Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai was prepared to consider a coalition with the Emmerson Mnangagwa faction of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.
This is contained in a cable classified by United States embassy Charge d’Affaires Eric T. Schultz in July 2005 but the cable is incomplete and does not give details.
It only says in the summary that Tsvangirai reported that the main ZANU-PF factions were courting the MDC, but for different reasons.
The MDC was likely to consider a coalition with the Mnangagwa faction “for opportunistic purposes if the conditions were right”.
The Mnangagwa faction had suffered a severe blow at the time following its foiled attempt to stop the party from electing Joice Mujuru vice-President.
Mnangagwa himself had been demoted to the mediocre post of Minister of Rural Housing.
Some analysts, however, argue that this was not a demotion but a strategic move to enable Mnangagwa to get the crucial rural vote especially in Matabeleland where he had a bad reputation as he was linked to the Gukurahundi massacres of the 1980s.
Viewing cable 05HARARE1034, OPPOSITION LEADER ON DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS, POLITICAL
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
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INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 USNW-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 DODE-00
PERC-00 DS-00 EAP-00 EUR-00 VC-00 H-00 TEDE-00
INR-00 IO-00 LAB-01 VCE-00 AC-00 DCP-00 NRC-00
NSAE-00 OES-00 OIC-00 NIMA-00 PA-00 MCC-00 GIWI-00
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FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8668
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 001034
AF/S FOR B. NEULING
NSC FOR SENQFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2010
SUBJECT: OPPOSITION LEADER ON DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS, POLITICAL
Classified By: Charge d’Affaires Eric T. Schultz under Section 1.4 b/d
¶1. MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai on July 26 told the CDA
that he supported efforts by outside parties, including the
AU and the UN, to get more engaged on Zimbabwe. He
complimented the recently released report of UN Envoy
Tibaijuka and called for the appointment of a UNCHR
rapporteur for Zimbabwe. He remained critical of Pretoria
but accepted that the SAG played a pivotal role on Zimbabwe.
Tsvangirai reported that each of the main ZANU-PF factions
were courting the MDC, though for very different reasons.
The MDC would consider a coalition with the Managagwa faction
for opportunistic purposes if the conditions were right. He
closed by noting his continued interest in a Washington
visit, but that it would need to wait until the party was
&remobilized.8 End Summary.
On Obasanjo and AU Effort
¶2. (C) Tsvangirai gave CDA a readout of his meeting with
Nigerian President Obasanjo in the run-up to the African
summit in Tripoli in early July. He said Obasanjo had
explained that the AU had initially failed to grasp the scale
and impact of Operation Restore Order and had therefore
initially described it as an &internal matter.8 It had
been at Obsanjo,s urging that the AU had subsequently sent
an official to Harare to investigate the operation. (N.B.
The official never received GOZ accreditation and never left
his Harare hotel before departing the country.)
¶3. (C) Tsvangirai said Obasanjo had raised the idea of an AU
mission headed by ex-Mozambican President Chissano to broker
inter-party talks on the country’s deteriorating situation.
Tsvangirai said he told Obasanjo that the MDC had no
objections to mediation efforts by the AU. The Nigerian
President said he would also discuss the mission with Mugabe
in Tripoli. Tsvangirai noted that media reports indicated
that Obasanjo had been true to his word in approaching Mugabe
but that Mugabe, after reportedly being receptive to
Obasanjo, had publicly scotched the notion of inter-party
talks. Tsvangirai added that this initiative still had great
potential and he urged that it receive international support.
Accepts SAG Role; But Still Wary of Mbeki
¶4. Tsvangirai said on his return from Nigeria through South
Africa he had discussed with Mbeki Zimbabwe’s deepening
humanitarian crisis in the wake of Operation Restore Order.
He said Mbeki had expressed concern over the humanitarian
situation and had recounted his exchange with UNSYG Annan,
who had expressed similar concerns. Mbeki had said the SAG’s
next steps on Zimbabwe would await release of UN Special
Envoy Tibaijuka’s report (since released) on Restore Order
but had pledged to pursue his concerns with Mugabe at
¶5. (C) Tsvangirai said Mbeki had dismissed Obasanjo’s efforts
on Zimbabwe, which Tsvangirai said reflected Mbeki’s priority
on being part of any talks. Tsvangirai said the MDC accepted
that South Africa would remain a key player on Zimbabwe.
However, he said the SAG remained biased and the GOZ’s
principal international protector. The South African Deputy
President’s recent visit, for instance, had been to warn the
GOZ about the likely negative cast of Tibaijuka’s report. In
that vein, Tsvangirai doubted that reported SAG
conditionality in loan negotiations with the GOZ would amount
to much. He also noted reports that South Africa and other
Africans were working vigorously behind the scenes to thwart
placement of Zimbabwe on the UNSC agenda, as was China, which
Tsvangirai said had been the principal objective of Mugabe,s