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Half the people of Zimbabwe believe outside forces torturing them

Malawi Foreign Minister Joyce Banda told United States acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Phil Carter that Malawi would not interfere in Zimbabwe’s affairs because outside interference only created more problems.

She said that at least 50 percent of the Zimbabwe people believed that their problems were the result of “outside forces torturing them”.

Banda, who is now President of Malawi, said she hoped that President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai were mature enough to see that the people had suffered enough.

Banda met Carter less than two weeks before the formation of the inclusive government.

 

Full cable:

Viewing cable 09ADDISABABA325, AU SUMMIT: AF ACTING ASSISTANT SECRETARY CARTER

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09ADDISABABA325

2009-02-06 05:27

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN

Embassy Addis Ababa

VZCZCXRO4411

PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO

DE RUEHDS #0325/01 0370527

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 060527Z FEB 09

FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3678

INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7715

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

RUEPADJ/CJTF HOA PRIORITY

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY

RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RUZEFAA/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ADDIS ABABA 000325

 

NOFORN

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/04/2019

TAGS: PREL KDEM PGOV KPKO MI ZI

SUBJECT: AU SUMMIT: AF ACTING ASSISTANT SECRETARY CARTER

MEETS MALAWI FOREIGN MINISTER

 

Classified By: AMBASSADOR DONALD YAMAMOTO. REASONS: 1.4 (B) AND (D).

 

1. (C/NF) Summary. Malawi Foreign Minister Joyce Banda

told Acting Assistant Secretary for Africa Phil Carter on

January 31 that Malawi would not accept any attempt by the

United States to establish a “parallel election process.”

Carter assured her that the United States’ only goal was to

help strengthen the transparency and credibility of the

Malawian election process. Carter pressed Banda to hold

Zimbabwe President Mugabe and Movement for Democratic Change

(MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai accountable for their actions.

Banda stated that Malawi would support the process, but

would not “interfere” in Zimbabwe politics. Banda also noted

that Malawi was not ready to contribute any peacekeeping

troops to any mission in the near future. End Summary.

 

Banda: “No Parallel Election Process”

————————————-

 

2. (C/NF) Banda opened by expressing displeasure with her

perception that the U.S. Embassy in Lilongwe had not properly

notified her government of their recent activities in support

of the upcoming Malawian elections. She said although the

initial misunderstanding had been cleared up, she remained

adamant that Malawi would not accept a “parallel election

process.” Carter explained that the United States was not

attempting to establish a parallel process, rather the

Embassy was looking to help support the transparency and

credibility of the election to everyone’s benefit by working

with civil society groups. He continued that Washington was

not looking at creating an election center to challenge the

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC). Banda retorted, “what

happens if the MEC tally differs from your count?” She went

on to predict that in such an event, “there would be

bloodshed,” and she wanted to be on record having provided a

clear warning.

 

3. (C/NF) Banda queried that if the United States wanted to

help the election process, then “why don’t you help us build

capacity?” She explained that 75 percent of the polling

centers in Malawi did not have electricity, and she suggested

that Washington could provide solar panels to help with

lighting during the ballot counting. Carter said he would

take her concerns under consideration, but insisted that

parallel vote tabulations are a tool domestic observation

groups can use to bolster the credibility of the process at

the polls, and does not involve recounting ballots or

disputing the polling station results.

 

Regional Effort on Zimbabwe Needed

———————————-

 

4. (C/NF) Moving to regional issues, Carter observed that

with the recent agreement between Morgan Tsvangirai’s

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and President Robert

Mugabe’s ZANU-PF, a collective regional effort would be

needed to hold the parties accountable. He encouraged the

Malawian government to be proactive on Zimbabwe. Banda

responded that outside interference in Zimbabwe affairs only

created more problems. She explained that her position was

that Malawi would support the process, but that they would

allow Zimbabwe to handle it “as far as possible.” She said

at least 50 percent of the Zimbabwe people believe their

problems are the result of “outside forces torturing them.”

She hoped that Mugabe and Tsvangirai were mature enough to

see that the people have suffered enough. Carter said he

shared her hope, but that the leaders must be held

accountable for their actions, and that continued monitoring

was needed by the international community and the Southern

African Development Community (SADC).

 

Malawi Not Ready to Dispatch Peacekeeping Troops Anywhere

——————————————— ————

 

5. (C/NF) Banda said President Mutharika had anticipated

that Carter would raise the possibility of Malawi

contributing peacekeeping troops to the DRC or for other UN

missions, and she had instructions to notify Carter that no

troops would be forthcoming. Carter reminded Banda that the

United States had spent a considerable amount of money to

train Malawian troops for peacekeeping operations and he

expressed his hope that the Malawi government would take

 

ADDIS ABAB 00000325 002 OF 002

 

 

advantage of that training to participate in the future.

 

6. (U) Acting Assistant Secretary Carter approved this

message.

YAMAMOTO

(10 VIEWS)

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