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Political tug-of-war- Mugabe versus Tsvangirai

The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front was prepared to give Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai nothing higher than third vice-President when negotiations for the formation of the government of national unity started after the indecisive 20008 elections.

Tsvangirai on the other hand was not prepared for anything other than Prime Minister with executive powers. He was ready to accept Robert Mugabe as ceremonial president with Joseph Msika as his deputy but also without any executive powers.

Tsvangirai was ready to appoint Joice Mujuru his deputy but with executive authority which would effectively have made her more powerful than Mugabe and Msika.

Political analyst Sydney Masamvu said this was a clear indication that the MDC was prepared to form an alliance with the Mujuru faction of ZANU-PF. The move was also aimed at preventing Mugabe’s heir apparent Emmerson Mnangagwa from holding any position of power.

Tsvangirai and Mugabe reached a deadlock on 28 July.

Tsvangirai, however, tried to incorporate powerful former African National Congress secretary-general Cyril Ramaphosa into his negotiating team, according to one of the cables released by Wikileaks.

Ramaphosa was to join Tendai Biti, Elton Mangoma, Jameson Timba, Innocent Chagonda, Eliphas Mukonoweshuro and Lovemore Moyo.

United States embassy officials said the addition of Ramaphosa was not likely to have any impact on Mugabe and ZANU-PF.

“Rather, Ramaphosa’s participation is better understood as a manifestation of domestic politics, in the same way that Zuma speaking about Mugabe is an opportunity to make Mbeki look bad more than it reflects outrage about the Zimbabwe crisis,” the cable says.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08PRETORIA1659, ZIMBABWE MEDIATION REACHES IMPASSE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08PRETORIA1659

2008-07-29 13:47

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Pretoria

VZCZCXRO8810

PP RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSA #1659 2111347

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 291347Z JUL 08 ZDK

FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5250

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN PRIORITY 5864

RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN PRIORITY 0037

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L PRETORIA 001659

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/29/2018

TAGS: PREL SF ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE MEDIATION REACHES IMPASSE

 

REF: PRETORIA 1632

 

Classified By: Ambassador Eric M. Bost. Reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

 

1. (C) On 28 July, talks to reach a power-sharing agreement

between President Robert Mugabe and MDC Leader Morgan

Tsvangirai reached a stalemate after both sides presented

drastically different proposals. According to numerous

Embassy contacts, Mugabe’s negotiators were under instruction

to offer Tsvangirai the position of third vice-president, and

nothing more. On the other hand, Tsvangirai has refused to

accept the results of the 27 June “election” and said he will

accept nothing less than the role of prime minister with full

executive powers in a two-year transitional authority.

Tsvangirai also apparently proposed that Mugabe could remain

ceremonial president, current Vice-President Joseph Msika

could be deputy president (without executive authority), and

second vice-president Joyce Mujuru could become deputy Prime

Minister (with executive authority). IDASA analyst Sydney

Masamvu told PolOff he believes this reflects MDC’s efforts

to forge an alliance with the Mujuru faction of ZANU-PF to

prevent Mugabe’s potential heir apparent Emmerson Mnangagwa

from holding any position of power.

 

2. (C) Immediately after talks were suspended, Tsvangirai

flew to Pretoria to speak to his negotiating team, which

press reports note have been significantly expanded from two

members to seven, including original negotiators MDC SG

Tendai Biti and Deputy Treasurer Elton Mangoma, but also MDC

Advisor Jameson Timba, Professor Eliphas Mukonoweshuro,

Lovemore Moyo, Innocent Chagonda, and one other. A French

diplomat with well-placed ANC contacts told PolOff on 29 July

that ANC heavyweight and Mbeki-rival Cyril Ramaphosa will

also be added to MDC’s negotiating team when talks resume,

presumably on 2 August. When asked how Mbeki feels about

Ramaphosa’s participation, the diplomat replied that Mbeki is

probably not thrilled but has no say in who negotiates for

either side. (COMMENT: Ramaphosa is known to be a strong

negotiator. He was ANC Secretary General during talks to end

apartheid. His addition to the MDC team is unlikely to have

an impact on Mugabe or ZANU-PF. Rather, Ramaphosa’s

participation is better understood as a manifestation of

domestic politics, in the same way that Zuma speaking about

Mugabe is an opportunity to make Mbeki look bad more than it

reflects outrage about the Zimbabwe crisis. END COMMENT)

ZANU-PF’s team, which flew back to Harare last night, has

also been expanded by “three unnamed brigadiers” to support

Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche.

 

3. (C) COMMENT: Despite all the hype surrounding the 21 July

signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Tsvangirai

and Mugabe, the two sides still appear far apart. The

stalemate and obvious lack of progress may yet be a blow to

Mbeki, who has trumpeted promises of significant progress and

raised expectations that a power-sharing deal will be signed

imminently. Mugabe, however, does not appear serious about

sharing power and remains as intransigent as ever. We also

see no evidence that behind the scenes efforts between Mugabe

and Tsvangirai (reftel) have made any headway either, forcing

negotiations back to square one.   END COMMENT.

 

4. (U) This cable was coordinated with Embassy Harare.

BOST

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