Jonathan Moyo said Mandela asked Mugabe to step down in 2007

Former South African President Nelson Mandela asked President Robert Mugabe to step down in 2007 so that he could preserve his legacy as a liberation hero but Mugabe is reported to have disparaged Mandela as a “Western puppet”.

Mandela is said to have conveyed the message through central bank governor Gideon Gono according to former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo.

Moyo told former United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell that Mandela had told Gono that he was acting on behalf of the African National Congress and not the South African government.

The ANC did not wish to pressure Mugabe but to “advise” him that it considered him a liberation hero not just for Zimbabwe but for Africa.

According to a diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks: “The ANC had defended Mugabe and wanted to continue to defend him but the situation in Zimbabwe was creating a threat to his legacy. It was time for him to go in order to preserve that legacy.”

Mandela is reported to have told Gono to deliver the message before the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front central committee meeting scheduled for 30 March but the call came just before the meeting and Gono only delivered it the following Monday.

Mugabe is reported to have disparaged Mandela as a "western puppet" but was pleased that the ANC held him in high esteem. He told Gono to tell Mandela and the ANC that he would consider their advice and would respond further at the right time.

Mandela is a hero in South Africa but there is increasing criticism that he did not do much for his people but for whites.

Activist Allan Boesak recently said that whites in South Africa loved Mandela more than Jesus Christ.

“Jesus was far too radical and Mandela didn't want to go that far because he understood our people in this country….But if he [Mandela] would say tomorrow what Jesus said they wouldn't like him anymore.”

Moyo requested the meeting with Dell and in his commentary Dell felt that Moyo was most likely acting on behalf of Gono and was sent to gauge the United States government’s reaction.

 

Full cable:

 

 

Viewing cable 07HARARE326, FORMER ZANU-PF INSIDER OUTLINES A "THIRD" WAY

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

07HARARE326

2007-04-17 16:44

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO8250

RR RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0326/01 1071644

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 171644Z APR 07

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1372

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1572

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1438

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1576

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0243

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0839

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1202

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1631

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4035

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1401

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2059

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0699

RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1793

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 HARARE 000326

 

SIPDIS

 

NOFORN

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S.HILL

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E.LOKEN

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B.PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/09/2012

TAGS: PREL PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: FORMER ZANU-PF INSIDER OUTLINES A "THIRD" WAY

 

 

Classified By: Ambassador Christopher Dell under Section 1.4 b/d

 

-------

Summary

-------

 

1. (C/NF) Former Information Minister and Presidential

Spokesman Jonathan Moyo requested a meeting with the

Ambassador April 17. Moyo told the Ambassador that Nelson

Mandela, on behalf of the ANC, had attempted to send a

message to President Mugabe in advance of the March 30

Central Committee meeting that Mugabe should step down. The

message, conveyed through Reserve Bank Governor Gono, was

delivered after the meeting. According to Moyo, Mandela's

communication, along with Mbeki's mediation effort, was part

of a sophisticated South African approach to convince Mugabe

to retire.

 

2. (C/NF) Moyo said that said there was deep disappointment

within ZANU-PF and the country as a whole at Mugabe,s

intention to run for reelection. A small group of

reform-minded individuals that cut across political lines had

been meeting to consider a United Front to be led by a

candidate acceptable to both the ruling party and the

opposition. They had identified three possible candidates:

Strive Masiyiwa, Simba Makone, and Gideon Gono. The next

step would be to approach the three and settle on a

candidate. The Ambassador responded that the plan was an

interesting approach to "breaking the mold" of Zimbabwean

politics but would have to overcome many obstacles, including

resistance not only from Mugabe but MDC leader Morgan

Tsvangirai, whom it would sideline. End Summary.

 

SIPDIS

 

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

A Call from Mandela

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

 

3. (C/NF) Moyo told the Ambassador that before the March 30

ZANU-PF Central Committee meeting, Nelson Mandela called

Zimbabwe Central Bank Governor Gono and said he wanted to

deliver a quick and secure message to Mugabe outside of

diplomatic channels. Moyo said his source was Gono himself.

