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WIKILEAKS ON ZIMBABWE - Tsvangirai, MDC Unfit To Lead, says US Amb. Dell

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The Wikileaks documents show what has already been expected by close observers but has of course been denied through the 'Mugabe Must Go' rhetoric that passes for newsreporting in the mainstream press. Ambassador Christopher Dell repeatedly refers to 'doing the hard things' - with which he means the economic destruction of the Zimbabwean economy through economic sanctions (see Section 4C of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001, co-sponsored by Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Russ Feingold and Jesse Helms). ZDERA put the country on a credit freeze in late December 2001, and precipitated the economic collapse in 2002, two years after the start of land reform. The purpose of destroying the economy was to make the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans so miserable that they would vote for the MDC (sound familiar?). On the wikileaks documents:

MDC-T leaders are weak and ineffectual: former Ambassador Dell
By: Our reporter
Posted: Monday, November 29, 2010 11:44 am

PRIME MINISTER Morgan Tsvangirai is a weak leader who cannot be relied upon to lead a country like Zimbabwe, according to former United States ambassador Christopher Dell.

The shocking revelation was revealed in a leak of three million secret American diplomatic missives obtained by the website WikiLeaks.

"Tsvangirai is ... a flawed figure, not readily open to advice, indecisive and with questionable judgement in selecting those around him," wrote former Ambassador Dell in his 2007 cable from the US embassy in Zimbabwe.

The Cable titled "The End is Nigh" sheds light on the U.S. regime change strategy in Zimbabwe, and its hand in the harmonised elections of 2008.

His advice to the U.S. State Department at the time was: "Stay the course and prepare for change in Zimbabwe".

"Our policy is working and it's helping to drive change here. What is required is simply the grit, determination and focus to see this through. Then, when the changes finally come we must be ready to move quickly to help consolidate the new dispensation."

After considering various regime change scenarios, Mr Dell's cables revealed that fuel and food shortages were to be used as a tool for regime change.

Fuel and food shortages prompted Mr Dell to say "for the first time the president is under intensifying pressure simultaneously on the economic, political and international fronts" and that President Mugabe was "running out of options."

He said it was up to the U.S. "once again, to take the lead, to say and do the hard things."

The MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, repeated the same call for international supervision during his campaign in 2007-8.

The MDC-T Secretary General, Tendai Biti was to declare after the elections of 2008 that: "Morgan Richard Tsvangirai is the new President of the Republic of Zimbabwe".

This pre-empted an announcement by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of the official election results showing that none of the presidential candidates had secured the 50 plus one majority required to form a government, prompting a run-off presidential election.

It has also become clear that the US did not think Mr Tsvangirai would deliver regime change easily; preferring to use former South African President Thabo Mbeki to that end, even though they viewed him as a close ally of President Mugabe.

The US miscalculated Cde Mbeki's role within the regional Sadc setting.

"The Mbeki mediation offers the best, albeit very slim, hope of getting there" wrote Mr Dell in one of the cables.

The US was also not supportive of the inter-party talks that were going on in Zimbabwe at the time and the inclusive Government that was to emerge from those talks, preferring Mr Tsvangirai to take over power although they largely viewed him as a weak and ineffectual leader.

Mr Dell did not believe there were opposition politicians with leadership qualities to take over from President Mugabe.

He called the MDC "far from ideal" and was "convinced that had we [the U.S.] had different partners, we could have achieved more already."

He said the MDC-T leadership would "require massive hand-holding and assistance should they ever come to power."

"Less attractive is the idea of a South African-brokered transitional arrangement or government of national unity.

"He (Mr Tsvangirai) is the indispensable element for (regime change), but possibly an albatross around their necks once in power.

"In short, he is a kind of Lech Walensa character: Zimbabwe needs him, but should not rely on his executive abilities to lead the country's recovery."

Wa?e;sa is a former Polish president and trade-unionist, who offered to collect this year's Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

Mr Tsvangirai was a close "ally" of the U.S. ambassador during his tenure in the country, so this revelation will come as a shock to him and his MDC-T party.

It also gives credence to President Mugabe's statements at the time where he labelled the MDC-T as an unwitting puppet of the West, and its regime change agenda.

The former ambassador was critical of the MDC as a whole, describing the 2005 split in that party as "a totally unnecessary self-inflicted wound".

He said MDC Secretary General, Professor Welshman Ncube had "proven to be a deeply divisive and destructive player in the opposition ranks.

"The sooner he is pushed off the stage, the better," Mr Dell wrote in one of the cables sent to Washington at the time of his tenure.

The US diplomat was also very critical of MDC-T Secretary General Tendai Biti and Spokesman Nelson Chamisa whom he said were "thin below the top ranks" of opposition politics adding that the "The great saving grace of the opposition is likely to be found in the diaspora."

