Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

WikiLeaks: Mugabe offered Tsvangirai VP post

By Lance Guma

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Power sharing talks between President Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai reached a stalemate after the Zanu PF leader offered Tsvangirai a third Vice Presidential post in a coalition according to the latest batch of WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks: Mugabe offered Tsvangirai third vice presidential post
WikiLeaks: Mugabe offered Tsvangirai third vice presidential post

In November 2010, whistleblowing website WikiLeaks began publishing 251,287 leaked United States embassy cables, the largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain.

The cables from 1966 up February 2010, contained confidential communications between 274 embassies.

The latest batch of cables includes one filed by Eric M. Bost, the former United States Ambassador to South Africa, who quotes briefings he received from various sources including Sydney Masamvu a former journalist turned analyst with the political think-tank the Institute for Democracy in Africa (IDASA).

“Mugabe’s negotiators were under instruction to offer Tsvangirai the position of third vice-president, and nothing more. On the other hand, Tsvangirai…said he will accept nothing less than the role of prime minister with full executive powers in a two-year transitional authority,” the cable read.

Tsvangirai also apparently proposed that Mugabe could remain ceremonial president, the then Vice-President Joseph Msika could be deputy president (without executive authority), and second vice-president Joyce Mujuru could become deputy Prime Minister (with executive authority).

Ambassador Bost says Masamvu told him “this reflects MDC’s efforts to forge an alliance with the Mujuru faction of ZANU-PF to prevent Mugabe’s potential heir apparent Emmerson Mnangagwa from holding any position of power.”

Masamvu believed the MDC and Mujuru faction had reached a pact.

According to another diplomatic cable, the late former army commander Solomon Mujuru (who later died in a suspicious farm house fire in Beatrice two years ago) had openly stated that he found Tsvangirai more acceptable than the current Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“Mujuru was looking for a way out of the current crisis that would result in an unfreezing of his assets,” the cable read.

According to the cable Mujuru had previously told United States embassy officials that the US had frozen US$7 million of his money under targeted sanctions on members of the regime.

After Tsvangirai won the March 2008 presidential election the Joint Operations Command (JOC), a grouping of all the state security agencies loyal to the defeated Mugabe, responded with the brutal Operation Mavhotera Papi (where did you vote).

Over 500 perceived MDC-T supporters were killed, while tens of thousands were tortured and maimed. The regional grouping SADC intervened and through the efforts of former South African President Thabo Mbeki the current coalition government was formed as a compromise.

To contact this journalist email lance@nehandaradio.com or follow him on twitter @LanceGuma