By Fortune Tazvida
Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe turned down a lucrative retirement package offered by then United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan. According to the latest WikiLeaks website revelations, Mugabe was offered an overseas safe haven if he stepped down as president.
Leaked US diplomatic cables allege that the offer was made by Annan to Mugabe at the millennium summit of world leaders in New York in 2000. The cable quoted the details of a meeting between a senior MDC official and a US embassy official in Harare. The memo on the meeting says;
The MDC was not privy to the details but the source had surmised that Annan’s supposed deal probably included provision of safe haven and a financial package from Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi. The MDC official says they heard that Mugabe turned down the offer the following day after discussing it with the first lady Grace Mugabe.
The diplomatic cable also reveals that several Zanu PF officials had approached the MDC and were trying to gauge if they would be willing to allow Mugabe a ‘graceful exit’ which would be ‘in Zimbabwe’s national interest.’ The MDC source said many Zanu PF people with collapsing businesses were blaming Mugabe and were determined to ‘ease him out in a dignified way.’
Another memo written in October last year reveals how Economic Planning Minister Elton Mangoma had asked the US government to contribute to a “trust fund” to buy off the “securocrats” in the army, police and state security agencies.
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…progress that could ultimately result in fair elections. Mangoma asked for consideration of US 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.”
To help maintain editorial independence Nehanda Radio relies on donations from readers like you. No donation is too small or too big. Help by donating to fund our operations.