Mbeki insists UK wanted to invade Zim

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki

Nduduzo Tshuma Political Editor—
FORMER South African President Thabo Mbeki yesterday reiterated that the United Kingdom and its ally the United States of America wanted to invade Zimbabwe to remove President Robert Mugabe from power through military action. The two countries have since 1999 devised a number of strategies to effect regime change as a reaction to the government’s land reform programme which sought to address colonial injustices by distributing land to the black majority.

Mbeki, in a letter which is part of the recently-launched weekly Mbeki letters, said his Minister of Intelligence at the time, Lindiwe Sisulu, “had to make a number of trips to London and Washington to engage the UK and US governments on their plans for Zimbabwe, with strict instructions from our government to resist all plans to impose anything on the people of Zimbabwe, including by military means.”

The former South African President, who served from 1998 to 2008, said the invasion of Zimbabwe, by former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s admission, proved impracticable as the country’s neighbours stood firm in solidarity with President Mugabe and the nation.

Mbeki said the UK was against his quiet diplomacy policy as he brokered the 2009 Global Political Agreement (GPA) which ushered in the Government of National Unity (GNU) between 2009 and 2013.

“There were others in the world, led particularly by the UK, who opposed our approach of encouraging the Zimbabweans to decide their future. These preferred regime change – the forcible removal of President Mugabe and his replacement by people approved by the UK and its allies,” said Mbeki in yesterday’s letter.

“This is what explained the sustained campaign to condemn us for conducting the so-called ‘quiet diplomacy’. What was wrong with quiet diplomacy was that it defended the right of the people of Zimbabwe to determine their future, as opposed to the desire by some in the West to carry out regime change in Zimbabwe and impose their will on the country.

“In the period preceding the 2002 Zimbabwe elections, the UK and the US in particular were very keen to effect this regime change and failing which to impose various conditions to shorten the period of Mugabe’s Presidency.”

Mbeki said the UK and US were clearly intent on toppling the government of Zimbabwe. “Accordingly it was not from hearsay or third parties that we acquired the knowledge about Western plans to overthrow President Mugabe, but directly from what they communicated to a representative of our government.”

Mbeki backed his claims by citing a UK newspaper, The Independent on Sunday, which quoted former UK armed forces chief of defence staff, Lord Guthrie, confirming discussing the invasion of Zimbabwe with former Prime Minister Blair.

He further quoted a book by John Kampfner titled Blair’s Wars, claiming that the former UK Prime Minister once told Secretary of State for International Development Claire Short that, “if it were down to me, I’d do Zimbabwe as well – that is send troops.”

In his memoir A Journey, Blair explained that the reason he could not “get rid of Mugabe” which he “would have loved to” was because “it wasn’t practical (since…the surrounding African nations maintained a lingering support for him and would have opposed any action strenuously).”?

Mbeki said revolutionary parties PF Zapu and Zanu – later called Zanu-PF after the Unity Accord in 1987 – contributed to the African National Congress’ victory against the apartheid regime, paving way for a democratic South Africa which attained majority rule in 1994.

“The ANC took the same position with regard to the struggles of the people of Zimbabwe to defeat colonialism and reconstruct the new Zimbabwe, and acted accordingly. Throughout these years we defended the right of the people of Zimbabwe to determine their destiny, including deciding on who should govern the country,” said Mbeki.

“This included resisting all efforts to impose other people’s solutions on Zimbabwe, which, if this had succeeded, would have served as a precursor for a similar intervention in our country! Consciously we took the position that democratic South Africa should at all costs avoid acting as a new home-grown African imperial power which would have given itself the right unilaterally to determine the destiny of the peoples of Africa!”

Commenting on the land reform programme, Mbeki said Short repudiated the commitment made at the Lancaster House Conference by Conservative Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major.

“Later, Prime Minister Blair told me that the British governments he led never formally took this decision to repudiate the Lancaster House Agreement and regretted that in the end, his government had to accept it because Claire Short had succeeded to convince the UK public that it was indeed government policy,” he said.

“Further to help resolve the conflict on the land question, at some point we also got commitments from three other governments to finance land acquisition by the Zimbabwe government which would then distribute the land to those who had started to occupy some farms. The Zimbabwe government welcomed this initiative.”

