Dlamini-Zuma on how US could help Zimbabwe


Former South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma told United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the US could help Zimbabwe’s recovery programme by bypassing the government and assisting commercial farmers and the business sector directly.

Clinton had told her that US sanctions on Zimbabwe would remain but the US would continue with its aid relief.

Dlamini Zuma, who is now Minister of Home Affairs, said the new members of the coalition government were working with President Robert Mugabe to kick-start the economy.

The United States could therefore help by establishing agricultural lines of credit for Zimbabwean commercial farmers to help stimulate the agricultural sector.

She suggested that this could be achieved, transparently, through the Zimbabwean agricultural unions that maintained independence from the Zimbabwe government.

Equally important, Dlamini-Zuma argued, was the need for loans to help small businesses bounce back in the new Zimbabwe economy.


Full cable:


Viewing cable 09STATE27831, C) Secretary Clinton’s March 19, 2009 Meeting

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Reference ID






2009-03-23 22:37

2011-08-30 01:44


Secretary of State

O 232237Z MAR 09



C O N F I D E N T I A L STATE 027831



E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/18/2019


SUBJECT: (C) Secretary Clinton’s March 19, 2009 Meeting

with South African Foreign Minister Dlamini-Zuma.


1. (C) Classified by: Acting Assistant Secretary

Phillip Carter, Bureau of African Affairs, Department of

State – Reason 1.4 (d)


2. (U) March 19, 2009, 2:30 p.m., Washington, DC.


3. (U) Participants:


United States

The Secretary

Acting Assistant Secretary Phillip Carter, AF

Acting Assistant Secretary Robert A. Wood, PA

Joe Macmanus, Executive Assistant, S Staff

Rush Marburg, AF Notetaker


South Africa

Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, DFA

UN Permanent Representative, Ambassador Sipho G. Nene

Ambassador Welile Nhlapo, South African Embassy, USA

Fadl Nacerodien, Director, USA Desk, DFA



4. (C) SUMMARY. On March 19, 2009, Secretary Clinton

hosted South African Foreign Minister Dlamini-Zuma for

discussions that included broadly enhanced bilateral

engagement, the status of the World Conference Against

Racism Durban review document, the current situation in

Zimbabwe and existing United States sanctions,

deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Sudan and

multilateral nonproliferation engagement. Secretary

Clinton acknowledged the importance of the United States –

South Africa bilateral relationship and urged Foreign

Minister Dlamini-Zuma and the South African government to

take a leadership role in helping address broad African

challenges in the areas of health, economic development

and regional conflict in Sudan and Zimbabwe. Other topics

of discussion included the upcoming South African

elections, renewable energy, education and the need to

stimulate agricultural growth both in South Africa and the

region. END SUMMARY.






5. (C) Secretary Clinton proposed a new working group

model for continued dialogue between the United States and

South Africa involving all levels of government on

bilateral issues. The Secretary expressed our desire to

engage in areas of trade and investment, energy technology

development, renewable and alternate fuel research and

electricity and power. FM Dlamini-Zuma welcomed this

suggestion and noted that our ongoing collaboration in

HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and health issues demonstrates that

we can work cooperatively on achieving shared objectives.

Secretary Clinton suggested that a new working group model

could build partnerships for the long term.


6. (C) FM Dlamini-Zuma expressed a desire to strengthen

trade and economic ties with the United States, and noted

that the U.S. is South Africa’s second largest trading

partner. Dlamini-Zuma asserted that economic cooperation

with the United States is a top priority, which we can

improve upon.   Dlamini-Zuma also noted South Africa’s

interest in working with other countries to develop its

agricultural capacity. On education, she cautioned that

South Africa cannot grow economically with a poorly

educated work force and cited the need for improved higher

education institutions in her country.