He also described MDC leader Arthur Mutambara as a "light-weight".

"Arthur Mutambara is young and ambitious, attracted to radical, anti-western rhetoric and smart as a whip," Mr Dell wrote.

"But, in many respects he's a light-weight who has spent too much time reading U.S. campaign messaging manuals and too little thinking about the real issues."

He dismissed Britain as "ham-strung by its colonial past and domestic politics", adding: "Letting them set the pace alone merely limits our effectiveness."

The EU, he said, is "divided between the hard north and its soft southern underbelly".

He added: "The Africans are only now beginning to find their voice. Rock solid partners like Australia don’t pack enough punch to step out front and the UN is a non-player. Thus it falls to the United States, once again, to take the lead, to say and do the hard things and to set the agenda."

Mandela, No Darling of The West

Wikileaks also revealed that South African President, Nelson Mandela was not a darling of the West, as the media had portrayed him.

Mr Mandela remained on the US terrorist list until July 2008 when former President George W. Bush, signed a law to remove him.

He and other members of the African National Congress had been on the list because of their fight against South Africa's Apartheid regime, which gave way to majority rule in 1994.

The revelation shows that Mr Mandela and other leaders who are traditionally regarded as America's allies for example, Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, are not held in any higher regard in the U.S. than President Robert Mugabe or Libyan leader Colonnel Gaddafi, who are also named in the cable leaks.

Wikileaks exposes MDC-T puppetry
By: Comment
Posted: Monday, November 29, 2010 3:42 pm

SECRET documents released by whistle blowing website, Wikileaks on Monday show MDC-T as an unwitting puppet in the U.S. plan for regime change in Zimbabwe, a charge President Mugabe has been making for the better part of the last decade.

Thousand of leaked documents put American diplomats at risk of being labelled merely intelligence operatives, rather than envoys for their country.

A leaked cable sent to Washington by Christopher W. Dell, former U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe, also directed to USAID, selected U.S. embassies in African countries, NGOs like USAID, military centres in Europe, among other agencies reveals the U.S. foreign policy plan and the MDC's role in that plan.

The cable was also sent to Dan Mozena, then Director of Southern African Affairs at the U.S. State Department. This is not surprising. During a 23 March 2007 Congressional Briefing on Zimbabwe, Dan Mozena and Donald Payne (Democrat), House of Representatives Chairman of the Committee of Foreign Relations, revealed continuing U.S. Government funding for the MDC factions, Lovemore Madhuku's National Constitutional Assembly, civil society organisations, NGOs and the Voice of America Studio 7 Project through USAID and the US Embassy in Zimbabwe.

They also disclosed ongoing efforts with a number of other African leaders and to co-ordinate efforts with the United Kingdom, European Union, United Nations, African Union, and Sadc to ensure that regime change was achieved in Zimbabwe sooner rather than later.
Article continues below

Dell's leaked classified cable was an important and sensitive document which revealed and confirmed Zimbabwe government's earlier regime change accusations.

It was sent to American embassies in Abuja (Nigeria), Accra (Ghana), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Dakar (Senegal), Kampala (Uganda), Nairobi (Kenya). They were also sent to embassies in Canberra (Australia) and France (Paris).

It was also sent to the United States European Command intelligence centre (USEUCOM) in Vaihingen, Germany; the National Security Council in Washington DC and to the American Joint Analysis Centre at Molesworth; the RAF Molesworth (a Royal Air Force station located near Molesworth) in Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom and to the United States U.N. mission in New York.

The cable was a highly sensitive piece of information, and Mr Dell classified it under Section 1.4b/d of Executive Order 12958. So the matter is as sensitive as it can get.

The Senior African Director at the National Security Council works closely with the U.S. President. The NSC is part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. This means that the Zimbabwean issue is dealt with at the highest level within the U.S. administration.

It seems that the embassies that received Dell's cable, represent countries that were sympathetic to the MDC-T. Between 2007-2008, the MDC-T embarked on a major offensive in the African region and in the West with Tsvangirai declaring that he wanted "to cut Mugabe’s umbilical cord with Africa."

He visited the countries quoted in Dell's leaked cable.

Tsvangirai himself, or senior MDC-T officials, visited all these countries in 2007-8.

The trip to Ghana was briefly interrupted as MDC-T founding Chairman, Isaac Matongo had died. Tsvangirai was to later visit that country in 2008, where he told a news conference in Accra that: "We believe the time has come for him (President Mugabe) to have an honourable exit," in line with U.S. foreign policy. He added: "We are calling ... on every head of state in Africa to stand in defence of the people of Zimbabwe."

MDC Secretary General Tendai Biti held "consultative talks" with Kenya’s then new Prime Minister Raila Odinga on 21 July, 2008. Tsvangirai visited Uganda (21 November, 2007), Nigeria (21 April, 2010) where he met with then President Olusegun Obasanjo, Ghana (22 April, 2008), Senegal (31 July, 2008), etc.