Mbeki also revealed that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) assumed the responsibility to work with the Zimbabwean government to implement the acquisition and redistribution of land at the suggestion of the then UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan. However, he said, the UNDP, “acted in a manner which led to the failure of this initiative.”

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  • magents

    That’s a lie, Mr mbeki

    • Buffalojump

      I agree. It’s time to start a war on poverty and quit the grievance culture of creating smoke screens to cover up the failures of economic development and the starving people.

      The political leaders should quit wining and dining each other and cut the high life style until the people don’t need food aide.

      • vuthelinkani

        Stupid thing to think about during this time things are tough for us. who are you fooling. this story is meant to make us think mbeki saved us when he could not save himself from his political demise. no, nothing like that. mbeki go clean your teeth

        • Japhet moyo

          He did not say anything about his time at Khami Prison, where he forgot his shoes.

  • koka

    These are old lies. Mbeki must get a life and live peacefully in his retirement. He is probably thinking of running for anc presidency seeing that Zuma is on the ropes. These letters are meant to raise his profile and make people see him in good light. Mbeki must relax Zulu boy won’t be easy to get rid off.

  • patriot

    mbeki stop trying to boost your waning political fortunes by using zim,you were dismal in office and recalled,is this another of your AIDS theories?as a man with no children of your own,you dont think of life beyond your own cde mbeki that is why you wanted to prolong the suffering of the children of zim,hardly surprising as you are out of touch having spent the better part of your life in luxury in exile whilst your fellow country men bore the brunt of apartheid

    • Bongani Mhlanga

      A man with no empathy for the millions suffering in Zimbabwe. You could have changed our fortunes. I remember PO1 like it was yesterday. In those days I really suffered. Mbeki is a useless, insipid old bat with no children or love for fellow Africans.

      • Orenthawl James

        kikikiki, sitting there waiting for Thabo Mbeki to change your fortunes!!

        You’ll die in poverty still waiting for Thabo Mbeki. Thabo Mbeki is a steam locomotive my friend, they are no longer in use. They are now found in Museums only!!

        • Chinoz

          Fuck you

          • Nyathi

            Yeah fuck all of you guys who think mbeki was right in letting mugabe sit on results for two weeks,

      • Muturikwa we Gweru.

        You suffered because you could not use your brains except to be spoon fed. Mbeki was a star.


    hawu THABO!!!!, ngikuthembe kangaka!? why were you quiet all these yerrs!

    • Kabatshe

      Was Thabo really quiet I think you were out of touch with the happenings of the world. He was never quite I think this might be the umpteenth time been reading about this. Thabo you are a Hero to me you did not sell-out like what most tribalist commenters say. War is painful you saved your comrade in arms those who say you did the wrong thing the are shameless losers, who do not understand the politics of war. The see war on TV and movies.

      • japhet moyo

        Zimbabweans knows the war not from TV but the real one until 1979. Maybe you were not born but it is the war which ushered in Mugabe and others.
        You are not saying why it was good yesterday not today if the situation is the same.

  • Suppoter

    Mbeki is a loser he is bitter why say it now why didn’t he say it then. What good has the Zimbabwe government done for the people of Zimbabwe? How many people were killed by Smith? Even a young child knows how many people were killed by Mugabe and some disappeared for ever. I am angry about the whole thing, I have relatives who disappeared. People were thrown into the Balagwe pit alive and died a painful death, Mugabe knows that, he even went on to say it was a moment of madness. Mbeki relax at your farm and stop telling us lies you are a Bitch man

  • Orenthawl James

    Yo If things wuz otay in Zimbabwe, then why is Zimbos crowding yo’ people in SA. yo’ stupidity Mr Mbeki wouldn’t keep in you office, now it can’t keep yo’ mouf shut!!
    You’re mad stupid like Orenthawl James!!

  • Lunga

    Mbeki is an idiot.period.

    • fred

      A complete idiot is mbeki

  • God of War

    Mbeki is a delusional fool. I blame all of Zimbabwe’s current problems on him. Satan.

