in Stories

Packages galore for Mugabe to step down

Several packages were lined up towards the end of 2000 for President Robert Mugabe to step down and Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai had agreed to Mugabe’s graceful exit because it was in Zimbabwe’s national interest, according to MDC advisor Clive Puzey.

One of those who wanted President Robert Mugabe to step down was United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan.

He reportedly offered Mugabe a deal to step down which included a safe haven and a financial package from Libyan President Muammar Qadhafi.

Mugabe reportedly turned down the offer after discussing it with his wife Grace.

Businessman John Bredenkamp was also prepared to finance a package for Mugabe to step down.

Asked whether Bredenkamp had enough resources for Mugabe’s package, Puzey said Bredenkamp worked for the British MI6 and could be a channel for the British intelligence to provide funds to sweeten the deal.

The MDC also approached Greg Brackenridge, the managing director of Stanbic Bank to act as the middleman and he appeared more than willing to do so and even phoned the United States embassy about how business was keen to see Mugabe move on.

Below is the full cable with the names of all the people involved.

The names of the key players were removed from earlier Wikileaks cables.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 00HARARE5461, ZANU-PF REPORTEDLY INTERESTED IN DEAL WITH MDC

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

00HARARE5461

2000-09-27 14:59

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.

 

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2529

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 05461 01 OF 02 271458Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00

DS-00   EUR-00   FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00

L-00     VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01  OPIC-01 PA-00

PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   IRM-00   SSO-00

TRSE-00 USIE-00 R-00     PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00

NFAT-00 SAS-00     /006W

——————8A8E0D 271459Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7212

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 005461

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

EO 12958 DECL: 09/21/10

TAGS PGOV, PINS, ZI, MDC, ZANU-PF

 

SUBJECT: ZANU-PF REPORTEDLY INTERESTED IN DEAL WITH MDC

THAT INVOLVES MUGABE’S DEPARTURE

 

REF: HARARE 5346 CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 05461 01 OF 02 271458Z

 

CLASSIFIED BY DCM EARL IRVING. REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

SUMMARY

——-

 

¶1. (C) ACCORDING TO A SENIOR MDC ADVISOR, THE OPPOSITION PARTY HAS RECEIVED ADDITIONAL FEELERS FROM ZANU-PF ABOUT MAKING A DEAL THAT INVOLVES PRESIDENT MUGABE’S DEPARTURE FROM OFFICE. MDC PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI IS REPORTEDLY WILLING TO AGREE TO A GRACEFUL EXIT FOR MUGABE BECAUSE IT IS IN ZIMBABWE’S NATIONAL INTEREST. THE MDC ADVISOR SAID KOFI ANNAN RECENTLY OFFERED MUGABE A PACKAGE TO STEP DOWN, WHICH HE DECLINED, AND THAT A SHADY ZIMBABWEAN BUSINESSMAN HAS TOLD ZANU-PF HE IS WILLING TO FINANCE A “RETIREMENT PACKAGE” FOR THE PRESIDENT. MEANWHILE, GREG BRACKENRIDGE, A BANKER NOT AFFILIATED WITH ANY POLITICAL PARTY, HAS BEEN ASKED BY THE MDC TO ORGANIZE A PRIVATE SECTOR INITIATIVE FOCUSED ON FORGING AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN ZANU-PF AND THE MDC ON A WAY OUT OF ZIMBABWE’S CURRENT MESS. END SUMMARY. ZANU-PF SEES WRITING ON WALL, WANTS A DEAL —————————————— ¶2. (C) IN A SEPTEMBER 26 CALL ON DCM AND POLOFF, SENIOR MDC ADVISOR CLIVE PUZEY SAID THE BUSINESS INTERESTS OF SENIOR ZANU-PF MEMBERS ARE BEING BADLY DAMAGED BY THE CURRENT ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL SITUATION. THEY BLAME PRESIDENT MUGABE AND ARE DETERMINED TO FIND A WAY TO EASE HIM OUT IN A DIGNIFIED WAY. AT THE SAME TIME, THEY REALIZE CONFIDENTIAL PAGE 03 HARARE 05461 01 OF 02 271458Z THAT THE MDC IS GAINING STRENGTH IN THE RURAL AREAS — TWO RECENT RALLIES BY MDC PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI ATTRACTED THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE AND RAISED FUNDS FOR THE PARTY — AND SEE THEIR LOSS OF POWER AS INEVITABLE. THEY HAVE BEGUN TO TALK SERIOUSLY TO THE MDC ABOUT MAKING A DEAL. ALTHOUGH HE IS NOT ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT IT, MDC PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI HAS AGREED THAT IT IS IN ZIMBABWE’S BEST SIPDIS INTERESTS FOR THE MDC TO DO ALL IT CAN TO SECURE A GRACEFUL EXIT STRATEGY THAT PRESERVES SOMEWHAT OF A POSITIVE LEGACY FOR MUGABE. OTHERWISE, THE PRESIDENT WOULD HAVE LITTLE INCENTIVE TO GO. ENCOURAGING MUGABE TO STEP DOWN ——————————-

