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Chamisa and Biti did not want GPA

Movement for Democratic Change hardliners secretary general Tendai Biti and spokesman Nelson Chamisa did not want the agreement between the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and the MDC and were trying to scuttle the deal nearly a month after the signing of the Global Political Agreement.

This was said by one of the negotiators Welshman Ncube of the smaller faction of the MDC who said Biti had written to the Southern African Development Community executive secretary setting out five outstanding issues between the two key players.

These were:

  • equitable allocation of all ministries,
  • division of governorships,
  • composition of the National Security Council,
  • appointment of ambassadors and permanent secretaries,
  • and Amendment 19.

Ncube believed both President Robert Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai wanted an agreement but he believed hawks in each party, for their own reasons, were doing everything possible to subvert a deal.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE1002, WELSHMAN NCUBE ON THE STATE OF PLAY

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE1002

2008-11-06 16:04

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO4797

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #1002/01 3111604

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 061604Z NOV 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3663

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2414

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2534

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1034

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1810

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2165

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2590

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5018

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1683

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 001002

 

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

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/06/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: WELSHMAN NCUBE ON THE STATE OF PLAY

 

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

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) According to MDC-Mutambara (MDC-M) secretary general

and negotiator Welshman Ncube, Zimbabwean president Robert

Mugabe and MDC-Tsvangirai (MDC-T) president Morgan Tsvangirai

are supposed to meet tomorrow in Harare to discuss resolution

of the political impasse. According to Ncube, Tsvangirai has

been pressured by hardliners in his party to demand

renegotiation on the allocation of all ministries and to seek

agreement on other issues such as allocation of governors,

Amendment 19, and ambassadorial appointments. Nevertheless,

Tsvangirai has previously indicated he is willing put these

issues aside for the time being and sign an agreement if he

is satisfied as to the disposition of the Ministry of Home

Affairs. Home Affairs will presumably be the focus of a

Mugabe Tsvangirai meeting if it takes place. Mugabe has

previously argued to SADC facilitator Thabo Mbeki and to the

SADC Troika that the MDC should not have exclusive control of

Home Affairs because it is operating paramilitary training

bases outside of Zimbabwe. END SUMMARY.

 

——————————————— —–

Mugabe-Tsvangirai Meeting and Extraordinary Summit

——————————————— —–

 

2. (C) Ncube told polecon chief November 6 that Tsvangirai

had met with Mbeki three days ago in South Africa and

requested a private meeting with Mugabe. Mbeki dispatched

Sidney Mufamadi to Harare to present the request to Mugabe.

Mugabe discussed it with several ZANU-PF insiders, including

Patrick Chinamasa, Emmerson Mnangagwa, Joseph Msika, and

Nicholas Goche. According to Ncube, all except Goche opposed

the idea. Nevertheless, Mugabe decided to go forward with a

meeting which is due to take place tomorrow in Harare.

(Comment: We will be surprised if a meeting comes off.

Among other considerations, it would require Tsvangirai to

return to Zimbabwe and then leave again for the November 9

Summit. End Comment.)

 

3. (C) Ncube opined that those opposed to the meeting are

trying to scuttle an agreement; they are concerned that a

deal will result for them in loss of power and patronage.

Mugabe, on the other hand, wants a deal because his position

is secure under an agreement, and he realizes the country is

now at a dead end.

 

4. (C) Ncube, who supports an agreement, said he would be

very surprised if the SADC Extraordinary Summit on November 9

accomplished anything since hardliners of each party would be

present and would support their own agendas. He thought the

only possibility of an agreement was direct Mugabe-Tsvangirai

negotiations.

 

————————

SADC Troika Negotiations

————————

 

5. (C) Ncube, who was present at the SADC Troika meeting in

Harare on October 27 and 28, said Tsvangirai initially told

the Troika that crucial issues to be resolved were an

equitable distribution of ministries, division of

governorships, and drafting of Amendment 19 to encapsulate

any agreement, Mugabe said the only outstanding issue was

control of Home Affairs.

 

6. (C) According to Ncube the Troika met privately with

Tsvangirai to discuss governors and Amendment 19. Tsvangirai

 

HARARE 00001002 002 OF 003

 

 

agreed that, since governors are not part of cabinet, that

issue could be postponed until after the formation of a

government. Similarly, Tsvagirai agreed that Amendment 19

should be resolved by the new cabinet. (Note: Ncube said

that the procedure agreed to by the parties before the

September 15 signing of the agreement was for the Attorney

General to draft an amendment that would then be discussed

and ultimately adopted by the cabinet. End Note.)

