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Kikwete advised Tsvangirai to join inclusive government

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said he and Botswana President Ian Khama advised Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai to join the new government because people would see the MDC as refusing to take a role in the government while the country deteriorated.

He said he told Tsvangirai that time was on his side. By taking part in the government he would be well positioned to prepare for the next elections.

The Tanzanian President also said he had persuaded Tsvangirai not to demand more government ministries arguing that it was better to have fewer ministries and perform well.

With too many ministries, especially in such dire economic circumstances, the risk of failure increased.

Kikwete said Tsvangirai had tried to get additional ministries namely Local Government, Media and Agriculture.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09DARESSALAAM96, PRESIDENT KIKWETE TOUR D’HORIZON WITH CDA PART I:

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09DARESSALAAM96

2009-02-11 12:18

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Dar Es Salaam

VZCZCXRO8418

PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO

DE RUEHDR #0096/01 0421218

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 111218Z FEB 09

FM AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8257

INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE

RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DAR ES SALAAM 000096

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/10/2019

TAGS: PGOV PREL TZ ZI LY GV

SUBJECT: PRESIDENT KIKWETE TOUR D’HORIZON WITH CDA PART I:

REGIONAL ISSUES

 

Classified By: P/E Chief Carl B. Fox for reasons 1.4 (b, d)

 

1. (C) SUMMARY. During a February 11 meeting with President

Kikwete, CDA sought his views on Zimbabwe and dealing with

the new AU Chair. Kikwete encouraged the U.S. to support the

new Zimbabwe government. He said he had advised Morgan

Tsvangirai to join the government and now would not abandon

him. Kikwete said President Mugabe seemed tired, but his

rhetoric against Tanzania had diminished. On the AU, Kikwete

offered to help relay messages to Libyan President Qadhafi

and expressed optimism that Qadhafi’s capacity to embarrass

would be limited. Unprompted, Kikwete told of his efforts

within the AU to hold to a principled position in opposition

to coups and other governments not elected democratically,

which he said had been well received. Discussions at the

meeting on U.S.-Tanzania issues will be reported septel. END

SUMMARY.

 

Zimbabwe: New government will need support

——————————————

 

2. (C) Kikwete said that at the recent SADC meeting, he and

Botswana President Khama, who had been outspoken in support

of Tsvangirai, both advised him to go into government.

Kikwete told Tsvangirai privately that the Zimbabwean people

would otherwise see MDC refusing to take a role in government

while the country deteriorated. He told Tsvangirai time was

on his side; by taking part in the government, he would be

well positioned to prepare for the next election.

 

3. (C) Of Tsvangirai’s efforts at the last SADC meeting to

get additional ministries (Local Government, Media, and

Agriculture), Kikwete said the proposal was rejected as

having been settled in November. In any case, Kikwete said

he advised Tsvangirai it was better to take fewer ministries

and perform well. With too many ministries, especially in

such dire economic circumstances, the risk of failure

increased.

 

4. (C) Kikwete expressed concern over the proposed sharing of

the Ministry of Home Affairs between ZANU-PF and MDC, saying

that President Nyerere had tried something similar once but

it had caused a big internal fight. He said the original

proposal to rotate ministers at Home Affairs had foundered

when the two sides could not agree who would start. Kikwete

said he had doubts over Mugabe having control over the

police.

 

5. (C) Kikwete said Mugabe appeared really tired at the SADC

meeting. Mugabe hardly spoke, remaining silent on

discussions of the Central Bank Governor and Attorney

General. Mugabe insisted on his constitutional prerogative as

President to name governors, but Kikwete advised him to

consider the circumstances of the power sharing agreement.

