HomeLocal NewsOnly Queen Elizabeth has Mugabes ear

Only Queen Elizabeth has Mugabes ear

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Former US diplomat to Zimbabwe, Earl Irving, disclosed that the only person capable of convincing President Robert Mugabe to change his hardline political stance was the Queen of England, Elizabeth II.

In a recent leaked diplomatic cable by whistleblower website WikiLeaks, Irving said Mugabe had great respect for the queen and would readily accept her advice.

Irving said this emerged at a meeting between MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, David Coltart (then party legal secretary) and secretary-general Welshman Ncube with former US acting principal deputy Assistant Secretary Mark Bellamy in March 2001.

However, Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo yesterday doubted if the queen could influence Mugabes political decision.

Our country is a sovereign and independent state which does not have to depend on Queen Elizabeth, Gumbo said.

Our dispute is with the government of Britains Gordon Brown. We respect The Queen as she played a role in the handover of power from Britain to Zimbabwe in 1980.

According to the cable, the united MDC leaders had met Bellamy to discuss the worsening political crisis in the country after Mugabe and Zanu PF had just won the 2000 elections marred by violence and intimidation.

During the meeting, Ncube suggested to Bellamy that a visit by the former US ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young to meet President Mugabe would bear fruits.

But Tsvangirai and Coltart shot down Ncubes suggestion saying there was no international figure other than Elizabeth II, who could meaningfully influence Mugabe.

Mugabe still reveres Elizabeth II despite being stripped of his Knighthood conferred on him in 1994 over alleged human rights abuses.

Four years ago, Mugabe told a campaign rally in Chitungwiza that he still respected the Queen and heaped the blame for the loss of his knighthood on former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

We continue to respect the queen, Mugabe was quoted as saying at a campaign rally in Chitungwiza. Its the demons at Downing Street that need to be exorcised.

The 88-year-old Zanu PF leader fell out of favour with Britain after his party embarked on a violent land reform exercise, escalating political violence.

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