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Gen Mujuru told Mugabe to resign two weeks before 2008 elections!

Gen Solomon Mujuru told President Robert Mugabe to step down on 10 March 2008 but Mugabe instead went ahead to tell the press that Mujuru was fully behind him and not former Finance Minister Simba Makoni who was the third presidential candidate.

According to a cable just released by Wikileaks, this information was disclosed to United States ambassador James McGee on 17 March by Mujuru’s political advisor and business partner and former legislator Tirivanhu Mudariki.

Three candidates were contesting the presidential elections which were scheduled for 29 March. They were Robert Mugabe of ZANU-PF, Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change and Simba Makoni of Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn.

Mudariki said Mujuru was so pissed off with Mugabe that he might publicly declare his support for Makoni. He had so far delayed announcing this because he was afraid of jeopardising his wife’s position as vice-president.

Mujuru, he said, was an active supporter and advisor of Makoni. He had been travelling extensively throughout the country to gauge Makoni’s support and had concluded that the MDC’s Tsvangirai had the most support of the three major candidates.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE212, MUJURU SEEKS MUGABE’S RESIGNATION

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE212

2008-03-17 15:53

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXYZ0021

RR RUEHWEB

 

DE RUEHSB #0212/01 0771553

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 171553Z MAR 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2598

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1820

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1944

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0523

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1221

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1578

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2000

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4431

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1071

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000212

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL,

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: 03/17/2018

TAGS: PREL PGOV ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: MUJURU SEEKS MUGABE’S RESIGNATION

 

REF: HARARE 200

 

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

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) An advisor to General Solomon Mujuru reports that

Mujuru, in a meeting March 10 with President Robert Mugabe,

urged Mugabe to step down, Mugabe declined, subsequently

telling the press that Mujuru supported him and not

presidential candidate Simba Makoni. Mujuru is now

attempting to rally ZANU-PF politburo members to put

additional pressure on Mugabe at a scheduled Wednesday

politburo meeting to resign. Mujuru continues to actively

support Makoni, although he has not come out publicly. He

believes MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai is now the favorite of

voters; Makoni will use the upcoming holiday weekend to

‘blitzkrieg” the country to build support. In the event of a

runoff between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, the Makoni forces will

urge support of Tsvangirai–the paramount objective is a

change in leadership. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) Tirivanhu Mudariki, a political advisor to Mujuru and

Mujuru’s principal business partner, told PolEcon chief on

March 17 that Mujuru had met with Mugabe on March 10 and

urged Mugabe to resign. He told Mugabe that he had little

support in the country; resignation would avoid an electoral

humiliation. (COMMENT: Mugabe subsequently told the press

Mujuru was supporting him and not Makoni, but this was

clearly not the case. See Harare 200. END COMMENT.)

 

3. (C) Mudariki stated that ZANU-PF had a politburo meeting

scheduled for March 19. Mujuru was in the process of lining

up members to place additional pressure on Mugabe to resign.

There could be “fireworks” at the meeting, If Mugabe did not

step down, there could be additional and public ZANU-PF

defections to Makoni by the end of the week. Mudariki hinted

that Mujuru would soon make his support public. He had not

done so earlier for fear of jeopardizing his wife’s position

as vice-president. (NOTE: We have also heard that Mujuru is

concerned that his going public with opposition to Mugabe

could result in his prosecution for corrupt business

practices. END NOTE.)

 

4. (C) Mudariki told us that Mujuru, who was an active

supporter and advisor of Makoni, had been traveling

extensively throughout the country to gauge Makoni’s support.

Mujuru had concluded that the MDC’s Tsvangirai had the most

support of the three major candidates. Mudariki acknowledged

that Makoni’s core support now came from intellectuals, the

middle class, and youth in the urban areas. He said Makoni

planned a “blitzkrieg” campaign this weekend throughout

Zimbabwe to try to introduce himself to rural voters.

 

5. (C) Mudariki was confident Mugabe would be defeated: “He

has no support.” In the event of a runoff between Mugabe and

Tsvangirai, Mudariki believed Makoni supporters would back

 

SIPDIS

Tsvangirai. He commented that the major objective was to

 

SIPDIS

change current leadership, even if the result was a president

with whom he and like-minded individuals differ in

significant areas.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

6. (C) Mudariki’s comments on the relative strength of the

candidates tracks what we have been hearing in pre-election

trips around the country. Mugabe’s support within the

official ranks of ZANU-PF has been steadily eroding and rural

voters are disenchanted with the leadership that has resulted

in their present predicament. Makoni is still relatively

unknown in many areas of the country; his ability to increase

his support will depend on leaders such as Mujuru going

public. It appears increasingly the case that Mugabe can

save his presidency only through massive rigging. The

unanswered question is how his opponents would react to such

rigging. END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

(21 VIEWS)

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