Mugabe so unpopular that he needs 250 000 to campaign for him


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A former legislator for Chimanimani Michael Mataure told United States embassy officials in February 2001 that President Robert Mugabe had become so unpopular that he would have to deploy 250 000 people to canvass for him to win the 2002 presidential elections but his party simply did not have the resources to mount such a campaign.

He said the only way Mugabe could win was if there was a three or four-way race to essentially split the opposition vote but this was highly unlikely.

According to a cable released by Wikileaks Mataure described the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front as a “disgruntled” and “divided” party. A “silent majority” did not approve of Mugabe’s violent tactics to cow opponents and wanted him to leave power but they had to keep quiet to keep their jobs.

He said the only exceptions were Youth Minister Border Gezi, Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo and Speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa who were now regarded as Mugabe’s running mates because of their unswerving loyalty to the President.

“The president values loyalty above all else”, Mataure argued, “and doles out patronage based on that allegiance. The needs of this reward system and the party are ‘paramount’ before the needs of the country.”

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 01HARARE816, UNENTHUSIASTIC ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY TRYING TO

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE816

2001-02-23 11:34

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.

 

231134Z Feb 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2865

 

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——————C95FF6 231136Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8283

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000816

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SA C. PALMA

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00816 01 OF 02 231135Z

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/23/11

TAGS: PGOV PINR PHUM KDEM ZI ZANU PF

SUBJECT: UNENTHUSIASTIC ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY TRYING TO

RIDE OUT MUGABE’S STORM

 

REFTEL: 00 HARARE 7134

 

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D’AFFAIRES EARL IRVING FOR REASONS:

1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: THE MAJORITY OF ZIMBABWE’S RULING ZANU-

PF PARTY MEMBERS ARE UNHAPPY WITH PRESIDENT MUGABE AND

THE WAY HE IS RUNNING THE COUNTRY, BUT THEY WILL NOT

OFFER MORE THAN PASSIVE RESISTANCE TO HIS DESTRUCTIVE

POLICIES, OUR CONTACTS TELL US. THERE IS NOT LIKELY TO

BE MUCH ENTHUSIASM FOR CAMPAIGNING FOR MUGABE IN THE

UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, ACCORDING TO A FORMER

ZANU-PF MP. THE ONLY ENTHUSIASTIC CAMPAIGNERS — AND

POTENTIAL MUGABE SUCCESSORS — WILL BE THOSE WHO HAVE

BENEFITED RECENTLY FROM ZANU-PF’S REWARD SYSTEM. A SNAP

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IS UNLIKELY BECAUSE IT IS TOO

RISKY FOR MUGABE, ACCORDING TO OUR SOURCES. MEANWHILE,

SOME REFORM-MINDED “YOUNG TURKS” ARE ATTEMPTING TO

MODERATE THE PARTY’S MORE OUTLANDISH SWIPES AT THE RULE

OF LAW. FOR MOST ZANU-PF MEMBERS, HOWEVER, SURVIVAL IS

THE BYWORD OF THE DAY. END SUMMARY.

 

PARLIAMENT: A HOUSE BITTERLY DIVIDED

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00816 01 OF 02 231135Z

————————————

 

2. (C) ON FEBRUARY 15, POLOFF MET WITH MICHAEL MATAURE,

A FORMER ZANU-PF MP FOR CHIMANIMANI AND CURRENT HEAD OF

A LOCAL NGO THAT FOCUSES ON PARLIAMENTARY ISSUES AND

WORKS WITH MPS. (COMMENT: TOWARD THE END OF HIS TENURE

IN THE LAST PARLIAMENT, MATAURE WAS AN OUTSPOKEN CRITIC

OF ZANU-PF’S TOP-DOWN STRUCTURE AND ATTEMPTS TO QUASH

INTERNAL DISSENT. END COMMENT.) MATAURE DESCRIBED THE

CURRENT ATMOSPHERE IN PARLIAMENT AS “POISONED” SINCE

MOST MPS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE SEE ISSUES ONLY

THROUGH A POLITICAL PRISM. (NOTE: THIS SENTIMENT WAS

ALSO EXPRESSED BY WEBSTER SHAMU, ZANU-PF MP FOR CHEGUTU,

IN A CONVERSATION WITH POLOFF FEBRUARY 13. END NOTE.)

