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Masamvu said Mugabe would hand over to Mnangagwa in six months

Political analyst Sydney Masamvu said prior to the presidential election run-off of 2008 that President Robert Mugabe’s campaign would be run by the military, not party officials.

The commander of the Defence Forces Constantine Chiwenga and Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri were pushing for Mugabe to remain President for another six months and then Emmerson Mnangagwa would take over.

He said Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who had been out of the country, was returning in three days and was likely to participate in the presidential elections run-off.

A British diplomat said Tsvangirai would soon embark on “a victory/campaign tour” in a 500-vehicle convoy throughout the entire country.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08PRETORIA966, MDC LEADER ALLEGEDLY RETURNING TO HARARE

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

08PRETORIA966

2008-05-07 14:53

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN

Embassy Pretoria

VZCZCXRO7550

PP RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSA #0966/01 1281453

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 071453Z MAY 08

FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4371

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE PRIORITY 3652

RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN PRIORITY 5571

RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN PRIORITY 9789

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0521

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PRETORIA 000966

 

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF/S

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/06/2018

TAGS: PREL KDEM KHUM ZI

SUBJECT: MDC LEADER ALLEGEDLY RETURNING TO HARARE

 

 

PRETORIA 00000966 001.2 OF 002

 

 

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires Perry Ball. Reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY. After traveling for most of the past month,

MDC Leader Morgan Tsvangirai will finally return to Harare on

10 May to address the nation, lay out signposts, and start a

“victory/campaign” tour, according to Institute for Democracy

in South Africa analyst Sydney Masamvu and a British

diplomat. Masamvu believes MDC will participate in a run-off

and that Tsvangirai’s return is intended to recapture some of

the momentum lost during the absence of almost the entire MDC

leadership. As for when a run-off will occur, Masamvu

believes that the ruling party cannot afford to drag it out

too long because of current economic conditions, adding that

most believe it will occur within 30 to 40 days. However,

another IDASA analyst pointed out that Zimbabwe’s electoral

law can easily be manipulated for political ends, making a

run-off date impossible to predict within any legal

framework. END SUMMARY.

 

——————————

TSVANGIRAI TO RETURN TO HARARE

——————————

 

2. (C) PolOff on 07 May attended a Zimbabwe political

briefing at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa

(IDASA), during which panelists spoke about the current

electoral crisis in Zimbabwe. IDASA analyst Sydney Masamvu

opened the session by saying that MDC Leader Morgan

Tsvangirai will return to Harare on Saturday 10 May, which

was later confirmed to PolOff by MDC Advisor Kathi Walther

(protect). Tsvangirai will arrive at the airport mid-day and

will be greeted by all MDC parliamentarians. Masamvu said

that Tsvangirai will address the nation on Saturday as well,

laying out “signposts.” A British diplomat sitting next to

PolOff said Tsvangirai will soon thereafter embark on “a

victory/campaign tour” in a 500-vehicle convoy throughout the

entire country. Masamvu also said that the MDC will “convene

a parliamentary caucus to outline their agenda on Friday, 9

May,” however Walther later told PolOff that this is likely

to be delayed. Masamvu also noted that the two MDC factions

are united only in Parliament. A total reunification of the

party will occur in 12 months. Several contacts have told

PolOff that Tsvangirai has no interest in joining forces with

Simba Makoni.

 

3. (SBU) Many audience members asked if Tsvangirai is

concerned about his security, especially given the most

recent press reports noting that “snipers” were in Harare set

to kill Tsvangirai, or being arrested. Masamvu said that

Tsvangirai is not afraid of being arrested on treason since

documents used to accuse Tsvangirai have since been proven

false. He also said that SADC leaders have assured

Tsvangirai not to worry, though Masamvu admitted that he does

not know how SADC can guarantee Tsvangirai’s safety. A

Swedish aid officer worried that Tsvangirai could be arrested

under Section 31 of the Zimbabwean criminal code, which

states that one can be arrested for making a false statement

that can cause disorder. “Morgan or Tendai announcing they

won by 50.3% would qualify,” he warned.

 

————————————

NO LEGAL TIME CONSTRAINTS ON RUN-OFF

————————————

 

4. (SBU) According to another IDASA analyst, Derek Matyszak,

Q4. (SBU) According to another IDASA analyst, Derek Matyszak,

Zimbabwe’s electoral law is poorly drafted and contains

several contradictory, improbable, and unconstitutional

provisions, which have been exploited for political ends.

Matyszak believes the ZEC’s behavior during the first

election almost guarantees that they will not be impartial in

a run-off, while Masamvu believes that electoral results will

now forever be contested, even if they are accurate, because

of the ZEC’s behavior.

 

5. (SBU) As for a run-off date, Matyszak argued that Mugabe

can legally choose any date he wants for a run-off, despite

the electoral provision that a run-off election be held

within 21 days. According to the regulatory powers of the

electoral commission in Section 192 of the Electoral Act,

there are “statutory instruments that provide for altering

any period specified in this (electoral) Act within which

anything connected with, arising out of, or resulting from

 

PRETORIA 00000966 002.2 OF 002

 

 

any election must be done.” In other words, ZEC can

theoretically set any date, which will then be approved by

the Justice Minister (who is appointed by Mugabe). Masamvu

believes, however, that the run-off will be sooner rather

than later, given the current economic conditions in the

country. He said that ZANU has estimated a run-off will cost

roughly USD 60 million, and the government is already having

difficulty paying civil servants. Masamvu believes that as

of 06 May most people are looking at a 30-40 day timeline as

of yesterday.

 

6. (SBU) Masamvu also stated that Mugabe’s campaign in a

run-off is being run by the military, not party officials.

He said the CDF Commander and Police Commissioner are

currently pushing for Mugabe to remain President for another

six months, then would like Emmerson Mnangagwa (currently

running the head of Joint Operations Center) to take over as

President. Masamvu said the army commander and head of

intelligence (names not given) are “pushing for change.”

BALL

(21 VIEWS)

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