——————————————— —


——————————————— —


7. (C) Dlamini-Zuma provided an update on recent Geneva-

based meetings on the Durban review document and invited

USG engagement moving forward. She noted that many of the

areas of concern to the United States had been addressed

and/or removed from the document. In support of this

claim, Dlamini-Zuma identified changes in the language on

anti-Zionism, sexual orientation, and the removal of anti-

Israeli text. Dlamini-Zuma added that the document has

been reduced from 63 to 17 pages in length, and noted that

much progress has been made on the language. Dlamini-Zuma

suggested that, if the United States decides to reengage,

South Africa is willing to dispatch its team to meet with

USG counterparts to work cooperatively. Secretary Clinton

thanked Dlamini-Zuma for her efforts and agreed that

racism remains a serious problem and challenge. The

Secretary urged that any Durban follow-on discussions

should focus on addressing the problem of racism, as

opposed to politicizing it.






8. (C) Secretary Clinton explained that USG sanctions on

Zimbabwe will remain in place as reflected in President

Obama’s recent decision to renew the national emergency

declaration with regard to Zimbabwe. The Secretary

noted, however, that USG aid relief to Zimbabwe will

continue as we attempt to address the suffering of the

Zimbabwean people. Dlamini-Zuma agreed that the situation

in Zimbabwe is not easily solved. Recounting a recent

trip to South Africa by Zimbabwean government leaders,

notably Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Finance

Minister Tendai Biti, Dlamini-Zuma said that new members

of the coalition government are working with President

Mugabe’s faction to create a plan to kick-start the

economy. Dlamini-Zuma suggested the USG could help by

establishing agricultural lines of credit for Zimbabwean

commercial farmers to help stimulate the agricultural

sector. Dlamini-Zuma suggested this could be achieved,

transparently, through the Zimbabwean agricultural unions

that maintain independence from the Zimbabwe government.

Equally important, Dlamini-Zuma argued, is the need for

loans to help small businesses bounce back in the new

Zimbabwe economy. Secretary Clinton expressed a desire to

see the power-sharing agreement work and said that

division of responsibilities is important as Zimbabwe

moves forward to heal the wounds of the past.


——————————————— –


——————————————— –


9. (C) Secretary Clinton expressed concern with the

deteriorating humanitarian situation in Sudan following

the expulsion of non-government organizations (NGOs) and

informed Dlamini-Zuma that the U.S. intends to hold

President Omar al-Bashir accountable for ignoring the

needs of his people and not filling the void left by the

departed NGOs. Secretary Clinton informed Dlamini-Zuma

that President Obama has just named a Special Envoy for

Sudan and suggested the envoy could engage with President

Mbeki, who has just been appointed by the African Union

(AU) to a special position to work on Darfur. Dlamini-

Zuma said the South African government is attempting to

encourage the Sudanese government to allow the return of

at least some of the NGOs, and that her government is

looking at ways to discourage President al-Bashir from

chasing more aid workers from Sudan. She stressed,

however, that the South African government remains equally

concerned with the North-South peace agreement and

prospects for sustainability. Dlamini-Zuma mentioned

South African engagement with the Southern Sudanese,

through training and education exchanges, which has helped

build their capacity to effectively run government and

public services.






10. (C) Secretary Clinton invited South Africa to remain

engaged in multilateral discussions on the Nuclear Non-

Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Noting South Africa’s

importance as one of the leading Non-Aligned Movement

voices, the Secretary said that South Africa’s input will

be valuable as we push for a new framework for the 2010

NPT Review Conference. Dlamini-Zuma welcomed the

invitation and reiterated South Africa’s strong position

against nuclear arms development and the need for strong

international controls on the development of nuclear







11. (C) CONCLUSION: Both Secretary Clinton and Dlamini-

Zuma reaffirmed their strong commitment to work together

and to move the bilateral relationship forward. Secretary

Clinton thanked Dlamini-Zuma for agreeing to travel to the

United States to meet, and said that the USG intends to

send a high-level delegation to South Africa for the

inauguration of the new president on May 9. Dlamini-Zuma

welcomed this news and left an open invitation for

Secretary Clinton to visit South Africa in the near






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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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