Goche has diplomatic flu


0

Deputy Foreign Minister Nicholas Goche was called away on 4th of July 2000 to deal with a group of unruly war veterans in Bindura, an area he did not represent, prompting the United States embassy in Harare to conclude that this was the Zimbabwean equivalent of “diplomatic flu”.

Goche was supposed to attend the ambassador’s 4 of July reception as the most senior Zimbabwean government official that very morning.

This was a signal to the United States of Zimbabwe’s displeasure with Washington over its sponsoring a bill that intended to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe among other things.

Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge had already send messages that he hoped that the United States would not fall into the same trap as the United Kingdom which with Zimbabwe had very sour relations.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 00HARARE3634, GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE SENDS SIGNALS OF

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE3634

2000-07-05 09:56

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

050956Z Jul 00

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6326

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03634 01 OF 02 050953Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 INL-01   DODE-00 SRPP-00

DS-00   EUR-00   VC-00   H-01   TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01

L-00     VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00

PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   IRM-00   SSO-00

TRSE-00 USIE-00 R-00     PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00

NFAT-00 SAS-00     /008W

——————6A4405 050953Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6505

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 003634

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/05/10

TAGS: PREL PGOV ZI US

SUBJECT: GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE SENDS SIGNALS OF

DISPLEASURE WITH USG

 

REF: HARARE 3616

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03634 01 OF 02 050953Z

 

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD REASONS 1.5 B/D.

 

1. (C) THE ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT HAS FINALLY FOCUSED ON

THE USG’S CRITICAL WORDS AND ACTIONS IN THE LAST FEW

MONTHS AND HAS BEGUN SENDING SIGNALS OF ITS DISPLEASURE.

THESE INCLUDE NOT ACCREDITING THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC

INSTITUTE (NDI) AND THE INTERNATIONAL REPUBLICAN

INSTITUTE (IRI) AS ELECTION OBSERVERS, SENDING A

DIPLOMATIC NOTE AT THE LAST MINUTE STATING THAT IT WOULD

NOT RESPOND TO NATIONAL DAY MESSAGES, NOT SENDING A

SENIOR GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE AMBASSADOR’S 4TH

OF JULY RECEPTION AND GIVING THE RECEPTION NEGATIVE

COVERAGE ON THE TELEVISION NEWS. FOREIGN MINISTER

MUDENGE EXPRESSED DISPLEASURE WITH THE PROPOSED

CONGRESSIONAL ACTIONS TO PLACE “SANCTIONS” ON ZIMBABWE,

AND HOPED THE U.S. WILL NOT COME INTO THE SAME LEAGUE AS

THE UNITED KINGDOM. WE THINK PRESIDENT MUGABE IS LOOKING

FOR SOMEONE ON WHOM TO BLAME THE DEFEAT HIS PARTY WAS

HANDED IN THE JUST-CONCLUDED PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION, AND

WILL TARGET THE U.S. FOR CRITICISM AS PART OF HIS POST-

ELECTION GOVERNANCE STRATEGY AND PRESIDENTIAL RE-

ELECTION CAMPAIGN. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) AN ACCUMULATION OF RECENT SIGNALS SUGGESTS THAT

THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE IS NOT HAPPY WITH THE USG.

ON JULY 3, THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS SENT A

DIPLOMATIC NOTE, ALONG WITH THE STANDARD FOURTH OF JULY

GREETING FROM PRESIDENT MUGABE, STATING THAT IT “HAS THE

HONOR TO ADVISE THAT THE PRACTICE OF SPEECHES AT

NATIONAL DAY MESSAGES (SIC) HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED.” IN

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03        HARARE 03634 01 OF 02 050953Z

RESPONSE, THE AMBASSADOR INFORMED DEPUTY FOREIGN

MINISTER NICHOLAS GOCHE THAT HE PLANNED TO GIVE A SPEECH

ON JULY 4. GOCHE REPLIED, “OF COURSE, AMBASSADORS ARE

EXPECTED TO SPEAK AT SUCH EVENTS.” (COMMENT: WE

INTERPRET THIS TOTALLY UNPRECEDENTED AND ABRUPT CHANGE

IN PRACTICE AS A WAY TO ATTEMPT TO CENSOR FOREIGN

DIPLOMATS FROM SAYING ANYTHING REMOTELY CRITICAL OF THE

GOZ AND ITS POLICIES. END COMMENT).

 

3. (C) LATER THAT DAY, FOREIGN MINISTER MUDENGE

PROTESTED LEGISLATION WINDING ITS WAY THROUGH CONGRESS

THAT WOULD RESULT IN “SANCTIONS” AGAINST ZIMBABWE AND

THE RECENT HEARING BEFORE THE HOUSE AFRICA SUBCOMMITTEE.