MATAURE REPORTED THAT LITTLE PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE IN

THE IMPEACHMENT EFFORT AGAINST PRESIDENT MUGABE BECAUSE

THE ZANU-PF CHAIR IS USING ALL MANNER OF DELAYING

TACTICS TO DRAG OUT THE PROCEEDINGS. NO HEARINGS TO

INVESTIGATE THE CHARGES AGAINST THE PRESIDENT HAVE BEEN

SCHEDULED, HE ADDED.

 

ZANU-PF REMAINS QUIETLY DISGRUNTLED

———————————–

 

3. (C) MATAURE CONTINUED BY DESCRIBING ZANU-PF AS A

“DISGRUNTLED” AND “DIVIDED” PARTY, THE RECENT STRING OF

BY-ELECTION VICTORIES NOTWITHSTANDING. THERE IS A

“SILENT MAJORITY” OF ZANU-PF MEMBERS WHO DO NOT APPROVE

OF PRESIDENT MUGABE’S VIOLENT TACTICS TO COW OPPONENTS

AND WANT HIM TO LEAVE POWER, BUT THEY FEEL THEY HAVE TO

KEEP QUIET ON THE SUBJECT OR THEIR CAREERS WILL MEET AN

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00816 01 OF 02 231135Z

UNGLORIOUS END.

 

4. (C) PAUL MANGWANA, A YOUNG ZANU-PF MP FOR KADOMA

EAST AND DEPUTY MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT AND

COMMUNICATIONS, CONVEYED A SIMILAR VIEW TO POLOFF IN A

SEPARATE CONVERSATION FEBRUARY 22. MANGWANA STATED THAT

AS A MINORITY IN THE PARTY, THE REFORM-MINDED “YOUNG

TURK” GROUP (A GROUP TO WHICH MANGWANA WOULD APPEAR TO

BELONG) CANNOT SPEAK OUT DIRECTLY AGAINST THE OLD GUARD.

INSTEAD, THEY WORK QUIETLY BEHIND THE SCENES,

ESSENTIALLY “GANGING UP” ON ONE OR TWO OLDER MEMBERS AT

A TIME IN AN ATTEMPT TO INFLUENCE THEIR OPINION OR

POLICIES.

 

5. (C) MANGWANA CITED THE EXAMPLE OF THE ZANU-PF

PARLIAMENTARY MOTION TABLED FEBRUARY 22 TO ASK PRESIDENT

MUGABE TO ESTABLISH A TRIBUNAL TO INVESTIGATE THE

CONDUCT OF CERTAIN HIGH AND SUPREME COURT JUSTICES.

(NOTE: THE FEBRUARY 23 EDITION OF THE GOVERNMENT-

CONTROLLED “THE HERALD” REPORTED THAT THE MDC CLAIMED

THE MOTION IS POTENTIALLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND DEBATE ON

IT WILL BE DELAYED UNTIL FEBRUARY 27. END NOTE.) THE

MP CLAIMED THE ORIGINAL MOTION WRITTEN BY JUSTICE

MINISTER PATRICK CHINAMASA WOULD HAVE CALLED FOR THE

DISMISSAL OF NEARLY THE ENTIRE HIGH AND SUPREME COURT

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2866

 

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AC-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00

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R-00     PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00

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——————C96009 231136Z /38

P 231134Z FEB 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8284

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 000816

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SA C. PALMA

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00816 02 OF 02 231136Z

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/23/11

TAGS: PGOV PINR PHUM KDEM ZI ZANU PF

SUBJECT: UNENTHUSIASTIC ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY TRYING TO

RIDE OUT MUGABE’S STORM

 

BENCHES, BUT PARTY MODERATES REWROTE THE MOTION TO BE

MORE SELECTIVE AND TO DRAW UPON THE LAW. MANGWANA WENT

AS FAR AS TO SAY THAT CHINAMASA HAD BEEN EXCESSIVE IN

HIS CONDEMNATION OF THE JUDICIARY AND THAT HE SHOULD NOT

PAINT THE WHOLE JUDICIARY WITH THE SAME BRUSH. MANGWANA

ACKNOWLEDGED THE NEGATIVE IMPACT OF CHINAMASA’S ACTIONS

ON ZIMBABWE’S INTERNATIONAL REPUTATION, AND HOPED THAT

TRIBUNALS INVESTIGATING SELECTED JUSTICES (PRESUMABLY

INSTEAD OF PERPETUATING THE TREND OF THINLY VEILED

THREATS) WOULD RESTORE SOME SEMBLANCE OF THE RULE OF LAW

TO ZIMBABWE.

