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Mugabe retains troika chair

President Robert Mugabe remained chair of the Southern African Development Community organ on politics, defence and security though the regional organisation had agreed that the chair should rotate from August.

South African President Thabo Mbeki was disappointed that the summit had not selected a successor to Mugabe.

The summit, however, did not discuss Zimbabwe because the subject simply did not come up.

A South African official told diplomats that it was unfair to be asked why South Africa had not raised the subject at the summit.

“Why not ask Malawi?” she asked.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 01PRETORIA1599, SADC SUMMIT: SOUTH AFRICA HOPED FOR MORE ON ORGAN

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01PRETORIA1599

2001-03-16 05:03

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Pretoria

P 160503Z MAR 01

FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8060

INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 PRETORIA 001599

 

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/S

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/14/2006

TAGS: PREL ECIN SADC WA

SUBJECT: SADC SUMMIT: SOUTH AFRICA HOPED FOR MORE ON ORGAN

 

REFORM

 

REF: WINDHOEK 526

 

CLASSIFIED BY ACTING POLCOUNSELOR JMCNAMARA, REASONS 1.5(B)

AND (D).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY. SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT THABO MBEKI WAS

DISAPPOINTED THAT THE MARCH 9 SADC SUMMIT DID NOT SELECT THE

SUCCESSOR TO ZIMBABWE PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE AS CHAIR OF THE

ORGAN ON POLITICS, DEFENSE, AND SECURITY. SAG OFFICIALS

INDICATED MARCH 13 THAT MBEKI PREFERRED THIS DECISION BE MADE

IN WINDHOEK SO AS TO ENSURE THAT THE ORGAN’S CHAIRMANSHIP DID

INDEED ROTATE IN AUGUST 2001. SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIALS APPEAR

PLEASED WITH THE SUMMIT’S APPROVAL OF SADC’S RESTRUCTURING

EXERCISE BUT STRESSED THAT MUCH WORK NEEDED TO BE DONE TO

ACHIEVE FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE REFORM RECOMMENDATIONS BY

THE TWO-YEAR TARGET DATE. ON ZIMBABWE, SAG OFFICIALS

MAINTAINED THAT THE ISSUE “SIMPLY WAS NOT DISCUSSED” AT

SUMMIT. ON THE DROC, SAG OFFICIALS INDICATED THAT MAURITIUS

OFFERED TO HOST THE NATIONAL DIALOGUE. END SUMMARY.

 

ORGAN REFORM – SAG RELIEF BUT DOUBTS REMAIN

——————————————-

 

2. (C) AT A MARCH 13 BRIEFING TO EUROPEAN UNION DIPLOMATS

WHICH POLOFF ATTENDED, DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS’ (DFA)

CHIEF DIRECTOR FOR SADC AFFAIRS G KUDJOE, DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR

SADC POLITICAL AFFAIRS AJ BRAMDEO, AND SADC GENERAL AFFAIRS

ASSISTANT SECRETARY WENDY RAUCH TOLD THE ASSEMBLED AUDIENCE

THAT ZIMBABWE’S REPORT TO THE SUMMIT ON REFORM OF THE ORGAN

FOR POLITICS, DEFENSE, AND SECURITY (THE ORGAN) CONTAINED NO

SURPRISES. THE SADC SUMMIT UNANIMOUSLY DECIDED TO SUPPORT

THE YEARLY ROTATION OF THE ORGAN CHAIR BEGINNING IN AUGUST

2001, WHEN THE SUMMIT WOULD SELECT A NEW CHAIR. ZIMBABWEAN

PRESIDENT MUGABE, THE CURRENT ORGAN CHAIR, WOULD RETAIN THIS

POSITION IN THE INTERIM PERIOD AND WOULD BECOME A MEMBER OF

THE ORGAN TROIKA (COMPOSED OF CURRENT, PAST, AND FUTURE ORGAN

CHAIR) IN AUGUST. KUDJOE INDICATED THAT THE SUMMIT WOULD

ALSO SELECT THE FUTURE ORGAN CHAIR AT THE BLANTYRE SUMMIT.

ASIDE FROM STATING THAT THE ORGAN CHAIR COULD NOT

SIMULTANEOUSLY HOLD THE SADC CHAIRMANSHIP, KUDJOE GAVE NO

INDICATION AS TO THE IDENTITY OF THE NEXT TWO CHAIRS.

 

3. (C) BOTH KUDJOE AND BRAMDEO EXPLAINED HOW SOUTH AFRICAN

PRESIDENT MBEKI ATTEMPTED TO SECURE THE NAMING OF THE NEXT

SADC CHAIR AT THE WINDHOEK SUMMIT, ONLY TO MEET WITH NO

RESPONSE FROM HIS FELLOW SADC HEADS OF STATE. THE SAG, SAID

KUDJOE, WOULD HAVE LIKED TO HAVE SEEN THE NAMING OF THE NEXT

CHAIR IN ORDER TO “CLOSE THE CHAPTER” ON ORGAN REFORM.

