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Chissano told West democracy forced from outside would fail

Former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano told the West that he supported the government of Zimbabwe because democracy forced from outside would fail while that developed from within would prevail.

Chissano was the guest speaker at the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front Congress of 2004 at which he hailed the strong ties between Zimbabwe and Mozambique and his strong support for Zimbabwe’s land reform programme.

Although he had stepped down he said he did not believe in term limits. In an apparent reference to President Robert Mugabe he said nobody needed to follow his example in stepping down.

Ed: The same argument was used by South African President Thabo Mbeki who was criticised for his quiet diplomacy. Mbeki insisted that Zimbabweans had to find a solution to their problems and they did.


Full cable:


Viewing cable 04HARARE2009, CHISSANO BOOSTS MUGABE AT ZANU-PF PARTY CONGRESS

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

04HARARE2009

2004-12-13 15:51

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 002009

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR BNEULING

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/08/2009

TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM ZI ZANU PF

SUBJECT: CHISSANO BOOSTS MUGABE AT ZANU-PF PARTY CONGRESS

 

REF: (A) MAPUTO 1533 (B) MAPUTO 1520

 

Classified By: Ambassador Christopher W. Dell under Section 1.5 b/d

 

1. (U) In an address to the ruling ZANU-PF,s Fourth Party

Congress that was broadcast live on Zimbabwe state radio on

December 3, Mozambican President Chissano recounted at length

the close historical ties between his Frelimo party and

ZANU-PF, and stressed in particular Mozambique’s support for

Zimbabwean land reform. He noted his imminent departure from

the Presidency but explicitly distinguished his situation

from President Mugabe’s. He said he did not believe in term

limits and that nobody need follow his example in stepping

down. He was leaving the political stage because Mozambique

was stable but Zimbabwe was “different,” he said without

elaborating. He noted that Western leaders often asked him

about why his government supported the GOZ but concluded that

“democracy forced from the outside will fail, democracy

developed from within will prevail.”

 

2. (C) At a state dinner for Chissano on December 3, the

Ambassador engaged Chissano Diplomatic Adviser and former

Mozambican Ambassador to the United Nations Carlos dos Santos

about the situation in Zimbabwe. While giving token

acknowledgement of Mugabe’s flaws, dos Santos hewed to the

line that Zimbabwe’s problems are largely due to outside

pressure on Mugabe and could easily be resolved if the West,

especially the UK and the United States, were willing to

compromise. The Ambassador replied that it was specious to

blame the outside world for Mugabe’s homegrown misgovernance,

and challenged dos Santos’ assertion that there was no

willingness on our side to be flexible toward Zimbabwe. On

the contrary, if Mugabe demonstrated real — as opposed to

rhetorical — commitment to reform and good governance, we

would be prepared to respond. The Ambassador urged that,

upon his departure from the presidency, Chissano use his

elder statesman status to influence Zimbabwean politics

constructively and to press Mugabe to take that first step.

Dos Santos undertook to raise the point with Chissano.

 

3. (C) COMMENT: The state media replayed Chissano’s public

solidarity with Mugabe and ZANU-PF repeatedly. His unalloyed

tribute underscored for domestic audiences the continued high

stature accorded Mugabe by the region’s leaders — a message

particularly important to a party leadership concerned by the

high level reception being given opposition leader Morgan

Tsvangirai in Europe and Africa over the past two weeks.

 

SIPDIS

(Note: Tsvangirai told the Ambassador December 8 that he

plans to visit Washington in late January or early February.)

 

 

DELL

 

(3 VIEWS)

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