He criticised the Movement for Democratic Change for announcing that it had won the elections pointing out that it was dangerous to allow opposition parties to tally their own votes.
"Right now, we can't say either Mugabe or Morgan got a majority so all we can do now is wait," Shaik told United States embassy officials in Pretoria.
He said the MDC should work with the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front to form a government of national unity.
The only non-negotiable part of the bargain was Mugabe’s removal.
Shaik said a run-off should be avoided at all costs because the elections were either going to be rigged or there was going to be bloodshed.
Viewing cable 08PRETORIA727, ZUMA ADVISOR APPEARS AT A LOSS REGARDING ZIMBABWE
PP RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSA #0727/01 0991238
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 081238Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4063
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN PRIORITY 5484
RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN PRIORITY 9711
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PRETORIA 000727
DEPT FOR P, AF, AF/S, DRL
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/07/2018
SUBJECT: ZUMA ADVISOR APPEARS AT A LOSS REGARDING ZIMBABWE
PRETORIA 00000727 001.2 OF 002
Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Donald Teitelbaum. Reasons 1.4(
b) and (d).
¶1. (C) SUMMARY. On 7 April Mo Shaik, one of ANC President
Jacob Zuma's advisors, met with PolOff to discuss current
thinking within the Zuma camp regarding the Zimbabwe crisis.
Contrary to media hype surrounding Jacob Zuma's meeting with
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai on 7 April, Shaik portrayed the
Zuma camp as being in a "wait-and-see" mode. Shaik also
criticized both the ANC Youth League's criticism of the
process, calling them "irresponsible," and the MDC for
declaring early victory. Shaik believes a run-off should be
avoided at all costs and that a transitional government that
does not include Mugabe is the only answer. Shaik, however,
was unclear about how Zuma could influence the process,
admitting that Zuma does not have any more leverage over
Mugabe than Mbeki does. END SUMMARY.
¶2. (C) PolOff met with Zuma advisor Mo Shaik on 7 April to
discuss current thinking within the Zuma camp regarding
Zimbabwe's crisis. Shaik opened by boldly stating that we
were seeing a "tectonic shift in Zimbabwe, where for the
first time we can see the past and the future." Shaik's
optimism quickly disappeared when asked what the ANC's
strategy was, giving the distinct impression that the Zuma
camp at least does not have one. When PolOff asked about the
neutral tone in ANC's statement regarding the elections,
especially given the ANC Youth League's (ANCYL) public
criticism of the process, Shaik asked petulantly what the US
expected the ANC to say after SADC observers declared the
election free and fair. He also called the ANCYL's statement
"irresponsible." His criticisms were also directed at the
MDC, questioning why they declared victory and pointing out
that it was dangerous to allow opposition parties to tally
their own votes. "Right now, we can't say either Mugabe or
Morgan got a majority so all we can do now is wait." Shaik
admitted that Zuma does not have any more leverage over
President Mugabe than Mbeki does. Shaik also confirmed that
Zuma is in contact with MDC officials, but not with ZANU-PF
officials. (NOTE: Press reports note that Tsvangirai met
with Zuma, Sydney Mufamadi (Minister of Local Government and
member of Mbeki's negotiating team on Zimbabwe), and business
leaders on 7 April (septel). END NOTE)
¶3. (C) Immediately after the results are posted, Shaik
believes the MDC should work with ZANU-PF to form a unity
government, with "the only non-negotiable part of the
equation being Mugabe's removal." Despite constitutional
requirements, Shaik believes a run-off should be avoided at
all costs because it will likely be rigged and lead to
bloodshed. When asked how the international community could
encourage this, Shaik floundered and started thinking out
loud. Eventually Shaik came up with two ideas. First, Shaik
believes Mugabe's inner circle must be convinced that their
only option if they want a future is to join a transitional
government. He had no ideas, however, as to how to plant
these seeds, admitting that though Zuma has good MDC
contacts, he does not within ZANU-PF. Second, "trusted
emissaries like Angolan President Dos Santos, Namibian
President Pohamba, UN Secretary General Moon, even the
President of Spain" should negotiate with Mugabe to step down
QPresident of Spain" should negotiate with Mugabe to step down
on the condition that he would not be prosecuted for any
crimes committed while in power. (COMMENT: Shaik never
mentioned South Africa or the ANC as a potential honest
broker. END COMMENT) Shaik casually dismissed concerns
about any precedent this would set. However, Shaik did agree
that it would be an uphill battle to convince ZANU-PF members
they are on a sinking ship when rigging a run-off and keeping
power to themselves is still an option. Eventually he said,
"Ok, so we can have a run-off, but we have to make sure there
is no rigging!"
¶4. (C) Shaik also told PolOff that Deputy Foreign Minister
Aziz Pahad recounted his recent conversation with U/S Frazer.
He did not go into detail, only saying that he does not
understand what the US government expects from South Africa.
He then heavily criticized recent US public statements
regarding Zimbabwe, saying "the UK has played its cards right
and kept quiet." Shaik also criticized US sanctions against
select Zimbabweans, saying the only good they did was to
build solidarity amongst the more corrupt ZANU-PF leaders who
now feel they are all in the same boat.
¶5. (C) COMMENT: Unlike previous conversations with Shaik
immediately after the Zimbabwe election, Zuma's camp seems to
PRETORIA 00000727 002.2 OF 002
have taken a step back. In spite of likely urging from
COSATU and ANCYL, Shaik's hesitancy may reflect a growing
realization that Mugabe is not easily influenced by anyone.