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Zuma was receptive to a reborn PF-ZAPU

African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma was very receptive to a reborn PF-ZAPU, the leadership of the revitalised Patriotic Front-Zimbabwe African People’s Union told United States embassy officials in Harare.

The group said they had cut ties with President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front because of their treatment by ZANU-PF as junior partners in government and their exclusion from meaningful positions.

They also rejected many of Mugabe’s disastrous economic and political policies, and they blamed ZANU-PF for the economic neglect of Matabeleland by the government.

The group felt entirely unrepresented in the ongoing power-sharing negotiations between ZANU-PF and the two Movement for Democratic Change factions.

The group also wanted $62 000 to hold their party conference which was scheduled to take place three days after the meeting.

ZANU-PF and PF-ZAPU merged in 1987 to form ZANU-PF.

Embassy officials seemed sceptical about the breakup saying it remained to be seen whether the separation of PF-ZAPU from ZANU-PF was a minor irritant to ZANU-PF hegemony, or whether it would represent a significant challenge to the ruling party.

“The original ZAPU began as a national movement but at the time of the 1987 Unity Accords was fundamentally a regional party based in Matabeleland, and PF-ZAPU has not yet made a case that it will have a national following.

“The two most prominent ex-ZAPU members, Vice-President Joseph Msika and ZANU-PF chairman John Nkomo, both from Matabeleland, are not leaving ZANU-PF to join the new party.

“ZANU-PF influence in Matabeleland -it has only one MP- is far less than in the rest of the country, so it is doubtful that ZANU-PF defections in Matabeleland will have much impact. At this point, the formation of the new party would seem to have more symbolic than real value by demonstrating dissension within ZANU-PF.”

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE1115, PF-ZAPU GOING FORWARD WITH SPLIT FROM ZANU-PF

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

08HARARE1115

2008-12-12 07:42

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO4485

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #1115/01 3470742

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 120742Z DEC 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3812

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2490

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2613

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1106

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1882

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2237

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2662

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5090

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1754

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001115

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B. WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E. LOKEN AND L. DOBBINS

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/12/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: PF-ZAPU GOING FORWARD WITH SPLIT FROM ZANU-PF

 

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires, a.i. Don Curtis for reason 1.4 (d)

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (SBU) On December 10, poloff met with a group of PF-ZAPU

officials who explained the rationale for revitalizing the

former liberation party and separating from ZANU-PF. They

stressed that they had undertaken a clean break from ZANU-PF

and blamed the Mugabe regime for Zimbabwe’s disastrous

decline. On December 13 and 14 the party will hold a

convention in Bulawayo which will be followed by a full-party

congress in January to build-out party structures and elect a

chairman. While PF-ZAPU shares many of the MDC’s

reform-minded goals, the group stressed that their roots as

an African independence party will give them greater regional

legitimacy than that granted to the MDC. Initial meetings

with leaders in Botswana, South Africa, and Zambia have been

well received, and they are eager to establish ties with the

U.S. END SUMMARY.

 

————————–

Disaffection Lead to Split

————————–

 

2. (SBU) Poloff met with a group of eight members of PF-ZAPU

in Harare at their invitation on December 10. The group

consisted of a mix of PF-ZAPU steering committee members from

Bulawayo and local Harare-based representatives. The PF-ZAPU

representatives explained that the party’s decision to

separate from ZANU-PF was due to their treatment by ZANU-PF

as junior partners in government and their exclusion from

meaningful positions. The party rejected many of Mugabe’s

disastrous economic and political policies, and they blamed

ZANU-PF for the economic neglect of Matabeleland by the

government. They have also felt entirely unrepresented in

the ongoing power-sharing negotiations between ZANU-PF and

the two MDC formations.

