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Masiyiwa had ties to both ZANU-PF and MDC!

Former journalist Sydney Masamvu told South African government officials that exiled businessman Strive Masiyiwa was a strong neutral candidate acceptable to both the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and the Movement for Democratic Change.

He was not tainted and was respected by the international community. He had ties to ZANU-PF through his uncle Joseph Msika who was the party vice-president and had been quietly supporting the MDC.

Masamvu named the other two candidates as former Finance Minister Simba Makoni and central bank governor Gideon Gono.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 07PRETORIA1495, C) ZIMBABWE: SENIOR SAG OFFICIALS OUTLINE VIEWS

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

07PRETORIA1495

2007-04-30 14:12

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Pretoria

VZCZCXRO1243

OO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSA #1495/01 1201412

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 301412Z APR 07

FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9465

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1177

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1065

RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS PRIORITY 1077

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY 2060

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA PRIORITY 0972

RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON PRIORITY 0070

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 0511

RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 0461

RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN PRIORITY 4243

RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 PRETORIA 001495

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR P, AF, AF/S

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/29/2017

TAGS: PREL PHUM KDEM ZI SF

SUBJECT: (C) ZIMBABWE: SENIOR SAG OFFICIALS OUTLINE VIEWS

TO NGO CONTACT

 

REF: A. PRETORIA 1447

 

B. PRETORIA 0957

 

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires Donald Teitelbaum. Reasons 1.4(b) and

(d).

 

(U) This is an action request — see para 15.

 

1. (C) SUMMARY. In a series of meeting with IDASA analyst

Sydney Masamvu on April 24-25, senior South African officials

questioned Masamvu in detail about the situation in Zimbabwe.

DepForMin Pahad made clear he held MDC leader Tsvangirai in

low regard, but had a much higher opinion of MDC

Secretary-General Biti. At Pahad’s request, Masamvu listed

 

SIPDIS

three “neutral” Zimbabwean leaders who would be acceptable to

ZANU-PF and the MDC: Simba Makoni, Gideon Gono, and Strive

Masiyiwa. DFA DG Ntsaluba said the MDC was heavily

infiltrated by the GOZ, and that Tsvangirai should lobby

other African states, not Washington and London. Ntsaluba

said Mugabe only acts when under pressure. Intelligence

Minister Kasrils and his deputy Gilder discussed Mugabe’s

“pressure points” with Masamvu, noting that dissent within

ZANU-PF should be “nurtured” and the MDC strengthened. ANC

Secretary-General Motlanthe told Masamvu he is urging Mbeki

 

SIPDIS

to lobby SADC on free and fair elections in Zimbabwe now,

before it is too late. It is unusual for these senior SAG

officials to spend so much time with an NGO analyst like

Masamvu. This suggests that the SAG lacks solid information

about the dynamic in Zimbabwe and is still developing policy

options. The tenor of the questioning indicates that the SAG

remains committed to easing Mugabe out of power, but appears

focused on installing in his place a Pretoria-manipulated

government of national unity, regardless of the electoral

wishes of the Zimbabwean people. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad and Department of

Foreign Affairs (DFA) Director General Ayanda Ntsaluba met at

length with Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA)

analyst and close Embassy contact Sydney Masamvu (strictly

protect) on April 24. Pahad requested the meeting with

Masamvu after reading the March 05 International Crisis Group

(ICG) report “Zimbabwe: An End to the Stalemate?”, and asking

who had researched the report. Following this initial

conversation, Pahad set up individual meetings the same day

for Masamvu with Minister of Intelligence Ronnie Kasrils and

with head of the National Intelligence Coordinating Committee

(NICOC) Barry Gilder. Masamvu also met ANC Secretary-General

Kgalema Motlanthe on April 25, his second meeting with

Motlanthe in recent months (Ref B). Pahad tried to

facilitate a meeting between Masamvu and President Mbeki on

April 25, but was not successful because of scheduling

complications. A visibly exhausted Masamvu provided PolOff a

readout of these marathon meetings on April 26.

