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Only 6 to 12 ZANU-PF officials are looters

Two former Zimbabwe African National Union- fighters Wilfred Mhanda and Nyasha Masiwa- told Western diplomats that it was wrong for the international community to think that all ZANU-PF officials were corrupt and bad.

Only six to 12 people in the party were direct beneficiaries of the looting that had taken place in Zimbabwe.

Mhanda and Masiwa were board members of the Zimbabwe Peace and Security Programme which was trying to look at the security sector reform.

Other members of the organisation were Jeremy Brickhill who fought with Joshua Nkomo’s Zimbabwe African People’s Union and Bjorn Holmberg a consultant with SwedePeace, an organisation that supported ZPSP.

Mhanda and Masiwa said although only a small group was involved in corruption, the problem was how to deal with this small group because they occupied key leadership positions.

The rank and file all recognised that they were dealing with systemic failure, that freedom and democracy had not yet been realised in Zimbabwe, and that there was a need for overhaul of the political and governance framework to avoid Zimbabwe becoming a failed state.

There was need for a national body, which would include members of ZANU-PF, as well as civil society, to work together to resolve this issue.

People needed to focus not on who was at fault for the country’s current malaise, but on how to get out of it.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09HARARE958, FORMER GUERRILLA FIGHTERS DISCUSS SECURITY REFORM

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

09HARARE958

2009-12-11 07:01

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO3328

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0958/01 3450701

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 110701Z DEC 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5205

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000958

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR BRIAN WALCH

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR MICHELLE GAVIN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/11/2019

TAGS: PREL PGOV ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: FORMER GUERRILLA FIGHTERS DISCUSS SECURITY REFORM

IN ZIMBABWE

 

Classified By: AMBASSADOR CHARLES A. RAY FOR REASONS 1.4 B,D

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: Reform of the security sector is an

absolute prerequisite to solid political reform in Zimbabwe.

Former ZAPU and ZANU fighters who are not part of the current

government have formed an organization to highlight this

need. The reform process must have broad-based Zimbabwean

consensus and ownership, be inclusive of all stakeholders,

and be credible. It has to be actively pushed by South

Africa and other SADC members, and must have the support of

the international community. The U.S. role, as part of the

international community, must be carefully and discretely

managed. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (SBU) EU Delegation Head of Mission to Zimbabwe Xavier

Marchal, hosted a luncheon for EU, U.S., and Canadian COMs on

December 8, 2009, to discuss security sector reform. A

briefing was provided by members of the board of Zimbabwe

Peace and Security Program (ZPSP), who are former guerrilla

fighters in the war against the Ian Smith regime; Jeremy

Brickhill, a white Zimbabwean who fought with Joshua Nkomo’s

ZAPU; along with Wilfred Mhanda and Nyasha Masiwa, former

ZANU fighters, and Bjorn Holmberg, a senior consultant with

SwedePeace, a Swedish NGO that supports ZPSP.

 

3. (C) The ZPSP members say they have spoken to

representatives of all three parties in the coalition

government, to include the ZANU Minister of State Security,

as well as many senior military and police officials. They

said that no one has expressed any disagreement with their

view that there has been a betrayal of the principles they

fought for as young men, and that their legacy is in danger.

The two ZANU veterans pointed out that ZANU’s history is

suppression of debate and discussion, based probably on the

teachings of its Communist mentors. Unfortunately, they said,

no ZANU official is currently willing to agree with them

publicly. It is wrong of the international community to

think of all ZANU officials as corrupt or bad, they maintain,

as only 6 – 12 people in the party are direct beneficiaries

of the looting that has taken place in Zimbabwe. (COMMENT:

While there are a small number of people around Mugabe who

now control Zimbabwe, the number of ZANU-PF members who have

benefited from the deliberate mismanagement of the country is

much larger than 6-12. END COMMENT.) The problem, though,

is how do you deal with even that small number of people when

they occupy key leadership positions? The rank and file, and

here they are referring to enlisted personnel as well as

officers at brigadier and below, all recognize that we are

dealing with systemic failure, that freedom and democracy

have not yet been realized in Zimbabwe, and there is a need

for overhaul of the political and governance framework to

avoid Zimbabwe becoming a failed state. There needs to be a

national body, which perforce would include members of

ZANU-PF, as well as civil society, to work together to

resolve this issue. (COMMENT: That same thing could be said

for most of the issues facing Zimbabwe. END COMMENT.)

People need to focus not on who is at fault for the country’s

current malaise, but on how to get out of it.

 

4. (C)   South Africa, and to a lesser extent the other

members of SADC, have a critical role to play in helping

achieve security sector reform, and with SA President Zuma

replacing Thabo Mbeki as lead on the issue, there is a chance

Qreplacing Thabo Mbeki as lead on the issue, there is a chance

that something can finally be done. Mbeki, they said, was

more interested in protecting commercial interests in

Zimbabwe, and was more unhelpful than helpful. Regional

partners have a stake in a stable Zimbabwe, and need to take

a more active role in encouraging all parties in Harare to

look for solutions to their problems. There is a role for

the international community, because such a program is

expensive and will require international funding.

 

5. (C)   Regarding the Global Political Agreement (GPA),

they said that it is important to look at it as a process

that will take time, rather than trying to impose arbitrary

deadlines. The common people of Zimbabwe appreciate the

peace and stability the GPA has brought and don’t want to see

it fail. Politicians, on the other hand, of all parties,

want it to collapse because they each – from their different

perspectives – think they could use its failure to their

advantage.

 

6. (SBU) Finally, they noted that it is extremely important

that donor programs be coordinated and coherent. Different

programs that might be working at cross purposes will surely

fail and further impede Zimbabwe’s progress toward political

 

HARARE 00000958 002 OF 002

 

 

reform.

 

7. (C) COMMENT: In a private conversation with the three

former guerrillas after the other ambassadors had left lunch,

ambassador discussed the U.S. role in security sector reform.

They felt that as the world’s superpower, our endorsement is

critical, but recognized that too blatant public involvement

by the USG could cause ZANU-PF hardliners to be suspicious of

the motives of the program, and reject it out of hand. We

need also to consider the impact sanctions might have on our

ability to support any program that has ZANU-PF

participation. What might be required is a waiver of the

limitations specifically to support such a program, provided

we are assured that funds will be used as intended.

Establishment of a trust fund might also be considered. That

way, all international donors would put money into one place,

and it could be disbursed by an office or activity that met

with donor approval. We also need to keep in mind that while

U.S. support is important, the program should not be seen as

U.S. dominated or originated. On this ride, we need to steel

ourselves to riding along in the back seat with map in hand

when our assistance is needed.

 

8. (C) ZPSP is focused on the military, rather than other

institutions such as the police or judiciary (although they

do recognize that these, as well as the prisons, must be

included in any program), and looks at security sector reform

as a long term process. The strength of ZPSP is the access

of Brickhill and others to high-level securocrats. But the

securocrats have so far mostly rejected the GPA and the new

government — to the extent that they have refused to

recognize Morgan Tsvangirai as Prime Minister and to

participate in regular meetings of the National Security

Council — and it is far from clear that they would buy into

a reform process that would likely undercut their positions

and power. END COMMENT.

 

RAY

(10 VIEWS)

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