WikiLeaks: MDC Minister Nelson Chamisa Asked US to Invade Zimbabwe

A month before he was sworn in as minister, MDC-T national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa asked the United States to invade Zimbabwe and force President Mugabe and Zanu-PF out of power.

According to a confidential US diplomatic cable released by whistle-blower website WikiLeaks on August 30, Chamisa, who was then party spokesman, also wanted President Mugabe and several senior Zanu-PF officials indicted in international courts and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe placed under sanctions.

The minister of information communication technology is said to have made the plea during a meeting with former American ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr James McGee on January 14 2009.

This was barely a month before he was sworn in as minister in the inclusive Government.

Contacted for comment yesterday, he said: “I do not take those WikiLeaks cables seriously. There is nothing I am going to discuss with you.”

According to the leaked cable, Chamisa told former ambassador McGee that the “rhetoric that Mugabe must go” was ineffective and needed to be complemented by action.

Part of the cable reads: “Turning to US policy, Chamisa said rhetoric that ‘Mugabe must go’ was empty and counterproductive.

“Regime opponents initially hoped that the rhetoric would be complemented by action. Inaction on the part of the US was causing people to lose heart.

“Further, Zanu-PF was using US statements as a pretext to crack down on MDC and civil society, both of which it was accusing of collaborating with the US to bring about regime change.”

Asked by the ambassador what concrete action the US and the international community could take, Chamisa responded: “Military intervention to remove the regime, indictments of Mugabe and other Zanu-PF officials in international courts, sanctioning of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.”

He also revealed then that his party would organise demonstrations in the event that the inclusive Government failed.

“Chamisa said that the MDC, at its strategy meeting in South Africa, had affirmed the position of its national council to enter a transitional government of national unity only if outstanding issues were resolved,” reads the cable.

“Assuming the collapse of the September 15 inter-party agreement, Chamisa told us the MDC would pursue a multi-faceted strategy of public and diplomatic outreach and, in collaboration with civil society, mass mobilisation.

“We asked why such a strategy could now be successful when it had failed in the past.

“Chamisa responded that the MDC had learned from its many mistakes, which would aid it in going forward with new strategies.”