US official said Jonathan Moyo is a political chameleon


0

A United States embassy official described Zimbabwe’s Former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo as a political chameleon, a master at changing his spots, and a man driven by personal ambition.

 

In a cable released by Wikileaks which he dispatched on 20 July 2005 Charge d’Affaires Eric T. Schultz said Moyo’s courage in publicly taking on the Robert Mugabe regime at a time when few others seemed inclined to do so made him a potentially pivotal player in Zimbabwe’s dysfunctional political scene.

“In addition to courage, he appears to have the intelligence and charisma needed to inspire and lead a movement for political change. But Moyo is also a political chameleon, a master at changing his spots, and a man driven by personal ambition.

“A year ago he argued with equal apparent conviction on behalf of a regime he may have hoped to lead and now reviles, and that past makes him suspect with those in the opposition and general public that he seeks to attract to his third force,”  Schultz said.

Moyo had told embassy officials that the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front was now a party in crisis – ossified in policy and beholden to one man who no longer enjoyed the confidence of either the party or the nation.

He said conditions were ripe for the rise of an independent “third force” in Zimbabwean politics. He discounted the Movement for Democratic Change’s prospects to lead, describing the party as insufficiently “nationalistic” and poorly managed.

Embassy officials suspected, however, that the third force was a stalking horse for Emmerson Mnangagwa, and that Moyo saw himself not as Mugabe’s successor but ultimately as Mnangagwa’s.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 05HARARE990, MOYO ON ZANU-PF, NEED FOR NEW LEADERSHIP

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

05HARARE990

2005-07-20 10:44

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.

 

201044Z Jul 05

 

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 CIAE-00 INL-00   DODE-00

DOEE-00 PERC-00 DS-00   EAP-00   EB-00   EUR-00   VC-00

H-00     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00

DCP-00   NRC-00   NSAE-00 OES-00   OIC-00   NIMA-00 PA-00

MCC-00   GIWI-00 PRS-00   P-00     FMPC-00 SP-00   IRM-00

SSO-00   SS-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 SCRS-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00

DRL-00   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00   SWCI-00   /001W

——————182182 201135Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8611

INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY ABUJA

AMEMBASSY ACCRA

AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA

AMEMBASSY DAKAR

AMEMBASSY KAMPALA

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

AMEMBASSY PARIS

AMEMBASSY ROME

NSC WASHDC

USEU BRUSSELS

USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000990

 

SIPDIS

 

 

AF/S FOR B. NEULING

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2010

TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI ZANU PF

SUBJECT: MOYO ON ZANU-PF, NEED FOR NEW LEADERSHIP

 

REF: HARARE 982

 

Classified By: Ambassador Charge d’Affaires Eric T. Schultz under Secti

on 1.4 b/d

 

——-

Summary

——-

 

1. (C) In a July 5 exchange with visiting Congressional

senior staff Greg Simpkins and Pearl Alice Marsh, Jonathan

Moyo cast ZANU-PF as a party in crisis – ossified in policy

and beholden to one man who no longer enjoyed the confidence

of either the party or the nation. He said conditions were

ripe for the rise of an independent “third force” in

Zimbabwean politics. The key to a healthier politic dynamic

was Mugabe’s removal from the scene, he underscored; the fate

of constitutional amendments under consideration could be

critical in that regard. Two days after his meeting with the

staffdel, Moyo publicly called for Mugabe’s resignation and a

presidential election. End summary.

 

—————–

ZANU-PF in Crisis

—————–

 

2. (C) Moyo told the staffdel in his home that President

Mugabe was “on his way out”; his health was declining and his

party and the country wanted him to step down. Zimbabwe’s

central problem, he maintained, was that the ruling party had

no effective succession meQanism to see him to the door.

 

3. (C) Moyo then launched into a historical exposition to

explain the party’s current state of paralysis. ZANU-PF had

begun to deal with its predicament in the run-up to the 2000

Party Congress when, shaken by the rise of an effective

opposition, a younger generation of party leaders (e.g.,

Simba Makoni, Joseph Made) had agitated for internal reform.

Unable to resolve key issues, the party had deferred reform

issues for the 2004 Congress.

 

4. (C) According to Moyo, during the run-up to the 2004

Congress a small clique under Mugabe (the Mujuru/Zezuru

faction) effectively changed the party’s constitution to

forestall reform and to perpetuate the clique’s primacy in

the party without following constitutional procedures.

Certain aspects, such as gender reservations “were fine” in

theory, Moyo said, but when taken in conjunction with other

measures such as the elimination of secret ballots, evinced a

clearly sinister objective. The Zezuru clique’s extra-legal

putsch provoked a strong counter-effort (the “Tsholotsho”

movement), which was suppressed out of fear of a

Karanga-Ndebele-Manyika alliance.

 

5. (C) Moyo maintained that the unresolved tensions of the

2000 and 2004 ZANU-PF party congresses remained a central

factor in Zimbabwean politics. Within the GOZ, it manifested

itself in the deference of all to the President, an absence

of meaningful debate, and institutional paralysis. This made

everybody beholden to State House and impelled rent-seeking

behavior at the expense of any national interest.