    • Piet

      completely delusional and a liar, and useless, such a disappointment

    • Antitraitor

      The fool is not Mbeki but you unless you are white. If you are black then you are the fool of the highest order because you still do not know yourself. I like Mbeki for he is one of the best Pan Africanists – that is if you understand that simple term.

      • Zuze

        Why do you engage a man that commented 12hrs ago? Ghost is asleep by now. But when he awakes chamama…..What has colour got to do with it? I’m debating with a Zanu drone.

      • Zebron Dube

        YIGWALA leli ZUZE

      • God of War

        You are a filthy idiot who does see the big picture. How can you talk about pan africanists when the ruling elites are the ones who are looting and suppressing the masses. There is massive poverty in Africa because of people like Mbeki who are blind to the fact that the masses have rights too. Only fools and idiots like you listen to this useless propaganda and believe it. Xamu!

  • LihloLikaZulu

    I don’t think all of you are enlightened on imperial politics. Mbeki did the right thing by defending Zimbabwe’s rights to self government. I personally see him as a hero. Just imagine what would have happened to this country if the imperialist had imposed a puppet like Tsvangirai? Maybe you don’t like Mugabe but if truth be told he stood his ground even in the face of hunger and starvation from the Western devils.

    • Top S’gelekeqe

      Nonsense. Defending Zimbabwe is not the same as defending Mugabe. What Mbeki did was to defend Mugabe, not Zimbabwe. This is why he never criticised the violence; the abductions; the election rigging etc. He even went further to hide the findings of a team that investigated the violence and rigging during the 2002 elections. Stop conflating Zimbabwe with Mugabe – the two are not the same and the interests are different too!

    • Doctor Do little

      The right thing for Mbeki to have done was to condemn human rights abuses and election rigging. If elections were free and fair why has the report from the observers of that particular election still not been released. Why did he ignore opinions of respectable people like Mandela and Tutu. Mbeki had many of his own reason why he encouraged the Zimbabwean Government to commit economic suicide. One of them is the fact that most of our investor relocated to South Africa. That is the reason why many of the commentators here are against him. In Europe when an economy of a neighbour falters they help each other. In Africa they smile and entice the investment out of the troubled country. Now because of Mbeki’s fence sitting South Africa is feeling the ripples of a struggling Zimbabwe. He is no HERO. To a few maybe.

    • Mavulakuvaliwe

      Do you honestly think UK & USA would actually invade Zimbabwe? would they possibly gain from invading Zimbabwe? Mbeki is just trying to make up for his failures because he knows history will not judge him kindly for his impotence to the Zimbabwe situation whilst he was President.

      • Antitraitor

        We love Mbeki for what he did for Zimbabwe. It is only those who suffer from mental slavery which I think was also inherited, who see Mbeki as an enemy. Only those like you Mavulawhatever who permanently suffer from that inferiority complex who see a whiteman as God.

        • Zuze

          KIKIKIKIKIKIKIKI Slavery is what we are in now. The worst kind. Black on black…. Embarrassing ” being paid in SHOES KIKIKIKI YOU R A FULL. I spelt it wrong purposely.kikikikikikikikikiikikikikiki

          • The Awakened


  • Nkunzemnyama

    Since Mbeki started this weekly letter of his,,,,,,,,he has been lying, lying and lying. He should NEVER be taken seriously.

    • Muturikwa we Gweru.

      I will take him very seriously because he has not been lying. It is you traitors who should not be taken seriously by us Africans.

      • Nkunzemnyama

        So what you sqoqodo. Who are in the first place? Just a CIO whose hands are full of blood of innocent citizens.

        • cop

          nkunze….. mmmmmmm wat you saying about cio thing lets not throw misiles to just employees

          • cop

            muzivi wenzira yeparuware ….. pedzisa nkunze

          • Nkunzemnyama


  • Top S’gelekeqe

    Thabo Mbeki fails to mention so many pertinent issues or events in his Zim
    narrative in order to depict the West as the worst offender in Zimbabwe. As
    much as the West could have had its own agendas; Mugabe himself definitely had
    is own evil agendas of political survival by hook or crook.

    How do you argue that Zimbabweans must be left to choose their own leaders,
    yet you are busy covering up for one of the contestants to the leadership of
    the country? That is hypocracy of the highest order.

