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Masiyiwa said Tsvangirai won 2008 elections

Businessman Strive Masiyiwa told United States ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee that the Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai had won the March 2008 presidential elections so any run-off would not recognise this reality.

He said there were four possible scenarios from the MDC’s point of view:

  • Capitulation by ZANU-PF and recognition that Tsvangirai had won;
  • A government of national unity led by the MDC;
  • A runoff election; and
  • An MDC boycott of the runoff election.

He said since ZANU-PF would never give away power and would never accept the MDC as a senior partner in a government of national unity, only the latter two were realistic.

A boycott would make the point that Tsvangirai had won, and would also make a statement that the MDC would not participate in an election where pervasive violence and intimidation made that election unfair.

Masiyiwa ruled out a coalition with Simba Makoni because the MDC was piqued Makoni had shown up in Lusaka for the SADC summit, and because Makoni had raised the possibility of a government of national unity.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE328, MDC WARNS OF BOYCOTT

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE328

2008-04-15 15:09

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO8018

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0328/01 1061509

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 151509Z APR 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2777

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1920

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2043

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0606

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1320

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1677

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2099

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4530

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1175

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000328

 

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: 04/15/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ZI

SUBJECT: MDC WARNS OF BOYCOTT

 

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

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai told the Ambassador

on April 15 that the MDC leadership is meeting to consider

options but, given escalating levels of violence, an election

boycott is likely. Tsvangirai advisor and South African

businessman Strive Masiyiwa had also told the Ambassador the

previous day that an MDC boycott was likely. Masiyiwa said

the MDC was working out an agreement with Arthur Mutambara

and his supporters, but had decided not to work with Simba

Makoni. On SADC, Masiyiwa said the MDC was considering

asking that South African President Thabo Mbeki step down as

point person on Zimbabwe. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) The Ambassador talked by phone April 15 with

Tsvangirai who was in South Africa. Tsvangirai said that, in

 

SIPDIS

light of increasing violence, the MDC was meeting to discuss

a boycott of a runoff election should the Zimbabwe Electoral

Commission (ZEC) announce that neither Tsvangirai or Mugabe

received more than fifty percent of the vote.

 

3. (C) Masiyiwa in an April 14 phone conversation told the

Ambassador that at this point there were four possible

scenarios from the MDC’s point of view: 1) capitulation by

ZANU-PF and recognition that Tsvangirai had won; 2) a

government of national unity led by the MDC; 3) a runoff

election; and 4) an MDC boycott of the runoff election.

Since ZANU-PF would never give away power and would never

accept the MDC as a senior partner in a government of

national unity, only the latter two were realistic, according

to Masiyiwa. Masiyiwa said the MDC had in fact won the

election. A runoff election would not recognize this

reality. A boycott would make the point that Tsvangirai had

won, and would also make a statement that the MDC would not

participate in an election where pervasive violence and

intimidation made that election unfair.

 

4. (C) Masiyiwa also said that the MDC was in the process of

concluding a unification agreement with Arthur Mutambara and

his supporters. The MDC had decided not to work with Simba

Makoni. Masiyiwa said this was because the MDC was piqued

Makoni had shown up in Lusaka for the SADC summit, and

because Makoni had raised the possibility of a government of

national unity. He further told the Ambassador that the MDC

had reached its limits with Mbeki (presumably after Mbeki’s

photo-op with Mugabe before the Lusaka SADC Summit at which

he said there was no crisis in Zimbabwe) and was considering

asking SADC to replace Mbeki as point person for Zimbabwe.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

5. (C) The MDC previously said it would contest a runoff

election under protest since it believed Tsvangirai had won

the requisite fifty-plus percent. Last week, its national

council voted to boycott and the leadership appears to be

taking this seriously. While the MDC threatened a boycott

before the March 29 election, in the end it participated,

buoyed by an opening of democratic space and an absence of

violence and intimidation during the campaign period.

Despite the fact that most Zimbabweans would like to see

Mugabe out, the MDC appears to be concluding that increasing

violence and intimidation, particularly in rural areas, may

make a Tsvangirai win not possible. A boycott would

therefore be preferable to participating and losing. If the

MDC does boycott, however, there appears to be no plan B

after Mugabe is reelected.

 

HARARE 00000328 002 OF 002

 

 

 

6. (C) COMMENT CONTINUED: While an alliance with the

Mutambara faction is positive, we continue to believe that

Tsvangirai should reach out to Makoni. Makoni won about

 

SIPDIS

eight percent of the vote and, in the event of a runoff,

could attract additional support from ZANU-PF. Apart from

whether or not there is a runoff, a public Tsvangirai-Makoni

alliance would send a powerful anti-Mugabe message. Lastly,

Makoni and his followers could provide important assistance

in strategizing a way forward to the MDC. END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

(187 VIEWS)

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