These trips, however funded, seemed congruent with Dell's recipients of the leaked cable.

These revelations echoed similar pronouncements further afield in Europe made by Tony Blair, Lord Triesman and Sir Ian McCartney in the United Kingdom House of Commons between 12 and 26 March 2007, and the publication of a report of the International Crisis Group entitled 'Zimbabwe: An End to the Stalemate?'

The report marked the roots of Dell's regime change move and a full description of the "managed change" formula was contained in that ICG report of 6 March 2007.

The idea of taking Zimbabwe to the U.N. Security Council was hatched in the House of Lords, after this report was published, and Dell travelled to london to discuss the U.S.'s role in the post-Mugabe era. It seems there was a "final push" now being envisaged as "the end of Mugabe was nigh".

Dell and Lord Triesman spoke with the same voice during that period. Dell's idea was that the economy would eventually destroy President Mugabe and Lord Triesman retorted in the House of Lords: "I have also heard that Mugabe anticipates carrying on in power well beyond 2008. I do not know whether that will happen, because his economy has more or less imploded."

Lord Lea of Crondall second Lord Triesman's contention by declaring that Tsvangirai "is a former friend of ours, a trade union official and a great democrat".

The web was quite intricate.

Dell, in his communication, also reveals that he was working with Zanu-PF so-called "moderates" who had come together with the MDC to draft a "new constitution" as a basis for internationally supervised elections in 2010 - which would see Tsvangirai installed as president.

It has now emerged that the idea of an internationally supervised election was the work of Dell, who reported in the leaked cable that "The End is Nigh". It was not an MDC-T baby.

This also sheds light on the U.S. regime change strategy in Zimbabwe, and its possible hand in the harmonised elections of 2008.

In line with this design, the MDC formations were encouraged to unite behind the so-called "people-driven constitution" in an effort to postpone the harmonised elections from 2008 to 2010. Mr Tsvangirai failed to follow this U.S. plan as Sadc, through former South African President Thabo Mbeki, was pushing for a negotiated solution.

This led Dell to conclude that "Tsvangirai is ... a flawed figure, not readily open to advice, indecisive and with questionable judgement" in the 2007 cable to Washington.

It seems that Dell, at his departure, was quite sure that his regime change agenda had succeeded, and that, with the help of the donor community, especially USAID, change was in the offing.

He wrote: "Change is in the offing, we need to step up our preparations. The work done over the last year on transition planning has been extremely useful, both for stimulating a fresh look at our own assumptions and plans and for forging a common approach among the traditional donor community.

He makes an interesting revelation that was dismissed at the time – the revelation that NGOs were directly involved in regime change activities, in concert with the MDC-T.

Government briefly banned NGO work and asked all NGOs to re-register.

The MDC-T criticised government's move, but it is now clear that government was right in stating that NGOs were exceeding their mandate and meddling in internal politics.

Dell's leaked cable further reveals: "But the (regime change) process has lagged since the meetings in March in London and should be re-energized. It is encouraging in this respect that USAID Washington has engaged the Mission here in discussing how we would use additional resources in response to a genuinely reform-minded government."

He added: "I hope this will continue and the good work done so far will survive the usual bloodletting of the budget process."

While Dell admitted that African diplomacy was taking over the negotiating space, via mechanisms like Sadc, he however felt that the U.S. should lead the regime change process in Zimbabwe, citing countries like Australia and Britain and supragovernance structures like the E.U. and U.N. as failing to "pack enough punch".

This puts a stop to academic arguments that the U.S. was merely responding to a bilateral dispute between Zimbabwe and its ally, Britain. The U.S., it can now be categorically stated, has its own interests in changing the government of Zimbabwe, divorced from the standoff between Zimbabwe and Britain. That means any negotiations on sanctions removal, e.g. the E.U.-Zimbabwe talks, are mere moot points unless they involve the U.S. as well.

Dell concluded: "The Africans are only now beginning to find their voice. Rock solid partners like Australia don't pack enough punch to step out front and the U.N. is a non-player. Thus it falls to the U.S., once again, to take the lead, to say and do the hard things and to set the agenda."

Unfortunately, the MDC-T is not mentioned in any of these structures. They are a mere conduit for the realisation of U.S. foreign policy objectives in Zimbabwe and the region, and are a dispensable lot in the Washington's eyes. The sooner they realise this, the better for everybody.

*Comments and suggestions: itayig ***

Wikileaks: Ncube accuses US of plot to kill him

Wikileaks has 3,000 files on Zimbabwe
by Staff Reporter
29/11/2010 00:00:00

MrK's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm


MrK,THANKS for your post and all you do.

tayl44's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote tayl44:

MrK,THANKS for your post and all you do.