 

——————————————— –

Pahad and Ntsaluba Looking for “Neutral Faces”

——————————————— –

 

3. (C) Pahad and Ntsaluba asked Masamvu pointed questions

about the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition Movement

for Democratic Change (MDC), its leadership personalities,

and the role of the Zimbabwean military. Pahad made clear

that he held Tsvangirai in “low esteem,” but said that

MDC-Tsvangarai Secretary-General Tendai Biti was

“well-meaning” with a “vision for the future — unlike his

boss.” Ntsaluba commented that Tsvangirai spends too much

time lobbying London and Washington, and not enough time in

the region. “We want to hear from Morgan in Dar and in

Gaborone,” Ntsaluba urged. The MDC is “heavily infiltrated,”

Ntsaluba commented, saying that ZANU-PF provides them with

copies of MDC letters to Mbeki before the MDC letter arrives

in Pretoria. “ZANU-PF is always one step ahead,” Ntsaluba

observed. Masamvu said he told Pahad and Ntsaluba that the

MDC-Tsvangirai faction did not view South Africa as neutral

since SAG officials meet with Arthur Mutambara and Welshman

 

PRETORIA 00001495 002 OF 004

 

 

Ncube regularly, while refusing to see Morgan Tsvangirai.

 

4. (C) Pahad asked Masamvu which leaders were “neutral faces”

in Zimbabwe, acceptable to both ZANU-PF and the opposition.

Masamvu identified three:

 

— Former SADC Secretary General Simba Makoni: He remains a

member of the ZANU-PF politburo, but is viewed by the

opposition as a “unifier.” Masamvu noted, for example, that

Tsvangirai attended the funeral of Makoni’s son;

 

SIPDIS

 

— GOZ Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono: He knows the

ZANU-PF system and patronized the military, but Tsvangirai

can talk to him. Masamvu called Gono “pliable,” someone with

whom the international community could work; and,

 

— Exiled Zimbabwean businessman Strive Masiyiwa: He is not

tainted. He is respected by the international community, and

has ties both to ZANU-PF (his uncle is Vice President Msika)

and to MDC (he has quietly supported the party).

 

Pahad told Masamvu that these were the “same types of

individuals” that the he and President Mbeki had identified

as potential leaders.

 

5. (C) Ntsaluba suggested that Mugabe is only compliant when

he is under pressure. It was only following the March 11

beating of opposition leaders that South Africa was able to

garner enough support for SADC to put Zimbabwe on the agenda.

Ntsaluba noted that South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, and

sometimes Zambia and Tanzania were largely isolated in

wanting to pressure Mugabe. Namibia, Angola, and Malawi

remained close to Mugabe.

 

6. (C) Pahad asked Masamvu to prepare a five-page paper for

him by May 04 outlining his core recommendations for Zimbabwe

policy. Pahad also told Masamvu that he would like to meet,

together with one or two other “neutral” Zimbabwe analysts,

on a weekly basis. (COMMENT: Masamvu is open to suggestions

on what to emphasize in his paper. END COMMENT.)

 

—————————————–

Kasrils/Gilder Focus on Pressuring Mugabe

—————————————–

 

7. (C) Masamvu told PolOff that he found Intelligence

Minister Kasrils and NICOC head Gilder to be the most

pragmatic and focused of the SAG officials with whom he met.

Kasrils stressed that the international community must keep

the pressure on Mugabe, finding ways to “isolate him from

within his own party.” (NOTE: Masamvu suggested to PolOff

that the USG and EU consider making the smart sanctions more

“sophisticated” by lifting them on certain ZANU-PF officials

to create mistrust within the party. Properly crafted, this

strategy could further isolate Mugabe, Masamvu argued. END

NOTE.)

 

8. (C) No one should take Mugabe’s word that he will step

down, Kasrils said. Mugabe had “strung” the SAG along during

the 2004 constitutional talks. Kasrils said that the SAG

knows his game. South Africa is looking at the December

ZANU-PF annual congress as another opportunity to “rock the

boat.” If the SADC facilitation should fail, the SAG may

look to the annual congress as a “fallback” event to pressure

Mugabe to step down either by choice or through a

non-military “palace coup.” Masamvu said that Kasrils hinted

strongly that the SAG supported the Mujuru faction in

ZANU-PF, without explicitly stating that position.

