in Stories

Tsvangirai said Mugabe mistrusts everyone

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai said his party was prepared to let President Robert Mugabe retire and live in peace but the Zimbabwean leader “doesn’t believe us”.

Tsvangirai said Mugabe had “always mistrusted everyone” but he had made it clear on several occasions that the MDC was not interested in retribution.

“We are more interested in rebuilding the country than on punishing individuals,” he said.

Tsvangirai said this 11 years ago when he was asked by United States embassy officials about Mugabe’s future if he lost the 2002 presidential elections.

Tsvangirai said Mugabe wanted to set terms for his own succession and his preferred successor was Emmerson Mnangagwa who was Speaker of Parliament at the time.

Mnangagwa, however, had no political future in Zimbabwe once Mugabe was gone, Tsvangirai said.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 01HARARE2322, OPPOSITION LEADER TSVANGIRAI ON UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE2322

2001-08-02 13:14

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

021314Z Aug 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6716

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02322 01 OF 03 021703Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 EUR-00   VC-00   H-01

TEDE-00 INR-00   L-00     AC-01   NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OMB-01

PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00    SP-00   SS-00

TRSE-00 T-00     USIE-00 PMB-00   DRL-02   G-00     SAS-00

/005W

——————0D443B 021704Z /45

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9406

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 002322

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 08/01/11

TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PINR MOPS ZI

SUBJECT: OPPOSITION LEADER TSVANGIRAI ON UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL

ELECTION

 

 

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D’AFFAIRES AUBREY HOOKS. REASONS: 1.5

(B) AND (D).

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02322 01 OF 03 021703Z

 

REF: HARARE 2239

 

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) IN A JULY 31 LUNCH HOSTED BY CHARGE HOOKS, MOVEMENT FOR

DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) MORGAN TSVANGIRAI SAID HE WAS PLEASED WITH

THE USG’S APPROACH TOWARD ZIMBABWE AND WITH HIS RECEPTION BY U.S.

OFFICIALS DURING HIS RECENT VISIT TO WASHINGTON. HE EXPECTS ZANU-

PF TO INTENSIFY THE VIOLENCE IN THE RUN-UP TO THE 2002

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, BUT INSISTS THE MDC WOULD NOT RESPOND IN

KIND. THE MDC PRESIDENT SAID HIS PARTY IS PREPARED TO PROVIDE

IMMUNITY TO PRESIDENT MUGABE IF HE STEPS DOWN, BUT MUGABE DOES NOT

TRUST THE MDC TO HONOR SUCH AN OFFER. TSVANGIRAI BELIEVES THE

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WILL TAKE PLACE BECAUSE MUGABE NEEDS THAT

STAMP OF LEGITIMACY. BASED ON EXTENSIVE CONSULTATIONS WITH

MILITARY OFFICERS, THE MDC LEADER IS CONVINCED THAT THE ARMED

FORCES WILL NOT INTERVENE TO KEEP MUGABE IN POWER SHOULD

TSVANGIRAI WIN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. TSVANGIRAI SAID THE

 

SIPDIS

UNITED STATES COULD BE MOST CONSTRUCTIVE BY REMAINING ENGAGED ON

ZIMBABWE, COORDINATING ITS APPROACH WITH KEY MEMBERS OF THE

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, AND BY PROVIDING ELECTION OBSERVERS AND

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO THE ELECTORAL PROCESS. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) THE CHARGE HOSTED MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC)

PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI FOR LUNCH AT HIS RESIDENCE ON JULY 31.

