Zvobgo says Mugabe has too much power


0

Masvingo South legislator Eddison Zvobgo said although he supported the idea of an executive president he also believed that the president’s powers should be curtailed.

He told United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Joseph Sullivan that he had proposed more limited powers for the president when he crafted the constitutional amendment that turned Robert Mugabe from Prime Minister to President but the initial draft had been rejected.

Zvobgo said the president should constitutionally be answerable to his cabinet but Mugabe had expanded his political space to such an extent that he did not answer to anyone but himself.

He said there were a number of people in government such as Finance Minister Simba Makoni who had realistic views of the causes and extent of Zimbabwe’s economic problems but unfortunately there were just as many with unrealistic views.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 01HARARE3221, ZIMBABWE: NOT TOO LATE FOR FREE AND FAIR

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

01HARARE3221

2001-10-26 10:18

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.

 

261018Z Oct 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTO4342

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03221 01 OF 02 261050Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 USNW-00 DINT-00 DODE-00

DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00 FBIE-00

VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01

NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PC-01   PM-00   PRS-00

ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00

DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /007W

——————35C4FD 261050Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0124

INFO NSC WASHDC

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 003221

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR CHARLES NEARY

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/26/11

TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE: NOT TOO LATE FOR FREE AND FAIR

ELECTION, ZVOBGO TELLS AMBASSADOR

 

 

CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL OFFICER TODD FAULK FOR REASONS:

1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

1. (U) IN AN INTRODUCTORY MEETING, AMBASSADOR SULLIVAN

MET WITH MASVINGO SOUTH MP AND LONG-STANDING ZANU-PF

POLITICIAN EDDISON ZVOBGO ON OCTOBER 19. AMBASSADOR WAS

JOINED BY POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF. AMBASSADOR AND

ZVOBGO QUICKLY FOUND COMMON GROUND: BOTH HAD ATTENDED

TUFTS UNIVERSITY IN THE U.S. AT THE SAME TIME DURING THE

1960S. THEIR DISCUSSION WAS WARM AND FRIENDLY.

 

PRESIDENTIAL POWERS SHOULD BE CURTAILED

—————————————

 

2. (C) ZVOBGO BEGAN WITH A DISCUSSION OF PRESIDENT

MUGABE’S POWERS. ZVOBGO SUPPORTS THE IDEA OF AN

EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT, BUT BELIEVES THE PRESIDENT’S POWERS

SHOULD BE CURTAILED. IN WRITING THE 1986 CONSTITUTIONAL

AMENDMENT THAT TURNED MUGABE FROM A PRIME MINISTER INTO

A PRESIDENT, ZVOBGO HAD PROPOSED MORE LIMITED EXECUTIVE

POWERS FOR THE PRESIDENT, BUT THIS INITIAL DRAFT WAS

REJECTED. IN RETROSPECT, ZVOBGO BELIEVES THAT MORE

SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE TO MAKE MUGABE CONSTITUTIONALLY

ANSWERABLE TO HIS CABINET. HOWEVER, MUGABE EXPANDED HIS

“POLITICAL SPACE” TO SUCH AN EXTENT THAT HE DOES NOT

ANSWER TO ANYONE BUT HIMSELF. THE AMBASSADOR STATED

THAT AFRICA NEEDS TO MOVE AWAY FROM THE TRADITION OF THE

STRONG MAN LEADER, EVEN IF THAT MEANS PUTTING MORE

CONSTITUTIONAL RESTRICTIONS ON HIS POWER.

 

WE CAN’T BLAME THE WEST FOR OUR PROBLEMS

—————————————-

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03221 01 OF 02 261050Z

 

3. (C) THERE ARE A NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN GOVERNMENT, SUCH

AS FINANCE MINISTER SIMBA MAKONI, WHO HAVE A REALISTIC

VIEW OF THE CAUSES AND EXTENT OF ZIMBABWE’S SUBSTANTIAL

ECONOMIC PROBLEMS, ZVOBGO CONTINUED. UNFORTUNATELY,

THERE ARE JUST AS MANY WITH UNREALISTIC VIEWS OR WHO

FAIL TO EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE THAT PROBLEMS EXIST. SOME OF

THESE PEOPLE BLAME THE U.S. OR BRITAIN FOR ZIMBABWE’S

PROBLEMS. ZVOBGO SAID THIS IS PATENTLY ABSURD —

ZIMBABWE HAS ONLY ITSELF TO BLAME. HE WARNED THE

AMBASSADOR THAT HE MAY ENCOUNTER A LEVEL OF XENOPHOBIA

IN ZIMBABWE BECAUSE OF THE MORE POPULAR VIEW THAT OTHERS

ARE RESPONSIBLE.