 

9. (C) Kasrils said that the MDC needs to be strengthened to

pressure Mugabe, but that he had been consistently

disappointed by the party. Unlike Pahad, Kasrils

acknowledged that Tsvangirai was the key opposition leader

with the most support. Kasrils said that the election in

2000 was the window of opportunity for the MDC, but the party

 

PRETORIA 00001495 003 OF 004

 

 

missed its chance. More recently, MDC President Morgan

Tsvangirai had not seized on the March 11 events to energize

 

SIPDIS

the party. Instead, Tsvangirai had let the momentum

“fizzle,” raising questions about his capacity as MDC leader.

 

10. (C) In each of their meetings, Kasrils and Gilder asked

Masamvu about the role of the Zimbabwean military. When

Masamvu described the various alliances within the military

and their political and family links, both Gilder and Kasrils

took copious notes, asking a series of detailed questions.

(COMMENT: Masamvu found this surprising, since his

information was common knowledge in Zimbabwe. END COMMENT.)

Kasrils told Masamvu that 15-20 Zimbabwean soldiers are

defecting at the border every day.

 

11. (C) In their three-hour session, Gilder asked Masamvu

about the “pressure points” on Mugabe, suggesting that the

key is getting Mugabe “out of the equation.” Gilder and

Masamvu discussed five potential pressure points:

 

— dissent from within ZANU-PF, which should be “nurtured”;

 

— the deteriorating economic situation (Gilder said that

South Africa was prepared to provide economic assistance to a

“government of all forces”);

 

— isolation of Mugabe, both internally and internationally;

 

— strengthened MDC opposition; and,

 

— increased regional diplomatic pressure on Mugabe.

 

——————————————— ————

Motlanthe Urges Regional Pressure/Soft Landing for Mugabe

——————————————— ————-

 

12. (C) In their April 25 conversation, ANC Secretary General

Motlanthe told Masamvu that he feared the SADC initiative

might not deliver. He is urging Mbeki to work with his SADC

partners to deliver a message to Mugabe now — not later in

the year — stressing that SADC will not endorse the outcome

in the 2008 Zimbabwe elections unless the GOZ makes the

necessary reforms. Motlanthe said this message would be a

“bomb” for Mugabe. Motlanthe also suggested that the

international community begin to discuss a “soft landing” for

Mugabe, making it clear to him that he will not be prosecuted

in the International Criminal Court if he steps down.

Motlanthe described his vision of a new formation, a “united

front,” emerging in Zimbabwe taking in parts of ZANU-PF and

the MDC.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

13. (C) It is highly unusual for senior SAG and ANC officials

to spend so much time speaking with an NGO analyst like

Masamvu, no matter how well informed he is, and to be so open

and frank. This outreach indicates that the SAG lacks

sophisticated information about the situation in Zimbabwe and

is reaching out to multiple sources for policy ideas.

Assuming that Masamvu’s interlocutors are being honest with

him — and we have no reason to expect otherwise — we are

encouraged that SAG officials have no illusions about

Mugabe’s intentions and acknowledge (at least privately) that

pressure on Mugabe must be maintained. That said, the SAG

appears focused on manipulating the various ZANU-PF and MDC

factions to piece together a government of national unity,

instead of letting voters decide the country’s leadership

through free and fair elections.

 

14. (C) We suspect that Pahad’s distrust of the

Tsvangirai-led MDC and his search for SAG-identified

 

SIPDIS

“compromise” leaders tracks with Mbeki’s views. Ntsaluba,

Kasrils, Gilder and Motlanthe appear more focused on Mugabe’s

 

PRETORIA 00001495 004 OF 004

 

 

pressure points and the importance of regional diplomacy. As

noted in Ref A, the coming weeks might be a particularly

opportune time for senior USG officials to engage the SAG on

Zimbabwe.

 

————–

Action Request

————–

 

15. (C) As noted in para 6, Masamvu is willing to take our

suggestions as to what he should include in his May 04

Zimbabwe paper for Pahad. We welcome Washington and Embassy

Harare guidance on what, if any, input we should provide. To

allow sufficient time for Masamvu to incorporate these

elements into his document in his own words, we require

guidance by May 2nd. We also welcome Washington and Embassy

Harare reactions to Masamvu’s para 7 suggestion that distrust

could be sown within ZANU-PF by easing sanctions on selected

individuals.

 

TEITELBAUM

(25 VIEWS)

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