Zvobgo Jnr and Jonathan Moyo differ on future of VP Mujuru

Eddison Zvobgo Junior believed that President Robert Mugabe could step down and allow Vice-President Joice Mujuru to stand as president in 2008 provided she could protect him from prosecution but Mugabe’s former spin doctor Jonathan Moyo thought that he was not going to step down until 2010 but might change the constitution to create the post of Prime Minister for Mujuru.

Zvobgo said after the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front conference at Goromonzi in December 2006 it was now clear to him that Mugabe would not last beyond 2008 and that the discussion was shifting to the modalities of transition.

According to a diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks, Zvobgo said the most likely scenario would be a 2008 presidential election with Joice Mujuru as the ZANU-PF candidate. This would be consistent with earlier indications that Mugabe had anointed her as his successor.

This arrangement would obviously be satisfactory to her husband Solomon Mujuru. What was less clear was whether Mujuru could win a fair election but Zvobgo argued that the Movement for Democratic Change was now weak and that ZANU-PF, with its electoral machinery ready, would be in a strong position to win in 2008 even with Joice Mujuru as its candidate.

Jonathan Moyo however argued that neither Mugabe and his inner circle, nor his would-be successors, the Mujurus, would want an election in 2008 given the state of the economy.

He thought it likely they would agree to amend the constitution to create a ceremonial presidency for Mugabe, which would protect him from prosecution, and to create a new prime minister position, which would exercise most executive authority.

The Mujurus would obviously want someone from their own camp, either Joice Mujuru or former Finance Minister Simba Makoni, as prime minister.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 07HARARE107, OPPOSITION TO MUGABE,S 2010 EXTENSION WIDESPREAD

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

07HARARE107

2007-02-08 15:08

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO2003

RR RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0107/01 0391508

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 081508Z FEB 07

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1113

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1464

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1320

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1468

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0163

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0729

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1094

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1522

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 3918

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1291

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1947

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 1685

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000107

 

SIPDIS

 

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: 09/25/2016

TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON ZI

SUBJECT: OPPOSITION TO MUGABE,S 2010 EXTENSION WIDESPREAD

 

REF: A) HARARE 00079 B) HARARE 00092

 

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

 

-------

Summary

-------

 

1. (SBU) According to Embassy interlocutors from a broad

spectrum of Zimbabwe's political elite, President Robert

Mugabe and his inner circle have encountered stronger than

expected resistance in their attempts to extend his term to

2010, including from within Mugabe's own party. Our

interlocutors, from ZANU-PF, the MDC, civil society, and

academia predicted that as a result the extension was

unlikely to go forward and that there would be an election or

some other form of political transition in 2008. One likely

scenario that several individuals mentioned involved Mugabe

assuming a ceremonial presidency and the creation of a new

prime minister position to head the executive branch. Others

believe it is possible Mugabe will try to force ZANU-PF to

back him in 2008 as its candidate for another full term in

office. End Summary

 

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

The View From Inside ZANU

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

 

2. (C) Eddison Zvogbo, Jr., a ZANU-PF insider whose late

father one of Mugabe's vice-presidents and a major figure in

the party, in a January 31 meeting said that after the

ZANU-PF conference in December he had initially believed

Mugabe would be able to impose his will and extend his term

until 2010. However, Zvobgo said the extension had created

far more anxiety and turmoil within the party than he had

originally expected. Many ZANU-PF members believed economic

conditions and the need for international engagement mandated

a need for change at the top. Zvogbo said it was now clear

to him that Mugabe would not last beyond 2008 and that the

discussion was shifting to the modalities of transition.

 

3. (C) Zvogbo said it was unclear what kind of transition

ZANU-PF decision makers, including Mugabe, favored. Various

options were probably being considered. That said, he

thought the most likely scenario would be a 2008 presidential

election with Joice Mujuru as the ZANU-PF candidate. This

would be consistent with earlier indications that Mugabe had

anointed her as his successor. Moreover, she could be

counted on to protect Mugabe from prosecution, something

Mugabe would likely insist on in return for ceding power.

This arrangement would obviously be satisfactory to Solomon

Mujuru. What was less clear, admitted Zvogbo, was whether

Mujuru could win a fair election. He argued, however, that

the MDC was now weak and that ZANU-PF, with its electoral

machinery ready, would be in a strong position to win in 2008

even with Joice Mujuru as its candidate.

