Mnangagwa would be more ruthless than Mugabe

Emmerson Mnangagwa, for long considered one of President Robert Mugabe’s potential successors, was likely to be more brutal than Mugabe if he became president, a political analyst Brian Raftopoulos, told United States embassy officials in December 2000.

Mnangagwa, whose political star had been waning since losing his Kwekwe seat to Blessing Chebundo of the Movement for Democratic Change, was reported to have scored a major coup at the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front extra-ordinary congress in December 2000 when he was catapulted to number four in the party as secretary for administration.

According to a diplomatic cable entitled: New Zimbabwe politburo strengthens Mnangagwa's bid to succeed Mugabe, the new politburo not only consolidated Mugabe’s position in ZANU-PF, it also appeared to be putting Mnangagwa near the apex of party power.

“If Mugabe is indeed thinking of stepping down a year or two after winning one more term, as a number of interlocutors have told us, now would be the time to begin preparing a successor,” the cable says.

“Mnangagwa is a long-time and close ally of Mugabe and has the full confidence of the president. The Speaker's feared reputation as an "enforcer" would serve Mugabe's desire to hold ZANU-PF together and defeat the MDC using any means necessary.”

Mnangagwa had replaced Didymus Mutasa as secretary for administration.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 00HARARE7266, NEW ZIMBABWE POLITBURO STRENGTHENS MNANGAGWA'S

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE7266

2000-12-28 12:45

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.

 

281245Z Dec 00

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTO7118

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 07266 01 OF 02 281245Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00

SRPP-00 DS-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01

TEDE-00 INR-00   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01   DCP-01   NSAE-00

OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00

SP-00   SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00

DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /007W

------------------B06519 281246Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7896

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 007266

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/28/10

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 07266 01 OF 02 281245Z

TAGS: PGOV PINR ZI ZANU PF

SUBJECT: NEW ZIMBABWE POLITBURO STRENGTHENS MNANGAGWA'S

BID TO SUCCEED MUGABE

 

REFS: A) HARARE 7164, B) HARARE 7134

 

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D'AFFAIRES EARL IRVING FOR REASONS:

1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: PRESIDENT MUGABE'S NEW ZANU-PF

POLITBURO, APPOINTED DECEMBER 15 AT THE SPECIAL PARTY

CONGRESS (REF B), STRENGTHENS SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT

EMMERSON MNANGAGWA'S POSITION IN THE PARTY AND COULD

SIGNAL MUGABE'S INTENTION TO MAKE MNANGAGWA HIS

SUCCESSOR. SINCE JUNE'S PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS,

MNANGAGWA HAS BEEN BROUGHT BACK FROM THE BRINK OF

POLITICAL EXTINCTION AFTER LOSING HIS LEGISLATIVE SEAT.

THE NEW POLITBURO ALSO EFFECTIVELY MARGINALIZES THE

NDEBELE AND MANICA ETHNIC GROUPS, TWO GROUPS

INCREASINGLY VIEWED IN THE PARTY AS SYMPATHETIC TO THE

OPPOSITION MDC, ACCORDING TO ONE LOCAL POLITICAL

OBSERVER. MNANGAGWA, WIDELY FEARED AND DESPISED

THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY, COULD BE AN EVEN MORE REPRESSIVE

LEADER IF HE TURNS OUT TO BE MUGABE'S ANNOINTED ONE.

END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) MUGABE'S NEWLY APPOINTED RULING PARTY POLITBURO,

ANNOUNCED DECEMBER 15 AT THE ZANU-PF SPECIAL CONGRESS,

APPEARS TO FAVOR THE ASCENDANCY OF SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT

EMMERSON MNANGAGWA. MNANGAGWA, WHO DIRECTED THE CIO AND

PRESIDED OVER THE MATABELELAND MASSACRES DURING THE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 07266 01 OF 02 281245Z

1980S, WAS ON THE BRINK OF POLITICAL OBLIVION EARLIER

THIS YEAR AFTER HE LOST HIS KWEKWE SEAT IN THE JUNE

PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS TO THE OBSCURE BLESSING CHEBONDO

OF THE MDC. MUGABE RESCUED HIM BY ENSURING HE WAS

ELECTED SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT IN AUGUST. MNANGAGWA'S

