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Mutambara said he had presidential ambitions

The leader of the pro-senate faction of the Movement for Democratic Change Arthur Mutambara lamented that despite on-going negotiations, little progress had been made by the two factions.

He could not understand why but he believed that the Morgan Tsvangirai faction was afraid of legitimising him.

Mutambara said it was true that he had presidential ambitions but his time would come. He therefore expected Tsvangirai to be the MDC candidate in 2008 and he had no objection to working under Tsvangirai and he had publicly stated so.

He therefore questioned why Tsvangirai and his faction continued to see him as a threat especially since Tsvangirai and his people knew that he had problems with his secretary-general Welshman Ncube.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 07HARARE92, MDC FACTION LEADER ARTHUR MUTAMBARA: MDC UNITY

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

07HARARE92

2007-02-05 14:14

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO8011

RR RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0092/01 0361414

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 051414Z FEB 07

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1101

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1459

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1315

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1463

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0158

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0724

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1089

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1517

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 3913

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1286

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1942

RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RUFGNOA/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1680

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000092

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S.HILL

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E.LOKEN

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B.PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/25/2016

TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON ZI

SUBJECT: MDC FACTION LEADER ARTHUR MUTAMBARA: MDC UNITY

NECESSARY

 

REF: HARARE 00079

 

Classified By: Ambassador Christopher Dell under Section 1.4 b/d

 

——-

Summary

——-

 

1. (C) MDC pro-Senate faction leader Arthur Mutambara told

the Ambassador February 1 that cooperation between both MDC

factions was necessary to defeat Mugabe. Noting that MDC

anti-faction leader Morgan Tsvangirai had expressed similar

sentiments in an earlier meeting (Ref), the Ambassador urged

the two leaders to meet Mutambara also told the Ambassador

he believed elections would take place in 2008 and that

Mugabe would be the ZANU-PF standard bearer. End Summary.

 

————————-

MDC Cooperation Necessary

————————-

 

2. (C) Mutambara told the Ambassador that the two MDC

factions had no alternative to working together. Mugabe had

in the past defeated a united MDC. A factionalized MDC would

be even more easily defeated in a national election.

Cooperation could be especially fruitful now, added

Mutambara, given the chaotic situation in the country and the

disarray within ZANU-PF. If the two factions could not work

together, the people should reject the MDC.

 

3. (C) Mutambara said that cooperation did not necessarily

mean reunification or one MDC president. Rather, it meant

working together. For example, if there was a protest march

or a demonstration, both factions could participate together.

This would inspire confidence among the opposition as a

whole.

 

4. (C) The Ambassador queried Mutambara about the

effectiveness of civil society’s umbrella Save Zimbabwe

Campaign. Mutambara replied it was a good platform but

should not be an excuse for MDC non-cooperation since the MDC

factions were the two major opposition players.

 

———————

On Cooperation So Far

———————

 

5. (C) Mutambara lamented that despite on-going

negotiations, little progress had been made by the MDC

factions toward cooperation since the split in October, 2005.

Tsvangirai’s faction had, for instance, refused to agree to

a joint press conference to publicly present the Code of

Conduct the factions had agreed to. Tsvangirai had also

spoken publicly as the sole representative of the MDC on

behalf of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign without acknowledging

Mutambara and his faction.

 

6. (C) Mutambara said he believed Tsvangirai and his faction

were afraid of legitimizing him. It was true that he had

presidential ambitions but his time would come*he expected

Tsvangirai to be the MDC candidate in 2008–and he had no

 

SIPDIS

objection to working under Tsvangirai for the time being,

something that he had stated publicly. For that reason, he

questioned why Tsvangirai and his faction continued to see

him as a threat. Moreover, Tsvangirai and his people knew

that Mutambara had problems with pro-Senate faction

secretary-general Welshman Ncube. Attacking him, Mutambara

 

SIPDIS

 

HARARE 00000092 002 OF 003

 

 

argued, only served to weaken him and his ability to control

his faction.

 

———————————–

The Ambassador Urges Reconciliation

———————————–

 

7. (C) The Ambassador responded that the single most

important gesture the MDC could take at this point was a

public show of greater cooperation between the two factions.

It would send a powerful signal of the MDC,s seriousness of

purpose to the government, ZANU-PF, civil society, the people

of Zimbabwe, and the international community. The Ambassador

told Mutambara that in a meeting a few days earlier (Ref),

Tsvangirai had also acknowledged the need for greater

 

SIPDIS

cooperation. The Ambassador argued that this common ground

provided a foundation for reconciliation. Mutambara

responded positively, suggesting that he and Tsvangirai

needed to meet face-to-face to resolve differences.

 

————-

2008 vs. 2010

————-

 

8. (C) Mutambara said he believed Solomon Mujuru,s

opposition to a 2010 election had effectively scuttled the

idea and that a presidential election would take place in

2008. He thought Mugabe would be ZANU-PF,s candidate;

assuming Mugabe decided to contest the election, nobody in

the party would challenge him. Mutambara cautioned that if

the opposition was not prepared for a 2008 election, ZANU-PF

could win even a relatively fair election.

 

———————————–

On Gono,s Monetary Policy Statement

———————————–

 

9. (C) Mutambara said that in his recent statement, Reserve

Bank of Zimbabwe (RZB) Governor Gideon Gono had accepted that

RZB policies had failed, that ZANU &chefs8 had benefited

from these policies, and that ultimately fixing the economy

is a political problem. However, Gono needed to go further,

and discuss quasi-fiscal policy, issues of governance, and

RZB incompetence and corruption. The idea of a “social

contract” was a good one but would not happen under this

government given its corruption and lack of political will.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

10. (C) MDC active cooperation, if not reunification, is the

most immediate means by which the party can energize the

democratic opposition to challenge the government and the

ruling party at a time when both are weakened by internal

dissension over the presidential succession and the

country,s economic collapse. Like Tsvangirai, we believe

Mutambara is genuine in his desire for greater cooperation.

 

12. (C) That said, it is elements within Mutambara’s

faction, notably Welshman Ncube, that remain the greatest

obstacle. It is not clear at this juncture how much of his

faction Mutambara could bring with him were he and Tsvangirai

to agree on a way forward. In that regard, Tsvangirai’s

behavior toward Mutambara could be key; the greater respect

he shows Mutambabra, the stronger Mutambara’s position would

become within his faction (and the weaker Ncube,s). A

 

HARARE 00000092 003 OF 003

 

 

face-to-face meeting, as Mutambara suggested, could be a good

start.

DELL

9

(5 VIEWS)

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