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Tsvangirai said Gono was the lesser of two evils

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray that although his party was pushing for the resignations of central bank governor Gideon Gono and attorney-general Johannes Tomana because their appointments were illegal, they preferred to see Tomana step down.

He said Gono was the lesser of the two evils. Tomana was incompetent and dangerous because he had selectively set out to prosecute MDC officials.

Tsvangirai also told Ray that the MDC was engaging in quiet negotiations with some of the securocrats. Their primary concerns were prosecution and financial security now that they were no longer supported by Gono.

Ray said, however, Tsvangirai was unclear on how he would deal with the security establishment in a post-Mugabe Zimbabwe other than to say some of the security establishment would have to be retained.

“This is a potentially troubling deficiency in Tsvangirai’s otherwise rational approach to governing this country. If he should prevail in elections and become the head of state, he will need to have a program for managing the military and police well in advance,” Ray commented.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 09HARARE959, AMBASSADOR’S MEETING WITH TSVANGIRAI

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09HARARE959

2009-12-11 07:44

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO3352

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0959/01 3450744

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 110744Z DEC 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5207

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 3202

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 3311

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1738

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2572

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2941

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 3359

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0001

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000959

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B.WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

NSC FOR M. GAVIN

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

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/11/2019

TAGS: PREL PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR’S MEETING WITH TSVANGIRAI

 

REF: HARARE 955

 

Classified By: Ambassador Charles A. Ray for reasons 1.4 (b) & (d).

 

1. (SBU) The Ambassador called on Prime Minister Morgan

Tsvangirai December 10, a day after presenting his

credentials to President Robert Mugabe (Ref). Tsvangirai

greeted the Ambassador by stating that he had arrived in

Zimbabwe at a defining moment in moving the transition

forward. The discussion focused on outstanding Global

Political Agreement (GPA) issues, sanctions, security sector

reform, and elections.

 

2. (C) Tsvangirai said progress on resolving outstanding

issues had been made with the help of South African President

Jacob Zuma’s mediation team. ZANU-PF, MDC-T, and MDC-M

negotiators would report to the principals — President

Robert Mugabe, Tsvangirai, and Arthur Mutambara — on the

status of negotiations, and the principals would then meet on

December 14.

 

3. (C) Tsvangirai addressed specific outstanding issues:

 

— MDC-T would not budge on its intention to make Roy Bennett

the deputy minister of agriculture. Resolution would await

the end of Bennett’s treason trial, set to resume on January

15.

 

–Mugabe had acted illegitimately in appointing Reserve Bank

of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General

Johannes Tomana after the Memorandum of Understanding signed

by the parties on September 15, 2008, which called for

consultation between Mugabe and Tsvangirai before making

appointments. But a solution to the stalemate over the two

officials would be political and decided by the principals.

Tsvangirai suspected the parties would agree that one of the

two step down — Mugabe’s choice. MDC-T would prefer to see

Tomana step down. Gono was the lesser of two evils. Tomana

was incompetent and dangerous — he had set out to

selectively prosecute MDC-T officials. Assuming agreement

was reached for Tomana to step down, MDC-T would seek an

additional agreement that Gono step down after a specified

time. (COMMENT: Tsvangirai and Gono are both Karanga from

the same village. Tsvangirai appears much more conciliatory

toward Gono than does Minister of Finance Tendai Biti. END

COMMENT.)

 

–An agreement had been reached on the appointment of MDC-T

and MDC-M governors.

 

–Media Commission members had been agreed to. Names had

been selected for the Human Rights and Electoral Commissions

but had not yet been reviewed by Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

 

4. (C) Tsvangirai said he hoped the principals would make a

statement on December 14 on agreements reached on outstanding

issues. If Mugabe was not prepared to join in, he and

Mutambara would consider their own statement on items agreed

to.

 

5. (C) Turning to sanctions, Tsvangirai said that progress

should be rewarded. Assuming agreement on most outstanding

issues, the U.S. should remove non-personal sanctions and

ZDERA should be suspended while Congress considered its

permanent revocation. ZANU-PF had used sanctions to put

MDC-T on the defensive, according to Tsvangirai, and U.S.

(and presumably EU) action would remove the pressure.

 

6. (C) Tsvangirai noted that security reform was essential.

The MDC was engaging in quiet negotiations with some of the

QThe MDC was engaging in quiet negotiations with some of the

securocrats. Their primary concerns were prosecution and

financial security now that they were no longer supported by

Gono. Tsvangirai said he had talked to Zuma and other SADC

leaders about the security sector, but was unclear how he

would attempt to remove the securocrats. He was also unclear

on how he would deal with the security establishment in a

 

HARARE 00000959 002 OF 002

 

 

post-Mugabe Zimbabwe other than to say some of the security

establishment would have to be retained. (COMMENT: This is

a potentially troubling deficiency in Tsvangirai’s otherwise

rational approach to governing this country. If he should

prevail in elections and become the head of state, he will

need to have a program for managing the military and police

well in advance.)

 

7. (C) On elections, Tsvangirai said the constitutional

process was proceeding and that general elections could take

place in 2011.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

8. (C) There were no surprises. We suspect that Tsvangirai

is overly optimistic on making an announcement on resolution

of outstanding issues next week, and on when elections will

be held. On security sector reform, he understands its

importance, particularly dealing with the securocrats, but we

have yet to see concrete evidence of discussions or

negotiations. END COMMENT.

 

RAY

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