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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09HARARE59 2009-01-27 11:15:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

READOUT ON SADC SUMMIT

Tags:   PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI 
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1. (U) A marathon SADC Extraordinary Summit meeting ended at
about 4 am today with SADC declaring that MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai should be sworn in on February 11 as prime
minister with cabinet ministers to be sworn in two days
later. South African president Kgalema Motlanthe reportedly
told the press that both parties had agreed to form a unity
government. In response, the MDC issued the following press
statement:

We came to this summit with five (5) outstanding issues which
are:
- The Enactment of Constitutional Amendment Number 19
- The definition of National Security Council legislation
- Equitable allocation of portfolio ministries
- The appointment of Provincial Governors and other senior
positions
- The Breaches of the MOU and the GPA

It was our expectation that the SADC processes would be above
board and be beyond reproach. Regrettably once again we note
that Mr. Mugabe was allowed to sit in during the closed
session of the plenary meetings. Thus once again Mr. Mugabe
has been unfairly allowed to be a judge in his own cause.

As far as the merits are concerned, our expectations were
again that SADC would come up with a just resolution to the
outstanding issues in the interest of Zimbabwe and all the
parties concerned.

Quite clearly the conclusions reached as reflected in the
communique fall far short of our expectations. Most
importantly they do not accord with our National Council
resolutions of the 14th of November 2008 and 12th of December


2008.

It is important that finality be brought to this issue and
therefore our National Council will meet on Friday 30th of
January 2009 to define the party position.



2. (C) With regard to outstanding issues, MDC officials in
Pretoria told us that as a result of the Summit, negotiators
from both parties will meet in Harare later this week to
discuss allocating governorships according to the relative
strengths of the three parties. Negotiators will also
discuss the status of abductees. At the SADC meeting last
week in Harare, the parties agreed to discuss draft
legislation on the composition and powers of the National
Security Council. There was no progress on allocation of
ministries (which the MDC considers the most important
unresolved issue) or breaches of the MOU and GPA, understood
to mean primarily the appointments of Gideon Gono as Reserve
Bank governor and Johannes Tomana as attorney general.



3. (C) Eliphas Mukoneweshuro, the MDC official in charge of
external relations, who was part of the MDC delegation in
Pretoria, told us today that there were mixed sentiments
within the MDC as to whether or not to form a GNU. He said
Tsvangirai would postpone his planned trip to Addis Ababa for
the AU Summit to chair a meeting of the MDC National Council
on January 30 at which the MDC hoped to finalize its
position. Mukoneweshuro expected Tsvangirai to attend the
Summit but noted he has no definite plans.



4. (SBU) Tsvangirai is planning to hold diplomatic and press
briefings this afternoon in Pretoria.



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COMMENT


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HARARE 00000059 002 OF 002




5. (C) It would appear that Tsvangirai and some of his
advisors are inclined to join a government of national unity
once they believe they have wrung maximum concessions from
SADC and ZANU-PF. We note that the MDC press statement did
not reject the SADC position out of hand but expressed
disappointment. There are two motivations for joining a GNU:
1) to play a role in government, play a part in increasing
fissures within ZANU-PF, and to build the MDC for the next
elections; and/or 2) to assume positions in government with
the accompanying emoluments. On the other hand, hardliners,
like MDC secretary general Tendai Biti, are opposed to a GNU
under any circumstance.



6. (C) The MDC National Council on November 14 and December
12 stated that entry into government was dependent on
satisfactory resolution of outstanding issues. The issue now
is whether the minimal progress that has been made will
change votes, particularly if Tsvangirai supports a GNU.
Mukoneweshuro believes that the January 30 National Council
meeting will be lively with the result not predictable. END
COMMENT.

MCGEE