Mzembi said most ZANU-PF members respected Tsvangirai


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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”.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09STATE61823, Secretary Clinton’s June 11, 2009, Meeting with

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09STATE61823

2009-06-16 00:15

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Secretary of State

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

TAGS: OVIP CLINTON HILLARY PREL PHUM ZI

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:

 

United States

 

The Secretary;

Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson, AF;

Spokesman Ian Kelly, PA;

Deputy Chief of Staff Jacob Sullivan, S;

Brian Walch, AF Notetaker;

 

Zimbabwe

 

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai;

Minister of Economic Planning Elton Mangoma;

Minister of Regional Integration Priscilla Misihairabwi-

Mushonga;

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.

 

———————

ENSURING TRANSPARENCY

———————

 

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

assistance.

 

—————–

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

other.”

 

———————

ZIMBABWE TRANSFORMING

———————

 

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.

 

 

CLINTON

 

(3 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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