt about it.
Dickens and Madson have issued this statement. They claim that they were contracted by Tsvangarai to kill Robert Mugabe. The Montreal meeting, which they filmed, was to discuss how to install Tsvangarai into power after the assassination. They advise that they had not intention of fulfilling the contract. That they have now informed the Zimbabwean authorities of the plan and have recently been engaged by that government. But four months ago, when this story begins, they were free agents in the "political consultancy" market. In October, one of the principals of Dickens and Madson, flew to London to meet Morgan Tsvangirai. A contract was on offer. The meeting was arranged and attended by an associate of Tsvangirai's, identified only as a former Rhodesian and now British citizen. According to Dickens and Madson, Tsvangirai requested the assassination of President Mugabe at their first meeting and a deal was struck. In early November, in the civilised environs of the RAC Club in London, the details of the deal to kill Mugabe were thrashed out. US$500,000 and the promise of future government contracts from President Tsvangirai. Alex Legault, Dickens and Madson.
SURVEILLANCE VIDEO - ALEX LEGAULT (Subtitled): I wasn't present at the London meetings. It was my understanding from what I heard that definitive action against President Mugabe was necessary because of the uncertainty of the electoral process and that what needed to be worked out essentially at that meeting, at this meeting, is to discuss, once that takes place, how is power going to be moved along smoothly without any bumps and grinds.
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: When I came here that was my feeling, my understanding, that the second meeting would be to brief me about the transitional mechanism. What's going to happen if we move towards this? That is how I understand the phases to be moving. And this meeting was supposed to be talking about OK, we have moved so far we can now definitely say that Mugabe is going to be eliminated. But what is the transitional arrangement that you have in mind?
ALEX LEGAULT: That's exactly why we are here.
REPORTER: So, has there been discussions amongst opponents of the government to assassinate Mugabe?
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: Why should we? He is a 78-year-old man - crazy as he is. But we have no reason whatsoever to make any harm to him. That is why we are committed to election process. If we were committed to any illegal means, then we should be out of this country planning these things.
SURVEILLANCE VIDEO - MORGAN TSVANGIRAI (Subtitled): But we don't know the other guys, what they are thinking in the whole scenario. If Mugabe is eliminated today would we get the army saying 'Oh, there is chaos, the President has been eliminated, let's take over'. That's what we want to avoid. To them there will be a political vacuum.
ALEX LEGAULT: That's exactly what we are talking about.
Tsvangirai's problem is how to seize power after the assassination, but he is unwilling to discuss what arrangements he has with sections of the military. He seeks a moment of private counsel. After conferring, the arrangements with sections of the military are spelt out. We have obscured the identity of a military figure who is named.
BRITISH MAN (Subtitled): We had a very straightforward agreement at the London meetings and had subsequent discussions wherein we have been given to understand that, and this the fact as we know it. That XXXX is prepared to cooperate. Meetings took place last week on the basis that he would not in any way disrupt the process inside Zimbabwe. That is tantamount to an agreement as far as the MDC is concerned. That there would be a form of power sharing. The question is raised by Mr Tsvangirai and that is that there's a constitution in the way. Now how do we arrange to get away or get around that issue? If there is a desire on behalf of XXXX to cooperate, there is certainly one on behalf of MDC that's why we are here.
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: There is no problem. We have no problem whatsoever.
Tsvangirai's 'transitional arrangement' is to seize power with sections of the military, override parliament, suspend the elections when time and circumstances suit him.
SURVEILLANCE VIDEO - ARI BEN MENASHE (Subtitled): Who's going to call the emergency? Who is going to call the suspension of the constitution and the emergency?
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: No they don't have to. All they need to do is tell the acting Vice-President "Look, we have got a crisis, we cannot proceed immediately after the head of state has been eliminated." To me, that is the fundamental issue. That plus how the two forces, the MDC on the one hand and the army on the other can work together to ensure a smooth transition towards democracy through an election process, even if it means delaying the election.
This interview with Tsvangirai was filmed in January, after the Montreal meeting and while he was waiting for the plan to be put into effect.
REPORTER: Given the history in Zimbabwe and of course Rhodesian history, it's perhaps not out of the question that there would be extreme elements prepared to destabilise the Zimbabwean Government. It's not out of the question.
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: No, it is not out of the question. But certainly it's not something that you can sit and organise as MDC and at the same time you are committed to an election process. How can you do that?
Early February, Tsvangirai launches his presidential campaign.
