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Tsvangirai said Mbeki, Mugabe and Mutambara ganged up against him

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai told United States embassy officials that South African President Thabo Mbeki, President Robert Mugabe and the leader of the smaller faction of the MDC Arthur Mutambara had ganged up against him during the negotiations for a settlement.

He had not given in despite the tremendous pressure and the negotiations had stalled because Mugabe was not willing to cede executive power to him as Prime Minister and allow him to head the government.

Tsvangirai said the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front had conceded some ground and was willing to give him control of a number of ministries but not the security ministries.

He said that it was important that he be in control of the security ministries otherwise, Zimbabwe could find itself back in the same fix in the future with the securocrats running the country.

Tsvangirai had dispatched his deputy Thokozani Khupe first to Botswana and then to Tanzania to lobby the Southern African Development Community leaders ahead of a summit that was to discuss Zimbabwe.

Ed: Tsvangirai never got the security ministries and was forced to share Home Affairs. But three years down the line and after firing the first minister Giles Mutsekwa to replace him with Theresa Makone, the MDC is always complaining about its members being arrested on “trumped up charges” giving the impression that the ministry is totally controlled by ZANU-PF.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE678, TSVANGIRAI ON COLLAPSED TALKS

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE678

2008-08-13 12:00

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO9489

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0678 2261200

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 131200Z AUG 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3278

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2212

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2331

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0863

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1608

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1966

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2387

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4818

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1480

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000678

 

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: 04/02/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI ON COLLAPSED TALKS

 

REF: A) HARARE 676 B) HARARE 674

 

Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4 (d)

 

1. (C) MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai told the Ambassador

August 12 that negotiations between ZANU-PF and the MDC had

stalled over the issue of power sharing. Specifically,

Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe was unwilling to cede

executive power to Tsvangirai as prime minister and allow

Tsvangirai to be head of government. Tsvangirai said he

would take his case to the SADC Summit on August 16. He

would urge Botswanan president Ian Khama, who had threatened

to boycott the Summit to attend as well. (He did not think

Mugabe would attend.) Meanwhile, he and his lieutenants had

been contacting SADC summit leaders. His vice-president,

Thokozani Khupe had spoken to Botswananan president Ian Khama

and was now in Tanzania. He expected talks to resume after

the SADC Summit with, he hoped, additional pressure on Mugabe

and ZANU-PF.

 

2. (C) Tsvangirai said there had been ZANU-PF movement in

the talks. The ruling party was now willing to give

Tsvangirai control of a number of ministries–but not the

security ministries. He averred that it was important that

he be in control of the latter; otherwise, Zimbabwe could

find itself back in the same fix in the future with the

securocrats running the country. Mugabe had so far refused

to budge on this issue.

 

3. (C) The Ambassador asked Tsvangirai about news reports

that Arthur Mutambara had agreed to an alliance with ZANU-PF.

Tsvangirai said that South African president and mediator

Thabo Mbeki had presented a proposal the South Africans had

drafted for power sharing. The document was not a complete

agreement but focused only on the respective roles of Mugabe

and Tsvangirai. Both Mugabe and Mutambara signed; Tsvangirai

refused because it allocated him insufficient executive

power. He thought Mutambara should have been principled and

not signed; nevertheless, he did not indicate that an

alliance had been formed between Mugabe and Mutambara.

Separately, Mutambara denied to us that there was a deal

between him and Mugabe.

 

4. (C) On a related issue, Tsvangirai said he had talked to

the Chinese ambassador the previous evening and thought the

ambassador was supportive of the MDC position. According to

Tsvagnira, the ambassador said he had talked to Mugabe and

urged him to compromise and allow Tsvangirai a leadership

role.

 

5. (C) COMMENT: Tsvangirai told us that Mugabe, Mbeki, and

Mutambara had ganged up on him during the negotiation process

and exerted tremendous pressure. He held his ground as he

consistently has told us he would, and he pledged to continue

to do so. SADC knows the issues and what is at stake, and

Tsvangirai will have an opportunity to convince them to exert

additional pressure on Mugabe. At this point, we should

assist him by continuing our outreach to SADC capitals. Our

support could be critical in this effort.

 

6. (C) COMMENT CONTINUED: Mutambara is more of an irritant

to Tsvangirai than a real factor in the negotiations. His

recent actions (Ref B) indicate an effort to curry favor with

Mugabe, and his posture has made negotiations more difficult

for Tsvangirai. But Mutambara is more figurehead than leader

on top of a weak and relatively insubstantial party. His MDC

faction has 10 MPs. At least 6, and probably 8, will follow

Tsvangirai’s lead. END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

(6 VIEWS)

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