US embassy cable - 01HARARE816

UNENTHUSIASTIC ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY TRYING TO RIDE OUT MUGABE'S STORM

Identifier: 01HARARE816
Wikileaks: View 01HARARE816 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2001-02-23 11:34:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PINR PHUM KDEM ZI ZANU
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

231134Z Feb 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2865

PAGE 01        HARARE  00816  01 OF 02  231135Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-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   IO-00    L-00     VCE-00   
      AC-01    NSAE-00  OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    
      PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00  
      R-00     PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  
      SAS-00   SWCI-00    /009W
                  ------------------C95FF6  231136Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8283
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000816 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER 
 
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY 
 
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS 
 
NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER 
 
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SA C. PALMA 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  00816  01 OF 02  231135Z 
PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/23/11 
TAGS: PGOV, PINR, PHUM, KDEM, ZI, ZANU-PF 
SUBJECT: UNENTHUSIASTIC ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY TRYING TO 
RIDE OUT MUGABE'S STORM 
 
REFTEL: 00 HARARE 7134 
 
CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D'AFFAIRES EARL IRVING FOR REASONS: 
1.5 (B) AND (D). 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY: THE MAJORITY OF ZIMBABWE'S RULING ZANU- 
PF PARTY MEMBERS ARE UNHAPPY WITH PRESIDENT MUGABE AND 
THE WAY HE IS RUNNING THE COUNTRY, BUT THEY WILL NOT 
OFFER MORE THAN PASSIVE RESISTANCE TO HIS DESTRUCTIVE 
POLICIES, OUR CONTACTS TELL US.  THERE IS NOT LIKELY TO 
BE MUCH ENTHUSIASM FOR CAMPAIGNING FOR MUGABE IN THE 
UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, ACCORDING TO A FORMER 
ZANU-PF MP.  THE ONLY ENTHUSIASTIC CAMPAIGNERS -- AND 
POTENTIAL MUGABE SUCCESSORS -- WILL BE THOSE WHO HAVE 
BENEFITED RECENTLY FROM ZANU-PF'S REWARD SYSTEM.  A SNAP 
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IS UNLIKELY BECAUSE IT IS TOO 
RISKY FOR MUGABE, ACCORDING TO OUR SOURCES.  MEANWHILE, 
SOME REFORM-MINDED "YOUNG TURKS" ARE ATTEMPTING TO 
MODERATE THE PARTY'S MORE OUTLANDISH SWIPES AT THE RULE 
OF LAW.  FOR MOST ZANU-PF MEMBERS, HOWEVER, SURVIVAL IS 
THE BYWORD OF THE DAY.  END SUMMARY. 
 
PARLIAMENT: A HOUSE BITTERLY DIVIDED 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  00816  01 OF 02  231135Z 
------------------------------------ 
 
2.  (C) ON FEBRUARY 15, POLOFF MET WITH MICHAEL MATAURE, 
A FORMER ZANU-PF MP FOR CHIMANIMANI AND CURRENT HEAD OF 
A LOCAL NGO THAT FOCUSES ON PARLIAMENTARY ISSUES AND 
WORKS WITH MPS.  (COMMENT: TOWARD THE END OF HIS TENURE 
IN THE LAST PARLIAMENT, MATAURE WAS AN OUTSPOKEN CRITIC 
OF ZANU-PF'S TOP-DOWN STRUCTURE AND ATTEMPTS TO QUASH 
INTERNAL DISSENT.  END COMMENT.)  MATAURE DESCRIBED THE 
CURRENT ATMOSPHERE IN PARLIAMENT AS "POISONED" SINCE 
MOST MPS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE SEE ISSUES ONLY 
THROUGH A POLITICAL PRISM.  (NOTE:  THIS SENTIMENT WAS 
ALSO EXPRESSED BY WEBSTER SHAMU, ZANU-PF MP FOR CHEGUTU, 
IN A CONVERSATION WITH POLOFF FEBRUARY 13.  END NOTE.) 
MATAURE REPORTED THAT LITTLE PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE IN 
THE IMPEACHMENT EFFORT AGAINST PRESIDENT MUGABE BECAUSE 
THE ZANU-PF CHAIR IS USING ALL MANNER OF DELAYING 
TACTICS TO DRAG OUT THE PROCEEDINGS.  NO HEARINGS TO 
INVESTIGATE THE CHARGES AGAINST THE PRESIDENT HAVE BEEN 
SCHEDULED, HE ADDED. 
 
