Mnangagwa beat Mujuru in 2004 but Mugabe rejected the results


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Monica Chinamasa, wife of Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, told a United States embassy contact that Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa had beaten Joice Mujuru in the initial provincial committee votes for the post of vice-president of the Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front at the 2004 congress but President Robert Mugabe had rejected the results.

According to a diplomatic cable released by former United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell, Mrs Chinamasa had confided to a FSN (foreign service national) close to the Chinamasa family that vice-President Joseph Msika narrowly beat Tenjiwe Lesabe in the first vote while her husband and John Nkomo came out in a tie for the post of chairman.

She said Mugabe rejected the results and instructed that the vote be reconducted until Mujuru, Msika and Nkomo emerged victorious.

She said the biggest winner was Didymus Mutasa who was rewarded with the post of secretary for administration, replacing Mnangagwa, because he had stood firm on the president’s ticket against his Manicaland provincial committee which sided with the Mnangagwa clique.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 04HARARE2063, MUGABE, OLD GUARD ASCENDANT IN NEW POLITBURO

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

04HARARE2063

2004-12-21 09:40

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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 SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 002063

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR BNEULING

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/08/2009

TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM ZI ZANU PF

SUBJECT: MUGABE, OLD GUARD ASCENDANT IN NEW POLITBURO

 

REF: HARARE 2001

 

Classified By: Ambassador Christopher W. Dell under Section 1.5 b/d

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: President Mugabe on December 17 announced a

new 50-member Politburo. The new membership confirms the

decline in influence of Speaker of the Parliament Emmerson

Mnangagwa as well as the fall from grace of hard-liners

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo and Minister of Justice

Patrick Chinamasa. Moyo,s fall is particularly welcome news

and may lead to a further softening of the regime’s

anti-Western rhetoric. However, the real story here is the

consolidation of power by the party’s Old Guard, their

suppression of dissent, and the reaffirmation of Mugabe’s

absolute position atop the ruling party. A full listing of

the new Politburo is being faxed to AF/S. END SUMMARY.

 

—————————————–

The New Line-Up: the Old Guard

—————————————–

 

2. (SBU) One of the most notable changes in the new-look

ZANU-PF Politburo — the policy-making organ of the ruling

party — was the effective demotion of Speaker Mnangagwa,

long seen as Mugabe’s putative heir apparent. Mnangagwa was

dropped as Secretary for Administration, the party’s fifth

highest position, and demoted to Secretary for Legal Affairs.

In that position, he replaced Justice Minister Patrick

Chinamasa, one of the hard-liners that Mugabe felt had

challenged him during the run-up to the recent ZANU-PF Party

Congress. Chinamasa lost his slot in the Politburo

altogether and his odds of staying on in the cabinet are

exceedingly long.

 

3. (SBU) The new Secretary for Administration is Didymus

Mutasa, an unsuccessful vice-presidential aspirant, former

Secretary for External Affairs, and card carrying member of

 

SIPDIS

the Old Guard who lost the Secretary for Administration

position to Mnangagwa in 2000. Another regime veteran,

Kumbirai Kangai, ZANU-PF’s representative to North America

during the 1960s and 1970s and a former Minister of

Agriculture, will assume Mutasa’s External Affairs portfolio.

 

4. (SBU) Also dislodged from the Politburo was the party’s

voluble lightning rod, Information Minister and Party Deputy

Secretary for Information Jonathan Moyo. His slot went to

 

SIPDIS

Mashonaland Central Governor Ephraim Masawi, a protg of

Party Secretary for Information Nathan Shamuyarira, who

retained his senior position. Like Chinamasa, Moyo will

retain his position in the Government for now but his days

are likely numbered. Interestingly, Chinamasa, who has been

Mugabe’s principal negotiator in the closely held inter-party

“talks on talks” that were suspended last July, remained on

the Central Committee; Moyo did not.

 

5. (SBU) Other notable changes include the appointments of

retired Chief of Staff General Vitalis Zvinavashe and former

Manicaland Governor Oppah Muchinguri. The latter replaced

another vice-presidential loser, Thenjiwe Lesabe, as the

Secretary for Women’s Affairs. Lesabe, who challenged Msika

 

SIPDIS

as part of Manangawa,s plan to become a vice-president while

adhering to Mugabe,s diktat that one of the vice presidents

be female, will remain in the Politburo as a committee

member.

 

—————–

Insider Gossip

—————–

 

6. (C) According to an FSN close to the Chinamasa family,

Chinamasa’s wife confided to her last week that the initial

provincial committee votes on the presidium actually gave a

narrow victory to Mnangagwa over Joyce Mujuru for the open

Vice Presidency; incumbent VP Joseph Msika narrowly beat

Lesabe in the first vote; and the battle for the party

chairmanship between Chinamasa and incumbent John Nkomo

originally came out in a tie. However, Mugabe rejected the

results and instructed that the vote be reconducted until

Mujuru, Msika and Nkomo emerged victorious.

 

7. (C) Chinamasa’s wife also confided that Party Secretary

for Finance David Karamanzira, Party Deputy Secretary for

Youth Affairs Savior Kasukuwere, Minister for National

Security Nicholas Goche (all from Mugabe’s Zezuru ethnic

group), and Muchinguri (like Chinamasa and Mutasa, a Manyika)

had gone privately to Mutasa to urge that Chinamasa be

“rubbed out.” She added that a group of army personnel

visited Chinamasa’s farm last week, asking for details about

who lived there and how they acquired the farm. She claimed

that Msika and Nkomo had been most rabid of the party

elements behind the fall of Mnangagwa’s group, and that

Mutasa was being rewarded for standing firm on the

President’s “ticket” against his Manicaland provincial

committee, which sided with the Mnangagwa clique.

 

————-

Comment

————-

 

8. (C) The chastening and departure of some hardliners is

good news and may contribute further to a softening of the

ruling party’s public rhetoric. That said, the party’s

fundamentally anti-democratic character is unlikely to

change. The real lesson behind the Politburo reshuffle and

outcome of the Party Congress is that an all-powerful Mugabe

will brook no meaningful dissent or even independence of

thought among those in his coterie.

 

9. (C) Whether Ms. Chinamasa’s account of the presidium vote

can be corroborated or not, the disappointment of many party

faithful over what was perceived to be a suppression by the

President of the “popular will” is palpable and not likely to

recede quickly. Whether it has long-term resonance remains

to be seen. We fully expect that Mnangagwa and his

disappointed supporters, attentive to the lessons of Moyo,

Chinamasa and others who have crossed the President, will

stick with the party through the March elections and mute

their disappointment.

DELL

(318 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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