 

¶3. (C) THE BOARD OF LEVER BROTHERS INFORMED THE MDC, PUZEY REPORTED, THAT KOFI ANNAN, IN THE RECENT MEETING IN NEW YORK DURING THE MILLENIUM SUMMIT, OFFERED MUGABE A DEAL TO STEP DOWN. ALTHOUGH PUZEY SAID THE MDC WAS NOT PRIVY TO THE DETAILS, HE SURMISED THAT ANNAN’S SUPPOSED DEAL PROBABLY INCLUDED PROVISION OF SAFEHAVEN AND A FINANCIAL PACKAGE FROM LIBYAN PRESIDENT QADHAFI. THE OPPOSITION PARTY HEARD THAT MUGABE TURNED DOWN THE OFFER THE FOLLOWING DAY, AFTER DISCUSSING IT WITH THE FIRST LADY. ANNAN, PUZEY CONTINUED, IS NOT THE ONLY ONE TRYING TO FACILITATE MUGABE’S DEPARTURE. ONE BEN COOK, A REPORTED ZANU-PF SOURCE IN A POSITION TO KNOW, INFORMED PUZEY THAT JOHN BREDENCAMP, A SHADY WHITE ZIMBABWEAN BUSINESSMAN, HAD TOLD ZANU-PF HE WOULD PROVIDE A FINANCIAL “RETIREMENT” PACKAGE FOR MUGABE. PUZEY DID NOT KNOW WHETHER BREDENCAMP HAD SUFFICIENT RESOURCES TO MAKE SUCH A PACKAGE ATTRACTIVE CONFIDENTIAL PAGE 04 HARARE 05461 01 OF 02 271458Z ENOUGH, BUT HE CLAIMED THAT BREDENCAMP WORKED FOR MI6 AND COULD BE A CHANNEL FOR THE BRITISH TO PROVIDE FUNDS TO SWEETEN THE DEAL. (COMMENT: THE BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION HERE SCOFFED AT THE VERY IDEA. END COMMENT.)

 

¶4. (C) THE MDC, ACCORDING TO PUZEY, BELIEVED THAT THE BEST WAY TO PROCEED WAS FOR AN INDEPENDENT BODY — PREFERABLY MEMBERS OF THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY NOT AFFILIATED WITH A PARTICULAR POLITICAL PARTY — TO WORK WITH ZANU-PF AND THE MDC TO FORGE A MUTUALLY AGREEABLE WAY OUT OF ZIMBABWE’S CURRENT MESS. THE MDC HAS APPROACHED GREG BRACKENRIDGE, MANAGING MANAGER OF STANBIC BANK, ABOUT LEADING SUCH AN EFFORT. PRIVATE SECTOR AS MIDDLEMAN —————————

 

