Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


US opposed Zim power sharing

29 November 2010, 20:01

Harare - A former US ambassador to Harare warned three years ago that a power-sharing government would only prolong Zimbabwe's political crisis, in a diplomatic cable published on website WikiLeaks.

"Less attractive is the idea of a South African-brokered transitional arrangement or government of national unity," Christopher Dell said in a 2007 cable to Washington outlining options to end Zimbabwe's political crisis.

"This solution is more likely to prolong than resolve the crisis and we must guard against letting Pretoria dictate an outcome which perpetuates the status quo at the expense of real change and reform," he said.

The cable, sent on July 13 2007 during Dell's stormy tenure as ambassador, was published on whistleblower WikiLeaks' internet site.

Just over a year later, in September 2008, President Robert Mugabe and his main rival Morgan Tsvangirai signed a power-sharing agreement aimed at easing tensions in the aftermath of a bloody presidential run-off election and mending an economy ravaged by years of hyperinflation.

The power-sharing government has restored a measure of economic stability, but its work has been hamstrung by constant haggling over the allocation of top government posts.

Last Friday, South African President Jacob Zuma, who is mediating disputes between the two sides on behalf of the Southern African Development Community regional bloc, met with Mugabe and Tsvangirai to try to prevent the collapse of the compromise government.

He told journalists after the meeting that there had been a communication breakdown between the two leaders.

Clever and ruthless

In his 2007 cable, Dell described Mugabe as "more clever and more ruthless than any other politician in Zimbabwe".

"To give the devil his due, he is a brilliant tactician and has long thrived on his ability to abruptly change the rules of the game ... and force everyone else to react to his agenda," the former envoy said.

During his tenure in Harare, Dell clashed several times with Mugabe, earning himself the tag of "Dell from Hell" from the long-time ruler, who has been in power since Zimbabwean independence in 1980.

His criticism did not spare Tsvangirai, the politician credited with posing the most serious challenge to Mugabe's rule.

"Morgan Tsvangirai is a brave, committed man and by and large a democrat," Dell said.

"But Tsvangirai is also a flawed figure, not readily open to advice, indecisive and with questionable judgment in selecting those around him."

He said Tsvangirai's party had failed itself by not forging stronger alliances with civil society groups.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Mudavadi given permission to join...

Musalia Mudavadi has been ghranted permission by his party to join the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
New IEBC bosses to be named Novem...

New IEBC bosses will be named on November 30. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
DP Ruto has spoilt my name, activ...

DP William Ruto has spoilt my name, activist complains. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...