Biti and Mangoma say MDC will win elections despite violence


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Minister of Finance Tendai Biti and then Minister of Economic Development Elton Mangoma said the Movement for Democratic Change was ready for elections and even if there was a repeat of the 2008 violence and intimidation the MDC would win the elections.

Biti said “there is only one party ready for elections” and certainly there would be a repeat of ZANU-PF violence and intimidation of voters but the MDC’s preparations for the 2008 election were key to the MDC victory.

Biti and Mangoma did not endorse ending sanctions. Mangoma said ZANU-PF feared that if progress on the GPA “takes place while sanctions are in place, ZANU will have no basis for saying sanctions are the cause of (Zimbabwe’s) problems.”

He pleaded with United States embassy officials: “Please assist us to make sure that development takes hold and moves forward,” for that “is our greatest insurance”.

The embassy said while Biti’s and Mangoma’s insistence that ZANU-PF was grievously split and that hardliners had been sorely wounded might have basis in fact, they could be guilty of wishful thinking.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09HARARE774, MDC MINISTERS BITI AND MANGOMA BRIEF DONORS

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

09HARARE774

2009-09-28 14:57

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO5966

OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0774/01 2711457

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 281457Z SEP 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4956

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 3056

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 3169

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1598

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2432

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2801

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 3217

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5662

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2349

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000774

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B.WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR M GAVIN

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR J. HARMON AND L. DOBBINS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/28/2019

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM EFIN ECON ZI

SUBJECT: MDC MINISTERS BITI AND MANGOMA BRIEF DONORS

 

REF: HARARE 753

 

Classified By: CDA Donald Petterson for reason 1.4 (b) and (d)

 

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Minister of Finance Tendai Biti and

Minister of Economic Development Elton Mangoma met with

Western donor chiefs of mission and aid directors September

24 and briefed on political and economic issues. They

believe that ZANU-PF intransigence on the Global Political

Agreement (GPA) and actions such as media attacks on the MDC

and continuing farm invasions are reflective of a withering

ZANU-PF. The MDC is preparing for the next elections and,

even if there is a repeat of the 2008 violence and

intimidation, they believe that the MDC’s overwhelming

country-wide support will result in its victory. Turning to

economic matters, Biti and Mangoma said they would consult

with the IMF before determining how to use their Special

Drawing Rights (SDRs) but believed critical development needs

indicated substantial use for infrastructure.   They also

will attempt to gain Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC)

relief. Finally, Biti and Mangoma support maintaining

sanctions; if economic progress is made despite continuing

sanctions, it will demonstrate that sanctions are not

responsible for Zimbabwe’s economic plight. END SUMMARY.

 

——————–

ZANU-PF on the Ropes

——————–

 

2. (SBU) Biti said the biggest problem facing the inclusive

government (IG) is political in nature. That ZANU-PF is “on

high alert” has been manifested in the violence of farm

invasions, vitriolic state media attacks on the MDC, and

inaction on reform measures. The “arrested transition” is

largely a result of tension within ZANU-PF, he said. The

“noise is coming from sectors in the party controlled by the

junta” – the Mugabe faction. Biti claimed that actions in

recent weeks are “reflective of the desperation of a losing

group.” He insisted that media attacks on Tsvangirai,

himself, and the MDC do not stem from a “homogeneous ZANU

position.”

 

3. (SBU) Donors should not conclude, said Biti, that “the

increasing decibels of the ZANU position” presage a failure

of the IG; to the contrary “it is the gasping of a losing

position.” He added, “The MDC is not going to collapse;

ZANU-PF won’t pull out, the (Mugabe) faction is not that

strong.”

 

4. (SBU) Like Tsvangirai (Ref), Biti and Mangoma believe

that the MDC will make progress on the GPA and eventually win

the next election. They base this belief on the fact that,

according to Biti, the “MDC has overwhelming support in the

country.” Biti remarked that “there is only one party ready

for elections.” Certainly there will be a repeat of ZANU-PF

violence and intimidation of voters. But their preparations

for the 2008 election were key to the MDC victory, and having

learned from the experiences of that election, they will be

even better prepared next time.

 

—————————-

On SDRs, HIPC, and Sanctions

QOn SDRs, HIPC, and Sanctions

—————————-

 

5. (SBU) Biti and Mangoma noted that while they are aware of

the IMF preference that much of recently released SDRs be

kept in reserve and eventually used for debt reduction,

whatever the IG stipulated for that use would be “a drop in

the bucket.” They believe the dire need for economic

stimulus supersedes keeping SDRs in reserve; therefore they

want to devote considerable SDRs to “issues of

 

HARARE 00000774 002 OF 002

 

 

infrastructure.” Addressing infrastructure needs and

creating lines of credit would get money into the economy.

They are also considering limited budget support to create a

more even flow of funds, although admitting they are “not

very keen” on this. In any event they will not take any

steps on the SDRs until they’ve had further consultations

with the IMF.

 

6. (SBU) Despite “venomous criticism” from ZANU-PF on their

intention to seek HIPC relief, they intend to “go that way.”

They are aware of the time-consuming and difficult process

involved, but deem HIPC relief necessary. Biti said the IG

would need help in getting through the process.

 

7. (SBU) Biti and Mangoma did not endorse ending sanctions.

Mangoma said ZANU-PF fears that if progress on the GPA “takes

place while sanctions are in place, ZANU will have no basis

for saying sanctions are the cause of (Zimbabwe’s) problems.”

He importuned, “Please assist us to make sure that

development takes hold and moves forward,” for that “is our

greatest insurance.” He and Biti cited the need for help in

agriculture, education, and health, but made a special plea

for addressing the water/sewage problem, which “must be

resolved.” to avoid a renewed outbreak of cholera.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

8. (C) While Biti’s and Mangoma’s insistence that ZANU-PF is

grievously split and that hardliners have been sorely wounded

might have basis in fact, they could be guilty of wishful

thinking. Their confidence in the long-term good fortune of

the MDC mirrors Tsvangirai’s and comes from solid evidence of

the party’s rising popularity vis-a-vis ZANU-PF’s growing

unpopularity. It seems to us, however, that the MDC leaders

could be running the risk of underestimating the survival

skills of their opponents. END COMMENT.

 

PETTERSON

 

(9 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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