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Makoni said Mnangagwa and the military were key to solution

Presidential hopeful Simba Makoni told United States ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee that the United States should try to influence President Robert Mugabe’s closest supporters -the military and Emmerson Mnangagwa- if it wanted a solution to Zimbabwe’s political crisis.

He had been asked by McGee how a deal could be brokered between the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and the Movement for Democratic Change after the MDC had won the crucial post of Speaker of Parliament, a move that was seen as strengthening the MDC’s bargaining power.

Makoni agreed with McGee that contact with the Zimbabwean generals by a senior US military leader could be productive if a way were found to arrange this.

Tsvangirai was working with the Mujuru faction within ZANU-PF to keep Mnangagwa out of the deal but Mnangagwa was proving a force to reckon with though technically he was only Minister of Rural Housing.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE757, AMBASSADOR’S MEETING WITH SIMBA MAKONI

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE757

2008-08-29 08:30

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0757 2420830

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 290830Z AUG 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3357

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2245

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2365

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0895

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1642

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1998

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2419

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4851

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1514

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000757

 

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: 04/02/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR’S MEETING WITH SIMBA MAKONI

 

REF: HARARE 747

 

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

 

1. (C) In a meeting with the Ambassador on August 28, Simba

Makoni gave his anlysis of the current political situation.

While Makoni acknowledged that he is not now a political

player, as someone who has been involved in Zimbabwean

politics and government over the years, his views are worth

noting.

 

2. (C) After MDC Tsvangirai (MDC-T) triumphed in Monday’s

election for House of Assembly speaker, Makoni said there was

“less and less” of a chance of a deal between ZANU-PF and

MDC-T. Morgan Tsvangirai had demonstrated his strength and

would dig in his heels. Although difficult to predict,

Makoni did not see an early end toQimbabwe’s crisis.

 

3. (C) With both Mugabe and Tsvangirai insisting on holding

the lion’s share of executive power, the Ambassador asked

Makoni how a deal could be possible between their two

parties. Makoni said it would be important for the U.S. to

try to influence Mugabe’s closest supporters–the military

leaders and Emmerson Mnangagwa. He agreed with the

Ambassador that contact with the Zimbabwean generals by a

senior U.S. military leader could be productive if a way were

found to arrange this.

 

4. (C) Makoni said there had been internal opposition to

Mugabe from within ZANU-PF for over 10 years. This

opposition was now at a peak. Nevertheless, Mugabe had been

able to hold on to power through fear. Makoni saw no

immediate threat to Mugabe, but noted that a potential

coalition between the Mujuru faction and ex-ZAPU ZANU-PF

members from Matabeleland could leave Mugabe without a

working majority in the ZANU-PF Politburo and Central

Committee. Makoni said Mugabe was aware of his problems and

was seeking to intimidate and quiet his internal opposition.

Illustrative of this was his recent appointment of governors;

he replaced four governors thought to be allied to Solomon

Mujuru.

 

5. (C) On the subject of the MDC, Makoni said Tsvangirai

continued to make the mistake of operating regionally and

internationally, rather than consolidating his support in

Zimbabwe. He noted that after the March elections,

Tsvangirai almost immediately left Zimbabwe rather than

working to marshal support within the country. More

recently, after the SADC Summit in South Africa, Tsvangirai

traveled in the region rather than returning to Zimbabwe to

explain why he had not signed an agreement with Mugabe.

Makoni recommended that Tsvangirai make Zimbabwe his

priority, then the region, then the wider international

community.

 

6. (C) As we have suggested (reftel), Makoni said that

within Zimbabwe, Tsvangirai, as the principal opposition

leader, needed to do a much better job of reaching out to

civil society and non-MDC leaders such as himself. Makoni

pledged he and others would willingly work with Tsvangirai,

but Tsvangirai had to indicate his interest in being

inclusive.

 

 

MCGEE

(15 VIEWS)

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