Tsvangirai then told the Troika he would sign an agreement if

the MDC received control of Home Affairs and Finance.

 

7. (C) Ncube related that the Troika then met privately with

Mugabe to discuss Home Affairs and Finance. Mugabe said he

had already agreed to give Finance to the MDC. He refused,

however, to give up Home Affairs.

 

8. (C) Ncube told us that a round of discussions then began

on control of Home Affairs with Mugabe agreeing to

co-ministers and Tsvangirai suggesting the Home Affairs

minister be rotated between the parties. Both Mugabe and

Tsvangirai finally agreed to rotational control, buy they

could not agree on which party would have the first rotation.

It was that disagreement, said Ncube, that prevented a final

resolution.

 

———————

Hawks in Both Parties

———————

 

9. (C) The SADC communique of October 28 noted only that

there was disagreement with regard to Home Affairs. Ncube

averred that this was a correct statement of the state of

negotiations.

 

10. (C) On October 30, MDC-T secretary general and

negotiator Tendai Biti wrote the SADC Executive Secretary and

asserted that there were five outstanding issues: equitable

allocation of all ministries, division of governorships,

composition of the National Security Council, appointment of

ambassadors and permanent secretaries, and Amendment 19.

Ncube said this letter was contrary to the position taken by

Tsvangirai in the Troika negotiations and represented an

attempt by Biti (and other hardliners such as MDC

spokesperson Nelson Chamisa), who did not want an agreement,

to scuttle the negotiations.

 

11. (C) Ncube told us he believes both Mugabe and Tsvangirai

want an agreement, and he himself said an agreement was the

only possible way out of the disastrous economic and

humanitarian situation. But he believed hawks in each party,

for their own reasons, would do everything possible to

subvert a deal.

 

————————————-

Allegations of MDC Paramilitary Camps

————————————-

 

12. (C) Ncube told us that MDC-M president and negotiator

Arthur Mutambara argued to Mbeki and the Troika that MDC-T

should receive Home Affairs. Mbeki responded that Mugabe

would not give up completely Home Affairs because he believed

the MDC was operating paramilitary training camps in Botswana

and South Africa. (Note: A November 5 article in The Herald

entitled “The Savimbi facto: Plot thickens” alleged an MDC

plot to use foce to remove Mugabe and said that a report was

pesented to the SADC Troika accusing Tsvangirai of either

directly facilitating or allowing people close to him to

facilitate the training of militias in a neighboring

country.” The article also said Mubabe’s position was that

Home Affairs should not be entrusted “to people who could be

training a militia.”

 

HARARE 00001002 003 OF 003

 

 

 

13. (C) We asked Ncube whether he believed that MDC-T had

established paramilitary camps. He said he had no knowledge.

He also said that in February Mbeki confronted Biti and

fellow negotiator Elton Mangoma with reports that MDC-T was

sponsoring youth training camps in South Africa. Biti and

Mangoma did not deny the allegations; they said it was

possible that members of Tsvangirai’s kitchen cabinet such as

Ian Makone could be responsible.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

14. (C) It is unlikely the November 9 Summit will discuss

issues other than Home Affairs. If there is an overall

agreement, then, it is likely to rest on resolution of the

Home Affairs issue only. Tsvangirai’s position is unclear.

He has given indications during the course of the

negotiations that Home Affairs is the sine qua non of an

agreement. More recently, pressured by Biti, he has stated

there needs to be renegotiation on all ministries. If he

takes the latter position, SADC will in all likelihood once

again declare a stalemate on Sunday.

 

15. (C) There appears to be a difference in philosophy

between Tsvangirai and others such as Biti. Tsvangirai tends

to believe that a power-sharing government, even if

imperfect, has the potential to work and address Zimbabwe’s

pressing problems. Biti believes that it cannot work and

would prefer to end the process now. With an agreement on

new elections unlikely, nobody, including Biti, has a

workable alternative to a power-sharing government.

 

16. (C) We have seen no credible evidence that the MDC is

operating paramilitary camps outside of Zimbabwe. Whether or

not this is true, and whether or not ZANU-PF actually

believes reports of MDC camps, it is using the issue to avoid

giving up Home Affairs.

MCGEE

(8 VIEWS)

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