Former army commander Solomon Mujuru was aware that President Robert Mugabe was going to lose the 2008 elections and told him to resign 19 days before the elections to avoid humiliation but Mugabe stood his ground and instead told the world that Mujuru was fully behind him.
According to Mujuru’s former business partner Tirivanhu Mudariki, Mujuru told Mugabe on 10 March 2008 to step down because he no longer had support in the country.
Mugabe subsequently lost the election but won the presidential poll after Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of the run-off because of the violence that ensued.
Mudariki said Mujuru was going to mobilise his colleagues to persuade Mugabe to step down at a politburo meeting 10 days before the elections and rally behind Simba Makoni who had announced his intention to stand as an independent.
Mujuru was reportedly behind Makoni.
Mudariki confirmed this and said that Mujuru was going to make his support for Makoni public.
He never did until he died in a mysterious fire accident three years later.
According to the United States embassy Mujuru did not want to publicly support Makoni because he did not want to jeopardize his wife’s position as Vice-President.
He was also afraid that Mugabe could prosecute him for corrupt business practices.
Mudariki said Mujuru had toured the country extensively trying to assess the chances for Makoni but had found that Tsvangirai had more support than Makoni and Mugabe.
Tsvangirai indeed, subsequently won the first round with Makoni wining only 8 percent of the poll.
Below are the first 340 Wikileaks cables on Mugabe- 286 to go
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