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Mutasa said Mugabe had to go

A member of the central committee of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front Manatsa Mutasa told United States ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee that President Robert Mugabe had to go.

He said Zimbabwe needed totally different leaders and a totally different party. ZANU-PF should therefore be voted out of power until it had rehabilitated itself.

Mutasa recommended tougher sanctions on Zimbabwe if Mugabe were declared president

He also asked McGee whether the US had influence on the International Court of Justice to issue a warrant for Mugabe’s arrest for the Matabeleland massacres.

Mutasa said he was suspicious of presidential aspirant Simba Makoni because of his double talk.

He said Makoni was talking about leadership change and not regime change and this suggested that he was in some way connected with Mugabe.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE231, DISILLUSIONED CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEMBER SEEKS OUT

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE231

2008-03-27 09:21

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO6310

PP RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0231/01 0870921

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 270921Z MAR 08 ZDS MESSAGE RECEIVED GARBLED

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2630

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1886

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1839

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1963

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1240

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1597

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2019

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4450

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1090

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC

RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC//DHO-7//

RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK//DOOC/ECMO/CC/DAO/DOB/DOI//

RUEPGBA/CDR USEUCOM INTEL VAIHINGEN GE//ECJ23-CH/ECJ5M//

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000231

 

SIPDIS

 

C O R R E C T E D COPY (MESSAGE GARBLED)

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR L.DOBBINS AND E.LOKEN

TREASURY FOR J. RALYEA AND T.RAND

COMMERCE FOR BECKY ERKUL

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/27/2018

TAGS: PGOV ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: DISILLUSIONED CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEMBER SEEKS OUT

AMBASSADOR

 

HARARE 00000231 001.2 OF 003

 

 

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

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) The Ambassador met March 24 with Manatsa Mutasa, a

member of the Central Committee from Manicaland. Immensely

disillusioned with ruling party corruption and no longer

supporting ZANU-PF candidates in the election, he told the

Ambassador that Morgan Tsvangirai had enough countrywide

support to win the election on the first round, but rigging

of the postal ballot vote had already begun and would

guarantee Mugabe’s victory. Mutasa was distrustful of Simba

Makoni’s break with Mugabe and discounted his candidacy

except for its usefulness in exposing the divisions in

ZANU-PF. He said a purge of ZANU-PF had begun and would

worsen; CIO chief Happyton Bonyongwe and most CIO provincial

heads had been suspended from duty on suspicion of

disloyalty. He explained that Manicaland was fertile ground

for opposition to ZANU-PF because its leaders had been

sidelined from power since before independence. END SUMMARY.

 

——————————————— —-

Rigging of Postal Votes – The Numbers Don’t Tally

——————————————— —-

 

2. (C) EconOff met Mutasa at his home in Watsomba in the

Mutasa Central district during a mission pre-election tour of

Manicaland; during that meeting, Mutasa requested a meeting

with the Ambassador. He told the Ambassador that election

rigging had already begun and would assure Mugabe the

presidency by a narrow first-round margin. Soldiers and

police had been given 4-5 absentee ballots each and told to

vote for Mugabe. The Central Intelligence Organization (CIO)

stood ready to move in the stuffed ballot boxes in districts

where the extra votes could tip the scales to Mugabe. In

addition, Mutasa expected many voters to be turned away from

the polls for lack of time on voting day, further reducing

the number of opposition votes. He said MDC presidential

candidate Morgan Tsvangirai had enough support from both

urban and rural Zimbabweans, driven primarily by the economic

meltdown, to win the election in the first round if it were

not rigged. Simba Makoni’s late entry into the race would

have delivered the vote to the MDC “on a silver platter” by

dividing ZANU-PF if the election were free and fair.

 

——————————————–

The Mutasa Dynasty Disillusioned with Mugabe

——————————————–

 

3. (C) Disgusted with rampant corruption in ZANU-PF, Mutasa

has refused to campaign for the ruling party in this

election. He referred to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s (RBZ)

involvement in the illicit diamond trade in Manicaland and

the use of overseas proxies by Mugabe in his personal

business affairs. He said one evil had replaced another evil

in Zimbabwe since independence. Recognized as disgruntled,

Mutasa had narrowly escaped a beating by thugs of Gender and

Women’s Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri this month and now

feared for his life. He recounted to the Ambassador how

Muchinguri (“not even a Manyika — she hails from Masvingo”),

speaking for the Women,s League, had resolved at a Central

Committee meeting in December that Mugabe be made President

for life, only to have the resolution shot down by Vice

 

