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Tsvangirai said ZANU-PF was taking him for a ride

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told diplomats that the Movement for Democratic Change had pulled out of the government because the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front was taking him for a ride.

He said he had supported the Global Political Agreement and had done everything in his power to make it work with the goal of restoring dignity to the Zimbabwean people.

He had sought to persuade the world and his domestic constituencies that the inclusive government offered hope, and he had defended the government and proclaimed the GPA process as “irreversible.”

In so doing he had put his personal and political credibility on the line but ZANU-PF was taking him for a ride.

Although the pull-out had been precipitated by the re-arrest of MDC treasurer Roy Bennett, he said Bennett was part of a larger issue, failure of ZANU-PF to implement the GPA.

He said the Bennett issue had exposed the “fiction of credibility” of ZANU-PF which was an “unreliable and unrepentant” partner that was incapable of a paradigm shift.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 09HARARE830, TSVANGIRAI BRIEFS ON MDC DISENGAGEMENT

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09HARARE830

2009-10-16 15:36

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO2160

OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0830/01 2891536

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 161536Z OCT 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5028

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 3093

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 3205

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1634

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2468

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2837

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 3253

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5700

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2387

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000830

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B.WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR J. HARMON AND L. DOBBINS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/17/2019

TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI BRIEFS ON MDC DISENGAGEMENT

 

REF: HARARE 826

 

Classified By: CDA Donald Petterson for reason 1.4 (b) and (d)

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (SBU) A resolute Morgan Tsvangirai briefed diplomats on

October 16 on the MDC’s intention to disengage from ZANU-PF

until progress is made on the Global Political Agreement

(GPA). Commenting that what he termed a “constitutional

crisis” had been precipitated by the rearrest of Roy Bennett,

Tsvangirai said the current situation went beyond Roy Bennett

and was the result of a “dishonest and unreliable” partner

that had frustrated implementation of the GPA. Negotiations

would need to take place to result in substantial fulfillment

of the GPA; if this did not happen and the crisis escalated,

the MDC would push for internationally-supervised elections.

Tsvangirai urged international pressure on ZANU-PF,

particularly from the region. He refrained from criticizing

Mugabe, but acknowledged Mugabe had a responsibility to

control his party. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (SBU) Following the rearrest of Roy Bennett and the

denial of bail on October 15, the MDC met and resolved to

disengage from ZANU-PF at the cabinet level (Ref).

Tsvangirai held a press conference today to explain the MDC’s

position, and then briefed diplomats. His remarks regarding

ZANU-PF and the GPA were his most direct to date.

 

——————-

An Obdurate ZANU-PF

——————-

 

3. (SBU) The current crisis, according to Tsvangirai had

been precipitated by the “persecution by prosecution” of

Bennett because he was white and part of the MDC leadership.

But in standing up for Bennett, Tsvangirai added, the MDC was

not pandering to the West. Rather, Bennett was part of a

larger issue–failure of ZANU-PF to implement the GPA.

 

4. (SBU) Tsvangirai said he supported the GPA and had done

everything in his power to make it work with the goal of

restoring dignity to the Zimbabwean people. He had sought to

persuade the world and his domestic constituencies that the

Inclusive Government offered hope, and he had defended the

government and proclaimed the GPA process as “irreversible.”

In so doing he had put his personal and political credibility

on the line. But ZANU-PF was taking him for a ride.

