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Tsvangirai frustrated but he cannot leave inclusive government

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said he was frustrated because the Movement for Democratic Change’s commitment to the Global Political Agreement had been met with nothing on the part of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front but provocative actions.

But he added that though his supporters were also frustrated by President Robert Mugabe’s failure to implement the GPA, they did not like to return to the violence and disruption of 2008.

Tsvangirai said some of the provocative actions or inaction from ZANU-PF were the hate speech in newspapers, prosecution of MDC MPs, a mostly stalled constitutional process, a stalled national healing process, and the failure to appoint governors and Roy Bennett as deputy minister of agriculture.

He admitted that he did not know what the MDC would do if Mugabe continued to fail to implement the GPA but Mugabe did not want the government to collapse, in his opinion.

He also asked for further assistance from the United States for his office saying the first six months’ assistance was coming to an end. He asked if the US could consider extending the assistance for a year, or at the least for six months.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 09HARARE753, TSVANGIRAI BRIEFS CHARGE ON REFORM EFFORTS

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09HARARE753

2009-09-18 11:33

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO8978

OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0753/01 2611133

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 181133Z SEP 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4921

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 3035

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 3148

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1577

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2411

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2780

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 3196

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5641

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2328

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000753

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B.WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR J. HARMON AND L. DOBBINS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/17/2019

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI BRIEFS CHARGE ON REFORM EFFORTS

 

REF: HARARE 736

 

Classified By: CDA Donald Petterson for reason 1.4 (b) and (d)

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told the Charge on

September 18 that MDC commitment to the Global Political

Agreement (GPA) has been met with nothing on the part of

ZANU-PF but provocative actions. He continues to push for

reforms, but is focused on constitutional reform which he

hopes will lead to timely elections. President Robert Mugabe

has agreed to a restruturing of the constitutional process,

which Tsvangirai hopes will put it back on track, but further

discussion on outstanding issues will await Mugabe’s return

from a 10-day trip to the UNGA and Venezuela. Tsvangirai

faces the dilemma that supporters throughout Zimbabwe are

impatient with GPA progress, but at the same time want to

avoid any actions (such as presumably an MDC withdrawal from

the government) that could result in a return to the violence

and disruption of last year. Tsvangirai took the opportunity

of the meeting to ask for renewed U.S. assistance to his

office. END SUMMARY

 

2. (SBU) The Charge met with Tsvangirai on September 18 at

Tsvangirai’s home office to discuss recent political events.

 

——————-

ZANU-PF is Stalling

——————-

 

3. (C) Tsvangirai told the Charge that ZANU-PF was

attempting to obstruct and delay the implementation of the

GPA. His speech in Bulawayo on September 13 (Reftel) to

celebrate the MDC’s 10th anniversary was meant to draw a

line. Tsvanirai lamented that the MDC had shown commitment

to the coalition government, but had obtained nothing in

return but provocative actions and inaction–hate speech in

newspapers, prosecution of MDC MPs, a mostly stalled

constitutional process, a stalled national healing process,

and the failure to appoint governors and Roy Bennett as

deputy minister of agriculture.

 

4. (C) Tsvangirai said he followed-up on commitments in his

Bulawayo speech with a meeting with Mugabe on September 13

(Reftel) in which he told Mugabe that until Mugabe reported

progress on GPA issues, the GPA was out of his (Tsvangirai’s)

hands and that he would go to the people.

 

5. (C) Striking a more pessimistic note than in the past,

Tsvangirai said the government “may” survive, but this

depends on implementation of the GPA. He intimated that full

implementation was not necessary, but did not elaborate on

how much compliance would be satisfactory.

 

—————-

The Constitution

—————-

 

6. (C) Tsvangirai said he, Mugabe, Deputy Prime Minister

Arthur Mutambara and the GPA negotiators (Tendai Biti and

Elton Mangoma from MDC-T, Welshman Ncube and Priscilla

Misihairabwi-Mashonga from MDC-M, and Nicolas Goche and

Patrick Chinamasa from ZANU-PF) met on September 17 as a

follow-up to the September 13 meeting. Tired of dealing with

GPA issues piecemeal, Tsvangirai said he had hoped to have a

discussion of all outstanding issues, but the meeting ended

Qdiscussion of all outstanding issues, but the meeting ended

up focusing on the constitution.

