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Tsvangirai said the military could step in if power-sharing deal failed

Prime Minister–designate and Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai said although he was haggling with President Robert Mugabe over the allocation of government ministries Mugabe was desperate for a solution and had no option.

He told diplomats that he had received MDC intelligence reports that if a deal failed, there was a chance that the military would step in.

According to the United States embassy, although Tsvangirai did not directly ask for intervention by the West, he hinted that a series of coordinated demarches from the Western countries to the Southern African Development Community would be welcomed.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE955, TSVANGIRAI UPDATES OECD HEADS OF MISSION ON

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE955

2008-10-23 09:50

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO2232

OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0955/01 2970950

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

O 230950Z OCT 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3597

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2369

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2489

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0995

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1765

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2120

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2541

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4973

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1638

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000955

 

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B. WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

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: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI UPDATES OECD HEADS OF MISSION ON

DEADLOCK

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (SBU) MDC leader and prime minister-designate Morgan

Tsvangirai updated heads of OECD missions on October 22 and

stated that no progress had been made towards concluding

negotiations between ZANU-PF and the MDC on a power-sharing

government. While disappointed that Mugabe was not

negotiating in good faith, he indicated he will attend the

rescheduled SADC Troika meeting in Harare on October 27.

According to Tsvangirai, newly-appointed South African

president Motlanthe will be present as well. END SUMMARY.

 

—————————————-

Neither Progress, Nor Good Faith Efforts

—————————————-

 

2. (SBU) The Ambassador attended a gathering of OECD heads

of mission on October 22 at which MDC leader and prime

minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai delivered an update on

the status of the deadlocked negotiations between the two MDC

formations and ZANU-PF. Tsvangirai was quick to declare that

no progress had been made and described the negotiations as

being “like trench warfare: one step at a time.” According

to Tsvangirai, President Mugabe and his negotiators were

still insisting on all key ministries, which had forced him

to request that the Southern African Development Community

(SADC) and the African Union re-engage as the guarantors of

the agreement.

 

3. (SBU) Tsvangirai also discussed his decision not to

attend the October 20 meeting of the SADC Troika–composed of

Swaziland, Angola, and Mozambique–in Mbabane. He explained

that while he was granted an emergency travel document, he

wanted to draw attention to the continued denial of his

passport application. Tsvangirai asserted that Mugabe had

directed the Registrar General to refuse his application, and

that it was “not an issue of a passport, but a test of the

sincerity of Mugabe’s and ZANU-PF’s willingness to cooperate

in good faith.” (NOTE: The daily newspaper and government

mouthpiece, the Herald, has portrayed Tsvangirai’s decision

as evidence that he is not serious about addressing the

crisis facing Zimbabwe. The Registrar General and Mugabe’s

spokesman George Charamba blamed western sanctions resulting

in a lack of passport paper for failing (since August) to

provide Tsvangirai with a passport. Passports have been

regularly issued to other Zimbabweans over this period. END

NOTE.)

 

——————————————— —

Tsvangirai and Motlanthe to Attend Next Session

——————————————— —

 

4. (SBU) The SADC Troika discussion of Zimbabwe has now been

rescheduled for October 27 in Harare. Tsvangirai intimated

he will attend, but said he will first confer with advisors

and discuss his participation with the MDC national executive

on October 24. Tsvangirai mentioned that newly-appointed

South African president Kgalema Motlanthe will attend the

Troika session on October 27, despite not being an official

Troika member. Tsvangirai was straightforward in stating

that he believed that Mbeki was rapidly becoming irrelevant

to the process.

 

——————————————–

Other Sticking Points, Mugabe, and Demarches

——————————————–

 

 

HARARE 00000955 002 OF 002

 

 

5. (SBU) Tsvangirai also stated that the negotiations were

not solely concerned with the division of ministries.

Additionally, the appointment of governors and ambassadors

was being discussed, as well as policy issues including how

best to reverse the economy’s slide and hyperinflation.

 

6. (SBU) When asked if he was still convinced Mugabe would

implement a deal, Tsvangirai answered that the president was

desperate and had no other option. He added that he had

received MDC intelligence reports that if the deal failed,

there was a chance of the military stepping in. He did not

elaborate further on that scenario.

 

7. (SBU) Although Tsvangirai did not directly ask for our

intervention, he hinted that a series of coordinated

demarches from OECD nations to SADC capitals would be

welcomed.

 

MCGEE

 

(3 VIEWS)

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