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Cablegate: Mdc Focuses On Security Sector, Gono

VZCZCXRO4303
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSB #0865/01 3030729
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 300729Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5086
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 3136
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 3248
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1675
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2509
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2878
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 3296
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5744
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2428
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000865

SIPDIS

AF/S FOR B.WALCH
DRL FOR N. WILETT
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR J. HARMON AND L. DOBBINS
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR M. GAVIN

EO 12958 DECL: 10/30/2019
TAGS PGOV, PREL, PHUM, ASEC, ZI
SUBJECT: MDC FOCUSES ON SECURITY SECTOR, GONO
REF: A. HARARE 853 B. HARARE 863 C. PRETORIA 2136

Classified By: CDA Katherine Dhanani for reason 1.4 (b) and (d).
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SUMMARY
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1. (S) According to Elton Mangoma, MDC-T Minister of Economic Development and member of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s inner circle, the MDC would like the U.S. to contribute to a “trust fund” to buy off securocrats and move them into retirement. The MDC will also try to pressure Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Gideon Gono to resignXXXXXXXXXXXX. Finally, Mangoma believes an agreement will be reached ending the MDC’s disengagement from ZANU-PF, but if not, the MDC will continue pursuing its long-term strategy of preparing for elections. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) Pol/Econ chief met with Minister of Economic Development Elton Mangoma on October 29 at the Ministry. Mangoma is one of Tsvangirai’s closest advisors and was one of the MDC-T negotiators of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

3. (S) Reiterating Tsvangirai’s views (Refs A and C), Mangoma said that a primary obstacle to political progress and reform was the service chiefs. Unlike many ZANU-PF insiders who had stolen and invested wisely, these individuals had not become wealthy. They feared economic pressures, as well as prosecution for their misdeeds, should political change result in their being forced from office. Therefore, they were resisting GPA progress that could ultimately result in fair elections. Mangoma asked for consideration of U.S. contribution to a “trust fund” that could be used to negotiate the service chiefs’ retirement. He said he planned to approach the UK and Germany with the same request.

4. XXXXXXXXXXXX

5. (C) Although doubtful about the ability of SADC to bring about a rapprochement between ZANU-PF and the MDC, Mangoma Qabout a rapprochement between ZANU-PF and the MDC, Mangoma was hopeful that the parties themselves could ultimately reach an agreement. Most ZANU-PF officials realized that the entry of the MDC into government had brought about stability and did not want to see the MDC withdraw. If an agreement was not reached, the MDC would consider next steps with the goal of eventually having elections.
HARARE 00000865 002 OF 002

6. (C) We posited there was a general perception among diplomats and in civil society that the MDC did not have a strategic vision and had disengaged without a Plan B in the event ZANU-PF did not compromise on outstanding issues. Mangoma disagreed; the West had continuously underestimated the MDC by focusing on specific events such as ZANU-PF’s repressive actions of the last week (Septel) rather than the long-term process by which the MDC had managed to enter government and begun to set itself up to win the next elections. With regard to the events of the last week, Mangoma said bumps in the road were to be expected.

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COMMENT
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7. (C) The relative power of Mugabe vis-a-vis the service chiefs is a matter of debate. While no doubt there are hardliners, including the service chiefs, close to Mugabe who are pressuring him not to further implement the GPA, we continue to believe he could make concessions should he choose to do so. The current visit of the SADC Troika may give an indication if there is any ZANU-PF flexibility. We’re skeptical and expect the current impasse -- and ZANU-PF repression -- will continue in the near term. END COMMENT.
DHANANI

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