Although President Robert Mugabe wanted to bring his troops back from the Democratic Republic of Congo he was not likely to “fall on his sword to preserve (former Botswana President Ketumile) Masire in the role of facilitator”, the United States embassy said.
“Mugabe’s relationship with (Laurent) Kabila is too important to him to spoil it over an issue of principle that probably is not vital to Zimbabwe.”
Masire had been appointed the facilitator in the DRC peace talks by the Southern African Development Community but DRC President Laurent Kabila was against the appointment.
The United States embassy in Harare was concerned about this and ambassador Tom McDonald had gone to see Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was Mugabe’s point man on DRC issues to find out what Zimbabwe’s stance on Masire remaining the mediator was.
Mnangagwa said he and Mugabe were planning to go to the DRC in July to meet Kabila but he would not be drawn on whether Mugabe would use his influence to push Kabila to reverse his public stand against Masire.
Viewing cable 00HARARE3629, MUGABE AND MNANGAGWA TO GO TO CONGO TO DISCUSS
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
050807Z Jul 00
PAGE 01 HARARE 03629 050804Z
INFO LOG-00 NP-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 SMEC-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00
DS-00 VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 LAB-01
L-00 VCE-00 M-00 AC-01 NSAE-00 OIC-02 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 SWCI-00 /009W
——————6A39F0 050804Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6500
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 003629
DEPT PLEASE PASS TO AF S/E HOWARD WOLPE
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/05/10
PAGE 02 HARARE 03629 050804Z
SUBJECT: MUGABE AND MNANGAGWA TO GO TO CONGO TO DISCUSS
PROBLEMS WITH NATIONAL DIALOGUE
CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD REASONS 1.5 B/D.
¶1. (C) AMBASSADOR MCDONALD CALLED MINISTER OF JUSTICE,
LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS EMMERSON MNANGAGWA THE
AFTERNOON OF JULY 4 TO LEARN WHERE ZIMBABWE STANDS ON
THE QUESTION OF FORMER BOTSWANA PRESIDENT SIR KETUMILE
MASIRE REMAINING AS THE NATIONAL OIALOGUE FACILITATOR IN
THE CONGO. NOT ANSWERING THE QUESTION DIRECTLY, THE
MINISTER, WHO IS PRESIDENT MUGABE’S POINT MAN ON
SENSITIVE ISSUES WITH RESPECT TO THE CONGO, INFORMED THE
AMBASSADOR THAT PRESIDENT MUGABE AND HE, AND MAYBE A
FOREIGN MINISTRY REPRESENTATIVE, PLANNED TO TRAVEL TO
LUBUMBASHI AT A STILL UNSPECIFIED DATE THE WEEK OF JULY
10 TO MEET WITH PRESIDENT KABILA AND HIS ADVISORS TO
DISCUSS THIS AND OTHER MATTERS RELATED TO THE CONGO.
MNANGAGWA WOULD NOT BE DRAWN ON WHETHER PRESIDENT MUGABE
WOULD USE HIS INFLUENCE TO PUSH KABILA FURTHER TO
REVERSE HIS PUBLIC STAND AGAINST MASIRE.
¶2. (C) THE AMBASSADOR THEN TOLD THE MINISTER THAT
WASHINGTON WAS SEIZED WITH THE ISSUE AND HOPED THAT
PRESIDENT MUGABE COULD PREVAIL ON HIS CONGOLESE
COUNTERPART TO ACCEPT MASIRE. THE MINISTER AND THE
AMBASSADOR DISCUSSED THE POSSIBILITY OF SPECIAL ENVOY
HOWARD WOLPE VISITING HARARE SOON TO DISCUSS THESE
ISSUES AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF THE ZIMBABWEAN
GOVERNMENT. MNANGAGWA REPLIED THAT THAT WAS ALL FINE,
PAGE 03 HARARE 03629 050804Z
BUT SUGGESTED THAT S/E WOLPE CONSIDER DEFERRING HIS
TRAVEL TO THE WEEK OF JULY 17 OR 24, DEPENDING ON WHEN
THE LUBUMBASHI MEETING TOOK PLACE.
¶3. (C) COMMENT: CLEARLY MUGABE WANTS TO BRING HIS
TROOPS HOME, BUT WE SENSE THAT HE WILL NOT FALL ON HIS
SWORD TO PRESERVE MASIRE IN THE ROLE OF FACILITATOR.
MUGABE’S RELATIONSHIP WITH KABILA IS TOO IMPORTANT TO
HIM TO SPOIL IT OVER AN ISSUE OF PRINCIPLE THAT PROBABLY
IS NOT VITAL TO ZIMBABWE. WE WELCOME A VISIT BY S/E
WOLPE TO DISCUSS THE ISSUE, BUT SUGGEST HE NOT COME WITH
GREAT EXPECTATIONS OF PERSUADING THE ZIMBABWEANS
OTHERWISE. END COMMENT.