The Morgan Tsvangirai Wikileaks cables-Part Thirty


Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai believed that the collapse of the Zimbabwean currency in 2008-2009 and the introduction of the United States dollar would force Mugabe to step down because Zimbabwe would not be able to raise enough US dollars to pay civil servants.

Instead, the introduction of the multiple currency beefed up Mugabe’s support and enabled him to rebuild the party and his support at the expense of the MDC which lost support during the four-year period that the country was run by an inclusive government.

Tsvangirai told United States ambassador to South Africa Eric Bost, a few weeks before he joined Mugabe in a government of national unit, that he had reached a tipping point where Mugabe had no option but to settle the crisis or the country would plunge into the unknown.

Though Tsvangirai believed that the collapse of the local currency and subsequent dollarization of the economy would force Mugabe’s government to concede power as it did not have the capacity to cover the government payroll using US dollars, he also acknowledged the resilience of Mugabe and ZANU-PF.

He said during the 1998-2000 timeframe, “We were so naive.  We thought we were just going to vote Mugabe out. We underestimated the depth and determination of this group.”

Indeed, nothing seemed to have changed much because even then Tsvangirai still underestimated Mugabe and ZANU-PF because they outmanoeuvred him and the MDC when they formed the transitional government.

Under the Global Political Agreement, the new government was supposed to have a cabinet of 31 ministers, 15 from ZANU-PF and 16 from the two MDC factions.

But when cabinet was announced it had 47 ministers, 25 from ZANU-PF and 22 from the two MDCs.

The two MDC’s had 110 Members of Parliament against ZANU-PF’s 99.

There was one independent MP, Jonathan Moyo.

The dollarization which Tsvangirai thought would force Mugabe to step down is only hitting his government now with the country facing a severe cash crisis which businessmen have warned could see the country’s banks collapsing.

But right now, the banks are making hefty profits.

Below are the first 600 Wikileaks cables on Tsvangirai, 126 to go.

Continued next page


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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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