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Did Lesotho snub Tsvangirai?

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his delegation had to meet with Lesotho’s Deputy Prime Minister Archibald Lehohla after Prime Minister Pakalita Mosisili fell ill before the meeting raising questions as to whether the Lesotho leader was trying to avoid Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai was touring the region to appraise regional leaders on the 29 March elections which he had won but reportedly not by an outright majority.

The release of the presidential elections results had been delayed by more than a month.

Mosisili was generally regarded, like South African President Thabo Mbeki, to be more sympathetic to President Robert Mugabe and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08MASERU135, LESOTHO: ZIMBABWEAN OPPOSITION LEADER CALLS ON GOL

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08MASERU135

2008-05-14 05:58

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Maseru

VZCZCXRO3681

OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHRN

DE RUEHMR #0135 1350558

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

O 140558Z MAY 08

FM AMEMBASSY MASERU

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3672

INFO RUCNSAD/SADC COLLECTIVE

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC

RUEHMR/AMEMBASSY MASERU 4091

UNCLAS MASERU 000135

 

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

 

DEPT ALSO FOR AF/S

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM KDEM ZI LT

SUBJECT: LESOTHO: ZIMBABWEAN OPPOSITION LEADER CALLS ON GOL

 

 

1. (SBU) Summary: Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan

Tsvangirai arrived in Maseru aboard a private plane on May 13

for an afternoon of meetings with senior GOL officials. The

Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement that said the

visit “follows the announcement of presidential elections in

Zimbabwe… in which there did not emerge a winner with

sufficient majority to lead the government.” Tsvangirai was

scheduled to depart Lesotho immediately following his afternoon

meetings, but no further details on his discussions with the GOL

were available by COB May 13. End Summary.

 

2. (U) Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwean presidential candidate and

leader of primary opposition party Movement for Democratic

Change (MDC), landed at Moshoeshoe International Airport at

approximately 3:00 pm on May 13 aboard a private aircraft,

accompanied by four MDC officials.   Tsvangirai and his

delegation, in an official GOL motorcade, proceeded to Maseru’s

Qhobosheaneng Government complex for a meeting with senior GOL

officials.

 

3. (U) After Tsvangirai’s arrival, the MFA announced the visit

with a brief statement: “The leader of the Zimbabwe Opposition

MDC, Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai, is scheduled to arrive at Moshoeshoe

I Airport at 2 p.m. today to have a consultative meeting with

The Right Honorable the Prime Minister, Mr. Pakalitha B.

Mosisili, on 13 May, 2008. The visit follows the announcement

of presidential elections in Zimbabwe on Friday 2 May, 2008 in

which there did not emerge a winner with sufficient majority to

lead the government.” According to GOL contacts, however,

Deputy Prime Minister Archibald Lehohla stood in for PM

Mosisili, who apparently fell ill prior to the meeting.

 

4. (SBU) Comment: MFA contacts told Emboffs that Tsvangirai

intended to depart Lesotho immediately following his afternoon

meetings with the GOL. Although no details on the discussions

were available by COB May 13, we will use imminent opportunities

with local participants in the visit to assess the GOL’s

reaction to MDC’s regional campaign to garner support for

Zimbabwe’s political opposition. End Comment.

 

NOLAN

 

(8 VIEWS)

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