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Mugabe has dossiers on the illegal activities of his colleagues- Wikileaks

President Robert Mugabe is keeping his lieutenants in line because he has dossiers on their illegal activities which he can use to get them arrested should they challenge him.

According to a cable released by Wikileaks a lot of heavyweights in the Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front really wanted Mugabe to go before the 2008 elections but they could not openly challenge him because of fear of the repercussions.

The cable says when former Finance Minister Simba Makoni announced his candidacy for presidency in the 2008 he had a lot of support from these heavyweights.

The Independent newspaper said Makoni had the support of Vice-Presidents Joseph Msika and Joice Mujuru, party chairman John Nkomo, Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, Women’s Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri, Youth Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, Solomon Mujuru, retired general Vitalis Zvinavashe, and Mashonaland East governor Ray Kaukonde, but none of them crossed to join him.

“While numerous ZANU-PF heavyweights in addition to Mujuru would undoubtedly like to see Mugabe go, they are afraid to challenge him openly. First, they continue to enjoy ZANU-PF patronage, and a challenge to Mugabe would result in an immediate end to their benefits,” the cable says.

“Secondly, many, including Mujuru, are corrupt, and they know Mugabe has dossiers on them documenting their illegal activities. A challenge to Mugabe could result in their arrest and prosecution. Therefore, these individuals are hoping to ease Mugabe out without a direct challenge.”

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08HARARE130, THE SIMBA MAKONI FACTOR

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE130

2008-02-14 15:28

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO8381

RR RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0130/01 0451528

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 141528Z FEB 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2481

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1768

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1894

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0479

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1171

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1528

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1950

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4379

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1021

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 HARARE 000130

 

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: 01/16/2018

TAGS: PREL PGOV ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: THE SIMBA MAKONI FACTOR

 

 

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

 

——-

Summary

——-

 

1. (C) Simba Makoni’s candidacy, first announced on February

5, has shaken up President Robert Mugabe and ZANU-PF. The

secrecy surrounding his decision to become a candidate

produced surprise; it has also made it difficult for analysts

to judge the strength of his support. Most of his presumed

backers have not publicly announced their support, and Makoni

at separate press and diplomatic briefings on February 13

said he would welcome support from all Zimbabweans, but

declined to identify supporters. He stated he would run as

an independent candidate.

 

2. (C) Makoni and his advisers have had conversations with

Arthur Mutambara and his MDC faction, but a deal for an

alliance has not yet been struck. Most political observers

believe that a Makoni-Morgan Tsvangirai alliance would

present formidable opposition to Mugabe. There have been

overtures between the two camps, but each belittles the

strength of the other, and an accord does not at this point

appear likely. End Summary.

 

————————

Confusion Within ZANU-PF

————————

 

3. (C) The mastermind behind Makoni’s candidacy is Ibbo

Mandaza, an academic, publisher, and ZANU-PF critic of

Mugabe. Mandaza told us at the end of last year that he was

attempting–he thought successfully–to persuade Makoni to

become a candidate. Although Mandaza insisted he was on

course, his plans appeared dashed when newspapers and Embassy

contacts reported that Makoni had seen Mugabe on January 22

and pledged loyalty to him and the party. In retrospect,

this appeared to have been a clever strategy to keep Mugabe

in the dark. From January 22 until Makoni announced his

candidacy on February 5, local media, which operates as a

comprehensive rumor mill, did not speculate about a Makoni

candidacy. The media vitriol which spewed toward Makoni

after his announcement corroborated reports from Embassy

contacts that Mugabe and his inner circle had been surprised

by Mandaza and Makoni.

 

4. (C) Apart from the media, and a few Mugabe insiders such

as Emmerson Mnangagwa and Political Commissar Elliot Manyika,

there has been little public criticism of Makoni. One

notable exception was war veteran Joseph Chinotimba who

called Makoni a “taitor” and said he would be dealt with.

The relatively muted ZANU-PF reaction to Makoni is evidently

a result of confusion within the party and uncertainty about

how to deal with his challenge. Party spokesman Nathan

Shamuyarira, without saying more, announced on February 12

that Makoni’s decision to stand as an independent had

resulted in his automatic expulsion from the party, and that

the Polituburo had affirmed this in a meeting the previous

day.