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI (at rally): The army has got the professional integrity and commitment to respect your vote. And an army with professional integrity must respect first and foremost the constitution of the country and secondly the will of the people of Zimbabwe. We are not going to abandon this struggle. We are not going to boycott this election. We are going to go all the way.
All the way indeed. While making this speech, Tsvangirai still believes that the Dickens and Madson contract will be executed. That Mugabe will be killed before the ballot in a few weeks time. Two days ago, I advised Tsvangirai through his personal assistant of the material and statements we have obtained. There was no response. The real question remains why is it deemed necessary to kill Mugabe now? If he is such an unpopular tyrant, it would be easier to destroy him at the ballot box.
SURVEILLANCE VIDEO - MORGAN TSVANGIRAI (Subtitled): Let there be an understanding because we have their support, but we will lose the election because of all sorts of reasons.
It would seem that Tsvangirai may have the overwhelming support of Whitehall, Canberra, Brussels and Washington, but not that of his own people, not enough to guarantee his victory. It appears that Mugabe is to be killed not because he is a threat to democracy, but because the democratic process threatens to reinstall him, validating his actions and threatening land tenure across Africa.
(Ian Kay in car)
Ian Kay is at the centre of the struggle for land, one of thousands of white farmers in Zimbabwe whose farms have been eaten away over the last two years.
His house surrounded, his fields now occupied by hundreds of black settlers.
IAN KAY: The land of ours that has been taken over from us represents about 75% of our land which has been settled on and taken over by these people.
Ian Kay has lost a fortune and nearly lost his life trying to defend his property from invasion.
IAN KAY'S SON: They came into the house. They stole everything in the house. What they couldn't steal they broke.
Invasions that pushed Zimbabwe from obscurity to front page news and dramatically altered international perceptions of Mugabe.
ROBERT MUGABE: I suppose it depends on who looks at you. If the perception is that of the Europeans, well, I suppose you are right to say my reputation has gone down. But in terms of Africa, go everywhere in Africa I am the hero.
Bankers and investors in Africa know that Mugabe's claim is no idle boast. The sight of white farmers attacked, evicted from their land and then, like these men, arrested if they tried to defend themselves evoked outrage around the world, but millions of Africans saw it differently. If Mugabe's approach to land distribution succeeds, there is a real fear it will spread like a contagion through the continent. But according to Mugabe it was an action he never wanted to take.
REPORTER: You maintain that Britain revoked on its commitment to help?
ROBERT MUGABE: Yes, yes, yes, and they did. They have papers, documents left on their table by Major. They didn't want to look at them.
According to Mugabe, the problem began with the election of Tony Blair 's Labour Party in 1997. Seven years of negotiations with Britain over misappropriated land in its former colony suddenly ended. Mugabe maintains because of British Labour's support of and ambitions for Morgan Tsvangirai's trade union-based opposition movement. Claire Short, the minister responsible for the Zimbabwean negotiations declined to be interviewed or issue any statement for this programme, her office declaring that she would not dignify Mugabe with a response.
ROBERT MUGABE: The reply came from Claire Short, that we should not talk to them about colonial responsibilities. They will not inherit any responsibility in that regard. After all, you cannot talk to me about colonialism. Ireland was once colonised by Britain. So what? So dismissive. And we say, OK, if they are dismissive we shall also adopt a stance that's firm and dismissive of them. And this is what started it.
The so-called fast track land reform process began.
Ian Kay is not part of any conspiracy to kill Mugabe or anyone else for that matter. He's just a farmer determined to defend what is his through the law or through the ballot box. Unlike many others, Kay and his family are determined not to leave their farmhouse. Kay believes that by holding on, he will ultimately triumph particularly if Tsvangirai and the MDC win this election.
IAN KAY: We, at the moment are focused on getting change, on getting political change in Zimbabwe. We still believe there will be a return to the law as it was and international law in terms of property rights. We may be removed, but we have just as good a chance if not better of returning once problems are resolved.
The 'problem', as most white farmers see it, is Mugabe.
IAN KAY: You had better put the camera down Mark this guy is one of the leaders.
Ian Kay is not being dramatic, the tensions here and the risks for him are extremely high. Passions aroused not just by his public declarations that he will not surrender his claims, but by the broader history of this land. Ian Kay is no racist, but the white regime that installed his father on this patch of Zimbabwe, then Rhodesia, was. A regime that imprisoned Robert Mugabe for 10 years and killed thousands of his supporters. A regime that, remarkably, lasted until 1980. A history that has left Mugabe in no mood to discuss the finer ethics of land distribution or human rights with white nations.