POSITION WAS FURTHER STRENGTHENED WITH HIS APPOINTMENT

TO THE NUMBER FOUR POSITION IN THE PARTY AS SECRETARY

FOR ADMINISTRATION (ONLY PRESIDENT MUGABE AND THE TWO

VICE-PRESIDENTS HOLD HIGHER POSITIONS). MNANGAGWA

REPLACED DIDYMUS MUTASA, WHO IS CANINELY LOYAL TO

MNANGAGWA AND WHOSE OWN PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRATIONS NOW

HAVE BEEN SIDELINED. FROM THIS PLATFORM, MNANGAGWA WILL

BE ABLE TO EXERCISE CONSIDERABLE CONTROL OVER ZANU-PF'S

STRUCTURES AND THE PEOPLE WHO FILL THEM.

 

3. (C) STRENGTHENING MNANGAGWA'S POSITION IN THE NEW

POLITBURO IS THE APPOINTMENT OF HIS ALLIES TO IMPORTANT

POSITIONS AND THE SIDELINING OF HIS RIVALS. ACCORDING TO

THE "ZIMBABWE INDEPENDENT," RICHARD HOVE IS AN ALLY OF

MNANGAGWA'S FROM HIS HOME MIDLANDS PROVINCE, AND WAS

MADE SECRETARY FOR ECONOMIC AFFAIRS. HOVE WAS ALSO

APPOINTED TO HEAD UP THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE'S NEW LAND

REFORM STANDING COMMITTEE (REF B). THE "INDEPENDENT"

DESCRIBES OTHER POLITBURO ALLIES OF THE SPEAKER AS:

DAVID KARIMANZIRA (MASHONALAND EAST GOVERNOR AND ZANU-PF

SECRETARY FOR FINANCE), WITNESS MANGWENDE (DEPUTY

 

SIPDIS

SECRETARY FOR ADMINISTRATION), AND ENOS CHIKOWORE

 

SIPDIS

(SECRETARY FOR LAND REFORM AND RESETTLEMENT). EACH NOW

OCCUPIES SOME OF THE POLITBURO'S MOST CRITICAL PORTFOLIOS,

AND EACH WAS ELEVATED FROM OBSCURE POSTS IN THE POLITBURO

STRUCTURE. THEY ARE ALSO MOSTLY SPENT FORCES KNOWN FOR

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 07266 01 OF 02 281245Z

THEIR STRIDENT AND SHRILL ANTI-WESTERN REMARKS. (NOTE:

ALTHOUGH IT IS UNKNOWN TO WHAT EXTENT YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

MINISTER AND PARTY COMMISSAR BORDER GEZI SUPPORTS

MNANGAGWA, THE 36-YEAR-OLD GEZI HAS ALL THE MAKINGS OF

AN MNANGAGWA PROTEGE. GEZI, AS GOVERNOR OF MASHONALAND

WEST, WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN DIRECTING THE TERROR CAMPAIGN

AGAINST MDC SUPPORTERS IN HIS PROVINCE EARLIER THIS

YEAR, AND HE IS CURRENTLY LEADING A CAMPAIGN OF VIOLENCE

IN THE BIKITA WEST CONSTITUENCY FOR THE JANUARY BY-

ELECTION [REF A]. END NOTE.)

 

4. (C) MNANGAGWA RIVALS, SUCH AS ENERGY MINISTER SYDNEY

SEKERAMAYI AS SECRETARY FOR HEALTH AND CHILD WELFARE,

AND FORMER ARMY GENERAL SOLOMON MUJURU AS MEMBER WITHOUT

PORTFOLIO, HAVE BEEN RELEGATED TO THE POLITBURO

PERIPHERY. ACCORDING TO UNIVERSITY OF ZIMBABWE

PROFESSOR BRIAN RAFTOPOULOS, RIVAL EDDISON ZVOBGO WAS

FORCED OUT OF THE POLITBURO ALTOGETHER AS A WAY TO

PROTECT MNANGAGWA'S ASCENDANCY. A POTENTIAL RIVAL,

FINANCE MINISTER SIMBA MAKONI--OFTEN TOUTED AS A

POSSIBLE SUCCESSOR TO MUGABE--WAS MADE THE PARTY'S

DEPUTY SECRETARY FOR ECONOMIC AFFAIRS, UNDER THE

WATCHFUL EYE OF MNANGAGWA'S FRIEND HOVE. THE NEW

POLITBURO HAS BEEN SET UP TO SUPPORT MNANGAGWA AND

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ7469

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 07266 02 OF 02 281245Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00