 

————-

“Third Force”

————-

 

6. (C) The resulting frustration within the party and

dissatisfaction among the public, he continued, opened the

door for a “third force”. Moyo discounted the MDC’s

prospects to lead, describing the party as insufficiently

“nationalistic” and poorly managed. He said the odds for the

emergence of an independent party had risen from 50 percent

before the March elections to 75 percent now. Pearson

Mbalekwa’s resignation from the party was a

test case” for the independent-minded and “needed to be

nurtured.”

 

———————

Constitutional Agenda

———————

 

7. (C) Moyo asserted that ZANU-PF’s constitutional plans

were critical to the clique’s quest to remain on top. First,

it wanted to consolidate presidential and parliamentary

elections as an excuse to defer the next national contest

until 2010, giving them time to reverse their unpopularity.

The creation of a senate and streamlining of land reform

would expand patronage opportunities. Most importantly,

presidential succession provisions would be amended to

require a vice-president to complete an unfinished

presidential term instead of convoking a national election

within 90 days of a president’s resignation or incapacity.

This would allow Joyce Mujuru to run for election in 2010 as

an incumbent president. Moyo concluded that if ZANU-PF

managed to engineer a succession on its own terms, the

struggle to restore democracy would be significantly

prolonged.

 

————-

Restore Order

————-

 

8. (C) The staffdel told Moyo that they originally had

planned to come to Zimbabwe to explore prospects for improved

relations in the wake of Zimbabwe’s relatively peaceful

election but that Operation Restore Order had set back such

prospects considerably. Moyo responded that Restore Order

represented some of the regime’s worst tendencies but also

specifically evidenced the ruling clique’s self-interested

hand as well.

 

9. (C ) Moyo said he believed the motivation behind Restore

Order was the ruling clique’s imperative to keep the country

off balance and to keep any internal elements of ZANU-PF from

getting sufficiently settled to get purchase on succession

objectives. Indeed, it remained in the narrow clique’s

interest to keep the country lurching from crisis to crisis,

he argued. Moyo totally dismissed reports that Security

Minister Mutasa had master-minded the campaign. Instead, he

alleged that Vice President Mujuru had been instrumental in

the decision to implement Restore Order. Mugabe himself had

been opposed but could not oppose it once it got underway.

 

10. (C) Moyo said that the ruling party had miscalculated

the costs of Restore Order, both political and economic. He

said Zimbabweans had been “shocked” at the extent to which

the GOZ had gone after constituencies on which it

historically had relied. Many ZANU-PF members, especially

party MPs, were made exceedingly uncomfortable by Restore

Order. The ruling party would pay a price the next time the

electorate went to the polls for its “disastrous”

miscalculation.

 

——————————————— ———–

Post Script: Moyo Publicly Calls for Mugabe to Step Down

——————————————— ———–

 

11. (SBU) On July 7 Moyo appeared at a Crisis

Coalition-organized public panel on Operation Restore Order

that included MDC Secretary for Economic Affairs Tendai Biti,

ZCTU Secretary General and Crisis Coalition Chairman

Wellington Chibebe, and fervently anti-GOZ University of

Zimbabwe Political Science Professor John Makumbe. Moyo

commanded by far the greatest applause at the well-attended

event, especially when he called for Mugabe to step down and

yield leadership to younger more vigorous elements. His

thirty-minute speech went to lengths to distinguish ZANU-PF’s

traditional behavior (in which Moyo played a central role)

from Restore Order, which Moyo cast as a “betrayal of the

party’s nationalist orientation” and a “war on the people.”

 

12. (SBU) Moyo cast the ruling party as “an ideological

shell”, led by a man courageous in his youth but destructive

in his dotage. He said Mugabe’s “bombast was entertaining”

but only hurt the country’s national interest. He urged the

president to preserve his legacy by resigning immediately,

thus opening the way for a presidential election within 90

days in accordance with the existing constitution. He urged

the audience to demand a presidential election before it was

scheduled in 2008, and not to accept any proposal to have it

 

postponed.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

13. (C) Moyo,s courage in publicly taking on the regime at

a time when few others seem inclined to do so makes him a

potentially pivotal player in Zimbabwe’s dysfunctional

political scene. In addition to courage, he appears to have

the intelligence and charisma needed to inspire and lead a

movement for political change. But Moyo is also a political

chameleon, a master at changing his spots, and a man driven

by personal ambition. A year ago he argued with equal

apparent conviction on behalf of a regime he may have hoped

to lead and now reviles, and that past makes him suspect with

those in the opposition and general public that he seeks to

attract to his third force. Moyo is also from the minority

Ndebele and, while he may talk a good game with respect to

transcending ethnicity, he probably knows it might be a

bridge too far for an Ndebele to be president in the current

climate. We suspect that like Pearson Mbalekwa (Ref A), Moyo

views the third force as a stalking horse for Emmerson

Mnangagwa, and that Moyo sees himself not as Mugabe,s

successor but ultimately as Mnangagwa,s.

SCHULTZ

 

 

NNNN

(18 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 *