    What Mbeki did was to tell the West to stay out of Zim whilst he decided on
    behalf of the Zimbabweans that Mugabe would be their President. He doesn’t
    mention anything about Gukurahundi; he says nothing about the time he himself
    was thrown into prison by Mugabe; he ignores the election rigging from 2002 to
    date; his whole story about ANC ZANU relations is absolutely false.

    If truth be told, ZANU PF was a breakaway party from the main party ZAPU;
    just as the PAC was also a breakaway party from the main party the ANC in South
    Africa. The difference between the two scenarios is that in Zim, Shona tribal
    dominance worked in favour of ZANU the breakaway party. That is why it came to
    power; whilst in South Africa, the PAC lacked that same tribal gravitas in
    South Africa, hence it could not upstage its mother body the ANC.

    The ANC was always friends with ZAPU, whilst the two breakaway parties, PAC
    and ZANU were friends. Mugabe never liked the ANC from time immemorial, but had
    no choice but to live with the reality they had become the ruling party in
    South Africa.

    This explains why he had so many fights with Nelson Mandela – it was all about
    old grudges coupled with the big ego of refusing to be overshadowed by the
    towering moral image of Nelson Mandela; both in the Frontline States and
    internationally. Again, we all know Mugabe never forgives or forgets – he is by
    nature a very vindictive man.

    Thabo Mbeki changed tune when he came to power and went overboard in
    accommodating Mugabe’s nonsense just to keep the peace. In the end, the
    Zimbabweans in general had to pay the price. It is unfortunate that he still
    refuses to take responsibility for Zim’s situation and instead chooses to
    continue covering for the Gukurahundi dictator!!

  • theheraldonline

    fred, too much swearing in your post my bro. dirty language is not the way to go, especially for a platform of repute like this one which is driven by readers and followers of repute like you.

    • Suppoter

      Honestly one can end up swearing, Are we saying Zimbabwe relies on handouts from UK? Sanctions if they have ever been there should not have put Zim to the state it is now, Unless if we say everything Zim needs can be found in UK/USA, I don’t think so. Somewhere somehow Zim Leaders failed lets just agree. I know Herald knows the truth you guys are educated but unfortunately to protect your jobs you must be seen to support the Government for reasons we all know, You need you jobs otherwise if you are seen to say something bad about Zanu PF you could end up in Jail. Zanu PF has failed period.You might be working there at Herald but I know you getting peanuts as compared to your counter parts in South Africa. Shame on Zim Leaders

      • Orenthawl James

        And what do you know about these so called counterparts in sOUTH AFRICA!!

        • Suppoter

          I know as much as you know about your Zim well paid ones

      • theheraldonline

        Leaders are human too, and can never impress everyone, more so erstwhile colonizers. It would be great for you to cite the failed cases for discussion than to type obscenities, Supporter. As for the arguments you raise, you seem not to have heard of what ZIDERA is, and why it was put in place, and by who, to fix who. ZIDERA is a law that impacts on the ordinary person, and for you to understand it, i would advise that you read just a bit on IMPERIALISM, which is the policy of extending a nation’s authority by territorial gain, or by the establishment of economic and political dominance over other nations. Kindly visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lO-4DkFh5ww to understand the basics of imperialism. This will make you understand why our erstwhile colonizers are angry with Mugabe and Zanu-PF. The regime scuttled Queen Victoria’s plot whose implementation was started by Cecil Rhodes starting around 1888.

        • Mavulakuvaliwe

          Mfowethu save the Imperialism speech for the uneducated we’re not buying it. Imperialism cannot be blamed for the situation we find ourselves in. We have gone backwards from being a leading light in Africa to a laughing stock.

          • theheraldonline

            It’s not about buying the idea, it’s about understanding and appreciating that as much as we have our own weaknesses, we can not ignore the wailing sound of those crying louder than the bereaved. It’s true, the land redistribution programme was a bitter pill to swallow for the erstwhile colonizers and we can not ignore what Cde Mbeki is saying here judging by what the country experienced. However, we advise that Zimbabweans are better off crying less and looking for opportunities more. Where others cry, we better look for opportunities in the form of solutions-this way we can pick ourselves up and move on even in the face of sanctions. Regardless of ZIDERA, new entrepreneurs have been born! Be part of those Mavulakuvaliwe and help tell a positive story of your life – You make the Zim population, don’t you?

