in Stories

Zvobgo said Mugabe no longer trusted Mnangagwa and Mujuru

Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front loyalist Eddison Zvobgo said President Robert Mugabe was not likely to step down after being re-elected as had earlier been speculated because he was worried about his personal safety if he left office.

He would be reluctant to choose either Joyce Mujuru or Emmerson Mnangagwa as successors because he feared that they would renege on any promises to protect him.

Zvobgo said If Mugabe did select a successor, it would most likely be Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono.

Without a powerbase of his own, Gono would be dependent on Mugabe for his own survival and could be expected to protect him.

But despite his misgivings with the party, Zvobgo said it would be disastrous for ZANU-PF if the opposition gained power.

He and his fellow reformers therefore agreed with ZANU hardliners that elections must be won at all costs.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 07HARARE448, CAMPAIGN 2008: A ROAD TO DISASTER?

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

07HARARE448

2007-05-21 15:00

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXYZ0001

RR RUEHWEB

 

DE RUEHSB #0448/01 1411500

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 211500Z MAY 07

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1500

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1603

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1470

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1607

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0268

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0872

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1235

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1663

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4069

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1432

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2090

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0730

RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1824

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000448

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/17/2017

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL ZI

SUBJECT: CAMPAIGN 2008: A ROAD TO DISASTER?

 

 

Classified By: Ambassador Christopher W. Dell under Section 1.4 b/d

 

——-

Summary

——-

 

1. (C) The ruling ZANU-PF party remains beset with

infighting over Robert Mugabe’s efforts to hang on to power.

Mugabe is likely to secure the ruling party’s endorsement as

its candidate for next year’s presidential lection at an

Extraordinary Congress to be held later this year, according

to ruling party insiders and observers. However, opposition

to his reelection bid, chiefly by Solomon Mujuru, continues,

albeit below the surface. Down but far from out, Mujuru is

trying to build opposition to Mugabe within some of the

party’s provincial executive structures, possibly as a

bargaining chip at the Congress to influence discussions on

succession. End Summary.

 

——————————————— ———-

Unprecedented Opposition Prompts Extraordinary Congress

——————————————— ———-

 

2. (SBU) The ZANU-PF mouthpiece, The Voice, announced plans

earlier this month to hold an Extraordinary Congress later

this year. The article quoted ruling party commissar Elliott

Manyika as stating that, although not required under ZANU-PF

rules, it was customary for a Congress to be held to

officially nominate the party’s candidate for the presidency.

(Note. ZANU-PF’s constitution stipulates that the party’s

first secretary and president (positions now held by Mugabe),

is automatically the party’s national presidential candidate.

End Note.)

 

3. (C) ZANU-PF insider Eddie Zvogbo Jr. told the Ambassador

on May 15 that an Extraordinary Congress would indeed be held

in December at Mugabe’s behest. Zvogbo said that Mugabe

wanted the Congress’s formal backing to unify the party

behind his reelection bid. Separately, University of

Zimbabwe Political Studies Department Chairman Eldred

Masunungure echoed these statements to polchief, adding that

Mugabe wanted to erase any doubt, created by the railroading

of his candidature through the Politburo and Central

Committee in March, about his support.

 

————————–

An Inevitable Train Wreck?

————————–

 

4. (C) Zvogbo, who is the namesake and son of erstwhile

Mugabe opponent and Masvingo strongman Eddison Zvogbo, told

the Ambassador that he and other like-minded reformers

believed the ZANU-PF-directed violence and economic

mismanagement would be disastrous for the country and would

likely shorten ZANU-PF’s hold on power. Yet Zvogbo thought

it would be futile for ZANU-PF reformers to oppose Mugabe in

an effort to right the party ship. Zvogbo, a party loyalist

despite his misgivings about the party,s current course,

also believed that it would be disastrous for ZANU-PF if the

opposition gained power, and he and his fellow reformers thus

agreed with ZANU hardliners that elections must be won at all

costs. All in all, with no change in course, Zvogbo did not

see a good outcome in sight.

