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UN envoy predicted that MDC would not rush for elections once in power

United Nations special envoy Haile Menkerios said negotiations between Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe were all about dividing power and not resolving Zimbabwe’s fundamental issues in the long run.

He told French diplomat Irchad Razaaly that he could easily see the MDC agreeing to a five-year-time frame, but once they were in power, there would be no rush for new elections.

Menkerios said that he would not be surprised if Tsvangirai abandoned principle in exchange for power.

He was bothered by the complete lack of discussion around amnesty and justice, and that any agreement that did not address these issues would be hard to sell at the UN.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08PRETORIA1795, UN ENVOY MENKERIOS NOT OPTIMISTIC ABOUT

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08PRETORIA1795

2008-08-13 16:18

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Pretoria

VZCZCXRO9724

RR RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSA #1795 2261618

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 131618Z AUG 08

FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5390

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE 3710

RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 5909

RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN 0076

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L PRETORIA 001795

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/13/2018

TAGS: PREL SF ZI

SUBJECT: UN ENVOY MENKERIOS NOT OPTIMISTIC ABOUT

POWER-SHARING AGREEMENT

 

Classified By: Political Counselor Raymond L. Brown. Reasons 1.4(b) and

(d).

 

1. (C) French diplomat Irchad Razaaly (protect) told PolOff

he met on 8 August with UN Special Envoy Haile Menkerios, who

did not seem optimistic about the effectiveness or longevity

of a power-sharing agreement between MDC Leader Morgan

Tsvangirai and President Mugabe. Menkerios complained that

the current negotiations were all about dividing power, and

not resolving Zimbabwe’s fundamental issues in the long-run.

Menkerios also stated that he would not be surprised if

Tsvangirai abandoned principle in exchange for power. In the

end, Menkerios told Razaaly he fears the MDC will be

“practical.” As an example, Menkerios said he can easily see

MDC agreeing to a five-year timeframe; “once they are in

power, there will be no rush for new elections.” Razaaly

also said that Menkerios is bothered by the complete lack of

discussion around amnesty and justice, and that any agreement

that does not address these issues will likely be hard to

sell for him back at the UN.

 

2. (C) As for the mediation process, Menkerios specifically

asked the French to put him on the record as supporting the

mediation process. He said he and other members of the

reference group were regularly briefed when time permitted,

but did not seem to think this arrangement was unreasonable.

Menkerios said he believes that Mbeki should be given credit

for bringing Mugabe and Tsvangirai together to the same

table. Menkerios said that nothing will be resolved without

direct interaction between the two principles. (NOTE:

Razaaly said that the French were somewhat relieved to hear

Menkerios say this since they have chosen not to criticize

Mbeki for lack of progress. END NOTE)

 

3. (C) When asked what Paris’ stance will be if Mugabe ends

up with any type of executive power, he admitted that they

are taking a wait-and-see approach for now. They also have

concerns about how sustainable any agreement that includes

Mugabe, but also are conscious of how they will appear on the

continent if MDC comes out and says they are satisfied with

the agreement and seek reengagement. He added that they are

hoping the UK does not come out first and break ranks with

the EU, as they have in the past.

BOST

 

(5 VIEWS)

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