Mugabe to arrest Tsvangirai, ban the MDC and expel US ambassador – Source

HARARE – This morning The Zimbabwe Mail has just heard from high-level sources in the Zimbabwe security services that President Mugabe is under pressure from Zanu PF hardliners to arrest Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, outlaw the MDC and also expel the United States ambassador.

We can reveal that an emergency high level meeting is currently under way in Harare this morning between Senior Zanu PF leaders and Security Chiefs and on the agenda is the plan to seize on the latest highly sensitive material released by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks, amid reports that hardliners in Zanu PF are pushing for the immediate banning of the Movement for Democratic Change led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

There are now fears that the country could slide into a military state as Zanu PF opportunists try to seize the moment to outlaw all political activities in the country.

Last night, the classified communication documents released by the Guardian newspaper revealed a catalogue of attempts by the United States government to help nudge President Robert Mugabe out of power.

A senior government and Zanu PF official whose identity cannot be revealed described the matter to our reporter as "very serious" and said they will leave no stone unturned.

"Those collaborating with the Western forces to overthrow us from power must not cry foul when the rule of law takes its course, we fought for this country and we will not fold our hands and let this happen", he said.

"We will get to the bottom of this and I can assure you we have legal and moral grounds to ban the MDC from engaging in any political activities in this country.

"Tsvangirai is going to be locked up for a very long time, mudhara (Mugabe) is very angry. I spoke to him this morning and he is breathing fire", the source said before he rushed to the meeting.

The sources also said there will be efforts to pursue those exiled businessmen who engaged in the conspiracy to unseat Robert Mugabe.

A bloodless coup was planned to remove Robert Mugabe as Zimbabwe’s president with the help of pressure from the UN secretary general, according to classified US documents.A confidential memo from the US embassy in South Africa is entitled "Secret power sharing plan" and dated 30 January 2007. At the time Zimbabwe was plunging into an unprecedented economic crisis. The cable names a group of prominent Zimbabwean businessmen living in South Africa who were pushing for change but says their leader’s identity should be "strictly protected".

Despite the United States of American and Zimbabwe having for long had an uneasy relationship, political commentators argue that the situation could get worse following Mugabe’s mention in the leaked documents. According to them, Zanu PF has been gifted with a propaganda coup.

Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi says diplomats engaged in the "illegal regime change" plot will have to face the full wrath of the law.

Mumbengegwi, who also doubles up as External Affairs official in Zanu PF says diplomats engaged in the "illegal regime change" plot will have to face the full wrath of the law.

"Now the good thing about all this is that we now have incontrovertible evidence that the Western countries and the United States in particular has been collaborating with MDC T in this country to destabilise this country which is in total violation of the Vienna Convention," Mumbengegwi said.

Mumbengegwi added," In the Dell report, he admits that US is funding political parties in this country. And everybody knows that this cannot be Zanu PF. And in our laws this is absolutely illegal."

He warned that no diplomatic representative was allowed under international law to violate any laws of the country to which they are accredited.

"And now we have this revelation to the effect that the former American ambassador was interfering in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe. And this is a matter we take extremely seriously," Mumbengegwi said.

"We intend to enforce the provisions of international law to the letter. Zimbabwe will not accept, Zimbabwe will not tolerate any interference in the internal politics of Zimbabwe by any of the diplomatic representatives of any country no matter how powerful that country maybe.

"They are bound by international law, they must obey international law," a tough-talking Mumbengegwi said.

However, despite Mumbengegwi’s claims, the United States is by far the largest donor to humanitarian agencies in Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, the US embassy, based in the capital, Harare, is getting on with the robust and confidential business of diplomacy without getting sidetracked by the volatile WikiLeaks episode, which raises questions about the need to maintain proper protection for the large body of classified documents.

US deputy Ambassador David Abell says views contained in the leaks neither reflect neither his government’s position nor policies.

"The American people have high opinion of the people of Zimbabwe. We want to continue to have a friendly relationship with this country".

" We diplomats write reports from time to time and these reports are then handed over to policymakers in our country. We do not make polices as diplomats"