 

LITTLE ENTHUSIASM FOR MUGABE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

——————————————— —–

 

6. (C) THE LEVEL OF UNHAPPINESS IN ZANU-PF WITH MUGABE

IS LIKELY TO TRANSLATE INTO A LACK OF ENTHUSIASM FOR

MUGABE’S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN, MATAURE THEORIZED. IT

IS TELLING, HE SAID, HOW LITTLE CABINET MEMBERS AND

OTHER ZANU-PF MEMBERS HAVE VOICED PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR

MUGABE SINCE THE DECEMBER PARTY CONGRESS (REFTEL). THE

FEW WHO DO ACTIVELY CAMPAIGN FOR MUGABE ARE THE ONES TO

BE VIEWED AS MUGABE’S POTENTIAL SUCCESSORS, MATAURE

ASSERTED, EVEN CALLING THEM THE PRESIDENT’S “RUNNING

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00816 02 OF 02 231136Z

MATES.” YOUTH DEVELOPMENT MINISTER BORDER GEZI, LOCAL

GOVERNMENT MINISTER IGNATIUS CHOMBO, AND SPEAKER OF

PARLIAMENT EMMERSON MNANGAGWA ARE POTENTIAL “RUNNING

MATES” BECAUSE OF THEIR UNSWERVING LOYALTY TO MUGABE.

THE PRESIDENT VALUES LOYALTY ABOVE ALL ELSE, MATAURE

ARGUED, AND DOLES OUT PATRONAGE BASED ON THAT

ALLEGIANCE. THE NEEDS OF THIS REWARD SYSTEM AND THE

PARTY ARE “PARAMOUNT” BEFORE THE NEEDS OF THE COUNTRY,

HE OPINED.

 

7. (C) WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF A SNAP

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION THIS YEAR, MATAURE DESCRIBED THAT

SCENARIO AS VERY RISKY FOR MUGABE, AND THEREFORE,

UNLIKELY. THE PRESIDENT IS SO UNPOPULAR RIGHT NOW, HE

WOULD HAVE TO DEPLOY 250,000 PEOPLE ACROSS THE COUNTRY

TO CANVASS FOR HIM, AND ZANU-PF SIMPLY DOES NOT HAVE THE

RESOURCES TO MOUNT SUCH A CAMPAIGN, THE FORMER MP

STATED. THE ONLY WAY MUGABE COULD WIN IS IF THERE WAS A

THREE- OR FOUR-WAY RACE AMONG HIGH-PROFILE CANDIDATES

THAT ESSENTIALLY SPLIT THE OPPOSITION VOTE, MATAURE

SUGGESTED, AND THAT DOES NOT APPEAR LIKELY AT THIS TIME.

 

COMMENT: ALL WE WANT IS TO SURVIVE

———————————-

 

8. (C) OUR ZANU-PF CONTACTS PAINT A PICTURE OF AN

UNHAPPY AND MOSTLY POWERLESS PARTY MAJORITY BIDING ITS

TIME UNTIL THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, WHICH MUST BE HELD

BY APRIL 1, 2002. THOSE WHO ARE NOT WILLING TO TRY TO

MODERATE THE RULING PARTY’S WORST EXCESSES FROM BEHIND

THE SCENES ARE LYING LOW UNTIL THE STORM BLOWS OVER.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00816 02 OF 02 231136Z

POLITICAL SURVIVAL IS THE BYWORD IN THIS CURRENT PERIOD

OF THE COUNTRY’S HISTORY THAT IS AKIN TO MAO’S CULTURAL

REVOLUTION. THE ONLY TOOL LEFT FOR THE DISBELIEVERS IS

PASSIVE RESISTANCE. THE OUTSPOKEN MINORITY OF PARTY

LEADERS WILLING TO USE VIOLENCE, HARASSMENT AND OTHER

EXTRALEGAL MEANS TO CARRY OUT THE PRESIDENT’S PLANS,

SUCH AS GEZI, CHINAMASA, AND INFORMATION MINISTER

JONATHAN MOYO, WILL CONTINUE TO HOLD SWAY IN THE NEAR

TERM. END COMMENT.

 

IRVING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

(59 VIEWS)

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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