Mugabe, Mutambara biggest winners in GPA


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President Robert Mugabe and the leader of the smaller faction of the Movement for Democratic Change Arthur Mutambara were the biggest winners in the Global Political Agreement signed on 15 September 2008.

Mugabe who was beaten by the leader of the larger faction of the MDC Morgan Tsvangirai in the 29 March elections, though Tsvangirai’s victory was not an outright win, came out tops retaining most of the powers he had before the agreement.

 

Under the agreement, the President has the following notable authorities:

 

  • Chairs the Cabinet;
  • Chairs the National Security Council (comprised of the
  • military, Central Intelligence Organization, and police);
  • Appoints the two Vice Presidents;
  • Appoints 15 of the 31 members of Cabinet (who also serve as Ministers and sit on the Council of Ministers);
  • Appoints 8 non-constituency Senators to the Senate (Senate will now consist of 102 Senators; 9 new Senate positions were created and split evenly among the three parties. Mugabe already had the authority to appoint 5 Senators and 10 Provincial Governors to the Senate);
  • Can declare war and make peace (subject to any new constitutional limits);
  • Can proclaim and terminate martial law (also subject to any new constitutional limits); and can dissolve Parliament (in consultation with the Prime Minister).

But Mutambara was by far the biggest winner. Despite garnering only 10 parliamentary seats out of 210 -and demonstrating little control of those 10- Mutambara negotiated a position as Deputy Prime Minister.

 

MDC-M also picked up three ministries, one appointed MP and three

Senators.

 

 

 

Full cable:

Viewing cable 08HARARE842, FLAWED DEAL PRESERVES ZANU-PF PRIMACY;

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE842

2008-09-17 15:54

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO4929

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0842/01 2611554

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 171554Z SEP 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3451

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2302

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2421

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0936

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1698

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2054

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2475

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4907

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1570

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000842

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR G. GARLAND

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: 09/17/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: FLAWED DEAL PRESERVES ZANU-PF PRIMACY;

TSVANGIRAI’S ROLE UNCERTAIN

 

REF: HARARE 819

 

Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4 (d)

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) President Mugabe came away from Monday’s signing of a

power-sharing agreement with many of his previous executive

authorities intact. He appears to retain control of the

military, and potentially other security elements, as well as

primacy within the policy-determining Cabinet. Prime

Minister Tsvangirai’s role is less clearly defined and will

become evident through implementation, but executive

oversight is a foremost responsibility. Arthur Mutambara’s

MDC-M formation came out a clear winner, as his faction

expanded its executive representation well beyond their

parliamentary presence. Additionally, a 19 month timetable

for a new constitution was agreed upon, as well as committees

to spur economic recovery and evaluate compliance. END

SUMMARY.

 

—————————————

The Presidency Wields the Biggest Stick

—————————————

 

2. (SBU) The political resolution signed September 15 between

ZANU-PF and the two MDC factions maintains the supremacy of

the role of President in Zimbabwe’s new government. The

President is clearly the Head of State and also appears to be

the Head of Government. While the coming implementation of

the agreement and the still undisclosed distribution of

ministries between the rival parties will largely determine

the extent of Mugabe’s executive branch authorities, this

document does little to constrain his executive power.

 

3. (U) Under the agreement, the President has the following

notable authorities:

 

— Chairs the Cabinet;

— Chairs the National Security Council (comprised of the

military, Central Intelligence Organization, and police);

— Appoints the two Vice Presidents;

— Appoints 15 of the 31 members of Cabinet (who also serve

as Ministers and sit on the Council of Ministers);

— Appoints 8 non-constituency Senators to the Senate (Senate

will now consist of 102 Senators; 9 new Senate positions were

created and split evenly among the three parties. Mugabe

already had the authority to appoint 5 Senators and 10

Provincial Governors to the Senate);

— Can declare war and make peace (subject to any new

constitutional limits);

— Can proclaim and terminate martial law (also subject to

any new constitutional limits); and

— Can dissolve Parliament (in consultation with the Prime

Minister).

 

4. (SBU) The distribution of ministries will be paramount in

determining the extent of Mugabe’s and Tsvangirai’s shared

executive authorities. Independent of that, this agreement

appears to preserve Mugabe’s control of the state security

apparatus, as well as allow him to wield the most influence

over a powerful Cabinet that has been charged with

“evaluating and adopting all government policies.”

