Gono and Chiwenga were against MDC taking on Home Affairs and Finance


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Defence Forces Chief Constantine Chiwenga and central bank governor Gideon Gono were strongly opposed to the handing over of the Ministry of Home Affairs because they were afraid that the police would investigate them for corrupt activities.

A diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks says they also did not want to surrender the Ministry of Finance because the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, Gono and top military officials, including Chiwenga, realised that the loss of that ministry would mean an end to the corrupt patronage system that they enjoyed.

Tirivanhu Mudariki, a business partner of former army commander Solomon Mujuru, told United States embassy officials that the Mujuru faction strongly supported the Movement for Democratic Change and its leader Morgan Tsvangirai because they wanted a regularisation of the business environment so that they could continue to conduct their many businesses.

The faction was also interested in marginalising President Robert Mugabe so that it could take over leadership of ZANU-PF.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE895, STATE OF PLAY – ZIMBABWE

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

08HARARE895

2008-10-02 14:13

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO7097
OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSB #0895/01 2761413
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 021413Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3519
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2336
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2454
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0968
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1732
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2087
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2508
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4940
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1603
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000895 
 
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: 10/02/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: STATE OF PLAY - ZIMBABWE 
 
Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4 (d) 
 
------------------------------------------- 
Mugabe Confronts ZANU-PF Internal Opposition 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
1. (C) Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe appears eager to 
conclude a power sharing deal--on his terms. The banner 
headline in Wednesday's The Herald was "Embrace power deal: 
Chihuri." Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri called for 
Zimbabweans to "forego our minor differences." Today's 
Herald headline pronounced "Tsvangirai's office ready." A 
fair reading is that ZANU-PF is set to conclude the agreement 
as long as it heads the home affairs ministry, which includes 
the police, and one other ministry among those still in play, 
presumably finance. (NOTE: We understand the MDC has 
already conceded other important ministries to ZANU-PF, 
including information, defense, security and justice. END 
NOTE.) 
 
2. (C) Mugabe leads a fractured party and he is trying to 
satisfy key individuals and groups. Rumors circulated last 
week that he and Emmerson Mnangagwa were involved in a heated 
argument over the possibility of ceding home affairs to the 
MDC. According to these rumors, Mnangagwa grabbed Mugabe by 
the lapels at which point Mugabe's body guards forcibly 
subdued Mnangagwa, injuring him to the point that he was 
hospitalized. We have been unable to confirm the physical 
altercation; nevertheless, there appears to have been a 
serious rift between Mugabe and Mnangagwa over the allocation 
of ministries. Mnangagwa is loathe to allow any of the 
security apparatus to pass to the MDC. Sources have also 
told us that defense forces chief Constantine Chiwenga and 
Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono are opposed to the MDC 
assuming responsibility for home affairs. They fear the 
ministry and police would investigate them for corrupt 
activities. As for finance, the finance minister, in 
consultation with the president, appoints the Reserve Bank 
governor. ZANU-PF, Gono, and top military officials, 
including Chiwenga, realize that loss of the finance ministry 
would likely be an end to the corrupt patronage system. 
 
3. (C) Tirivanhu Mudariki, a close business associate and 
political advisor of General Solomon Mujuru, told us on 
September 29 that the Mujuru faction strongly supports the 
MDC and Morgan Tsvangirai and has been in regular contact 
with the MDC. The Mujurus believe ZANU-PF cannot solve the 
economic mess and they need a regularization of the business 
environment so that they can continue to conduct their many 
businesses. Innocent Chakonda, the MDC's lawyer and an 
advisor to Tsvangirai, confirmed to us the contacts with 
Mudariki and the Mujuru faction. Chakonda believed the 
Mujurus were sincerely interested in marginalizing Mugabe. 
In addition to their interest in economic stabilization, 
Chakonda thought that support of the MDC and weakening of 
Mugabe was part of the succession struggle in which the 
Mujuru faction sought to replace Mugabe within ZANU-PF. 
 
4. (C) The Mujurus have not played an active role in the 
ZANU-PF internecine conflict, but rather have observed from 
the sidelines. Chakonda believes that once Parliament is in 
session, Mujuru deputies will work collaboratively with the 
MDC to support its legislative agenda and frustrate Mugabe 
and his supporters. 
 
---------------- 
MDC Draws a Line 
---------------- 
 
5. (C) Chakonda related that Tsvangirai signed the 
power-sharing agreement despite a vote of the MDC national 
 
HARARE 00000895 002 OF 002 
 
 
council that he not do so until there was a complete 
agreement, including on the allocation of ministries. 
Tsvangirai apparently had false assurances from Mugabe that, 
following the signing, quick agreement could be reached on 
the division of ministries in a way acceptable to the MDC. 
Tsvangirai, according to Chakonda, faced strong criticism 
from his party for signing. Chakonda told us (as did Tendai 
Biti today) that Tsvangirai had realized the error of his 
ways and would now insist on the MDC heading the home affairs 
and finance ministries before entering into the government. 
 
6. (C) According to Chakonda, Tsvangirai had dispatched his 
vice-president, Thokozani Khupe, to South Africa to talk with 
President Motlanthe and ANC president Jacob Zuma. She may 
also talk with King Mswati of Swaziland. Biti told us he 
would meet tomorrow with Tanzanian president Kikwete. Based 
on conversations the MDC had with Mbeki, Zuma, Kikwete, and 
Motswati during the negotiation process, Chakonda believes 
they are sympathetic to the MDC's position on the ministries 
and will pressure Mugabe. 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
7. (C) Although it is always wise to suspect Mugabe and his 
motives, the MDC and others such as Mudariki believe Mugabe 
wants an agreement, albeit on his terms. He has been 
constrained until now by hardliners within ZANU-PF such as 
Mnangagwa and the security chiefs, and by opportunists such 
as Gono. Tsvangirai appears set to hold the line. If SADC 
and the AU exert pressure on Mugabe he may have no choice but 
to cede home affairs and finance to the MDC. What the 
consequences would be within ZANU-PF if he does so are 
unclear. END COMMENT. 
 
MCGEE

 

(5 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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