TSVANGIRAI WAS ACCOMPANIED BY MDC DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL GIFT

 

SIPDIS

CHIMANIKIRE, WHILE THE CHARGE WAS JOINED BY THE DCM AND POLITICAL

SECTION CHIEF.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02322 01 OF 03 021703Z

WASHINGTON VISIT

—————-

 

3. (C) ASKED FOR AN ASSESSMENT OF HIS RECENT VISIT TO WASHINGTON,

TSVANGIRAI SAID IT HAD BEEN “VERY PRODUCTIVE.” DURING THE COURSE

 

SIPDIS

OF HIS MEETINGS WITH USG OFFICIALS — INCLUDING DEPUTY SECRETARY

ARMITAGE, A/S KANSTEINER, AND USAID ADMINISTRATOR NATSIOS —

TSVANGIRAI HAD NOTED A CHANGE IN ATTITUDE TOWARD ZIMBABWE AND A

 

SIPDIS

BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE MDC AND WHAT IT STANDS FOR.

TSVANGIRAI PRAISED A/S KANSTEINER’S UNDERSTANDING OF THE SITUATION

 

SIPDIS

IN ZIMBABWE, PARTICULARLY OF THE POTENTIAL FOR BREAKDOWN HERE.

 

POLITICAL VIOLENCE

——————

 

4. (C) THE CHARGE INQUIRED WHETHER TSVANGIRAI ANTICIPATED AN

INCREASE IN VIOLENCE IN THE RUN-UP TO THE 2002 PRESIDENTIAL

ELECTION.   THE MDC PRESIDENT REPLIED THAT HE HAS NO DOUBT THAT

ZANU-PF WILL INTENSIFY ITS CAMPAIGN OF VIOLENCE AGAINST THE

OPPOSITION AND ZIMBABWEAN VOTERS, AS THIS IS A KEY ELEMENT OF

THEIR STRATEGY FOR WINNING AT ALL COSTS. THE JULY 28-29 BY-

ELECTION IN BINDURA (SEPTEL) HAD CONFIRMED THAT EXPECTATION, AS

THE RULING PARTY HAD BUSED IN VOTERS FROM OUTSIDE THE

CONSTITUENCY, ESTABLISHED BASE CAMPS USED BY WAR VETERANS AND

PARTY THUGS TO INTIMIDATE VILLAGERS, AND ASSIGNED 200 YOUTHS TO

EACH POLLING STATION TO INTIMIDATE VOTERS. ASKED WHETHER THE

RULING PARTY COULD MOUNT SUCH AN EFFORT ON A NATIONAL SCALE,

TSVANGIRAI SAID NO, AS THEY DID NOT HAVE THE RESOURCES OR

 

SIPDIS

MANPOWER.   THE MDC, TSVANGIRAI REPORTED, IS CONSIDERING

BOYCOTTING FUTURE BY-ELECTIONS UNLESS CERTAIN CONDITIONS ARE MET

THAT WILL INCREASE THE PROSPECTS FOR A FREE AND FAIR ELECTION.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 02322 01 OF 03 021703Z

RECALLING THE ATTACK ON THE MDC PRESIDENT’S CONVOY IN BINDURA

(REFTEL), THE CHARGE ASKED WHETHER TSVANGIRAI FELT THREATENED. IF

HIS CONVOY HAD INCLUDED ONLY A COUPLE OF CARS, TSVANGIRAI REPLIED,

HE AND THE OTHER OCCUPANTS WOULD HAVE BEEN “PULVERIZED” AND HE

MIGHT HAVE LOST HIS LIFE. THAT SAID, THE MDC WAS DOING EVERYTHING

POSSIBLE TO MINIMIZE RISK BUT REALIZED THAT IT CANNOT ELIMINATE

IT. HE WENT ON TO SAY THAT HE DID NOT FEEL THAT HIS LIFE WAS

CONSTANTLY IN DANGER, DESCRIBING THE BINDURA INCIDENT AS A “ONE-

OFF” ATTACK.