 

5. (SBU) Interestingly, the agreement includes no discussion

of what it means to chair Cabinet. The Prime Minister’s

position, however, does describe Tsvangirai’s responsibility

to “oversee the formulation of government policies by the

 

HARARE 00000842 002 OF 003

 

 

Cabinet.” This would not appear to mean that Mugabe has

relinquished his authority in directing Cabinet, even if that

may be the MDC’s erstwhile wish. The legacy of Mugabe’s many

years of executive authority makes this highly unlikely, as

does Mugabe’s eventual appointment of 15 of 31 ministers and

Tsvangirai’s title of Deputy Chair of Cabinet.

 

————————–

Tsvangirai’s Role Evolving

————————–

 

6. (SBU) The role of Prime Minister is centered on his

position as Chair of the Council of Ministers (COM) and

Deputy Chair of the Cabinet. It is the Prime Minister’s

responsibility to oversee policy formulation. We interpret

this as meaning he will have oversight responsibilities to

make sure that policies adopted by the Cabinet are

implemented. Less clear is the extent to which he will be

able to direct the formation of those policies. While the

international media–most notably the BBC–have described

Tsvangirai’s role as being responsible for the day-to-day

running of the country, we believe that is an overly

optimistic interpretation of the document.

 

7. (U) As Prime Minister, Tsvangirai has the following

notable authorities:

 

— Chair of the COM and Deputy Chair of Cabinet;

— Oversees formulation of government polices by the Cabinet;

— Ensures policies are implemented;

— Serves as the leader of government business in Parliament;

— Sits on the National Security Council; and

— “Shall report regularly to the President and Parliament.”

 

8. (SBU) The newly-created COM appears to be an evaluative

body assessing the performance of Cabinet. The government is

in need of such an auditor. However, it now seems that the

COM will be a slightly smaller subset of the same ministers

who sit on Cabinet, creating an obvious conflict of interest.

Without the authority to remove Cabinet ministers, the

ZANU-PF ministers are unlikely to give much weight to

Tsvangirai’s role as Chair of the COM.

 

——————————

MDC-M’s Over-weighted Position

——————————

 

9. (SBU) Debatably, the biggest winner in the agreement may

well have been Arthur Mutambara’s MDC-M faction. Despite

garnering only 10 parliamentary seats out of 210–and

demonstrating little control of those 10–Mutambara

negotiaed a position as Deputy Prime Minister. MDC-M also

picked up three ministries, one appointed MP andthree

Senators. Most critically, should Mutambaa continue to show

signs of supporting Mugabe (a he did throughout the

negotiations), he could tp the balance of power in Cabinet

in Mugabe’s favor. (Septel provides the views of Tendai

Biti, oe of the agreement’s negotiators, on how this came

about.)

 

——————————————— –

Constitution, By-Elections, and Many Cmmittees

——————————————— —

 

10. (SBU) The agreement lays out certain steps leading to the

adoption of a new Zimbabwean constitution. Specifically, a

Select Committee of Parliament composed of party MPs will

draft a new constitution that will go through a nation-wide

referendum and then ultimately be submitted for vote in

Parliament. There is no mention of the President needing to

 

HARARE 00000842 003 OF 003

 

 

approve the new constitution. The timetable sets a period of

19 months from now until a final parliamentary vote.

 

11. (SBU) If any vacancies arise in Parliament during the

next 12 months, the other parties agree that they will not

contest for the seat, leaving it to the party holding the

vacant seat will to fill the vacancy. Unless independents or

other party candidates emerge, this should ensure that the

MDC-T maintains its one seat advantage over ZANU-PF in the

House of Assembly, and may mitigate intimidation and violence

in upcoming by-election campaigns for two vacant seats.

(reftel)

 

12. (SBU) The deal also creates four new entities. A

National Security Council (NSC), a National Economic Council

(NEC) and two review entities: the Joint Monitoring and

Implementation Committee (JOMIC) and an unnamed committee

composed of two representatives from each party. The

National Security Council will be run by Mugabe. The NEC is

a bipartisan committee that will advise on economic recovery.

The JOMIC is the principal entity that will periodically

review the implementation of the agreement and hear

complaints stemming from any lack of compliance.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

13. (C) This document is clearly a framework that leaves it

to the signatories to hammer out many important details.

Unfortunately, it is the details–such as who controls which

ministries–that will determine this agreement’s ultimate

success or failure. END COMMENT

 

MCGEE

(24 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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