Guebuza told US officials his opinion about Mugabe didn’t matter


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Mozambique President Armando Guebuza told United States embassy officials that he had his own personal opinion about Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe but that opinion didn’t matter. It was what Zimbabweans desired that counted.

He had been asked by the officials about whether Mugabe should be forced out or not and developments at the Southern African Development Community summit in Lusaka, Zambia.

Guebuza said the summit had been a success and the leaders had urged President Robert Mugabe and South African President Thabo Mbeki to make more rapid progress towards resolving Zimbabwe’s political crisis.

He said that Mozambique needed to proceed with care, as Zimbabwe could hurt Malawi, South Africa and Mozambique itself.

Guebuza said Mozambique would support all domestic Zimbabwean political actors and a forum that would allow them all to communicate better, and wanted a solution that “reflected the will of the Zimbabwean people”.

 

Full cable:

Viewing cable 07MAPUTO988, PRESIDENT GUEBUZA ON ZIMBABWE AND PKO’S

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

07MAPUTO988

2007-08-21 14:58

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Maputo

VZCZCXRO5890

RR RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHTO #0988/01 2331458

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 211458Z AUG 07

FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7784

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0104

RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MAPUTO 000988

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/20/2017

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL KDEM MZ ZI

SUBJECT: PRESIDENT GUEBUZA ON ZIMBABWE AND PKO’S

 

REF: A. MAPUTO 899

 

B. MAPUTO 949

C. MAPUTO 955

D. MAPUTO 956

E. LUSAKA 945

 

MAPUTO 00000988 001.2 OF 002

 

 

Classified By: CHARGE D’AFFAIRES TODD C. CHAPMAN, REASONS 1.4(B) & (D)

 

1. (C) Summary: President Guebuza told the Charge on August

20 that he pressed both Mbeki and Mugabe for a speedier

solution to Zimbabwe’s political crisis at the Lusaka Summit

that reflects the will of the Zimbabwean people. He said

that Mozambique was interested in participating in

peacekeeping operations (PKO’s), but was not yet logistically

prepared to do so. Guebuza recognized the country’s economic

growth and USG support, including high-level interest such as

the pending visit by HHS Secretary Leavitt. Guebuza seemed

to grasp the international political arguments that support

Mozambique’s participation in PKO’s, but worried about the

domestic political fallout resulting from any diversion of

GRM resources away from underfunded social programs or

combating the rising crime problem at home. End Summary.

 

—————————————–

Economic Development; Concern about Crime

—————————————–

 

2. (C) The Charge, accompanied by PolEconChief, met August

20 with President Guebuza at his request. Guebuza was

accompanied by Political Advisor Renato Matusse and a

notetaker. Lauding the remarkable economic development that

Mozambique has enjoyed over the past 15 years, the Charge

opened by congratulating the president for the GRM’s

responsible stewardship of the economy. He applauded the

recent article that President Guebuza had written for

AllAfrica.com in which he emphasized that the private sector

was now Mozambique’s primary engine for economic growth and

partner in development.

 

3. (C) Guebuza in turn congratulated and recognized the USG

for the key role it has played in Mozambique’s development,

noting that the USG had been a strong supporter for many

years–helping fund and observe elections, for example, and

providing relief during natural disasters that had afflicted

the country in the 1990s and again more recently. In spite

of the growth in the economy, he expressed worry about the

increasing crime in Mozambique, and observed that it was a

regional problem. Criminal elements seemed to be

increasingly present across international borders.

 

4. (C) Guebuza said he was concerned to find that many

criminals in Mozambique seemed connected to the police, until

he realized that internal infractions committed by police

officers usually resulted in immediate dismissal. In other

words, he continued, there were large numbers of unemployed

former police officers who were ripe for recruitment into

criminal gangs. A Mozambican politician who participated in

a USG International Visitor program reported to the President

that he observed how the Chicago police force addressed

internal discipline problems with programs to correct

behavior–with dismissal only as a last resort. Guebuza

stated that he would seek to implement this internal

corrective process within the Mozambican police force so as

to reform behavior rather than augment the criminal ranks.

