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Military likely to make Mnangagwa leader if Mugabe dies before naming successor

The military is likely to push Emmerson Mnangagwa as leader if President Robert Mugabe dies before a successor is chosen because the securocrats do not trust Vice President Joice Mujuru.

This was said by Tanzanian ambassador to Zimbabwe Adadi Rajabu on 15 December 2009 according to a diplomatic cable just released by Wikileaks.

In what he said was one of the most pessimistic views of Zimbabwe he had heard from an African diplomat, United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray said Rajabu had told him that the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front was still in revolutionary mode and had completely failed at governing the country.

Rajabu said President Robert Mugabe had committed what could be a grievous error by not focusing on a successor because this could lead ultimately to chaos in the event of his sudden death.

“Robert Mugabe at one time appeared to be looking at Joice Mujuru as a possible successor, but hardliners within the party labelled her and her husband as too close to the US and UK and he switched his attention to Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“It isn’t clear, though, if this means he sees Mnangagwa as a successor, or if this is just another example of his continuing manipulation of his party. Should he suddenly die or be incapacitated, however, there will be chaos.”

Rajabu said that those who think the military’s professionalism will keep it from intervening in politics are wrong. He thought that the military would, in such a case, put Mnangagwa forward as leader because the military chiefs and other hardliners did not trust Mujuru.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09HARARE977, AMBASSADOR RAY’S VISIT WITH TANZANIAN AMBASSADOR

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

09HARARE977

2009-12-16 15:01

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO7828

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0977/01 3501501

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 161501Z DEC 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5230

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000977

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR BRIAN WALCH

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR MICHELLE GAVIN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/16/2019

TAGS: PREL PGOV ZI TZ

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR RAY’S VISIT WITH TANZANIAN AMBASSADOR

TO ZIM

 

Classified By: AMBASSADOR CHARLES A. RAY FOR REASONS 1.4 B,D

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: According to the Tanzanian Ambassador to

Zimbabwe, ZANU-PF, as a revolutionary party, has failed in

its efforts to govern Zimbabwe. Mugabe has committed what

could be a grievous error by not focusing on a successor, and

this could lead ultimately to chaos in the event of his

sudden death. The military is not likely to stand by should

that happen, and will probably put Emmerson Mnangagwa forward

as leader because the securocrats do not like Vice President

Joice Mujuru. MDC-M head Arthur Mutambara is a politician

without a platform who cannot be trusted, and by siding with

ZANU-PF against MDC-T in Maputo he prevented any progress

toward reform. South Africa’s Zuma has clearly lost patience

with Mugabe, but divisions within SADC limit the actions that

can be taken. Except for Zuma himself, Botswana, and

Tanzania, there is little stomach in SADC for criticizing

Mugabe or ZANU-PF.   Right now, with Mugabe stalling on the

agreements made, SADC’s integrity is on the line and it faces

the dilemma of what to do in the event of no progress on the

GPA and SADC Communique. The people of Zimbabwe are

tolerant, but their patience will someday come to an end, and

that could result in chaos and spill over into the region.

END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) In a December 15 meeting with Tanzanian Ambassador

Adadi Rajabu, I was treated to one of the most pessimistic

views of Zimbabwe I have heard from African diplomats here.

He said that ZANU-PF seems to be still in revolutionary mode,

and had completely failed at governing the country. Robert

Mugabe at one time appeared to be looking at Joice Mujuru as

a possible successor, but hardliners within the party labeled

her and her husband as too close to the U.S. and UK and he

switched his attention to Emmerson Mnangagwa. It isn’t

clear, though, if this means he sees Mnangagwa as a

successor, or if this is just another example of his

continuing manipulation of his party. Should he suddenly die

or be incapacitated, however, there will be chaos. Rajabu

believes that those who think the military’s professionalism

will keep it from intervening in politics are wrong. He

thinks that the military would, in such a case, put Mnangagwa

forward as leader because the military chiefs and other

hardliners don’t trust Mujuru.

 

3. (C) Rajabu had strong comments about MDC-M leader Arthur

Mutambara. He said that Mutambara is a politician without a

platform or principles, and cautioned against believing

anything he says. He said that at the Maputo meeting,

Mutambara sabotaged any chances of positive progress by

siding with ZANU-PF against Tsvangirai.

 

4. (C) South African President Zuma has clearly lost

patience with Mugabe, according to Rajabu. He said that at

the Maputo meeting, Zuma was blunt and took several minutes

to calm down. Unfortunately, he is saddled with a divided

SADC, with only Botswana and Tanzania willing to take a

stance against ZANU-PF. The other SADC members, for varying

reasons, will not criticize Mugabe publicly. He expressed

surprise that the South African facilitators reported

progress in recent talks, because he has seen none. He said

the only concession Mugabe is likely to make (and that not

until next year after the holidays) is on provincial

governors. When I pointed out to him that it appears that he

might be looking for a way to avoid doing even that, he

Qmight be looking for a way to avoid doing even that, he

agreed that I was likely correct. The question then is what

SADC will do about the lack of progress. SADC’s integrity is

on the line, he said. It is bad enough that nothing was done

after the deadline established in Maputo was not met, but if

nothing is done about no further progress, it will look

extremely bad for SADC.

 

5. (C) Rajabu described the people of Zimbabwe as patient

and tolerant in the face of unimaginable hardships. But,

that patience will one day come to an end, he said, and then

there could be chaos. He pointed out that if this was West

Africa, there would already be general chaos and a violent

reaction to the government’s ineptness and abuse. The

results of past elections, despite ZANU-PF’s efforts to swing

things its way, show that the people in this country are not

as ignorant or uninformed as some might think. In the first

election, even though ZANU-PF spread money and agricultural

inputs throughout the countryside, and felt assured of a win,

MDC got more votes. This demonstrates he said, that

Zimbabweans are politically aware and can only be manipulated

to a degree. He doesn’t believe the country is ready yet for

another election, because if it is scheduled too soon there

 

HARARE 00000977 002 OF 002

 

 

is likely to be even more violence and manipulation than last

time.

 

6. (C) COMMENT: Rajabu said that while he is probably not

as much of a target for criticism as the U.S. and UK

ambassadors, due to his country’s stance and his own actions,

he is definitely not liked by ZANU-PF. Because of the

history of Zimbabwe and Tanzania, however, they are forced to

treat him with respect. His views on the likely role of the

military in the event of an abrupt Mugabe departure are

significant. Not enough attention has been paid to what the

military might do, and arguments that they will stand idly by

while politicians fight over Mugabe’s bones don’t take into

account that regardless of their professionalism, African

militaries have a history of stepping in to fill political

vacuums. END COMMENT.

 

RAY

(10 VIEWS)

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