Mugabe said he respected human rights better than Smith


0

President Robert Mugabe said he wanted democracy for every Zimbabwean and the British should read the country’s history to see who respected human rights better himself or former Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith.

Mugabe, who described then British Prime Minister Tony Blair as the “madman at number 10 Downing Street”, said Blair described Zimbabwe as a violator of the rule of law and human rights but he should “read out history”.

He said he spent 11 years in prison during the Ian Smith regime and his mother did not even understand why. There was no respect for human rights then but the British did not seem concerned.

“Do you think I can listen to such criticism from Tony Blair,” Mugabe asked, “when I know the history of Britain in this country?”

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 01HARARE3131, PRESIDENT MUGABE AND AMBASSADOR DISCUSS TERRORISM, LAND,

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

01HARARE3131

2001-10-19 11:01

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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

 

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTO1928

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03131 01 OF 04 191134Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 INL-00   USNW-00

DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00

FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01

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

PC-01   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SCT-00   SP-00

IRM-00   SS-00   TRSE-00 T-00     USIE-00 R-00     PMB-00

DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /008W

——————31BCF0 191134Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0072

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 HARARE 003131

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 10/19/11

TAGS: PREL PINR ZI

SUBJECT: PRESIDENT MUGABE AND AMBASSADOR DISCUSS TERRORISM, LAND,

AND ELECTION OBSERVERS

 

CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF MATT HARRINGTON. REASONS:

1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

SUMMARY

——-

 

¶1. (C) IN AN HOUR-LONG MEETING WITH AMBASSADOR SULLIVAN ON

OCTOBER 18, PRESIDENT MUGABE THANKED THE U.S. FOR ITS ROLE IN

SUPPORTING ZIMBABWEAN INDEPENDENCE AND FOR ITS SIGNIFICANT

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE SINCE 1980. HE EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT THE

SEPTEMBER 11 ATTACKS IN NEW YORK AND WASHINGTON AND PROMISED

ZIMBABWE’S COOPERATION IN THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM. MUGABE

DELIVERED A 40-MINUTE HISTORY LESSON ON THE LAND QUESTION, IN

WHICH THE BRITISH WERE THE PRIMARY VILLAINS. HE REJECTED

CRITICISM THAT ZIMBABWE IS PLAGUED BY LAWLESSNESS, BLAMING THAT

PERCEPTION ON BRITISH PROPAGANDA, BUT ACKNOWLEDGED THE OCCURRENCE

OF “ISOLATED INCIDENTS.”

 

¶2. (C) THE ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT RECALLED THAT ELECTION OBSERVERS

HAD BEEN WELCOMED IN EVERY ELECTION SINCE INDEPENDENCE, BUT HE WAS

SUSPICIOUS THAT SOME IN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SEEMED “TOO

EAGER” TO OBSERVE THE UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL VOTE. HE SAID THE GOZ

WOULD ALSO WELCOME OBSERVERS THIS TIME, BUT ONLY THOSE WHO ARE

IMPARTIAL, AND SAID THE ELECTION WOULD BE HELD ON TIME, BEFORE THE

END OF MARCH 2002. AMBASSADOR SULLIVAN PRESSED THE IMPORTANCE OF

NON-VIOLENCE IN LAND REFORM AND THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN, AND

EMPHASIZED THE IMPORTANCE OF PERMITTING THE PARTICIPATION OF

INTERNATIONAL ELECTION OBSERVERS. HE DESCRIBED THE BONA FIDES OF

THE U.S.-BASED INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR ELECTION SYSTEMS

(IFES), AND ADVOCATED THAT ITS ADMISSION TO ZIMBABWE WELL IN

ADVANCE OF THE ELECTION WOULD DEMONSTRATE THE GOZ’S COMMITMENT TO

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03131 01 OF 04 191134Z

CONDUCTING A FREE AND FAIR ELECTION. PRESIDENT MUGABE CLEARLY

MADE AN EFFORT TO BE FRIENDLY, POSITIVE, SEPARATE US FROM THE

BRITISH, AND OPEN CHANNELS OF DIALOGUE. END SUMMARY.

