ROY Bennett feels the West would do well to recognise that Zanu PF “is not going anywhere” and instead train their efforts on helping strengthen the inexperienced MDC-T government benches, it has emerged.
The MDC-T treasurer revealed his misgivings about the MDC-T’s performance in government and the leadership of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai during meetings US Ambassador, Charles Ray in February last year, according to leaked embassy cables.
Bennett told Ray that Zanu PF was part of the country’s future and urged the US envoy to find ways of helping moderate elements in the party stand up to the excesses of “extremists”.
“Apart from the MDC, Bennett acknowledged that Zanu PF will be involved in a future Zimbabwe; the challenge is to identify those in Zanu PF who can play constructive roles, and to find ways to bolster them against extremists,” Ambassador Ray wrote following the meeting.
The MDC-T financier also expressed concern over the MDC-T’s failure to deliver in government and admitted that Tsvangirai’s office was “weak”.
“Bennett talked with the Ambassador about MDC-T's inability to 'deliver the goods' to the people ... The party was very good at campaigning, but lacked a strong bench in terms of governing,” Ray said.
“Hardly any of the MDC ministers had any previous experience in administration, and the few with any capability were overstretched.”
Regarding the holding of fresh polls to replace the coalition government Bennett claimed the MDC-T leadership wanted elections to be held in 2011.
He blamed Tsvangirai’s penchant for contradicting agreed party positions in his public pronouncements for the apparent confusion in the MDC-T over the issue.
“We noted that a couple of weeks ago, Tsvangirai had said the country was not ready for early elections, but had apparently reversed course in Davos and supported 2011 elections,” Ambassador Ray wrote.
“Bennett said the party leadership had always supported 2011 elections; but despite party decisions, Tsvangirai had a tendency to publicly take inconsistent positions.”