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Grace wanted to marginalise Tsvangirai

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said the Joint Operational Command supported by Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono and First Lady Grace Mugabe had discussed the previous week delaying the inauguration of the new government and marginalising him.

Tsvangirai met United States ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee on 1 October. He said Mugabe told him that some in ZANU-PF wanted to throw out the September 11 agreement but Mugabe himself was committed to the agreement to the extent possible to fight ZANU-PF elements opposed to the deal.

Tsvangirai said Mugabe now realised that the Joint Operations Command and others opposed to the agreement had no solutions to Zimbabwe’s problems.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE889, TSVANGIRAI ON AGREEMENT STALEMATE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE889

2008-10-01 14:35

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO6130

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0889/01 2751435

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 011435Z OCT 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3512

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2332

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2450

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0964

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1728

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2083

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2504

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4936

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1599

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000889

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR G. GARLAND

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: 10/01/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI ON AGREEMENT STALEMATE

 

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

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (SBU) MDC leader and prime minister designate Morgan

Tsvangirai briefed Western Heads of Mission (HOMS) October 1

on the stalemate in talks directed at concluding an agreement

to establish a power-sharing government. Tsvangirai said the

talks had stalled over Mugabe’s failure to cede the home

affairs and finance ministries to the MDC. He did not

believe that Mugabe wanted to scuttle the talks, but was

facing resistance from within ZANU-PF. Tsvangirai stated

that the process of establishing a power-sharing government

was irreversible; SADC assistance and international pressure

would be important in moving the process forward. END

SUMMARY.

 

———

Stalemate

———

 

2. (SBU) Tsvangirai informed diplomats he had met on

September 30 with Mugabe to follow up on outstanding issues,

principally the division of ministries between ZANU-PF and

the MDC. Although four ministries had not been decided

on–home affairs, finance, local government, and foreign

affairs–only home affairs and finance were discussed.

Mugabe insisted that ZANU-PF name the heads of these

ministries. Tsvangirai refused to cede what he considered to

be critical ministries to ZANU-PF. He told the HOMs that

talks had not broken off; he and Mugabe had agreed to

disagree and he expected a resumption of talks.

 

3. (SBU) According to Tsvangirai, Mugabe told him that some

in ZANU-PF wanted to throw out the September 11 agreement.

Tsvangirai opined that ZANU-PF was deeply divided. He

commented that the Joint Operational Command (JOC), supported

by Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono and Grace Mugabe, had

met last week to discuss delaying the inauguration of the new

government and marginalizing Tsvangirai. Nevertheless,

Tsvangirai believed that Mugabe himself was committed to an

agreement and was prepared to the extent possible to fight

ZANU-PF elements opposed to a deal. Mugabe realized that the

JOC and other opponents had no solutions to Zimbabwe’s

problems. His refusal to agree with Tsvangirai on the issue

of ministries was a result, according to Tsvangirai, of

pressures from within ZANU-PF.

 

4. (C) Despite the stalemate, Tsvangirai argued that the

process which would include the MDC as a major player in

government was irreversible. This was due to significant

domestic momentum for change and continuing international

interest. The country was now being held hostage to 40 or 50

ZANU-PF insiders clinging to power and this should not and

would not continue.

 

———-

Next Steps

———-

 

5. (SBU) Tsvangirai said Mugabe had relied on Mbeki during

negotiations and was regretting his potential absence from

the process. Tsvangirai himself thought Mbeki could continue

to play a useful role and had spoken to him a couple of days

ago. Mbeki told Tsvangirai his continuing position as

mediator would be dependent on support from new South African

president Motlanthe. Tsvangirai said he subsequently

approached the South African ambassador to Zimbabwe to

suggest Motlanthe support Mbeki’s mediation role. Tsvangirai

 

HARARE 00000889 002 OF 002

 

 

also suggested to the HOMs that ANC president Jacob Zuma

could play an influential role. He said he had talked to

Zuma and urged him to make a statement in support of a

balanced power-sharing agreement. (COMMENT: Disconcertingly,

Tsvangirai said he had no timetable for concluding an

agreement, raising the possibility that negotiations could

drag on without a government being formed. END COMMENT.)

 

6. (SBU) Turning to the international community, Tsvangirai

urged the U.S. and EU to make statements supporting a process

ending in a government that reflected the will of the people.

It should also be made clear to ZANU-PF that any assistance

must be based on political and economic reform.

 

——————

Mutambara on Board

——————

 

7. (SBU) Tsvangirai said he had spoken with Arthur Mutambara

immediately before the diplomatic briefing. Despite

differences with the MDC-Mutambara faction during

negotiations and in the election of the House of Assembly

speaker, Tsvangirai believed Mutambara was fully behind

Tsvangirai’s efforts to achieve a fair division of ministries

and equitable power-sharing agreement.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

8. (C) Tsvangirai in briefing the HOMs professed sympathy

for Mugabe in battling forces within ZANU-PF and seemed to

blame opponents of Mugabe within ZANU-PF rather than Mugabe

for the stalemate in talks. We’re not convinced. Mugabe

wrung significant concessions from Tsvangirai in the

September 11 agreement and convinced him to sign with the

promise that the division of ministries could be easily

worked out. Mugabe may well be using the ostensible

inflexibility of others within ZANU-PF in an effort to

continue securing concessions from Tsvangirai.

 

9. (C) With Mbeki at least partly out of the picture,

Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma are increasingly important in

mediating a final agreement. We suggest encouraging

Tsvangirai to meet with Motlanthe to explore continued South

African assistance in the mediation process. Tsvangirai

could suggest to Motlanthe that the SADC reference group–the

AU (Jean Ping) and UN (Haile Menkerios)–which has an

institutional memory of the process be brought in to support

SADC and its designated mediator, whether Mbeki or someone

else. END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

(39 VIEWS)

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