 

¶3. (U) AFTER PRESENTING HIS CREDENTIALS TO PRESIDENT MUGABE ON

OCTOBER 18, AMBASSADOR SULLIVAN MET WITH THE ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT

FOR MORE THAN AN HOUR. THE PRESIDENT WAS ACCOMPANIED BY FOREIGN

MINISTER MUDENGE, MFA DIRECTOR OF PROTOCOL NGONI CHIDEYA, AND MFA

AMERICAS DESK OFFICER RICHARD CHIBUWE. THE AMBASSADOR WAS JOINED

BY THE DCM, PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER, DATT, ACTING USAID DIRECTOR,

AND POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF.

 

U.S. – ZIMBABWE RELATIONSHIP

—————————-

 

¶4. (C) PRESIDENT MUGABE WELCOMED AMBASSADOR SULLIVAN TO ZIMBABWE

AND CONGRATULATED HIM ON HIS APPOINTMENT. HE PRAISED THE UNITED

STATES’ ROLE IN HELPING FOSTER ZIMBABWEAN INDEPENDENCE, AND

EXPRESSED APPRECIATION FOR U.S. SUPPORT SINCE 1980. AMBASSADOR

SULLIVAN AGREED THAT THE UNITED STATES AND ZIMBABWE HAVE ENJOYED

GOOD RELATIONS OVER THE YEARS. WE HAD OPPOSED THE IAN SMITH

REGIME, HE RECALLED, AND HAVE PROVIDED MORE THAN $700 MILLION IN

ASSISTANCE TO ZIMBABWE SINCE INDEPENDENCE. THE USG, HE CONTINUED,

WAS CURRENTLY WORKING CLOSELY WITH THE GOZ IN THE AREAS OF

INFECTIOUS DISEASES, DEMINING, AND PARLIAMENTARY STRENGTHENING.

 

WAR AGAINST TERRORISM

———————

 

¶5. (C) MUGABE EXPRESSED HIS CONCERN OVER THE SEPTEMBER 11

TERRORIST ATTACKS. THE GOZ, HE SAID, HAD WORKED CLOSELY WITH OUR

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03131 01 OF 04 191134Z

EMBASSY TO STRENGTHEN SECURITY AFTER THE 1998 ATTACKS ON EMBASSIES

NAIROBI AND DAR ES SALAAM, AND STILL HAS THE SAME INCLINATION TO

COOPERATE. MUGABE ACKNOWLEDGED THE PRESENCE IN ZIMBABWE OF SOME

INDIVIDUALS WHO MIGHT WANT TO ENGAGE IN UNSAVORY ACTIVITIES, BUT

HE URGED THAT “WE WATCH THEM CLOSELY TOGETHER.” HE EXPRESSED

WORRY ABOUT THE GROWING ANTHRAX THREAT, NOTING THAT SEVERAL

MEMBERS OF HIS OWN FAMILY HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN INFECTED WITH THE

DISEASE. AMBASSADOR SULLIVAN THANKED MUGABE FOR THE OUTSTANDING

SUPPORT THE EMBASSY HAS RECEIVED FROM THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE

ORGANIZATION (CIO) AND THE ZIMBABWE REPUBLIC POLICE (ZRP)IN HELPING

US FEEL MORE SECURE IN OUR FACILITIES, PARTICULARLY IN THE AFTERMATH OF

 

SEPTEMBER 11. HE URGED THE GOZ TO TAKE OTHER CONCRETE STEPS IN

THE BROADER WAR AGAINST TERRORISM, SUCH AS RATIFYING THE REMAINING

NINE UN COUNTERTERRORISM CONVENTIONS IT HAS NOT YET RATIFIED.

MUGABE WAS NONCOMMITTAL, NOTING THAT RATIFICATION OF INTERNATIONAL

CONVENTIONS REQUIRED A PROTRACTED AND TIME-CONSUMING PROCESS.

 

LAND

—-

 

¶6. (C) MUGABE BEGAN WITH HIS DETAILED PERSPECTIVE ON THE HISTORY

OF ZIMBABWE’S LAND QUESTION. HE NOTED THAT “WE WEREN’T QUITE

HAPPY” WITH THE LANCASTER HOUSE CONSTITUTION FOR SEVERAL REASONS,

INCLUDING ITS PROVISIONS ON LAND. FOR INSTANCE, IT REQUIRED THAT

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTO1931

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03131 02 OF 04 191134Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 INL-00   USNW-00

DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00

FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01

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

PC-01   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00    SCT-00   SP-00

