in Stories

Mangoma thought Mugabe and Tsvangirai would have equal powers in NSC

Movement for Democratic Change negotiator and deputy treasurer Elton Mangoma argued that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe would have equal powers within the National Security Council because it would operate by consensus.

The council was expected to have 21 government officials two-thirds of whom were expected to be from the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

Mangoma said that while membership was in favour of ZANU-PF this was justified because some of the officials were responsible for executing NSC policies.

He argued that the NSC would operate by consensus rather than vote, therefore, ultimately the NSC would be dependent upon agreement between Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

Further details, however, revealed that Mugabe would have an upper hand because he was going to chair the NSC.

Though the MDC had pressed for Tsvangirai to chair the NSC in the absence of Mugabe, ZANU-PF had rejected this.

The compromise produced was that there would be no chairman in Mugabe’s absence.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 09HARARE117, ZIMBABWEAN PARLIAMENT PASSES NSC LEGISLATION

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

09HARARE117

2009-02-13 07:38

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO1080

OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0117/01 0440738

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 130738Z FEB 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4038

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2627

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2749

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1226

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2018

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2374

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2798

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5226

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1919

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000117

 

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

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/13/2019

TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWEAN PARLIAMENT PASSES NSC LEGISLATION

 

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires Katherine S. Dhanani for reason 1.4 (d

)

 

——————————————— —

MDC Intends NSC to be Safeguard Against Violence

——————————————— —

 

1. (SBU) The Zimbabwean Parliament passed the Zimbabwe

National Security Council (NSC) bill on February 10, creating

a new executive entity charged with reviewing the country’s

national security policies and recommending or directing

strategic actions. The NSC legislation is currently awaiting

the signature of President Mugabe, before it will become law.

The MDC-T had made their entrance into a government of

national unity contingent upon the creation of a NSC. The

bill ostensibly eliminates the Joint Operations Command that

reported directly to President Robert Mugabe and had become a

vehicle for directing violence against the political

opposition.

 

———————————

Membership Biased Towards ZANU-PF

———————————

 

2. (SBU) The NSC will be composed of 21 government

officials, approximately two-thirds of whom are members of

ZANU-PF with long-standing ties to Mugabe. The council

membership consists of the president, the two

vice-presidents, the prime minister, the two deputy prime

ministers, the minister of finance, the minister of defense,

the minister of home affairs, and three ministers of which

one will be designated by each of the three political parties

(ZANU-PF, MDC-T, and MDC-M).

 

3. (SBU) There are an additional nine members of the NSC

that are designated &ex officio8 members who are part of

the NSC by virtue of holding security specific positions.

These members are the president’s minister of national

security, the chief secretary to the president, the chief

secretary to the prime minister, the commander of the defense

forces, the commanders of the army and air force, the police

commissioner, the prison commissioner, and the director

general of the department of state for national security.

 

———————————-

MDC-T Comfortable with Compromises

———————————-

 

4. (C) Elton Mangoma, one of the two MDC-T negotiators of

the bill, told us that while the MDC had been forced to

compromise with ZANU-PF on the bill, overall his party was

very pleased with the legislation. He believed it would act

as a deterrent to abuse of the defense forces. (NOTE: The

MDC-T had produced a proposed draft of the bill which formed

the basis for negotiations between the parties. END NOTE.)

 

5. (C) One of the points of contention had been the addition

by ZANU-PF of the nine &ex officio8 members. While their

inclusion had tilted the overall balance of membership

strongly in ZANU-PF’s favor, Mangoma felt their presence was

justified as they would be responsible for executing NSC

policies. Also, Mangoma explained that the NSC would operate

by consensus rather than by vote. Therefore, ultimately the

Qby consensus rather than by vote. Therefore, ultimately the

NSC would be dependent upon agreement between Mugabe and

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. The rest of the council

would fall in line behind them. Mangoma believed that the

NSC would effectively evolve into a Cabinet sub-committee,

whereby decisions already agreed upon in Cabinet would be

reviewed and implemented in the NSC.

 

6. (C) Another nuanced yet significant change that was

 

HARARE 00000117 002 OF 002

 

 

reached through negotiation involved the function of the NSC.

The MDC-T version made very clear that the NSC would be

responsible for “overseeing and directing the operations and

activities of the security services” and that the “commanders

of the security forces shall promptly carry out every lawful

order or direction the Council may give them.” In contrast,

the final version defined the NSC’s responsibility as that of

“reviewing national policies on security, defense and law and

order, and recommending or directing appropriate action.”

While it may be implicit, the final version made no reference

to the security services obligation to report to the NSC and

to promptly execute NSC orders. In general, it appears that

the negotiations resulted in the NSC assuming primarily

oversight versus operational responsibilities.

 

7. (C) The NSC will meet a minimum of once a month and will

be chaired by Mugabe. The MDC-T had pressed for Tsvangirai

to be chairman in the president’s absence, but this provision

had been stricken by ZANU-PF. The compromise produced was

that there would be no chairman in Mugabe’s absence.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

8. (C) The MDC claims the NSC bill as a political victory as

it had insisted on the elimination of the Joint Operations

Command (JOC), composed of the service chiefs and senior

government officials, and its replacement with a security

policy entity that did not answer solely to Mugabe.

 

9. (C) However, the bill is watered down from the MDC draft.

We also note that as Mugabe will retain the personl loyalty

of the security chiefs, there exists te potential for abuse,

including the de facto operation of the JOC. As with the

rest of the new government, success will be contingent upon

good faith efforts by ZANU-PF, of which we have seen little

sign. END COMMENT.

 

DHANANI

(23 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