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Lesotho PM told Mugabe to end Zimbabwe crisis

Lesotho’s Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili called for President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe to conclude a power-sharing deal with the Movement for Democratic Change because he no longer had a majority in parliament.

Mosisili told a press conference that: “I personally told President Robert Mugabe that you don’t have a majority and he said I do. And I said you don’t.”

He added: “as a person, I feel very sorry that there is still no agreement acceptable to all parties in Zimbabwe. We are all aware of the severe problems of poverty, unemployment and a host of other maladies that have engulfed that country and it is unfortunate that the will of the people continues to be disregarded”.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08MASERU344, LESOTHO: PRIME MINISTER MOSISILI CHALLENGES MUGABE

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

08MASERU344

2008-11-26 14:15

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Maseru

VZCZCXRO0343

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHRN

DE RUEHMR #0344 3311415

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 261415Z NOV 08

FM AMEMBASSY MASERU

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3920

INFO RUCNSAD/SADC COLLECTIVE

RUEHMR/AMEMBASSY MASERU 4340

UNCLAS MASERU 000344

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/S MATTHEW SHIELDS

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PREL PGOV KDEM PHUM LT

SUBJECT: LESOTHO: PRIME MINISTER MOSISILI CHALLENGES MUGABE

 

1. Summary: Lesotho’s Prime Minister, Pakalitha Mosisili,

called for President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe to conclude a

power-sharing deal with the opposition. Mosisili confronted

Mugabe with the fact that he does not have a majority in

Parliament. At a press conference held in Maseru on November

14, 2008, Mosisili expressed regret that there is still no

government in place, months after the people of Zimbabwe went to

the polls. On November 9, 2008, the Prime Minister had attended

an Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Southern African Development

Community (SADC) in South Africa. The Summit met to “review the

latest Political and Security situation in the Region with

particular reference to the current developments in the

Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Zimbabwe.” End

Summary.

 

2. Speaking at a press conference in Maseru on Friday November

14, following the SADC meeting, Lesotho’s Prime Minister stated

that he felt sorry for the people of Zimbabwe, citing the

failure of the ruling ZANU – PF and the opposition Movement for

Democratic Change (MDC) to resolve the deadlock over which party

will control the Ministry of Home Affairs. Mosisili stated

that: “I personally told President Robert Mugabe that you don’t

have a majority and he said I do. And I said you don’t.” He

further added that, “as a person, I feel very sorry that there

is still no agreement acceptable to all parties in Zimbabwe. We

are all aware of the severe problems of poverty, unemployment

and a host of other maladies that have engulfed that country and

it is unfortunate that the will of the people continues to be

disregarded.”

 

3. Mosisili also expressed a wish that African leaders follow

the example of the United States, in accepting defeat after

losing elections. He was impressed by John McCain’s gracious

concession speech at the conclusion of the November 4 elections.

“He congratulated the President-Elect, Barack Obama before the

final results were announced.” Mosisili also mentioned that

McCain not only congratulated Obama, but committed that he would

work with him. To this he said: “African leaders tend to put

their personal interests above that of their citizens and do not

accept defeat.” Local commentators picked up on this and one

column wrote: “Can you imagine McCain who lost the election in

the US refusing to concede defeat and instead demanding that

Obama should equitably share political power with him?”

 

4. Mosisili however, stressed that SADC is not a “super

government” but just an association of sovereign countries and

as such, cannot impose directives on Zimbabwe because each

member country’s sovereignty must be respected.

 

5. Comments: Mosisili’s latest statement illustrates a change

in his tone and his point of view regarding the political

impasse in Zimbabwe. He now joins the ranks of foreign leaders

who have openly challenged Mugabe’s legitimacy. Embassy Maseru

is encouraged by Mosisili’s new attitude toward Mugabe and will

encourage further interventions of this kind in the hopes that

continued intra-African pressure from the region may help to

speed a solution to the Zimbabwean standoff. End comment.

 

NOLAN

 

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