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Trevor Ncube admitted he was not a fan of Tsvangirai

Publisher Trevor Ncube, who had openly admitted that he was not a fan of Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai, criticised Tsvangirai’s actions after the 29 March election saying Tsvangirai lacked leadership “over and over again” and was “..out of his depth”.

Ncube said Tsvangirai should not have waited five days to announce that he had won the presidency. Instead, he would have advised Tsvangirai to deliver an “I have a dream speech” to give people hope and to get people on the streets in an act of civil disobedience immediately.

Instead, Tsvangirai’s delay had allowed ZANU-PF “to recover at a time when they were stumbling”.

Ncube also said that “everyone’s impression is that Tsvangirai doesn’t do anything without Washington’s approval or direction”.

He said that using inflammatory language against Zimbabwe was not helping anyone but Mugabe. He advised the US should come across as impartial, adding that “the facts can speak for themselves”.

“This isn’t Iraq” he said and argued that by calling Mugabe a “disgrace,” Washington was giving Mugabe opportunities to persuade Zimbabweans that in fact there is a Western conspiracy against him.

“Stop name-calling because frankly, Mugabe can do it better than anyone,” he advised.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08PRETORIA768, MAKONI ALLEGEDLY BEING APPROACHED BY BOTH MDC AND

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08PRETORIA768

2008-04-11 13:15

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Pretoria

VZCZCXRO9945

PP RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSA #0768/01 1021315

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 111315Z APR 08

FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4132

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN PRIORITY 5513

RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN PRIORITY 9737

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PRETORIA 000768

 

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E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/11/2018

TAGS: PGOV SF ZI

SUBJECT: MAKONI ALLEGEDLY BEING APPROACHED BY BOTH MDC AND

ZANU-PF

 

REF: PRETORIA 139

 

PRETORIA 00000768 001.2 OF 002

 

 

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

b) and (d).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY. Prominent Johannesburg-based Zimbabwean

businessman and publisher Trevor Ncube on 10 April told

PolOff that presidential candidate Simba Makoni is being

approached by both the MDC and some members of both ZANU-PF

and the security services to join their camps, but did not

reveal in which direction Makoni was leaning. Ncube

criticized the MDC’s behavior during elections, believing

they waited too long to speak out and therefore lost a

valuable opportunity to get people on the streets. According

to Ncube’s sources, Mugabe wants to annul the 29 March

elections and have a new election as soon as possible.

“Pockets” of the ZANU-PF politburo are on board with the

idea, but blame Mugabe for losing the election for them and

would like Mugabe to annoint a successor. END SUMMARY.

 

—————

MAKONI ON FENCE

—————

 

2. (C) On 10 April, PolOff met with prominent

Johannesburg-based Zimbabwean Trevor Ncube to inquire about

losing presidential candidate Simba Makoni’s strategy for a

potential run-off in Zimbabwe. Ncube said that Makoni has

been approached by the MDC to form a coalition but complained

that MDC did not make an overture until Friday 05 April, only

after the MDC realized that the Senate was evenly split.

“MDC was so triumphant, it was sickening,” he said. When

asked why MDC and Makoni did not form a coalition before the

election, Ncube laid the blame squarely on the shoulders of

Strive Masiyiwa “who should not be trusted” and “whose ego

got in the way.” According to Ncube, Masiyiwa was annoyed

that Makoni did not approach him directly and was the main

“stumbling block” to a MDC-Makoni coalition, despite all

outward appearances that he was working a deal. When asked

what the possibilities were of MDC and Makoni coming together

without Masiyiwa’s intervention, Ncube responded,

“Unfortunately, Strive’s got the money.”

 

—————-

ELECTION MUSINGS

—————-

 

3. (C) Ncube, who has openly admitted he is not a fan of MDC

Leader Morgan Tsvangirai, criticized Tsvangirai’s actions

since the 29 March election. Ncube accused Tsvangirai of

lacking leadership “over and over again” and said that “he is

out of his depth.” He believes that Tsvangirai should not

have waited five days to announce he had won the presidency.

He would have advised Tsvangirai to deliver an “I have a

dream speech” to give people hope and to get people on the

streets in an act of civil disobedience immediately.

Instead, he believes Tsvangirai’s delay allowed ZANU-PF “to

recover at a time when they were stumbling.”

 

4. (C) When asked why Makoni had not been out delivering a

message of hope or civil disobedience — or any message at

all, in fact — Ncube said that Makoni is “cautious; he’s a

thinker.” He also said that it was obvious that Solomon

Mujuru did not deliver votes for Makoni as promised. This is

evidenced, he believes, by the fact that Makoni got 80

percent of his votes from Matebeleland.

 

———————

ADVICE FOR WASHINGTON

———————

 

5. (C) Ncube said that “everyone’s impression is that

Tsvangirai doesn’t do anything without Washington’s approval

 

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or direction.” He also said he had heard that Washington was

adamantly opposed to a Makoni/MDC coalition before the

Qadamantly opposed to a Makoni/MDC coalition before the

election. Ncube asserted that using inflammatory language

against Zimbabwe is not helping anyone but Mugabe. He

advised the U.S. should come across as impartial, adding that

“the facts can speak for themselves.” He then said, “This

isn’t Iraq” and argued that by calling Mugabe a “disgrace,”

Washington was giving Mugabe opportunities to persuade

Zimbabweans that in fact there is a Western conspiracy

against him. “Stop name-calling because frankly, Mugabe can

do it better than anyone,” he advised.

 

 

 

PRETORIA 00000768 002.2 OF 002

 

 

———————

RUMORS ALIVE AND WELL

———————

 

6. (C) Ncube said the latest rumor he is hearing, “which is

most worrisome,” is that Mugabe intends to annul the 29 March

election and call for fresh elections as soon as possible.

He believes some ZANU-PF Politburo members are on board with

the idea of a fresh election, he said, with the stipulation

that Mugabe, whom they believe cost the election, is not the

ZANU-PF candidate. Ncube said that some Politburo members

want Mugabe to lay out his succession plan. Justice Minister

Patrick Chinamasa was selected to go and ask Mugabe for his

thoughts, but refused, he said. Ncube still believes that

Emmerson Mngagwa is Mugabe’s heir apparent, but does not

believe this would work given the Mujuru’s camp opposition to

him. Ncube also said that Makoni has been approached by

“pockets” of both the Politburo and the security services to

run as the ZANU-PF’s candidate, but that Makoni is reluctant

unless he can “restructure ZANU-PF,” which will not be

popular. Though Ncube never addressed the preferred SAG

solution of a unity government, he did say that for ZANU-PF

members, even mentioning the MDC raises a red flag.

 

———————-

EMBASSY HARARE COMMENT

———————-

 

7. (C) From previous conversations with Ncube and others, we

believe that Makoni, Mutumbara, and their allies will back

Tsvangirai in a runoff election. Ncube is obviously put out

 

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that his erstwhile business partner, Masiyiwa, and Tsvangirai

have mostly ignored him and Makoni in both the pre-election

campaign and in post-election strategizing. He is right to

complain about lack of consultation now. Ncube and Makoni

both have extensive knowledge of ZANU-PF and have ties to

ZANU-PF dissidents. They could be of invaluable assistance

in strategizing as the MDC navigates the post-election

minefield, and in putting together an effective anti-Mugabe

coalition.

BOST

 

(8 VIEWS)

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