BRAMDEO INDICATED THAT THE SAG WOULD HAVE PREFERRED THIS AS

ADDED ASSURANCE THAT THE CHAIRMANSHIP WOULD INDEED ROTATE IN

AUGUST. NEVERTHELESS, SOUTH AFRICA FIRMLY SUPPORTS SADC

SUMMIT’S OVERALL DECISION ON ORGAN REFORM, CONCLUDED KUDJOE.

 

4. (C) ACCORDING TO KUDJOE, THE ORGAN’S CHAIR WOULD PROVIDE

ITS OWN SECRETARIAT WHICH WOULD BE HOUSED WITH THE SADC

SECRETARIAT IN GABORONE.

 

SUPPORT FOR RAMSAMY AS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

——————————————

 

5. (C) SOUTH AFRICA FULLY SUPPORTS FORMER ACTING EXECUTIVE

SECRETARY RAMSAMY AS THE NEW SADC EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, SAID

BRAMDEO. GOING TO SOME PAINS TO DESCRIBE RAMSAMY’S

APPOINTMENT PROCESS, NAMIBIAN FIRST SECRETARY SACKY SHIVUTE

TOLD POLOFF MARCH 14 THAT AFTER A “LONG AND INTENSIVE”

INTERVIEW PROCESS, THE SADC TROIKA PLUS SOUTH AFRICA AND

ZIMBABWE CHOSE RAMSAMY AS THE “BEST” CANDIDATE FOR EXECUTIVE

SECRETARY. SHIVUTE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT ANGOLA MOUNTED A

SERIOUS LOBBYING CAMPAIGN ON BEHALF OF ITS CANDIDATE, BUT

THAT RAMSAMY WAS JUDGED THE BETTER CANDIDATE. RATHER

UNCHARITABLY, SHIVUTE ADDED ON AN ASIDE THAT MUCH OF

RAMSAMY’S SUCCESS AS ACTING EXECUTIVE SECRETARY WAS PROBABLY

DUE TO HIS “PROFESSIONAL” SUPPORT STAFF.

 

6. (C) ACCORDING TO BRAMDEO, THE SADC SUMMIT REALIZES THAT

BOTH SADC’S EXECUTIVE SECRETARY AND SECRETARIAT NEEDED TO BE

STRENGTHENED TO OVERSEE THE REFORM IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS.

SADC, SAID BRAMDEO, NEEDED TO BETTER DEFINE THE MANDATE OF

BOTH THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY AND THE SECRETARIAT. THE SADC

TREATY NEEDED TO BE AMENDED, ADDED KUDJOE, TO RESTRUCTURE THE

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY APPOINTMENT PROCESS FROM AN ELECTION

FORMAT TO ONE BASED ON “JOB INTERVIEWS.”

 

7. (C) IN RESPONSE TO A QUESTION FROM AN EU DIPLOMAT,

BRAMDEO EXPLAINED THAT SADC DECIDED NOT TO UPGRADE THE

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY POSITION TO A SECRETARY GENERAL POSITION

BECAUSE TO DO SO WOULD ENTAIL REDEFINING HIS RELATIONSHIP

VIS-A-VIS OTHER ORGANIZATIONS, FOR EXAMPLE, THE OAU’S

SECRETARY GENERAL. FURTHER, SAID BRAMDEO, WITH REGARD TO

FUTURE APPOINTMENTS, SADC IS ANTICIPATING INTEREST FROM

APPLICANTS SUCH AS REGIONAL MINISTERS OR CEO’S OF LARGE

COMPANIES. IF THE POSITION WERE UPGRADED TO THE SECRETARY

GENERAL LEVEL, APPROPRIATE APPLICANTS WOULD HAVE TO BE AT THE

HEADS OF STATE LEVEL.

 

SECTOR COORDINATING UNIT REFORM

——————————-

 

8. (C) THE SAG OFFICIALS DESCRIBED IN DETAIL THE APPROVED

PROPOSAL FOR CONSOLIDATING THE SECTOR COORDINATING UNITS

(SCUS) INTO FOUR DIRECTORATES: TRADE, INDUSTRY, FINANCE, AND

INVESTMENT; FOOD, AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES;

INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES; AND SOCIAL AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

AND SPECIAL PROGRAMS (REFTEL). ACCORDING TO KUDJOE,

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE REFORM PROCESS WILL BEGIN IMMEDIATELY

AND THE TRADE DIRECTORATE SHOULD BE OPERATIONAL BY AUGUST

2001. ALL FOUR DIRECTORATES WILL BE BASED IN GABORONE.

 

9. (C) COST IMPLICATIONS FOR THE REFORMED SADC REMAIN

SKETCHY, SAID KUDJOE. SHE REVIEWED THE POSSIBLE FORMULAS:

ASSESSMENT RATES BASED ON GDP, POPULATION SIZE, A COMBINATION

OF THE TWO, OR RETAINING THE CURRENT STRUCTURE. KUDJOE

OPINED THAT PLACING TOO MUCH WEIGHT ON MEMBER STATES’

POPULATION COULD PREJUDICE THE DROC AND TANZANIA, TWO OF THE

REGION’S MOST POPULATED STATES ASIDE FROM SOUTH AFRICA.

