in Stories

Mugabe wanted to retire before 2009

President Robert Mugabe wanted to retire as head of state before 2009 but he said he would remain in politics.

He said this in an interview with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation on his 80th birthday.

He was asked: Your Excellency, looking into the future, looking in the crystal ball where do we find Robert Mugabe in five years?

Mugabe: In five years, here, still boxing. Writing quite a lot, reading quite a lot and still in politics. I won’t leave politics but I would have retired obviously.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 04HARARE351, MUGABE CLOSES THE DOORS AND WINDOWS TO DIALOGUE

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

04HARARE351

2004-02-27 04:57

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000351

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PREL ZI

SUBJECT: MUGABE CLOSES THE DOORS AND WINDOWS TO DIALOGUE

AND BASHES SOME AFRICAN LEADERS

 

REF: FBIS AFP20040226000116

 

1. (SBU) In a long, rambling birthday interview with a

slavish Zimbabwe Broadcast Corporation Newsnet interviewer,

President Mugabe all but ruled out dialogue with the MDC and

clumsily sought to divide the MDC from its President, Morgan

Tsvangirai. Mugabe criticized many African leaders, including

 

SIPDIS

Nigeria, as being dictated to by the West for not supporting

Zimbabwe at the Abuja CHOGM meeting. Mugabe blasted the IMF,

even as his Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono is seeking to

re-establish relations with both the World Bank and the Fund.

Then in a bizarre note, Mugabe claimed that a cook had

attempted to kill him by putting glass in his food, although

this was more likely due to witchcraft than to “Western

imperialism.” Mugabe said he expected to be retired in five

years; i.e. by 2009, the year after expiration of his current

presidential term. Comment: Mugabe was alternately quite

lucid and rambling. His comments about no dialogue with the

MDC devil are a flat repudiation of what he said publicly in

President Mbeki’s presence in December. And Mugabe’s

undercutting of the efforts of his Reserve Bank and insulting

of other African leaders are vintage Mugabe — he alone rules

and says what he feels like. End Summary

 

2. (U) Text excerpts follow (Paragraph leads added):

 

MDC IS THE DEVIL, ESPECIALLY TSVANGIRAI, AND WE WON’T SUP OR

DIALOGUE WITH THE DEVIL

 

 

NEWSNET: The majority of people in the opposition are

benefciaries of your successful policies in education and

indigenization of the economy. They go about campaigning for

sanctions against you and your Government and join forces

with Western imperial forces to get you out of power and

undermine efforts to improve the lives of Zimbabweans as well

as defend the gains of independence. Do you, both as a

teacher and President, feel disappointed? Does this not make

you feel like giving up?

 

PRESIDENT: No, I don’t feel like giving up, to give up is to

surrender and I don’t have that habit. But if they are going

to now seek the hand of our enemy to destroy our economy,

then we begin to wonder whether they are for the people or

against the people.

 

If you want the economy to be ruined then what you are

seeking is that your people must suffer, you want your people

to suffer. Is that the policy of the MDC? If it is the

policy of the MDC then it stands to be rejected by the people

and the people must condemn them for it.

 

And we have said if that is their stance, their policy, then

negotiations which they want can’t take place. We can’t

discuss with people whose ideas are against our society. We

can’t discuss with allies of the Western countries that would

want to destroy our economy. What will we be doing? Our

people will say we are being foolish, the devil is the devil.

There can never be an occasion which you can sup with him.

So, e-eh, we would rather not have the devil at all. What I

might say is that there are some good people in the MDC, some

well disposed persons who look at things differently from how

Tsvangirai looks at them. I didn’t know, it’s unfortunate

 

SIPDIS

that the depth of understanding and appreciation of some of

the members of the MDC is very shallow.

 

Those of them with deeper depth are the ones who would want

discussion and we encourage those to discuss with our own

people, progressive ideas. But then when we discuss and

arrive at certain conclusions, those conclusions will not be

acceptable to people with shallow ideas and I don’t know how

it’s going to happen because those that have been discussing

with our own people have found that some of their own ideas

are not acceptable to their seniors and this is the

difficulty, but there is expectation in Europe that we

discuss with the MDC and surrender to the MDC.

 

Of course, we will not do that. We surrender to our people,

our people have the authority to remove us. They are the

only ones who we think are superior to our Government. No

one else not even Mr. Blair, not even Mr. Bush. We yield to

our own people and to no one else.

