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Tsvangirai said no deal was better than bad deal

Prime Minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai refused to go along with the Southern African Development Community’s decision that his party share the Ministry of Home Affairs with President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front saying no deal was better than a bad deal.

According to United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Haile Menkerios the MDC did not believe Mugabe and ZANU-PF were negotiating with goodwill.

Menkerios said the MDC now took issue with other areas of power-sharing previously not believed to be contentious, following ZANU-PF’s desire to control of at least half of the Home Affairs ministry.

The MDC’s new concerns included the role of the National Security Council, the appointment of ambassadors and permanent secretaries, and the appointments of 10 provisional governors.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08USUNNEWYORK1105, ZIMBABWE AT THE UN: POWER SHARING STALLED, COUNTRY

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08USUNNEWYORK1105

2008-11-21 23:18

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

USUN New York

VZCZCXYZ0001

PP RUEHWEB

 

DE RUCNDT #1105/01 3262318

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

P 212318Z NOV 08

FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5418

INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE PRIORITY 0149

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 001105

 

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM ZI ZU

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE AT THE UN: POWER SHARING STALLED, COUNTRY

A “BASKET CASE”

 

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: UN A/SYG Menkerios told the Security

Council on November 20 Zimbabwe’s power sharing negotiations

were stalled. He warned of dire humanitarian and economic

crises, and said the control of the police was the most

pressing issue. South Africa, Russia, China, and Viet Nam

supported SADC’s suggestion to spilt the police ministry

between the two parties. The UK, Croatia, Italy, Belgium,

and the U.S. said the refusal of President Mugabe and the

ZANU-PF to honor the deal giving police to MDC had stalled

negotiations. UKUN tells USUN that London expects to push on

Zimbabwe as soon as South Africa leaves the Council. END

SUMMARY.

 

POLITICAL STALEMATE

 

2. (SBU) UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs

Haile Menkerios on November 20 briefed the Security Council

on the political stalemate and growing humanitarian crisis in

Zimbabwe. Menkerios said division of the security forces

remained the most contentious issue, following opposition

leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party’s refusal to go along

with the Southern African Development Community (SADC)

November 9 summit proposal to share the Home Affairs ministry

with the President Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party. Menkerios said

the MDC does not believe President Mugabe and the ZANU-PF

negotiate with goodwill, and quoted Tsvangirai saying “no

deal is better than a bad deal.” Now, Menkerios said, MDC

took issue with other areas of power-sharing previously not

believed to be contentious, following ZANU-PF’s desire to

control of at least half of the Home Affairs ministry. MDC’s

new concerns include the role of the National Security

Council, the appointment of ambassadors and permanent

secretaries, and the appointments of 10 provisional

governors, according to Menkerios.

 

HUMANITARIAN CRISIS DIRE; ECONOMIC COLLAPSE PREDICTED

 

3. (SBU) Menkerios said the Zimbabwe economy was likely to

collapse, which would provoke probable mass violence and an

even greater humanitarian crisis. He said the people of

Zimbabwe “are being held hostage” by this political

stalemate, and commented water and health issues are now

chronic. Most Council members’ remarks reiterated the dire

humanitarian situation, with many speakers noting five

million people are expected to become food insecure by early

2009 and that cholera, a “disease of poverty,” as South

African PermRep Kumalo called it, has returned to Zimbabwe.

 

UK, CROATIA, ITALY, BELGIUM AND THE U.S. BLAME ZANU-PF

 

4. (SBU) UK PermRep Sawers said the ZANU-PF should “shoulder

the responsibility” for this crisis, as ZANU-PF went back on

the September 15 power-sharing deal brokered with the MDC.

Sawers said violence was increasing and needed to be

addressed immediately, before it spilled over Zimbabwe’s

borders. He recalled the Kofi Annan comment that Zimbabwe,

once the breadbasket for the region, has become “a basket

case.” Italy and Croatia also joined the UK in saying Mugabe

was responsible for the crisis. Belgium PermRep Grauls said

Mugabe’s unilateral appointments were hurting the chances for

reconciliation. DepPolCouns said the SADC proposal for

sharing the police ministry contravened the letter and spirit

of the September 15 agreement and Mugabe needed to accede to

an equitable power-sharing deal.

 

RUSSIA, CHINA, VIET NAM, AND SOUTH AFRICA SUPPORT POLICE SPLIT

 

5. (SBU) Russian Minister Dolgov said the delays in

negotiations were because the MDC was not flexible. He said

Russia supported South African envoy Mbeki and SADC’s efforts

to resolve this impasse. China said AU and SADC mediation

should be supported and Viet Nam believed the government

should be established from the SADC recommendations.

 

6. (SBU) Kumalo said “99.9” of the separation of ministries

were agreed on, and the fight is now over the one seat that

controls the police. He said the army ministry “was never in

dispute,” and the MDC requested, and received, the ministries

important to them: constitutional affairs; economic

planning; economic finance; five of the six social

portfolios; and others. Kumalo said the MDC appeared to want

the European Union to “impose them into power.” He said the

MDC “never won an election.”

 

UK STAKING GROUND FOR POSSIBLE 2009 RESOLUTION

 

7. (SBU) Sawers rebutted Kumalo’s election comment by saying

MDC won the parliamentary election. UK Counselor David

Quarrey later stressed MDC was prevented from competing in

the presidential runoff due to the brutality of the police

 

 

and the army. Quarrey said if the parties shared the police

ministry, ZANU-PF would in essence control it, as exhibited

by the police’s violence and brutality during the election

and runoff period.

 

8. (SBU) The UK experts told the P3 before this session UK’s

intention was to “put down a marker” this year for potential

Council action in 2009. UK Zimbabwe affairs director

Alistair Harrison, while in New York on October 31, told P3

representatives Russia would have greater difficulty blocking

a resolution on Zimbabwe without South Africa’s regional

support for a veto (NOTE: Russia and China vetoed the June

2008 Council resolution calling for sanctions against Mugabe

and 13 other regime leaders. South Africa, Viet Nam, and

Libya also voted no. END NOTE). South Africa leaves the

Council in December 2008. Harrison said the UK was sending a

group to Uganda to both prep Uganda for its role on the

Council and to encourage Uganda’s assistance in returning

Zimbabwe to the Council for action. Uganda takes South

Africa’s seat on the Council in January, 2009.

Wolff

 

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