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Mugabe agreed to GNU as long as Tsvangirai was not in it

President Robert Mugabe agreed to a government of national unity shortly after winning the 2002 presidential elections so long as Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai was not included in it.

This was disclosed to United States embassy officials by Tsvangirai’s special advisor Gandi Mudzingwa but he did not say why Mugabe did not want Tsvangirai in the government.

Tsvangirai was being accused of plotting to assassinate Mugabe at the time but had not yet been formally charged.

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and South African President Thabo Mbeki met Mugabe and Tsvangirai separately on 18 March, one week after the presidential elections, to urge them to talk and both agreed to.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 02HARARE721, PRESIDENTS MBEKI, OBASANJO PROPOSE STRUCTURED DIALOGUE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

02HARARE721

2002-03-19 15:39

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.

 

191539Z Mar 02

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTO0118

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00721 191600Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   CIAE-00 USNW-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 EUR-00   VC-00

H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00     AC-01   NSAE-00

OMB-01   PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00

SSO-00   SS-00   TRSE-00 T-00     USIE-00 PMB-00   DRL-02

G-00     SAS-00     /005W

——————7778E4 191600Z /45

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1268

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

AMEMBASSY ABUJA IMMEDIATE

AMEMBASSY PRETORIA IMMEDIATE

USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PRIORITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000721

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/14/12

TAGS: PREL PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: PRESIDENTS MBEKI, OBASANJO PROPOSE STRUCTURED DIALOGUE

BETWEEN ZANU-PF AND THE MDC

 

 

CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF MATT HARRINGTON. REASONS:

1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

1. (C) PRESIDENTS MBEKI AND OBASANJO MET SEPARATELY ON MARCH 18

WITH PRESIDENT MUGABE AND MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC)

LEADER MORGAN TSVANGIRAI. ACCORDING TO TSVANGIRAI’S SPECIAL

ADVISOR, GANDI MUDZINGWA, THE SOUTH AFRICAN AND NIGERIAN LEADERS

DID NOT PRESS FOR FORMATION OF A GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY IN

THE MEETING WITH TSVANGIRAI. RATHER, THEY PROPOSED

ESTABLISHMENT OF A STRUCTURED DIALOGUE BETWEEN ZANU-PF AND THE MDC,

UNDER WHICH SOUTH AFRICAN AND NIGERIAN FACILITATORS WOULD

COORDINATE A PROCESS BY WHICH THE TWO PARTIES COULD JOINTLY PLAN

THE WAY FORWARD. TSVANGIRAI AGREED TO NAME KEY PARTY MEMBERS TO

PARTICIPATE IN THE DIALOGUE. ACCORDING TO MUDZINGWA, THE MDC HEARD

FROM OTHER SOURCES THAT MUGABE HAD AGREED TO THE PROPOSAL FOR

INTER-PARTY DIALOGUE, AND EVEN FORMATION OF A NATIONAL UNITY

GOVERNMENT, SO LONG AS TSVANGIRAI WAS NOT INCLUDED IN IT.

 

2. (C) MUDZINGWA WAS IN HIGH SPIRITS AND DESCRIBED THE MEETING AS

“VERY POSITIVE.” MBEKI AND OBASANJO, HE SAID, HAD ACKNOWLEDGED

THAT THERE IS A POLITICAL CRISIS IN ZIMBABWE WHICH THE ELECTION DID

NOT RESOLVE, AND THEY RECOGNIZED THE MDC AS A MAJOR POLITICAL FORCE

THAT OUGHT TO BE INVOLVED IN HELPING PLAN THE COUNTRY’S NEXT STEPS.

 

3. (C) IN A SEPARATE CONVERSATION, NIGERIAN HIGH COMMISSIONER

WILBERFORCE JUTA TOLD US THAT MBEKI AND OBASANJO HAD MET ALONE WITH

MUGABE. HE PROFESSED IGNORANCE OF THE SUBSTANCE OF THEIR

DISCUSSION BUT SAID MUGABE SEEMED PLEASED AFTER EMERGING. JUTA,

HOWEVER, DID PARTICIPATE IN MOST OF THE TSVANGIRAI MEETING, AND HE

CONFIRMED MUCH OF MUDZINGWA’S READOUT. HE REPORTED THAT MBEKI AND

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00721 191600Z

OBASANJO HAD PRESSED THE MDC TO ENGAGE IN DIALOGUE WITH ZANU-PF.

TSVANGIRAI HAD REPLIED THAT HIS PARTY HAD ALWAYS BEEN OPEN TO

 

SIPDIS

PARTICIPATING IN A GENUINE DIALOGUE, BUT ZANU-PF HAD NEVER BEEN

SERIOUS ABOUT THIS. MBEKI AND OBASANJO REPORTED THAT MUGABE HAD

AGREED TO SUCH A DIALOGUE. ASKED FOR HELP IN DEVISING AN AGENDA

FOR THE INTER-PARTY TALKS, MBEKI AND OBASANJO SAID IT WAS UP TO THE

TWO SIDES TO DETERMINE THE AGENDA, BUT THEY OFFERED TO FACILITATE

DISCUSSIONS. IT WAS AGREED THAT CHIEF SHONEKAN AND ANC SECRETARY

KGALEMA MONTLANTHE (JUTA’S SPELLING) WOULD SERVE AS FACILITATORS

FOR THE TALKS, WHICH WERE SET TO BEGIN ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20.

THE TALKS WILL APPARENTLY BE OPEN-ENDED, WITH NO END DATE SET AND A

SECRETARIAT OFFICE TO BE ESTABLISHED. TSVANGIRAI UNDERTOOK TO MEET

 

SIPDIS

WITH HIS NATIONAL EXECUTIVE AND TO HAVE SPECIFIC AGENDA ITEMS READY

FOR DISCUSSION BY MARCH 20.

 

COMMENT

——-

 

4. (C) DESPITE EARLIER SOUTH AFRICAN FOCUS ON A NATIONAL UNITY

GOVERNMENT AS THE WAY FORWARD, MBEKI AND OBASANJO MUST HAVE COME TO

THE REALIZATION THAT SIMPLY GETTING THE TWO PARTIES TO TALK TO EACH

OTHER WAS AN ESSENTIAL FIRST STEP IN STANCHING FURTHER POLITICAL

DETERIORATION HERE. ALTHOUGH THE TWO PRESIDENTS LIKELY HAVE THEIR

OWN PREFERENCES OF WHERE THEY WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE DIALOGUE LEAD,

THEY DID NOT PRESS FOR AGREEMENT TO PARTICULAR OUTCOMES.

TSVANGIRAI HAS SAID PUBLICLY IN RECENT DAYS THAT HE WOULD LIKE TO

 

SIPDIS

SEE A NEW ELECTION RUN UNDER INTERNATIONAL SUPERVISION, AN OPTION

UNLIKELY TO HOLD ANY ATTRACTION FOR MUGABE. WE WILL KNOW SOON

ENOUGH WHETHER MUGABE AND HIS REPRESENTATIVES PARTICIPATE GENUINELY

IN THIS PROCESS OR WHETHER THEY WILL USE IT MERELY AS A DELAYING

TACTIC TO GET THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY OFF THEIR BACKS IN THE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00721 191600Z

SHORT-TERM. SINCE THE GOZ NEEDS THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY’S

HELP, HOWEVER, THERE WILL BE CONTINUING PRESSURE ON THE ZIMBABWEAN

GOVERNMENT TO MAKE THIS WORK AND AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THE MDC TO HAVE

ITS GRIEVANCES ADDRESSED WITH NIGERIAN AND SOUTH AFRICAN WITNESSES.

 

SULLIVAN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

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