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The Morgan Tsvangirai Wikileaks cables-Part Twenty-Four

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai told South African President Thabo Mbeki that he was no match for Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe so he could not negotiate a solution for Zimbabwe alone.

Mbeki needed help from other Southern African Development community leaders if he wanted to convince Mugabe to step down so that Zimbabwe could have a transitional government to get the country back on track.

Tsvangirai said this shortly before pulling out of the 27 June 2008 presidential elections-run off when he realised that he would not be getting anywhere by contesting because of the violence that was being unleashed on the voters by the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

Tsvangirai argued that Zimbabwe did not need fresh elections but it needed a transitional government which would require Mugabe to retire and allow the MDC-T leader to take over based on the March 2008 election results.

Tsvangirai told Mbeki he had to convince Mugabe to accept that nobody, including the international community, would accept a Mugabe victory in the 27 June presidential elections.

According to Tsvangirai, the way out was a transitional government under which:

  • Mugabe would have to retire;
  • Tsvangirai would lead a transnational government based on the 29 March election results
  • The transitional government would discuss a new constitution and new elections.

Tsvangirai said Mbeki presented the plan to Mugabe but he was no match for Mugabe.

Tsvangirai pulled out of the elections run-off on 22 June because of the continuing state-sponsored violence and the suppression of the MDC campaign.

The 27 June elections went ahead and Mugabe was hastily sworn in as President but as Tsvangirai had predicted even the African Union and the Southern African Development Community urged Mugabe to negotiate a government of national unity.

It took three months for the two parties to agree and another four for the inclusive government, which lasted for years, to be set up.

Below are the first 480 Wikileaks cables on Tsvangirai,  245 to go.

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