 

—————————————

Lusaka Summit, Perspectives on Zimbabwe

—————————————

 

5. (C) The Charge asked how Guebuza viewed the outcomes of

last week’s SADC summit in Lusaka. The President called it a

success, with renewed commitments on economic integration and

the establishment of a regional peacekeeping force. He added

that conditions in Lesotho and Congo seemed to be steadily

improving, and that leaders had urged South Africa’s Thabo

Mbeki and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe to make more rapid

progress towards resolving Zimbabwe’s political impasse.

 

6. (C) The Charge said that the United States viewed

Zimbabwe’s problems with increasing concern, wanted a result

that eased the country’s suffering, and supported an African

solution to this regional problem. Guebuza replied that

Mozambique would support all domestic Zimbabwean political

actors and a forum that would allow them all to communicate

better, and that the GRM wanted a solution that “reflected

the will of the Zimbabwean people.” Guebueza said that when

people asked him if Mugabe should be forced out, he had his

 

MAPUTO 00000988 002.2 OF 002

 

 

own personal opinion but that opinion didn,t matter: it is

what Zimbabweans desire that counts. He added that the GRM

needed to proceed with care, as Zimbabwe could hurt Malawi,

South Africa, and Mozambique.

 

——————————————— —-

PKOs: Interested, Need Funds; HHS Secretary Visit

——————————————— —-

 

7. (C) The Charge observed that in the past 60 days, Guebuza

had met with First Lady Laura Bush, Secretary of State

Condoleezza Rice, AF Assistant Secretary Jendayi Frazer and

MCC CEO John Danilovich. The following day’s visit by HHS

Secretary Michael Leavitt would be the first cabinet-level

 

SIPDIS

visit to Mozambique in over five years. The time appeared

ripe, continued the Charge, to work towards broadening the

bilateral agenda to include issues of continental and

multilateral importance like peacekeeping operations (PKO’s)

in Africa.

 

8. (C) Guebueza responded that he had raised this issue with

his national security council, a mixed commission of civilian

and military advisors, which had observed it would be

difficult to justify taking money away from social spending

to support PKO’s. He said that when he met with Secretary

Rice, he had suggested that the political commitment to PKO’s

was actually a secondary issue. The primary concern was

ensuring that the logistical support was in place so that a

sustainable mission could be undertaken. Further, his

government would need more information on what the missions

would be in Somalia or Sudan before being able to commit

troops. He ultimately characterized Mozambique’s stance as

“interested in PKO’s, but not yet ready to send the troops.”

 

——————————-

Request for Elections Financing

——————————-

 

9. (C) At the conclusion of the meeting, political counselor

to the president Renato Matusse asked the Charge about

possible USG funding for provincial elections in January, as

raised by President Guebueza with Secretary Rice in

Washington. The Charge indicated that the USG had a small

amount of technical assistance available, but that direct

funding of the elections was not envisaged.

 

——————————————— —–

Comment: Guebuza Engaged, Focused on PKO Logistics

——————————————— —–

 

10. (C) The President, engaging and friendly during the

45-minute meeting, clearly appreciates our bilateral

relationship and the attention Mozambique is receiving from

the USG * especially the recently-signed Millennium

Challenge Compact. He reiterated Mozambican interest in

regional peacekeeping, but was extremely focused on

logistical requirements and the sustainability for any

Mozambican involvement in PKO operations. Guebuza seemed to

grasp the international political arguments that support

Mozambique’s participation in PKO’s, but worried about the

domestic political fallout resulting from any diversion of

GRM resources away from underfunded social programs or

combating the rising crime problem at home. Additional

funding or political arguments will be needed to get

Mozambican peacekeepers back into the field.

Chapman

 

(15 VIEWS)

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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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