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Mugabe said McGee had become the right hand man of the MDC

President Robert Mugabe told incoming United States ambassador Charles Ray that his predecessor James McGee, and the United States government itself, had sought regime change in Zimbabwe and McGee had become the right hand man of the opposition.

Ray told Mugabe that he sought cooperation and not confrontation and was committed to helping Zimbabwe regain its status as the Jewel of Africa.

He was going to listen and not lecture but to move forward, it was necessary for everyone to play by the rules.

Ray said that the future of Zimbabwe was up to the Zimbabwean people.

Mugabe said that he would not visit “the sins” of the Ray’s predecessors on him but hoped that Ray was extending an olive branch.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09HARARE955, AMBASSADOR PRESENTS CREDENTIALS TO MUGABE

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

09HARARE955

2009-12-09 13:04

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO1356

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0955 3431304

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 091304Z DEC 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5202

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 3201

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 3310

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1737

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2571

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2940

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 3358

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5806

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000955

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B.WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

NSC FOR M. GAVIN

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR J. HARMON AND L. DOBBINS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/09/2019

TAGS: PREL PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR PRESENTS CREDENTIALS TO MUGABE

 

Classified By: Ambassador Charles A. Ray for reasons 1.4 (b) & (d).

 

1. (SBU) Ambassador Ray presented his credentials to

President Robert Mugabe today. The Ambassador was the fourth

of four ambassadors to do so (after Cuba, Sudan, and Ghana)

and we were told there would be a 10-15 minute sit down after

the presentation of credentials and photos. Instead, Mugabe,

who was accompanied by Foreign Minister Mumbengegwi and

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Bimha,

engaged the Ambassador in a 45-minute discussion (mostly

monologue) at which tea and snacks were served.

 

2. (SBU) As customary, Mugabe immediately launched into his

“history lesson,” beginning with the revolutionary struggle

for one man, one vote, continuing to the Lancaster House

agreement, proceeding to the betrayal of the British in

failing to fund land reform compensation, and ending with

sanctions. He blamed British policy on land reform on

British desires to keep their farmers on the land; British

refusal to support land reform forced Zimbabwe to proceed

with land reform on its own, which then resulted in targeted

sanctions. President George W. Bush, according to Mugabe,

then imposed even harsher sanctions (he mischaracterized

ZDERA as preventing U.S. companies from doing business in

Zimbabwe) than Britain to reward Prime Minister Tony Blair

for supporting him on Iraq.

 

3. (SBU) Mugabe averred that Zimbabwe was democratic. Like

anywhere, there may have been incidents of police misconduct,

but there was no policy that resulted in human rights abuses.

He added that, despite the (necessary) land reform program,

not all land had been seized. Commercial tea and sugar

estates still existed, as well as wild life conservancies.

No business investments had been indigenized or nationalized.

 

4. (SBU) During a pause in the monologue, Ambassador Ray

broke in. He noted the spirit of friendship which had been

extended to him by Zimbabweans (to which Mugabe quipped that

Zimbabweans remained friendly despite the imposition of

sanctions). The Ambassador said he sought cooperation rather

than confrontation and that he was committed to helping

Zimbabwe regain its status as the “jewel of Africa.” He

wished to listen, not lecture. But to move forward, it was

necessary for everyone to play by the rules. The Ambassador

concluded that the future of Zimbabwe was up to the

Zimbabwean people.

 

5. (SBU) Mugabe responded that he would not visit “the sins”

of the Ambassador’s predecessors on the Ambassador. He hoped

the Ambassador was extending an olive branch; he expected

better relations with the U.S. Without referring to him by

name, he accused Ambassador McGee, the previous U.S.

ambassador, and the U.S. government, of having sought regime

change; and charged that McGee had supported the opposition

and become the right-hand man of the opposition.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

6. (C) Mugabe appears unchanged from several conversations

we have had with him over the last couple of years. He is

fixated on land reform and sanctions, and is almost

trance-like (monologue, soft voice) in discussing these

Qtrance-like (monologue, soft voice) in discussing these

subjects. But he is generally alert and can keep up with a

conversation. Physically, Mugabe is frail He appears

uncomfortable when seated — he slouches and frequently turns

his body as if to find a better position, and then sits

straight up and speaks in a louder voice for a few seconds

before lapsing back into the barely audible soft voice. END

COMMENT.

 

RAY

 

(11 VIEWS)

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