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Trevor Ncube thoroughly disgusted with MDC

Zimbabwean publisher Trevor Ncube was thoroughly disgusted with the Movement for Democratic Change that he had nightmares about the MDC taking over Zimbabwe.

According to a cable released by Wikileaks Ncube told this to United States embassy officials when he suggested a “third way” that would involve people like Econet boss Strive Masiyiwa, former Industry Minister Nkosana Moyo, former Finance Minister Simba Makoni and Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono.

Ncube said that he initially supported Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC – “even giving them a financial contribution” — but believed the party had “poor quality leadership,” had tribalist and violent tendencies, and had not offered a vision for the future of Zimbabwe.

Ncube told embassy officials on 30 August 2007 that the ideal political solution for Zimbabwe was a “third way” which would draw support from the best of the MDC, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, civil society and the diaspora.

IDASA analyst Sydney Masamvu told the embassy officials that he believed that Jonathan Moyo and Ncube were working together on the “third way”.

In their commentary, embassy officials said though they could not comment of the viability or advisability of the “third way”, they believed Ncube was going to push it aggressively.

“Ncube is connected, sharp and ambitious, and we suspect he envisions a role for himself in such a ‘third way’ regime,” they said.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 07PRETORIA3075, TREVOR NCUBE FLOATS “THIRD WAY”

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

07PRETORIA3075

2007-08-31 15:01

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Pretoria

VZCZCXRO6106

RR RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSA #3075/01 2431501

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 311501Z AUG 07

FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1492

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1278

RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 4774

RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN 9115

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PRETORIA 003075

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF/S S. HILL

HARARE FOR G. WARREN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/30/2017

TAGS: PREL KDEM SF ZI

SUBJECT: TREVOR NCUBE FLOATS “THIRD WAY”

 

REF: A. PRETORIA 14

B. 2005 HARARE 1420

 

PRETORIA 00003075 001.2 OF 002

 

 

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires Donald Teitelbaum. Reasons 1.4(d).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY. South African-based publisher and Mugabe

opponent Trevor Ncube believes that Zimbabwe needs a “third

way” political force to take the country forward. Ncube is

thoroughly disgusted with both the ruling ZANU-PF and the MDC

opposition. Strive Masiyiwa, Nkosana Moyo, or Simba Makoni

could lead the “third way,” Ncube suggested, although none of

them has bought into the idea. Ncube called for a more

“nuanced” Western approach to ZANU-PF, arguing that moderates

in the party, like “progressive” Reserve Bank Governor Gideon

Gono, should be supported, not isolated. According to Ncube,

Mugabe remains firmly in control, and is running rings around

South African President Mbeki and his “facilitation” effort.

END SUMMARY.

 

——————–

“Third Way” is Ideal

——————–

 

2. (C) Prominent Zimbabwean publisher and long-time Mugabe

opponent Trevor Ncube told PolOff August 30 that the “ideal”

political solution in Zimbabwe is a “third way” political

movement winning the upcoming election. The “third way”

would draw support from the best of the opposition Movement

for Democratic Change (MDC), ruling ZANU-PF, civil society,

and the diaspora. Ncube said his ideal candidates to lead

the movement — Strive Masiyiwa, Nkosana Moyo, Simba Makoni

— have not themselves bought into the idea. Masiyiwa and

Moyo believe in a two-step transition, with MDC leader Morgan

Tsvangirai taking power, then a technocratic regime coming in

 

SIPDIS

later to “clean up the mess.” Makoni still hopes change

would come from within ZANU-PF.

 

3. (C) In addition to Masiyiwa, Moyo and Makoni, Ncube

mentioned Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono, whom he called

“progressive.” Gono has managed to keep Mugabe’s trust,

maintain ties to both MDC factions, and build a constituency

in the military — an impressive achievement. Welshman

Ncube, Secretary General of the MDC Mutambara faction, is

extremely bright, according to Trevor Ncube, but is not a

politician. Jonathan Moyo is also intelligent and

hard-working, but is tainted by his links to the Mugabe

regime. Asked about Arthur Mutambara, Ncube waved his hand,

saying Mutambara had been a “major disappointment;” “Arthur’s

time has passed.” (NOTE: Ncube’s “third way” idea smacks of

Jonathan Moyo’s earlier efforts to assemble a “third force”

(ref B). IDASA analyst Sydney Masamvu (protect) said he

believes that Moyo and Ncube are working together on the

current initiative. END NOTE.)

 

———————-

MDC Rule a “Nightmare”

———————-

 

4. (C) Ncube has come around to the “third way” plan after

becoming thoroughly disgusted with the MDC. Ncube said he

initially supported Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC — even

giving them a financial contribution — but believes the

party has “poor quality leadership,” has tribalist and

violent tendencies, and has not offered a vision for the

future of Zimbabwe. Ncube says he has “nightmares” about the

MDC taking over Zimbabwe.

 

——————————-

Need for Nuanced Western Policy

——————————-

 

5. (C) Ncube also criticized Western policy toward Zimbabwe,

arguing that the West needed a “more nuanced” approach to

ZANU-PF. There are “progressives” and “liberals” in ZANU-PF,

and “we need to win them over.” Instead, Western sanctions

have painted the entire ZANU-PF leadership as “bad guys,”

isolating and punishing them. This strategy has pushed the

entire ZANU-PF leadership into a corner, where they are

forced to join with Mugabe to fight their way out.

 

——————–

Understanding Mugabe

——————–

 

PRETORIA 00003075 002 OF 002

 

 

 

6. (C) Turning to the SADC initiative, Ncube said that Mugabe

is “running circles around Mbeki and the region.” When all

is said and done, “we will end up where we started.” Mbeki

does not know how to deal with Mugabe, despite years of

practice. Ncube believes that Mugabe was much weaker six or

nine months ago, but has emerged again “boss” following the

“pathetic” SADC summit in Lusaka.

 

7. (C) Ncube also said that the West underestimates Mugabe’s

continued appeal to many Zimbabweans. He is a heroic struggle

figure who fought the colonial powers, and is the founding

father of the country. Even if he has done wrong, “you do

not reject your father.” Mugabe “believes everything he

says,” even what sounds like propaganda to us. Mugabe

honestly thinks he is “doing the right thing” for the

country. Threats will not work with Mugabe. Instead, Mugabe

must believe he is the one choosing his departure date. “We

must find a way for Mugabe to step down without losing face.”

There is a growing consensus in Zimbabwe that Mugabe should

not be punished for his crimes, and instead left in peace.

Western threats about the International Criminal Court are

not useful.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

8. (C) Like a number of other prominent Zimbabwe exiled

businessmen in South Africa, Trevor Ncube continues to play

an influential, behind-the-scenes role in the Zimbabwe policy

debate. Ncube’s position as publisher/owner of the

Zimbabwean independent weeklies, The Standard and

Independent, which are critical of the government, as well as

his position as publisher of the well-respected South African

Mail & Guardian, gives him added leverage to pursue his

agenda. While we cannot comment on the viability — or

advisability — of his “third way” political plan, we believe

Ncube will continue to push it aggressively. Ncube is

connected, sharp and ambitious, and we suspect he envisions a

role for himself in such a “third way” regime.

Teitelbaum

(14 VIEWS)

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