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Biti was opposed to GNU under any circumstances

Movement for Democratic Change secretary-general Tendai Biti was opposed to a government of national unity under any circumstances.

This was disclosed by the United States embassy after a Southern Africa Development Community summit at which the timetable for the setting up of an inclusive government was drawn up.

The embassy said party leader Morgan Tsvangirai and others were prepared to join the inclusive government to wring out more concessions from the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

The embassy said there were two motivations for joining the inclusive government:

  • to play a role in government, play a part in increasing fissures within ZANU-PF, and to build the MDC for the next elections; and/or
  • to assume positions in government with the accompanying emoluments.

 There were five outstanding issues at the time of the summit:

  • The Enactment of Constitutional Amendment Number 19
  • The definition of National Security Council legislation
  • Equitable allocation of portfolio ministries
  • The appointment of Provincial Governors and other senior positions
  • The Breaches of the MOU and the GPA

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 09HARARE59, READOUT ON SADC SUMMIT

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09HARARE59

2009-01-27 11:15

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO5820

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DE RUEHSB #0059/01 0271115

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 271115Z JAN 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3966

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2580

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2702

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1193

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1971

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2326

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2751

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5179

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1869

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000059

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B.WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E. LOKEN AND L. DOBBINS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/27/2019

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: READOUT ON SADC SUMMIT

 

Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4 (d)

 

1. (U) A marathon SADC Extraordinary Summit meeting ended at

about 4 am today with SADC declaring that MDC leader Morgan

Tsvangirai should be sworn in on February 11 as prime

minister with cabinet ministers to be sworn in two days

later. South African president Kgalema Motlanthe reportedly

told the press that both parties had agreed to form a unity

government. In response, the MDC issued the following press

statement:

 

We came to this summit with five (5) outstanding issues which

are:

– The Enactment of Constitutional Amendment Number 19

– The definition of National Security Council legislation

– Equitable allocation of portfolio ministries

– The appointment of Provincial Governors and other senior

positions

– The Breaches of the MOU and the GPA

 

It was our expectation that the SADC processes would be above

board and be beyond reproach. Regrettably once again we note

that Mr. Mugabe was allowed to sit in during the closed

session of the plenary meetings. Thus once again Mr. Mugabe

has been unfairly allowed to be a judge in his own cause.

 

As far as the merits are concerned, our expectations were

again that SADC would come up with a just resolution to the

outstanding issues in the interest of Zimbabwe and all the

parties concerned.

 

Quite clearly the conclusions reached as reflected in the

communique fall far short of our expectations. Most

importantly they do not accord with our National Council

resolutions of the 14th of November 2008 and 12th of December

2008.

 

It is important that finality be brought to this issue and

therefore our National Council will meet on Friday 30th of

January 2009 to define the party position.

 

2. (C) With regard to outstanding issues, MDC officials in

Pretoria told us that as a result of the Summit, negotiators

from both parties will meet in Harare later this week to

discuss allocating governorships according to the relative

strengths of the three parties. Negotiators will also

discuss the status of abductees. At the SADC meeting last

week in Harare, the parties agreed to discuss draft

legislation on the composition and powers of the National

Security Council. There was no progress on allocation of

ministries (which the MDC considers the most important

unresolved issue) or breaches of the MOU and GPA, understood

to mean primarily the appointments of Gideon Gono as Reserve

Bank governor and Johannes Tomana as attorney general.

 

3. (C) Eliphas Mukoneweshuro, the MDC official in charge of

external relations, who was part of the MDC delegation in

Pretoria, told us today that there were mixed sentiments

within the MDC as to whether or not to form a GNU. He said

Tsvangirai would postpone his planned trip to Addis Ababa for

the AU Summit to chair a meeting of the MDC National Council

on January 30 at which the MDC hoped to finalize its

position. Mukoneweshuro expected Tsvangirai to attend the

Summit but noted he has no definite plans.

 

4. (SBU) Tsvangirai is planning to hold diplomatic and press

briefings this afternoon in Pretoria.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

 

HARARE 00000059 002 OF 002

 

 

5. (C) It would appear that Tsvangirai and some of his

advisors are inclined to join a government of national unity

once they believe they have wrung maximum concessions from

SADC and ZANU-PF. We note that the MDC press statement did

not reject the SADC position out of hand but expressed

disappointment. There are two motivations for joining a GNU:

1) to play a role in government, play a part in increasing

fissures within ZANU-PF, and to build the MDC for the next

elections; and/or 2) to assume positions in government with

the accompanying emoluments. On the other hand, hardliners,

like MDC secretary general Tendai Biti, are opposed to a GNU

under any circumstance.

 

6. (C) The MDC National Council on November 14 and December

12 stated that entry into government was dependent on

satisfactory resolution of outstanding issues. The issue now

is whether the minimal progress that has been made will

change votes, particularly if Tsvangirai supports a GNU.

Mukoneweshuro believes that the January 30 National Council

meeting will be lively with the result not predictable. END

COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

 

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