IN PASSING MUDENGE IMPLIED ANTI-USG STATEMENTS MAY BE

FORTHCOMING AND REMARKED THAT HE HOPED THE UNITED STATES

WOULD NOT BE IN THE SAME LEAGUE AS BRITAIN. (COMMENT:

ZIMBABWE AND THE UNITED KINGDOM ARE CURRENTLY INVOLVED

IN A VERY ACRIMONIOUS AND PUBLIC DISPUTE THAT HAS

RESULTED IN PARALYSIS OF THEIR BILATERAL RELATIONSHIP.

END COMMENT). THE SENIOR REPRESENTATIVE FROM THE

GOVERNMENT SCHEDULED TO APPEAR AT THE AMBASSADOR’S

FOURTH OF JULY RECEPTION, DEPUTY MINISTER GOCHE, WAS

CALLED AWAY THE MORNING OF JULY 4 TO DEAL WITH A GROUP

OF UNRULY WAR VETS IN BINDURA IN MASHONALAND CENTRAL, AN

AREA HE DOES NOT REPRESENT IN PARLIAMENT. WE INTERPRET

THIS ABSENCE TO BE THE ZIMBABWEAN EQUIVALENT OF

“DIPLOMATIC FLU.”

 

4. (U) THE NIGHTLY NEWSCAST ON THE ZIMBABWE

BROADCASTING CORPORATION (ZBC) NORMALLY REPORTS NATIONAL

DAY RECEPTIONS IN AN ANODYNE MANNER. IN OUR CASE, THE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03634 01 OF 02 050953Z

ZBC DESCRIBED THE EVENT NEGATIVELY AND NOTED AN ALLEGED

HEAVY PRESENCE OF THE MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE

(MDC) MEMBERS AT THE RECEPTION, WHICH IT LIKENED TO A

VICTORY CELEBRATION FOR THE OPPOSITION. THE EVENT WAS,

IN FACT, ATTENDED BY OVER 700 PERSONS REPRESENTING ALL

SECTORS OF ZIMBABWEAN SOCIETY IN AND OUT OF GOVERNMENT.

MANY OF THE MDC MEMBERS WHO ATTENDED OUR NATIONAL DAY

ARE PROMINENT CONSTITUTIONAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYERS,

DEMOCRACY ADVOCATES, AND OTHER CIVIL SOCIETY ACTIVISTS

WITH WHOM EMBOFFS HAVE REGULAR CONTACTS.

 

5. (C) IN ADDITION, THE GOVERNMENT’S REFUSAL TO

ACCREDIT ELECTION OBSERVERS FROM IRI AND NDI ONLY DAYS

BEFORE THE ELECTION (AND THEREBY RENEGING ON PRESIDENT

MUGABE’S PUBLIC PLEDGE TO WELCOME ANY AND ALL

INTERNATIONAL ELECTION OBSERVERS BE THEY NON-BRITISH),

CONSTITUTES, IN OUR VIEW, ANOTHER STRIKE AT AMERICA.

WHILE THE AMERICAN GROUPS WERE TWO OF SEVERAL EXCLUDED,

AMONG THEM THE WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES, WE HAVE LITTLE

DOUBT THAT THE U.S. WAS THE OBJECT OF THE ZIMBABWEAN

GOVERNMENT’S EFFORT TO BAR NON-GOVERNMENTAL

ORGANIZATIONS.

 

6. (C) COMMENT: WE SENSE A DISTINCT CHILLING IN THE

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6327

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03634 02 OF 02 050953Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00

EUR-00   VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01   L-00

VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SSO-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00

PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /007W

——————6A440A 050953Z /38

O 050956Z JUL 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6506

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 003634

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/05/10

TAGS: PREL PGOV ZI US

SUBJECT: GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE SENDS SIGNALS OF

DISPLEASURE WITH USG

 

BILATERAL RELATIONSHIP, NOW THAT THE GOVERNMENT HERE HAS

HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO FOCUS ON SOMETHING OTHER THAN THE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03634 02 OF 02 050953Z

ELECTIONS AND TAKEN STOCK OF OUR WORDS AND ACTIONS. SO

FAR, THE ZIMBABWEANS’ ACTIONS HAVE HEWED TO THE PETTY.

NEVERTHELESS, WE CANNOT RULE OUT PRESIDENT MUGABE MAKING

US A PRINCIPAL TARGET OF HIS POST PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION

GOVERNANCE STRATEGY AND HIS PRESIDENTIAL RE-ELECTION

CAMPAIGN, WHICH WE PERCEIVE HAS JUST STARTED IN EARNEST.

MUGABE IS CLEARLY LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO BLAME FOR HIS

PARTY’S RESOUNDING REJECTION IN THE PARLIAMENTARY

ELECTIONS. END COMMENT.

 

MCDONALD

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

(7 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHARETweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email
Print this page
Print

Like it? Share with your friends!

0
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.

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *