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Dhlakama arranged for Tsvangirai to meet Chissano and Guebuza

The leader of the opposition in Mozambique Afonso Dhlakama arranged for Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai to meet former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano and current President Armando Guebuza during the political stalemate following the indecisive 2008 elections.

Tsvangirai who met Chissano three weeks after the elections said he had requested Chissano as chairman of the African former heads of state to try to resolve the electoral crisis in Zimbabwe.

He said he had raised three issues in Maputo:

  • First, the ongoing violence that was causing a humanitarian crisis. By his count eleven people had been killed, 400 detained, and thousands others somehow affected.
  • Second, he had asked for assistance in bringing the violence to an end.
  • Third, he expressed concerns at the delay in releasing the results of the presidential vote.

President Chissano said that he advised Tsvangirai that he could only get involved in finding a solution for Zimbabwe if the heads of state of SADC requested that he do so.

President Guebuza did not comment on the content of his meeting with Tsvangirai.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08MAPUTO365, TSVANGIRAI VISITS MOZAMBIQUE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08MAPUTO365

2008-04-24 17:24

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Maputo

VZCZCXRO7314

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHTO #0365 1151724

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 241724Z APR 08

FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8813

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0150

UNCLAS MAPUTO 000365

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM ZI MZ

SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI VISITS MOZAMBIQUE

 

1. (U) Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of Zimbabwe’s opposition

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) visited Maputo on April

23. The visit was personally coordinated by the leader of

Mozambique’s opposition party Renamo, Afonso Dhlakama, who

arranged for Tsvangirai to meet with former president Joaquim

Chissano and current president Armando Guebuza. In a press

conference at Dhlakama’s residence at the end of his visit,

Tsvangirai said that he had met with Chissano, as the

 

SIPDIS

chairman of the forum of African former heads of state, to

request that he lend influence to resolve the electoral

crisis in Zimbabwe.

 

2. (U) Tsvangirai said that he had raised three issues in

all his meetings in Maputo: first, the ongoing violence that

is causing a humanitarian crisis. By his count he indicated

that eleven people have been killed, 400 detained, and

thousands others somehow affected. Second, he said that he

had asked for assistance in bringing the violence to an end.

Third, he expressed concerns at the delay in releasing the

results of the presidential vote. Tsvangirai said that he

believed President Guebuza would like to see the crisis

resolved through dialoque and not violence. Asked if he

would be willing to participate in a runoff, Tsvangirai said

he would address this issue only if the results of the

election were released.

 

3. (U) Separately, former President Chissano told the press

on April 24 that he advised Tsvangirai that Chissano could

only get involved in finding a solution for Zimbabwe if the

heads of state of SADC requested that he do so. President

Guebueza has not yet commented on the content of his meeting

with Tsvangirai.

 

4. (SBU) COMMENT: Tsvangirai did not appear to cover any

new ground during his visit to Mozambique, and as yet we have

no reaction from the GRM about his meeting with Guebuza. But

Tsvangirai did himself no favors with the GRM by so publicly

 

SIPDIS

aligning himself with Renamo’s leader Dhlakama. Always the

opportunist, Dhlakama took the spotlight during Tsvangirai’s

visit, positioning himself as a senior mediator who is

working to ensure regional democracy. At the same time, the

Renamo leader is using the increased attention to campaign

for the 2009 presidency, indirectly suggesting that a vote

for the incumbent Frelimo party might result in the same

state of affairs in Mozambique that Zimbabwe is suffering

now. One beneficial aspect to the Tsvangirai visit is that

an increasing number of Mozambican civic organizations,

including the press, are questioning more and more the GRM’s

policy of “quiet diplomacy” towards the brewing crisis next

door. END COMMENT.

Chapman

 

(9 VIEWS)

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