          • Mavulakuvaliwe

            I am proudly Zimbabwean, born and bred kodwa there is no positive story here, we are a failed state and the quicker we admit it the quicker Zimbabwe will recover. We have no jobs, no electricity, no water, our educational standards are slipping, our infrastructure is crumbling, corruption is rife, crime rates are high and the rich keep getting richer with farms and tenders whilst we the common man can only cry.

          • Doctor Do little

            Sir the land issue needed solving and needed cool heads but I don’t buy the idea that the West are bitter because of it and they slapped sanctions.That they did not approve of it is a fact. The land redistribution program did affect over 3000 white farmers but the effects it had on the black people that lost their livelihood was 100 fold . There are no diplomats on this forum so you are conversing with people that saw and know the facts. Could it have been done differently? Yes. Should it have been done differently? Yes. About the Sanctions you speak of we should never have been in that position in the first place. If Zimbabwe was not broke we could of bought whatever we wanted. If Zimbabwe was still producing quality beef and other agricultural and industrial products we had other markets available to us. If high ranking Government officials were not interfering in the baking of each and every cake and not looting we would have rode the wave. If even 1/4 of the corrupt people were prosecuted were would have kept our head above the water. If the failures in certain Ministries were not put back in their positions and recycled into other Ministries we would have seen a semblance of improvement. Lastly if certain provinces were not punished for their voting patterns they might have appreciated Governments efforts. When and only when Politicians including those in the highest Offices start to answer to the people and start to serve the people then only will you see true development. At this stage it remains an illusion to be pursued but never attained.

          • dudhuza (ex Zipra forces)

            Sad the the herald online could not engage such a contribution. WELL SAID Doctor Do litlle. As usual a beacon

          • gutu chitovah

            people are afraid to face the truth. this explains why some Zimbos still think the solutions to their problems lie in in the westerners. we need to be innovative. innovative in our way of thinking, way of looking at things and issues, innovative in our ways of critiquing our leaders. Lets be visionary. see what’s before us and a generation to come. what would Mbeki benefit from lying about Zimbabwe? does he aspire to an MP one day for Umguza or Marambapfungwe? He is just exposing the hypocrisy of some of the people who pretend and masquerade as if they care much for us Zimbos. we should be thanking Thabo for his love for Zimbabweans otherwise Harare could have been some other version of Baghdad. Invasions don’t work, they never worked and will never do. people determine their leaders. Yes there may be a million or 2 million crying voices but there is a three million who has spoken. Mugabe for Zimbabweans. his departure should be determined by Zimbos and his replacement by Zimbos alone. Thank you a thousand times Cde Thabo Mbeki. You are, you were, and you will remain a star in our memories. You surely are in our prayers. Never be misled by a few. Zimbabwe is greater than this internet Thing. I salute you Cde. Africa for Africans and God for us All.

          • Zuze

            You don’t get what we others are saying do? It is because you think this is the attitude of Western sympathises. You are wrong. We all know that the West puts it’s own priorities ahead of anything and its people first. So does China. So does Russia. All these powers look after no1 first. Can you blame them? No. What has Mbeki achieved for the locals? Even in his own country he was kicked out before he completed his term.He protected and praised a regime that was heading to economic doom, agreed with the way they done things and he himself done the exact opposite and his economy survived whilst ours vanished. There is still the question of the withheld election report. Why was it with held? DID IT CONTAIN INFORMATION THAT THE RESULT DID NOT REFLECT THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE? OR DID IT CONTAIN SOMETHING ELSE. Why with hold something that you tasked people to do so as to legitimize something and the put it under wraps. Your hero yes? Judging from the comments here many despise this man.

  • Tapiwa Mushe

    Mbeki is a donkey. Zimbabweans will always remember him for the suffering he promoted.

    • Muturikwa we Gweru.

      I do not think that you Tapiwa are a better donkey because you want African children to continue suffering while white children live lavishly.

