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Lawyer said Tsvangirai signed GPA without MDC national council approval

One of the Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s lawyers Innocent Chagonda said Tsvangirai signed the Global Political Agreement with President Robert Mugabe of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and the smaller faction of the MDC led by Arthur Mutambara without the approval of the party’s national council.

He told United Sates embassy officials that the national council had advised Tsvangirai not to sign the power-sharing deal until there was complete agreement, including on the allocation of ministries.

Tsvangirai apparently had false assurances from Mugabe that, following the signing, quick agreement could be reached on the division of ministries in a way acceptable to the MDC, Chagonda said.

This emerged after Tsvangirai began losing key ministries to ZANU-PF, a move that left the party’s secretary general Tendai Biti frustrated.

Chagonda also confirmed that there had been contacts between former army commander Solomon Mujuru’s advisor Tirivanhu Mudariki and members of the Mujuru faction in ZANU-PF and the MDC.

He believed that the Mujurus were sincerely interested in marginalising Mugabe.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE895, STATE OF PLAY – ZIMBABWE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE895

2008-10-02 14:13

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO7097

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0895/01 2761413

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 021413Z OCT 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3519

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2336

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2454

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0968

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1732

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2087

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2508

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4940

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1603

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000895

 

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: 10/02/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: STATE OF PLAY – ZIMBABWE

 

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

 

——————————————-

Mugabe Confronts ZANU-PF Internal Opposition

——————————————–

 

1. (C) Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe appears eager to

conclude a power sharing deal–on his terms. The banner

headline in Wednesday’s The Herald was “Embrace power deal:

Chihuri.” Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri called for

Zimbabweans to “forego our minor differences.” Today’s

Herald headline pronounced “Tsvangirai’s office ready.” A

fair reading is that ZANU-PF is set to conclude the agreement

as long as it heads the home affairs ministry, which includes

the police, and one other ministry among those still in play,

presumably finance. (NOTE: We understand the MDC has

already conceded other important ministries to ZANU-PF,

including information, defense, security and justice. END

NOTE.)

 

2. (C) Mugabe leads a fractured party and he is trying to

satisfy key individuals and groups. Rumors circulated last

week that he and Emmerson Mnangagwa were involved in a heated

argument over the possibility of ceding home affairs to the

MDC. According to these rumors, Mnangagwa grabbed Mugabe by

the lapels at which point Mugabe’s body guards forcibly

subdued Mnangagwa, injuring him to the point that he was

hospitalized. We have been unable to confirm the physical

altercation; nevertheless, there appears to have been a

serious rift between Mugabe and Mnangagwa over the allocation

of ministries. Mnangagwa is loathe to allow any of the

security apparatus to pass to the MDC. Sources have also

told us that defense forces chief Constantine Chiwenga and

Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono are opposed to the MDC

assuming responsibility for home affairs. They fear the

ministry and police would investigate them for corrupt

activities. As for finance, the finance minister, in

consultation with the president, appoints the Reserve Bank

governor. ZANU-PF, Gono, and top military officials,

including Chiwenga, realize that loss of the finance ministry

would likely be an end to the corrupt patronage system.

 

3. (C) Tirivanhu Mudariki, a close business associate and

political advisor of General Solomon Mujuru, told us on

September 29 that the Mujuru faction strongly supports the

MDC and Morgan Tsvangirai and has been in regular contact

with the MDC. The Mujurus believe ZANU-PF cannot solve the

economic mess and they need a regularization of the business

environment so that they can continue to conduct their many

businesses. Innocent Chakonda, the MDC’s lawyer and an

advisor to Tsvangirai, confirmed to us the contacts with

Mudariki and the Mujuru faction. Chakonda believed the

Mujurus were sincerely interested in marginalizing Mugabe.

In addition to their interest in economic stabilization,

Chakonda thought that support of the MDC and weakening of

Mugabe was part of the succession struggle in which the

Mujuru faction sought to replace Mugabe within ZANU-PF.

 

4. (C) The Mujurus have not played an active role in the

ZANU-PF internecine conflict, but rather have observed from

the sidelines. Chakonda believes that once Parliament is in

session, Mujuru deputies will work collaboratively with the

MDC to support its legislative agenda and frustrate Mugabe

and his supporters.

 

—————-

MDC Draws a Line

—————-

 

5. (C) Chakonda related that Tsvangirai signed the

power-sharing agreement despite a vote of the MDC national

 

HARARE 00000895 002 OF 002

 

 

council that he not do so until there was a complete

agreement, including on the allocation of ministries.

Tsvangirai apparently had false assurances from Mugabe that,

following the signing, quick agreement could be reached on

the division of ministries in a way acceptable to the MDC.

Tsvangirai, according to Chakonda, faced strong criticism

from his party for signing. Chakonda told us (as did Tendai

Biti today) that Tsvangirai had realized the error of his

ways and would now insist on the MDC heading the home affairs

and finance ministries before entering into the government.

 

6. (C) According to Chakonda, Tsvangirai had dispatched his

vice-president, Thokozani Khupe, to South Africa to talk with

President Motlanthe and ANC president Jacob Zuma. She may

also talk with King Mswati of Swaziland. Biti told us he

would meet tomorrow with Tanzanian president Kikwete. Based

on conversations the MDC had with Mbeki, Zuma, Kikwete, and

Motswati during the negotiation process, Chakonda believes

they are sympathetic to the MDC’s position on the ministries

and will pressure Mugabe.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

7. (C) Although it is always wise to suspect Mugabe and his

motives, the MDC and others such as Mudariki believe Mugabe

wants an agreement, albeit on his terms. He has been

constrained until now by hardliners within ZANU-PF such as

Mnangagwa and the security chiefs, and by opportunists such

as Gono. Tsvangirai appears set to hold the line. If SADC

and the AU exert pressure on Mugabe he may have no choice but

to cede home affairs and finance to the MDC. What the

consequences would be within ZANU-PF if he does so are

unclear. END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

(19 VIEWS)

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