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Chindori-Chininga dodges Mugabe succession issue

Deputy Minister of Mines Edward Chindori-Chininga told United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Tom McDonald that there were two issues to President Robert Mugabe’s succession issue: whether he should contest the 2002 elections or he should step down as head of state but remain party leader.

He said one side wanted Mugabe to step down and give way to a younger leader, but would remain party president.

The other side felt it was too late to ask Mugabe to step down as the party needed to close ranks and support Mugabe aggressively to make sure ZANU-PF retained the presidency.

While there was rampant talk of factionalism within ZANU-PF and constant reports that the party was divided and falling part, Chindori-Chininga said the two sides were not based on a generational divide within the party but rather appeared to be based on politicians’ views as to what candidate would more likely ensure that the party retained control of the presidency.

It appeared McDonald did not buy Chindori-Chininga’s argument.

“We suspect that Chindori-Chininga may be dissembling on the generational divide that exists in the party and down playing its ambition to wrest control of the reins of power from the old guard. At the moment there is little head room for this group,” he said.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 00HARARE6120, A ZANU-PF DEPUTY MINISTER AND MP’S INSIDER VIEW

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE6120

2000-10-31 11:16

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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

 

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4577

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 06120 01 OF 02 311118Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00

DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00

H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01

NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00

P-00     SP-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00

DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /007W

——————98CB32 311137Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7481

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 006120

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CGURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD – DWELLER, AND AFR/SA – CPALMA,

NNEWMAN

 

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

PASS USTR – ROSA WHITAKER

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 06120 01 OF 02 311118Z

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/31/10

TAGS: PGOV PINR ZI ZANU PF

SUBJECT: A ZANU-PF DEPUTY MINISTER AND MP’S INSIDER VIEW

ON THE MUGABE SUCCESSION ISSUE

 

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR MCDONALD. REASONS 1.5 (B) AND

(D).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: ZANU-PF DEPUTY MINISTER (ENVIRONMENT AND

TOURISM) AND MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT EDWARD CHINDORI-

CHININGA PAID A CALL ON AMBASSADOR MCDONALD ON OCTOBER

30 TO UPDATE HIM ON HIS MINISTRY’S LATEST ACTIVITIES.

CHINDORI-CHININGA, WHO IS PART OF THE YOUNGER GENERATION

OF ZANU-PF POLITICIANS, SHARED HIS INSIDER VIEWS ON THE

MUGABE SUCCESSION ISSUE WITH THE AMBASSADOR. HE STATED

THAT THERE ARE CURRENTLY TWO SIDES TO THE QUESTION OF

MUGABE’S ROLE IN ZANU-PF. ONE SIDE SAYS THE PRESIDENT

MUST RETIRE. ZANU-PF WILL AMEND THE PARTY CONSTITUTION

TO ALLOW MUGABE TO REMAIN AS HEAD OF PARTY, BUT THAT A

NEW CANDIDATE WILL BE FOUND TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT OF

ZIMBABWE IN 2002. THE OTHER SIDE SAYS THAT IT IS

ALREADY TOO LATE TO FIND A NEW CANDIDATE WITH NATIONAL

STATURE TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT OF ZIMBABWE IN 2002, SO

MUGABE WILL HAVE TO BE THE PARTY’S CANDIDATE. ACCORDING

TO THE DEPUTY MINISTER, THE SIDES ARE NOT DIVIDED ALONG

GENERATIONAL LINES, BUT RATHER BASED ON THEIR VIEW OF

HOW ZANU-PF CAN MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE PRESIDENCY. END

SUMMARY.

 

————————

ZANU-PF: A PARTY DIVIDED

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 06120 01 OF 02 311118Z

————————

 

