Mangoma wanted to be Minister of Finance

The deputy treasurer of the Movement for Democratic Change, Elton Mangoma, an accountant by profession, wanted to be the new government’s Minister of Finance according to one of the negotiators, Welshman Ncube, secretary general of the smaller faction of the MDC.

Ncube disclosed this after talks broke down over the allocation of four ministries- Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Finance and Local Government.

He said the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front wanted all four ministries while the MDC-T wanted them to be divided evenly. The MDC-M had already been allocated three ministries.

Ncube said in his opinion the personal ambitions of the negotiators had led to the deadlock, rather than any specific party objectives. He said that MDC-T negotiator Elton Mangoma wanted to be the Minister of Finance and had pushed hard for its inclusion in MDC-T's portfolio.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08HARARE878, WELSHMAN NCUBE DISCUSSES THE MINISTERIAL IMPASSE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE878

2008-09-25 14:09

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO1608

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0878/01 2691409

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 251409Z SEP 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3493

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2324

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2443

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0957

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1721

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2076

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2497

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4929

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1592

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000878

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR G. GARLAND AND B. WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E. LOKEN AND L. DOBBINS

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/25/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: WELSHMAN NCUBE DISCUSSES THE MINISTERIAL IMPASSE

 

REF: A. HARARE 867

B. HARARE 741

 

Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4 (d)

 

1. (C) MDC-Mutambara faction (MDC-M) Secretary General

Welshman Ncube met with poloff on September 25 to discuss a

range of issues, including the current status of ministerial

negotiations, South Africa's possible role in breaking the

deadlock, and local and international criticism of MDC-M

leader Arthur Mutambara that stemmed from his anti-West

statements and charges that he had aligned himself with

ZANU-PF.

 

2. (C) Ncube confirmed that negotiations remain on hold as

the negotiators await the return of President Mugabe and the

other principals, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy

Prime Minister Mutambara. The ministerial negotiations

became deadlocked late last week over the allocation of the

following four powerful ministries: Home Affairs (police),

Foreign Affairs, Finance, and Local Government. ZANU-PF

wants all four ministries; MDC-T wants to divide them evenly.

Two other ministries--Water Resources and Prisons and

Correctional Services--have not been allocated, but are not

contentious. The allocation of the remaining 25 ministries

had been verbally agreed upon and Ncube did not expect there

to be much shifting of those ministries. In Ncube's opinion,

the personal ambitions of the negotiators had led to the

deadlock, rather than any specific party objectives. For

instance, Ncube shared that MDC-T negotiator Elton Mangoma

wanted to be the Minister of Finance and had pushed hard for

its inclusion in MDC-T's portfolio. We had heard separately

that Nicholas Goche was interested in Finance, but Ncube

could not confirm that report. According to Ncube,

Tsvangirai had conceded the Justice ministry to ZANU-PF, and

ZANU-PF negotiator Patrick Chinamasa was angling to be named

its minister.

 

3. (C) Ncube confirmed discussions we had with

well-connected businessman Fred Mutanda earlier this week

that ZANU-PF had compressed four ministries into two and

converted national security from a ministry into a department

within the President's Office (reftel A). However, these

moves had been balanced by the halving of several existing

ministries. For instance, Industry and Commerce, and

Regional Integration and International Trade were now

separate ministries. Also, Justice had been separated from

Parliamentary and Constitutional Affairs. Ncube could not

recall the additional new ministry required to reach a total

of 31, but he was certain that the 15, 13, 3 ministry split

would be maintained between ZANU-PF, MDC-T, and MDC-M. The

MDC-M ministries will be Education, Sport and Culture,

Industry and Commerce, and Regional Integration and National

Trade.

 

4. (C) Ncube then told us that a proposal had recently

originated from former South African President Mbeki's office

inviting Mugabe, Tsvangirai, and Mutambara to Pretoria to

work out the remaining ministerial allocations. Mbeki

suggested that Mugabe stop in South Africa on his return from

the UN General Assembly session in New York to hold these

negotiations. (NOTE: Mbeki and Ncube are also personally

connected though the marriage of their children. END NOTE.)

 

5. (C) The conversation turned to discussion of the

publicity backlash Mutambara had received for his

resoundingly negative comments about the West, as well as

charges that he had aligned himself with ZANU-PF. Ncube was

frank in saying that Mutambara had a "fragile ego" and was

not experienced enough to handle harsh criticism. Also,

Mutambara's senior team had to repeatedly maintain his

 

HARARE 00000878 002 OF 002

 

 

confidence, the lack of which Ncube believed may have

originated from Mutambara's childhood as an orphan.

(COMMENT: This is not the first time Ncube has criticized

his boss; he believes Mutambara should be replaced as MDC-M's

leader (Ref B). END COMMENT.)

 

-------

COMMENT

-------

 

6. (C) Ncube was candid and frank about the negotiating

impasse. MDC-M leaders are relishing the faction's position

as a swing-vote player and will continue to look for ways to

expand their influence beyond that commensurate with the

faction's electoral results. The leadership's ability to

exert leverage by aligning with (or threatening to align

with) ZANU-PF on specific issues will depend in part on

whether the faction's elected officials are willing to

stomach this strategy. If leadership goes to far, the

faction may disintegrate. The text of the power-sharing

agreement represents a notable success for Ncube and

Mutambara; the election of the MDC-T's candidate for Speaker

was a notable failure. END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

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