 

5. (C) THE CHARGE ASKED WHAT THE MDC’S STRATEGY IS FOR DEALING

WITH ZANU-PF’S TACTICS. WE WILL NOT FIGHT VIOLENCE WITH VIOLENCE,

TSVANGIRAI INSISTED. THE MDC’S STRATEGY HAS BEEN TO REDUCE ITS

 

SIPDIS

SUPPORTERS’ EXPOSURE BY NOT HOLDING LARGE RALLIES IN HOTSPOTS AND

BY QUIETLY EDUCATING PEOPLE ON THE GROUND TO REFRAIN FROM VIOLENCE

AND TO DO WHATEVER IS NECESSARY TO PROTECT THEMSELVES, INCLUDING

ATTENDING ZANU-PF RALLIES IF NECESSARY.

 

DISILLUSIONMENT WITH ZANU-PF

—————————-

 

6. (C) IN THE TWENTY-ONE YEARS SINCE INDEPENDENCE, ZANU-PF HAS

DOMINATED ELECTORAL POLITICS AND BEEN ABLE TO WIN ELECTIONS

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6717

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02322 02 OF 03 021704Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 EUR-00   VC-00   H-01

TEDE-00 INR-00   L-00     AC-01   NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OMB-01

PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SS-00

TRSE-00 T-00     USIE-00 PMB-00   DRL-02   G-00     SAS-00

/005W

——————0D4449 021704Z /45

P 021314Z AUG 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9407

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 002322

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 08/01/11

TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PINR MOPS ZI

SUBJECT: OPPOSITION LEADER TSVANGIRAI ON UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL

ELECTION

 

EASILY, THE CHARGE NOTED. WHAT HAS CHANGED THAT DYNAMIC?

PRIMARILY THE DETERIORATION OF THE ECONOMY, TSVANGIRAI REPLIED,

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02322 02 OF 03 021704Z

WHICH HAS LED TO A RISING DISILLUSIONMENT WITH PRESIDENT MUGABE’S

LEADERSHIP. THE YOUTH IN PARTICULAR ARE DISAFFECTED WITH MUGABE

AND WILL NOT GIVE HIM ANOTHER CHANCE. THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM FOR

THE PRESIDENT, TSVANGIRAI POINTED OUT, BECAUSE SIXTY PERCENT OF

ZIMBABWE’S POPULATION IS UNDER THE AGE OF 40.

 

7. (C) TSVANGIRAI DECLARED THAT ZANU-PF IS IN THE PROCESS OF

DISINTEGRATING, AND THAT THAT PROCESS WOULD BE COMPLETE ONCE

MUGABE GOES. MUGABE, HE SAID, HAS PREVENTED THE REFORMERS, THOSE

CAPABLE OF DEVELOPING A NATIONAL FOLLOWING, FROM ADVANCING WITHIN

THE PARTY. THERE ARE GOOD PEOPLE IN ZANU-PF, HE SAID, AND FINANCE

MINISTER SIMBA MAKONI IS PROBABLY THE MOST QUALIFIED OF THEM.

UNFORTUNATELY, TSVANGIRAI SAID, MAKONI HAD CHOSEN THE WRONG CAMP.

 

MUGABE’S FUTURE

—————

 

8. (C) THE CHARGE ASKED WHETHER MUGABE IS PREPARED TO STEP DOWN

UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS. THE ONE FACTOR WHICH GIVES MUGABE

PAUSE, TSVANGIRAI SAID, IS THAT HE FEARS FOR HIS SECURITY SHOULD

HE LEAVE OFFICE. ASKED WHETHER HE COULD BE OFFERED A GOLDEN

PARACHUTE, TSVANGIRAI ASSERTED THAT THAT WOULD DEPEND ON WHO

OFFERED IT, AS MUGABE HAS “ALWAYS MISTRUSTED EVERYONE.” THE

CHARGE ASKED WHETHER THE MDC WOULD MAKE SUCH AN OFFER. TSVANGIRAI

STRESSED THAT HIS PARTY HAS MADE CLEAR IN A NUMBER OF PUBLIC

STATEMENTS THAT IT IS NOT INTERESTED IN RETRIBUTION. WE ARE MORE

INTERESTED, HE CONTINUED, IN REBUILDING THE COUNTRY THAN ON

PUNISHING INDIVIDUALS. THE MDC, HE SAID, IS PREPARED TO LET

MUGABE RETIRE AND LIVE IN PEACE, BUT THE ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT

“DOESN’T BELIEVE US.”

