in Stories

Mugabe said Frelimo’s victory was his too

President Robert Mugabe told the press at the formal inauguration of Mozambican President Armando Guebuza that a Frelimo victory was his too.

Mugabe was one of the heads of state invited to the inauguration together with other leaders from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Namibia, Zambia, and South Africa.

According to the United States embassy in Maputo, the four-hour inauguration included a series of cultural interludes.

During one session, a Mozambican choir belted out the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah, “…and He shall reign forever and ever,” leaving many diplomats wondering exactly who the singers were referring to.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 10MAPUTO82, GUEBUZA INAUGURATION FLAUNTS EXCESS, YET REVEALS

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

10MAPUTO82

2010-01-26 14:08

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Maputo

VZCZCXRO8086

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHTO #0082/01 0261408

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 261408Z JAN 10

FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1216

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0603

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MAPUTO 000082

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/28/2019

TAGS: PREL PGOV KDEM MZ

SUBJECT: GUEBUZA INAUGURATION FLAUNTS EXCESS, YET REVEALS

PARTY WORRIES WITH URBAN YOUTH

 

Classified By: A/DCM Matthew Roth for reasons 1.4 (b+d)

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: Television cameras captured scenes of

several thousand revelers at Frelimo headquarters celebrating

the election results in December, and independent media

remarked on the excesses and atmosphere of indulgence. The

party continued during the Jan 12 parliamentary inauguration,

presided over by Guebuza who replaced long-standing Speaker

Eduardo Mulembwe with senior Frelimo politico and Guebuza

loyalist Veronica Macamo. At the Presidential Inauguration

on January 14, Frelimo’s festivities ramped up, with

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, among several African

heads of state in attendance, commenting that a “Frelimo

victory is my victory too.” Guebuza’s inauguration speech

called for inclusivity and consolidation of domestic

politics. He touched on new priorities for his

administration, including youth, urban poverty, generational

change, and a need for Mozambique to strengthen bilateral and

multilateral international cooperation. In a moment of

inaugural levity, while Guebuza was seated on a large ornate

throne with a traditional ‘praise singer’ at his side, a

Mozambican choir belted out the Hallelujah Chorus from

Handel’s Messiah, “…and He shall reign forever and ever,”

leaving many diplomats wondering exactly who the singers were

referring to. Urban youth, increasingly disenchanted with

both an uncharismatic Guebuza and an aging Frelimo party,

received special attention in the President’s inaugural

speech as he committed to addressing the problems of the

urban poor.

END SUMMARY.

 

——————————–

FRELIMO PARTY CELEBRATION EXCESS

——————————–

 

2. (C) In late December, television cameras captured images

of 3,000 revelers feting the formal announcement of elections

results at the richly bedecked Frelimo party headquarters on

the outskirts of Maputo. Independent media remarked on the

excesses, including the 40 head of cattle slaughtered, vast

quantities of beer consumed, and an atmosphere of indulgence

in an incredibly poor country. Guebuza gave a televised

victory speech similar in style to the U.S. tradition for the

first time. Guebuza noted in his remarks that election

results showed he was President of all Mozambicans because

the number of votes he received exceeded the total number of

Frelimo party members, claiming this provided true legitimacy

to his administration.

 

—————————————-

GUEBUZA FLAUNTS AT PARLIAMENTARY OPENING

—————————————-

 

3. (C) At the January 12 inauguration of a new parliamentary

session, President-elect Guebuza arrived at the National

Assembly with an extensive motorcade of late-model luxury

sedans. Previous Assembly President and Frelimo party

stalwart Eduardo Mulembwe (who had held the position for 15

years, had been considered a possible candidate for president

in 2014 and has his own independent power base) was not

re-nominated for the position. In his place, former Vice

President of the AR (and Guebuza loyalist) Veronica Macamo

was chosen at a recent Frelimo Political Commission meeting,

and hence ran uncontested for the position. Macamo, a law

professor, is also a member of the elite Frelimo Central

Committee and Political Commission.

 

——————————————— ——

MUGABE AT INAUGURATION: FRELIMO VICTORY IS MINE TOO

——————————————— ——

 

4. (C) On January 14, Guebuza held his formal presidential

inauguration with Heads of State from the Democratic Republic

of Congo, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Namibia, Zambia, and South

Africa. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe told the press

before the ceremony that a “Frelimo victory is my victory

too.” Former presidents of Zambia, Botswana, and South

Africa were also present. India, China, and Brazil sent

ministerial-level delegations, while most other countries

sent lower-level delegations or were represented by

in-country diplomats.

 

————————————-

INAUGURATION SPEECH: A FOCUS ON YOUTH

————————————-

 

5. (C) Speaking for nearly an hour, Guebuza thanked the

Mozambican people for participating in the electoral process

 

MAPUTO 00000082 002 OF 002

 

 

in an orderly and peaceful manner, and, subtly addressing USG

expressions of concern about opposition party exclusion,

stressed that the process was “inclusive.” Guebuza also

called on opposition parties to work with the ruling part in

what he termed a new “consolidation of democracy.” Turning

to foreign affairs, Guebuza said his administration would

strengthen international cooperation, both bilateral and

multilateral, mentioning SADC, the AU, and the EU. Guebuza

then spoke about the need to combat urban poverty as well as

the issue of generational change in Mozambique, calling on

the younger generations to build on the experiences of those

who fought for independence and in Mozambique’s protracted

civil war.

 

——————————————— ———-

AND THE CHORUS SANG, “HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER”

——————————————— ———-

 

6. (C) Interestingly, the inauguration attracted only about

5,000 Mozambican onlookers despite it being a national

holiday and with free transportation available to the

ceremony. Meanwhile, television coverage showed Mozambicans

enjoying Maputo’s beaches in large numbers, suggesting a

generalized disinterest in the proceedings. The four-hour

event included a series of cultural interludes that included

more than one moment of levity. During one session, for

example, while Guebuza was seated on a large ornate throne

with a traditional ‘praise singer’ at his side, a Mozambican

choir belted out the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah,

“…and He shall reign forever and ever,” leaving many

diplomats wondering exactly who the singers were referring to.

 

——————————–

COMMENT: LESS THAN INSPIRATIONAL

——————————–

 

7. (C) The Presidential Inauguration was a humdrum event

which inspired few. Many diplomats commented on the lack of

public enthusiasm for the event, noting the low turnout and

how government-provided free transportation to the event went

unutilized. By focusing on youth in his inauguration speech,

Guebuza may be attempting to address what many analysts

perceive as one of the significant threats to Frelimo and its

continued political dominance in Mozambique. Urban youth are

increasingly disenchanted with both an uncharismatic Guebuza

and an aging Frelimo party. Guebuza had a relatively poor

showing in urban election returns, particularly in Maputo

city, where despite an overwhelming number of Frelimo

supporters holding down the majority of government jobs in

the capital, Guebuza nearly lost in his home district. Even

so, Guebuza seems oblivious to the criticisms–many by those

same youth– generated by his ostentatious shows of personal

wealth and recent lavish spending for political party and

government events.

CHAPMAN

 

(4905 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