in Stories

Lesotho FM said nothing short of a coup would remove Mugabe from power

Lesotho’s Foreign Minister Kenneth Mohlabi Tsekoa told United States Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer that in his opinion, it was extremely unlikely that Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe would submit to international pressure and step down.

He said that short of a coup, nothing would remove Mugabe from power.

His Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili, on the other hand, told Frazer what she wanted to hear.

Mosisili said he had told Mugabe that he did not represent the majority of the Zimbabwe people.

Frazer requested Mosisili make a telephone call to the chair of the African Union, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, to press for more firm support from African leaders to remove Mugabe from office.

Mosisili agreed to do so.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08MASERU389, A/S FRAZER VISITS THE MOUNTAIN KINGDOM OF LESOTHO

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

08MASERU389

2008-12-29 07:01

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Maseru

R 290701Z DEC 08

FM AMEMBASSY MASERU

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 3965

INFO SADC COLLECTIVE

AMEMBASSY MASERU

UNCLAS MASERU 000389

 

 

DEPT FOR AF/S

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PREL ZI OVIP LT

SUBJECT: A/S FRAZER VISITS THE MOUNTAIN KINGDOM OF LESOTHO

 

SUMMARY: Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Jendayi E.

Frazer’s visit to the mountain kingdom of Lesotho was a brief

and productive journey to the highlands. A/S Frazer arrived in

Maseru mid-afternoon on Friday, December 19, toured one of the

leading garment manufacturing factories operating under the

African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), and met with the

Prime Minister of the government of Lesotho (GOL) before

departing to South Africa to continue her five country trip on

the African continent. End Summary.

 

Assistant Secretary Frazer visited Lesotho to meet Foreign

Minister Kenneth Mohlabi Tsekoa and Prime Minister Pakalitha

Mosisili, primarily to discuss the continuing crisis in

Zimbabwe. In the initial meeting with Tsekoa , A/S Frazer noted

the strength of bilateral relations, touching on the recently

signed Millennium Challenge Account entry into force agreement

and subsequent developments, the President’s Emergency Plan for

AIDS Relief , and the long-standing work of the U.S. Peace

Corps. She delivered the current U.S. policy on Zimbabwe. Mr.

Tsekoa also noted the strength of the U.S.-Lesotho relationship.

He said that Lesotho has taken diplomatic measures to try to

marginalize Zimbabwe in the Southern African Development

Community (SADC), but these efforts have obviously fallen short.

 

In his opinion, it is extremely unlikely that Zimbabwe’s

President Robert Mugabe will submit to international pressure

and step down; he stated that short of a coup, nothing will

remove Mugabe from power. Tsekoa did note that the recent

incidents involving unrest among Zimbabwe’s security forces

might be a sign that internal support for Mugabe may be waning.

 

Prime Minister Mosisili then warmly welcomed A/S Frazer, coming

to the meeting directly from the state funeral of the

Chieftainess of the northern district of Berea who was also a

Senator in the National Assembly. He wore a traditional red

blanket as a sign of respect to the deceased. Mosisili was

clearly delighted to meet A/S Frazer again. He spoke about the

excellent assistance Lesotho has received from the U.S. over

many years and indicated that Lesotho has taken a consistent

approach to the Zimbabwe issue, which had met with serious

disfavor by Mugabe. At the Doha International Conference on

Finance for Development in late November 2008, Mosisili said

that he pointedly asked Mugabe how unelected Zimbabwe government

ministers could represent the people of that country and said

that Mugabe himself did not represent the majority of the

Zimbabwe people. Noting that Lesotho was the former chair of

the Southern African Development Community (SADC), A/S Frazer

requested Mosisili make a telephone call to the current chair of

the African Union, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, to

press for more firm support from African leaders to remove Mr.

Mugabe from office. Mosisili agreed to do so.

 

Comment: A/S Frazer’s visit to Lesotho to consult on Zimbabwe

is an indication of the strength of the bilateral relationship

and a compliment to this tiny democracy. Mosisili’s open

criticism of Mugabe is a much stronger stance than most of the

region has taken, a hopeful sign that the GOL will continue to

align itself with the U.S. to promote democracy, despite

regional pressures to the contrary. End comment.

 

POWER

 

(13 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHAREShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

Write a Comment

Comment