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02322 02 OF 03 021704Z

9. (C) TSVANGIRAI REMARKED THAT MUGABE WANTS TO ESTABLISH THE

TERMS FOR HIS OWN SUCCESSION, BUT THE TIME FOR HIM TO DO SO

UNILATERALLY IS LONG PAST. ASKED WHOM MUGABE WOULD PREFER AS HIS

SUCCESSOR, TSVANGIRAI SAID WITHOUT HESITATION “IT’S OBVIOUS,

EMMERSON MNANGAGWA [SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT AND ZANU-PF SECRETARY

FOR ADMINISTRATION].” HE DISMISSED MNANGAGWA’S ELECTORAL

PROSPECTS, HOWEVER, INSISTING THAT HE HAS NO POLITICAL FUTURE IN

ZIMBABWE — ONCE MUGABE GOES — AND WOULD LOSE SOUNDLY TO THE MDC

PRESIDENT IN A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. (COMMENT: MNANGAGWA LOST

HIS RUN FOR PARLIAMENT IN THE JUNE 2000 ELECTIONS, AS DID

TSVANGIRAI, ALTHOUGH TSVANGIRAI SUBSEQUENTLY WON A HIGH COURT CASE

 

SIPDIS

OVERTURNING ZANU-PF’S VICTORY IN HIS CONSTITUENCY.) TSVANGIRAI EXPRESS

ED HIS BELIEF THAT MUGABE CANNOT AFFORD NOT TO HOLD THE ELECTION, WHICH

THE PRESIDENT SEES AS NECESSARY FOR HIS OWN E

XTERNAL LEGITIMACY.

 

10. (C) ASKED WHETHER THE RECENT LAW BANNING FOREIGN FUNDING OF

POLITICAL PARTIES HAD PROVED TO BE A SIGNIFICANT HINDRANCE FOR THE

MDC, TSVANGIRAI SAID NO, THE LAW HAD BEEN MORE OF AN

INCONVENIENCE. HE POINTED OUT THAT ZANU-PF IS ALSO RECEIVING

FUNDS FROM FOREIGN SOURCES.

 

GETTING ALONG WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS

———————————

 

11. (C) NOTING THAT TSVANGIRAI AND OTHER SENIOR MDC OFFICIALS

HAVE HAD REGULAR CONTACTS WITH THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT AND

THE CONGRESS OF SOUTH AFRICAN TRADE UNIONS (COSATU), THE CHARGE

ASKED HOW THE NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES SAW THE SITUATION IN ZIMBABWE.

THE GOVERNMENTS OF BOTSWANA, MOZAMBIQUE, AND SOUTH AFRICA,

TSVANGIRAI REPLIED, ARE SYMPATHETIC WITH THE MDC’S POSITION, WHILE

 

SIPDIS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 02322 02 OF 03 021704Z

ZAMBIAN PRESIDENT CHILUBA PREFERS TO SIDE WITH MUGABE GIVEN HIS

INTEREST IN PURSUING A THIRD TERM. SOUTH AFRICA, HE CONTINUED,

CAN AFFORD TO SPEAK OUT PUBLICLY ON DEVELOPMENTS IN ZIMBABWE, BUT

IT IS TRYING TO FIND AN EFFECTIVE BALANCE BETWEEN ENGAGING MUGABE

AND ISOLATING HIM.

 

ROLE OF THE UNITED STATES?