 

5. (SBU) Tsvangirai said the Bennett issue had exposed the

“fiction of credibility” of ZANU-PF which was an “unreliable

and unrepentant” partner that was incapable of a paradigm

shift. He went on to detail ZANU-PF’s failure to comply with

the GPA:

–Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono and Attorney

General Johannes Tomana, despite illegal appointments, are

still in place;

–The government is not fully constituted as Roy Bennett has

not been sworn in as deputy secretary of agriculture;

–There has been no review of ministerial appointments as

required by the GPA;

–The security apparatus behaves as if the old order still

exists. The National Security Council, created by the GPA,

has met only once–for an introductory meeting. The Joint

Qhas met only once–for an introductory meeting. The Joint

Operations Command (comprised primarily of the service chiefs

and minister of defense Emmerson Mnangagwa) continues to meet;

–Militarization of rural areas is occuring, and bases to

coordinate violence are being established;

–Over 16,000 youths are on the government payroll and are

engaging in intimidation and violence in rural areas;

 

HARARE 00000830 002 OF 003

 

 

–Seven MDC MPs have been convicted on dubious charges, and

others are facing trial;

–The State media continues to engage in hate speech and

refuses to accept the MDC;

–A land audit, as contemplated by the GPA, has not commenced.

 

——————————

MDC Disengagement from ZANU-PF

——————————

 

6. (SBU) Noting that the MDC had in fact won the 2008

election, and had compromised with ZANU-PF for the good of

the Zimbabwean people by entering into a coalition

government, Tsvangirai said it was now time for the MDC to

assert itself as the dominant party. The MDC would exercise

its right to disengage from a “dishonest and unreliable”

partner. It would cease to meet with ZANU-PF in Cabinet or

in the Council of Ministers. (NOTE: Tsvangirai explained

that “disengagement” would be at the executive level; the MDC

would continue to participate in Parliament. END NOTE.)

Tsvangirai underscored that the MDC had no intention of

leaving government, but would continue working to serve the

Zimbabwean people.

 

7. (SBU) Tsvangirai said the MDC would renegotiate the GPA

with ZANU-PF with the goal of achieving substantial

fulfillment of the GPA. But ZANU-PF would need to show

seriousness and commitment to the GPA. If this did not

occur, however, and the constitutional crisis escalated, the

MDC would push for elections conducted by SADC and the AU

with UN supervision.

 

—————

MDC-M on Board?

—————

 

8. (SBU) Tsvangirai said MDC-M was an independent party and

MDC-T had explained their stance to MDC-M leaders. He did

not say whether MDC-M would support them. (NOTE: MDC-M

leader Arthur Mutambara today told us his party had condemned

the rearrest of Bennett and advocated his swearing-in as

deputy minister of agriculture. He declined to say whether

they would support disengagement from ZANU-PF. END NOTE.)

 

——————————————-

Reaching out to the International Community

——————————————-

 

9. (SBU) Tsvangirai said his next step would be to brief the

GPA guarantors (SADC) and selective countries in the region.

He urged the international community to continue to call for

full implementation of the GPA, but, without specifying how,

asked that progress be rewarded.

 

————–

Easy on Mugabe

————–

 

10. (SBU) In his prepared remarks, and in his responses to

questions, Tsvangirai did not, until the end, mention Mugabe.

He was finally asked about his working relationship with

Mugabe. He responded that if the spirit of compatibility of

the three principles–Mugabe, Tsvangirai, and

Mutambara–cascaded to lower ranks of government there would

be more progress. In response to a follow-up question by the

Charge, Tsvangirai admitted that Mugabe had a responsibility

to control ZANU-PF party structures.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

 

HARARE 00000830 003 OF 003

 

 

11. (C) Tsvangirai was unusually forceful and direct, and it

is unclear how ZANU-PF will react. We suspect that Mugabe

will meet with Tsvangirai and concede on some of the GPA

issues. Tsvangirai’s commitment to remain in government

removes MDC leverage so progress is likely to be minimal, but

enough for an MDC decision to reengage. The bottom line is

that it is highly unlikely that MDC-T will withdraw from

government and cause its collapse.

 

12. (C) Tsvangirai appears to have established a bond of

sorts with Mugabe, and therefore blames those around Mugabe

rather than Mugabe himself for the lack of GPA progress.

While Mugabe does not have total control, we have no doubt he

could do much more to fulfill the GPA and get the government

on track.

PETTERSON

(2 VIEWS)

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