Was Ibbo Mandaza the public voice of Mujuru?

Political commentator and former publisher of the Mirror newspapers group Ibbo Mandaza was the public voice of former army Commander Solomon Mujuru, United States embassy officials said in a cable released by Wikileaks.

“Mandaza is a long-time ZANU-PF stalwart. He is now a confidante of, and advisor to, Solomon Mujuru….Mandaza is a public voice of Solomon Mujuru. He is convinced Mugabe will leave office soon; the question is when,” the cables says.

Mandaza had held a meeting with embassy officials on 25 September 2007 at which he disclosed that President Robert Mugabe had cancer and his Malaysian physician had advised him to step down.

Mandaza said Solomon Mujuru was adamant that Mugabe should step down at the extraordinary congress in December 2007 and could be replaced by his wife, Joice, or someone else loyal to him.

He said if there were to be a secret ballot at the congress Mugabe would be roundly defeated.

In their commentary, embassy officials said: “Mandaza is a public voice of Solomon Mujuru. He is convinced Mugabe will leave office soon; the question is when. In June, Mandaza predicted Mugabe would be gone by September. He now thinks it could be before the December Congress or early next year. Regardless of Mandaza's skill as a prognosticator, he opens a window on to ZANU-PF which, despite the control Mugabe is still able to exert, is a party in disarray.”

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 07HARARE881, IBBO MANDAZA ON MUGABE, ZANU-PF'S NEXT STEPS

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

07HARARE881

2007-09-28 10:02

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO0732

RR RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0881/01 2711002

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 281002Z SEP 07

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1939

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1717

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1591

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1721

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0358

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0993

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1350

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1778

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4196

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1549

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2211

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0842

RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1938

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000881

 

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 PINR ZI

SUBJECT: IBBO MANDAZA ON MUGABE, ZANU-PF'S NEXT STEPS

 

REF: HARARE 795

 

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

 

1. (C) ZANU-PF insider and Solomon Mujuru confidante Ibbo

Mandaza met with polecon chief on September 25 and discussed

President Robert Mugabe's health and the state of ZANU-PF.

 

2. (C) Confirming Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono's

comments (Reftel), Mandaza said Mugabe's Malaysian physician

is now residing in Harare to treat Mugabe for cancer and had

advised him to step down. Mandaza believed that Mugabe had

had throat cancer and was now suffering from prostate cancer.

 

3. (C) Mandaza said the ZANU-PF politburo had met on

September 5 and agreed to call an Extraordinary Congress for

the second week of December. There would be no meetings of

either the Politburo or Central Committee before that time.

The Congress, according to Mandaza, would last one day and

would deal with only one issue--succession.

 

4. (C) Mandaza said he had spoken with Mujuru two days

before our conversation. Mujuru was organizing his

supporters in the provinces to present a challenge to Mugabe.

The hope was to convince Mugabe before the Congress that he

could not prevail in order to force him to step down.

Mandaza was confident that in the hypothetical event of a

secret ballot at the Congress, Mugabe could be roundly

 

SIPDIS

defeated. Since there would not be a secret ballot, it was

too early to know how events would play out. Mandaza

emphasized that Mujuru wanted Mugabe to go, whether he was

replaced by Mujuru's wife, Joice, or someone else loyal to

him.

 

5. (C) Mandaza believed that even if Mugabe did not have the

votes for an endorsement at the Congress, he might continue

to fight for it. This raised the posibility of a

particularly tumultuous Congress. In general, according to

Mandaza, ZANU-PF was in disarray. Mnangagwa believed he now

had Mugabe's backing, Mujuru was fighting Mugabe in an

attempt to control succession, and most of ZANU-PF just

wanted Mugabe to go.

 

--------

Bio Note

--------

 

6. (U) Ibbo Mandaza is the Executive Director of he Southern

African Political Economy Series (SAPES) Trust. SAPES Trust

was founded in 1987 to promote dialogue and engage in policy

research in Southern Africa.

 

7. (U) Mandaza has a B.A. and BSc honors degree in Political

Science from the University of Zimbabwe and a PhD from the

University of York. As a member of government, he served as

Permanent Secretary in the then Ministry of Manpower,

Planning and Development; and also served as Vice-Chairman of

the Public Services Commission. Mandaza was the founding

member and chief executive of the The Mirror Newspaper Group.

After the Central Intelligence Organization (CIO) gained a

controlling interest, it fired him and booted him off the

board in 2005. (The Mirror has since shut down.)

 

8. (U) Mandaza wrote the forward to "A Lifetime of

Struggle," a biography published this year of nationalist

leader and former ZANU-PF secretary-general Edgar Tekere

which criticized Mugage and called into question his

 

HARARE 00000881 002 OF 002

 

 

liberation credentials.

 

9. (U) Mandaza is a long-time ZANU-PF stalwart. He is now a

confidante of, and advisor to, Solomon Mujuru. He has called

publicly for Mugabe to leave office, stating that economic

reform cannot take place until Mugabe goes.

 

-------

Comment

-------

 

10. (C) Mandaza is a public voice of Solomon Mujuru. He is

convinced Mugabe will leave office soon; the question is

when. In June, Mandaza predicted Mugabe would be gone by

September. He now thinks it could be before the December

Congress or early next year. Regardless of Mandanza's skill

as a prognosticator, he opens a window on to ZANU-PF which,

despite the control Mugabe is still able to exert, is a party

in disarray.

 

DHANANI

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