Thursday, September 01, 2011

WikiLeaks Cables Illustrates US Intrigue in Zimbabwe

PM exposes Zuma in WikiLeaks letter to Obama

Saturday, 27 August 2011 22:04
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail Reporter

PRESIDENT Zuma’s GPA facilitation on Zimbabwe has been thrown into fresh doubt

following startling revelations from the latest batch of over 100 confidential US diplomatic cables that were released by WikiLeaks last Thursday.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai wrote a sensational letter to President Obama in December 2009. It is this document that reveals the American leader’s “crucial dialogue” with the South African leader on his mediation efforts in Zimbabwe.

In the letter, which has sent diplomatic tongues wagging across Sadc and within the AU, PM Tsvangirai revealingly told President Obama that: “As you are no doubt aware, Your Excellency, we are at a crucial stage in our efforts to ensure the full implementation of the GPA. Meanwhile, our political situation remains characterised by intransigence [allegedly by Zanu-PF] to frustrate the process of bringing about real change.”

Against the backdrop of alleged Zanu-PF intransigence in the implementation of the GPA, which PM Tsvangirai’s letter merely asserts without giving any supporting evidence, the embattled MDC-T leader tellingly wrote to Obama that “the role played by Sadc, in general, and the mediator President Jacob Zuma, in particular, is greatly appreciated. I know that you have personally played a crucial role in helping this to happen, and I encourage you to continue your crucial dialogue with President Zuma.”

Observers who spoke to this paper about the GPA implications of the disclosures of the latest WikiLeaks of US diplomatic cables on Zimbabwe say “it is now common cause that Tsvangirai has a well-established treacherous relationship with the US government”. One observer further pointed out that the PM’s December 2009 letter to Obama “must be embarrassing to Zuma not least because it compromises him as having backdoor communication with the US president in support of the MDC-T which is known to be supported by the US government”.

What has added fuel to the fires that are now raging over PM Tsvangirai’s December 2009 letter to President Obama about President Zuma’s “crucial dialogue” with the US leader on the Sadc mediation in Zimbabwe and is causing quite some uproar in nationalist circles within Sadc and the AU, is that it was released by WikiLeaks together with an equally controversial letter that Tsvangirai sent to former US President George W. Bush on 14 October 2002.

In this letter, PM Tsvangirai asked Mr Bush to institute an illegal regime-change programme for Zimbabwe under the cover of the UN Security Council using the pretext of claims that observers say were patently and treacherously false.

Lindiwe Zulu should just shut up!Tsvangirai’s letters of shame . . . to Bush, Obama
In his October 2002 letter to George W. Bush, Mr Tsvangirai sought to have Zimbabwe put under the UN’s Chapter VII regime by falsely claiming without proffering any shred of evidence that, “since February 2000, several efforts by the United States of America, the European Union, the Commonwealth, Sadc, the World Council of Churches and several local and international civic organisations appealed to (President) Robert Mugabe to uphold the rule of law, respect human rights and put a stop to political murders, rape, torture and State-sponsored terror and violence, but the illegitimate (President) Mugabe regime has not relented.

“Instead, it has demonstrated utter contempt of international opinion and has reaffirmed its commitment to carrying out crimes against humanity as a means of subjugating the people of Zimbabwe and denying them the right to freely determine their own destiny.

“It is in the context of this grim and extremely dangerous situation that the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which represents the legitimate aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe, calls for the intervention of the UN Security Council in the Zimbabwe crisis in accordance with Article 39 (Chapter VII Powers) of the United Nations Charter.”

Political analysts say there’s a constructive link between Mr Tsvangirai’s two letters to former president Bush in 2002 and President Obama in 2009 with the strategic difference that the former sought the Chapter VII intervention of the UN Security Council to implement regime change in Zimbabwe led by the US whereas the former seeks the mediation intervention of Sadc to achieve the same objective under the SA facilitation of the GPA process.

In other words, what was supposed to be internationalised in 2002 through the UN with Mr Bush leading the frontline has become regionalised since 2009 with President Zuma holding the baton as the facilitator of Sadc’s mediation in Zimbabwe.

However, President Zuma’s facilitation has right from the beginning been mired in controversy highlighted by his reliance on the megaphone approach of his facilitation team of officials for whom Lindiwe Zulu has been the “reckless and thus unacceptable spokesperson” whose public pronouncements on the political situation in Zimbabwe have routinely and provocatively echoed the American line.

President Zuma’s facilitation team of officials has no locus standi in or before Sadc and has since 2009 overstepped permissible boundaries.

Concerned about President Zuma’s reliance on proxies like Lindiwe Zulu who have been accused of fronting for American interests whose letter and spirit are, thanks to the latest Wikileaks disclosures, reflected in Tsvangirai’s December 2009 letter to Obama, the annual Sadc summit held in Luanda, Angola, two weeks ago asked the SA leader to engage the principals of Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations directly without relying on his supporting team.

Upon his return from the Angola Sadc summit President Mugabe told reporters that there was only one facilitator, President Zuma, who was chosen in his personal and not national capacity.

“The facilitation team does not belong to us. We know of one person who is facilitator, it’s not South Africa which is facilitator, it’s President Zuma personally who is a facilitator and he naturally gets people that will help him to do his job of facilitating . . . ,” said President Mugabe.

Given this understanding which is the official Sadc position, Tsvangirai’s confirmation in his December 21 2009 letter to Obama revealing that the US president is personally having backdoor communication with the SA president on the implementation of the GPA has triggered an uproar. All this has been made worse by the fact that Tsvangirai’s revealing December 2009 letter to Obama has been released by Wikileaks at the same time as President Zuma is assuming the chairmanship of the Sadc Organ Troika on Politics, Defence and Security while retaining his role as Sadc facilitator on Zimbabwe.

This effectively makes him report to himself to the detriment of basic principles of natural justice which require functional checks and balances in matters of this nature. Asked to comment on these developments political scientist and Tsholotsho North Member of Parliament, who is also a member of Zanu-PF’s Politburo, Professor Jonathan Moyo said that Mr Tsvangirai’s leaked letter to President Obama makes President Zuma’s position as mediator in Zimbabwe “very difficult if not altogether untenable”.

He added that, “by definition a mediator must be untainted and without the slightest suspicion of partiality or collusion with one of the parties in the mediation”.

“The fact that Morgan’s praise of Obama’s personal role in Sadc’s mediation has been revealed by Wikileaks when President Zuma is now chairman of the Sadc Organ Troika in addition to being a mediator in Zimbabwe means that Sadc needs to review the arrangement as a matter of urgency otherwise the regional body will lose control of the situation in Zimbabwe and risk inviting very dangerous consequences that are too ghastly to imagine.”

- The Sunday Mail

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