 

———————-

Mujuru Changes Tactics

———————-

5. (C) Masunungure noted that Mugabe had successfully

outmaneuvered chief rival Solomon Mujuru in the party’s

national structures and forced the party’s Politburo and

Central Committee to accept his candidature. He was

attempting to further improve his hand by replacing through

elections the provincial chairpersons loyal to the Mujurus in

Masvingo, Bulawayo, and several other provinces. Ironically,

the current chairpersons had been installed by Mugabe in 2004

to ensure Joyce Mujuru’s then-elevation to the post of vice

president. Masunungure said this ploy had backfired on

Mugabe as ex-military officers allied to Mujuru won key

elections in Masvingo and the race in Bulawayo had been

postponed several times in the face of opposition to Mugabe’s

hand-picked candidates. Zvogbo told the Ambassador that

Mugabe, after Mujuru’s success in Masvingo and the inability

to hold an election in Bulawayo, had shelved his initial plan

to replace other provincial committees.

 

6. (SBU) According to a local independent newspaper, The

Financial Gazette, Mujuru also attempted to sideline ZANU-PF

commissar and Mugabe loyalist Elliot Manyika – ostensibly

because of the latter’s efforts to manipulate the party

elections in Bulawayo. Manyika has also been blamed for the

ruling party’s failure to make electoral headway in the

opposition stronghold. The article added that the Mujuru

faction has targeted Manyika since it was he who had

curtailed debate on the succession at the Central Committee

meeting in March that had backed Mugabe’s candidacy for

reelection.

 

7. (C) Further indicating that the ruling party remains in

turmoil over succession, Justice Minister Partick Chinamsa on

May 9 announced that the Central Committee had decided to

scuttle an earlier proposal that Senators be elected by

proportional representation based on the outcome of the House

of Assembly races. Instead, Senators would continue to be

elected. (Note. We view this apparent about-face as a

victory for Mugabe. By forcing more ruling party stalwarts

to hit the campaign trail, Mugabe implicitly ties their fates

to his and further augments his own campaign. Secondly, the

move undercuts ruling party MPs ) many of whom support

Mujuru ) who since the recreation of the Senate have been

attempting to exert their authority over their fellow

legislators. End note.)

 

—————————

Possible Outlines of a Deal

—————————

 

8. (C) Mugabe’s decision to call an Extraordinary Congress

suggested to Masunungure (and us) that he has already enacted

plans to stage-manage the event and thus is in no danger of

being replaced as the party’s first secretary and

presidential candidate. Masunungure, however, stated that

the Mujuru’s strength in the provincial structures could

force Mugabe to cut a deal in exchange for securing the

party’s full backing for his reelection. Such a deal might

entail Mugabe promising to step down after the 2008 election,

formally backing Joyce Mujuru as his successor, and amending

the constitution to ease her succession. In exchange would

be a promise to grant Mugabe immunity. Masunungure conceded

however that Mugabe had reneged on past promises to retire

and that there was little that Mujuru could do to guarantee

such a deal.

 

9. (C) Zvogbo told the Ambassador that Mugabe, worried about

his personal safety if he left office, would most likely try

to remain in office indefinitely and not step down after

being reelected as has been speculated. He would be

reluctant to choose either Joyce Mujuru or the other leading

contender, Emmerson Mnangagwa, as successors, fearful that

they would renege on any promises to protect him. If Mugabe

did select a successor, it would most likely be Reserve Bank

of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono. Without a powerbase of his

own, Zvobgo noted, Gono would be dependent on Mugabe for his

own survival and could be expected to protect him.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

10. (C) For the moment Mugabe appears to have largely

sidelined his internal opposition and is on course to run as

ZANU-PF’s candidate in 2008. However, below the surface, the

succession question and the country’s desperate economic

situation continue to roil the ruling party.

DELL

(11 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHAREShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

Write a Comment

Comment