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ZANU-PF offered MDC 40% of cabinet seats if it entered GNU in 2001

The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front offered the Movement for Democratic Change 40 percent of the cabinet posts in government as well as one vice-presidency if it entered into a government of national unity.

The MDC had also to agree to the postponement of the 2002 presidential elections and not to prosecute senior ZANU-PF members for past misdeeds.

The offer, according to a cable released by Wikileaks, was made by Goodson Nguni on behalf of Speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa who was also ZANU-PF secretary for administration, the fourth most powerful person in the party, to MDC advisor Clive Puzey.

Puzey told United States embassy officials that he had briefed party leader Morgan Tsvangirai about Nguni’s offer and the MDC had insisted that it would not accept the vice-presidency as this would tie a senior party figure in a powerless post.

The MDC would, however, insist on heading the economic policy ministries and home affairs.

The embassy said although Puzey had no good answer as to why ZANU-PF was sending out such a feeler, it found the offer a credible one.

“In our opinion, the ruling party is under strong pressure from the under-performing economy, the looming poor harvest, increasing international isolation, and an opposition that is reaping political capital from its mishaps,” the embassy said.

“It makes sense to take the bold stroke of bringing the opposition into the tent and give it impossibly difficult portfolios at which it would fail.

“In the minds of ZANU-PF strategists, the attacks in the foreign press would then cease and the donor community would open its purse to fund land reform and other development needs.

“Most importantly, Mugabe would remain in power and his cronies would enjoy protection from the law. The opposition party thus would be co-opted, discredited or neutralized.”

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 01HARARE628, RULING PARTY PUTS OUT A FEELER TO THE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE628

2001-02-02 11:14

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

021114Z Feb 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ3885

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00628 021116Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00

DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00 FBIE-00

VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00     VCE-00

AC-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00

USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00

SAS-00     /009W

——————BFBD1B 021117Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8165

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000628

 

SIPDIS

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/02/10

TAGS: PGOV PINR PHUM PINS ZI MDC ZANU PF

SUBJECT: RULING PARTY PUTS OUT A FEELER TO THE

OPPOSITION

CONFIDENTIAL

 

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00628 021116Z

 

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D’AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING FOR

REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

1. (C) MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) SENIOR

ADVISOR CLIVE PUZEY (PROTECT) INFORMED POLITICAL SECTION

CHIEF ON FEBRUARY 2 THAT OVER THE JANUARY 27-28 WEEKEND,

GOODSON NGUNI, REPORTEDLY A RELATIVE OF SPEAKER OF

PARLIAMENT AND SENIOR ZANU-PF POLITBURO MEMBER EMMERSON

MNANGAGWA, INVITED THE OPPOSITION PARTY TO ENTER

FORTHWITH INTO A GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY. ONLY

PUZEY AND NGUNI WERE PRESENT AT THE MEETING, BUT PUZEY

LATER BRIEFED MDC PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI AND TWO

OTHER SENIOR OPPOSITION PARTY MEMBERS ON THE SUBSTANCE

OF THE DISCUSSION. ZANU-PF WAS PREPARED TO OFFER THE

MDC 40 PERCENT OF CABINET POSITIONS PLUS A VICE

PRESIDENCY, ACCORDING TO PUZEY. IN EXCHANGE, THE ZANU-

PF OFFICIAL REPORTEDLY WANTED THE MDC’S AGREEMENT

NEITHER TO HOLD A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN 2002 NOR

PROSECUTE SENIOR ZANU-PF MEMBERS FOR PAST MISDEEDS.

PUZEY LISTENED, MADE NO COMMITMENTS AND SUBSEQUENTLY,

WITH TSVANGIRAI’S BLESSING, AGREED TO CONTINUE LOW

PROFILE MEETINGS OUTSIDE ZIMBABWE, PERHAPS IN LUSAKA.

