Nigerian ambassador said Nkomo could succeed Mugabe


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Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Zimbabwe Wilberforce Juta told United States embassy officials in 2003 that there was increasing support for the national chairman of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front John Nkomo to succeed President Robert Mugabe.

He said choosing a Ndebele as an interim leader would avoid contests among Shona contenders but this would clearly have to be an interim status because a Ndebele would not be accepted as a long-term leader of the party.

Juta also commented that ZANU-PF continued to regard transition as an internal ZANU-PF matter and to regard the Movement for Democratic Change merely as a side matter to be accommodated.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 03HARARE1293, NIGERIAN HIGH COMMISSIONER DISCOURAGED ON ZIMBABWE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

03HARARE1293

2003-06-25 11:43

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.

 

251143Z Jun 03

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 001293

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/25/2013

TAGS: PREL PGOV NI ZI

SUBJECT: NIGERIAN HIGH COMMISSIONER DISCOURAGED ON ZIMBABWE

 

REF: ABUJA 1047

 

Classified By: Joseph G. Sullivan for reasons 1.5b/d

 

1.(C) Nigerian High Commissioner Wilberforce Juta portrayed

the stalemate in Zimbabwe along lines similar to those of

reftel. Juta believed that President Mugabe had backed away

from agreements reached during the May visit of the

Presidents of Nigeria, South Africa and Malawi. He expressed

frustration that the efforts of his President were not being

reciprocated by the GOZ. He considered the GOZ economic

policies disastrous irredeemable without a political

solution. Juta believed that internal ZANU-PF rivalries and

ethnic considerations explained some of ZANU’s unwillingness

to make a transition or face a near-term election. According

to Juta, the Nigerian Government was discouraged about the

prospects for near-term resolution of the political crisis.

Nonetheless, he said that President Obasanjo continued to

maintain frequent contact with President Mbeki on Zimbabwe

and remained interested in a positive solution.

 

2.(C) With respect to internal ZANU-PF politics, HC Juta

thought there were increasing support for Party Chairman John

Nkomo as a successor to Mugabe. Choosing an Ndebele as an

interim leader would avoid contests among Shona contenders

and yet would clearly have interim status since an Ndebele

would not be accepted as a long-term leader of the party.

Juta also commented that ZANU-PF continued to regard

transition as an internal ZANU-PF matter and to regard the

MDC merely as a side matter to be accommodated.

 

3. (C) Comment: Juta has regularly been more critical of

President Mugabe and ZANU-PF to us than has been his

Government in Abuja. He will soon conclude his mission here

in Harare after five years.

SULLIVAN

(3 VIEWS)

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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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