in Stories

Mangoma said Tsvangirai was more malleable than Mugabe

One of the two negotiators for the Tsvangirai faction of the Movement for Democratic Change, Elton Mangoma, said South African President Thabo Mbeki and other leaders of the Southern African Development Community were piling pressure on MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai because he was considered to be more malleable than President Robert Mugabe.

The MDC was, however, not going to sign a bad agreement. It was prepared to be patient and wait until the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front agreed to concede the role of head of government to Tsvangirai.

Mangoma said pressure was also coming from their sister organisation the Mutambara faction of the MDC which he said was even more aggressive than ZANU-PF in putting pressure on Tsvangirai to sign an agreement.

MDC-M secretary-general Welshman Ncube who was also one of the two negotiators for that faction argued that without a deal the MDC would have nothing.

Mangoma argued that the MDC would be finished in a government controlled by ZANU-PF and that in urging Tsvangirai to sign an agreement, Ncube and MDC-M were angling for positions in a new government controlled by ZANU-PF.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08HARARE703, STALEMATE

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

08HARARE703

2008-08-19 14:23

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO3944

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0703/01 2321423

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 191423Z AUG 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3311

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2217

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2336

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0868

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1613

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1971

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2392

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4824

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1485

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000703

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR G. GARLAND

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 ZI

SUBJECT: STALEMATE

 

REF: PRETORIA 1847

 

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

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) Elton Mangoma, an MDC negotiator and advisor to MDC

president Morgan Tsvangirai, told polecon chief August 19

that despite pressure from all sides the MDC would sign a

deal only if Tsvangirai became head of government. While

negotiations will continue, facilitated by South African

president Thabo Mbeki under the aegis of the SADC Troika,

Mangoma said the MDC would hold firm and would be prepared to

wait out ZANU-PF until an agreement reflective of the March

29 elections was achieved. With ZANU-PF unwilling to cede

power, he saw no prospect for an early resolution to the

Zimbabwean crisis. END SUMMARY.

 

——————

The MDC Holds Firm

——————

 

2. (C) Mangoma said at the SADC Summit (Ref) there had been

intense pressure from all sides to reach an agreement. Apart

from ZANU-PF, the MDC Mutambara (MDC-M) negotiators,

particularly Welshman Ncube, had been agressive–even more so

than ZANU-PF–during the tripartite negotiations in

pressuring Tsvangirai to sign an agreement. Ncube had argued

that without a deal the MDC would have nothing. Mangoma

opined to us that the MDC would be finished in a government

controlled by ZANU-PF and that in urging Tsvangirai to sign

an agreement, Ncube and MDC-M were angling for positions in a

new government controlled by ZANU-PF.

 

3. (C) SADC and Mbeki had pleaded with MDC Tsvangirai

(MDC-T) at the SADC Summit last week to sign an agreement

which left Mugabe with executive power and control of the

security forces, according to Mangoma. They had tried to

convince the MDC that whatever reservations it had about a

power-sharing agreement could be worked out in the new

government. Mangoma believed that SADC and Mbeki were not

concerned about the nature of an agreement, but just wanted

one signed. Pressure was being placed primarily on the MDC

because Tsvangirai was considered more malleable than Mugabe.

 

 

4. (C) Despite the pressure, Mangoma insisted–as has

Tsvangirai–that the MDC would not sign a bad agreement. It

was prepared to be patient and wait, as the shrinking economy

denied more and more ZANU-PF officials access to government

largesse, until ZANU-PF was willing to concede the role of

head of government to Tsvangirai.

 

5. (C) While Mangoma saw no early end to the impasse, he

said the MDC would continue to talk when summoned by the

mediator, Mbeki. It would also continue its outreach within

the SADC region to attempt to create more pressure on Mugabe.

 

————–

Mbeki and SADC

————–

 

6. (C) Mangoma said Mbeki would continue in his role as

mediator, supported by the SADC Troika (the SADC Organ on

Politics, Defence, and Security Co-operation), now comprised

of Mozambique (replacing Tanzania), Angola, and Swaziland as

chair. He expressed some suspicion of the Troika–King

Mswati of Swaziland “didn’t know what an election was,” and

Angola was a one-party state with some difficulty relating to

a two-party democracy. Nevertheless, he thought Angola had a

 

HARARE 00000703 002 OF 002

 

 

growing and sophisticated understanding of Zimbabwe and

Mozambique had a history of dealing with opposition politics.

 

 

7. (C) Mangoma added that he believed SADC was sensitive to

the concerns of the international community and urged us to

continue to work behind the scenes to encourage SADC

countries to support a fair agreement. He noted that

Tanzania, Zambia, and Botswana had shown strong support for

the MDC’s position and, based on discussions at the SADC

Summit, thought Malawi might be supportive as well.

 

8. (C) Mangoma said Tsvangirai planned to travel to Botswana

and Zambia within the next couple of days and might also

visit King Mswati in Swaziland. He would then return to

Harare before traveling to other SADC countries to enlist

support.

 

———————-

Parliament and the MDC

———————-

 

9. (C) There have been news that Mugabe would soon convene

Parliament, perhaps on September 1. Mangoma was uncertain if

this was true, but said the MDC would oppose it as a

violation of the Memorandum of Understanding that serves as a

basis for the negotiations. Nevertheless, if Parliament was

convened, Mangoma was confident that with a couple of

exceptions, all MDC-T parliamentarians would be present.

According to Mangoma, with the expected support of six to

eight of the MDC-M MPs, MDC-T would have a parliamentary

majority and would be able to elect the Speaker of the House

of Assembly.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

10. (C) Tsvangirai and MDC-T face continuing and increasing

pressure from ZANU-PF, MDC-M, and SADC to sign a

power-sharing deal that would leave Mugabe with considerable

executive power. They continue to take a principled

position–in the face of spin by ZANU-PF that they are

defying SADC–and insist on an agreement that makes

Tsvangirai head of government. (The GOZ mouthpiece The

Herald carried two headlines today: “MDC-T leader lie to us

(SADC) about Zim situation,” and “‘SADC presses Tsvangirai to

sign deal”.)   We should continue to make our position clear

to SADC capitals: international reengagement will be

considered only if a government is constituted, consistent

with the March 29 elections, that has Tsvangirai as its head.

MCGEE

(6 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