United Nations assistant secretary for Political Affairs Haile Menkerios told political analyst Sydney Masamvu that he planned to talk to Southern African Development Community members to build solidarity for a government of national unity which would exclude President Robert Mugabe and would be led by Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Menkerios met Masamvu in South Africa before proceeding to Harare, according to a cable released by Wikileaks.
Masamvu told United States embassy officials that Menkerios did not believe there could be free and fair elections in Zimbabwe. Personally he was determined that Mugabe must go.
He said he would not have personally allowed a run-off because any legitimate run-off only reaffirmed first round results and not to overturn them yet everyone knew that this was what Mugabe was planning.
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Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Donald Teitelbaum. Reasons 1.4(
b) and (d).
¶1. (C) On 17 June Sydney Masamvu debriefed PolOff on his 16
June talk with UN Assistant Secretary for Political Affairs
Haile Menkerios. Masamvu said Menkerios requested to speak
with him before departing for Zimbabwe, and that overall he
was very encouraged by Menkerios’ outlook, namely his
acknowledgment that ZANU-PF is perpetrating the violence,
that there is no chance of a free and fair run-off and that
any result will be disputed, and finally that “Mugabe must
go.” Menkerios admitted to Masamvu that it was difficult for
him to separate his personal from professional opinion, but
said that he would not have personally advocated a run-off.
Menkerios said that legitimate run-offs only reaffirm first
round results, not overturn them and that everyone knew
Mugabe was planning the latter.
¶2. (C) Masamvu said that Menkerios’ strategy is to speak to
almost all SADC members to build solidarity for a government
of national unity (GNU) which would exclude Mugabe and be led
by MDC Leader Morgan Tsvangirai. He will concentrate mostly
on South Africa, Angola, Tanzania, Zambia, and Botswana, but
believes that if South Africa agrees, the rest of SADC
countries will follow.
3.(C) On a separate note, Masamvu reported that both
President Mbeki and Zambian President Mwanawasa are working
hard to convince both Mugabe and Tsvangirai to call off the
27 June run-off and start negotiating a GNU, using the
argument that a run-off has caused too much violence. MDC
Advisor Kathi Walthers (protect) told PolOff on 18 June that
Mbeki is in Harare (which was reported in press), and that he
has asked to see Tsvangirai. Walthers said that Tsvangirai
has refused, adding that Tsvangirai has not changed his mind
since he sent Mbeki the letter informing him that he no
longer trusts Mbeki as sole mediator. Walthers also said
that Tsvangirai will not accept going straight to a GNU when
there is no guarantee the ZANU-PF violence toward MDC
supporters would stop even if the run-off were cancelled and
that Mugabe and ZANU-PF have not done anything in good faith
since the 29 March election.
¶4. (C) COMMENT: Recognition that a free and fair run-off is
virtually impossible at this point is growing within both the
ANC and other regional leaders. Even ANC President Jacob
Zuma publicly admitted today that he does not expect a free
and fair election. Despite these admissions, however,
neither Mugabe nor Tsvangirai appear to be backing down.
Post requests guidance on USG views on the validity of the
run-off process, the prospect of a corrupted result, and the
various permutations of a GNU that can be used in our public
diplomacy and contact work. END COMMENT.