2. (C) AMBASSADOR MCDONALD TOOK ADVANTAGE OF HIS MEETING

WITH CHINDORI-CHININGA, WHICH WAS INITIATED BY THE

DEPUTY MINISTER TO DISCUSS HIS MINSTRY’S ACTIVITIES

(REPORTED IN SEPTEL), TO ASK HIM HIS VIEW OF EVENTS

WITHIN ZANU-PF, AND IN PARTICULAR THE QUESTION OF WHAT

WAS THE INTERNAL DEBATE WITHIN THE PARTY REGARDING THE

QUESTION OF MUGABE’S FUTURE. THE DEPUTY MINISTER IS ONE

OF THE GROUP OF NEW YOUNGER MPS OF ZANU-PF WHO ARE

FORWARD THINKING AND PROFESSIONAL IN THEIR OUTLOOK, AND

WILLING TO EXPOUND ON THIS ISSUE. WHILE NOT TIPPING HIS

HAND, CHINDORI-CHININGA REVEALED THAT THERE ARE TWO

SIDES WITHIN ZANU-PF REGARDING THE ISSUE OF MUGABE AND

HIS POSSIBLE CANDIDACY FOR THE 2002 PRESIDENTIAL

ELECTION. THE TWO SIDES ARE NOT BASED ON A GENERATIONAL

DIVIDE WITHIN THE PARTY, AS WE EXPECTED TO HEAR, BUT

RATHER APPEARED TO BE BASED ON ZANU-PF POLITICIANS’

VIEWS AS TO WHAT CANDIDATE WOULD MORE LIKELY ENSURE THAT

THE PARTY RETAINS CONTROL OF THE PRESIDENCY.

 

——————————————

ONE SIDE: A GRACEFUL RETIREMENT FOR MUGABE

——————————————

 

3. (C) ONE SIDE OF THIS ISSUE BELIEVES THAT IT IS TIME

FOR MUGABE TO RETIRE AND THAT HE SHOULD NOT BE THE

PARTY’S CANDIDATE FOR THE 2002 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS.

IN ORDER TO PROVIDE FOR A FACE SAVING EXIT FOR MUGABE

THEY WOULD HAVE HIM STAY ON AS ZANU-PF’S PRESIDENT, BUT

THE PARTY WOULD PRESENT A NEW CANDIDATE FOR THE 2002

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 06120 01 OF 02 311118Z

ZIMBABWE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. THIS PLAN WOULD

REQUIRE A CHANGE IN THE ZANU-PF PARTY CONSTITUTION SINCE

IT PRESENTLY STATES THAT THE PARTY’S PRESIDENT WILL BE

THE PARTY’S CANDIDATE FOR THE NATION’S PRESIDENCY.

CHINDORI-CHININGA DID NOT APPEAR TO BELIEVE THAT IT

WOULD BE THAT DIFFICULT TO GET THE SUPPORT TO CHANGE THE

PARTY’S CONSTITUTION IN THIS MANNER. THIS PLAN WOULD

ALLOW MUGABE TO REMAIN AN ELDER STATESMAN OF PARTY

POLITICS, WHILE ALLOWING A NEW CANDIDATE WITH GREATER

APPEAL, AND WITHOUT THE NEGATIVE BAGGAGE OF MUGABE, TO

REPRESENT ZANU-PF IN THE 2002 ELECTIONS.

 

———————————-

THE OTHER SIDE: TOO LATE TO CHANGE

———————————-

 

4. (C) THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DEBATE IN ZANU-PF BELIEVES

THAT IT IS TOO LATE TO DUMP MUGABE AS THE PARTY

CANDIDATE FOR THE 2002 ELECTIONS. THIS GROUP BELIEVES

THAT NO ONE IN THE PARTY HAS THE NATIONAL NAME

RECOGNITION OF MUGABE OR THE SUPPORT OF THE DIVERSE

ELEMENTS WITHIN THE PARTY STRUCTURE. THEREFORE, WHAT IS

NEEDED IS FOR THE PARTY TO CLOSE RANKS AND SUPPORT

MUGABE AGGRESSIVELY AS THE PARTY’S CANDIDATE FOR 2002.

THE AMBASSADOR ASKED CHINDORI-CHININGA HOW HE THOUGHT

THIS SIDE OF THE PARTY COULD BELIEVE THAT MUGABE WOULD

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4569

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 06120 02 OF 02 311119Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00

DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00

H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01

NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00  PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00

P-00     SP-00   IRM-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00

DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /007W

——————98CAFD 311136Z /38

P 311116Z OCT 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7482

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 006120

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CGURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD – DWELLER, AND AFR/SA – CPALMA,

NNEWMAN

 

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

PASS USTR – ROSA WHITAKER

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 06120 02 OF 02 311119Z

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/31/10

TAGS: PGOV PINR ZI ZANU PF

SUBJECT: A ZANU-PF DEPUTY MINISTER AND MP’S INSIDER VIEW

ON THE MUGABE SUCCESSION ISSUE

 

BE THEIR BEST CANDIDATE WHEN RECENT POLLS INDICATED THAT

THE PROBABLE MDC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE MORGAN

TSVANGIRAI WOULD TROUNCE MUGABE IN FREE AND FAIR

 

SIPDIS

ELECTIONS. THE DEPUTY MINISTER JUST SHRUGGED HIS

SHOULDERS IN RESPONSE.

