MDC asked US embassy to arrange meeting with Bush in South Africa

Movement for Democratic Change presidential advisor Gandi Mudzingwa asked the United States embassy in Harare to arrange a meeting with United States President George Bush’s delegation “at whatever level” during his visit to South Africa which was scheduled for July 8 and 9, 2003.

Mudzingwa said the main message to Bush would be that the MDC was open to restarting dialogue with President Robert Mugabe, but Mugabe had scuttled all initiatives.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 03HARARE1351, MDC REQUESTS MEETINGS WITH POTUS DELEGATION IN RSA

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

03HARARE1351

2003-07-02 14:56

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.

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 001351

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR J. FRAZER

LONDON FOR C. GURNEY

PARIS FOR C. NEARY

NAIROBI FOR T. PFLAUMER

BANGKOK FOR WIN DAYTON

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2013

TAGS: PGOV PINR ASEC ZI MDC

SUBJECT: MDC REQUESTS MEETINGS WITH POTUS DELEGATION IN RSA

 

 

Classified By: Political Officer Audu Besmer for reasons 1.5 b/d

 

1. (U) This is an action request; please see paragraph two.

 

Summary and Action Request:

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

 

2. (C) MDC Presidential Advisor, Gandi Mudzingwa, requested

meetings with member(s) of the POTUS delegation at whatever

level would be appropriate for an MDC delegation that will be

traveling to South Africa soon. Mudzingwa said the main

message the MDC would like to convey is that the MDC is open

to restarting dialogue with Mugabe, but Mugabe has scuttled

all initiatives in this vein. We provisionally recommend a

meeting with AS Kansteiner. End Summary and Action Request.

 

Meetings in RSA Requested

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

 

3. (C) On July 1 MDC Presidential Advisor, Gandi Mudzingwa,

requested meetings at whatever level would be appropriate for

an MDC delegation that will be traveling to South Africa for

the POTUS visit. MDC Deputy Secretary General, Gift

Chimanikire is heading a political delegation that will also

include Shadow Minister of Justice, David Coltart, and

Secretary for Economic Affairs, Tendai Biti. Paul

 

SIPDIS

Themba-Nyathi, MDC spokesperson, is also heading a separate

public affairs delegation.

 

Roadmap to Peace?

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

 

4. (C) Although a June 27 Reuters article reported that the

party's President Morgan Tsvangirai said the MDC was

developing a "roadmap to peace" to present to the Bush

delegation, the following is all that has evolved of this

initiative thus far:

 

5. (C) The two sides in Zimbabwe are not talking (this is in

response to news reports of Mbeki's comments that ZANU-PF and

MDC are talking). The MDC believes that ZANU-PF would like

to manage the crisis and buy time and ensure ZANU-PF

succession, rather than solve the crisis. Rather than

opening up to talks, Mugabe has in fact scuttled various

initiatives at restarting dialogue, or played one off the

other. The MDC, in contrast, is open to dialogue.

Tsvangirai has requested a meeting with the Ambassador for

 

SIPDIS

July 4 in which Mudzingwa said Tsvangirai plans to deliver

the MDC message to us in greater detail.

 

6. (C) Mudzingwa said that domestically, the MDC is looking

for a formula to restart negotiations with Mugabe. In

response to conflicting reports that the MDC would both

support and not support a unity government with the ruling

party, Mudzingwa did not clarify adequately. (Note: It is

possible the MDC is still working out language / policy on

this. End Note.)

 

Comment:

--------

 

7. (C) It is not yet clear whether the MDC really plans to

put forward a roadmap to peace with any reasonable level of

detail. So far, their planned pitch to the POTUS delegation

remains uncertain. However, we anticipate they will flesh

out the plan by July 4, and we would recommend consideration

of a meeting with AS Kansteiner. We will report back on the

July 4 meeting, including any roadmap specifics that come up.

We did not find out from the MDC if they have informed South

Africans of their desire to meet with members of the POTUS

delegation, and this should be clarified. End Comment.

SULLIVAN

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