US embassy cable - 05HARARE990

MOYO ON ZANU-PF, NEED FOR NEW LEADERSHIP

Identifier: 05HARARE990
Wikileaks: View 05HARARE990 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2005-07-20 10:44:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PHUM 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.

201044Z Jul 05

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                  ------------------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 
 
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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. 
 
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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. 
 
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"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. 
 
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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. 
 
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Comment 
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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 
 
 
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