in Stories

Mujuru promised to support Tsvangirai if Mugabe stole election

Retired general Solomon Mujuru pledged to support Movement for Democratic Change presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai if President Robert Mugabe tried to steal the 2008 elections through violence or otherwise.

Tsvangirai told United States ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGhee that he had spoken to Mujuru who had since realised that support for Simba Makoni was thin and it was better to support Tsvangirai as an alternative to Mugabe.

Mujuru still insisted that it was time for Mugabe to go and as soon as possible.

The retired general had never publicly opposed Mugabe but their estrangement was said to be permanent.

Mujuru was convinced that Mugabe would lose the elections but he was hedging his bets in case Mugabe survived the election so that he could actively oppose him from within.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE244, ZIMBABWE: ELECTION EVE UPDATE

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

08HARARE244

2008-03-28 16:55

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO7635

RR RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0244/01 0881655

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 281655Z MAR 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2643

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1848

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1972

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0545

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1249

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1606

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2028

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4459

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1099

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000244

 

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: 03/28/2018

TAGS: PREL PGOV ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE: ELECTION EVE UPDATE

 

REF: A. PRETORIA 604

 

B. HARARE 233

C. HARARE 228

D. HARARE 206

 

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

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) With less than 15 hours before polls open, our

assessments remain essentially the same. The MDC and Morgan

Tsvangirai have strong and still-growing support. Rigging

 

SIPDIS

remains the primary obstacle to a Tsvangirai victory, either

on the first or second ballot. Additionally, Tsvangirai and

Simba Makoni have entered into an informal alliance to expose

and oppose vote rigging, and it appears they are trying to

coordinate a response to a proclaimed Mugabe victory. While

post-election violence is a concern, the scope of possible

violence is lessened by the fact that Mugabe has little

support in the military and police, many of whom are seeking

a Mugabe defeat. END SUMMARY.

 

————————————

Opposition Support…and an Alliance

————————————

 

2. (C) Tsvangirai enjoys continued and growing support

throughout the country. In the rural areas, many people who

previously voted for ZANU-PF are fed up; most of these will

vote for Tsvangirai. Equally important is strong antipathy

toward Mugabe from within the ruling party. An associate of

Solomon Mujuru told us he spoke for Mujuru and most members

of the party Central Committee and Politburo when he said it

was time for Mugabe to go–as soon as possible. Mujuru

realized that Makoni’s support was thin; he would support

Tsvangirai as an alternative to Mugabe.

 

SIPDIS

 

3. (C) Tsvangirai told the Ambassador this week that he had

spoken to Mujuru, and that Mujuru had pledged support should

Mugabe try to steal the election through force, or otherwise.

Separately, we understand that the Tsvangirai and Makoni

forces have been talking to coordinate a response to a

fraudulently-claimed ZANU-PF victory.

 

——-

Rigging

——-

 

4. (C) Rigging remains a major concern. Vulnerable points

include fraud in registration, corruption of election

officials at polling stations and tabulation centers

resulting in manipulation of the counting of ballots, and

fraud committed by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission in

announcing results. Makoni and Arthur Mutambara held a press

conference yesterday (which Tsvangirai was supposed to

participate in, but he was “urgently” called away), and said

they and Tsvangirai had discussed rigging and responses to

it. They discussed fraud that they had uncovered including a

ward in which 8,000 people were allegedly registered which

was actually an open field. Mutambara and Makoni said they

were consulting with Tsvangirai on a common response to

rigging.

 

——–

Violence

——–

 

5. (C) All signs point to Mugabe claiming victory whatever

the reality of voting. (COMMENT: Given the strength of

Tsvangirai’s support and the erosion of support for Mugabe,

 

SIPDIS

 

HARARE 00000244 002 OF 002

 

 

we cannot completely discount a Mugabe defeat, even with

rigging, but such a scenario is unlikely. Mugabe and his

surrogates have stated in so many words that they would not

accept an opposition victory. END COMMENT.) While the

actual opposition response remains to be seen, both

Tsvangirai and Makoni have stated they would not accept a

 

SIPDIS

fraudulent Mugabe victory and have implied their supporters

would take to the streets to protest. This could provoke a

violent response on the part of the government. Unlike in

the past, however, high-ranking military officers and much of

the rank and file are opposed to Mugabe. ZANU-PF contacts

have told us they are skeptical the military and police would

respond as vigorously as Mugabe might wish.

 

———-

Other News

———-

 

6. (C) Several sources have told us that Mugabe now has a

Russian plane at his disposal and that he will leave the

country after voting, probably to Malaysia. He has done this

in the past, and we don’t read too much into it at this

point. Should the situation in Zimbabwe become problematic,

though, it would be more difficult to control from outside

the country.

 

7. (C) A Politburo meeting scheduled for last week and

cancelled was rescheduled for Wednesday of this week. It was

again cancelled late yesterday after Mugabe arrived late in

Harare after a campaign rally outside the city. Failure to

hold a meeting may have been a result of Mugabe’s desire to

avoid a confrontation with Mujuru.

 

8. (C) Mujuru failed to come out and publicly oppose Mugabe

before the election. Several sources have told us that,

although Mujuru opposes Mugabe, their estrangement is

permanent, and that Mujuru believes Mugabe will lose, Mujuru

is hedging his bets in case Mugabe survives the election so

that he can actively oppose him from within.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

9. (C) Our best bet at this time is that Mugabe will

successfully rig the election and claim victory. That said,

we are in unchartered waters. Opposition to Mugabe is as

strong as it has ever been; most notable is the strong

opposition from within the party and from erstwhile comrades

in arms such as Solomon Mujuru. The election and

post-election could play out in ways that are not now

obvious. END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

(5 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