The Morgan Tsvangirai Wikileaks cables-Part Twenty-Seven


Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai in August 2008 proposed that he should become President of Zimbabwe with Robert Mugabe as the Prime Minister but Mugabe refused.

Sydney Masamvu who was the contact for the United States embassy in South Africa said South African President Thabo Mbeki and the Southern African Development Community leaders did not buy the idea as they had welcomed Mugabe to the SADC summit in Sandton as the President of Zimbabwe.

Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara sat as observers but reports said they did not acknowledge each other’s presence.

Botswana boycotted the summit because it was against the recognition of Mugabe as President of Zimbabwe.

Masamvu said Tsvangirai made the counter proposal because he was not happy with the deal proposed to him under which Mugabe would be President while he was Prime Minister because he wanted executive powers.

Tsvangirai wanted a situation where the Prime Minister would chair the cabinet and be responsible for the formulation, execution, and administration of government business, including appointing and dismissing his ministers.

He also proposed that the President should not have power to veto laws but could remain commander- in-chief of the Defense Forces provided he acted on the advice of Prime Minister.

He said that since the deal did not give him these powers he would prefer no deal rather than a bad one.

Even the United States, which did not want Mugabe to be part of any deal, realised that there was no way Tsvangirai was going to win. It realised that if Tsvangirai continued to hold on, he would be considered by regional leaders as a spoiler.

The parties signed a global political agreement to form a transitional government  about a month later paving way for an inclusive government that ran the country from February 2009 to July 2013 with Mugabe as President with executive powers and Tsvangirai as Prime Minister.

Below are the first 540 Wikileaks cables on Tsvangirai, 185 to go.

Continued next page


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The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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