ROBERT MUGABE: We are not going to be dictated to by anybody. Not at all. We took up arms to defeat a regime, British regime here which had oppressed our people for years, and for years denied them their rights. Human rights were never talked about during that time. Democracy never existed here. There wasn't the same freedom as we get today. We fought for it. We brought it and we shall maintain it the way we have always understood it and not the way Britain understands it.
The huts and plots springing up on Kays farm are seen by many as nothing more than rewards for thugs and party stooges. Some of them probably are just that. But they are also mothers and fathers trying to free their families from barren lands - trying to secure a future for their children beyond that of impoverished labourers on white farms.
(Manyowa Chipanga in field)
Manyowa Chipanga was one of the leaders of the takeover of Kays farm. He knew it well...he grew up there, his father being one of the hundreds of resident workers who lived there and Ian Kay was his childhood friend.
MANYOWA CHIPANGA: We feel shame on him. We grew up with him and he was my best friend. And we cannot even tell him something to bring up his mind in a good way. You live with people, but you don't like people, you want suffering people, you don't want people who can work for themselves. But you want people who is coming to beg at you. What type of a person are you?
Manyowa has settled on a property immediately next to Kay's, owned by another farmer, who apparently did not resist the land takeover in the way Ian Kay did.
MANYOWA CHIPANGA: He still has the hangover of colonialism in his mind. Which has already gone away. So he should drop all those minds in his one mind and become a man who lives in Zimbabwe.
REPORTER: Yeah, but come on, what should he do, just happily give away his business? Happily give away his land? Would you do that?
MANYOWA CHIPANGA: No. He should exercise what Mr Steel and others are doing; Come, we'll share the land with other people. You cannot get any problem. But if you are asking problem, yes you can get problems. We are staying with Mr Steel here, he has got everything of him. He didn't lose anything.
REPORTER: He didn't lose any land?
MANYOWA CHIPANGA: Land is not for him.
REPORTER: OK, he didn't lose his house, he didn't lose his tractor, he didn't lose his car...
MANYOWA CHIPANGA: Land is a status property.
REPORTER: But he lost his land, right?
MANYOWA CHIPANGA: No he didn't lose his land.
REPORTER: He gave back his land.
MANYOWA CHIPANGA: He is still farming.
REPORTER: So some he kept and you kept some?
MANYOWA CHIPANGA: That's right.
One thing that Ian Kay and his childhood friend Manyowa still have in common is a belief that an MDC victory threatens the black settlers here. A mutual belief, but a very different response about how the settlers would react to that.
IAN KAY'S SON: They are not as passionate as we are to keep it. They know that there is available land and they are happy. If we said to them "There is land up there, you can have that," they would move straightaway and go and live there. They see this a demonstration to try and speed it up to get their own land. So they don't particularly want his farm, although they say it and shout it in your face and call you names and say "You MDC and this is our farm, you have to get off and we want this land," and that sort of thing. Once they calm down and you talk to them and get a good conversation going, they understand that when land comes we will move there, but at the moment.
MANYOWA CHIPANGA: They were thieves. The British were the thieves who were stealing our father's land. They didn't compensate our chiefs. They just came and they fight ourselves and chase ourselves from the good land and they sent us to the rocks. Then they started developing the land in here, but when we came up back from that land, from the rocks, and come and say "We want land". They say "aah! You are taking our land". From where do they get theirs from?
IAN KAY: You know those houses were built in 2 or 3 weeks and they can be rebuilt elsewhere in 2 or 3 weeks.
MANYOWA CHIPANGA: If you go to the communal land there you feel pity, how the people are living there. We were living like rats or rock rabbits to stay in rocks, not like people as what we are at his present moment.
Defeating Mugabe at an election should not be a huge task. He's been there for 22 years, he has corrupt ministries, a devastated economy and supporters who think that bashing people up is a way to get their vote. And yet the MDC is given no more than a 50/50 chance of beating him. And the reason lies here. Tsvangirai's electorate isn't white farmers and international institutions. It's black, rural and poor. Whether they are greedy or needy for land, Mugabe brings certainty, while Tsvangirai promises complexity and a threat to uproot those who have found a new life on the land.
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: It is a very complex matter. You cannot have a categorical position on it. You need a national audit of what has been happening. We don't know, we don't which farms have been occupied, we don't know who is on that. We don't know what the legal status of those people who have been here. So what will do is that we will have a land reform act which will clearly stipulate, first of all everything assessed, what is there, but defining the objective that I have outlined. Some people may be moved, some people may have to be relocated.