 

—————-

Makoni’s Support

—————-

 

5. (C) At the announcement of his candidacy on February 5,

and at separate press and diplomatic briefings on February

12, Makoni and Mandaza declined to identify backers. This

secrecy has made it difficult to gauge the breadth and depth

of Makoni’s support. Mandaza told us there was significant

support in Mashonaland as evidenced by a substantial up-tick

in registration after Makoni’s announcement, but in the

 

HARARE 00000130 002 OF 004

 

 

absence of rallies or public figures endorsing Makoni’s

candidacy, actual following is difficult to confirm. The

Zimbabwe Independent reported that Makoni enjoyed the support

of vice-presidents Joseph Msika and Joice Mujuru, speaker of

parliament John Nkomo, defense minister Sydney Sekeramayi,

women affairs’ minister Oppah Muchinguri, youth minister

Saviour Kasukuwere, Solomon Mujuru, retired general Vitalis

Zvinavashe, and Mashonaland East governor Ray Kakunde, but to

date none of these individuals has gone public.

 

6. (C) A business partner and political advisor of Solomon

Mujuru, Tiranvhu Mudariki, told us that Mujuru and others

were beginning to suffer in Zimbabwe’s parlous business

environment and were convinced they could thrive economically

only with a change of leadership. He said Mujuru supported

Makoni, but would not take an active role in his campaign.

He would consider covert financial support.

 

7. (C) While numerous ZANU-PF heavyweights in addition to

Mujuru would undoubtedly like to see Mugabe go, they are

afraid to challenge him openly. First, they continue to

enjoy ZANU-PF patronage, and a challenge to Mugabe would

result in an immediate end to their benefits. Secondly,

many, including Mujuru, are corrupt, and they know Mugabe has

dossiers on them documenting their illegal activities. A

challenge to Mugabe could result in their arrest and

prosecution. Therefore, these individuals are hoping to ease

Mugabe out without a direct challenge. Mudariki noted how

difficult this was. The Mujuru faction had tried to

challenge Mugabe using party structures last year, and had

hoped that a challenger to Mugabe would be nominated at the

ZANU-PF Extraordinary Congress in December. He admitted the

Mujurus and their allies had been outmaneuvered and had been

on the defensive since.

 

———-

Next Steps

———-

 

8. (C) According to Mandaza, his and Makoni’s original plan

was for Makoni to present himself as a ZANU-PF candidate in

the party structures, and to try to force Mugabe to step

down. The backup plan, if Makoni and his supporters failed

to force Mugabe out, was for Makoni to run as an independent.

And if he failed to develop sufficient support as an

independent, Mandaza said the Makoni team would seek to form

a united front with other opposition groups.

 

9. (C) With Makoni’s expulsion from ZANU-PF, he is now

running as an independent. The next step for him and his

supporters will be to gauge strength and determine whether

they should explore a united opposition.

 

10. (C) At Makoni’s press and diplomatic briefings on

February 13, he noted that Zimbabwe was full of fear and

polarized, with people suffering from disease and extreme

poverty. He said he was offering renewal, and that the

symbol of his candidacy would be a rising sun to represent a

new dawn. He hoped that others would contest independently

under this banner, and that he would accept support from

anyone. February 15 is nomination day when candidates must

be registered. We will know at that time whether

parliamentary candidates will ally with him under his banner.

 

 

——————————————— —–

The Electoral Playing Field and Possible Alliances

——————————————— —–

 

11. (C) In the wake of the collapse of the MDC

reconciliation talks (Reftel), the MDC Mutambara faction will

in all probability support Makoni. Mandaza and Mutambara

 

HARARE 00000130 003 OF 004

 

 

have told us they are engaged in talks. Mutambara and the

faction itself have little strength, but individual

legislators within the faction have support within their

constituencies. The faction currently has 20 members of

parliament (compared with 21 for the Tsvangirai faction),

almost all in Matabeleland. Most of these would support

Makoni.

 

12. (C) Tsvangirai’s strength is in the urban areas,

particularly Harare. He also has substantial support in

Matabeleland, although this will be diluted by Mutambara

faction MPs who support Makoni. He has little support in

Mashonaland, the traditional heartland of ZANU-PF.

Tsvangirai’s traditional support has weakened. Many

 

SIPDIS

supporters have become disenchanted by the MDC splits–the

Mutambara break away in 2005 and the dismissal last year of

Lucia Matibenga as president of the MDC women’s wing–and

there is considerable apathy.