      • Zuze

        Oh my word .Nguwe futhi. Look at Bulawayo during the War. Cleanest city in the world. services all intact. Council trucks all over the City. People working. Marking streets. Manufacturing… during a war. Now Bulawayo looks like it has been hit by an Atomic explosion. Sewerage dirt all over. I am black mfo. I sure as well don’t want Rhodesia back But I sure as well want this lot gone. Of the two evils Rhodesia was more tolerable .

      • cop

        whats bothering you if they are living lavish…. what ever in their west land lets saffer in africa until we learn to do for our own… do they put your farm in their cago to uk or u are lazy that you cant do for your own

  • ioioe

    Mbeki is just trying to follow in Kofi Ananns footsteps to make extra money for himself by being an ambassador for the African Continent just as useless as Kofi eyeing Mo Ibrahims Money

  • hozhwa

    If UK wanted to invade Zimbabwe like they did Iraq it would have been debated in parliament and not kept a secret he reveals in his letters. This man should stop smoking whatever he is smoking.

    • Hacha Duke of Enkeldoorn

      He has a bag of Malawi Gold

    • McGyver Zee

      yaah his smoking too much, too many brain cells lost in his head..

  • Gwereza

    A learned short man, short sighted, idiot who takes Zimbabweans for fools. This man is another Chiluba, no wonder ANC recalled this african potato man with his rotten thinking. His actions while in power have lead to SA’S demise. Why is it that when us black people take power we ruin everything. Is it that we are a cursed lot? Unfortunately this Mbeki fool has a wife and some who call him a father.

  • Mugavimbi_Naledi

    uyawumana uMzizi … wangenwa yiZanu toomuch ekhanda!!!
    okuyi pet project kwakhe loMatibiri kokwenza uMzansi a tribal enclave like Zimbabwe failed spectacularly when iANC acted speedily to STOP it by removing him from power!!!

    yikho elokhe ekhala, ekhonkotha lanamhlokhu. This was a dangerous man who the ANC fingered and acted to stop. Plz Mzizi … just shut up!!!

  • Mixed Race

    Mr Mbeki served a jail sentence under the same person he has been defending,so what does that tell you people.Think logically and do further investigation,then you will know why.Those who have mature brains will take it further from here.
    Sometimes these people will do anything to cover their very dirty past.Thus why his own brother questioned his so-called quiet diplomacy whilst he was still that country’s president.I doubt that he deliberately wanted to kill our economy because at that time our economy was already collapsing due to the DRC war and war vets untimed financial claims.The man has limited power of logical and systematic reasoning as witnessed by his denial of Aids existence.
    What we really need here is just little freedom to be heard so that we can participate with our different professional skills in the development of our country without violent interference from these war vets who are really ignorant and naive in their approach to real issues.I am sure that current events are direct indications that enough is enough from these destructive forces,therefore they will be controlled effectively to allow us to use our viable skills freely.

  • nhamodzenyika

    Mbeki is the biggest liar of them all. Don’t forget Mbeki has business interests in Zimbabwe and also he never liked the fact that Tswangirai was a bi-product of the Labour Unions, propping him up would have seen and put ANC under threat in its own backyard. So don’t buy into the nonsense this idiot is saying. Britain until Ton y Blair’s intervention had given ZANU over £40Mil towards land reform, Blair said we cant just have an open cheque to this issue, cane we audit and see what our contribution so far has produced, so we can then work out how much is needed to complete the process. Bob knowing his government had squandered the cash, he went all crazy and his only way out of the rot was to use the war vets. These are thieves my friend, the only way to keep their dirt covered is by remaining in power.

  • JongweRachembera

    Mbeki the irrelevant idiot.

  • Mukaranga!

    Mbeki is my hero!

  • Mugavimbi_Naledi

    what a fool … what a drooling fool this Mzizi (Mbeki) guy!!

    mr editor, just give uMzizi the comments here for his next ‘instalment’ of his rancourous Letters ….

    tomorrow mr editor can we have real news, hayi izxakaxaka zikaMzizi leZanu yakhe?

  • McGyver Zee

    Mbeki is an idiot who doesnt knw change…He could not make a difference in his country wen he was still in power but had to decide for wats best for zim yet the idiot did not really understand the situation on the Ground, This busted was bought by Mugabe… Shame on you stupid Mbeki, go home.!!