Dabengwa said Makoni would never break from ZANU-PF


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Former Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front politburo member, Dumiso Dabengwa, the only high ranking ZANU-PF member to come out and publicly support his former colleague Simba Makoni, said Makoni would never make a clean break from ZANU-PF and was still hoping that he would be called upon to succeed President Robert Mugabe.

He said this before breaking away with Makonio to revive the Zimbabwe African People’s Union which was disbanded in 1987 when it merged with ZANU-PF.

Dabengwa appeared to be bitter that former army commander Solomon Mujuru had never publicly come out to support Makoni and was still waiting for an explanation from Mujuru.

He also dismissed Makoni’s relevance to Zimbabwean politics.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08HARARE1131, PF ZAPU ENDS UNITY ACCORD

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE1131

2008-12-17 14:43

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO8559

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #1131/01 3521443

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 171443Z DEC 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3837

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2503

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2626

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1119

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1895

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2250

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2675

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5103

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1773

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 001131

 

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: 10/28/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: PF ZAPU ENDS UNITY ACCORD

 

REF: HARARE 1115

 

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

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) PF ZAPU officially ended the 1987 Unity Accord with

ZANU-PF at a conference in Bulawayo on December 13 and 14.

Former ZANU-PF Home Affairs Minister and Politburo Minister

Dumiso Dabengwa was elected as interim president of the

party. PF ZAPU intends to compete in the next elections; for

now, party leaders say it will support MDC’s efforts to

achieve an equitable power-sharing government and draft a new

constitution. Dabengwa would like to become part of the SADC

process and believes his ties to South Africa, particularly

with Jacob Zuma, can help the MDC achieve credibility with

SADC and South Africa. PF ZAPU’s defection reveals another

split within ZANU-PF and denies the ruling party exclusive

possession of the liberation mantle, but the extent of its

support remains to be seen. Poleconchief met with Dabengwa

and former House of Assembly speaker Cyro Ndbeli in Bulawayo

on December 15 to discuss PF ZAPU and its plans. END SUMMARY.

 

—————————————

Dabengwa and the Reemergence of PF ZAPU

—————————————

 

2. (C) Dabengwa left ZANU-PF earlier this year to support

Simba Makoni’s presidential candidacy in the March elections.

He told us he had expected General Solomon Mujuru to also

break ranks, and that Mujuru’s support of Makoni could have

dealt ZANU-PF a devastating blow. Dabengwa appeared bitter

that Mujuru never publicly came out for Makoni; he said he

was still waiting for an explanation from his one-time

comrade in arms. As for Makoni, Dabengwa dismissed his

current relevance to Zimbabwean politics. He said Makoni

would never make a clean break with ZANU-PF and was still

hoping to be called upon to succeed Mugabe.

 

3. (C) According to Dabengwa and Ndebele, the two-day PF

ZAPU conference drew over 1000 people from all of Zimbabwe’s

provinces. Dabengwa was elected as interim party leader and

Canswell Nziramasanga of Mashonaland West was elected as his

deputy.

 

4. (C) Dabengwa said he had been motivated to leave ZANU-PF

because PF ZAPU and its members had become marginalized after

being forced into the 1987 Unity Agreement. Additionally, he

had become repelled by ZANU-PF violence and distressed by its

failure to tackle the humanitarian crisis.

 

5. (C) We asked Dabengwa why, in light of his

disillusionment with ZANU-PF, he had remained with the party

from 1987 until this year. Noting that he had been

imprisoned for almost five years under Mugabe, Dabengwa said

he joined with Joshua Nkomo to form the Unity government as

it was the only way at the time to stop the violence against

Ndebele, of which Gukurahundi, which killed about 20,000

people in the early 1980s, was the linchpin. After joining

ZANU-PF, Dabengwa, who served as an MP and Minister of Home

Affairs until his defeat by the MDC’s David Coltart in 2000,

said he resolved to change ZANU-PF from within.

 

—————

PF ZAPU’s Plans

—————

 

6. (C) Dabengwa insisted that PF ZAPU viewed itself as

opposing ZANU-PF and not the MDC. It hoped to complement the

 

HARARE 00001131 002 OF 003

 

 

efforts of the MDC. He objected to SADC’s position that a

GNU be formed with ZANU-PF and the MDC sharing the home

affairs ministry–the MDC was entitled to equality as a

government partner and all ministries should be discussed.

