Wikileaks said Masamvu was on US payroll

A diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks shows that former journalist Sydney Masamvu was on the United States Agency for International Development payroll when he left the International Crisis Group to join the Institute for Democracy in South Africa.

He had worked for the ICG until they closed their office in South Africa in September 2006.

Masamvu joined Idasa’s Countries in Transition office on 1 November. His salary was co-funded by USAID Zimbabwe and USAID South Africa but the cable said the source of Masamvu’s salary should be strictly protected.

His main task was to analyse developments in Zimbabwe and Swaziland and engage with journalists.

The embassy said it had worked with Masamvu for two years and had been consistently impressed by his insights and analysis.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 06PRETORIA4632, C) IDASA'S MASAMVU SAYS SOUTH AFRICA PUSHING

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

06PRETORIA4632

2006-11-08 12:38

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Pretoria

VZCZCXRO3133

RR RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSA #4632/01 3121238

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 081238Z NOV 06

FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6800

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 0940

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1076

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0964

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 PRETORIA 004632

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL AND M. TABLER-STONE

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

USAID FOR M. COPSON AND E. LOKEN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/06/2016

TAGS: PREL PINR ECON ZI SF

SUBJECT: (C) IDASA'S MASAMVU SAYS SOUTH AFRICA PUSHING

MUGABE TO RETIRE IN 2008

 

REF: A. HARARE 1307

 

B. HARARE 1294

 

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Donald Teitelbaum. Reasons 1.4(

b) and (d).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: South Africa wants Zimbabwean President

Mugabe to annouce at the upcoming ZANU-PF congress that he

will retire in 2008, according to IDASA analyst Sydney

Masamvu. Masamvu says that former President Mandela met

privately with Mugabe October 23 to encourage him to retire.

Senior ANC officials are traveling to Zimbabwe to reiterate

the message. President Mbeki is also using SADC economic

integration to highlight Zimbabwe's failing economy and

encourage reform. The use of Mandela, ANC channels, and SADC

is potentially more effective than South Africa's previous

initiatives. Masamvu says that the political jockeying

within ZANU-PF is intensifying, but Mugabe has yet to show

his hand on his retirement plans or succession. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) PolOff met with Sydney Masamvu, analyst with the

Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA), on November

3. Masamvu, a Zimbabwean who worked for International Crisis

Group until they closed their South Africa office in

September, began work for IDASA's Countries in Transition

office on November 1. USAID Zimbabwe and USAID South Africa

are co-funding Masamvu's salary at IDASA (NOTE: strictly

protect source of Masamvu's salary). He will focus on

analyzing developments in Zimbabwe and Swaziland, publishing

reports on both countries, and engaging journalists. Post

has worked with Masamvu for two years and been consistently

impressed by his insights and analysis.

 

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

South Africa Wants Mugabe to Retire in 2008

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

 

3. (C) According to Masamvu, South Africa is strongly

encouraging Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to stick to

the current Constitution and retire in 2008. (NOTE: Media

reports have suggested that Mugabe might amend the Zimbabwean

Constitution to synchronize the presidential and

parliamentary elections in 2010, thus extending his term by

two years. END NOTE.) ANC Secretary-General Kgalema

Motlanthe told Masamvu that former South African President

Nelson Mandela met privately with Mugabe October 23 on the

margins of the SADC Extraordinary Summit on Economic

Integration to encourage Mugabe to join him in retirement.

 

4. (C) Masamvu also has learned that SAG Defense Minister and

ANC National Chairperson Mosiuoa Lekota plans to travel to

Zimbabwe the week of November 6 to reiterate the message

about Mugabe's retirement to his Ministry of Defense

counterpart and the ZANU-PF leadership. Lekota and Motlanthe

will also attend the ZANU-PF conference December 2-5, where

they hope Mugabe will announce his retirement in 2008.

Masamvu believes that South Africa's first choice as next

Zimbabwean president is Simba Makoni, but they would settle

for "anyone but Mugabe" at this point.

 

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

SADC Economic Integration as Leverage to Encourage Reform

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

 

5. (C) Masamvu and IDASA Deputy Director Ivor Jenkins

suggested that South Africa is using SADC economic

integration to leverage reform in Zimbabwe. Jenkins told

PolOff October 25 that Zimbabwe stands out as the one country

in SADC with negative economic growth, which is dragging down

the region and slowing economic integration. This gives

Mbeki an argument to push for economic reform in Zimbabwe.