According to Zimbabwe’s constitution, the president appoints

all ministers, but those appointments had been designated in

the agreement. Moreover, Kikwete pointed out that the

governors are political, not just civil servants, especially

because they all have seats in the Senate. Kikwete said

Mugabe did not reply during the SADC meeting. However, at

the AU Summit Mugabe was more conciliatory and expressed

thanks to Kikwete. Kikwete commented on the change from when

Mugabe had been calling Tanzania a “puppet” of the U.S. and

UK.

 

6. (C) Kikwete said the new government would need help,

especially as it addresses the humanitarian crisis, and hoped

the U.S. would encourage Tsvangirai and Mugabe to work

together. CDA said he would convey the message. Kikwete

said he would not abandon Tsvangirai after arguing for so

long on his behalf. Kikwete said that support had come at a

significant cost for Tanzania, but relations were now being

patched up.

 

African Union: On Qadhafi as Chair

———————————-

 

7. (C) CDA sought Kikwete’s advice on dealing with the new AU

Chair. Kikwete offered to continue being useful, since he

would remain on the Bureau as Rapporteur through 2009.

Kikwete said that he still had Qadhafi’s confidence, despite

Kikwete’s “sabotage” of the idea of an AU Government. He

suggested that the U.S. could pass messages through him to

Qadhafi. Kikwete also relayed a comment of Ugandan President

Museveni, that if Qadhafi wanted to represent the AU at the

G20, “he should have company,” perhaps the outgoing Chair.

Within Qadhafi’s government, Kikwete said that while the

Minister for African Affairs, Dr. Treki, is a reasonable man,

the Foreign Minister is a better choice for getting messages

to Qadhafi.

 

 

DAR ES SAL 00000096 002 OF 002

 

 

8. (C) Kikwete, saying “the Leader has his own world,” often

a world of “fantasy,” described Qadhafi as an idealist whose

ideas are incomprehensible to many. Kikwete cited the

example of Qadhafi’s proposal that the Israelis and

Palestinians should live together at peace in a single

nation: Israelistein. He said Qadhafi raised the idea, then

quickly banged the table and proclaimed “So decided!”

prompting a commotion in the hall. Kikwete added that by the

time of Qadhafi’s summation the following day, he had come to

terms with reality and took a more compromising position. On

Qadhafi’s efforts to bring traditional rulers into the AU,

Kikwete said that while he still had the chair he would not

permit the traditional rulers to speak, since they were

represented by their individual Heads of State and

Government. He added that Malawian President Mutharika

tweaked Qadhafi by referring to his own rise to power in

1969, when he displaced a “traditional ruler.” Kikwete

concluded by saying that while Qadhafi “has the capacity for

creating some embarrassment,” there are only two AU summit

meetings during his chairmanship.

 

Other AU Matters: Holding Firm Against Coups

——————————————–

 

9. (C) Kikwete said that coups had been a big problem at the

Addis summit. Saying “we should be principled,” Kikwete

noted proudly that his statement that there were “no good

coups” earned him a standing ovation in Addis. Kikwete

reviewed the AU’s history with coups since the 2000 Lome

Summit, citing Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, and Madagascar as

earlier instances where the AU had suspended members

(despite, in the case of Cote d’Ivoire, France’s lobbying

that it was a “good coup”). Kikwete said that he met with

the Guinean delegation in Addis and told them that the coup

was “not acceptable.” He told the delegation that Guinea

must return to democratic governance as soon as possible,

after which “we’ll be friends,” and welcomed the promise to

hold elections during 2009. CDA commented on the positive

effects of the AU’s position effect on the junta, which must

be held to its promise on elections.

 

10. (C) Kikwete said he liked to cite his own example as a

soldier who had retired from military life before entering

politics. He objected to the idea that the “officers’ mess”

would decide the distribution of ministries in a government.

Kikwete cited an exchange he had with Senegalese President

Wade, who had argued that the AU should work with the junta

in Guinea. Kikwete said he asked Wade what should happen if

the military in Dakar overthrew him: would he want the AU to

accept it? Wade did not respond.

ANDRE

 

(4 VIEWS)

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