 

2. (C) THE MDC’S THINKING ON THE OFFER WAS STILL

INCHOATE BUT THE PARTY HAS NOT DISMISSED IT OUT OF HAND,

PUZEY ALLOWED. HE SAID THE OPPOSITION PARTY WOULD

INSIST ON HEADING THE ECONOMIC POLICY MINISTRIES AND

HOME AFFAIRS, AND ON THEIR CABINET MINISTERS BEING ABLE

TO SPEAK FREELY. THE VICE PRESIDENCY IS OUT, HE STATED,

AS IT WOULD TIE UP A SENIOR MDC FIGURE IN A POWERLESS IF

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00628 021116Z

PRESTIGIOUS POST, AND THE MDC LIKELY WOULD INSIST ON

GOING AHEAD WITH THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN 2002.

PUZEY CLAIMED THAT FIVE ZANU-PF MINISTERS, INCLUDING

SIMBA MAKONI AND NKOSANA MOYO, WERE FED UP AND “ARE ON

BOARD WITH US.” THE MDC LEADERSHIP IS ALSO CONCERNED

THAT IT WILL BE UNABLE TO CONTAIN A WAVE OF VIOLENCE

THAT ITS ANGRY MEMBERS MIGHT START SPONTANEOUSLY,

POSSIBLY LEADING TO A DE FACTO CIVIL WAR. MOREOVER, OUR

INTERLOCUTOR SAID, EVEN IF THE MDC WINS THE 2002

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, ZANU-PF WOULD NOT ALLOW THE PARTY

TO ASSUME POWER. INSTEAD, PRESIDENT MUGABE ALMOST

CERTAINLY WOULD DECLARE MARTIAL LAW AND RULE BY DECREE.

 

3. (C) COMMENT: PUZEY HAD NO GOOD ANSWER AS TO WHY

ZANU-PF IS SENDING OUT SUCH A FEELER, ALTHOUGH WE FIND

THE OFFER A CREDIBLE ONE. IN OUR OPINION, THE RULING

PARTY IS UNDER STRONG PRESSURE FROM THE UNDER-PERFORMING

ECONOMY, THE LOOMING POOR HARVEST, INCREASING

INTERNATIONAL ISOLATION, AND AN OPPOSITION THAT IS

REAPING POLITICAL CAPITAL FROM ITS MISHAPS. IT MAKES

SENSE TO TAKE THE BOLD STROKE OF BRINGING THE OPPOSITION

INTO THE TENT AND GIVE IT IMPOSSIBLY DIFFICULT

PORTFOLIOS AT WHICH IT WOULD FAIL. IN THE MINDS OF

ZANU-PF STRATEGISTS, THE ATTACKS IN THE FOREIGN PRESS

WOULD THEN CEASE AND THE DONOR COMMUNITY WOULD OPEN ITS

PURSE TO FUND LAND REFORM AND OTHER DEVELOPMENT NEEDS.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, MUGABE WOULD REMAIN IN POWER AND HIS

CRONIES WOULD ENJOY PROTECTION FROM THE LAW. THE

OPPOSITION PARTY THUS WOULD BE CO-OPTED, DISCREDITED OR

NEUTRALIZED.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00628 021116Z

4. (C) COMMENT CONTINUED: AT THE MOMENT IT APPEARS THAT

THE GOVERNMENT HOLDS THE GUNS AND THE MDC THE POLITICAL

LEGITIMACY HERE. FOLLOWING THIS OFFER, WE IMAGINE THE

OPPOSITION FINDS ITSELF ON THE HORNS OF A DILEMMA.

SHOULD IT LEND ITS GOOD NAME TO THE GOVERNMENT IN THE

SEARCH FOR PEACE AND ECONOMIC PROSPERITY, OR SHOULD IT

FIGHT FOR POWER ON ITS OWN TERMS IN WHAT COULD BE A

PYRRHIC VICTORY, GIVEN THE VIOLENCE THAT THE GOVERNMENT

CLEARLY IS PREPARED TO DEPLOY IN SUCH A CONTEST? END

COMMENT.

 

IRVING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

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