IRM-00   SS-00   TRSE-00 T-00     USIE-00 R-00     PMB-00

DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /008W

——————31BD14 191134Z /38

P 191101Z OCT 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0073

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 04 HARARE 003131

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 10/19/11

TAGS: PREL PINR ZI

SUBJECT: PRESIDENT MUGABE AND AMBASSADOR DISCUSS TERRORISM, LAND,

AND ELECTION OBSERVERS

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03131 02 OF 04 191134Z

THE ACQUISITION OF LAND FOR THE PURPOSES OF RESETTLEMENT BE

IMPLEMENTED ON A “WILLING SELLER, WILLING BUYER” BASIS, WHICH

PLACED SERIOUS CONSTRAINTS ON THE GOVERNMENT’S CAPACITY TO

IMPLEMENT LAND REFORM. THE UNITED STATES, MUGABE SAID, HAD HELPED

BREAK THE DEADLOCK IN NEGOTIATIONS BY PROMISING TO SUPPLEMENT

BRITISH ASSISTANCE FOR LAND REFORM AND TO ENCOURAGE OTHER DONORS

TO CONTRIBUTE. IN THE EARLY 1990’S, GOVERNMENT PASSED THE LAND

ACQUISITION ACT, WHICH ALLOWED THE GOVERNMENT TO ACQUIRE LAND SO

LONG AS IT WAS IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST. IT DID NOT “TAMPER” WITH

THE REQUIREMENT FOR COMPENSATION, AS GOVERNMENT EXPECTED THE

UNITED KINGDOM TO HONOR ITS LANCASTER HOUSE COMMITMENT TO PROVIDE

THE NECESSARY FUNDS.

 

¶7. (C) ACCORDING TO MUGABE, MARGARET THATCHER DID HER BEST TO

HONOR THE BRITISH COMMITMENT BY PROVIDING SOME ASSISTANCE, BUT

THOSE FUNDS SOON RAN OUT. ZIMBABWE WAS THEN FACED WITH HAVING TO

COMPENSATE FARMOWNERS WHO HAD NEVER BOUGHT THEIR LAND IN THE FIRST

PLACE. OUR VIEW, MUGABE EMPHASIZED, WAS AND REMAINS THAT

PROVIDING SUCH COMPENSATION IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE BRITISH.

FORMER BRITISH PM JOHN MAJOR RECOGNIZED THAT RESPONSIBILITY AND

WAS WORKING ON A GOOD ASSISTANCE PACKAGE WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF

ZIMBABWE WHEN HE WAS DEFEATED FOR REELECTION. HIS SUCCESSOR TONY

BLAIR REFUSED TO HONOR THE COMMITMENTS OF HIS CONSERVATIVE PARTY

PREDECESSORS. IN A FURTHER SLAP TO THE GOZ, BLAIR’S DEVELOPMENT

MINISTER CLARE SHORT DISMISSED THE IDEA THAT BRITAIN WAS OBLIGATED

TO PAY COMPENSATION, POINTING OUT THAT, AS AN IRISHWOMAN, SHE HAD

HAD HER OWN EXPERIENCES WITH COLONIALISM.

 

¶8. (C) AT THAT POINT, MUGABE EXPLAINED, THE GOZ DECIDED TO

PROCEED ON ITS OWN TERMS. IT WOULD PROVIDE COMPENSATION ONLY FOR

IMPROVEMENTS TO ACQUIRED LAND AND WOULD APPROPRIATE THE FARMS ONLY

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03131 02 OF 04 191134Z

OF THOSE OWNERS POSSESSING MULTIPLE PROPERTIES. IN MOST CASES,

NEITHER OWNERS OF SINGLE FARMS NOR OF AGRO-INDUSTRIAL OPERATIONS

WOULD BE AFFECTED. IN RARE CIRCUMSTANCES, SINGLE FARM-OWNERS

MIGHT HAVE TO GIVE UP THEIR PROPERTY IF IT IS ADJACENT TO A

COMMUNAL AREA, BUT THOSE WHO FIND THEMSELVES IN THIS SITUATION

WOULD BE GIVEN ANOTHER FARM ELSEWHERE. NO FARMER, MUGABE

INSISTED, WOULD BE LEFT WITHOUT ANY PROPERTY.

 

¶9. (C) THE AMBASSADOR CONVEYED THE USG’S STRONG BELIEF IN THE

NEED TO ADDRESS THE HISTORICAL INEQUITIES IN LAND OWNERSHIP, AND

SAID WE WOULD LIKE TO BE SUPPORTIVE. THE USG, HOWEVER, COULD ONLY

SUPPORT A NON-VIOLENT LAND REFORM PROGRAM IMPLEMENTED WITHIN A

LEGAL FRAMEWORK SUCH AS THE ABUJA AGREEMENT.