While acknowledging that South Africa is encouraging SADC

economic integration for multiple reasons, including its own

commercial interests, Jenkins believes that the recent flurry

of activity on integration, including hosting the October 23

"Extraordinary SADC Summit on Regional Integration," is

designed in part to highlight Zimbabwe's economic failings

and spur reform. The Extraordinary Summit reviewed the

findings of a SADC task force focused on accelerating

regional integration and reiterated the highly ambitious

(COMMENT: and probably unrealistic) timetable of establishing

 

PRETORIA 00004632 002 OF 003

 

 

a free trade area by 2008, a customs union by 2010, a common

market by 2015, and an economic and monetary union by 2018

(septel).

 

6. (U) Recent press accounts have suggested that regional

leaders are pressing Mugabe to reform Zimbabwe's economy.

The Sunday Times newspaper reported August 20 that current

SADC Chairman and Lesotho PM Pakalitha Mosisili stressed that

the situation in Zimbabwe "is of concern to SADC precisely

because Zimbabwe was the second-strongest economy in the

community and for its economy to have declined to the levels

at which (it has) is of major concern to us." Another press

report in the September 3 Sunday Independent suggested that

SADC offered to help Zimbabwe "sort out" its economy at the

Lesotho summit, an offer Mugabe reportedly rejected.

 

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

ZANU-PF Maneuvering

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

 

7. (C) Masamvu, who just returned from a three-week trip to

Zimbabwe, reported that the political jockeying within

ZANU-PF is intensifying. He said there is tremendous

pressure on Mugabe to announce his retirement in 2008 at the

ZANU-PF congress. Solomon Mujuru told Masamvu that Zimbabwe

can "limp through" to 2008, but no longer. Masamvu sizes up

the ZANU-PF succession battle as a three-way struggle:

 

-- The Mujurus (Vice President Joyce and her husband Solomon)

have allied with former Finance Minister Simba Makoni (Ref

A). Solomon Mujuru understands the weakness of his wife as a

presidential candidate and is floating the idea of

reinstituting a strong prime ministerial system with a

ceremonial president. If they can push through the

President/PM constitutional amendment in 2007 and win the

2008 election, Joyce Mujuru would become president and Simba

Makoni PM. (BIO NOTE: Masamvu met with Solomon Mujuru and

said he looked "relatively healthy," about the same as the

last time he saw him. Mujuru drinks heavily, and "you have

to meet with him early in the day" to have a coherent

conversation. END BIO NOTE.)

 

-- Former Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa continues

to jockey for the ZANU-PF leadership and believes he can

benefit from Mugabe's increasing distrust of the Mujurus.

Several Mnangagwa allies, including former Information

Minister Jonathan Moyo, told Masamvu that they have been

disappointed by Mnangagwa's lack of political courage and

skill, and believe that the Mujurus will outplay him.

 

-- The third emerging faction is led by Gideon Gono, current

Governor of the Reserve Bank. Gono has Mugabe's trust,

perhaps more than the Mujurus, and has cleverly built his

political base. Masamvu says that Gono, through his control

of foreign exchange, has "bought" the support of the

"securocrats," the key military and intelligence officials.

For the first time, senior military officials are saying that

a "capable person" -- even if he or she did not participate

in liberation struggle -- should lead the country. This

creates a niche for Gono (COMMENT: but also for Makoni).

 

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

Talk of MDC "Reunification"

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

 

8. (C) Leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic

Change (MDC) splinter faction Arthur Mutambara told Masamvu

that he is open to reuniting with the Morgan Tsvangirai-led

MDC. The recent drubbing at the rural council elections (Ref

B) underscored the importance of the two factions working

together. (NOTE: Masamvu largely attributes the MDC's

failure in the rural elections to lack of resources. END

NOTE.) The two MDC factions have even discussed a potential

joint leadership slate, with Tsvangirai at the head,

Mutambara and Thokezani Khupe as co-vice presidents, Gibson

Sibanda as national chairman, and Tendai Biti as

secretary-general. There is pressure to announce the

 

SIPDIS

reunification before the ZANU-PF congress.

 

9. (C) The problem, Masamvu said, is Welshman Ncube, who is

resisting rejoining a Tsvangirai-led MDC. Tsvangirai and

 

PRETORIA 00004632 003 OF 003

 

 

other MDC leaders told Masamvu that they want to find Ncube

"something" to do outside MDC politics, perhaps a visiting

professorship at a U.S. university.

 

-------

Comment

-------

 

10. (C) We agree that South Africa would like to see Mugabe

leave office as soon as possible. The use of ANC party

leaders -- Lekota and Motlanthe -- working through their

ZANU-PF counterparts is potentially more effective than

traditional diplomatic channels. While we understand that

former President Mandela and President Mugabe are not close,

their October 23 conversation represents the SAG bringing out

its big guns to encourage Mugabe to retire. The recent push

for SADC economic integration could highlight Zimbabwe's

economic deterioration, giving South Africa and other

regional leaders leverage to encourage reform -- without

looking like they are acting for the United Kingdom or United

States.

BOST

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