Museveni says Mugabe cannot talk to most African leaders because they are too young


President Robert Mugabe was facing a difficult time after the disputed 2008 elections which he lost to Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai because he did not want to talk to most African leaders because they were too young, according to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

Museveni told former United States Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Jendayi Frazer, that he had talked to Mugabe soon after the elections and the Zimbabwean leader had told him that he was confident that he was going to win in the second round of elections, according to a cable released by Wikileaks.

Museveni met Frazer at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas where he was attending his son’s graduation from the US Army Command and General Staff College.

The Ugandan leader thought that the root of Zimbabwe’s political problems was its faltering economy and Mugabe’s poor understanding of the private sector.

“He (Museveni) said a discussion of the economy would provide an entry point to tell Mugabe that he has failed and is embarrassing liberation leaders,” the cable said.

Museveni met Frazer in June, less than a month after Mugabe had likened Frazer to a prostitute. He told party supporters at the kick of the presidential elections re-run:

“You saw who really was our opponent after the announcement of the election results apo veMDC vachimhanya vachinyeperana kuti vahwina. You saw for yourselves the crowds of Rhodesians who had left coming back to the farms vachiudza those we had resettled kuti thank you, makatichengetera minda tadzoka kunotora mafarms edu. You saw them demanding that those we had resettled quit the land and make way for them.

“You saw the joy that the British had, that the Americans had, and you saw them here through their representatives celebrating and acting as if we Zimbabwe are either an extension of Britain or an extension of America.

“You saw that little American girl (United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer) trotting around the globe like a prostitute declaring that ‘MDC yahwina, MDC yahwina’. You saw the joy of the white world. Makaona kufara kwevarungu. And you saw how all this saddened some of our neighbours.”


Full cable




R 182226Z JUN 08






S E C R E T STATE 065820


EO 12958 DECL: 06/20/2018





Classified By: Assistant Secretary Frazer for Reasons 1.4 (a) and (d)


1) (SBU) SUMMARY. On June 13, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer met with Ugandan President Museveni in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where Museveni was attending his son’s graduation from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. President Museveni and A/S Frazer discussed military action against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Libyan involvement in sub-Saharan African politics, and the political stalemate in Zimbabwe. President Museveni, A/S Frazer, and the State Department Country Officer for Uganda were present. END SUMMARY.






2) (S) President Museveni said the DRC has not actively attempted to end the LRA threat to the region despite numerous diplomatic agreements and regional meetings. Museveni noted that Kabila has agreed on many occasions to remove the LRA from eastern DRC, but “nothing happens” after an agreement is reached. Museveni said regional Defense Attaches recently agreed to military action against the LRA but could not develop a joint plan of action to deploy. He also noted that “there was a lack of seriousness” among some of the regional players.


3) (S) Museveni did not believe the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) had the capacity or the will to carry out a successful mission against the LRA. A/S Frazer told Museveni that Kabila believed in FARDC,s capabilities, and Kabila’s continued engagement has shown the DRC’s will to conduct a successful operation. Kabila’s main fear, A/S Frazer noted, is that Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) action on DRC soil would create political problems for Kabila in Kinshasa. Museveni acknowledged Kabila’s reservations, but noted that Kabila’s logic “didn’t make sense” since LRA, not the UPDF, is killing Congolese and destabilizing the region.


4) (C) A/S Frazer suggested the UPDF provide technical advisors to the FARDC, possibly embedding one to two UPDF soldiers in appropriate FARDC units. Museveni did not believe Kabila would accept technical or logistical assistance from the UPDF or other regional militaries. The Government of Uganda (GOU) offered the DRC a UPDF C-130 aircraft for the proposed FARDC operation but Kabila rejected it, Museveni said. Museveni did not believe technical advisors would be helpful beaaaaacause the FARDC needed combat personnel, not technical support.


5) (C) A/S Frazer said Kabila informed her that he plans to send two FARDC battalions to deploy against the LRA by the end of the month. Museveni indicated he is open to a joint UPDF/FARDC operation if Kabila agrees. A/S affirmed that President Bush remains very interested in ending the LRA threat and would welcome Museveni,s thoughts on the LRA threat to the region.






6) (S) President Museveni said Libyan President Qadhafi “is a problem” for the continent and is pushing for the creation of a “United States of Africa” to be governed by one president. Museveni thought Qadhafi’s plan is neither feasible nor desirable, given cultural and linguistic differences across the continent. Rather than the development of a unitary African state, Museveni said he is pushing Qadhafi and other African leaders to develop regional political federations and markets that support common objectives. Museveni indicated to A/S Frazer that Qadhafi continues to “intimidate” small African countries through bribes and other pressure. As a result of Libya’s actions, small West African countries have been afraid to participate fully or speak out during international meetings at the United Nations, African Union, and other forums.


7) (S) Museveni noted that tensions with Qadhafi are growing and as a result, and he worries that Qadhafi will attack his plane while flying over international airspace. Museveni requested that the USG and GOU coordinate to provide additional air radar information when he flies over international waters.






8) (C) Museveni told A/S Frazer that he spoke to Zimbabwean President Mugabe by telephone after the first round of elections. During his call, Mugabe told Museveni he was confident he would win in the second round of elections. Mugabe told Museveni he did not want election monitors from countries that were “hostile” to Zimbabwe, but wouldn’t mind observers from other countries. A/S Frazer thought thousands of monitors were necessary, especially in rural areas, to encourage people to vote. A/S Frazer advised Museveni that she would ask the U.S. Ambassador in Zimbabwe how many elections monitors he believes are needed.


9) (C) Museveni thought Zimbabwe’s faltering economy and Mugabe’s poor understanding of the private sector were at the root of Zimbabwe’s political problems. He said a discussion of the economy would provide an entry point to tell Mugabe that he has failed and is embarrassing liberation leaders. He noted that Mugabe is unwilling to take calls from most African leaders saying they are not his age-mates.


¶10. (U) Tripoli minimize considered.




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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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