 

RULE OF LAW

———–

 

¶10. (C) PRESIDENT MUGABE HAD HOSTILE WORDS FOR THE BRITISH

GOVERNMENT AND TONY BLAIR IN PARTICULAR, WHOM HE CALLED THAT

“MADMAN AT NUMBER 10 DOWNING STREET.” BLAIR, HE SAID, DESCRIBES

ZIMBABWE AS A VIOLATOR OF THE RULE OF LAW AND OF HUMAN RIGHTS, BUT

THE BRITISH PRIME MINISTER SHOULD “READ OUR HISTORY.” DURING THE

IAN SMITH REGIME, MUGABE RECALLED, HE HAD SPENT ELEVEN YEARS IN

PRISON, AND HIS MOTHER NEVER UNDERSTOOD THE REASON WHY. THERE WAS

NO RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS THEN, BUT THE BRITISH DID NOT SEEM

CONCERNED. “DO YOU THINK I CAN LISTEN TO SUCH CRITICISM FROM TONY

BLAIR,” THE PRESIDENT ASKED, “WHEN I KNOW THE HISTORY OF BRITAIN

IN THIS COUNTRY?” BLAIR AND HIS ADVISORS, MUGABE SAID

DISMISSIVELY, WERE IN SCHOOL WHEN HE WAS FIGHTING FOR

INDEPENDENCE, AND “NOW THEY THINK THEY ARE OUR MASTERS.”

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03131 02 OF 04 191134Z

¶11. (C) MUGABE SAID HE WANTED DEMOCRACY FOR EVERY ZIMBABWEAN. HE

ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THERE MIGHT BE ISOLATED INCIDENTS OF LAWLESSNESS

“HERE AND THERE” AND THAT HE DISAPPROVED OF THEM. THE PEOPLE

RESPONSIBLE WOULD BE PROSECUTED WHENEVER POSSIBLE. IT WAS A

MISTAKE, HOWEVER, TO CHARACTERIZE ISOLATED INCIDENTS AS

GENERALIZED LAWLESSNESS. ZIMBABWE, HE SAID, FELT UNFAIRLY TREATED

BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. ZIMBABWE’S DIFFICULTIES WERE

RELATED TO LAND, PURE AND SIMPLE. HE SAID HE COULD NOT UNDERSTAND

WHY THE UNITED STATES WOULD BE PERSUADED TO TAKE THE SIDE OF THE

UNITED KINGDOM WITHOUT DOING ITS OWN ASSESSMENT OF THE SITUATION

ON THE GROUND. THERE WAS STILL TIME TO DO SUCH AN ASSESSMENT, HE

DECLARED. HE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THERE MIGHT BE TIMES WHEN THE GOZ

NEEDS TO “ADJUST” ITS ACTIONS.

 

ELECTION OBSERVATION

——————–

 

¶12. (C) TURNING TO THE UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, MUGABE

SAID SOME IN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY ARE PUSHING TO

“SUPERVISE” IT. THE GOZ FEELS INSULTED BY THIS, BECAUSE ZIMBABWE

HAS HELD ELECTIONS REGULARLY SINCE INDEPENDENCE. WHY, HE ASKED,

WOULD WE SUDDENLY TURN UNDEMOCRATIC SIMPLY BECAUSE THERE IS AN

OPPOSITION PARTY, WHEN THERE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN OPPOSITION PARTIES

IN ZIMBABWE. MUGABE INSISTED THAT THE GOZ HAD NEVER CHEATED IN

ITS ELECTIONS — THERE IS NO HISTORY OF THAT.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ7804

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03131 03 OF 04 191135Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00  AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 INL-00   USNW-00

DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00

FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01

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

PC-01   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SCT-00   SP-00

IRM-00   SS-00   TRSE-00 T-00     USIE-00 R-00     PMB-00

DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /008W

——————31BD34 191135Z /38

P 191101Z OCT 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0074

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 04 HARARE 003131

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 10/19/11

TAGS: PREL PINR ZI

SUBJECT: PRESIDENT MUGABE AND AMBASSADOR DISCUSS TERRORISM, LAND,

AND ELECTION OBSERVERS

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03131 03 OF 04 191135Z

 