 

IT’S NOT TOO LATE FOR A FREE AND FAIR ELECTION

——————————————— –

 

4. (C) ZVOBGO OPINED THAT IT IS NOT TOO LATE FOR A FREE

AND FAIR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN ZIMBABWE. THE MP

SUGGESTED THAT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SHOULD LAY

DOWN CLEAR, MINIMUM CONDITIONS THAT MUST BE MET IF THE

ELECTORAL PROCESS AND ELECTION OUTCOME ARE TO BE

CONSIDERED LEGITIMATE; OTHERWISE, THE RESULTS WILL NOT

BE RECOGNIZED. AGREEMENT BY THE U.S., EU, AND SADC TO A

MINIMUM SET OF STANDARDS COULD SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE

THE CHANCES THAT THE ELECTION WILL BE AS FREE AND FAIR

AS POSSIBLE. THE ELECTION WILL NOT BE PERFECT, ZVOBGO

ADMITTED, BUT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SHOULD AIM FOR

“SUBSTANTIAL COMPLIANCE” TO ITS CONDITIONS.

 

5. (C) THE AMBASSADOR ASKED IF THERE IS SPACE FOR

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03221 01 OF 02 261050Z

OBSERVERS IN ZIMBABWE, AND ZVOBGO REPLIED “YES.

OBSERVERS WILL INSTILL CONFIDENCE IN THE POLITICAL

PROCESS.” THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE RELUCTANT TO ALLOW

OBSERVERS — THE AMBASSADOR NOTED THE EXPULSION OF THE

IFES OBSERVER TEAM IN SEPTEMBER — BUT IF THE

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY LAYS DOWN OBSERVERS AS A

CONDITION FOR AN LEGITIMATE ELECTION, THEN THERE IS A

BETTER CHANCE OF A FAIR ELECTION. IF THE GOVERNMENT

DOES NOT MEET THESE CONDITIONS, DONORS SHOULD MAKE CLEAR

THAT IT WILL NOT BE BUSINESS AS USUAL WITH ZIMBABWE.

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION SINCE ZIMBABWE’S

INDEPENDENCE IN 1980, ZVOBGO OPINED, AND THE EFFORT

“SHOULD NOT END IN FUTILITY.”

 

6. (C) WHEN ASKED ABOUT MUGABE’S INSISTENCE THAT HE

WOULD “NEVER, EVER ALLOW THE MDC TO TAKE POWER,” ZVOBGO

REPLIED THAT HE INTERPRETS THIS STATEMENT TO MEAN THE

PRESIDENT CANNOT COMPREHEND LOSING THE ELECTION. ZVOBGO

BELIEVES THAT MUGABE WOULD LEAVE POWER IF SOUNDLY

DEFEATED IN THE ELECTION. ON THE ROLE OF THE MILITARY,

ZVOBGO THINKS THE ARMY WOULD NOT INTERFERE IN THE

ELECTION OUTCOME, AND WOULD ALLOW THE MDC TO ASSUME

POWER IF IT WON THE ELECTION BY A RESPECTABLE MARGIN.

ZVOBGO DOUBTED THAT A COUP BY MUGABE OR THE MILITARY

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ7189

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03221 02 OF 02 261050Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00

SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00

H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00

OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00  PC-01   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00

P-00     SP-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02

G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /007W

——————35C4FF 261050Z /38

R 261018Z OCT 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0125

INFO NSC WASHDC

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 003221

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR CHARLES NEARY

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/26/11

TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE: NOT TOO LATE FOR FREE AND FAIR

ELECTION, ZVOBGO TELLS AMBASSADOR

 

WOULD BE SUSTAINABLE IF THE MDC WON BIG.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03221 02 OF 02 261050Z

 

SULLIVAN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

(22 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 *