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Tsvangirai said Mbeki did not like him personally

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai said South African President Thabo Mbeki did not like him personally but in politics you had to work with people whether you liked them or not.

He told this to United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell who he also briefed about his pending visit to Washington.

Tsvangirai was sceptical about Mbeki’s mediation effort saying that he was selectively working with the Arthur Mutambara faction of the MDC and wanted a government of national unity that would include the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

The MDC leader said he had sought a one on one meeting with Mbeki to express his concerns but the South African government had rebuffed him and instead offered a meeting with Sydney Mufamadi, Minister of Provincial and Local Government and presidential advisor.

Dell told Tsvangirai that during his visit to Washington he must present his strategic vision of the road to free and fair elections in 2008.

The key elements of a successful strategy were material support for elections, pressure on the region to back minimum conditions for a level electoral playing field, and maintaining international attention on Zimbabwe as a way of exerting pressure on the Southern African Development Community, Mbeki, and the government of Zimbabwe.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 07HARARE344, AMBASSADOR,S MEETING WITH MDC,S TSVANGIRAI

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

07HARARE344

2007-04-24 15:55

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO5331

RR RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0344/01 1141555

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 241555Z APR 07

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1396

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1585

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1451

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1589

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0256

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0852

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1217

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1644

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4048

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1414

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2072

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0712

RUEKJCS/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 1806

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000344

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E.LOKEN

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B.PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/24/2012

TAGS: PREL PGOV SF ZI

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR,S MEETING WITH MDC,S TSVANGIRAI

 

 

Classified By: Ambassador Christopher Dell under Section 1.4 b/d

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai told the Ambassador April

24 that he would plan to visit Washington the second week of

May. The Ambassador urged Tsvangirai during his visit to

present a strategic vision of the way forward toward

elections next year. On the SADC initiative, Tsvangirai

accused South African president Mbeki of selectively working

with the Mutambara faction, and said Mbeki’s preferred

outcome to the Zimbabwean crisis was a government of national

unity with ZANU-PF and the Mutambara faction. End Summary.

 

———————

A Visit to Washington

———————

 

2. (C) Tsvangirai said he could visit Washington the second

week of May, following a meeting of the Institute of

Multiparty Democracy in Accra. Unfortunately, because talks

between the two factions were still ongoing, a joint visit to

highlight the coalition was not possible. (Note: Tsvangirai

said the principal obstacle was the Mutambara faction,s

insistence on maintaining its parliamentarians in their

current seats. He added that democratic modalities needed to

be worked out to choose candidates. End Note.)

 

3. (C) The Ambassador urged Tsvangirai in his Washington

visit to present his strategic vision of the road to free and

fair elections next year. Both the Ambassador and Tsvangirai

agreed that key elements of a successful strategy were

material support for elections, pressure on the region to

back minimum conditions for a level electoral playing field,

and maintaining international attention on Zimbabwe as a way

of exerting pressure on SADC, Mbeki, and the GOZ. The

Ambassador offered request high-level meetings for Tsvangirai.

 

———————-

Skepticism About Mbeki

———————-

 

3. (C) Expressing skepticism about Mbeki and his role in the

SADC initiative, Tsvangirai said Mbeki was selectively

working with the Mutambara faction and wanted a government of

national unity that would include ZANU-PF and Mutambara,s

faction. He further felt that Mbeki had been a destabilizing

influence for the MDC because of his approach.

 

4. (C) Tsvangirai said he had sought a one on one meeting

with Mbeki to express his concerns. The SAG had rebuffed him

and instead offered a meeting with Sydney Mufamadi, Minister

of Provincial and Local Government and presidential advisor.

Tsvangirai said he would meet with Mufamadi and tell him

 

SIPDIS

Mbeki was negotiating with Mugabe without leverage, and would

be taken for a ride. Tsvangirai said he understood quite

clearly that Mbeki did not like him personally, but in

politics you have to work with people whether you like them

or not, and Mbeki needed to find a more balanced approach or

his mediation would fail.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

 

HARARE 00000344 002 OF 002

 

 

5. (C) We share Tsvangirai,s concerns that 1) Mbeki is more

interested in a government of national unity than 2008

elections, and 2) that Mbeki is insufficiently pressuring

Mugabe. For meaningful elections in 2008, SADC and Mbeki

must be convinced that the focus should be on elections, and

that the playing field must be level well in advance of

elections.

DELL

 

(3 VIEWS)

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