¶13. (C) THE USG IS NOT INTERESTED IN LECTURING ZIMBABWE ABOUT HOW

TO RUN ITS ELECTIONS, THE AMBASSADOR REPLIED. HE INFORMED

PRESIDENT MUGABE THAT THE UNITED STATES WELCOMES OBSERVERS FOR

MOST OF OUR NATIONAL, STATE, AND LOCAL ELECTIONS, AS DO ALMOST ALL

SADC COUNTRIES. INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS, HE CONTINUED, CAN PLAY

AN EXTREMELY POSITIVE ROLE, INCLUDING IN HELPING DISCOURAGE

VIOLENCE ON ALL SIDES. THE WESTMINSTER FOUNDATION IN LONDON,

MUGABE RETORTED, IS GIVING FUNDS TO THE OPPOSITION MDC, WHILE THE

BRITISH GOVERNMENT ENCOURAGES OTHER GOVERNMENTS AND ORGANIZATIONS

IN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO DO THE SAME. HOW, THEN, CAN THE

GOZ ALLOW THE BRITISH TO OBSERVE ZIMBABWE’S ELECTION? THE GOZ

WILL WELCOME OBSERVERS, HE SAID, BUT ONLY THOSE WHO ARE IMPARTIAL.

 

¶14. (C) THE AMBASSADOR EXPLAINED THAT THE U.S. NGO INTERESTED IN

OBSERVING ZIMBABWE’S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION — THE INTERNATIONAL

FOUNDATION FOR ELECTION SYSTEMS (IFES) — IS NON-PARTISAN AND IS

WELL-KNOWN FOR ITS EXPERTISE IN ELECTION ADMINISTRATION. IT

TYPICALLY HAS EXCELLENT RELATIONSHIPS WITH ELECTORAL COMMISSIONS

IN MANY COUNTRIES, AND HAD RECENTLY INVITED ZIMBABWE’S REGISTRAR-

GENERAL TO OBSERVE THE UPCOMING STATE-WIDE ELECTIONS IN VIRGINIA.

THE AMBASSADOR EXPRESSED HIS HOPE THAT THE GOZ WOULD BE RECEPTIVE

TO THE PARTICIPATION OF IFES IN THE ELECTORAL PROCESS.   IF IT WAS

THE GOVERNMENT’S INTENTION TO HOLD A FREE AND FAIR ELECTION

WITHOUT VIOLENCE, AND IT HAD NOTHING TO HIDE, IT COULD DEMONSTRATE

THIS IN A POWERFUL WAY BY WELCOMING THE PARTICIPATION OF GROUPS

SUCH AS IFES.

 

¶15. (C) FOREIGN MINISTER MUDENGE INTERJECTED THAT ZIMBABWE HAS

ALWAYS WELCOMED INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS. WHY HAS THIS BECOME SUCH

AN IMPORTANT CONCERN FOR THIS PARTICULAR ELECTION, HE ASKED? YES,

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03131 03 OF 04 191135Z

MUGABE AGREED, CERTAIN GOVERNMENTS SEEM “TOO EAGER” TO SEND

OBSERVERS THIS TIME. WHY IS THIS ELECTION SO SPECIAL, HE

WONDERED? THE MDC, HE SAID, WON A NUMBER OF SEATS IN THE

PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS LAST YEAR, BUT ARE CHALLENGING 37 SEATS

THEY LOST ON “SMALL TECHNICALITIES.” THE OPPOSITION PARTY, HE

INSISTED, IS PURSUING THAT APPROACH PURELY AS A POLITICAL GIMMICK

TO CONVEY THE IMPRESSION TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY THAT THE

JUNE 2000 ELECTIONS WERE NOT FREE AND FAIR. WE HAVE NOTHING TO

HIDE, THE PRESIDENT ASSERTED. WE KNOW THE “DIRTY TRICKS” THE MDC

PLAYED TO WIN AS MANY PARLIAMENTARY SEATS AS THEY DID, SUCH AS

WORKING CLANDESTINELY THROUGH NGOS AND BRIBING TRADITIONAL CHIEFS

TO ENSURE THAT THEIR SUBJECTS VOTED FOR THE OPPOSITION PARTY.

MUGABE DISMISSED THE MDC AS A PARTY IN DISARRAY.

