Movement for Democratic Change presidential advisor Gandi Mudzingwa asked the United States embassy in Harare to arrange a meeting with United States President George Bush’s delegation “at whatever level” during his visit to South Africa which was scheduled for July 8 and 9, 2003.
Mudzingwa said the main message to Bush would be that the MDC was open to restarting dialogue with President Robert Mugabe, but Mugabe had scuttled all initiatives.
Viewing cable 03HARARE1351, MDC REQUESTS MEETINGS WITH POTUS DELEGATION IN RSA
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 001351
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR J. FRAZER
LONDON FOR C. GURNEY
PARIS FOR C. NEARY
NAIROBI FOR T. PFLAUMER
BANGKOK FOR WIN DAYTON
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2013
SUBJECT: MDC REQUESTS MEETINGS WITH POTUS DELEGATION IN RSA
Classified By: Political Officer Audu Besmer for reasons 1.5 b/d
¶1. (U) This is an action request; please see paragraph two.
Summary and Action Request:
¶2. (C) MDC Presidential Advisor, Gandi Mudzingwa, requested
meetings with member(s) of the POTUS delegation at whatever
level would be appropriate for an MDC delegation that will be
traveling to South Africa soon. Mudzingwa said the main
message the MDC would like to convey is that the MDC is open
to restarting dialogue with Mugabe, but Mugabe has scuttled
all initiatives in this vein. We provisionally recommend a
meeting with AS Kansteiner. End Summary and Action Request.
Meetings in RSA Requested
¶3. (C) On July 1 MDC Presidential Advisor, Gandi Mudzingwa,
requested meetings at whatever level would be appropriate for
an MDC delegation that will be traveling to South Africa for
the POTUS visit. MDC Deputy Secretary General, Gift
Chimanikire is heading a political delegation that will also
include Shadow Minister of Justice, David Coltart, and
Secretary for Economic Affairs, Tendai Biti. Paul
Themba-Nyathi, MDC spokesperson, is also heading a separate
public affairs delegation.
Roadmap to Peace?
¶4. (C) Although a June 27 Reuters article reported that the
party’s President Morgan Tsvangirai said the MDC was
developing a “roadmap to peace” to present to the Bush
delegation, the following is all that has evolved of this
initiative thus far:
¶5. (C) The two sides in Zimbabwe are not talking (this is in
response to news reports of Mbeki’s comments that ZANU-PF and
MDC are talking). The MDC believes that ZANU-PF would like
to manage the crisis and buy time and ensure ZANU-PF
succession, rather than solve the crisis. Rather than
opening up to talks, Mugabe has in fact scuttled various
initiatives at restarting dialogue, or played one off the
other. The MDC, in contrast, is open to dialogue.
Tsvangirai has requested a meeting with the Ambassador for
July 4 in which Mudzingwa said Tsvangirai plans to deliver
the MDC message to us in greater detail.
¶6. (C) Mudzingwa said that domestically, the MDC is looking
for a formula to restart negotiations with Mugabe. In
response to conflicting reports that the MDC would both
support and not support a unity government with the ruling
party, Mudzingwa did not clarify adequately. (Note: It is
possible the MDC is still working out language / policy on
this. End Note.)
¶7. (C) It is not yet clear whether the MDC really plans to
put forward a roadmap to peace with any reasonable level of
detail. So far, their planned pitch to the POTUS delegation
remains uncertain. However, we anticipate they will flesh
out the plan by July 4, and we would recommend consideration
of a meeting with AS Kansteiner. We will report back on the
July 4 meeting, including any roadmap specifics that come up.
We did not find out from the MDC if they have informed South
Africans of their desire to meet with members of the POTUS
delegation, and this should be clarified. End Comment.