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Mozambique surprised by Tsvangirai’s pull out

Mozambique Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi was surprised by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s pull out from the inclusive government because the Southern African Development Community had always believed that the government of national unity was progressing.

He said that there should be an internal process within Zimbabwe to resolve political conflicts before SADC could host a summit on the issue.

The parties should meet, raise their concerns with the Council of Ministers, come to a consensus government position, and then raise that position with SADC.

Baloi said that SADC was trying to “anticipate problems” regarding Zimbabwe.

For example, he had received advance notice that Tsvangirai was going to announce a boycott, and attempted to set up a meeting before the announcement between Mozambican President Armando Guebuza and Tsvangirai to discuss the issue but Tsvangirai did not respond to the offer.

Baloi said he was “frustrated” that Tsvangirai did not talk to them before he acted.

“We don’t want to learn about these events from the press,” he said.

Baloi said President Robert Mugabe’s intransigence-constantly going “forward and back” on progress-was also having a negative impact.

Mugabe had to understand that his actions were hurting SADC’s reputation.

 

Full cable:

Viewing cable 09MAPUTO1139, FOREIGN MINISTER BALOI DISCUSSES SADC APPROACH ON

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

09MAPUTO1139

2009-10-20 15:12

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Maputo

VZCZCXRO4876

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHTO #1139/01 2931512

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 201512Z OCT 09

FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0858

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0531

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MAPUTO 001139

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/19/2019

TAGS: PGOV PREL MZ ZI

SUBJECT: FOREIGN MINISTER BALOI DISCUSSES SADC APPROACH ON

ZIMBABWE

 

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires Todd Chapman, Reasons 1.4(b+d)

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: The Charge held a brief discussion on

October 20 with Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi regarding the

Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) efforts on

Zimbabwe. He explained Washington’s concerns about the

implementation of Zimbabwe’s Global Political Agreement (GPA)

and SADC’s role as its guarantor. FM Baloi provided an

overview of SADC’s frustrations with Prime Minister Morgan

Tsvangirai, President Robert Mugabe’s inflexibility as to

power sharing, and SADC’s plans for dealing with Zimbabwe.

Baloi will attend a meeting of the SADC Organ on Politics,

Defense, and Security in Lesotho October 26-27 before

traveling on for meetings in Harare October 28. The GRM and

SADC seem unlikely to make any constructive statements on

Zimbabwe in the near future. END SUMMARY.

 

————————————-

CHARGE OUTLINES WASHINGTON’S CONCERNS

————————————-

 

2. (C) On October 20, the Charge discussed by phone USG

concerns regarding Zimbabwe with Mozambican Foreign Minister

Oldemiro Baloi. The Charge raised the lack of the

implementation of the provisions of the GPA, Mugabe’s actions

in defiance of the GPA, and SADC’s role in overseeing the

execution of the GPA. The Charge outlined steps Mugabe could

take to show a commitment to democratic reform, including

ending politicized arrests and prosecutions as well as

violent land seizures, replacing the Reserve Bank Governor

and Attorney General, ending media censorship, repealing

emergency decrees restricting personal freedoms, and publicly

committing to the drafting of a new constitution and the

holding of national elections under international supervision

and monitoring.

 

————————–

BALOI ON SADC AND ZIMBABWE

————————–

 

3. (C) Baloi responded that SADC was very worried about the

situation in Zimbabwe, and claimed that Zimbabwe and Lesotho

had been the two topics of discussion at the SADC Summit in

Kinshasa in September. Baloi noted that SADC had “always

believed the government of national unity was progressing”

and was surprised by Morgan Tsvangirai’s announcement last

week that the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was

disengaging from the transition government.

 

4. (C) The FM highlighted that there should be an internal

process within Zimbabwe to resolve political conflicts before

SADC can host a summit on the issue; the parties should meet,

raise their concerns with the Council of Ministers, come to a

consensus government position, and then raise that position

with SADC. Despite this recommendation, Baloi noted he will

travel to Lesotho for meetings on October 26-27 of the SADC

Organ on Politics, Defense, and Security where they will

discuss Zimbabwe. Baloi told Charge he would then be

traveling to Zimbabwe, for meetings in Harare on October 28.

(NOTE: This falls upon the date of Mozambique’s general

elections. END NOTE.).

 

5. (C) Baloi said that SADC was trying to “anticipate

problems” regarding Zimbabwe. For example, Baloi stated that

last week he received advance notice that Tsvangirai was

going to announce a boycott, and attempted to set up a

meeting before the announcement between Guebuza and

Tsvangirai to discuss the issue–yet Tsvangirai did not

respond to the offer. Baloi also shared that they were

“frustrated” that Tsvangirai did not talk to them before he

acted–“we don’t want to learn about these events from the

press,” he said. Baloi said that at the time of the phone

call, noon local time, Mozambican President Armando Guebuza

was to meet Tsvangirai in Manica province.

 

6. (C) The Charge asked Baloi if Mugabe had shown any

flexibility on the issues of implementing the GPA. Baloi

replied that Mugabe had not shown much thus far, but that

Guebuza would have to be the one to talk to Mugabe about that

issue. Baloi said Mugabe’s intransigence–constantly going

“forward and back” on progress–was having a negative impact,

and that Mugabe must understand his actions are hurting

SADC’s reputation.

 

———————————-

ZIMBABWE EXTRAORDINARY SUMMIT SOON

———————————-

 

 

MAPUTO 00001139 002 OF 002

 

 

7. (C) Baloi mentioned the SADC Secretariat was busy

preparing the necessary documents for a discussion on

Zimbabwe. He said they are lacking former South African

President and SADC-appointed mediator for Zimbabwe Thabo

Mbeki’s mediation report from 2008, which is necessary to

complete the discussion–the Secretariat anticipates Mbeki’s

mediation report will arrive before next week’s summit in

Lesotho. The FM mentioned SADC probably would host an

extraordinary summit soon” where the two topics of discussion

would be the delay of the customs union, which is set to be

established by 2010, and Zimbabwe.

 

——————————————— ——-

COMMENT: GRM GIVES EXCUSES, SADC UNLIKELY TO PUSH MUGABE

——————————————— ——-

 

8. (C) Baloi’s comments on SADC’s surprise over the

announcement of Tsvangirai’s boycott seem disingenuous.

Tsvangirai and MDC have, on multiple occasions, made pleas to

SADC to reengage on the issue of the implementation of the

GPA. SADC, as guarantor of the agreement, has chosen not to

address MDC’s concerns regarding the outstanding GPA issues –

namely the appointment of Reserve Bank Governor Gono and

Attorney General Tomana, the refusal to swear in the

MDC-designated Deputy Minister of Agriculture Bennett, and

the continued arrest, detainment and harassment of MDC

parliamentarians. Additionally, Baloi’s statement that

Zimbabwe was a main topic of discussion at the SADC Summit in

Kinshasa is misleading, since SADC evidently chose not to

address the Zimbabwe issue during the meeting in a meaningful

way. Blaming Mugabe for SADC’s damaged reputation, rather

than accepting responsibility for SADC’s disengagement from

the issue, is telling of how the region probably will deal

with the failures of the agreement.

CHAPMAN

 

(4 VIEWS)

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