HARARE 00000231 002.2 OF 003

 

 

President Msika. Mutasa said Speaker of Parliament John

Nkomo and Minister Muchinguri, who is running for Parliament

in Mutasa Central, were considering suspending him from the

party after he failed to appear at a Nkomo-led rally in the

district on March 8. Further disqualifying Mutasa among

ruling party stalwarts, Mutasa’s niece, Eunice Mangwende a

former director in the Ministry of Information, is running

against Muchinguri in Mutasa Central as a pro-Makoni

independent candidate, and his nephew, Lincoln Mutasa, heir

to the Mutasa chieftainship, is an independent candidate for

the Senate from the same area.

 

4. (C) On Simba Makoni, Mutasa was mistrustful of his “double

talk” about leadership change rather than regime change and

suggested that Makoni and Mugabe were probably in some way

still connected. It had been understood for years that

Mugabe would relinquish power to Makoni, but, in the end,

Mugabe had refused. Mutasa told the Ambassador that Zimbabwe

needed “totally different leaders, a totally different party”

and that ZANU-PF should be voted out of power until it

rehabilitates itself. Nevertheless, the liberation war

veteran who lost vision in one eye in the bush war told

EconOff that he would never “cross the floor,” i.e. change

parties.

 

5. (C) Mutasa recommended harsh sanctions against Zimbabwe if

Mugabe is declared president and also asked the Ambassador

whether the USG had influence on the International Criminal

Court (ICC) to issue a warrant for Mugabe’s arrest based on

the Matabeleland massacres of the 1980s; he said Mugabe

feared prosecution. Reiterating that “Mugabe has to go,”

Mutasa let drop that a group of “concerned individuals” had

decided to take steps to remove him and Mutasa had been

tasked with procuring the necessary “material” to do the job.

Without noting when the plan was hatched or who the

participants were, he said he was still in possession of the

material.

 

————————–

Violence and ZANU-PF Purge

————————–

 

6. (C) In response to the Ambassador’s question about a

possible backlash against the opposition, Mutasa feared

violence if Mugabe succeeds in stealing the presidency, and

violence, especially within ZANU-PF (it’s “torn to pieces”),

if Tsvangirai wins. Under either election outcome, a purge

in ZANU-PF had already begun and would only deepen. He

recounted that ZANU-PF youths, driven by mistrust, had beaten

up other youths wearing ZANU-PF t-shirts after the rally led

by John Nkomo in his district a week earlier; “people in

ZANU-PF will disappear and be killed.” At his home a week

earlier, Mutasa told us that half the Central Committee no

longer supported Mugabe and he assumed that the Politburo was

similarly divided.

 

———————————

Manicaland – Hotbed of Opposition

———————————

 

7. (C) Mutasa told the Ambassador that Mugabe had recently

suspended most CIO provincial heads and CIO chief Happyton

Bonyongwe on suspicion of sympathy with presidential aspirant

Simba Makoni. He pointed out that Bonyongwe, along with

Makoni, Morgan Tsvangirai, Arthur Mutambara and Edgar Tekere

 

HARARE 00000231 003.2 OF 003

 

 

were all from Manicaland. At his earlier meeting with

EconOff, Mutasa had explained several reasons why Manicaland

was a particular hotbed of opposition to Mugabe: the

stranglehold on power by the tribes of Mashonaland since

independence at the expense of the Manyikas; the

unforgotten/unforgiven murder of ZANU Chairman Herbert

Chitepo in Zambia in 1975, allegedly by Mugabe’s forces; the

GOZ’s refusal to allow the burial of the founder and first

president of ZANU Ndabaningi Sithole at Heroes Acre in 2000

(NOTE: Both Chitepo and Sithole were from Manicaland. END

NOTE.); and the imposition several years ago by the GOZ of an

unacceptable chief on the Mutasa dynasty after the heir

showed signs of anti-ZANU-PF sentiment.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

8. (C) Mutasa is one of about 180 members of the Central

Committee and not a major player in Zimbabwe’s politics.

Nevertheless, he has been an insider, is well informed, and

could be of use to us. He appears to be reaching out to us

now out of credible deep disillusionment with ZANU-PF. We

are not blind, however, to the possibility that he has other

motives. We were particularly concerned by his vague

reference to a past assassination plot, and made no reaction

whatsoever to this story. END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

 

(328 VIEWS)

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