Misihairabwi-Mushonga accused of being too close to ZANU-PF


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Integration Minister Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga together with party leader Arthur Mutambara and secretary-general Welshman Ncube had grown too close to the Zimbabwe African National-Union Patriotic Front and had become indirect agents of ZANU-PF.

This was said by one of the six party officials from the Arthur Mutambara faction of the Movement for Democratic Change who had been suspended for bringing the party into disrepute.

The suspended officials were Nkayi South MP Abednico Bhebhe, Bulilima East MP Norman Mpofu, Lupane East MP Njabuliso Mguni, party defence secretary Job Sikhala, youth chairman Gift Nyandoro, and Matabeleland South treasurer Alex Goosen.

Bhebhe described Mutambara’s leadership style as being authoritative and reminiscent of President Robert Mugabe.

He said that many of the MDC-M supporters he had spoken with were shocked by Mutambara’s complimenting of Mugabe.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 09HARARE402, MDC-M SUSPENSIONS REVEAL SPLIT IN PARTY

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09HARARE402

2009-05-14 15:43

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO3901

OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0402/01 1341543

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

O 141543Z MAY 09 ZDK

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4482

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2823

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2943

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1386

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2206

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2571

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2991

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5432

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2115

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000402

 

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B. WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR J. HARMON AND L. DOBBINS

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR MICHELLE GAVIN

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: MDC-M SUSPENSIONS REVEAL SPLIT IN PARTY

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (SBU) The President of the MDC-M and Deputy Prime

Minister, Arthur Mutambara, and other top party officials

suspended six senior party members, including three MPs. The

suspensions have unearthed growing dissent within the MDC-M

about Mutambara’s leadership, which some party officials and

party supporters feel has become too pro-ZANU-PF. The

suspended officials may ultimately be expelled, which would

result in three parliamentary vacancies. However, the

displaced MPs could be expected to hold onto their seats by

running as either independents or choosing to rejoin the

ranks of the much larger MDC-T. END SUMMARY.

 

————————–

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suspensions Roil the MDC-M

————————–

 

2. (SBU) On May 8, the leadership of the MDC-Mutambara

faction (MDC-M) suspended six senior officials from the

party, including three sitting parliamentarians, on charges

of bringing the party into disrepute. The six officials had

been openly critical of the party’s leadership under Deputy

Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, charging him along with his

deputies Welshman Ncube and Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga

of seconding the party’s interests to those of ZANU-PF and

President Mugabe. The suspended officials include, Nkayi

South MP Abednico Bhebhe, Bulilima East MP Norman Mpofu,

Lupane East MP Njabuliso Mguni, party defense secretary Job

Sikhala, youth chairman Gift Nyandoro, and Matabeleland South

treasurer Alex Goosen.

 

——————————————— —-

Is He Really the Best Leader Africa has Produced?

——————————————— —-

 

3. (SBU) Bhebhe met with poloff and pol specialist on May 12

and explained the origins and implications of the rift within

the MDC-M. According to Bhebhe, the issue first arose during

the selection of the Speaker of Parliament, when Mutambara

pressed MPs to support the candidacy of Paul Themba Nyathi of

the MDC-M, in lieu of either Gibson Sibanda of the MDC-M or

Lovemore Moyo of the MDC-T. Recognizing that they did not

have the votes to elect their own candidate, ZANU-PF also

backed Nyathi, but eight of the ten MDC-M MPs did not want to

be seen on the same side as ZANU-PF and bucked Mutambara by

voting for Moyo. The bad blood this created was exacerbated

by controversial and inflammatory statements by Mutambara,

including referring to President Obama’s decision to extend

sanctions as being “based on ignorance and arrogance,” saying

that “the West needs to shut up,” and most recently referring

to Mugabe as “father Africa” and “the best leader Africa has

produced.”

 

4. (SBU) Bhebhe believed that Mutambara in particular, but

also Ncube and Misihairabwi-Mushonga, had grown too close to

Mugabe and had become indirect agents of ZANU-PF. He also

described Mutambara’s leadership style as being authoritative

and reminiscent of Mugabe. While addressing several recent

Qand reminiscent of Mugabe. While addressing several recent

rallies designed to raise doubts about Mutambara’s

allegiances, Bhebhe said that people had demanded to know why

they had been told to support Mutambara if he was not going

to act as an opposition figure. Bhebhe said that many of the

MDC-M supporters he had spoken with were shocked in

particular by Mutambara’s complimenting of Mugabe.

 

——————–

Three Seats at Stake

 

HARARE 00000402 002 OF 002

 

 

——————–

 

5. (SBU) When asked what parliamentary implications the

suspensions hold for the three sitting MPs, Bhebhe explained

that there will be an inquiry held by the party’s

disciplinary committee that will likely result in a

recommendation to the MDC-M National Council to expel the six

members. If the National Council agreed with the

recommendation — as Bhebhe seemed to believe would happen —

a letter would be written to the Speaker of Parliament

stating that the three MPs were no longer members of the

MDC-M. As seats in Parliament belong to the party not

individuals, this would vacate the seats. However, according

to last September’s Inter-party Political Agreement (IPA),

within the first 12 months of the formation of a new

government the three parties agreed not to contest any

parliamentary vacancy. Bhebhe said that because the IPA was

only binding on the three signatory parties, it would not

preclude him or the other two MPs from running as

independents. He was confident that he would win a

bi-election as an independent. Alternatively, if his

expulsion occurred after February 13, 2010, he would likely

rejoin the MDC-T and run under their banner.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

6. (SBU) Bhebhe and Sikhala are the ringleaders of a group

of MDC-M officials who have had enough of Mutambara’s

reckless and inconsistent behavior. Mutambara fluctuates

between appearing to be a determined reformer one moment, to

then ingratiating himself to Mugabe and ZANU-PF leaders the

next. While this has alienated him from much of his party,

he has emerged as a force in Cabinet and principal meetings,

largely overshadowing the other Deputy Prime Minister,

Thokozani Khupe. Because Mutambara lacks a political base —

he failed to win a seat in parliament last year — he is

trying to elevate his profile and find allies.

 

7. (SBU) Within Parliament we do not believe the shake-up

will have wide-ranging implications. If the three MDC-M MPs

are expelled, they will probably run as independents, as only

the MDC-M could challenge them within the next nine months.

Given this, it is unlikely that they would be displaced.

After nine months, they would likely be welcomed back into

the ranks of the MDC-T. END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

 

(37 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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