 

——————————————–

Conference to Establish Political Structures

——————————————–

 

3. (SBU) According to steering committee member Bukhosi

Hadebe, PF-ZAPU has scheduled a two-day party convention for

December 13 and 14 in Bulawayo. At this convention the party

intends to nominate 300 delegates, consisting of members from

all 10 Zimbabwean provinces, who will form the party

backbone. The convention will be followed by a full-party

congress during the first half of January where they will

elect a chairman. The group emphasized that PF-ZAPU is a

national party and not ethnically or regionally limited.

 

4. (SBU) The group made clear that in November PF-ZAPU

nullified the 1987 Unity Accords that merged PF-ZAPU into

ZANU-PF. We were provided a copy of the press release from

November 8 that announced PF-ZAPU’s separation from ZANU-PF.

PF-ZAPU member Ndaba Mabhena referred to the split as “a

total divorce.”

 

——————–

PF-ZAPU’s Leadership

——————–

 

5. (SBU) The leadership of the revitalized PF-ZAPU party

currently consists of a handful of members including Dumiso

Debengwa, who served as minister of Home Affairs from 1992 to

2000, Cyril Ndebele, the former speaker of the House of

Assembly, war veterans leader Andrew Ndlovu, former PF-ZAPU

secretary general Welshman Mabhena, former government

 

HARARE 00001115 002 OF 002

 

 

minister Thenjiwe Lesabe, and spokesman Effort Nkomo. (NOTE:

Vice-President Joseph Msika does not appear to be part of

the PF-ZAPU revival and local independent press reports have

reported that there are strained relations between him and

the revivalists. They were also dismissive of ZANU-PF

chairman John Nkomo who they said had been co-opted. END

NOTE.)

 

——————————————-

Reaching Out Regionally and Internationally

——————————————-

 

6. (SBU) In addition to rebuilding PF-ZAPU as an independent

party, PF-ZAPU leaders are now embarking on a strategy of

national and international outreach. Regionally this has

included meetings with ANC leader Jacob Zuma, Botswanan

president Ian Khama, Zambian president Rupiah Banda, and will

lead to meetings with Namibian president Hifikepunye Pohamba,

and Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete. The group said that

Jacob Zuma had been very receptive to a re-born PF-ZAPU.

 

7. (SBU) They also discussed their interest in building ties

internationally, in particular, with the U.S. and UK, and

emphasized their need for financial support to maintain their

party. The budget for the conference is an estimated

US$62,000.

 

——————-

What PF-ZAPU Offers

——————-

 

8. (SBU) The group made the case that unlike the MDC, which

struggles for regional respect from SADC countries, PF-ZAPU

has an undeniable claim as an African independence party.

This legitimization made them believe that they would be able

to place greater pressure and gain greater acceptance from

SADC peer countries. They stressed that they shared many of

the MDC’s concerns about the political, economic, and

humanitarian crises in Zimbabwe, and squarely placed the

blame at the feet of Robert Mugabe. They spoke of Mugabe

with derision and disgust. When asked what their position

was regarding those PF-ZAPU members who had profited from

close ZANU-PF ties, they emphasized that they knew who they

were and they were being excluded from participating in the

reborn party.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

9. (C) It remains to be seen whether the separation of

PF-ZAPU from ZANU-PF is a minor irritant to ZANU-PF hegemony,

or whether it will represent a significant challenge to the

ruling party. The original ZAPU began as a national movement

but at the time of the 1987 Unity Accords was fundamentally a

regional party based in Matabeleland, and PF-ZAPU has not yet

made a case that it will have a national following. The two

most prominent ex-ZAPU members, Vice-President Joseph Msika

and ZANU-PF chairman John Nkomo, both from Matabeleland, are

not leaving ZANU-PF to join the new party. ZANU-PF influence

in Matabeleland–it has only one MP–is far less than in the

rest of the country, so it is doubtful that ZANU-PF

defections in Matabeleland will have much impact. At this

point, the formation of the new party would seem to have more

symbolic than real value by demonstrating dissension within

ZANU-PF. END COMMENT.

 

CURTIS

(29 VIEWS)

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