Biti said “Tsvangirai’s idiocy is shocking”


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Movement for Democratic Change secretary-general Tendai Biti said party leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s idiocy was shocking as he had caved in to President Robert Mugabe and had surrendered all the key ministries to the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

Biti was frustrated that he was being kept in the dark as Tsvangirai seemed to have teamed up with Ian and Theresa Makone and other close advisors to negotiate for cabinet posts with ZANU-PF following the signing of the Global Political Agreement on 15 September 2008.

So far it appeared that Tsvangirai had surrendered the ministries of Justice, Information, Defence and Land to ZANU-PF.

Home Affairs, Local Government, Finance and Foreign Affairs, were still to be decided.

Biti said he felt betrayed by Tsvangirai’s compromises with ZANU-PF but he was not going to do anything to weaken or splinter the MDC.

He was still talking, however, about taking a sabbatical from the frustrations of Zimbabwean politics.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE890, BITI FRUSTRATED OVER POWER-SHARING AGREEMENT

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

08HARARE890

2008-10-01 14:56

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO6146

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0890 2751456

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 011456Z OCT 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3514

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2334

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2452

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0966

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1730

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2085

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2506

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4938

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1601

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000890

 

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: 10/01/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: BITI FRUSTRATED OVER POWER-SHARING AGREEMENT

 

REF: A. HARARE 889

B. HARARE 840

 

Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4 (d)

 

1. (C) A clearly frustrated Tendai Biti told polecon chief

on September 30, that no formal negotiations were taking

place to allocate ministries and conclude the agreement

between ZANU-PF and the MDC. Biti suspected, however, that

negotiations were taking place between Ian and Theresa Makone

and other close Tsvangirai advisors, and ZANU-PF. According

to Biti, Mugabe and Tsvangirai had tentatively agreed on a

division of ministries with only home affairs (police), local

government, finance, and foreign affairs yet to be decided.

 

2. (C) Under the Mugabe-Tsvangirai agreement, according to

Biti, ZANU-PF would head most important ministries including

justice, information, defense, and land. Biti opined that

Tsvangirai had caved to Mugabe–“Tsvangirai’s idiocy is

shocking”–and argued that only if the MDC gained the four

remaining ministries would the division be fair. He was not

optimistic this would happen; he believed that a compromise

would result in each party taking two ministries.

 

3. (C) Biti said the allocation of ministries should be open

to formal negotiation and that the entire subject should be

opened up. He had written to Mbeki suggesting this, and had

told Mbeki the current arrangement negotiated by Mugabe and

Tsvangirai could not be sold to the MDC national council.

Nevertheless, he expected Tsvangirai to give in to Mugabe,

sign an agreement, and present it to the MDC as a fait

accompli. Biti said he felt betrayed by Tsvangirai’s

compromises with ZANU-PF.

 

4. (C) Biti also expressed bitterness that several members

of MDC-Mutambara had allied with independent MP Jonathan Moyo

to challenge the election of Lovemore Moyo as speaker. As

with Tsvangirai, Biti bemoaned that he had been betrayed by

MDC-Mutambara leader Welshman Ncube.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

5. (C) Our conversation with Biti took place before

Tsvangirai’s briefing on the stalemate in talks (Ref A), and

we now know that Tsvangirai did not realize Biti’s fears and

concede the ministries of home affairs and finance to

ZANU-PF. Nevertheless, under the tentative agreement between

Mugabe and Tsvangirai, ZANU-PF will head critical ministries

such as defense, land, justice, and information. Ideally, as

Biti suggested, the entire division of ministries should be

renegotiated. This is unlikely to happen, and it is

therefore critical that at a minimum the MDC ultimately be

given responsibility for home affairs and finance.

 

6. (C) Despite his disagreements with Tsvangirai, Biti said

he will do nothing to weaken or splinter the MDC. He is

still talking, however, about taking a sabbatical from the

frustrations of Zimbabwean politics (Ref B). END COMMENT.

MCGEE

(51 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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