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Tsvangirai and Gono planned to form a political party

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai planned to form a political party with central bank governor Gideon Gono six months before the 2008 elections, former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo told United States embassy officials.

Moyo said the new party was to be called the New Patriotic Front and was going to be headed by Gono as the presidential candidate because Tsvangirai had realised that he could not win.

The core of the new party was going to be existing MDC and disaffected ZANU-PF parliamentarians drawn from the Mujuru faction.

He said Tsvangirai and Gono came from the same village and had maintained a relationship over the years.

Tsvangirai’s payback for supporting Gono, if he won, was going to be financial security and a position as an elder statesman.

 

 

Full cable:

Viewing cable 07HARARE852, JONATHAN MOYO ON MUGABE AND SUCCESSION

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

07HARARE852

2007-09-18 12:04

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO0421

RR RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0852/01 2611204

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 181204Z SEP 07

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1902

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1701

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1573

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1705

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0342

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0971

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1334

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1762

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4180

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1533

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2195

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0826

RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1922

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000852

 

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: 07/09/2012

TAGS: PREL PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: JONATHAN MOYO ON MUGABE AND SUCCESSION

 

REF: A) HARARE 795 B) PRETORIA 3075

 

Classified By: Pol/Econ Chief Glenn Warren under 1.4 b/d

 

——-

Summary

——-

 

1. (C) President Robert Mugabe has throat cancer and has

been advised by his physician that campaigning will be

dangerous to his health. At this point, Mugabe nevertheless

intends to seek endorsement at a ZANU-PF Extraordinary

Congress in December and run for election in March. He has

stated his successor would be Emmerson Mnangagwa, and that he

would step down after winning reelection. He has instructed

ZANU-PF negotiators Patrick Chinimasa and Nicholas Goche to

make concessions in the SADC talks, believing he can beat a

fractured and weak MDC in a free and fair election and

thereby gain legitimacy. The Congress could be problematic

for Mugabe. Shut out of succession, the Mujuru faction is

planning to deny Mugabe the ZANU-PF endorsement and put

forward its own candidate. Meanwhile, MDC leader Morgan

Tsvangirai and Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono are holding

 

SIPDIS

talks about establishing a third party to contest the

election. End Summary.

 

—————-

Mugabe Fights On

—————-

 

2. (C) Long rumored, ZANU-PF has called an Extraordinary

Congress for December. Jonathan Moyo told polecon chief

September 16 that ZANU-PF was not required to call a

Congress; it could have held an annual conference to discuss

ZANU-PF business. As First Secretary of the party, Mugabe

would be the presumptive nominee. A Congress is the unique

ZANU-PF proceeding to change the top candidates. Mugabe was

convening the Congress, according to Moyo, to get a public

endorsement of his candidacy, and to possibly replace

Vice-President Joice Mujuru with Oppah Muchinguri, the

Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender, and Community

Development. (Note. Muchinguri is a strong Mugabe

supporter; women, along with war veterans, have recently been

his core constituency. End Note.) Moyo also told us that

Mugabe had indicated within ZANU-PF that he would step down

after winning reelection; his choice to succeed him was

Emmerson Mnangagwa. (Moyo doubted he would voluntarily step

down after winning reelection.) Mugabe was considering

naming Mnangagwa Minister of State Security in place of

Didymus Mutasa.

 

3. (C) Moyo said that in calling a Congress Mugabe was

playing a dangerous game. While he might gain a strong

endorsement from the party going into next year’s election,

the possibility existed he could be replaced as ZANU-PF’s

nominee. Facing defeat in the succession battle, the Mujuru

faction was now mounting a challenge to Mugabe by attempting

to garner support in the provinces in anticipation of the

December Congress

 

4. (C) Moyo said Mugabe was determined to run for reelection

against the advice of his physician. He had throat cancer;

campaigning would be difficult and imperil his health.

 

——————-

Mugabe’s Motivation

——————-

 

HARARE 00000852 002 OF 003

 

 

 

5. (C) Moyo said Mugabe was determined to leave office after

being reelected–and not after having been defeated as was

Kenneth Kaunda in Zambia. Further, he was aware of charges

that he had stolen elections in the past. Therefore, he had

instructed negotiators Chinimasa and Goche to make

concessions to the MDC in the SADC negotiations in order to

create conditions for a fair election. The CIO had informed

him that the MDC was fractured and weak and that he could

prevail in such an election. Winning under these conditions

would give him the legitimacy and respect heretofore lacking.

 

—————————

Uphill Struggle for the MDC

—————————

 

6. (C) Given ZANU-PF structures on the village, district,

and provincial levels, Moyo believed the MDC would have an

uphill struggle, even in a fair election. The MDC would have

no chance, unless it worked as a coalition.

 

———–

A Third Way

———–

 

7. (C) Talks about a “third way” (Ref B) have intensified

over the last several months, averred Moyo. The MDC was

weak–it would not even be able to field candidates in all

local and parliamentary constituencies in the next

elections–and anti-ZANU-PF politicians were looking for an

alternative. Moyo said that MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai had

been talking with Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono about a

third party that Gono would lead as presidential candidate.

Gono and Tsvangirai were from the same village and had

maintained a relationship over the years. Moyo continued

that Tsvangirai realized he could not win; his payback for

backing Gono would be financial security and a position as

elder statesman in the event of a Gono win.

 

8. (C) According to Moyo, the new party would be called the

“New Patriotic Front.” Its core would be the existing MDC

and disaffected ZANU-PF parliamentarians primarily drawn from

the Mujuru faction.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

9. (C) Moyo’s assertion that Mugabe has throat cancer is an

elaboration on Gono’s indication to us (Ref A) that Mugabe’s

physician had advised him to step down for health reasons.

Moyo and Gono are close, and it is possible that Moyo’s

information on this subject comes from Gono. While we can’t

confirm Moyo’s claim, we have no reason to disbelieve it.

 

10. (C) The December Congress, and the weeks leading up to

it, will be critical in determining the viability of an

internal challenge to Mugabe. If Mugabe continues to exert

his authority over ZANU-PF, however, a more likely challenge

may be an MDC-Mujuru faction coalition. We question whether

Gideon Gono would emerge as the standard bearer. He is

widely seen–whether or not fairly–as responsible for

Zimbabwe’s disastrous economic policies and he has no natural

constituency. This begs the question of who else could step

forward as a third party leader.

 

11. (C) An unlikely scenario at this point in time is an MDC

 

HARARE 00000852 003 OF 003

 

 

electoral victory. Even in a relatively free and fair

election, the MDC is confronted by internal divisions and

country-wide ZANU-PF structures. With an expected SADC

agreement leveling the playing field, the MDC would still

need time to organize and campaign. Elections are scheduled

in March. We have heard rumors Mugabe would let them slide

until June in order to get his economic house in order before

the elections, but it is questionable whether this delay

would significantly benefit the MDC.

 

12. (C) While there are a number of different scenarios, the

odds now are that Mugabe will win reelection next year. That

said, the political situation is extremely fluid.

 

 

 

DHANANI

 

(5 VIEWS)

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