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Swazi Minister said employees in Tsvangirai’s office earn US$7 000 a month

Swazi Foreign Minister Lutfo Dlamini told United States embassy officials that employees from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s office and the party earned “an average of $7 000 a month”, more than ten times the amount paid to government civil servants because the West topped them up.

The embassy officials did not confirm or dispute the statement.

At the time Dlamini was one of the ministers in the Southern African Development Community Troika tasked with finding a solution to the Zimbabwe crisis.

Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change had just pulled out of the transitional government to put pressure on President Robert Mugabe to implement the outstanding issues in the Global Political Agreement.

Dlamini said the Troika had ruled out early elections and recommended that Zimbabwe wait three or so years before calling for elections as there might be untrammelled violence.

He recommended that Morgan Tsvangirai should begin to market himself quietly to the SADC heads of state, to persuade them that he was not “a radical” in the pay of the Western community, which was their perception.

He thought Tsvangirai had more in common with them than Mugabe, whose rhetoric of colonialism had little resonance with the new generation of African leaders.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09MBABANE309, SWAZI FOREIGN MINISTER SUGGESTS SOUTH AFRICAN

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

09MBABANE309

2009-11-12 08:07

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Mbabane

VZCZCXRO5696

PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHMB #0309/01 3160807

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 120807Z NOV 09

FM AMEMBASSY MBABANE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3777

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MBABANE 000309

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/12/2014

TAGS: PREL WZ ZI SF SADC

SUBJECT: SWAZI FOREIGN MINISTER SUGGESTS SOUTH AFRICAN

INTERVENTION MAY LEAD TO MOVEMENT IN ZIMBABWE UNITY

GOVERNMENT IMPASSE

 

Classified By: Ambassador Earl M. Irving

for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: On November 11, Swaziland’s Minister of

Foreign Affairs and Co-operation, Lutfo E. Dlamini, told

Ambassador that he recommended a summit on Zimbabwe to King

Mswati III by the SADC Organ on Politics, Defense and

Security. He and his troika counterparts judged that only at

that level could Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai be

persuaded to resume their agreement to work together.

Dlamini described Mugabe as acting both bored and arrogant

during the November 5 Maputo meeting on reconciliation. It

was only when South African President Jacob Zuma spoke and

gave Mugabe a deadline for action that the Zimbabwean

president “sat up and paid attention.” According to Dlamini,

Zuma made it plain that both Mugabe and Tsvangirai had

fifteen days to re-engage in the coalition government, or he

would send a mediator to Harare to bring the parties

together. The troika ruled out an immediate election in

Zimbabwe, recommending rather that the Zimbabwean parties

wait three or so years, or the alternative would be

untrammeled violence. Dlamini ruled out the possibility of

Mugabe running in the next election because he is physically

frail, and recommended that Tsvangirai begin to market

himself quietly to the SADC heads of state, to persuade them

that he is not “a radical” in the pay of the Western

community. Though vague about details, the Swazi foreign

minister suggested that the SADC troika would like to consult

the European Union and America on the Zimbabwe question. The

Ambassador suggested that the SADC troika might think about

ways to bring about an orderly transfer to a post-Mugabe era

in Zimbabwe, including the possibility of some sort of

amnesty process for security force heads. Dlamini took note

of the idea, asserting that Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime

Minister Arthur Mutambara both had rejected a Truth and

Reconciliation Commission like that in South Africa.

Although convinced of the utility of the SADC mechanism to

influence events in Zimbabwe, he pooh-poohed Joseph Kabila as

“the wrong man” to lead the troika, observing that “he can’t

run his own country.” END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) Swaziland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and

Co-operation, Lutfo E. Dlamini, told Ambassador on November

11 that he recommended a summit on Zimbabwe to King Mswati

III by the SADC Organ on Politics, Defense and Security. His

recommendation was based on a visit to Zimbabwe in late

October. He and his troika counterparts judged that only at

that level could the two key participants in Zimbabwe’s

government of national unity, Robert Mugabe and Morgan

Tsvangirai, “who hate each other,” be persuaded to resume

their agreement to work together. Dlamini described Mugabe

as acting both bored and arrogant upon arriving in Maputo on

November 5, while the troika heads of state made their pleas

for reconciliation. It was only when South African President

Jacob Zuma, “who invited himself to the Summit,” spoke that

Mugabe “sat up and paid attention.” According to Dlamini,

Zuma made it plain that both Mugabe and Tsvangirai had

fifteen days to re-engage in the coalition government, or he

would send a mediator to Harare to bring the parties

together. Dlamini made a distinction between Thabo Mbeki,

whom SADC hired to draw up a plan for Zimbabwe, and Zuma, who

was elected partially on his promise to sort things out in

Zimbabwe, but was not formally a part of the SADC mediation

effort. Dlamini conceded that the South African president’s

vigorous intervention appeared to yield results.

 

3. (C) Dlamini said that in spite of the fact that the

Zimbabwean national unity government did not enjoy

legitimacy, it was what SADC had to work with. The troika

ruled out an immediate election in Zimbabwe, recommending

rather that the Zimbabwean parties wait three or so years

before calling them, or the alternative would be untrammeled

violence. He ruled out the possibility of Mugabe running in

that election because he is frail and almost needs a walking

stick to walk.   Dlamini stated that employees of

Tsvangirai’s office and party earn “an average of USD 7,000 a

month,” more than ten times the amount paid to Zimbabwean

government civil servants, because the West “tops them up.”

He recommended that Morgan Tsvangirai begin to market himself

quietly to the SADC heads of state, to persuade them that he

is not “a radical” in the pay of the Western community, which

is their current perception. He thought Tsvangirai had more

in common with them than Mugabe, whose rhetoric of

colonialism had little resonance with the new generation of

African leaders.

 

4. (C) Though vague about details, the Swazi foreign

minister suggested that the SADC troika would like to consult

the European Union and America on the Zimbabwe question. He

attributed the violence in the country as being perpetrated

by a “third force,” possibly within the security forces.

 

MBABANE 00000309 002 OF 002

 

 

Dlamini seemed surprised to hear from Ambassador that it was

our impression that the violence was meticulously planned and

executed by ZANU-PF with government security force

facilitation, if not participation. We further indicated our

belief that it had not been beneath the ZANU-PF government’s

dignity to use food as a weapon in the past. The Ambassador

suggested that the SADC troika might think about ways to

bring about an orderly transfer to a post-Mugabe era in

Zimbabwe, including the possibility of some sort of amnesty

process for security force heads. Dlamini took note of the

idea, asserting that Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister

Arthur Mutambara both had rejected a Truth and Reconciliation

Commission like that in South Africa.

 

5. (C) COMMENT: Dlamini is an active minister who is

constantly on the road, leaving his ministry demoralized and

not well briefed about his work. Whether his frequent trips

abroad have resulted in tangible benefits for the Kingdom is

unclear, though they have succeeded in keeping his profile

high within the government and in the press. His account of

his work on the SADC Organ on Politics, Defense and Security

illustrates some of the perceptions and misconceptions with

which he and, one might extrapolate, his colleagues in the

troika operate. Although convinced of the utility of the

SADC mechanism to influence events in Zimbabwe, he

pooh-poohed Joseph Kabila as “the wrong man” to lead the

troika, observing that “he can’t run his own country.” To

illustrate his point, Dlamini reported that when in Kinshasa

for a summit, King Mswati was lodged in a five-star hotel

that had no water. “The king had to wash his hands in a

bucket,” he said in disgust.

IRVING

(51 VIEWS)

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