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.
Viewing cable 07HARARE344, AMBASSADOR,S MEETING WITH MDC,S TSVANGIRAI
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000344
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E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/24/2012
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR,S MEETING WITH MDC,S TSVANGIRAI
Classified By: Ambassador Christopher Dell under Section 1.4 b/d
¶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
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.
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