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Tsvangirai says Mugabe is a tyrant

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said President Robert Mugabe was a tyrant who had ignored democratic principles and become isolationist because of his belief that the West had shunned him due to his land reform programme.

Although he acknowledged Mugabe’s role in independence, Tsvangirai said Mugabe’s record during the past 10 years was indefensible as he had turned against his own people.

Despite this tarnished image, Tsvangirai said, Mugabe still wanted to be remembered as a liberation hero.

Tsvangirai was speaking to a congressional delegation from the United States led by Greg Meeks.

He described himself as a vulture. He had his prey in sight but had to be patient.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 09HARARE720, TSVANGIRAI DISCUSSES GPA PERFORMANCE WITH CODEL

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09HARARE720

2009-09-09 09:41

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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DE RUEHSB #0720/01 2520941

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FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4884

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 3015

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 3130

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1559

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2393

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2760

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 3178

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5623

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2306

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000720

 

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

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR MICHELLE GAVIN

DEPT FOR AF/RSA KMOODY

STATE PASS TO HOUSE FOR STEPHANE LEBOUDER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/09/2019

TAGS: PGOV OREP PREL ZI

SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI DISCUSSES GPA PERFORMANCE WITH CODEL

MEEKS

 

REF: HARARE 707

 

Classified By: CDA Donald K. Petterson for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) On September 2, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai

updated a visiting Congressional delegation on the

performance of the inclusive government since his June visit

to the U.S. He began by reinforcing some of the more

positive messages out of Zimbabwe, such as continued low

levels of violence )- certainly compared to the widespread

violence of 2008 )- and progress towards economic

stabilization, but quickly transitioned to a discussion of

continued political intransigence manifested in ZANU-PF’s

failure to fully implement last September’s Global Political

Agreement (GPA). He was more candid than usual in

criticizing President Mugabe and appeared frustrated by the

inclusive government’s limited progress. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) The Codel, which also met with President Robert Mugabe

(Ref) and parliamentary leaders (Septel) was led by

Representative Greg Meeks (D-NY), and included

Representatives Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Sheila Jackson-Lee

(D-TX), Jack Kingston (R-GA), and Melvin Watt (D-NC). The

Charge was also present at the meeting which was held at the

prime minister’s offices in Harare.

 

—————————————

Still Stuck on Those Troublesome Issues

—————————————

 

3. (C) Tsvangirai highlighted three categories of

outstanding issues holding up the work of government:

deadlocked issues, unimplemented issues, and non-compliant

issues. The deadlocked issues are the appointments of

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Gideon Gono and

Attorney General Johannes Tomana, which Mugabe argues were

made under his constitutional authority, but which Tsvangirai

contends violated the GPA requiring the principals to agree

on all senior appointments. Unimplemented issues are those

that have been agreed on by the parties, but have not been

implemented by Mugabe. These include the appointments of MDC

governors and the swearing in of Deputy Minister of

Agriculture-designate Roy Bennett. (NOTE: Although not

denying that he agreed with Tsvangirai on the appointment of

MDC governors, Mugabe has recently asserted that he will not

appoint MDC governors. END NOTE.) Lastly, non-compliant

issues are violations of the GPA which include the

politically-motivated and selective persecution of MDC MPs.

 

4. (C) While discussing the media space in Zimbabwe,

Tsvangirai painted a mixed picture. Acknowledging that there

had been some positive signs, he mentioned that he had been

interviewed by CNN the day before. (NOTE: CNN and BBC had

been banned from operating in Zimbabwe until recently. END

NOTE.) But he was disappointed by the continued partisanship

of the state)controlled media which defends ZANU-PF and

attacks the MDC on a daily basis.

Qattacks the MDC on a daily basis.

 

——————————————— —

A Less Conciliatory Tsvangirai iscusses Mugabe

——————————————— —

 

5. (C) Tsvangirai’s comments regarding Mugabe were more

forceful and candid than the conciliatory tone he had adopted

 

HARARE 00000720 002 OF 003

 

 

since joining the government. In the presence of an MFA

representative, he described Mugabe as a tyrant who had

ignored democratic principles and become isolationist because

of his belief that the West had shunned him due to his land

reform program. He acknowledged Mugabe’s role in

independence, but said his record during the past ten years

was indefensible and that he had turned against his own

people; he lamented that Zimbabwe had gone from a “bread

basket to a basket case.” He also shared that Mugabe wants

to be remembered as a liberation hero, but knows his own

record.

 

————–

The Road Ahead

————–

 

6. (C) While acknowledging that outstanding issues had not

been resolved, Tsvangirai characterized the current political

process as an “evolution” and not a “revolution.” It was

important to keep the eye on the ball; the ultimate goal was

legitimate elections. Congressman Meeks asked whether

elections would take place within the two-year time frame

that had been discussed at the time of the signing of the GPA

or whether they would be delayed; Tsvangirai responded that

two years was a long time and he hoped Zimbabwe could get to

the point of fair elections. He added that “there was no way

this government could go on forever.” It was his expectation

that a completed constitutional process would lead to

elections prior to the expiration of the current five-year

presidential term in 2013. (NOTE: Deputy Prime Minister

Arthur Mutambara, MPs from both parties and other diplomatic

contacts have suggested that the inclusive government will

need more time to generate progress, reduce tensions, and

build institutions. Therefore elections should not take

place until 2013 as set out in the current constitution. END

NOTE.)

 

7. (C) Tsvangirai described himself as being like a vulture

-* he had his prey in sight (read elections), but had to be

patient. He did note that withdrawal from the GPA was a

“trump” card to use if ZANU-PF became inalterably

obstructive.

 

————————

No Mention of Sanctions?

————————

 

8. (C) As the discussion shifted to means by which the U.S.

could further support Zimbabwe, Tsvangirai accepted that full

U.S. engagement would depend on progress on issues in support

of democratic principles. He referred to President Obama’s

comments to him in June that Zimbabwe must help the U.S. to

help Zimbabwe. At no point did he lobby the Codel for the

repeal of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act

(ZDERA) or the lifting of targeted measures against prominent

members of ZANU-PF. He said that though he had developed a

close relationship and friendship with former Ambassador to

Zimbabwe James McGee, whom he admired for his work in

Zimbabwe, he hoped that the next American ambassador would

QZimbabwe, he hoped that the next American ambassador would

redefine his role from one of highlighting Zimbabwe’s plight,

to one of promoting Zimbabwe’s recovery.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

9. (C) Tsvangirai is obviously frustrated by Mugabe and

ZANU-PF. Nevertheless, he was relaxed, in good humor, happy

 

HARARE 00000720 003 OF 003

 

 

to meet with the Codel, and confident he and the MDC would

ultimately prevail. In contrast with Mugabe in his meeting

with the Codel (Ref), Tsvangirai was well-briefed, and

articulately and deftly dealt with the issues he knew were of

concern to the Codel. END COMMENT.

 

10. (SBU) Codel Meeks did not have an opportunity to clear

this message before departing Harare.

 

PETTERSON

(5 VIEWS)

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