Gono had told him that Mandela stated he was calling on

behalf of the ANC and not the SAG. The ANC did not wish to

pressure Mugabe but to "advise" him that the ANC considered

Mugabe a liberation hero, not just for Zimbabwe but for

Africa. The ANC had defended Mugabe and wanted to continue

to defend him but the situation in Zimbabwe was creating a

threat to his legacy. It was time for him to go in order to

preserve that legacy.

 

4. (C/NF) Mandela had told Gono to tell Mugabe that f he

missed this opportunity to step down, he would open himself

up to &Pinochet dangers.8 If he went now, he could become

an elder statesman and participate in African issues.

Mandela had asked that the message be delivered before the

Central Committee meeting. However, because the call came

just before the meeting began, Gono was unable to do so, and

relayed it the following Monday. According to Moyo, Mugabe

had disparaged Mandela as a "western puppet" to Gono but was

pleased that the ANC held him in high esteem. He told Gono

to tell Mandela and the ANC he would consider their advice

and would respond further at the right time.

 

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

On SADC and Mbeki

 

HARARE 00000326 002 OF 004

 

 

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

 

5. (C/NF) Moyo said the basis for SADC's involvement in

Zimbabwe was a damning report prepared by the Defense,

Politics, and Security Organ early in the year. The crack

down on the opposition was Mugabe's response to the report.

Moyo claimed that Tanzania's President Kikwete subsequently

had raised Mugabe's retirement in a meeting at the African

Union Summit in Addis Ababa in January, during Kikwete's

visit to Harare in March, and at the March SADC Special

Summit in Dar es Salaam. Mugabe had subsequently complained

to his cabinet that "that young man Kikwete is going to cause

problems."

 

6. (C/NF) By contrast, according to Moyo, Mugabe had returned

from Dar with praise for Mbeki. Moyo said Mbeki had played

Mugabe perfectly at the Summit. Contrary to public

reporting, Mbeki was determined to get Mugabe to step down

and had made a big push in this regard at the Summit.

However, Mbeki had concluded that a frontal approach

reprimanding Mugabe would be counter-productive. Instead,

his goal had been to get Mugabe to agree to South African

mediation and 2008 elections. Mbeki saw the elections as the

best way to convince Mugabe to step down and also to resolve

the crisis well in advance of the 2010 World Cup. Mandela's

call had been at Mbkei,s behest and part of a sophisticated,

multi-channel strategy to get Mugabe to eventually see the

perils of standing as a candidate in 2008.

 

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

Seeking a Third Way

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

 

7. (C/NF) Moyo said there was a large group of disaffected

ZANU-PF members who yearned for reform but lacked focus and

leadership. There had been an expectation on the part of

these individuals that the Mujuru faction, and possibly the

Mnangagwa faction as well, would oppose Mugabe's 2008 plans

in the March Politburo and Central Committee meetings and

open the door to reform. However, Mugabe had once more out

maneuvered his intra-party rivals and as a result of the

Central Committee's endorsement of Mugabe's candidacy a mood

of despondency had set in among many party members.

 

8. (C/NF) In the wake of the Central Committee meeting, Moyo

said he and a small group of reformers that cut across

political lines had spent many "sleepless nights" on what to

do next. The group had concluded that relying on the

factions to reign in Mugabe had been unwise and that

continuing to do so would result in two possible outcomes:

either Mugabe would run or Joice Mujuru or Emmerson Mnangagwa

would be the ZANU-PF candidate. The former was far more

likely but neither outcome was acceptable.

 

9. (C/NF) Instead, Moyo said, his group had concluded that

what was needed was a third candidate willing to lead a

"united front" and stand against Mugabe. This individual

would have to be a prominent personality, reform-oriented,

acceptable to the ruling party but with crossover appeal for

the opposition. The plan would be to have this individual

declare their candidacy close to the election, no more than

90 days in advance, catching Mugabe off-guard and diminishing

the chances of foul play. The candidate would catch the wave

building against Mugabe's reelection and either Mugabe would

see the inevitable and step aside or he would be swept away.

 

 

HARARE 00000326 003 OF 004

 

 

10. (C/NF) Moyo said three names had been discussed: Strive

Masiyiwa, Simba Makoni, and Gideon Gono. Each of the three

had pluses and minuses. Although affiliated with the

opposition, Masiyiwa was viewed positively across the

political and ethnic divide. He lacked government and

political experience but brought business skills to the table

and was acceptable to Mbeki and the international community.

