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Makoni said no one was allowed to challenge Mugabe as party president

Former Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front politburo member Simba Makoni said he would have liked to stand as the ZANU-PF presidential candidate in the 2008 elections but nominations for presidential candidates to challenge Robert Mugabe were not permitted at the extraordinary congress in December.

Since this was not possible he had decided to stand as an independent candidate because he was disturbed by the poverty and plight of the Zimbabwean people.

Ibbo Mandaza, who was working with Makoni, said the former Finance Minister enjoyed the support of the Mujuru faction in ZANU-PF and that of Ex-ZAPU members from Matebeleland.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08HARARE96, SUPER TUESDAY: MAKONI ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

08HARARE96

2008-02-05 12:55

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO9778

RR RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0096 0361255

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 051255Z FEB 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2458

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1764

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1890

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0475

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1167

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1524

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1946

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4375

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1017

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000096

 

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: 01/16/2018

TAGS: PGOV ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: SUPER TUESDAY: MAKONI ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY

 

 

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

 

1. (U) Ending weeks of speculation, Simaba Makoni announced

he will be a candidate for president. At a press conference,

Makoni said that he was disturbed by the poverty and plight

of the Zimbabwean people, and that he blamed this on national

governance. He had hoped that the ZANU-PF Congress in

December would have produced alternatives, but nominations

for presidential candidates were not permitted. He stated

his preference would have been to run as a ZANU-PF candidate,

but since this was not possible, he would run as an

independent. Responding to questions, he declined to reveal

his base of support but said this would be made known in

coming days. He also declined to discuss whether he had

alerted President Robert Mugabe to his decision; referring to

a widely publicized meeting with Mugabe January 22 where it

was reported that he pledged allegiance to Mugabe and

ZANU-PF, Makoni would only say they discussed the

“speculation” regarding his possible candidacy.

 

2. (C) COMMENT. ZANU-PF dissident Ibbo Mandaza has been

pushing Makoni’s candidacy for some time. The general

consensus among analysts–and even Makoni’s friends–was that

he lacked the courage to take Mugabe on. His candidacy has

surprised the political and diplomatic community, and

undoubtedly ZANU-PF.

 

3. (C) COMMENT CONTINUED. Mandaza told polecon chief

February 2 that Makoni would register as a candidate for

president. He also said that Makoni had the support of the

Mujuru faction and from within the ZANU-PF faction in

Matabeleland comprised of ex-ZAPU. He opined that Mugabe

would be seriously weakened by Makoni’s decision, and would

be debilitated as a candidate. In the coming days we will

sound out contacts in an effort to gauge Makoni’s support,

particularly in light of the disunity of the MDC (Septel) and

what we have heard is Arthur Mutambara’s endorsement of

Makoni. END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

 

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