ZANU-PF REMAINS QUIETLY DISGRUNTLED 
----------------------------------- 
 
3.  (C) MATAURE CONTINUED BY DESCRIBING ZANU-PF AS A 
"DISGRUNTLED" AND "DIVIDED" PARTY, THE RECENT STRING OF 
BY-ELECTION VICTORIES NOTWITHSTANDING.  THERE IS A 
"SILENT MAJORITY" OF ZANU-PF MEMBERS WHO DO NOT APPROVE 
OF PRESIDENT MUGABE'S VIOLENT TACTICS TO COW OPPONENTS 
AND WANT HIM TO LEAVE POWER, BUT THEY FEEL THEY HAVE TO 
KEEP QUIET ON THE SUBJECT OR THEIR CAREERS WILL MEET AN 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  00816  01 OF 02  231135Z 
UNGLORIOUS END. 
 
4.  (C) PAUL MANGWANA, A YOUNG ZANU-PF MP FOR KADOMA 
EAST AND DEPUTY MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT AND 
COMMUNICATIONS, CONVEYED A SIMILAR VIEW TO POLOFF IN A 
SEPARATE CONVERSATION FEBRUARY 22.  MANGWANA STATED THAT 
AS A MINORITY IN THE PARTY, THE REFORM-MINDED "YOUNG 
TURK" GROUP (A GROUP TO WHICH MANGWANA WOULD APPEAR TO 
BELONG) CANNOT SPEAK OUT DIRECTLY AGAINST THE OLD GUARD. 
INSTEAD, THEY WORK QUIETLY BEHIND THE SCENES, 
ESSENTIALLY "GANGING UP" ON ONE OR TWO OLDER MEMBERS AT 
A TIME IN AN ATTEMPT TO INFLUENCE THEIR OPINION OR 
POLICIES. 
 
5.  (C) MANGWANA CITED THE EXAMPLE OF THE ZANU-PF 
PARLIAMENTARY MOTION TABLED FEBRUARY 22 TO ASK PRESIDENT 
MUGABE TO ESTABLISH A TRIBUNAL TO INVESTIGATE THE 
CONDUCT OF CERTAIN HIGH AND SUPREME COURT JUSTICES. 
(NOTE: THE FEBRUARY 23 EDITION OF THE GOVERNMENT- 
CONTROLLED "THE HERALD" REPORTED THAT THE MDC CLAIMED 
THE MOTION IS POTENTIALLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND DEBATE ON 
IT WILL BE DELAYED UNTIL FEBRUARY 27.  END NOTE.)  THE 
MP CLAIMED THE ORIGINAL MOTION WRITTEN BY JUSTICE 
MINISTER PATRICK CHINAMASA WOULD HAVE CALLED FOR THE 
DISMISSAL OF NEARLY THE ENTIRE HIGH AND SUPREME COURT 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2866 
 
PAGE 01        HARARE  00816  02 OF 02  231136Z 
ACTION AF-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-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   IO-00    L-00     VCE-00 
      AC-01    NSAE-00  OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00 
      PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00 
      R-00     PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 
      SAS-00   SWCI-00    /009W 
                  ------------------C96009  231136Z /38 
P 231134Z FEB 01 
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8284 
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY 
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY 
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 
 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 000816 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER 
 
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY 
 
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS 
 
NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER 
 
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SA C. PALMA 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  00816  02 OF 02  231136Z 
PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/23/11 
TAGS: PGOV, PINR, PHUM, KDEM, ZI 
SUBJECT: UNENTHUSIASTIC ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY TRYING TO 
RIDE OUT MUGABE'S STORM 
 
BENCHES, BUT PARTY MODERATES REWROTE THE MOTION TO BE 
MORE SELECTIVE AND TO DRAW UPON THE LAW.  MANGWANA WENT 
AS FAR AS TO SAY THAT CHINAMASA HAD BEEN EXCESSIVE IN 
HIS CONDEMNATION OF THE JUDICIARY AND THAT HE SHOULD NOT 
PAINT THE WHOLE JUDICIARY WITH THE SAME BRUSH.  MANGWANA 
ACKNOWLEDGED THE NEGATIVE IMPACT OF CHINAMASA'S ACTIONS 
ON ZIMBABWE'S INTERNATIONAL REPUTATION, AND HOPED THAT 
TRIBUNALS INVESTIGATING SELECTED JUSTICES (PRESUMABLY 
INSTEAD OF PERPETUATING THE TREND OF THINLY VEILED 
THREATS) WOULD RESTORE SOME SEMBLANCE OF THE RULE OF LAW 
TO ZIMBABWE. 
 