A politician might, with regret, endorse the land seizures, compensate those dispossessed and call for an end to further violence. But politics and winning elections are apparently not part of Tsvangirai's immediate agenda.
SURVEILLANCE VIDEO - ARI LEGAULT (Subtitled): What support do you have from the white community? There is a power base here.
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: Yes, but politically there is no political one.
ARI LEGAULT: Financially?
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: Economically, yes.
It would seem that the groups who are paying the piper may be more important to Tsvangirai than a black rural electorate.
SURVEILLANCE VIDEO - ARI LEGAULT (Subtitled): How much money has been thrown at you?
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: From?
ARI LEGAULT: From the whites.
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: To the MDC? I would say roughly, 17. I think no more than 10-15%.
ARI LEGAULT: Of what?
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: Of our total expenses.
ARI LEGAULT: 15% of your total expenses?
There is absolutely nothing wrong or suspicious about white Zimbabweans contributing to a political party, but it is London to a brick that the other 85% of Tsvangirai's funds aren't coming from his local black supporters.
SURVEILLANCE VIDEO - MORGAN TSVANGIRAI (Subtitled): We got some funds from the Norwegians, from the Rowntree Foundation in the UK.
Some of the donors might be surprised to hear how their funds are being spent - others possibly not. It has long been suspected that foreign governments have been funding the MDC. In particular, the Zimbabwean Government has consistently accused Britain of covertly funding Tsvangarai. A fairly benign accusation until today. If true, then perhaps an investment in Tsvangarai was a far cheaper option that addressing the issue of land compensation. A well known British company should be able to provide some answers on who has been financing Tsvangarai and what those donors may have wanted in return.
SURVEILLANCE VIDEO - ARI LEGAULT (Subtitled): Who is running this stuff?
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: BSMG in London.
ARI LEGAULT: Your buddies right?
MR X: I am aware of their contribution.
ARI LEGAULT: You are aware of their contribution.
BSMG is one of Britain's largest PR and political consultancies, recently merged with Weber-Shandwick. Dickins and Madson maintain that the down payments for the assassination came from BSMG. BSMG have declined any comment to this programme. There is nothing from Dickens and Madson or any other source that indicates that BSMG, Weber-Shandwick or their executives knew what the payments were for, beyond activating a general services contract. However a paper trail shows that those payments were made. US$7,400 was paid to Dickens and Madson as a down payment for their 'general services' contract. $50,000 came directly from the company chairman, Wilf Weeks, who paid or advanced this sum from his personal funds. Dickens and Madson maintain, that the balance, $400,000, was due upon the assassination of Mugabe. From Tsvangirai's comments it would appear that when generous donors wished to make a contribution, BSMG were the people to contact.
SURVEILLANCE VIDEO - MR X (Subtitled): If we were to see Mugabe perhaps die of a heart attack in the next week or so, obviously you would need some funding.
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: Yes.
MR X: And to strengthen the party itself. Where would we send it? How would we deliver it?
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: It will be sent if you don't mind through BSMG in London. They are the conduit.
Whatever the best laid plans of Tsvangirai and his backers were, if Mugabe is killed and a coup attempted, the likeliest result is a civil war with thousands dead. Even if it succeeded Tsvangirai's 'transitional arrangement' would inevitably involve the slaughter of Mugabes supporters - and there are millions of them. People like Manyowa Chipanga who would fight to defend the one good break he has had in his life and defend the party who gave it to him. And if a battle breaks out nothing will save isolated farmers like Ian Kay. An ironic outcome for a country which, even with the tension of farm invasions aside, still enjoys civil relationships between black and white. There may be shouts of 'get off the land' but rarely will you hear 'get out of Zimbabwe.' Not that Ian Kay would ever contemplate leaving this country. He likes the black community here and still believes he is a good and valued neighbour.
IAN KAY: Whichever side wins, we will still retain the same value to this community as we did before and I will still refer to that, that value to whoever is in power. To justify our continued existence I will use that argument. I mean it's a fact regardless of who is in power.
And on that point it seems there's no argument from Manyowa.
MANYOWA CHIPANGA: Mr Kay should reverse his mind and come back to his people. We like him. We like him.
So far in Zimbabwe a lot of property has been lost but not a lot of lives. There's still some chance of reconciliation here. The honour of smashing that chance, starting the mass bloodshed that's been so long predicted, may not belong to the supposed dictator but to the democrat and his friends. For millions who dreamt of a new era in Zimbabwe a new style of government through Morgan Tsvangirai, it is not just his principles that he has betrayed.
SIGN: Morgan Tsvangirai, we salute you!
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