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UN envoy wanted GNU without Mugabe

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.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08PRETORIA1328, SAG/UN PUSHING IDEA OF ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT OF

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08PRETORIA1328

2008-06-18 16:40

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Pretoria

VZCZCXRO2528

RR RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSA #1328 1701640

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 181640Z JUN 08

FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4808

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE 3676

RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 5694

RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN 9901

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L PRETORIA 001328

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF/S

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/18/2018

TAGS: PREL SF ZI

SUBJECT: SAG/UN PUSHING IDEA OF ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT OF

NATIONAL UNITY

 

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.

BOST

(7 VIEWS)

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