Mandaza says the MDC is fractured, weak and irrelevant

Political analysts Ibbo Mandaza who was linked to the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front said the Movement for Democratic Change was fractured, weak and irrelevant so he did not think talks with ZANU-PF would go anywhere.

Instead, Mandaza said focus was on whether President Robert Mugabe would survive the onslaught against him since seven of the 10 party provinces were now opposed to him.

The party was holding a crucial extra-ordinary congress in December which had been called specifically to decide whether Mugabe should stand as the presidential candidate in the 2008 elections or not.

Mandaza had earlier predicted that Mugabe would not last until September 2007 but seemed to have backtracked on this.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 07HARARE680, MANDAZA AND MOYO ON SADC TALKS, MUGABE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

07HARARE680

2007-07-31 15:25

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

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INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1663

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1533

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RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4141

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1493

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2157

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0788

RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

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RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1884

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000680

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S.HILL

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: 07/09/2012

TAGS: PREL PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: MANDAZA AND MOYO ON SADC TALKS, MUGABE

 

 

Classified By: Pol/Econ Chief Glenn Warren under 1.4 b/d

 

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Summary

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1. (C) SADC talks between the GOZ and MDC are unlikely to

bear fruit according to Ibbo Mandaza and Jonathan Moyo.

Although the MDC has made discussions on a new constitution

the cornerstone of the talks, and although the first agenda

item agreed to in South Africa in June was constitutional

discussions, the GOZ has decided that any such discussions

should take place within Parliament and not South Africa. On

an exit for Mugabe, both Mandaza and Moyo believe that strong

opposition to Mugabe continues within ZANU-PF; in particular,

opponents are mobilizing at the provincial level. The key

marker will be the ZANU-PF Congress in December. If Mugabe

feels he has lost support, he will announce his intention to

retire before the Congress. End Summary.

 

ngQ|

KQQQMP and former Minister of Information

Jonathan Moyo.

 

----------------------

SADC Talks in Jeopardy

----------------------

 

3. (C) According to Moyo, after ZANU-PF negotiators Patrick

Chinimasa and Nicholas Goche had agreed in South Africa in

June to an agenda that included as its first item

constitutional talks, the ZANU-PF Central Committee and

cabinet agreed that any constitutional talks should take

place within Parliament. Since the MDC had placed a priority

on negotiating a new constitution, Moyo thought the talks

would stall over this issue, which would play into Mugabe's

strategy of giving the appearance of participation, but

making no genuine effort to resolve the current political and

economic crisis. Moyo also opined that a crucial problem

with the talks was that there were no terms of reference for

the mediation to define the discussions. Therefore, the

talks would continue to focus on what should be discussed

rather than substantive issues.

 

4. (C) Mandaza also felt the talks were going nowhere. The

MDC was fractured and weak and almost irrelevant; it's only

strength was as an anti-Mugabe platform. Mandaza strongly

believed there should be86aN'(@j

have been few recent reports of internal ZANU-PF dissension,

strong opposition to Mugabe continues. In June, Mandaza told

the South Africa Institute of International Affairs that

Mugabe would be gone by September. He expressed less

certainty on July 27, but claimed that at least seven (of 10)

ZANU-PF provincial executive committees now opposed Mugabe.

Both interlocutors agreed that the ZANU-PF Congress in

December would be the crucial marker. Recognizing he had

opposition within the party, Mugabe had sidestepped a vote on

his endorsement as the ZANU-PF presidential candidate at the

 

HARARE 00000680 002 OF 002

 

 

Central Committee meeting in March; to run he would need

nomination by the Congress in December. (Note: Others have

told us a Congress is necessary only if the party intends to

nominate a candidate other than Mugabe; as the head of the

party he is the presumptive nominee. End Note.) If he felt

his support was weak, he would avoid a possibly humiliating

vote and announce his intention to step down before the

Congress.

 

6. (C) Mandaza and Moyo were of two minds regarding the

effect of the recent price controls on support for Mugabe and

ZANU-PF. Mandaza thought the food shortages resulting from

the controls would increase pressure for change from within

ZANU-PF. Moyo, on the other hand, thought that in the short

term Mugabe's argument that shortages were caused by outside

influences would have traction among Zimbabwe's poor. Even

when the shelves were full, he said, most Zimbabweans

couldn't afford the available goods.

 

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Comment

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7. (C) Over the last nine months we have reported on

dissension within ZANU-PF, including efforts by the military

to convince Mugabe to step aside, and opposition from the

Mujuru camp. Some of this has spilled out publicly to the

press. Recently, however, there have been few such reports.

And with his recent action in imposing price controls and his

speech this week at the opening of Parliament indicating he

would run for reelection, Mugabe has sought to portray

himself as firmly in control. Nevertheless, there is

dissension in the ranks, significantly in provincial

executive committees. Since Mugabe has not received the

endorsement of his party, a behind the scenes struggle is

likely to continue, with the outcome becoming known sometime

before the Congress in December.

DHANANI

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