The history between the African National Congress of South Africa and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front was not as close as people think, South Africa’s High Commission to Zimbabwe Zola Skweyiya said.
While welcoming establishment of the media, elections, and human rights commissions, he said the commission leaders would be critical for progress.
He said South Africa would continue to push for resolution of the other outstanding issues: appointment of the MDC governors; swearing-in of Deputy Minister of Agriculture-designate Roy Bennett, the appointment in violation of the GPA of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana.
He concluded that UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband’s statements in Parliament that sanctions would be lifted when Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai requested were unhelpful.
Viewing cable 10LONDON361, AF DAS PAGE’S FEBRUARY 9 COURTESY CALLS ON
DE RUEHLO #0361/01 0481200
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 171200Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4984
INFO RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI PRIORITY 0014
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA PRIORITY 0768
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA PRIORITY 0001
RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE PRIORITY 0001
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY 0327
C O N F I D E N T I A L LONDON 000361
DEPARTMENT FOR AF/FO
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/16/2020
SUBJECT: AF DAS PAGE’S FEBRUARY 9 COURTESY CALLS ON
UK-BASED AFRICAN AMBASSADORS
Classified By: Political Counselor Robin Quinville,
reasons 1.4 (b/d).
¶1. (C) Summary. AF DAS Susan Page paid courtesy calls on
February 9 on Kenyan High Commissioner Ephram Waweru Ngare,
South African High Commissioner Dr. Zola Skweyiya, Nigerian
High Commissioner Dr. Dalhatu Tafida, Zimbabwean Ambassador
Gabriel Mharadze Machinga, and Ethiopian Ambassador Berhanu
Kebede, all appointed to the Court of St. James’s. The
African envoys greatly appreciated DAS Page’s outreach to
them as senior diplomats for their governments and took the
opportunity to brief on the political and economic situations
in their respective countries. End summary.
¶2. (C) Kenya High Commissioner Ephram Waweru Ngare painted an
optimistic picture of Kenya’s progress on the reform agenda,
asserting that the referendum on the constitution would take
place in April for an August adoption of the new governing
document. He acknowledged the domestic progress that needs
to take place before the next general elections and described
Somalia as a very serious threat to Kenya’s security.
Describing Eritrea as a major spoiler in the region, he
pledged the Kenyan government’s full support for the USG’s
counter-terrorism initiatives in the region.
¶3. (C) South African High Commissioner Dr. Zola Skweyiya
raised Zimbabwe, noting that the history between the ANC and
ZANU-PF makes the parties “not as close as people think.”
While welcoming establishment of the media, elections, and
human rights commissions, he said the commission leaders will
be critical for progress. He said South Africa will continue
to push for resolution of the other outstanding issues:
appointment of the MDC governors; swearing-in of Deputy
Minister of Agriculture-designate Roy Bennett, the
appointment in violation of the GPA of Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General
Johannes Tomana. He concluded that UK Foreign Secretary
David Miliband’s statements in Parliament that sanctions
would be lifted when Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
requested were unhelpful. On bilateral issues, he took on
board the USG’s desire to see the South Africa-U.S.
Binational Commission up and running productively as soon as
possible. He noted that he and his staff are focused on the
upcoming March 2010 state visit of President Zuma to the UK.
¶4. (C) Nigerian High Commissioner Dr. Dalhatu Tafida, flanked
by a host of political counselors, called attention to the
effective manner in which the Government of Nigeria dealt
with the violence in Jos and conducted credible elections in
Anambra state. He noted the GON’s concern about its recent
listing as a “country of interest” by the Transportation
Security Administration without consultation. His political
counselors raised issues related to investment in Nigeria,
follow-through on the Glen Eagles and G-20 commitments for
the developing world, post-Copenhagen climate change
follow-up, and USG policy on Western Sahara.
¶5. (C) Former IVLP exchange participant, Zimbabwean
Ambassador Gabriel Mharadze Machinga, listed the
accomplishments of the Zimbabwean government under the
framework of the Global Peace Agreement (GPA) and argued that
the progress merited relief on sanctions, noting that the
listing of many of the parastatals limited the support and
services available to average Zimbabweans. Calling for a
more “positive approach,” he suggested a return to the “good
old days” of the bilateral relationship and encouraged the
USG to treat all three parties in the GPA equally.
¶6. (C) Offering an impressive assessment of the security,
political, and economic situations in the region, Ethiopian
Ambassador Berhanu Kebede said that Somalia and Eritrea are
Ethiopia’s top priorities in the region; Eritrea continues to
play a spoiler role through the region, especially in
Somalia; and the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in
Somalia needs significantly more international support to
deliver on security, humanitarian issues, and economic
development. He said Ethiopia’s upcoming elections “will be
completely different than 2005″ because the ruling party is
committed to a fair contest and all parties have signed up to
the code of conduct, which was developed by an international
organization. He also provided a robust defense to the Civil
Society Law, arguing the importance of governance and human
rights organizations being home grown and domestically funded.
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