Mugabe reluctant to choose a Karanga as successor- ambassador


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South Africa’s ambassador to Zimbabwe Jeremiah Ndou told United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Joseph Sullivan that the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front did not expect the Movement for Democratic Change to ever win an election or govern the country because of its lack of lack of liberation credentials.

Talk about succession, therefore, meant a transition from one ZANU-PF president to another, but President Robert Mugabe was reluctant to choose a Karanga, like Emmerson Mnangagwa, as a successor.

He said that in the absence of a Zezuru, it was more likely that Mugabe would choose a Manyika like Simba Makoni or even a Ndebele.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 03HARARE1242, SOUTH AFRICANS SEE SLOW PROGRESS TOWARD ZIMBABWE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

03HARARE1242

2003-06-18 05:30

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.

 

180530Z Jun 03

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 001242

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/FO, AF/S AND NSC FOR AFRICA SR DIR FRAZER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/17/2013

TAGS: PREL PGOV SF ZI

SUBJECT: SOUTH AFRICANS SEE SLOW PROGRESS TOWARD ZIMBABWE

DIALOGUE

 

 

Classified By: Joseph G. Sullivan for reasons 1.5b/d

 

1. (c) South African High Commissioner Jeremiah Ndou told the

Ambassador June 17 that talks about talks between ZANU-PF and

the MDC continued with both sides agreed on need to resume

their dialogue. Ndou said that some talks had already

occurred between the two sides prior to the June 2-6 stayaway

and more had been scheduled for the week when planning for

the stayaway and GOZ reaction interrupted the process. Ndou

said that President Mbeki had urged the MDC not to go ahead

with the stayaway and was upset when the MDC opted for the

mass action. He said that the SAG had urged the GOZ not to

over-react to the MDC actions. Ndou said the GOZ was also

upset over the MDC mass action and this was why Tsvangirai

was detained. Ndou said that both sides remained committed

to talks, however, as the only way out of the crisis. Ndou

said that the talks remained mostly about talks, rather than

about the substance of differences. He said the SAG was

urging ZANU-PF to move to public meetings with the MDC as a

way to lock in the dialogue process and get public credit for

it. As it were, both sides were arguing that radicals in

their own parties opposed dialogue with the other party.

Ndou said that one potential formula could have talks focus

on constitutional reforms as a way to deal with concrete

reform issues rather than have every issue become a straight

political dispute between ZANU-PF and the MDC.

 

2. (c) Ndou said he believed that it was now clear that

Mugabe’s departure as President was part of any dialogue. The

subject had been touched on during the three Presidents’

visit to Harare last month and Mugabe’s public call for an

open campaign for succession had brought the debate out of

the closet. Ndou said that ZANU-PF, of course, believed that

succession meant a transition from one ZANU-PF President to

another; ZANU-PF did not expect that MDC could ever win an

election or govern the country because of its lack of

liberation war credentials. Ndou discounted a June 17 “Daily

News” account that Mugabe had told President Mbeki that

Parliamentary Speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa was his chosen

successor. Ndou said that tribal rivalries made ZANU

succession much more complicated with Mugabe reluctant to

choose a Karanga(Shona sub-group) like Mnangagwa. In the

absence of a qualified Zezeru(Mugabe’s Shona sub-group), it

was more likely that a Manica(a Shona speaker from

Manicaland) like Simba Makoni or even an Ndebele would be

chosen as a transitional leader. Ndou said that these same

tribal rivalries made ZANU more open to a constitutional

reform which distributed power controlled so tightly in the

presidency among a number of positions, including a Prime

Ministry, a stronger Parliament, etc.

 

 

3. (c) The Ambassador underlined USG anger over Tsvangirai’s

continued detention and deliberate humiliation on no credible

grounds other than Mugabe’s wish to hold him. He urged that

the South Africans exert every effort to secure his release.

Ndou said that the SAG had urged Tsvangirai’s release and had

urged the MDC to raise the need for Tsvangirai’s release as

essential for productive negotiations.

 

4.(c) Comment: It is clear that the South Africans continue

to work this issue. (President Mbeki called while I was with

Ndou.) It is less clear how hard they are pushing Mugabe and

whether Mugabe and ZANU-PF see any urgency to dialogue or are

stringing the process along. And this is before anyone has

really gotten into the substance of the negotiations

themselves.

 

 

SULLIVAN

 

(44 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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