 

13. (C) As for Makoni, apart from any support the Mutambara

faction might bring, he has no support in Matabeleland. He

will seek support from urban areas, where, as noted above,

the MDC has been historically strong, and from rural areas

outside Matabeleland, principally in Mashonaland, where he

hopes that traditional ZANU-PF voters have become disaffected

and will vote against Mugabe. The MDC is attempting to make

inroads among these voters as well.

 

14. (C) With the possibility of Makoni and the MDC splitting

the opposition vote in urban areas and Mashonaland, many

Mugabe opponents believe a Makoni-MDC alliance would provide

the best hope of defeating Mugabe, especially in light of

inevitable ZANU-PF electoral rigging. While we understand

there have been some behind-the-scenes conversations, both

sides have hyped their respective strengths and belittled the

strength of the other. Mandaza claimed to us that rural

registration had increased significantly since Makoni’s

announcement and that Tsvangirai was a has-been. Tsvangirai

and his advisors have been dismissive of Makoni–Tsvangirai

publicly has called Makoni “old wine in a new bottle”–and

his advisors have told us privately they are skeptical he has

significant support.

 

15. (C) Without accurate public opinion polls, it is

difficult to judge the relative strengths of Makoni and

Tsvangirai. It does appear that they will be chasing a lot

 

SIPDIS

of the same voters. In a three-way race, this would of

course benefit Mugabe, and it is therefore logical to believe

that a Tsvangirai-Makoni alliance would present the best hope

of defeating him. But self-interest has always been an

important factor in Zimbabwean politics. and there is no

reason to believe at this time that either Makoni or

Tsvangirai and their supporters would be willing to play

 

SIPDIS

secondary roles in favor of the other candidate in order to

achieve a united opposition.

 

—————–

A Note on ZANU-PF

—————–

 

16. (C) Makoni’s candidacy has exposed fissures within the

ruling party. Even if Mugabe wins the election, these

fissures are bound to grow and ultimately result in either

new leadership or in the party’s disintegration. Discontent

among ZANU-PF officials is widespread, and members of the

rank and file are beginning to understand that their

predicament is related to misguided party and government

policies. Zimbabwe is in a transition; the unanswered

questions are what the form of this transition will be and

how long it will take.

 

——–

 

HARARE 00000130 004 OF 004

 

 

Bio Note

——–

 

17. (U) Simbarashe (Simba) Makone was born on March 22,

1950, in Rusape, Manicaland. He entered the University of

Rhodesia in 1971, but was expelled for leading demonstrations

against the government. He earned a Bachelor of Science

degree in Chemistry and Zoology from the University of Leeds

in 1975 and a PhD in Medical Chemistry from Leicester

Polytechnic in the United Kingdom in 1978. He remained in

Europe until 1980 as ZANU’s chief representative.

 

18. (U) Makoni returned to Zimbabwe in 1980 and at the age

of 30 was appointed deputy minister of agriculture. In 1981,

he was promoted to the position of minister of industry and

energy development. In 1984, he became minister of youth,

sport, and culture. In late 1984, he was named executive

secretary of SADC, a position he held until 1993.

 

SIPDIS

 

19. (U) In 1994, Makoni was appointed as managing director

of state-controlled ZimPapers. He was fired in 1997 after

suspending an editor, a Mugabe relative, for publishing

anti-white and anti-free market articles. In 2000, he

regained favor with Mugabe and was appointed minister of

finance and economic development in what Mugabe dubbed his

“war cabinet” to deal with the continuing economic crisis.

He was asked to step down in 2002 after he advocated

devaluation of the Zimbabwean dollar.

 

20. (U) In 2005, the GOZ put Makoni forward for the

presidency of the African Development Bank. His failure to

land the position was attributed his ZANU-PF affiliation and

Zimbabwe’s political differences with the U.S. and other

Western countries.

 

21. (U) Since leaving government in 2002, Makoni has worked

as a business consultant, managed a family-owned textile

firm, and managed a commercial farm which he bought (rather

than seized).

 

22. (U) Makoni was a long-standing member of the ZANU-PF

Politburo until his expulsion this week from the party.

 

23. (U) Makoni is married and has two sons. A third son

committed suicide several years ago while a student in South

Africa.

MCGEE

(47 VIEWS)

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