Tourism and Hospitality Minister Walter Mzembi told United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that most members of the Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front respected Movement for Democratic Change leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Mzembi who had accompanied Tsvangirai to the United States and was the only ZANU-PF member of cabinet to be allowed to enter the country because of the US sanctions on Zimbabwe had been asked to talk about inter-party relations and co-governance in the new inclusive government.
Mzembi stressed that ZANU-PF was not monolithic, and that generational change was starting, albeit slowly, to take place within the party.
He said that “there is no going back,” with memories of cholera and economic collapse still fresh.
Clinton welcomed Mzembi’s remarks, calling them “very heartening”.
Referring to the “forced marriage” of ZANU-PF with his MD, Tsvangirai joked that “we don’t have to love each other”.
Viewing cable 09STATE61823, Secretary Clinton’s June 11, 2009, Meeting with
O 160015Z JUN 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY HARARE IMMEDIATE
INFO SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L STATE 061823
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/11/2019
SUBJECT: Secretary Clinton’s June 11, 2009, Meeting with
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Tsvangirai
¶1. (C) Classified by: Johnnie Carson, Assistant
Secretary, African Affairs. Reason: 1.4 D.
¶2. (U) June 11, 2009, 10:00 a.m., Washington, D.C.
¶3. (U) Participants:
Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson, AF;
Spokesman Ian Kelly, PA;
Deputy Chief of Staff Jacob Sullivan, S;
Brian Walch, AF Notetaker;
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai;
Minister of Economic Planning Elton Mangoma;
Minister of Regional Integration Priscilla Misihairabwi-
Minister of Tourism Walter Mzembi;
Secretary Ian Makone.
¶4. (C) SUMMARY. On June 11, Secretary Clinton lauded
Prime Minister Tsvangirai for his commitment and
courage, welcomed progress to date by the Transitional
Government (TG), and stated that the U.S. continues to
look to reengage, under the right conditions, with the
TG to help the people of Zimbabwe. The Secretary
indicated the U.S. is open to providing new assistance
if we can both ensure it reaches intended recipients and
convince skeptical publics that genuine change has
occurred. She also cautioned that U.S. law
significantly restricts our assistance options.
Tsvangirai thanked the Secretary for ongoing U.S.
humanitarian and related support and appealed for
additional graduated/phased assistance in the areas of
democracy and governance and health. He pointed to
progress on the economy and the provision of basic
services but acknowledged that significant challenges
remain. END SUMMARY.
CONCERN FOR ZIMBABWEANS
¶5. (C) The Secretary praised Tsvangirai for his
commitment to Zimbabwe and his courage in joining the TG
with President Mugabe. She commended Tsvangirai for
progress to date but stressed the need for genuine
reform on democracy, human rights, and rule of law. The
Secretary lamented the suffering of the people of
Zimbabwe and stated that the U.S. desires to reengage
and provide assistance, under the right conditions, to
help Zimbabweans. The Secretary recalled her 1997 visit
to Zimbabwe as First Lady, noting the optimism and
graciousness of the people with whom she met.
PROGRESS TO DATE
¶6. (C) Tsvangirai thanked the Secretary for U.S. support
during Zimbabwe’s “tough period.” He expressed a desire
for Zimbabwe to become a respectable member of the
international community. Tsvangirai pointed to concrete
progress by the TG since its inception in February,
namely the reduction of hyper-inflation and the re-
opening of hospitals and schools. He indicated major
areas of focus for the TG included making reforms to
permit press freedom, drafting a new constitution, and
establishing a national healing organ. Tsvangirai
specifically pointed to a near-term goal of “free and
fair elections” and a peaceful transfer of power.
HELP US HELP YOU
¶7. (C) In response to Tsvangirai’s appeal for graduated,
phased U.S. assistance, the Secretary stated that we are
open to providing more if there are guarantees that the
aid reaches the people who need it. The Secretary noted
with concern reports that the Minister of Education had
been called to “pick up his new [government-issued]
Mercedes” while struggling to obtain resources to re-
open schools. She emphasized that we need to be able to
point to sustained progress on democracy, human rights,
and rule of law in order to be able to make a case with
the Congress and others that restrictions on U.S.
assistance to Zimbabwe should be modified.
¶8. (C) Tsvangirai asked Minister Priscilla Misihairabwi-
Mushonga to provide an overview of the “Multi Donor
Trust Fund” (MDTF) established as a transitional
financial structure to ensure the proper use of foreign
assistance. She jokingly referred to the MDTF as a
“state avoidance” mechanism, hinting at donor concerns
with misuse of funds by Reserve Bank Governor Gideon
Gono. Misihairabwi noted that the MDTF was housed in
the Finance Ministry and co-managed with international
donor partners, thereby ensuring transparency. The
Secretary suggested that it would be useful to receive a
report showing progress areas resulting from foreign
VIEW FROM ZANU-PF
¶9. (C) Tsvangirai asked Minister Walter Mzembi,
representing the Zimbabwe African National Union-
Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party of President Mugabe, to
address issues of inter-party relations and co-
governance. Mzembi stressed that ZANU-PF is not
monolithic, and that generational change was starting,
albeit slowly, to take place within the party. He noted
that most ZANU-PF members respected Tsvangirai’s role as
head of the Council of Ministers, the TG’s policy making
body. Mzembi opined that “there is no going back,” with
memories of cholera and economic collapse still fresh.
The Secretary welcomed Mzembi’s remarks, calling them
“very heartening.” Referring to the “forced marriage”
of ZANU-PF with his Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), Tsvangirai joked that “we don’t have to love each
¶10. (C) Tsvangirai concluded by noting that political
and generational transitions are taking place in
Zimbabwe. He regretted that Zimbabwe had fallen so far
and pointed to the talents of its people, in particular
its youth. The Secretary agreed on the importance of
young people and noted their focus on results. With
this in mind, the Secretary concluded that the U.S.
would continue to develop specific deliverables on areas
requiring progress by the TG.