Bennett was not prepared for any compromise


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Movement for Democratic Change treasurer Roy Bennett told the acting Australian High Commissioner to South Africa, Jane Lambert, that the MDC would only agree to a presidential election run-off if the United Nations observed the elections.

He said this after a stalemate in the presidential elections results of 2008 after his party had won the parliamentary elections but the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission delayed announcing the results of the presidential elections which his party believed its leader Morgan Tsvangirai had won.

He said that if the United Nations was not allowed to observe the elections, the MDC would walk away.

It was also going to start demanding that the Southern African Development Community be held accountable for its decision to bless the election.

Lambert said Bennett was in a “feisty mood” when they met.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08PRETORIA744, AUSTRALIAN ASSESSMENT OF ZIMBABWE DEVELOPMENTS

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

Classification

Origin

08PRETORIA744

2008-04-09 16:14

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Pretoria

VZCZCXRO7720

RR RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSA #0744 1001614

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 091614Z APR 08

FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4095

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0652

RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 5497

RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN 9722

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L PRETORIA 000744

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF/S

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/08/2018

TAGS: PREL PHUM KDEM SF ZI

SUBJECT: AUSTRALIAN ASSESSMENT OF ZIMBABWE DEVELOPMENTS

 

 

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Donald Teitelbaum. Reasons 1.4(

b) and (d).

 

1. (C) Acting Australian High Commissioner Jane Lambert

(protect) on 08 April called PolOff to share the points she

planned to make to her Foreign Minister, who was expected to

call later that afternoon for a Zimbabwe update. Lambert

said she would emphasize that her contact within the MDC told

her that Tsvangirai came away from his meeting with ANC

President Jacob Zuma on 07 April “very pleased.” However,

Lambert said she would caution Canberra that Zuma is a

chameleon and could have promised Tsvangirai anything given

Zuma’s penchant for telling people what they want to hear.

According to her contact, Tsvangirai’s visit was part of the

MDC’s new strategy of pressuring regional leaders, especially

the ANC (not President Mbeki), to urge the release of

election results. (NOTE: Zuma publicly criticized Zimbabwe

on 08 April, saying “keeping the nation (and international

community) in suspense was wrong” and that “I don’t think it

augurs very well.” END NOTE)

 

2. (C) Lambert also confirmed that SAG officials are pushing

for a transitional government. However, Lambert is worried

that both MDC and ZANU-PF leaders are becoming increasingly

“rigid” and will be less and less amenable to a unity

government the more time passes. She believes that the fact

that MDC has stopped making any overtures toward ZANU-PF is

one indication of their growing inflexibility. MDC Treasurer

Roy Bennett, especially, seems to be hardening his stance,

she said, saying that Bennett was in a “feisty mood.”

Bennett told her on 08 April that the MDC would only agree to

a run-off if the UN observed; otherwise, they are prepared to

walk away. MDC is also going to start demanding that SADC be

held accountable for its decision to bless the election.

 

3. (C) As for South Africa’s role, Lambert’s assessment for

Canberra is South Africa will eventually “kick the can down

the road,” as they have done before with Zimbabwe. She

believes that South Africa wants to avoid at all costs having

Zimbabwe come before the UN Security Council while it is

holding the UNSC Presidency. Lambert argued that South

Africa will be put in the uncomfortable position of either

being seen as ignoring the current crisis or criticizing

Mugabe and ZANU-PF, in which case South Africa will be viewed

by other African nations as “doing the bidding of the West.”

BOST

(13 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
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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