A recent missive from whistle-blowing website, Wikileaks, makes the shocking revelation that the MDC-T leader and prime minister in Zimbabwe’s inclusive Government used a state trip to call for the maintenance of sanctions against his own country.
Morgan Tsvangirai visited the US president, Barack Obama, and met at the White House on 12 June, 2009.
The trip, which was sanctioned by the Zimbabwean Government, was meant to be bring the two governments diplomatically closer together, but Mr Tsvangirai used the trip to ask the US to maintain sanctions against Zimbabwe for “retaining leverage” against Zanu-PF.
This was revealed in a letter written to Mr Obama by the MDC-T leader on 29 December, 2009 and published in a cable by WikiLeaks this week.
Mr Tsvangirai said that sanctions can be used to “sustain momentum when it comes”.
During his trip, Mr Tsvangirai hoodwinked Zimbabweans arguing that Zimbabwe has made progress and that he was working well with President Mugabe and that they enjoyed a functional, working relationship, while secretly calling on the US to retain the illegal and ruinous sanctions against Zimbabwe.
Mr Tsvangirai at the time travelled with a State contingent that included tourism minister, Walter Mzembi, from Zanu-PF whom President Obama refused to meet although he met other ministers from the two MDC factions.
The Wikileaks cable also reveals that Mr Tsvangirai was also talking to US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, about the sanctions, which he prefers to call “restrictive measures”.
Ambassador Ray has in the past denied that he takes sides in the Zimbabwean conflict and says the US is a neutral party in the country’s politics.
Mr Tsvangirai’s secret letter also reveals that the US has been directly supporting his office – an allegation that the MDC-T has in the past denied. He also reveals that the US President was “personally” giving support to the MDC-T party.
“Your support for my office has also been invaluable and I look forward to this continuing,” writes Mr Tsvangirai in a letter to President Obama.
Zanu-PF Politburo member and former Zimbabwean Minister of Information, Professor Jonathan Moyo has in the recent past written extensively about how the US is funding parallel government structures in the country and the MDC-T party has denied this. This letter now puts paid to MDC-T refusals that the US has been funding parallel structures in the inclusive Government.
In the secret letter Mr Tsvangirai also thanks US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who he sent his “warm thanks”.
Mr Tsvangirai also reveals that South African President Jacob Zuma has had “secret dialogue” with President Obama over Zimbabwe.
Professor Moyo has criticised the mediation role of President Zuma and his spokesperson Lindiwe Zulu alleging that they are not impartial in their mediation role in Zimbabwe.
Mr Tsvangirai wrote: “The role played by SADC, in general, and the mediator President Jacob Zuma, in particular, is greatly appreciated.”
He added: “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.”
The latest Wikileaks revelation is one among hundreds of cables released on Zimbabwe on Wednesday this week.