 

7. (C) According to Tsvangirai, several agreements were

 

HARARE 00000753 002 OF 003

 

 

reached:

–The executive and civil society should have clear roles in

the constitutional process. Accordingly, the three

principals and the three chairs of the Parliamentary Select

Committee on the Constitution (Douglas Mwanzora of MDC-T,

David Coltart of MDC-M, and Paul Mwangana of ZANU-PF) will

oversee the process. Operational oversight will be exercised

by a committee consisting of the three Select Committee

Chairs, the Minister of Constitutional Affairs (Eric

Matinenga), and the civil society chairs of the

All-Stakeholders Conference (Hope Sadza and P.M. Makarane).

Additionally, a secretariat will be established. (NOTE:

Tsvangirai commented that funding will be necessary for the

secretariat and for the process in general; noting that UNDP

had made a contribution, he asked that the U.S. consider

funding assistance. END NOTE.)

 

–The Kariba Draft will not be tabled as a draft constitution

but will serve as a reference point.

 

–There should be flexibility in timelines to accommodate the

overall timeline of a draft constitution within 18 months of

the inception of the new government as specified in the GPA.

For example, the GPA calls for a 90-day period for public

outreach and input. This is now 30 days behind schedule.

Tsvangirai suggested that since the constitution has been a

topic of discussion for the last 10 years, the 90-day period

could be shortened.

 

——————

Outstanding Issues

——————

 

8. (C) Tsvangirai noted that it was impossible to make

progress on outstanding issues without the direct

intervention of Mugabe. The principals agreed, therefore, at

the September 17 meeting to postpone discussion on

outstanding issues until after Mugabe’s return from a 10 day

trip, beginning on September 19, to Venezuela and the UNGA.

 

9. (C) The Charge pushed Tsvangirai as to how he could have

any confidence that, in light of the experience with the GPA

and coalition government, Mugabe would implement the GPA.

Tsvangirai acknowledged that there was no reason to believe

ZANU-PF would change. Nevertheless, it was necessary to

continue pushing without undermining the ultimate objective

of elections. With regard to elections, Tsvangirai commented

that although some in ZANU-PF wanted to delay elections until

2013, he was committed to elections as soon as a referendum

on the constitution had taken place.

 

10. (C) Tsvangirai admitted he did not know what the MDC

would do if Mugabe continued to fail to implement the

GPA–this was hypothetical. Mugabe did not want the

government to collapse, in his opinion, but wanted it to

continue on his terms. Also, Mugabe was faced with the

difficulty of managing his party before its Congress in

December.

 

11. (C) The next step for the MDC in the event of continued

ZANU-PF intransigence would be the SADC Troika, according to

Tsvangirai. He added that he had little faith in SADC.

 

12. (C) Tsvangirai implied that withdrawal from the

Q12. (C) Tsvangirai implied that withdrawal from the

government was an option if Mugabe continued to stonewall.

But he underscored that while many MDC supporters around the

country were frustrated with Mugabe’s failure to implement

the GPA and the lack of progress of the government, they were

loathe to return to the violence and disruption of last year

that they were afraid could result from an MDC withdrawal

from government.

 

 

HARARE 00000753 003 OF 003

 

 

 

———————-

A Note on By-Elections

———————-

 

13. (C) Tsvangirai observed that without an Electoral

Commission, it would be impossible to have by-elections in

the 15 or so constituencies that are now vacant. When to

hold elections might be an issue the principals would have to

deal with. (COMMENT: None of the three parties appears

eager to have by-elections. ZANU-PF and MDC-M know they

would fare poorly. MDC may be concerned that violence could

return at a time when people are just getting back to their

lives. END COMMENT.)

 

——————————

Assistance for the PM’s office

——————————

 

14. (C) With six months of U.S. assistance to the Office of

the Prime Minister concluding, Tsvangirai asked if we would

consider extending assistance for a year, or at the least for

six months. He commented that when assistance began, there

was an expectation of more progress in the government and

with the economy that would have obviated further need.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

15. (C) Tsvangirai is in a difficult position. He is facing

pressure from his party to be more assertive in order to get

Mugabe to implement the GPA. But his only real leverage is to

leave the government. This may not be a viable option, at

least in the short term Many MDC supporters are enjoying

relative tranquility–and some economic improvement–after a

turbulent couple of years and are afraid of the possible

consequences of a dissolution of the government. For now, we

expect Tsvangirai to continue to push, with only minimal

concessions by Mugabe. If there is more meaningful

compliance with the GPA, it will likely come after the

ZANU-PF Congress in December.

PETTERSON

(5 VIEWS)

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