Mutsekwa said Chiwenga asked Mugabe to step down in 2006


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Movement for Democratic Change MP Giles Mutsekwa told United States embassy officials that Zimbabwean Defence Forces commander Constantine Chiwenga and other high-ranking officers had met with Mugabe in September 2006 and asked him to step aside.

He said that the officers’ primary concern was their fate in case things fell apart or a government not influenced by Mugabe came to power.

Mugabe refused their request stating that ZANU-PF was in turmoil and this was not the appropriate time for change.

Mugabe, however, promised to increase salaries and perquisites throughout the military.

Mutsekwa said some of his contacts in the military were interested in meeting US officials outside Zimbabwe and he could facilitate that.

They wanted assurances that the US would not pressure to end their pensions or have them prosecuted in the event of a new government.

Mutsekwa said his contacts led him to believe that with such assurances they would consider gradually withdrawing support from Mugabe.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 06HARARE1308, MDC MP CLIAMS MILITARY PRESSURE ON MUGABE

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

06HARARE1308

2006-11-01 15:32

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO6473

PP RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #1308/01 3051532

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 011532Z NOV 06

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0759

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1353

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1206

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1357

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0108

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0618

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 0983

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1411

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 3789

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1180

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1832

RUEFDIA/DIA WASHDC//DHO-7//

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1574

RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK//DOOC/ECMO/CC/DAO/DOB/DOI//

RUEPGBA/CDR USEUCOM INTEL VAIHINGEN GE//ECJ23-CH/ECJ5M//

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001308

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

USAID FOR M. COPSON AND E. LOKEN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/17/2011

TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR ZI

SUBJECT: MDC MP CLIAMS MILITARY PRESSURE ON MUGABE

 

Classified By: Ambassador Christopher Dell under Section 1.4 b/d

 

——

Summary

——-

 

1. (C) Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) MP Giles

Mutsekwa told polchief in meetings in Mutare and Harare

October 19 and 27 respectively that Zimbabwean defense forces

commander C.G. Chiwenga and other high-ranking officers had

met with Mugabe in September and asked him to step aside.

Mugabe deflected their request, stating that ZANU-PF turmoil

made change undesirable at this time. Mutsekwa, who is

retired military, told polchief that some of his contacts at

the colonel and brigadier level want to keep the pressure on

Mugabe. They would also like a meeting with U.S. officials

outside of Zimbabwe; Mutsekwa said he could facilitate such a

meeting.

 

2. (C) In Mutare, polchief also met with former Mutare mayor

Mishek Kagurabadza. In discussing USG activities in

Zimbabwe, he recommended strongly that the U.S. consider

extending travel sanctions to the children of Specially

Designated Nationals (SDNs). End Summary.

 

—————————————

Military Pushes President to Step Aside

—————————————

 

3. (C) Mutsekwa told polchief that from his days as a

military officer he maintains contact with a number of

current military officers at the colonel and brigadier level.

Mutsekwa,s sources informed him that in September

Zimbabwean defense forces commander Chiwenga and other high

ranking officers met with Mugabe and urged him to step aside.

According to Mutsekwa,s sources, the officers primary

concern was their fate in case things fell apart or a

government not influenced by Mugabe came to power.

 

4. (C) Mutsekwa,s sources told him Mugabe deflected the

request by asserting that ZANU-PF was internally troubled and

this was not the appropriate time for a change. He also

promised to increase salaries and perquisites throughout the

military.

 

———————————————

Military requests meeting with U.S. officials

———————————————

 

5. (C) Mutsekwa added that some of his contacts are

interested in meeting with U.S. officials outside of

Zimbabwe. According to Mutsekwa, they would like assurances

that the U.S. will not pressure to end their pensions and/or

have them prosecuted in the event of a new government.

Mutsekwa said his contacts led him to believe that with such

assurances they would consider gradually withdrawing support

from Mugabe. Should the U.S. agree to a meeting, Mutsekwa

offered to identify relevant offers and assist with logistics.

 

——–

Bio Note

——–

 

6. (C) Mutsekwa was a career military officer and retired

with the rank of major. He is currently an MDC Member of

Parliament from Mutare and is the MDC national security

director. In March 2006 he was arrested with Michael

Hitschmann and others on charges of conspiring to kill

 

HARARE 00001308 002 OF 002

 

 

Mugabe. Charges against all but Hitschmann were subsequently

dropped for lack of evidence; the trial of Hitschmann began

this week in Mutare.

 

————————

Kagurabadza on sanctions

————————

 

7. (C) Polchief also met in Mutare with former mayor Mishek

Kagurabadza. At the end of 2005, Local Government Minister

Inatius Chombo, in a ZANU-PF power play, dismissed

Kagurabadza and his fellow MDC councilmen. Earlier this

year, Chombo extended the term of the commission he appointed

to govern Mutare rather than risk an election that

Kagurabadza, who won over 80 percent of the vote in the last

election, would have almost certainly won.

 

8. (C) In the conversation with polchief, Kagurabadza was

particularly vocal on the issue of sanctions. He argued that

it was illogical and immoral not to apply travel sanctions to

the children of SDNs. It is unfair, he said, to allow them

to study in the U.S. while their government minister parents

are degrading the Zimbabwean educational system, making it

more and more difficult for unprivileged children to receive

a quality education.

 

DELL

 

(27 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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