Makoni was in good-standing in the ruling party but

acceptable to the opposition. He had government experience

as a former Minister but lacked leadership qualities,

particularly the courage it would require to take on Mugabe.

 

11. (C/NF) Moyo said the third candidate, Gono, was close to

Mugabe and perceived as a strong ZANU-PF supporter, but was

actually anti-ZANU-PF. Gono believed there could be no

reform through the ruling party. He had used his monetary

statements to say hard truths about political and economic

reform and had not blamed the international community for

Zimbabwe's woes. Gono as the candidate would cause the most

damage to Mugabe's chances. Gono had been in the system

since 2003, had been intimately involved with party

structures and doling out patronage, and now had many

supporters throughout the military, the security services,

and the party. Gono was also close to Masiwa, which could

make him acceptable to the opposition.

 

---------

Obstacles

---------

 

12. (C/NF) The Ambassador told Moyo that the idea was

attractive in breaking the existing Zimbabwean electoral

mold. The broader the base, the easier it would be to sell.

However, he thought it might be difficult to get ZANU-PF

members and security structures behind it, especially those

loyal to Mugabe, many of whom could not be part of any new

government if it was to be internationally acceptable. In

addition, it might also be difficult but not impossible to

convince Tsvangirai to step aside at the eleventh hour in

favor of another candidate with better prospects for victory.

The Ambassador also expressed reservations about how Mugabe

might react, noting that he could impose a state-of-emergency

rather than going forward with elections that he looked

likely to lose.

 

13. (C/NF) Moyo responded that this was a long process that

had to begin by engaging the prospective candidate directly.

The plan would require a memorandum of understanding setting

out a reform agenda, including a commitment on a new

constitution as the first order of business of a new

government, in advance. Mugabe loyalists would definitely

not be part of any new government or its institutions.   Moyo

noted that Gono, Masiyiwa, and pro-Senate MDC faction leader

Mutambara were aware of and supportive of the plan and agreed

that Tsvangirai might be an obstacle but that Tsvangirai's

support would be critical. Finally, Moyo said the government

had been close to declaring a state-of-emergency several

weeks ago but Mugabe himself had blocked it because of the

adverse reaction it would cause internationally and

regionally. With SADC mediation underway and elections

scheduled, Moyo said a state of emergency was less likely as

Mugabe had a "sixth sense" of what would be damaging

politically for him.

 

-------

Comment

 

HARARE 00000326 004 OF 004

 

 

-------

 

14. (C/NF) This was the most significant meeting we have had

since March 11 ushered in the latest phase of Zimbabwe's

crisis. We would assess that Moyo was most likely acting on

behalf of Gono and was sent to gauge USG reaction to the plan

and specifically the extent of our commitment to Tsvangirai,

as Moyo asked for nothing specific in support of the plan. A

decision on Gono's part to distance himself from Mugabe would

in fact damage the latter significantly. It is not entirely

unexpected. In that regard, he and Moyo are soulmates, and

no doubt both are keen to advance their own interests. Gono

has always struck us as deeply ambitious, supremely

confident, and fundamentally disloyal. As a potential

president he is in our view clearly the weakest of the three.

However, in a spoiler role, he could prove the most

effective in bringing cross-over support with him, damaging

ZANU-PF in the process

 

15. (C/NF) Many other permutations are possible. Much of he

renewed talk we're hearing about creating a ceremonial

president and an executive prime minister could, for example,

be designed to square the circle of getting Tsvangirai on

board while broadening the base of support and cross over

appeal of a united front. However this plays out, and

whether or not Moyo's maneuvers ever amount to anything, it

is bound to keep the waters roiling inside ZANU-PF, adding to

the stress on the party.

 

16. (C/NF) Moyo, and for that matter Gono, Masiwa, and

Mutambara as well, would also appear to be acting with the

blessing of the SAG. This would be the perfect outcome for

Mbeki: an elected government of national unity that sidelines

both Mugabe and Tsvangirai. That of course is the rub since

neither is likely to accept this outcome without a fight.

Moyo, Gono, and others who may be involved, including

possibly Mbeki, also face the inevitable fact that whatever

his possible limitations as a president himself, Tsvangarai

remains the most popular candidate and the plan is stillborn

without his support.

DELL

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