 

10. (C) ALSO UNCLEAR, CONTINUED BRAMDEO, IS THE REFORMED

SADC STAFFING PATTERNS. SOME SCUS WITH LARGE STAFFS WOULD

PROBABLY END UP RETRENCHING NUMEROUS OFFICIALS WHILE OTHERS

MIGHT RETAIN MORE. FOR EXAMPLE, SOUTH AFRICA CURRENTLY PLANS

TO SEND ABOUT TWO OF ITS EIGHT-PERSON FINANCE SCU TO

GABORONE. KUDJOE NOTED THAT THE OVERALL SIZE OF THE

SECRETARIAT’S GABORONE STAFF WOULD INCREASE, WITH AN

ENVISIONED MINIMUM OF 129.

 

11. (C) SOUTH AFRICA WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE INITIAL

IMPLEMENTATION PERIOD OF TWO YEARS ACCELERATED, WITH THE

PHASING OUT OF THE SCUS TAKING PLACE IN LESS TIME THAN THIS.

THE MORE RAPIDLY THE UNITS CAN BE DISMANTLED, THE SOONER THE

FOUR NEW DIRECTORATES CAN BE ESTABLISHED, STRESSED KUDJOE.

 

12. (C) AN INTEGRATED COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS (SEPARATE FROM

THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS) WILL OVERSEE THE DIRECTORATES’

PROGRAMS AND WILL ASSIST THE SCUS IN DISMANTLING AND

TRANSFERRING TO GABORONE. BY THE END OF DECEMBER, SAID

BRAMDEO, THIS COMMITTEE SHOULD HAVE ORGANIZED A REGIONAL

INDICATIVE DEVELOPMENT PLAN.

 

TREATY AMENDMENT

—————-

 

13. (C) KUDJOE MAINTAINED THAT SADC WOULD EMBARK ON THE

SADC TREATY AMENDMENT PROCESS IMMEDIATELY WITH THE TARGET OF

PRESENTING THE AMENDMENT PROPOSALS TO THE BLANTYRE SUMMIT IN

AUGUST 2001 FOR APPROVAL.

 

COUNCIL OF MINISTERS

——————–

 

14. (C) THE SADC SUMMIT AGREED THAT THE COUNCIL OF

MINISTERS SHOULD MEET FOUR TIMES A YEAR INSTEAD OF THE

CURRENT TWICE A YEAR PROGRAM.

 

DROC

—-

 

15. (C) KUDJOE COMMENTED THAT DROC PRESIDENT JOSEPH KABILA

SPOKE “WELL” AT WINDHOEK. MAURITIUS, AS A CURRENT UN

SECURITY COUNCIL MEMBER, OFFERED TO HOST THE DROC’S NATIONAL

DIALOGUE.

 

COMESA

——

 

16. (C) SADC SUMMIT DECIDED NOT TO PURSUE INCREASED TIES

WITH COMESA AT THIS TIME, REPORTED KUDJOE, BUT SUPPORTED

“COLLABORATING” WITH COMESA ON SELECT ISSUES.

 

ZIMBABWE

——–

 

17. (C) ACCORDING TO KUDJOE, ZIMBABWE “SIMPLY DID NOT COME

UP” AT WINDHOEK. SHE ADDED THAT IT WAS UNFAIR TO BE ASKED

(AS ONE EU DIPLOMAT DID) WHY SOUTH AFRICA DID NOT RAISE THIS

SUBJECT AT THE SUMMIT. “WHY NOT ASK MALAWI,” DIRECTED

KUDJOE. SHE CONCLUDED BY STATING THAT THE SUMMIT WAS NOT THE

PROPER FORA FOR DISCUSSING EVENTS IN ZIMBABWE.

 

COMMENT

——-

 

18. (C) AFTER EXPENDING COUNTLESS MAN-HOURS TO THE ORGAN

REVIEW PROCESS, SOUTH AFRICA CAN BARELY WAIT FOR THE REFORM

TO BE COMPLETED ONCE AND FOR ALL. THE SAG WILL NOT REST EASY

UNTIL A NEW ORGAN CHAIR IS FINALLY NAMED. END COMMENT.

 

 

LEWIS

 

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