Latest WikiLeaks: Reveals US-British differences over Robert Mugabe

HARARE – In the latest wikiLeaks release, it has been revealed that several British think tank analysts thought that Zimbabwe should and will remain a top priority for the UK, but that HMG's history of bombastic statements had only served to solidify Robert Mugabe's status as a colonial liberation leader and rallied South Africa's unwavering support

HMG (Her Majesty’s Government) is the formal title for the British Government and USG is the United States Government.

From a strategic perspective, these analysts termed the USG’s focus on Zimbabwe as ‘surprising’ because Zimbabwe was not a threat, but largely a contained crisis.

The USG said, ‘Zimbabwe’s crisis should be treated as a regional issue, not an international one, and that the USG should not sacrifice it’s relations with South Africa, the more strategic partner, over Zimbabwe, even if the political events in Zimbabwe run contrary to the USG’s democracy agenda.’

USG recommended the international community to take a ‘tough and quiet’ approach to Mugabe and ZANU-PF, sanctioning and obstructing their personal freedoms but without commenting publicly.

They asserted that the international community’s concern about Zimbabwe being a regional destabilizer is largely unfounded, as most of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) – especially South Africa – ‘can take of themselves.’

Meanwhile another wikileaks report says Jocelyn Chiwenga, wife of Defense Forces Chief Constantine Chiwenga, called the U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe June 18 and insulted and threatened him.

On other occasions, she spoke with Embassy staff and criticized the U.S. with profanity and abusive language.

"Post does not believe Chiwenga poses a physical threat; however, the RSO has been briefed and is scheduled to meet with contacts at the Zimbabwe Republic Police."

"This incident will be addressed in a diplomatic note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs."

Last week, the first wikileak report revealed the United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell saying MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai as a  brave, committed man and, by and large, a democrat, and in that balanced assesment he also found him to be “a flawed figure, indecisive and with questionable judgment.

"Morgan Tsvangarai is a brave, committed man and, by and large, a democrat.  He is also the only player on the scene right now with real star quality and the ability to rally the masses.  But Tsvangarai is also a flawed figure, not readily open to advice, indecisive and with questionable judgment in selecting those around him. 

He is the indispensable element for opposition success, but possibly an albatross around t heir necks once in power.  In short, he is a kind of Lech Walesa character:  Zimbabwe needs him, but should not rely on his executive abilities to lead the country’s recovery. 

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

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. 

Welshman Ncube has proven to be a deeply divisive and destructive player in the opposition ranks and the sooner he is pushed off the stage, the better.  But he is useful to many, including the regime and South Africa, so is probably a cross to be borne for some time yet.  The prospects for healing the rift within the MDC seem dim, which is a totally unnecessary self-inflicted wound on their part this time. 

With few exceptions Tendayi Biti, Nelson Chamisa  the talent is thin below the top ranks.

The great saving grace of the opposition is likely to be found in the diaspora.  Most of Zimbabwe’s best professionals, entrepreneurs, businessmen and women, etc., have fled the country.  They are the opposition’s natural allies and it is encouraging to see signs, particularly in South Africa and the UK, that these people are talking,  sharing ideas, developing plans and thinking together about future recovery.  

Unfortunately, among the MDC’s flaws is its inability to work more effectively with the rest of civil society.  The blame for this can be shared on both sides (many civil society groups, like the NCA, are single-issue focused and take the overall dynamic in unhelpful directions; others, like WOZA, insist on going it alone as a matter of principle), but ultimately it falls to the MDC as the largest and the only true political party, to show the way.  Once again, however, these are natural allies and they have more reason to work together than fight against each other.