In renewed negotiations, Dabengwa said he hoped for a seat at

the table for PF ZAPU now that it was a constituted party,

along with civil society which had so far been excluded from

the process. The ultimate goal of PF ZAPU, according to

Dabengwa, was to compete in the next elections.

 

7. (C) Touting the potential of PF ZAPU, Dabengwa said that

his and other party members’ liberation war credentials would

prevent Mugabe from claiming, as he had with the MDC, that PF

ZAPU was a tool of the West. Dabengwa also said he could be

useful in helping to get South Africa to place pressure on

Mugabe and ZANU-PF. He noted that he had excellent relations

with Jacob Zuma; Zuma had invited Ndebele and him to lunch

last week. The South African leadership in general,

according to Dabengwa, was suspicious of the MDC and did not

hold MDC leader Tsvangirai in high regards; nevertheless,

Zuma in their lunch conversation had been more receptive to

MDC criticisms of ZANU-PF than he had let on in his public

statements.

 

8. (C) Dabengwa said he would be willing to collaborate with

the MDC in opposing ZANU-PF and negotiating a transitional

agreement, but had not yet talked with Tsvangirai. He

commented that he had attempted to talk with him before the

March elections to form a united opposition, but the MDC had

been arrogant–it thought it could win on its own–and his

interest had not been reciprocated.

 

—————

PF ZAPU Support

—————

 

9. (C) Gordon Moyo, the head of NGO Bulawayo Agenda and a

strong Tsvangirai supporter who travels frequently throughout

Matabeleland, told us on December 15 that the positive aspect

of the reemergence of PF ZAPU was that it was another chink

in the armor of ZANU-PF. On the other side of the ledger,

ZANU-PF in Matabeleland, from which PF ZAPU would have to

draw its primary support, was weak. Out of 38 Matabeleland

MPs, only 4 were ZANU-PF members. Additionally, the new

leadership of PF ZAPU was tainted by its association with

ZANU-PF and the fact that many of these leaders had engaged

in violent activity.

 

10. (C) We also met with MDC-M’s David Coltart on December

15 who agreed that the separation from ZANU-PF was harmful to

the ruling party. He was more forgiving than Moyo of the

past activities of PF ZAPU leaders; he remarked that any

leader who had been a member of ZANU-PF was likely to be

stained with violence. It remained to be seen whether PF

ZAPU could develop support in Matabeleland. Nevertheless,

Coltart, who served as one of Dabengwa’s attorneys in the

1980’s during his legal battle with ZANU-PF and the

government, was suspicious of Dabengwa. He related that in

2000 his polling agent, a political activist named Paul

Nyabanyana, was abducted and killed. Cain Nkala, a war

veteran supportive of Mugabe, was arrested about a year later

on suspicion of murder. Nkala subsequently admitted to

Nyabanyana’s murder and implicated ZANU-PF officials,

including Dabengwa. Nkala was subsequently murdered.

Coltart said there was a common belief in Bulawayo that

Dabengwa was responsible.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

 

HARARE 00001131 003 OF 003

 

 

11. (C) Despite pretensions to be a national party, PF

ZAPU’s support, as at Independence in 1980, comes almost

exclusively from Matabeleland. In Matabeleland, memories of

Gukurahundi remain vivid, and as a result the MDC,

particularly the Tsvangirai faction which is viewed as

strongly anti-Mugabe and anti-ZANU-PF, has received strong

support. We are therefore skeptical that PF ZAPU can become

a major political force.

 

12. (C) The reemergence of PF ZAPU is significant, however,

in that Mugabe can no longer exclusively claim the liberation

mantle, and it represents public exposure of the ZANU-PF

cracks that are known to exist. We believe it would be wise

for Tsvangirai to reach out to Dabengwa to avail the MDC of

association with PF ZAPU’s liberation credentials, and also

for help in dealing with South Africa. Experience suggests,

however, that this will not occur.

DHANANI

 

(31 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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