LITTLE ENTHUSIASM FOR MUGABE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
6.  (C) THE LEVEL OF UNHAPPINESS IN ZANU-PF WITH MUGABE 
IS LIKELY TO TRANSLATE INTO A LACK OF ENTHUSIASM FOR 
MUGABE'S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN, MATAURE THEORIZED.  IT 
IS TELLING, HE SAID, HOW LITTLE CABINET MEMBERS AND 
OTHER ZANU-PF MEMBERS HAVE VOICED PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR 
MUGABE SINCE THE DECEMBER PARTY CONGRESS (REFTEL).  THE 
FEW WHO DO ACTIVELY CAMPAIGN FOR MUGABE ARE THE ONES TO 
BE VIEWED AS MUGABE'S POTENTIAL SUCCESSORS, MATAURE 
ASSERTED, EVEN CALLING THEM THE PRESIDENT'S "RUNNING 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  00816  02 OF 02  231136Z 
MATES."  YOUTH DEVELOPMENT MINISTER BORDER GEZI, LOCAL 
GOVERNMENT MINISTER IGNATIUS CHOMBO, AND SPEAKER OF 
PARLIAMENT EMMERSON MNANGAGWA ARE POTENTIAL "RUNNING 
MATES" BECAUSE OF THEIR UNSWERVING LOYALTY TO MUGABE. 
THE PRESIDENT VALUES LOYALTY ABOVE ALL ELSE, MATAURE 
ARGUED, AND DOLES OUT PATRONAGE BASED ON THAT 
ALLEGIANCE.  THE NEEDS OF THIS REWARD SYSTEM AND THE 
PARTY ARE "PARAMOUNT" BEFORE THE NEEDS OF THE COUNTRY, 
HE OPINED. 
 
7.  (C) WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF A SNAP 
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION THIS YEAR, MATAURE DESCRIBED THAT 
SCENARIO AS VERY RISKY FOR MUGABE, AND THEREFORE, 
UNLIKELY.  THE PRESIDENT IS SO UNPOPULAR RIGHT NOW, HE 
WOULD HAVE TO DEPLOY 250,000 PEOPLE ACROSS THE COUNTRY 
TO CANVASS FOR HIM, AND ZANU-PF SIMPLY DOES NOT HAVE THE 
RESOURCES TO MOUNT SUCH A CAMPAIGN, THE FORMER MP 
STATED.  THE ONLY WAY MUGABE COULD WIN IS IF THERE WAS A 
THREE- OR FOUR-WAY RACE AMONG HIGH-PROFILE CANDIDATES 
THAT ESSENTIALLY SPLIT THE OPPOSITION VOTE, MATAURE 
SUGGESTED, AND THAT DOES NOT APPEAR LIKELY AT THIS TIME. 
 
COMMENT: ALL WE WANT IS TO SURVIVE 
---------------------------------- 
 
8.  (C) OUR ZANU-PF CONTACTS PAINT A PICTURE OF AN 
UNHAPPY AND MOSTLY POWERLESS PARTY MAJORITY BIDING ITS 
TIME UNTIL THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, WHICH MUST BE HELD 
BY APRIL 1, 2002.  THOSE WHO ARE NOT WILLING TO TRY TO 
MODERATE THE RULING PARTY'S WORST EXCESSES FROM BEHIND 
THE SCENES ARE LYING LOW UNTIL THE STORM BLOWS OVER. 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  00816  02 OF 02  231136Z 
POLITICAL SURVIVAL IS THE BYWORD IN THIS CURRENT PERIOD 
OF THE COUNTRY'S HISTORY THAT IS AKIN TO MAO'S CULTURAL 
REVOLUTION.  THE ONLY TOOL LEFT FOR THE DISBELIEVERS IS 
PASSIVE RESISTANCE.  THE OUTSPOKEN MINORITY OF PARTY 
LEADERS WILLING TO USE VIOLENCE, HARASSMENT AND OTHER 
EXTRALEGAL MEANS TO CARRY OUT THE PRESIDENT'S PLANS, 
SUCH AS GEZI, CHINAMASA, AND INFORMATION MINISTER 
JONATHAN MOYO, WILL CONTINUE TO HOLD SWAY IN THE NEAR 
TERM.  END COMMENT. 
 
IRVING 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
> 

Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04