SRPP-00 DS-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01

TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00

OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00

SP-00   IRM-00   SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00

DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /006W

------------------B06523 281246Z /38

O 281245Z DEC 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7897

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 007266

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/28/10

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 07266 02 OF 02 281245Z

TAGS: PGOV PINR ZI ZANU PF

SUBJECT: NEW ZIMBABWE POLITBURO STRENGTHENS MNANGAGWA'S

BID TO SUCCEED MUGABE

 

SIDELINE HIS FOES, ACCORDING TO RAFTOPOULOS.

 

5. (C) RAFTOPOULOS TOLD US THAT HE ALSO SEES AN ETHNIC

DIMENSION TO THE POLITBURO APPOINTMENTS. THE NDEBELE

AND MANICA--WHOSE HOME PROVINCES ARE DOMINATED BY THE

MDC--ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THE OPPOSITION, AND ZANU-PF

MEMBERS FROM THOSE AREAS ARE MORE OFTEN SUSPECTED OF

HARBORING SYMPATHIES FOR THE OPPOSITION. AS A RESULT,

THE NDEBELE OR MANICA NO LONGER RETAIN INDEPENDENT POWER

BASES IN ZANU-PF, AND THE NEW POLITBURO REFLECTS THAT,

ACCORDING TO RAFTOPOULOS. NONE OF THE NEW POLITBURO

DEPARTMENT HEADS HAIL FROM MATABELELAND OR MANICALAND,

TO OUR KNOWLEDGE. THE DEPARTURE OF ZVOBGO WEAKENS HIS

POSITION IN KALANGA-DOMINATED MASVINGO, WHERE ZANU-PF

AND THE MDC ARE BATTLING FOR INFLUENCE. ZANU-PF IS

TRYING TO THWART A POSSIBLE NDEBELE-KALANGA ALLIANCE LED

BY ZVOBGO, WHO HAS BEEN TRYING TO DILUTE THE ZANU-PF

LEADERSHIP'S AUTHORITY IN MASVINGO, RAFTOPOULOS STATED.

ZANU-PF IS TRYING TO ESTABLISH ITS OWN "POWER AXIS"

BETWEEN THE ZEZURU OF MASHONALAND AND THE KALANGA OF

MASVINGO BY SIDELINING ZVOBGO AND INSTALLING PARTY

LEADERS LOYAL TO HARARE IN MASVINGO, ACCORDING TO

RAFTOPOULOS.

 

6. (C) COMMENT: MUGABE'S NEW POLITBURO NOT ONLY

CONSOLIDATES HIS OWN POSITION IN ZANU-PF, IT APPEARS TO

PUT MNANGAGWA NEAR THE APEX OF PARTY POWER. IF MUGABE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 07266 02 OF 02 281245Z

IS INDEED THINKING OF STEPPING DOWN A YEAR OR TWO AFTER

WINNING ONE MORE TERM, AS A NUMBER OF INTERLOCUTORS HAVE

TOLD US, NOW WOULD BE THE TIME TO BEGIN PREPARING A

SUCCESSOR. MNANGAGWA IS A LONG-TIME AND CLOSE ALLY OF

MUGABE AND HAS THE FULL CONFIDENCE OF THE PRESIDENT.

THE SPEAKER'S FEARED REPUTATION AS AN "ENFORCER" WOULD

SERVE MUGABE'S DESIRE TO HOLD ZANU-PF TOGETHER AND

DEFEAT THE MDC USING ANY MEANS NECESSARY. IF HE BECAME

PRESIDENT, MNANGAGWA COULD TURN OUT TO BE JUST AS

DICTATORIAL AS MUGABE; RAFTOPOULOS BELIEVES HE WOULD BE

EVEN MORE RUTHLESS THAN MUGABE. IT IS STILL FAR TOO

EARLY TO TELL WHETHER MNANGAGWA IS THE ACTUAL HEIR

APPARENT, BUT RECENT EVENTS MAKE HIM THE EARLY FAVORITE.

 

IRVING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Add comment


Security code
Refresh