 

————————————

IDENTIFYING AN ALTERNATIVE TO MUGABE

————————————

 

5. (C) THE EASE-MUGABE-OUT FACTION WOULD IDENTIFY A NEW

CANDIDATE FOR THE PARTY FOR 2002 BY TURNING TO THE

PROVINCIAL PARTY STRUCTURES AND ASKING THEM TO EACH

SUBMIT A LIST OF WHO THEY WOULD SUPPORT AS A NEW

CANDIDATE. THE PARTY LEADERSHIP WOULD THEN CROSSCHECK

THESE LISTS, AND IDENTIFY THE NAME THAT APPEARED ON THE

MOST PROVINCIAL LISTS. THIS WOULD THEN BE THE PARTY’S

CANDIDATE. THIS CANDIDATE’S BROAD PARTY AND NATIONAL

SUPPORT WOULD BE EVIDENCED BY THE FACT THAT HIS NAME

APPEARED ON THE MAJORITY OF PROVINCIAL PARTY LISTS.

WHEN CHINDORI-CHININGA WAS ASKED WHETHER ZANU-PF WAS

CONSIDERING HAVING A PARTY PRIMARY TO DETERMINE THE

PARTY’S CANDIDATE FOR 2002, AS THEY HAD FOR

PARLIAMENTARY SEATS IN THE 2000 ELECTIONS, HE DIDN’T

HESITATE IN STATING NO.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 06120 02 OF 02 311119Z

———————————————

AMBASSADOR MCDONALD URGES CONFIDENCE BUILDING

———————————————

 

6. (C) AMBASSADOR MCDONALD TOOK THE OPPORTUNITY OF THE

MEETING WITH THIS YOUNGER UP-AND-COMING MEMBER OF ZANU-

PF TO EXPRESS THE U.S. CONCERN WITH POLITICAL

DEVELOPMENTS IN ZIMBABWE AND TO STATE THAT NOW WAS THE

TIME FOR ZANU-PF MPS AND MDC MPS TO WORK TOGETHER ON

ISSUES OF COMMON NATIONAL INTEREST IN PARLIAMENT IN

ORDER TO INCREASE DIALOGUE AND DECREASE TENSIONS. THE

AMBASSADOR POINTED OUT THAT THE SITUATION IN ZIMBABWE

WAS EVEN MORE TENSE AFTER THE RECENT FOOD RIOTS, AND

THAT THIS WAS THE IMAGE THAT THE WORLD WAS GETTING OF

ZIMBABWE, A NATION DESCENDING INTO CHAOS AND VIOLENCE.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER STATED THAT HE SHARED THE

AMBASSADOR’S CONCERN AND THAT HE AND OTHER ZANU-PF MPS

WERE TRYING TO BUILD BRIDGES TO MPS OF THE MDC, BOTH

WITHIN THE PARLIAMENTARY SETTING, AND IN OTHER SETTINGS.

THE AMBASSADOR POINTED OUT TO CHINDORI-CHININGA THAT THE

PORTFOLIO OF HIS MINISTRY, ENVIRONMENT AND TOURISM, WAS

AN AREA THAT ESPECIALLY LENT ITSELF TO BIPARTISANSHIP,

AND HE URGED THE DEPUTY MINISTER TO WORK IN THAT

DIRECTION.

 

7. (C) COMMENT: WE SUSPECT THAT CHINDORI-CHININGA MAY BE

DISSEMBLING ON THE GENERATIONAL DIVIDE THAT EXISTS IN

THE PARTY AND DOWN PLAYING ITS AMBITION TO WREST CONTROL

OF THE REINS OF POWER FROM THE OLD GUARD. AT THE MOMENT

THERE IS LITTLE HEAD ROOM FOR THIS GROUP. END COMMENT.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 06120 02 OF 02 311119Z

MCDONALD

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

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