Biti said ZANU-PF refused to give in on ministries


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President Robert Mugabe and his negotiators Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche were refusing to concede any ground on the four key ministries that the parties were haggling over, according to Movement for Democratic Change secretary-general Tendai Biti.

Biti briefed United States embassy on the progress of the negotiations and how ZANU-PF was digging its heels in.

The parties were haggling over the ministries of Home Affairs, Finance, Local Government, and Foreign Affairs.

Biti said it appeared the only solution was to take up the matter to the Southern African Development Community and the African Union.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE915, BITI BRIEFS ON NEGOTIATIONS

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

08HARARE915

2008-10-09 09:44

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO2000

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0915/01 2830944

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 090944Z OCT 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3552

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2345

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2463

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0973

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1741

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2096

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2517

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4949

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1612

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000915

 

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: 04/02/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: BITI BRIEFS ON NEGOTIATIONS

 

REF: HARARE 889

 

Classified By: CDA Katherine Dhanani for reason 1.4 (d)

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) MDC-Tsvangirai (MDC-T) secretary-general and

negotiator Tendai Biti briefed polecon chief October 8 and

October 9 on the status of negotiations to complete a

power-sharing agreement between ZANU-PF and the MDC.

According to Biti, ZANU-PF is refusing to cede any of the

outstanding ministries that the MDC considers crucial to a

deal: home affairs, finance, local government, or foreign

affairs. While Tsvangirai had previously indicated MDC would

be satisfied with a deal that gave it control of home affairs

and finance, Biti said the MDC was now insisting on all four

ministries. Acknowledging ZANU-PF would not agree to this,

Biti said the MDC now supported reopening negotiations on the

allocation of all ministries with mediation from SADC and the

AU. END SUMMARY.

 

——————-

Recent Negotiations

——————-

 

2. (C) Biti said that Mugabe and Tsvangirai met on October 4

but, as in their October 1 meeting (Ref), failed to make

headway. Tsvangirai continued to insist on MDC control of

home affairs and finance; Mugabe refused.

 

3. (C) On October 7, MDC-T negotiators Biti and Elton

Mangoma met with ZANU-PF negotiators Patrick Chinamasa and

Nicholas Goche. According to Biti, the ZANU-PF negotiators

were “condescending” and vowed that ZANU-PF would not cede

any of the four outstanding ministries to the MDC.

 

4. (C) A follow-up meeting of the negotiators was held on

October 8, this time with the addition of MDC-Mutambara

(MDC-M) negotiators Welshman Ncube and Priscilla

Misihairabwi. Again, according to Biti, no progress was

made. Another meeting is scheduled for today with principals

Mugabe, Tsvangirai, and Mutambara and their negotiating teams.

 

5. (C) Biti told us he and others would not be satisfied

with a deal that gave the MDC home affairs and finance, and

Tsvangirai would have a difficult time selling this to the

MDC national council. At a minimum, he believed the MDC

should receive all the outstanding ministries. To this end,

he was advocating that negotiations be reopened on allocation

of all 31 ministries.

 

————————

Seeking SADC and AU help

————————

 

6. (C) According to Biti, Tsvangirai had written former

South African president Thabo Mbeki seeking his reengagement

as a mediator. Mbeki wrote back requesting the MDC list

points of disagreement with ZANU-PF and areas in which he

could be helpful. Biti interpreted this as a “bureaucratic”

response signaling that Mbeki was not eager to insert himself

into the process.

 

7. (C) Biti was pessimistic that ZANU-PF would compromise

without AU and SADC involvement. He traveled to Dar Es

Salaam last weekend to speak with Tanzanian president Kikwete

who, according to Biti, was sympathetic to the MDC position

and highly critical of Mugabe. Biti said that newly-elected

speaker of the House of Assembly Lovemore Moyo had met with

 

HARARE 00000915 002 OF 002

 

 

Botswanan president Khama who took a similar position.

Finally, MDC-T vice president Thokozani Khupe had met with

South African president Motlanthe and ANC president Jacob

Zuma. Zuma, in particular, as related to Biti by Khupe, was

supportive of the MDC. Biti added that Tsvangirai was

planning a trip next week to Botswana and possibly South

Africa. (NOTE: Despite GOZ promises, Tsvangirai still has

not received his passport and will be traveling on a travel

document. END NOTE.)

 

8. (C) Biti believed the impasse could be resolved only with

SADC and AU intervention. He viewed MDC participation in the

current negotiations as a way of demonstrating to the

regional and international communities that ZANU-PF was

stonewalling and acting in bad faith.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

9. (C) ZANU-PF’s bad faith in negotiations is evidence that

it sees MDC inclusion in government as requisite to

international reengagement and economic recovery, but wants

to maintain the real power in a new government. Its

unwillingness to support a genuine power-sharing arrangement

bodes poorly for the functioning of a government if and when

a final agreement is concluded. END COMMENT.

DHANANI

(22 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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