¶5. (C) SHORTLY AFTER OUR DISCUSSION WITH PUZEY, GREG BRACKENRIDGE CALLED ON THE DCM AND POLOFF. BRACKENRIDGE NOTED THAT THE ZIMBABWEAN ECONOMY WAS HEADED FOR DISASTER, AND HE WAS EXPLORING HOW KEY MEMBERS OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR HERE COULD PREVENT A POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC TRAINWRECK. HE INSISTED THAT HE HAD NO POLITICAL AFFILIATION, AND THEREFORE HAS A CERTAIN CREDIBILITY WITH BOTH MAJOR CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL PTQ2532 PAGE 01 HARARE 05461 02 OF 02 271459Z ACTION AF-00 INFO LOG-00 NP-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EUR-00 FBIE-00 VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 IRM-00 SSO-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 R-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /006W ——————8A8E22 271459Z /38 O 271459Z SEP 00 FM AMEMBASSY HARARE TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7213 INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 005461 SIPDIS NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/21/10 TAGS: PGOV, PINS, ZI SUBJECT: ZANU-PF REPORTEDLY INTERESTED IN DEAL WITH MDC THAT INVOLVES MUGABE’S DEPARTURE POLITICAL PARTIES. THE CHALLENGE, BRACKENRIDGE SAID, IS CONFIDENTIAL PAGE 02 HARARE 05461 02 OF 02 271459Z CONVINCING ZANU-PF AND THE MDC, WHO MISTRUST EACH OTHER IMMENSELY, TO SIT IN A ROOM TOGETHER AND AGREE ON A WAY FORWARD.

 

¶6. (C) BRACKENRIDGE SAID HE HAS HEARD HINTS THAT PRESIDENT MUGABE IS WILLING TO STEP DOWN UNDER THE RIGHT CONDITIONS. THAT WOULD BE REMARKABLE, THE DCM POINTED OUT, AS A DECISION NOT TO STAND FOR PRESIDENT IN 2002 WOULD MAKE MUGABE A LAME DUCK AND LIKELY WOULD FURTHER UNDERMINE HIS ABILITY TO GOVERN EFFECTIVELY. THAT SCENARIO, BRACKENRIDGE REPLIED, ASSUMES THAT MUGABE WOULD SERVE OUT THE REMAINDER OF HIS TERM. THE PRESIDENT, HE HAS BEEN TOLD, WOULD BE WILLING TO STAND DOWN NOW IF HE IS CONVINCED THAT HIS LAND REDISTRIBUTION PLAN IS ON TRACK. AMNESTY WOULD LIKELY BE ANOTHER CONDITION, BRACKENRIDGE ADDED.

 

¶7. (C) THERE IS A GROWING REALIZATION IN ZANU-PF, BRACKENRIDGE INSISTED, THAT THE CONTINUED DETERIORATION OF THE ECONOMY WILL INEVITABLY HAND THE COUNTRY ON A SILVER PLATTER TO THE MDC. IN ORDER TO GAIN POWER, THE MDC MERELY HAS TO WAIT. ZANU-PF, THEREFORE, IS PRIMED TO MAKE A DEAL. ASKED WHAT THE CATALYST WAS FOR SUCH A DEAL, BRACKENRIDGE SAID ONE POSSIBILITY IS A CONFERENCE, ORGANIZED BY KEY MEMBERS OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR, IN WHICH AN INTERNATIONALLY RESPECTED FIGURE SEEN AS IMPARTIAL BY BOTH SIDES WOULD ATTEMPT TO FORGE AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN ZANU-PF AND THE MDC, PRIMARILY ON LAND BUT ALSO ON OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES. SUCH A CONFERENCE WOULD ALSO ADDRESS HOW COUNTRIES SUCH AS CHILE AND ARGENTINA MADE THE TRANSITION TO MULTI-PARTY DEMOCRACY AND DEALT WITH THE QUESTION OF AMNESTY. ASKED HOW THE UNITED STATES COULD HELP, BRACKENRIDGE REPLIED THAT AN CONFIDENTIAL PAGE 03 HARARE 05461 02 OF 02 271459Z HONEST BROKER WAS NEEDED TO CONVINCE ZANU-PF TO PARTICIPATE AND TO UNDERWRITE THE COSTS OF WHATEVER AGREEMENT EMERGED. THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT, HE CLAIMED, HAS 36 MILLION POUNDS AVAILABLE FOR LAND REFORM IN ZIMBABWE, BUT THEY ARE PROBABLY TOO ANTAGONISTIC TO PLAY AN HONEST BROKER ROLE. THE AMERICANS, THOUGH, PROBABLY WOULD BE ACCEPTABLE.

