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Trevor Ncube said the MDC was unstrategic and arrogant

Publisher Trevor Ncube accused the Movement for Democratic Change of being arrogant during the political stalemate after the 2008 elections because it was not reaching out to others like Arthur Mutambara, Simba Makoni and Jonathan Moyo.

Ncube said the stumbling blocks to a coalition were businessman Strive Masiyiwa, who was also MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s advisor and Melinda Ferris another advisor.

Ncube complained that the MDC was behaving as if it had won a landslide; yet the election numbers suggested the MDC should consider a coalition.

“There had been no structured coordination with Arthur Mutambara (leader of the smaller faction of the MDC which had won 10 seats), Makoni (who won 8 percent of the vote), and Jonathan Moyo who had been elected as an independent,” Ncube said according to a cable released by Wikileaks.

“Tsvangirai would gain much–and lose little–by sharing a platform with others. But the MDC was acting arrogant and failing to reach out,” the cable says.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE329, TREVOR NCUBE ON THE ZIMBABWEAN CRISIS

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

08HARARE329

2008-04-15 15:13

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO8024

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0329/01 1061513

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 151513Z APR 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2779

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1922

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2045

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0608

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1322

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1679

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2101

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4532

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1177

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000329

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E. LOKEN AND L. DOBBINS

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/15/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ZI

SUBJECT: TREVOR NCUBE ON THE ZIMBABWEAN CRISIS

 

REF: A. HARARE 328

 

B. PRETORIA 139

 

Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4 (d)

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) ZANU-PF had placed itself in a difficult position,

newspaper publisher Trevor Ncube, an ally of Simba Makoni,

told the Ambassador on April 14. The only way it can win a

runoff election is through fear and violence, but a victory

under these circumstances will not be accepted by SADC. SADC

is the best hope to achieve change. It has shown some

independence on the Zimbabwe issue during the summit April 12

in Lusaka, and the U.S. should publicly support SADC. South

Africa is aware of the situation in Zimbabwe and there is

growing frustration with Mugabe. The MDC has failed to take

advantage of the March 29 election to look strategically

forward. Of particular note is its unwillingness to forge an

alliance with Makoni. END SUMMARY.

 

—————–

On SADC and Simba

—————–

 

2. (C) Ncube related Makoni’s impressions of the April 12

SADC Summit on Zimbabwe. Makoni and MDC President Morgan

Tsvangirai addressed the SADC leaders for about two hours.

 

SIPDIS

He believed that they understood the issues, and he believed

by their questions to Makoni and Tsvangirai that they were

testing the allegations of ZANU-PF leaders who had made

presentations to them earlier. According to Makoni,

Tsvangirai was inconsistent on whether the MDC would

 

SIPDIS

participate in a runoff election or boycott the election, and

did not clearly indicate how a decision would be made.

 

3. (C) According to Ncube, Makoni believed the SADC meeting

had been positive. Ncube agreed and highlighted the SADC

Communique which suggested that party agents and observers be

present at any recounting, and that SADC observers be present

before, during, and after a runoff election.

 

4. (C) Ncube, noting that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission

(ZEC) had ordered a recount in 23 constituencies, questioned

how a valid recount could take place. There had been no

chain of custody of ballot boxes, and ZANU-PF had had access

to them.

 

—————————-

Scenarios on the Way Forward

—————————-

 

5. (C) Ncube gave the Ambassador his analysis of possible

scenarios from this point on:

 

–Coup by vote rigging: Ncube thought that SADC would not

accept an outright theft of the election. The fact that most

important SADC leaders, except for Kikwete of Tanzania who

was in India, had attended on short notice demonstrated a

shifting SADC wind with respect to Zimbabwe. Other than

denounce a fraudulent electoral outcome, Ncube thought there

was little SADC could do. Still, he believed that Mugabe

cared about SADC’s position and would not risk condemnation.

 

–ZANU-PF concession of defeat: ZANU-PF would not concede,

according to Ncube. There were too many entrenched

interests, including the military.

 

–Negotiated settlement: This was unlikely, believed Ncube.

ZANU-PF would negotiate, but only as top dog. Negotiations

 

HARARE 00000329 002 OF 003

 

 

would also be complicated by difficulty in knowing where the

power centers were, both within ZANU-PF and within the MDC.

It was not clear whether either Mugabe or Tsvangirai had the

power to negotiate on behalf of their respective parties.

 

–Runoff between Mugabe and Tsvangirai or rerun of the entire

election: Ncube opined that ZANU-PF would never go into a

rerun or runoff it could not control. It could not win in a

fair election. Therefore, it would need to revert to its

tactics in 2002, including violence and the use of “war vets”

to invade white farms. Yet, this would not be accepted by

SADC. It would also be more difficult to carry out such

tactics than in 2002, particularly in Manicaland,

Matabeleland, and Midlands which have substantial opposition

support.

 

6. (C) Ncube opined that ZANU-PF had dug a hole and did not

know how to extricate itself. It would not relinquish power,

but any scenario allowing it to remain in power would not be

acceptable to SADC.

 

——————————–

South Africa Takes More Interest

——————————–

 

7. (C) Ncube said he had spoken with South African foreign

affairs officials Aziz Pahad and Kingsley Mamabolo and that

both were aware of the situation in Zimbabwe. Despite

Mbeki’s statement before the SADC Summit that there was no

crisis in Zimbabwe, Ncube believed there was a lot going on

behind the scenes, particularly within the ANC.

 

—————————-

MDC Unstrategic and Arrogant

—————————-

 

8. (C) Ncube complained that the MDC was behaving as if it

had won a landslide; the election numbers suggested the MDC

should consider a coalition. There had been no structured

coordination with Arthur Mutambara, Makoni, and Jonathan Moyo

who had been elected as an independent. Tsvangirai would

gain much–and lose little–by sharing a platform with

others. But the MDC was acting arrogant and failing to reach

out. Ncube believed stumbling blocks to a coalition were

Strive Masiyiwa and Tsvangirai advisor Melinda Ferris.

 

————-

The U.S. Role

————-

 

9. (C) Ncube urged the U.S. to take a strong, high-profile

position and support the Lusaka SADC Communique which

suggested constructive steps regarding the electoral process,

such as party agents and observers at the vote counting and

verification process, and SADC observers at the pre-election,

election, and post-election phases in the event of a runoff.

Without being specific, he thought the U.S. needed to do more

than take symbolic steps such as the imposition of targeted

sanctions.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

10. (C) As noted Reftels, Tsvangirai and the MDC have

apparently decided not to do business with Makoni and Ncube.

If there is a runoff election, we believe Makoni and Ncube

will support Tsvangirai. We also believe Tsvangirai is

making a mistake in not strategizing with them to form a

united opposition as ZANU-PF reverts to form in attempting to

suppress the opposition.

 

 

HARARE 00000329 003 OF 003

 

 

11. (C) COMMENT CONTINUED: SADC may be losing patience with

Mugabe, and we agree with Ncube that Mugabe does not want to

alienate SADC. Ultimately, however, he will be willing to do

so if that’s what it takes for ZANU-PF to remain in power.

END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

(14 VIEWS)

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