————————–

 

12. (C) THE CHARGE ASKED HOW THE UNITED STATES COULD BEST HELP IN

INCREASING THE PROSPECTS FOR A FREE AND FAIR ELECTION AND BUILDING

DEMOCRATIC PROCESSES AND INSTITUTIONS IN ZIMBABWE. TSVANGIRAI

URGED THE UNITED STATES TO REMAIN ENGAGED AND TO CONTINUE TO

CONDEMN “UNDEMOCRATIC PRACTICES.” THE REMARKS BY SECRETARY POWELL

DURING HIS TRIP TO SOUTH AFRICA HAD BEEN VERY HELPFUL IN

POSITIONING THE UNITED STATES ON THE SIDE OF THOSE HERE WHO ARE

PRESSING FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE. HE ALSO ENCOURAGED THE U.S. TO

WORK CLOSELY WITH KEY AFRICAN LEADERS AND OTHER PARTNERS, SUCH AS

THE EU, TO ENSURE, TO THE EXTENT POSSIBLE, THAT THE INTERNATIONAL

COMMUNITY SPEAKS WITH ONE VOICE ON ZIMBABWE. HE ALSO ASKED FOR

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO THE ELECTORAL PROCESS, SUCH AS CLEANING UP

THE VOTERS ROLL, AND THAT THE UNITED STATES SEND ELECTION

OBSERVERS.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6718

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02322 03 OF 03 021705Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 EUR-00   VC-00   H-01

TEDE-00 INR-00   L-00     AC-01   NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OMB-01

PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00    SP-00   SS-00

TRSE-00 T-00     USIE-00 PMB-00   DRL-02   G-00     SAS-00

/005W

——————0D4454 021705Z /45

P 021314Z AUG 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9408

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 002322

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 08/01/11

TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PINR MOPS ZI

SUBJECT: OPPOSITION LEADER TSVANGIRAI ON UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL

ELECTION

 

13. (C) THE CHARGE INFORMED TSVANGIRAI THAT THE UNITED STATES IS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02322 03 OF 03 021705Z

PLANNING TO PROVIDE INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS BEFORE AND DURING THE

ELECTION. TSVANGIRAI WAS PLEASED WITH THAT NEWS AND STRESSED THE

IMPORTANCE OF HAVING RESPECTED INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS PROVIDE

REGULAR ASSESSMENTS BEGINNING WELL IN ADVANCE OF THE VOTING DAYS.

ASKED WHETHER THERE HAD BEEN MUCH SUBSTANTIVE DIFFERENCE IN THE

REPORTS ISSUED BY EUROPEAN AND U.S. OBSERVERS LAST JUNE AND THOSE

PUBLISHED BY SADC OBSERVERS, TSVANGIRAI DISMISSED THE SADC REPORTS

AS TOO SOFT ON MUGABE. HE REPORTED THAT ANC CHIEF WHIP TONY

YENGENI HAD TOLD HIM RECENTLY THAT HE NOW REALIZES SADC’S

ASSESSMENT OF THE JUNE 2000 ELECTION WAS INACCURATE.

 

ROLE OF THE MILITARY

——————–

 

14. (C) ASKED WHETHER MUGABE WOULD ALLOW THE MDC TO ASSUME POWER

IF IT WINS THE ELECTION, TSVANGIRAI SAID HE WOULD HAVE LITTLE

CHOICE, AS HE CANNOT RELY ON THE SECURITY SERVICES TO PROP HIM UP.

THE MDC PRESIDENT SAID HE IS CONFIDENT — BASED ON EXTENSIVE

CONSULTATIONS WITH THE MILITARY — THAT THE ARMED FORCES WILL NOT

INTERVENE TO KEEP MUGABE IN POWER SHOULD THE MDC WIN THE

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. HE THOUGHT THAT SOME UNITS, SUCH AS THE

PRESIDENTIAL GUARD, MIGHT TRY TO DO SO, BUT THAT THE VAST MAJORITY

OF ARMED FORCES MEMBERS WOULD ABIDE BY THE RESULTS OF THE

ELECTION. IN ADDITION, THERE ARE ONLY ABOUT 1,000 ROGUE WAR

VETERANS ON WHOM MUGABE CAN DEPEND FOR SUPPORT.

