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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
01HARARE1585 2001-05-11 11:17:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

ZIMBABWE'S INTERNAL POLITICAL SITUATION (C-NA1-

Tags:   PGOV PINR ZI 
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111117Z May 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ8138

PAGE 01        HARARE  01585  111109Z 
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                  ------------------EA50EB  111109Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8852
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 001585 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/11/11
TAGS: PGOV PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE'S INTERNAL POLITICAL SITUATION (C-NA1-
00316)

REF: A) STATE 73228, B) HARARE 1495, C) HARARE 930, D)

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01585 111109Z
00 HARARE 5951

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D'AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING FOR
REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND (D).



1. (C) BELOW ARE EMBASSY HARARE'S RESPONSES TO REF A
TASKING QUESTIONS:



A. (C) IT IS OUR ASSESSMENT THAT PRESIDENT MUGABE IS NO
LONGER SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING A DEAL WITH THE OPPOSITION
MDC THAT WOULD INCLUDE HIS EARLY RETIREMENT. (REF D
SUGGESTED THAT LATE LAST YEAR MUGABE PUT OUT FEELERS TO
THE OPPOSITION FOR SOME KIND OF POWER-SHARING OR
RETIREMENT DEAL.) WE BELIEVE THAT IF THE MDC LEADERSHIP
APPROACHED MUGABE NOW WITH SUCH AN OFFER, HE WOULD
PROBABLY REJECT IT OUT OF HAND. MUGABE IS DETERMINED TO
WIN ANOTHER TERM AND IS CONVINCED HE CAN DO IT.
MASVINGO "SUPREMO" EDDISON ZVOBGO TOLD US MAY 10 THAT
THE ONLY THING THAT WOULD INDUCE MUGABE TO LEAVE OFFICE
EARLY WOULD BE FOR A NUMBER OF PROMINENT ZANU-PF
STALWARTS TO PUBLICLY STAND UP TO MUGABE AND TELL HIM HE
MUST GO. IN THE CURRENT ENVIRONMENT, WE FIND THIS
SCENARIO HIGHLY UNLIKELY. IN ADDITION, WE CANNOT
CONCEIVE OF ANY CONDITIONS THAT MUGABE WOULD VOLUNTARILY
ACCEPT THAT WOULD INDUCE HIM TO ABANDON HIS RE-ELECTION
BID. HOWEVER, ZANU-PF IS STILL DIVIDED OVER THE
DESIRABILITY OF RETAINING MUGABE AS ITS CANDIDATE. THE
SMALL COTERIE OF HARDLINERS SURROUNDING MUGABE, SUCH AS
INFORMATION MINISTER MOYO AND VICE-PRESIDENTS MSIKA AND
MUZENDA, WISH TO SEE MUGABE RUN AGAIN, BUT MANY IN THE
PARTY BELIEVE IT WILL BE ZANU-PF'S UNDOING. REFORM-
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PAGE 03 HARARE 01585 111109Z
MINDED MEMBERS, SUCH AS FINANCE MINISTER MAKONI AND
FORMER HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER DUMISO DABENGWA, WOULD
UNDOUBTEDLY LIKE TO SEE MUGABE BOW OUT OF THE RACE, AND
WOULD LIKELY SUPPORT A NATIONAL UNITY GOVERNMENT BEFORE
OR AFTER THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.



B. (C) WE ARE NOT AWARE OF ANY CREDIBLE REPORTS OF
MUGABE ACTIVELY MOVING PERSONAL OR STATE ASSETS OUT OF
THE COUNTRY. IN FACT, MUGABE HAS NEARLY FINISHED A NEW
MULTI-MILLION-DOLLAR MANSION -- MOSTLY FINANCED BY ZANU-
PF -- IN THE BORROWDALE SUBURB OF HARARE, A SIGN HE
INTENDS TO STAY FOR SOME TIME. ON THE OTHER HAND, LATE
LAST YEAR, WE WERE TOLD BY INDEPENDENT SOURCES THAT
FURNITURE BELONGING TO THE PRESIDENT WAS SEEN BOXED UP
AT HARARE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT EN ROUTE TO EITHER LIBYA
OR EUROPE. THIS STORY FALLS IN THE CATEGORY OF RUMOR,
HOWEVER, AND IS NOT A FIRM INDICATION OF MUGABE
INTENDING TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY PERMANENTLY. WE DO HEAR
STORIES OF SENIOR GOVERNMENT AND PARTY OFFICIALS LOOKING
FOR SCHOOLS IN THE U.S. INTO WHICH THEY CAN PLACE THEIR
CHILDREN OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS, AN INDICATOR THAT
THEY THINK THE SITUATION WILL WORSEN. TO PAY FOR THIS,
THERE MUST BE SOME ASSET MOVEMENT OUT OF THE COUNTRY.
IN ADDITION, THE BRITISH AIRWAYS FLIGHTS TO LONDON ARE
ALWAYS FULL, AND PEOPLE BOARDING THEM SEEM TO BE IN
POSSESSION OF MUCH MORE THAN ORDINARY LUGGAGE.



C. (C) AS FOR THE MDC, IT CONTINUES TO ACTIVELY
CAMPAIGN FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, BUT IN A MORE
LOW-KEY STYLE, AND IT TAKES PAINS TO AVOID ANTAGONIZING
ZANU-PF (SEE REFS B AND C FOR DETAILS ON THE MDC'S
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PAGE 04 HARARE 01585 111109Z
STRATEGY.) IT IS UNCLEAR HOW THE MDC WOULD REACT TO A
MUGABE VICTORY: MANY IN THE PARTY STILL HAVE NOT
SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED THIS POSSIBILITY AND THERE DOES NOT
YET APPEAR TO BE A CONTINGENCY PLAN IN PLACE.

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

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