 

4. (C) David Butau, the ZANU-PF chair of the Parliamentary

Standing Committee on Budget, Finance, and Economic

Development confirmed that opposition in the party to the

extension was widespread. He told us January 18 there was no

question that the overwhelming majority of ZANU-PF members

wanted to see Mugabe out as president in 2008. Butau hoped

that there would be a ZANU-PF-led transition and that the new

leadership would engage the international community.

 

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

A Former Insider,s View

 

HARARE 00000107 002 OF 003

 

 

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

 

5. (C) In a conversation with polecon chief January 26,

Jonathan Moyo, independent MP from Tshosolotsho and until

2005 Mugabe's spokesman and a member of his inner circle,

said he believed that Mugabe and his closest allies initially

saw a 2010 synchronized election as a way to perpetuate his

presidency and also maintain ZANU-PF in power. Moyo, who

maintains close contacts within the ruling party, said the

accelerating economic collapse and the unexpected depth of

resistance in the party had led them to reconsider their

options. Solomon Mujuru and his wife Joice were the

principal sources of the resistance. According to Moyo, the

Mujurus were playing hard ball and threatening to use their

parliamentary support to scuttle a constitutional amendment

permitting the extension were one to be proposed.

 

 

6. (C) Moyo added that neither Mugabe and his inner circle,

nor his would-be successors, the Mujurus, would want an

election in 2008 given the state of the economy. Instead, he

thought it likely they would agree to amend the constitution

to create a ceremonial presidency for Mugabe (which would

protect him from prosecution) and to create a new prime

minister position, which would exercise most executive

authority. The Mujurus would obviously want someone from

their own camp, either Joyce Mujuru or former Finance

Minister Simba Makoni, as prime minister. Under this

scenario, elections would be delayed at least until 2010,

theoretically giving ZANU-PF time to negotiate with the

international community and begin rehabilitating the economy.

 

 

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

The MDC Perspective

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

 

7. (C) MDC anti-Senate faction leader Morgan Tsvangirai also

told the Ambassador on January 30 (Ref A) that an extension

of Mugabe's term was proving unpopular within ZANU-PF. There

was opposition in eight out of ten provinces, as well as in

both the Mnangagwa and Mujuru factions. Given this

opposition, Tsvingirai believed Mugabe would not risk a

constitutional amendment to extend his term and the most

likely scenario was an election in 2008, with Mugabe standing

once more as the ZANU-PF candidate. However, given the state

of the economy, Tsvangirai (like Moyo) said Mugabe and the

Mujurus might agree to postpone elections by establishing a

ceremonial presidency with a prime minister heading the

executive branch.

 

8. (C) In a meeting with the Ambassador on February 1 (Ref

B), MDC pro-Senate faction leader Arthur Mutambara said he

believed Solomon Mujuru's opposition to an extension of

Mugabe's term and a presidential election in 2010 had

scuttled this proposal. Mutambara thought that Mugabe would

be ZANU-PF's candidate in a 2008 election. However, Mugabe

could be beaten and it would be up to the democratic

opposition to unite around a single candidate who could

provide a strong challenge.

 

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

Civil Society and Academia Weigh In

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

 

9. (C) National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) president

Lovemore Madhuku told us January 24 that he and most of his

civil society colleagues believed that ZANU-PF was preparing

 

HARARE 00000107 003 OF 003

 

 

to abandon the extension of the president's term. Madhuku

said an extension of the term and the postponement of

elections would be unpopular and would be viewed internally

and outside of Zimbabwe as a constitutional abuse. Madhuku

speculated that the ruling party's internal divisions along

with the economic situation, would seriously weaken ZANU-PF

regardless of whether elections were held in 2008 or 2010.

 

10. (C) University of Zimbabwe political scientist Eldred

Masununguru told us that going into the December ZANU-PF

conference only Harare and Mashonaland East provinces were

against 2010 synchronization. However, since the conference,

the Mujurus has been exerting pressure on provincial

committees. Masununguru believed that all provinces with the

exceptions of Masvingo, Mashonaland West, and Mashonaland

Central have rallied to Mujuru and want Mugabe out in 2008.

 

 

-------

Comment

-------

 

11. (C) All of our interlocutors without exception agreed

that the accelerated economic deterioration and Mugabe's

efforts to postpone scheduled 2008 presidential elections

have catalyzed opposition to an extension of his rule,

including most notably within his own party. The ground has

shifted under Mugabe, perhaps decisively, and in a septel we

will offer our analysis of what this means for the Mugabe

regime and for the country it has brought to the brink of

ruin.

DELL

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Add comment


Security code
Refresh