in Stories

Mugabe astonished Mzembi was excluded from meeting with Obama

President Robert Mugabe told United States Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson that he was astonished that Tourism and Hospitality Minister Walter Mzembi was not invited to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s meeting with United States President Barack Obama.

Mzembi was the only Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front minister allowed to visit the United States with Tsvangirai and had attended the meeting between Tsvangirai and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Carson was also present at that meeting.

Mugabe met Carson on the margins of the African Union summit in Sirte, Libya.

He said the exclusion of Mzembi led him to question the United States government’s support for the unity government.

He said that US assistance to Zimbabwe would “end up in the hands of the British” and noted that Washington was free to spend its money that way if it chose.

Mugabe also said MDC-Tsvangirai was not genuinely popular and claimed they made gains in the most recent election by bribing voters with food.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 09TRIPOLI567, AU SUMMIT: MUGABE REMAINS DEFIANT

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

Released

Classification

Origin

09TRIPOLI567

2009-07-14 09:06

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Tripoli

VZCZCXRO6608

PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN

DE RUEHTRO #0567/01 1950906

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 140906Z JUL 09

FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5031

INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1086

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0762

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

RHMFISS/CDR USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE

RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC

RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY 0185

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0200

RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE PRIORITY 0002

RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 5569

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TRIPOLI 000567

 

SIPDIS

 

STATE FOR AF/FO, AF/E, AF/W AND AF/RSA

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 7/13/2019

TAGS: PREL PGOV ZI AU LY

SUBJECT: AU SUMMIT: MUGABE REMAINS DEFIANT

 

TRIPOLI 00000567 001.2 OF 002

 

 

CLASSIFIED BY: Gene A. Cretz, Ambassador, US Embassy Tripoli,

Department of State.

REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

1. (C) Summary: In a July 2 meeting with AF A/S Carson,

President Robert Mugabe emotionally defended his stewardship of

Zimbabwe over the last 26 years, heatedly denouncing “outside

interference,” claiming he would implement the Global Political

Agreement (GPA) “in my own way,” and insisting Zimbabwe is “my

country.” Mugabe’s responses to Carson’s questions became

increasingly agitated and he abruptly ended the meeting by

jumping up and storming out. Mugabe’s obvious discomfort with

what amounted to 10 minutes of low key questions about the GPA,

human rights, and his legacy was preceded by his 35 minute

monologue on British perfidy and American untrustworthiness.

The prospects for Zimbabwe’s democracy appear bleak if Mugabe’s

extreme sensitivity to questions is any indication of his

commitment to the GPA. End Summary.

 

2. (C) A/S Carson and President Mugabe met July 2 on the margins

of the AU Summit in Sirte, Libya. Mugabe was accompanied by

Foreign Minister S.S. Mumbengegwi and Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to

Libya George Vengesa. A/S Carson was accompanied by desk

officer Maria Beyzerov.

 

MUGABE ANNOYED WITH TSVANGIRAI VISIT TO U.S.

——————————————-

 

3. (C) Mugabe said he was “astonished” that Walter Mzembi

(Minister of Tourism and the recent Tsvangirai delegation’s only

ZANU-PF member) was not invited to Tsvangirai’s June 12 meeting

with President Obama. Mugabe said this led him to question USG

support for the unity government. He asserted that U.S.

assistance to Zimbabwe would “end up in the hands of the

British,” and noted we were free to spend our money this way if

we chose. Mugabe also claimed MDC-Tsvangirai was not genuinely

popular and claimed they made gains in the most recent election

by bribing voters with food.

 

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GPA

————————-

 

4. (C) Carson congratulated Mugabe on the conclusion of the GPA

and asked Mugabe for his assessment of progress to date. Mugabe

said things were going well but ZANU-PF and the MDC had

different backgrounds “but we are free to determine our future.”

When asked about his commitment to fully implement the GPA,

Mugabe angrily snapped back, “We’ll do it our own way and not in

accordance with the likes and dislikes of the United States.”

Mugabe called the question itself “rude” and noted he had signed

the agreement, which meant he will implement it. He concluded,

“it’s the outside subjectivity that we don’t want” and insisted

that “outside interference” is not welcome.

 

THE ECONOMY AND MUGABE’S LEGACY

——————————-

 

5. (C)Mugabe continued in this vein when asked to consider his

legacy, especially with regard to Zimbabwe’s economy. He

replied in an angry tone, “the legacy I want to leave behind is

Zimbabwe without outside interference.”

 

6. (C) Carson said the international community did not expect

Zimbabwe to fall into economic despair. Mugabe said Zimbabwe is

not in despair and is doing better than some countries which do

not face sanctions. Mugabe repeatedly blamed the economic

problems that exist in Zimbabwe on sanctions. Carson clarified

that the reason behind Zimbabwe’s economic problems was Mugabe’s

mismanagement style and not sanctions.

 

USG READY TO WELCOME ZIMBABWE INTO COMMUNITY OF DEMOCRATIC

NATIONS

——————————————— ————–

——-

 

7. (C) Carson emphasized that the United States is ready to

welcome Zimbabwe back into the circle of democratic nations but

cannot do so as long as the current situation continues. “Keep

your money, keep your power, and keep away from us. You can

pass that message to Obama,” Mugabe replied. He angrily insisted

that Zimbabwe was his country and warned all outsiders to stay

out.

 

TRIPOLI 00000567 002.2 OF 002

 

 

 

HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES

——————-

 

8. (C) In response to Carson’s question about human rights

violations in Zimbabwe, Mugabe said, “what violations?”

Speaking loudly, Mugabe blamed the British for organizing riots

in Zimbabwe and said, “did you expect me to just sit back and

watch?” Mugabe claimed that the security forces used

appropriate measures to keep order.

 

9. (C) Carson then suggested that Mugabe allow the international

press into Zimbabwe so the world can see what is really

happening on the ground. If in fact there are no ongoing human

rights violations and the economic crisis is not as bad as we

think, the press will document the facts and inform the rest of

the world. Mugabe said he will not allow international press in

since all they are interested in is “false reporting.” He

shouted that as an outsider it’s not Carson’s place to tell him

what to do in “his country” and stormed out of the meeting.

 

MUGABE’S HISTORY LESSON

———————–

 

10. (C) Mugabe’s outbursts were preceded by a 35-minute

monologue of revisionist history about Zimbabwe’s past, from the

arrival of British colonials, through the liberation war, and up

until the present. Sinking into his chair, Mugabe talked about

British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s response to Zimbabwe’s “fast

track” land reform. Mugabe implied that former President Bush

supported the British in their post independence “war against

Zimbabwe” as a quid pro quo for Blair’s support of the U.S. in

the Iraq war. He described Blair as Zimbabwe’s number one enemy

and Bush as “enemy number two.”

 

COMMENT

——-

 

11. (C) Mugabe is an angry and defiant man caught up in a time

warp. Nearly thirty years after Zimbabwe’s independence, he

still blames Britain for all of his country’s past and current

problems. He adamantly refuses to accept any blame for

Zimbabwe’s sharp economic decline and fall from political grace.

He also continues to view Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC as a creation

and puppet of the British government. Mugabe’s obsession with

the British, his low regard for the MDC and his emotional

reaction to outside criticism do not bode well for the future.

Our assessment is the MDC’s ability to fully implement the GPA

— and the health and credibility of Zimbabwe’s democracy — is

probably limited as long as Mugabe remains in power.

 

12. (U) A/S Carson has approved this message.

CRETZ

(10 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