in Stories

Tsvangirai was aware after June 2008 that he could not lead new government

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai was aware after the presidential election runoff which he pulled out of that he could not lead any new government.

When asked to comment on media reports that the European Union would only recognise a Tsvangirai-led government in Zimbabwe, Tsvangirai replied on 2 July, less than a week after the presidential poll: “I say: Thank you very much. But that is not necessarily the reality that we face.”

Tsvangirai’s hopes had been dashed when the African Union refused to condemn President Robert Mugabe and accepted his participation at their summit three days after the poll.

Tsvangirai said he was willing to negotiate with Mugabe, but only for a transitional arrangement which would be people driven.

Unlike his secretary-general Tendai Biti who put an 18-month limit, Tsvangirai said “the time frame is up to the people; as long as it takes”.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08HARARE585, TSVANGIRAI REACTS TO AFRICAN UNION RESOLUTION

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

08HARARE585

2008-07-02 15:59

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO8347

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0585/01 1841559

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 021559Z JUL 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3128

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2112

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2232

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0770

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1509

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1867

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2288

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4719

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1378

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000585

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

DRL FOR KGILBRIDE

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E. LOKEN AND L. DOBBINS

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/02/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM KDEM ZI

SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI REACTS TO AFRICAN UNION RESOLUTION

 

REF: A. HARARE 583

B. HARARE 582

 

Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4(d).

 

1. (U) SUMMARY: On July 2, opposition Movement for

Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai gave the

official party reaction to the African Union’s (AU)

Resolution on Zimbabwe. He opened by asserting that violence

throughout the country continues. Tsvangirai stated that the

AU statement following last weekend’s summit did not

adequately condemn the ongoing political violence in Zimbabwe

or refute the legitimacy of a Mugabe presidency, despite

recent statements by the Pan-African Parliament, Southern

African Development Community (SADC), and AU election

observer missions acknowledging the violence and lack of

credibility of the June 27 presidential run-off. Tsvangirai

dismissed AU support for a government of national unity (GNU)

and denied any ongoing talks with the Mugabe regime, but

stated that he would welcome renewed negotiations with

ZANU-PF in order to establish a transitional government based

on the March 29 election (in which the MDC won the majority

of the vote). However, Tsvangirai stated that MDC

participation was contingent on a set time-frame of talks and

the presence of a mediator from the African Union. END

SUMMARY.

 

————————-

Regime violence continues

————————-

 

2. (U) Citing the deaths of nine MDC supporters and new

reports of beatings and displacement of “hundreds” since the

June 27 contest, Tsvangirai claimed that

politically-motivated violence in Zimbabwe was not abating.

According to the MDC, 500 people in Manicaland Province were

displaced over the weekend and sought shelter at MDC offices

in Mutare. In Masvingo Province, an MDC violence report

noted an increase in politically-motivated rape at ZANU-PF

torture camps since Friday. In Mashonaland Central, the MDC

reported that about 2,000 families were living in the

mountains after fleeing violence in the province. In

Mashonaland East, the MDC stated that all opposition party

councillors remained in hiding. Nationwide, the MDC reported

that “thousands” of its supporters were still missing and

that “a general atmosphere of fear and violence continues to

pervade the entire country.” Tsvangirai called on ZANU-PF to

immediately stop the violence, disband militia bases and

torture camps, and halt the “partisan operations” of security

services.

 

——————————————— —

Condemns GNU, welcomes “transitional government”

——————————————— —

 

3. (U) Tsvangirai chastised the AU resolution for not

overtly condemning the credibility of the June 27 election

results or for acknowledging that “most” African leaders

refused to recognize Mugabe as head of state. Tsvangirai

stated that a government of national unity (GNU) would not

address the problems in Zimbabwe or reflect the will of the

people, as demonstrated in the March 29 national elections.

As such, Tsvangirai stated that the MDC was not interested in

a GNU, but would welcome a negotiated “transitional

government or agreement” intended to establish a

“people-driven” period of transition (“the time frame is up

to the people; as long as it takes”). Tsvangirai stated that

the goals of the transition period should be for a new

constitution to be drafted and for the demilitarization

(“de-ZANLAfication,” according to Tsvangirai, in a reference

to Mugabe’s military during the civil war) of democratic

 

HARARE 00000585 002 OF 002

 

 

institutions to occur.

 

——————————————— –

Unhappy with Mbeki, an appeal for AU mediators

——————————————— –

 

4. (C) However, Tsvangirai declared that the MDC would only

participate in talks with ZANU-PF if the mediation team was

expanded beyond the SADC-mandated leadership of South African

President Thabo Mbeki to include at least one permanent

representative from the African Union and the establishment

of a clear time frame (Tsvangirai suggested two weeks).

Tsvangirai expressed his disappointment at “years” of

unsuccessful talks under Mbeki, and stated that the MDC would

no longer “dialogue for the sake of dialogue” alone. (NOTE:

In talks today with MDC negotiators Tendai Biti, Elton

Mangoma, and Welshman Ncube (refs), none seemed insistent on

the addition of an AU mediator as a sine qua non for talks.

END NOTE.)

 

———————–

The succession question

———————–

 

5. (U) Noting that “our struggle is not about power, but

democracy,” Tsvangirai referenced the utility of negotiated

settlements in Angola, Mozambique and other African nations.

He repeatedly stated that questions about what his role would

be in a new government were “details” to be worked out in

negotiations. When asked to comment on media reports that

the European Union would only recognize a Tsvangirai-led

government in Zimbabwe, Tsvangirai replied, “I say: Thank you

very much. But that is not necessarily the reality that we

face.”

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

6. (C) Clearly disappointed in the African Union’s

resolution, Tsvangirai nonetheless looked to the AU to play

an active role in future talks between the MDC and ZANU-PF.

Tsvangirai’s rhetoric suggested his openness to a negotiated

settlement and flexibility regarding his position within a

new government. However, whether the AU will be willing to

step into discussions that are considered the purview of

President Mbeki, ZANU-PF’s willingness to seriously consider

relinquishing even some of its power and the wisdom of

allowing Mugabe regime elements to participate in a new

government remain unknown.

 

7. (C) As noted Reftel, we are still uncertain as to the

level of violence and whether it is subsiding. Raising the

issue of violence, as Tsvangirai did, serves to keep Zimbabwe

in the international spotlight, but more assessment and

analysis on this issue is warranted. END COMMENT.

 

McGee

(27 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