Hey Tayl44, well thank you for the compliment, it is appreciated. :) And there are still thousands of documents to be released on Zimbabwe. These are very interesting times.

MrK's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote tayl44:

MrK,THANKS for your post and all you do.

There is another thing I would like to add. Because US and UK interests in Africa are nearly completely driven by the mining interests (and therefore the interests of the mines owners), the people they see as pro-western and anti-western really can be differentiated as the new, post-independence money grabbing neoliberals on the one hand, and the old liberation era leadership and parties on the other.

So they are anti-Mugabe and anti-Mandela, but they are pro-Tsvangirai, pro-Odinga (Kenya), pro-Mutharika (Malaw), etc.

They are basically against the old liberation movements, because they want to use their raw materials to build their own countries, and not allow the mining companies to keep all the profits, while actively underdeveloping Africa. This is why they are against social programs like unversal education and universal healthcare in every country the IMF/World Bank advise.

MrK's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe, Bank Governor Gideon Gono, and the head of the CIO Happyton Bonyongwa are suing The Star for defamation. Andrew Cranswick, who seems to be the 'source' for many of the horror stories in the press about the diamond fields of Chiadzwa and Marange, is a crook himself, and is in trouble in Australia for tax evasion, and Zimbabwe for using dummy corporations to get his hands on multiple diamond claims. These stories were used in an attempt to have Zimbabwe disqualified from the Kimberley Process, an industry driven effort to reduce the sale of 'blood diamonds' (diamonds used by rebel movements against legitimage governments), and keep billions of US dollars out of the hands of the Zimbabwean government, which would obviate the economic sanctions that destroyed their currency.

CIO boss, Gono demand millions over WikiLeaks
by Staff Reporter
17/12/2010 00:00:00

CENTRAL Intelligence Organisation boss, Happyton Bonyongwa and the central bank governor, Gideon Gono, have filed multi-million dollar suits for damages following claims they were at the centre of diamond smuggling at the country.

Bonyonga is demanding US$10 million from Africa Consolidated Resources (ACR) chief executive, Andrew Cranswick while Gono has slapped The Standard newspaper with a US$12.5 million dollar damages claim.

The claims come in the wake of another US$15 million damages suit filed against The Standard by President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace.

The three were fingered in classified communications from the US embassy in Harare which have been made public by the whistle-blowing website, WikiLeaks.

In one of the cables the US Ambassador to Zimbabwe wrote: “RBZ Governor Gideon Gono, Grace Mugabe, wife of President Robert Mugabe, Vice President Joice Mujuru, (the then) Mines and Mining Development Minister Amos Midzi, General Constantine Chiwenga and wife Jocelyn, CIO director Happyton Bonyongwe, Manicaland Governor Chris Mushohwe and several white Zimbabweans including Ken Sharpe, Greg Scott and Hendrick O’Neill, are involved in the Marange diamond trade".

The envoy said he had been informed of the officials' involvement in illicit diamond deals by Cranswick.

Gono and Grace Mugabe are suing The Standard for stories published in the newspaper which were based on the leaks.

Gono’s lawyer, George Chikumbirike, who is also representing Grace Mugabe, said The Standard’s reports were “false and highly defamatory of the Governor”.

However, Bonyongwa is demanding restitution directly from Cranswick, who was said to be the source of the allegations.

Joseph Mafusire of Harare law firm Scanlen and Holderness said claims his client was onvolved in diamond smuggling were false adding the reports had damaged Bonyongwa’s fame and reputation.

"Our client was never involved in any trade in diamonds from Chiadzwa or anywhere else. He has not been involved in any mineral of whatever kind in Zimbabwe or elsewhere," Mafusire said in his letter of demand.

Mafusire demanded that Cranswick pay his client US$10 million in damages within five days failing which summons would be issued out at the High Court.

Cranswick was not immediately available for comment but when the cables were released the ACR boss claimed he had not given any of the names published by WikiLeaks adding that he had “never met any US officials”.

MrK's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Wikileaks exposes the incorruptibility of the Zimbabwean military. Isn't it odd, that the MDC, which touts itself as ending corruption, uses bribery as it's main weapon? Whether it is armtwisting the Zimbabwean people by destroying the national currency, or as here, bribing members of the armed forces because they won't budge from protecting their country against neoliberal sellouts. This is what you get when you have a military made up of people who fought for their country. They're not in it for the money, and as this Wikileaks cable shows, they can't be bribed. This cable was sent in October 2009.

¶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.

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



EO 12958 DECL: 10/30/2019

Classified By: CDA Katherine Dhanani for reason 1.4 (b) and (d).

¶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.


¶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.


¶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.

MrK's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

The GOP Is on the Road to Mass Lockups for Women Who Have Miscarriages

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The GOP's Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice is on its way.
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