Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba is reported to have told Prime Minister designate Morgan Tsvangirai that his government wanted a lasting solution to the Zimbabwe crisis so a government of national unity must be established.
Namibia’s Permanent Secretary Veiccoh Nghiwete said the meeting had been at Tsvangirai’s request but was “nothing special”.
In response to a request by a United States diplomat for the Southern African Development Community to put pressure on Zimbabwe as the crisis was having a negative impact on the entire region, Nghiwete said unilateral actions were unhelpful and was dismissive of the feasibility of ZANU-PF’s proposed co-leadership of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
He opined that it was a testament to the patience of the Zimbabwean people that they had not resorted to widespread violence.
Viewing cable 08WINDHOEK368, TSVANGIRAI MEETS QUIETLY WITH POHAMBA IN WINDHOEK
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R 181621Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0165
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L WINDHOEK 000368
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/17/2018
SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI MEETS QUIETLY WITH POHAMBA IN WINDHOEK
Classified By: Ambassador Dennise Mathieu per 1.5 (b) and (d).
¶1. (C) In a November 14 meeting with Namibian MFA Permanent
Secretary Ambassador Veiccoh Nghiwete, DCM asked about a
press report that President Pohamaba had met in Windhoek with
Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai before the
November 8-9 SADC summit. Nghiwete confirmed the story,
saying it was Tsvangirai’s first “official” visit to Namibia.
According to Nghiwete, Tsvangirai had requested the November
7 meeting and had met only with the President, whom he
briefed on the status of talks with ZANU-PF.
¶2. (C) Nghiwete described the meeting as “nothing special,”
adding that the GRN was happy Tsvangirai had come. He
reported the President reiterated the GRN position that there
must be a lasting solution to the crisis and that a
government of national unity must be established. DCM
expressed concern about the deteriorating humanitarian
situation and noted that the Zimbabwean crisis was having a
negative impact on the entire region. He urged SADC to stay
actively engaged in the search for a solution and to
underscore that unilateral actions are not helpful. Nghiwete
agreed unilateral actions were unhelpful and was dismissive
of the feasibility of ZANU-PF’s proposed co-leadership of the
Ministry of Home Affairs. He opined that it was a testament
to the patience of the Zimbabwean people that they had not
resorted to widespread violence.
¶3. (C) Comment: This meeting was clearly at Morgan
Tsvangirai’s initiative, and it sounds as if Pohamba was
primarily in listening mode. We assume the Windhoek stop was
part of a regional round of consultations prior to the latest
SADC summit. Namibian officials continue to say little in
public about the situation in Zimbabwe. In private
conversations with us, they express concern about the
situation there and support for a government of national
unity. However, they continue to defer completely to Mbeki
in his role as mediator.