Jameson Timba, the Minister of State in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Office, says his boss is not bothered and does not give two hoots about the low opinion expressed by former United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell, in confidential memoirs leaked on the Internet through WikiLeaks.
Timba said Dell’s opinion was at variance with the views of the people of Zimbabwe.
“Dell’s opinion, I am glad, does not go along with the opinions of Zimbabweans as expressed on March 29 2008 and the GDP growth rates achieved under Tsvangirai and his team’s stewardship in the last two years following a decade of negative growth, abject poverty and a leadership deficit,” Timba said.
“Before the inclusive government, the country was registering negative economic growth. The results on the ground show that we are capable.”
Timba was responding to Dell’s character assessment of Tsvangirai in which the diplomat told his superiors in Washington that the MDC-T president was indecisive.
Timba said Dell’s assessment of Tsvangirai was disparaging but was contrary to the views of the increasing number of Zimbabweans who have been supporting him since 1999.
In a classified document to the US government shortly before his departure, Dell described Tsvangirai as a “brave, committed man and, by and large, a democrat” but also said he had questionable leadership qualities.
Dell said the opposition had no quality leaders except for Tendai Biti and Nelson Chamisa. He predicted that Zanu PF’s rule was coming to an end given the immense political and socio-economic problems the country was going through.
“Morgan Tsvangarai is a brave, committed man and, by and large, a democrat. He is also the only player on the scene right now with real star quality and the ability to rally the masses,” said Dell.
Political analyst Takura Zhangazha said the interesting dimension in the unravelling debacle that Zanu PF has clutched on to use as a campaign tool ahead of the next election, was that the current US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, had not refuted Dell’s remarks about the Prime Minister.
“The point about Dell’s comments is that they have not been refuted or dismissed by the current ambassador Ray. What Ray has said is that Dell’s comments are not America’s foreign policy,” Zhangazha said.
“Be that as it may, Dell’s comments in his leaked brief will lead to Zanu PF trying to use it as evidence of American influence in the actions of the MDC.
“But Timba may be right in terms of the majority of Zimbabweans supporting the MDC. They may not believe this issue or may not believe Zanu PF’s propaganda.”
Zhangazha said the primary domestic impact was that Zanu PF would subject the populace to a campaign of anti-imperialism and it would no doubt be similar to the campaigns of 2002 and June 2008.