AN official with the United States Embassy in Harare is allegedly getting briefings on internal discussions on the Zanu-PF’s succession issue from parliamentarians, it has been established. Investigations by our Harare Bureau indicate that the US government is taking advantage of factional fights in Zanu-PF to wriggle into the battle to determine the country’s and the party’s future leadership.
And MDC-T figures heavily in the equation as a possible source of leaders if Washington’s envisaged disintegration of Zanu-PF occurs.
It emerged during investigations that MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai no longer figures in the United States’ plans and a preferred front will be handpicked in coming months.
US Embassy second secretary Eric Little has been getting briefings from several Zanu-PF and MDC-T legislators (names supplied) under the cover of the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Programme.
Last Friday, our sister paper The Herald reported that 12 Zanu-PF MPs benefited from a $90 000 grant under the programme.
Among legislators invited to the handover ceremony were Paul Mavhima, Walter Kanhanga, Adam Chimwamurombe, Chriswell Mutematsaka, Batsirayi Pemhanayi, Enock Porusingazi, Tapiwanashe Matangaidze, Temba Mliswa, Kindness Paradza, David Butau and Simbaneuta Mudarikwa.
Kanhanga, Chimwamurombe and Mutematsaka reportedly attended the function.
Little is understood to be a Central Intelligence Agency operative working in the embassy’s parliamentary affairs section.
He has in recent months met at least eight legislators at Parliament Building in Harare and various hotels for briefing on what is happening behind the scenes in Zanu-PF ahead of its December 2014 elective National Congress.
Little is also talking to MDC-T MPs on possible replacements for Tsvangirai.
He met Mabvuku-Tafara legislator James Maridadi (MDC-T) at the embassy between 10.05am and 11.15am on September 3. This was after another meeting with MDC-T MP Mr Willas Madzimure.
“He (Mr Little) has been meeting parliamentarians who are giving him information, especially on the top leadership position structure that some people are pushing for at the Zanu-PF Congress.
“Little has managed to penetrate and he is using the legislators to gain information on what is happening and making proposals on the leadership structure.
“With regards to MDC-T, there are plans to influence the deliberations at the party’s congress scheduled for October because the United States feels Tsvangirai is no longer the best person to bring about regime change.
“The legislators have been coming separately for briefings with him and we doubt if they know their colleagues are also doing the same.”
Little frequents Parliament Building, and often invites MPs to the US Embassy public affairs section at Eastgate Mall in Harare.
Little on Saturday said he was not allowed to talk to the Press and referred all questions to US Embassy public affairs officer Karen Kelley.
She in turn said: “The problem is that it’s a weekend; we are out of the office . . . so it’s difficult to get hold of some of my colleagues. But I am working on your responses, maybe you will get them on Monday when we are back in office.”