Mujuru preferred Dabengwa to Makoni


0

Retired general Solomon Mujuru, who was touted as a kingmaker, preferred Dumiso Dabengwa to challenge President Robert Mugabe over Simba Makoni according to former journalist Sydney Masamvu.

Makoni was reported to have told President Robert Mugabe on 22 January 2008 that he was not going to be part of a Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front splinter group.

According to Masamvu, Mujuru was cool to a Makoni candidacy because Makoni did not have a base and Mujuru did not think he was a strong leader.

Mujuru is reported to have told Masamvu that he would support Dabengwa and Mujuru had been discussing with Dabengwa a possible electoral challenge.

The Movement for Democratic Change was sceptical that Dabengwa would bring any opposition because he had lost his bid for a parliamentary seat in Matabeleland since 2000.

Mujuru was supposed to be the main sponsor of Makoni as he had voted against Mugabe’s continued term in office from December 2006.

There was even talk of a Dabengwa- Mujuru- MDC coalition as there was a strong feeling that the MDC could not beat ZANU-PF but the problem was who was going to lead that coalition.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE71, ZIMBABWE ELECTION UPDATE: MAKONI A NON-STARTER

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE71

2008-01-24 15:15

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO0080

RR RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0071 0241515

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 241515Z JAN 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2424

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1740

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1866

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0460

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1143

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1500

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1922

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4350

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0993

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000071

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

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: 01/24/2018

TAGS: PGOV ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE ELECTION UPDATE: MAKONI A NON-STARTER

 

REF: A. HARARE 45

 

B. HARARE 16

C. PRETORIA 139

 

Classified By: Amb. James D. McGee for reasons 1.4 (d)

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: Simba Makoni took himself out of the

electoral mix on January 22 by pledging loyalty to President

Mugabe. Focus has now shifted to Dumiso Dabengwa, a ZANU-PF

Politburo member who has for some time opposed Mugabe within

the party. Interest in Makoni and now Dabengwa results from

a widespread belief that the MDC cannot defeat Mugabe on its

own. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) According to several Embassy sources, Simba Makoni on

January 22 met with President Mugabe and assured him he would

not be part of a ZANU-PF splinter group opposing Mugabe or

part of a coalition with the MDC. With almost all analysts

agreeing the MDC has little chance in an election against

ZANU-PF and Mugabe, Makoni had been seen as a moderate

ZANU-PF voice who, with the backing of Solomon Mujuru and an

alliance with the MDC, could have posed an electoral threat

to Mugabe. Makoni had long been seen as lacking political

courage, however, and his decision to remain in ZANU-PF with

Mugabe appears to confirm that perception.

 

3. (C) The fevered speculation about Makoni in the last

several weeks was the result both of a lack of confidence in

the MDC and the hope that there was a leader who, perhaps in

alliance with the MDC, could challenge Mugabe. The focus has

now shifted to Dumiso Dabengwa (Ref A). Dabengwa is an ally

of Solomon Mujuru. According to our sources, Mujuru and

Dabengwa plotted a challenge to Mugabe at the ZANU-PF

Congress in December. They had lined up support from six of

the ten provinces and were planning to have Dabengwa’s name

placed in nomination. Mugabe learned of the plan and,

through Emmerson Mnangagwa who was in charge of the Congress,

manipulated the rules to establish a pre-set agenda with no

nominations. The challenge, therefore, never took place.

 

4. (C) Sidney Masamvu of IDASA spoke with Mujuru last week

in South Africa. He told us Mujuru was cool to a Makoni

candidacy–Makoni had no base and he did not think he was a

strong leader–but said he would be supportive of Dabengwa

and had been discussing with Dabengwa a possible electoral

challenge.

 

5. (C) Several MDC Tsvangirai faction members have told us

they are skeptical Dabengwa would bring much to the

opposition. They point to the fact that he lost his bid for

a parliamentary seat in Matabeleland in 2005. Others,

however, including MDC members of the Mutambara faction (Ref

A) believe Dabengwa could be a potent force in conjunction

with the MDC and Mujuru, helping to solidify Matabeleland and

to gain votes in Mashonaland. They also note that he brings

liberation credentials to the table and could partially

liberate the MDC from charges that it is a tool of the West.

Jonathan Moyo averred to us that Dabengwa is one of four

people, along with Mnangagwa, Mujuru, and Joseph Msika whose

defection would exert a shock on ZANU-PF.

 

6. (C) COMMENT: A Dabengwa-Mujuru-MDC coalition would

present issues of who would lead–Dabengwa or Tsvangirai–and

would Mujuru-Dabengwa followers support a largely MDC

coalition (and vice versa). In the end, this may just be the

flavor of the month, as with the Makoni infatuation, driven

by a general feeling that the MDC cannot defeat Mugabe on its

own. But for now, Dabengwa is generating considerable

conversation. END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

(73 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHARETweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email
Print this page
Print

Like it? Share with your friends!

0
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.

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *