The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front was prepared to give Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai nothing higher than third vice-President when negotiations for the formation of the government of national unity started after the indecisive 20008 elections.
Tsvangirai on the other hand was not prepared for anything other than Prime Minister with executive powers. He was ready to accept Robert Mugabe as ceremonial president with Joseph Msika as his deputy but also without any executive powers.
Tsvangirai was ready to appoint Joice Mujuru his deputy but with executive authority which would effectively have made her more powerful than Mugabe and Msika.
Political analyst Sydney Masamvu said this was a clear indication that the MDC was prepared to form an alliance with the Mujuru faction of ZANU-PF. The move was also aimed at preventing Mugabe’s heir apparent Emmerson Mnangagwa from holding any position of power.
Tsvangirai and Mugabe reached a deadlock on 28 July.
Tsvangirai, however, tried to incorporate powerful former African National Congress secretary-general Cyril Ramaphosa into his negotiating team, according to one of the cables released by Wikileaks.
Ramaphosa was to join Tendai Biti, Elton Mangoma, Jameson Timba, Innocent Chagonda, Eliphas Mukonoweshuro and Lovemore Moyo.
United States embassy officials said the addition of Ramaphosa was not likely to have any impact on Mugabe and ZANU-PF.
“Rather, Ramaphosa’s participation is better understood as a manifestation of domestic politics, in the same way that Zuma speaking about Mugabe is an opportunity to make Mbeki look bad more than it reflects outrage about the Zimbabwe crisis,” the cable says.
Viewing cable 08PRETORIA1659, ZIMBABWE MEDIATION REACHES IMPASSE
PP RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSA #1659 2111347
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 291347Z JUL 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5250
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN PRIORITY 5864
RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN PRIORITY 0037
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C O N F I D E N T I A L PRETORIA 001659
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/29/2018
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE MEDIATION REACHES IMPASSE
REF: PRETORIA 1632
Classified By: Ambassador Eric M. Bost. Reasons 1.4(b) and (d).
¶1. (C) On 28 July, talks to reach a power-sharing agreement
between President Robert Mugabe and MDC Leader Morgan
Tsvangirai reached a stalemate after both sides presented
drastically different proposals. According to numerous
Embassy contacts, Mugabe’s negotiators were under instruction
to offer Tsvangirai the position of third vice-president, and
nothing more. On the other hand, Tsvangirai has refused to
accept the results of the 27 June “election” and said he will
accept nothing less than the role of prime minister with full
executive powers in a two-year transitional authority.
Tsvangirai also apparently proposed that Mugabe could remain
ceremonial president, current Vice-President Joseph Msika
could be deputy president (without executive authority), and
second vice-president Joyce Mujuru could become deputy Prime
Minister (with executive authority). IDASA analyst Sydney
Masamvu told PolOff he believes this reflects MDC’s efforts
to forge an alliance with the Mujuru faction of ZANU-PF to
prevent Mugabe’s potential heir apparent Emmerson Mnangagwa
from holding any position of power.
¶2. (C) Immediately after talks were suspended, Tsvangirai
flew to Pretoria to speak to his negotiating team, which
press reports note have been significantly expanded from two
members to seven, including original negotiators MDC SG
Tendai Biti and Deputy Treasurer Elton Mangoma, but also MDC
Advisor Jameson Timba, Professor Eliphas Mukonoweshuro,
Lovemore Moyo, Innocent Chagonda, and one other. A French
diplomat with well-placed ANC contacts told PolOff on 29 July
that ANC heavyweight and Mbeki-rival Cyril Ramaphosa will
also be added to MDC’s negotiating team when talks resume,
presumably on 2 August. When asked how Mbeki feels about
Ramaphosa’s participation, the diplomat replied that Mbeki is
probably not thrilled but has no say in who negotiates for
either side. (COMMENT: Ramaphosa is known to be a strong
negotiator. He was ANC Secretary General during talks to end
apartheid. His addition to the MDC team is unlikely to have
an impact on Mugabe or ZANU-PF. Rather, Ramaphosa’s
participation is better understood as a manifestation of
domestic politics, in the same way that Zuma speaking about
Mugabe is an opportunity to make Mbeki look bad more than it
reflects outrage about the Zimbabwe crisis. END COMMENT)
ZANU-PF’s team, which flew back to Harare last night, has
also been expanded by “three unnamed brigadiers” to support
Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche.
¶3. (C) COMMENT: Despite all the hype surrounding the 21 July
signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Tsvangirai
and Mugabe, the two sides still appear far apart. The
stalemate and obvious lack of progress may yet be a blow to
Mbeki, who has trumpeted promises of significant progress and
raised expectations that a power-sharing deal will be signed
imminently. Mugabe, however, does not appear serious about
sharing power and remains as intransigent as ever. We also
see no evidence that behind the scenes efforts between Mugabe
and Tsvangirai (reftel) have made any headway either, forcing
negotiations back to square one. END COMMENT.
¶4. (U) This cable was coordinated with Embassy Harare.