in Stories

MDC was prepared to recognise Mugabe if this could lead to his exit

The Movement for Democratic Change was prepared to recognise Robert Mugabe as the de facto president of Zimbabwe if there was a quid pro quo guarantee of Mugabe’s exit.

This was said by Gandi Mudzingwa, the special assistant to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, when a planned visit to Malawi by Tsvangirai where he was to meet President Bakili Muluzi was cancelled in favour of a meeting in Harare.

The meeting was moved because Mugabe feared that South African President Thabo Mbeki would also invite Tsvangirai to South Africa which would mean regional recognition of Tsvangirai as a legitimate representative of the people in Zimbabwe and a key player in negotiations on Zimbabwe’s future.

Mudzingwa said the Harare meeting would reaffirm that the MDC was a willing negotiating partner while the government was obstructionist.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 03HARARE925, AFRICAN PRESIDENTIAL VISIT NEXT WEEK – MASS ACTION

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

03HARARE925

2003-05-13 14:39

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

131439Z May 03

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000925

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR J. FRAZER

LONDON FOR C. GURNEY

PARIS FOR C. NEARY

NAIROBI FOR T. PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/01/2013

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINR ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: AFRICAN PRESIDENTIAL VISIT NEXT WEEK – MASS ACTION

DELAYED TWO WEEKS

 

 

Classified By: Political Officer Audu Besmer for reasons 1.5 b/d

 

Summary:

——–

 

1. (C) Plans for a Tsvangirai visit to Malawi have been

scrapped in favor of Malawian President Muluzi and South

African president Mbeki coming to Harare next week for talks

with the MDC. The MDC planned stayaway has also been delayed

for another two weeks. Switching the presidential meeting to

Harare was reportedly due to Mugabe’s fear that Tsvangirai

might also travel to South Africa on an invitation from

Mbeki. Regardless, Mugabe is likely to lose comparatively

from the upcoming talks because the MDC is being recognized

regionally as an essential negotiator for Zimbabwe’s future.

End Summary.

 

Malawi Meeting Switched to Harare

———————————

 

2. (C) According to the special assistant to the MDC

President, Gandi Mudzingwa, plans for a meeting in Malawi

between MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai and President Muluzi,

had been scrapped in favor of a meeting in Harare with Muluzi

and Mbeki sometime in the week of May 19 – 23. Mudzingwa had

been communicating with the Malawian High Commissioner in

Harare on the planning and travel documents for the trip. On

May 11, the High Commissioner said that President Mugabe was

afraid that Mbeki might also invite Tsvangirai to meetings in

South Africa during Tsvangirai’s trip.

 

MDC to Gain Regardless

———————-

 

3. (C) Mudzingwa said that while meetings in Malawi might

have been more desirable, the MDC is still gaining ground

with the current plan: regional leaders are recognizing the

MDC as a legitimate representative of the Zimbabwean people,

and a key player in negotiations on Zimbabwe’s future; and

the meetings will reaffirm the MDC as a willing negotiating

partner, and most likely, the GOZ as obstructionist.

Mudzingwa said there was nothing specific yet on an agenda;

however, it seems clear from Mbeki’s recommendation that the

MDC recognize Mugabe as the de facto President of Zimbabwe

that Mbeki would like to get the inter-party dialogue started

again.

 

MDC Might Consider Recognition with Exit Plan

———————————————

 

4. (C) Mudzingwa said they might consider such recognition if

there was a quid pro quo guarantee of Mugabe’s exit.

Mudzingwa understood that the moment may be ripe to restart

negotiations. Mbeki’s interest was due to the June 1-3 G8

Summit in Evian where Mbeki will want to demonstrate a track

record for African peer review in the context of a funding

appeal for NEPAD. Mudzingwa was receptive to the suggestion

that the MDC needed to find a formulation for language on

Mugabe’s status that did not constitute an agreement to

preconditions.

 

Preparing for Mass Action

————————-

 

5. (C) Mudzingwa said there was no specific plan to make the

mass action coincide with the meetings; however, that might

happen coincidentally. Mudzingwa said it had not been

determined what form the mass action would take, that it

would probably start as a stayaway, and potentially move into

demonstrations, marches, or even a march on State House.

Mudzingwa said that many MDC activists at the grass roots

level would like to organize an ocean of people to march on

State House and force Mugabe to abdicate, but the MDC

leadership was not convinced this was possible.

 

6. (C) Mudzingwa said the success of the mass action was

contingent on the Zimbabwe Defense Forces’ (ZDF) response.

As long as the ZDF did not beat up or shoot MDC supporters,

the mass action could continue and gain strength. Mudzingwa

said that the MDC had consulted discreetly with the Zimbabwe

Republic Police (ZRP) and did not foresee a significant

crackdown from them, or for that matter, the disorganized

youth militia. If a crackdown were severe, it would then

take them more time to build confidence and organize further

mass actions.

 

Comment:

——–

 

7. (C) Mugabe’s reluctance to accept regional recognition for

the MDC would explain his insistence that the presidential

meetings be held in Harare. We would expect Mugabe to

thereby try and retain control of the event. However, we

tend to agree with the MDC’s assessment that overall he is

likely to lose from the upcoming round whichever way it goes.

The bottom line is that the MDC is increasingly being

recognized regionally as a key negotiator for Zimbabwe’s

future. End Comment.

WHITEHEAD

(17 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