 

¶16. (C) PRESIDENT MUGABE STRESSED THAT THE GOZ HAS NEVER

POSTPONED ELECTIONS, AND NOTED THAT THE PRESIDENTIAL VOTE MUST BE

HELD IN 2002 PRIOR TO THE END OF MARCH. HE SAID THE RULING PARTY

WOULD WALK “CLEAR, TRANSPARENT STEPS” IN THE ELECTION SO LONG AS

THE OTHER SIDE DOES THE SAME.

 

DRC

 

¶17. (C) ON THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC), MUGABE SAID HE

WAS BAFFLED BY THE CRITICISM ZIMBABWE HAS ENDURED BECAUSE OF ITS

INVOLVEMENT IN THAT CONFLICT. HE FELT STRONGLY AS THOUGH ZIMBABWE

HAD DONE THE RIGHT THING BY GOING TO THE AID OF A FELLOW SADC

GOVERNMENT UNDER THREAT. THE AMBASSADOR REPLIED THAT THE UNITED

STATES IS WORKING WITH ALL INVOLVED PARTIES, INCLUDING JOSEPH

KABILA’S GOVERNMENT, TO HELP FORGE A LASTING PEACE IN THE DRC.

THE INTER-CONGOLESE DIALOGUE APPEARED TO BE MOVING IN THE RIGHT

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03131 03 OF 04 191135Z

DIRECTION. ANOTHER CRITICAL ELEMENT IN THE SEARCH FOR A SOLUTION

IS THE DISARMING AND DEMOBILIZATION OF THE EX-FAR/INTERAHAMWE, AND

THE AMBASSADOR URGED THE GOZ TO COOPERATE ON THIS ISSUE AND TO

PRESS PRESIDENT KABILA TO DO THE SAME.

 

COMMENT

——-

 

¶18. (C) PRESIDENT MUGABE CLEARLY MADE AN EFFORT TO BE FRIENDLY,

POSITIVE, SEPARATE US FROM THE BRITISH, AND OPEN CHANNELS AS HE

WOULD PUT IT “TO CORRECT THE DISTORTED VIEWS OF ZIMBABWE WHICH THE

BRITS ARE SELLING TO THE WORLD.” HIS MIND REMAINS AS SHARP AS

EVER AND HIS MEMORY UNFAILINGLY SELECTIVE. HE IS MUCH MORE

INTERESTED WHEN HE IS TALKING HIMSELF THAN WHEN HE IS LISTENING,

BUT DID FOCUS IN WHENEVER THE CONVERSATION TURNED TO LAND OR

ELECTIONS. HE APPEARED PHYSICALLY VIGOROUS AS WELL, PARTICULARLY

IMPRESSIVE GIVEN THAT HE HAD BEEN CONDUCTING CREDENTIALING

CEREMONIES WITHOUT A BREAK SINCE EARLY MORNING (WE COMPLETED OUR

MEETING IN MID-AFTERNOON, AND I WAS THE SEVENTH OF EIGHT

AMBASSADORS TO PRESENT CREDENTIALS THAT DAY.)

 

¶19. (C) MUGABE’S COMMENTS ON LAND WERE NOTHING NEW. I WAS

ENCOURAGED BY HIS PROMISE OF COOPERATION ON TERRORISM, AND WE WILL

CONTINUE TO PRESS THE GOZ TO IMPLEMENT CONCRETE STEPS IN THIS

REGARD. MUGABE’S COMMENTS ON ELECTION OBSERVATION WERE LESS

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ7805

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03131 04 OF 04 191135Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 INL-00   USNW-00

DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00

FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01

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

PC-01   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SCT-00   SP-00

IRM-00   SS-00   TRSE-00 T-00     USIE-00 R-00     PMB-00

DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /008W

——————31BD3E 191135Z /38

P 191101Z OCT 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0075

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 04 OF 04 HARARE 003131

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 10/19/11

TAGS: PREL PINR ZI

SUBJECT: PRESIDENT MUGABE AND AMBASSADOR DISCUSS TERRORISM, LAND,

AND ELECTION OBSERVERS

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03131 04 OF 04 191135Z

ENCOURAGING AND REVEALED A PARANOIA, SHARED BY MOST SENIOR

OFFICIALS IN THIS GOVERNMENT, THAT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY IS

OUT TO GET THEM AND IS ONLY INTERESTED IN OBSERVING THIS ELECTION

BECAUSE IT WANTS THE MDC TO WIN.

 

SULLIVAN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

(16 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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