in Stories

Makoni said Tsvangirai was influenced too much by Masiyiwa and Bennett

Presidential aspirant Simba Makoni said he was ready to meet Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai anytime anywhere for negotiations but Tsvangirai was “too much under the influence of advisors Strive Masiyiwa, Roy Bennett and Melinda Ferris”.

Makoni was trying to sell the idea of a government of national unity to United States ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee in the hope that he could in turn sell it to Tsvangirai.

Makoni said the country needed a government of national unity to save it from an expensive and divisive election re-run.

The GNU would have a life of two to three years and would gradually remove President Robert Mugabe from office and would adopt a new constitution.

Makoni said the MDC, which was based solely on an anti-Mugabe stance, could reposition and adopt positive policies.

He had approached ZANU-PF interlocutors and they were agreeable and he thought Mugabe would be as well.

Tsvangirai was likely to be the problem because when Makoni made his proposal of a GNU to leaders at the Lusaka SADC Summit in the presence of

Tsvangirai, Tsvangirai expressed opposition to the idea and was upset that Makoni had not briefed him first.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE337, AMBASSADOR’S MEETING WITH SIMBA MAKONI

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

08HARARE337

2008-04-16 13:48

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO9700

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0337/01 1071348

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 161348Z APR 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2789

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1931

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2053

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0616

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1330

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1687

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2109

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4540

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1185

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000337

 

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: 04/16/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ZI

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR’S MEETING WITH SIMBA MAKONI

 

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

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) In an introductory meeting with the Ambassador on

April 15, Simba Makoni floated the idea of a government of

national unity (GNU). Makoni believes another election is

unworkable. He presented the idea of a GNU to leaders at the

Lusaka SADC Summit in the presence of MDC President Morgan

Tsvangirai who opposed the proposal. Makoni requested the

 

SIPDIS

good offices of the Ambassador in trying to sell his idea to

Tsvangirai, but acknowledged this would be difficult. Makoni

 

SIPDIS

said he was more than willing to meet with Tsvangirai but was

skeptical of a positive outcome because of the influence of

Tsvangirai’s advisors. The Ambassador said he would speak to

 

SIPDIS

Tsvangirai. While we believe there is little or no chance

 

SIPDIS

that Tsvangirai will buy into Makoni’s plan, the Ambassador

will attempt to facilitate a meeting between the two as a

possible prelude to a common strategy. Makoni also discussed

electoral fraud. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) During the election campaign, Makoni, who was

attacked by ZANU-PF and the government media as a stooge of

the West, avoided western diplomats. This was the

Ambassador’s first meeting with Makoni, who clearly realizes

the importance of engagement with the West.

 

———————

Current State of Play

———————

 

3. (C) Makoni said that ZANU-PF was now preparing for either

a rerun of the election or a runoff. It preferred a rerun,

as Makoni would also be a candidate and, in ZANU-PF’s view,

would take more votes from Tsvangirai than Mugabe. ZANU-PF

would try to get Makoni to drop out and support Mugabe;

Makoni said there was no chance of this happening.

 

4. (C) Makoni opined that Tsvangirai believed he had won the

election by himself and did not need to work with anyone

else. Tsvangirai thought he could win a runoff (presumably

with a relatively level playing field) by taking some votes

from Mugabe and some from voters who supported Makoni in the

first round.

 

5. (C) While Makoni thought the most likely scenarios at

this point in time were either a rerun or runoff, he thought

a new paradigm was needed. At present, neither party had a

workable parliamentary majority; hence there would be a

“hung” parliament. Most Zimbabweans wanted ZANU-PF and the

MDC to work together. The country could not financially

afford another election. Another campaign would further

cripple the economy. People would become more stressed.

Government paralysis would continue; food was about to run

out and there were no plans to bring in more. And violence

would continue.

 

—————————

Makoni’s Proposal for a GNU

—————————

 

6. (C) Makoni suggested to the Ambassador that to save the

country from these ills and normalize the country a GNU

should be established. It would have a life of two to three

years, would gradually remove Mugabe from office, and would

adopt a new constitution. The MDC, which was based solely on

an anti-Mugabe stance, could reposition and adopt positive

policies. Makoni said he had approached (unnamed) ZANU-PF

interlocutors and they were agreeable; he thought Mugabe

would be as well.

 

HARARE 00000337 002 OF 002

 

 

 

7. (C) Makoni stated he had made his proposal of a GNU to

leaders at the Lusaka SADC Summit in the presence of

Tsvangirai. Tsvangirai expressed opposition to the idea and

 

SIPDIS

was upset that Makoni had not briefed him first. Makoni said

he had tried to see Tsvangirai before the summit, but

Tsvangirai had not been in Harare.

 

SIPDIS

 

8. (C) The cuntry did not want either Mugabe or Tsvangirai

a its president, according to Makoni. He thought ZNU-PF

might accept him as the head of a GNU, butTsvangirai would

probably not. He was willing t try to mediate between the

MDC and ZANU-PF, eventhough such a role would eliminate him

as a potetial leader. Alternatively, the parties could loo

for another mediator, and he would continue to e a player.

 

9. (C) At Makoni’s request, the Amassador agreed to discuss

Makoni’s proposal with Tsvangirai and, if possible, to

arrange a meetingbetween the two.

 

—————–

On Electio Fraud

—————–

 

10. (C) Makoni saidthat two weeks ago he went to the

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to pursue his rights

under the Electoral Act and observe counting of presidential

votes. The chairman of the ZEC, George Chiweshe, and the

Chief Electoral Officer, Lovemore Sekeremayi (son of the

Minister of Defense) refused to allow him to do so; they told

him his presence would be distracting and intimidating. Less

than 24 hours later, according to Makoni, the ZEC decamped

from its headquarters and moved to an undisclosed location.

 

11. (C) ZANU-PF, said Makoni, was working to reverse the

parliamentary results in order to gain a majority and to

change the actual presidential vote. This would not be

acceptable, however, to Zimbabweans, SADC, and the

international community. Makoni added that recounting could

not be done since there had been no chain of custody of

ballot boxes and tabulation had not been done in the presence

of the parties.

 

————————

Willing to Meet with MDC

————————

 

12. (C) Makoni ended the meeting by reiterating that he was

willing to meet anytime, anywhere with Tsvangirai. He was

flexible and he hoped Tsvangirai would be as well. He

thought, however, that Tsvangirai was too much under the

influence of advisors Strive Masiyiwa, Roy Bennett and

Melinda Ferris, and that therefore negotiations would be

difficult.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

13. (C) We believe there is no chance that the MDC will buy

into Makoni’s plan. Nor should it agree to any plan that

allows Mugabe to remain in power. But the Ambassador will

attempt to facilitate a Tsvangirai-Makoni meeting. As two

elements of the opposition, it is important that they talk.

END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

(18 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHAREShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

Write a Comment

Comment