 

NEWSNET: Is there any basis for dialogue and understanding

between Zanu-PF and the MDC the same way as was the case

between Zanu-PF and PF-Zapu in the 1980s?

 

PRESIDENT: No, that kind of basis, of course, it does not..

 

This is a creature born yes within us but out of the British

using their friends so out of their desire by certain

European countries to have an opposition here which could

remove the revolutionary Government of the country and

replace it naturally with one of their own making. So whilst

they are our people, the members of the MDC, really the party

was born out of that desire abroad. So we regard it as a

party that is really not home-grown. It’s grown elsewhere in

Europe and transplanted here and so there it is.

 

But we are not saying we can’t discuss with it because the

members of the party are our own children, our own people and

if they have certain ideas, well let us get their ideas. All

we have said is that that umbilical cord you see, must be

severed. If you sever it, then try to be part of us. Try to

think as Zimbabweans, as Africans, then naturally you have

your room. We accord you that facility of negotiating with

us.

 

But as long as they are dictated to you from abroad then we

find it extremely difficult to negotiate with them but that

having been said, we stand ready to hear what news they have,

e-eh, Welshman Ncube and one or two others who are

negotiating with Chinamasa, Goche on our side.

 

But these negotiations or shall I say the conclusions they

reached had not been taken to the party yet. They still

remained on their own desk and we say conclude them and then

we will look at them.

 

MANY AFRICAN LEADERS ARE BEING DICTATED TO BY THE WEST,

INCLUDING NIGERIA

 

NEWSNET: You are among the heroes of the fight against

colonialism on the continent that managed to rid Africa of

colonialism. Now it seems the continent is under sustained

attack, for some under second colonial attack. Is the

continent ready for this kind of war? Does it have new

Nkrumahs, Nyereres and Samora Machels?

 

PRESIDENT: No, it’s a pity that we don’t have those

anymore. E-eh, we have, yes, some militant leaders but a

few, the majority of them have gone the Western way. Western

philosophy is what is guiding them, they are oriented towards

the West, not oriented towards Africa, not nationalistic in

the true sense of the word. They are listening to the enemy,

they are being dictated by the enemy and it’s a pity that the

old type of leadership has vanished from the sea.

 

NEWSNET: Just what happened in Abuja and did your colleagues

by way of African and other Third World presidents and prime

ministers keep you informed of the goings on or were you kept

guessing like a prisoner in a cell? Would you regard Abuja

as a failure of the Third World solidarity or a case of

unanimous condemnation of bad government by developed and

developed countries?

 

PRESIDENT: No, the SADC leaders were briefing us and they

took a stance as you are aware of opposing the decision to

isolate Zimbabwe in Abuja and we were happy about their

stance and they will remain supporting Zimbabwe. The others

well, well, well we say sorry, sorry, sorry to Nigeria for

having adopted that stand but they are brothers we can’t be

seen to be condemning them.

 

NEWSNET: But if you are looking at the stance that was taken

by others. Would you say it was a matter of being convinced

by the West or basically they were condemning bad governance

in Zimbabwe?

 

PRESIDENT: Which others?

 

NEWSNET: Those who decided to side with the West who did not

come to support Zimbabwe.

 

PRESIDENT: Yes, two or three African countries in the

Commonwealth. Ya-ah there are yes people those who salute

the West. That’s it and it’s just again leadership which has

no confidence in itself.

 

ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT — COOKS AND WITCHCRAFT OR WATCH YOUR

PORRIDGE

 

PRESIDENT: It wasn’t a glass. It was some porridge. It

wasn’t that clear I think it might have been some glass, bits

of broken glass that found themselves included in the mealie

meal but it happened I don’t want to say it was deliberate

because I wouldn’t quite agree that it was so deliberate.

Yes, there were these bits of glass we discovered but that

was it. I don’t think it would have anything to do with

western imperialism. Western imperialism can be much more

thorough than that. It was just some internal thing.

 

Perhaps the cook was not happy … . So we just explained it

in that the ambiguous way, one that it might have been

accidental, two that it was not accidental and deliberate and

the cook might have been spoken to by some witch ….

 

MUGABE TO RETIRE, BUT ONLY IN FIVE YEARS

 

NEWSNET: Your Excellency, looking into the future, looking

in the crystal ball where do we find Robert Mugabe in five

years?

 

PRESIDENT: In five years, here, still boxing. Writing quite

a lot, reading quite a lot and still in politics. I won’t

leave politics but I would have retired obviously.

 

 

 

SULLIVAN

(11 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