Mnangagwa speaks on succession

That was the title of one of the cables just released by Wikileaks dispatched by the United States embassy in Harare on 29 May 2003, but Emmerson Mnangagwa who was Speaker of Parliament at the time hardly said anything about succession at all.

According to the cable, the dodgy politician who is considered one of the possible successors to President Robert Mugabe preferred to talk about history rather than succession.

“When asked whether he would elaborate on the succession issue beyond what has been reported in the press, Mnangagwa maintained that he had told the truth in the press and there was nothing more to add,” the cable says. 

“The Ambassador's subsequent attempts to elicit more information were not successful. Mnangagwa would only say that the party could not have a new president until the land business was finished, thereby securing Mugabe's legacy as the champion of land reform. He claimed the second land audit was the final step.”

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 03HARARE1069, MNANGAGWA SPEAKS ON SUCCESSION, PARTY TALKS, AND

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

03HARARE1069

2003-05-29 13:44

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.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001069

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR J. FRAZER

LONDON FOR C. GURNEY

PARIS FOR C. NEARY

NAIROBI FOR T. PFLAUMER

BANGKOK FOR WIN DAYTON

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/28/2013

TAGS: PGOV PINR ZI ZANU PF

SUBJECT: MNANGAGWA SPEAKS ON SUCCESSION, PARTY TALKS, AND

MASS ACTION

 

REF: 02 HARARE 2127

 

Classified By: POLITICAL OFFICER KIMBERLY C. JEMISON FOR REASONS 1.5 C/

D.

 

SUMMARY. 1. At a meeting on May 28, 2003 Speaker of

Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa preferred to review Zimbabwe's

history rather than offering much insight into party

succession activities, reopening a dialogue between ZANU-PF

and MDC leadership, and likely ZANU-PF reactions to the

impending mass action. He did, however, suggest that party

talks might resume if attention could be shifted from

recognizing President Robert Mugabe as the head of state to

addressing the flawed electoral process and the conclusion of

the second land audit as a minimum condition for Mugabe to

step down. Mnangagwa also stated that GOZ would react

peacefully to MDC demonstrations. END SUMMARY.

 

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

LAND STILL AN ISSUE

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

2. (C) The Ambassador, visiting AF/S Director Scott DeLisi,

and PolOff met with Speaker of the Parliament Emmerson

Mnangagwa on May 28, 2003. Mnangagwa spent well over half of

the meeting reciting the history of Zimbabwe and extolling

the necessity and success of the land reform program,

proclaiming that, because of land redistribution, the future

was bright for Zimbabwe. He did admit, as he had in an

earlier meeting (See Reftel), there were some allocation

problems but then maligned the first land audit saying the

same people who were guilty of taking multiple farms

researched and wrote it. (COMMENT: Flora Buka, Minister of

State for Land Reform Program, supervised the first land

audit, which was leaked to the international press. Much of

her information came from the Commercial Farmers Union.

Since the report, Buka has been shut out of the party inner

circle. END COMMENT.) He claimed that the current

"independent" audit would be a more accurate portrayal of the

problem and should be completed in July.

 

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

LIMITED POSSIBILITY OF RESUMING INTER-PARTY DIALOGUE

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

3. (U) When asked about resuming the dialogue between MDC and

ZANU-PF, Mnangagwa claimed that ZANU-PF was ready to talk at

all levels but presidential. Talks at that level, however,

would be contingent upon Morgan Tsvangirai recognizing Robert

Mugabe as President. Mnangagwa told us soon after the

presidential elections in March 2002, the Nigerians and South

Africans told him that MDC Secretary General Welshman Ncube

had said the MDC took issue with the process of the election,

maintaining that the process was flawed and should have been

brought before the Electoral Supervisory Commission.

Mnangagwa said that Ncube never relayed this information to

him or ZANU-PF and that such an overture might help reopen

the lines of communication.

 

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

AGREES ON PRINCIPLE OF PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATIONS

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

4. (U) Regarding the mass action, Mnangagwa dismissed the war

veterans, threats to break up any opposition-led

demonstrations, characterizing it as a campaign tactic by

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association head,

Patrick Nyaruwata. Mnangagwa maintained that it was better

to have peaceful demonstrations now than for the people to

have pent up frustrations, which could manifest in more

violent ways. He agreed with the U.S. stance that

demonstrations should be non-violent and that GOZ authorities

should react peacefully.

 

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

LAND IS KEY TO SUCCESSION

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

5. (U) When asked whether he would elaborate on the

succession issue beyond what has been reported in the press,

Mnangagwa maintained that he had told the truth in the press

and there was nothing more to add. The Ambassador's

subsequent attempts to elicit more information were not

successful. Mnangagwa would only say that the party could

not have a new president until the land business was

finished, thereby securing Mugabe's legacy as the champion of

land reform. He claimed the second land audit was the final

step.

 

-------

COMMENT

-------

6. (C) Mnangagwa's comments regarding the MDC/ZANU-PF talks

suggest there may be a way to resume talks if the focus of

contention moves from recognizing Mugabe as President to

addressing the flawed electoral process. At a cocktail

reception on May 28, Paul Themba Nyathi, MDC MP for Gwanda

North and party spokesman, stated that the party's early

refusal to accept Mugabe as President was ill-conceived and

has made it more difficult to facilitate talks between the

two parties.

 

7. (C) Mnangagwa's two statements that ZANU-PF could only

elect a new president after the land reform has been

completed and that the second land audit is the final step,

combined with Mugabe's recent calls for an open dialogue on

succession suggest the "Old Man" may be willing to step down.

In a meeting with PolOff, Victor Chitongo, ZANU-PF MP for

Murewa North who claims to speak with Politburo members

regularly, also confirmed behind the scenes jockeying for

leadership and the desire for Mugabe to conclude the land

redistribution before he seriously considers stepping down.

END COMMENT.

 

 

 

SULLIVAN

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Add comment


Security code
Refresh