 

LAND

—-

 

15. (C) THE CHARGE ASKED TSVANGIRAI TO DESCRIBE THE MDC’S POLICY

ON LAND. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO IMPLEMENT FAST-TRACK RESETTLEMENT

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02322 03 OF 03 021705Z

ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, TSVANGIRAI CONTENDED. IMPLEMENTATION OF A

GENUINE LAND REFORM PROGRAM REQUIRES A PLAN AND RESOURCES, NEITHER

OF WHICH FEATURES IN THE GOZ’S CURRENT CHAOTIC EFFORT. AN

ESSENTIAL STARTING POINT, HE DECLARED, IS FOR THE NATIONAL

LEADERSHIP TO RECOGNIZE BOTH THAT COMMERCIAL AGRICULTURE IS VITAL

TO THE COUNTRY’S WELL-BEING AND THAT SOCIAL EQUITY IS IMPORTANT.

IN ADDITION, FARMWORKERS ARE A CRUCIAL PART OF THE LABOR FORCE AND

MUST BE INCLUDED IN ANY SOLUTION TO THE LAND PROBLEM. MANY OF

THEM ARE THIRD- OR FOURTH-GENERATION ZIMBABWEANS AND TREATING THEM

AS FOREIGNERS IS UNFAIR.

 

MDC ON DRC

———-

 

16. (C) ASKED FOR HIS VIEWS ON THE DRC CONFLICT, TSVANGIRAI SAID

IT CANNOT BE RESOLVED MILITARILY, BUT WHETHER A POLITICAL SOLUTION

COULD BE ACHIEVED DEPENDS ON THE EXTENT TO WHICH PRESIDENT KABILA

ENGAGES HIS COMPATRIOTS. ZIMBABWE, HE CONTINUED, HAS NO NATIONAL

SECURITY INTERESTS AT STAKE IN THE DRC. IF HE WINS THE

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, HE WOULD ORDER THE WITHDRAWAL OF ZIMBABWEAN

TROOPS. HE ADDED THAT THIS WOULD TAKE PLACE WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK

OF THE LUSAKA PROCESS, IN A FASHION THAT WOULD NOT DESTABILIZE THE

SITUATION IN THE DRC.

 

COMMENT

——-

 

17. (C) ALTHOUGH SOME OBSERVERS HAVE EXPRESSED DOUBTS ABOUT

TSVANGIRAI’S EDUCATIONAL PREPARATION FOR THE PRESIDENCY (HIS

 

SIPDIS

ACADEMIC STUDIES DID NOT EXTEND BEYOND HIGH SCHOOL), HE IS

BRIGHT, ARTICULATE, THOUGHTFUL, AND WELL-INFORMED, AND WAS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 02322 03 OF 03 021705Z

COMFORTABLE DISCUSSING A RANGE OF DIFFICULT ISSUES. HE WAS

CONFIDENT BUT NOT ARROGANT AND SEEMED GENUINELY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT

HIS PRESIDENTIAL RACE PROSPECTS.

 

18. (C) TSVANGIRAI’S EFFORTS TO CULTIVATE THE MILITARY LEADERSHIP

ARE SMART POLITICS AND COULD PAY IMPORTANT DIVIDENDS DURING THE

ELECTION AND ITS AFTERMATH. HE MAY BE OVERLY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE

NEUTRALITY OF THE MILITARY, HOWEVER. WE WERE IMPRESSED BY

TSVANGIRAI’S FOCUS ON THE FUTURE RATHER THAN ON MUGABE’S

 

SIPDIS

SHORTCOMINGS, AND ARE ENCOURAGED THAT HE IS PREPARED TO LET THE

ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT RETIRE IN PEACE WITHOUT SEEKING RETRIBUTION.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT TSVANGIRAI IS A SHREWD POLITICIAN,

KEENLY AWARE OF THE NEED TO CULTIVATE THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY,

AND HIS COMMENTS MUST BE SEEN IN THAT LIGHT.

 

HOOKS

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

(11 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHAREShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

Write a Comment

Comment