 

¶8. (C) WOULDN’T PRESIDENT MUGABE HAVE TO BE IN THE LOOP ON SUCH AN INITIATIVE, THE DCM ASKED? ABSOLUTELY, BRACKENRIDGE REPLIED. THEIR EFFORT WOULD BE DESCRIBED TO THE PRESIDENT AS A NON-PARTISAN PRIVATE SECTOR INITIATIVE INTENDED TO REACH AGREEMENT ON A LAND REFORM PROGRAM ACCEPTABLE TO ALL THE MAJOR STAKEHOLDERS, THEREBY RESTORING ZIMBABWE’S CREDIBILITY IN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. HE EMPHASIZED THAT THERE WOULD HAVE TO BE A CARROT FOR MUGABE TO ENDORSE OR PARTICIPATE IN SUCH AN EFFORT. ASKED WHETHER HE MEANT A FINANCIAL PAYOFF, BRACKENRIDGE DEMURRED, ONLY INTIMATING THAT THAT ISSUE WOULD HAVE TO BE ADDRESSED. COMMENT ——-

 

¶9. (C) MANY MEMBERS OF ZANU-PF ARE INCREASINGLY CONVINCED THAT PRESIDENT MUGABE IS A SERIOUS LIABILITY. A MEMBER OF ZANU-PF’S POLITBURO RECENTLY TOLD THE INDEPENDENT “FINANCIAL GAZETTE” THAT THE PARTY HAD AGREED THAT MUGABE SHOULD NOT RUN FOR REELECTION, BUT IT HAD NOT YET SETTLED ON A CONSENSUS CANDIDATE. AS THE ECONOMY CONTINUES TO DETERIORATE, ZANU-PF OFFICIALS REALIZE THAT MUGABE’S CONTINUATION IN POWER WILL LEAD INEVITABLY TO THE ELECTION OF AN MDC PRESIDENT IN 2002. IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME. CONFIDENTIAL PAGE 04 HARARE 05461 02 OF 02 271459Z THEY ARE UNDERSTANDABLY SEARCHING FOR A WAY TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM PROSECUTION AND THEIR ECONOMIC ASSETS FROM SEIZURE OR CONTINUED DETERIORATION. WE ARE NOT SURPRISED, THEREFORE, BY THE RULING PARTY’S BACK-CHANNEL APPROACHES TO THE MDC ABOUT REACHING A DEAL, WHICH WE BELIEVE ARE PROBABLY GENUINE. THE CRITICAL QUESTION IS HOW MUGABE WILL REACT IF HE CATCHES WIND OF IT.

 

¶10. (C) WE ARE INTRIGUED BY BRACKENRIDGE’S EFFORT. HIS THINKING ABOUT HOW TO BROKER SOME SORT OF AGREEMENT IS CLEARLY IN THE INCIPIENT STAGES AND, TO BE SUCCESSFUL, HE MUST FIRST OVERCOME SERIOUS MISTRUST ON BOTH SIDES. ALTHOUGH THE CONFERENCE HE ENVISIONS WOULD, ON THE SURFACE, FOCUS ON REACHING AN AGREEMENT ON LAND, ITS REAL OBJECTIVE WOULD BE TO WORK OUT THE DETAILS OF MUGABE’S DEPARTURE FROM OFFICE. BRACKENRIDGE CLEARLY HAS MUCH GROUNDWORK TO DO. THE CLOCK IS TICKING, AS ZANU-PF MAY DISCUSS THE SUCCESSION ISSUE AT ITS EXTRAORDINARY CONGRESS LATER THIS YEAR. MCDONALD CONFIDENTIAL >

(76 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