in Stories

Swazi deputy PM said Mugabe was “losing it”

Swaziland’s deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku told United States ambassador Earl Irving that although President Robert Mugabe could be lucid at times, he was “losing it”.

He said he was shocked to see how arrogantly Mugabe had abruptly cut off Zambian President Rupiah Banda at a meeting in Uganda.

Mugabe had just told Banda that “the problem with Tsvangirai is that he doesn’t know he can’t get everything he wants when he wants it”.

When Banda tried to tell Mugabe to step back from the matter and be more flexible in handling the government of national unity, Mugabe reportedly got his back up and made it clear that that conversation was over.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09MBABANE307, SWAZI DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER PESSIMISTIC ON CHANCES

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

09MBABANE307

2009-11-09 14:47

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Mbabane

VZCZCXRO3395

RR RUEHJO

DE RUEHMB #0307 3131447

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 091447Z NOV 09

FM AMEMBASSY MBABANE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3774

INFO RUEHOR/AMEMBASSY GABORONE 0006

RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE 0151

RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 0017

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0050

RUEHLS/AMEMBASSY LUSAKA 0421

RUEHTO/AMEMBASSY MAPUTO 1190

RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 2756

RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 0595

RUEHSAD/AMCONSUL DURBAN 0436

RUEHJO/AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG 0423

C O N F I D E N T I A L MBABANE 000307

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/09/2014

TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR WZ ZI BC

SUBJECT: SWAZI DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER PESSIMISTIC ON CHANCES

FOR SUCCESS OF ZIMBABWE’S UNITY GOVERNMENT

 

Classified By: Ambassador Earl M. Irving

for reasons. 1.4 (b) and (d).

 

1. (C ) I spent an hour and a half with Swazi Deputy Prime

Minister Themba N. Masuku on November 2. An appointed

Senator, Masuku joined the present government in his current

capacity in August 2008, when he was recalled from his

position as an international civil servant in the U.S. He

told me that his principal responsibility was for the social

welfare of Swaziland, in particular the well-being of

children, the elderly, minorities (whites, people of mixed

race and the disabled) and veterans, and to manage the day to

day business of cabinet. I asked him whether he had any

substantive responsibility for foreign affairs and he

responded only insofar as he oversaw the work of cabinet. I

asked if he had been briefed on the Foreign Minister Lutfo

Dlamini,s trip to Zimbabwe on October 30 and he answered in

the negative. He noted that on October 19 he had been in

Uganda representing King Mswati III at the African summit on

refugees, and had sat next to Zambian President Rupiah Banda,

who was seated next to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe at

dinner. Mugabe explained to Banda that “the problem with

Tsvangirai is that he doesn’t know he can’t get everything he

wants when he wants it.” Banda tried to tell Mugabe to step

back from the matter and be more flexible in handling the

government of national unity, but the Zimbabwean got his back

up and made it clear that that conversation was over. Masuku

was shocked to see how arrogantly Mugabe had abruptly cut off

a fellow head of state. “Even though (Mugabe) can be quite

lucid at times, I think he’s losing it,” the Swazi Deputy

Prime Minister observed. Masuku continued that the

Zimbabwean government of national unity was destined to fail

because it consisted of two political parties with clearly

different and irreconcilable agendas, and questioned whether

the tripartite alliance in South Africa might not be headed

for a similar fate. He cautioned that those were his own

views and not those of his government.

 

2. (C) Masuku also had some brick bats for Botswana’s

President Ian Khama. He noted that the president was a

military man through and through and had packed his cabinet

with fellow military officers. “According to information

I’ve received, it’s getting more difficult to be in

Botswana,” he concluded.

 

3. (C) Comment and Bio: Themba Masuku was born on July 7,

1950, in Hlathikhulu, Swaziland. In 1998 Masuku joined the

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as Director of the

FAO Liaison Office in Geneva, a position he held until 2007.

In 2008 he was transferred to New York. Between 1991 and

1996 he served as a member of parliament and minister in

several cabinet portfolios; first as Minister of Agriculture

and Cooperatives (91-93) and Minister for Economic Planning

and Development (93-96). In 1996 King Mswati III appointed

Masuku Minister of Finance, from which portfolio he resigned

in 1998 to take up his duties at the FAO. Masuku holds a

Master of Science in Agriculture and Mechanization, a degree

he earned from the University of Missouri as a USAID

scholarship recipient in 1983. In 1989 he graduated from the

University of South Africa with a diploma in Industrial

Relations. Masuku is a technocrat and rarely ventures a

political opinion in public, although he enjoys the

confidence of the king. His views on Zimbabwe square with

those we have heard of others in government who are close to

the subject. His comment on the state of Botswana was news

to me, however. End Comment and Bio.

IRVING

 

(8 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