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Tsvangirai, Mugabe were focussed too much on power

Swedish diplomat Jon Ecklund told United States embassy officials in Pretoria that his government was concerned that talks between Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front leader Robert Mugabe were focussed on power rather on transformation.

He said Sweden was disappointed by the lack of any discussion during negotiations around human rights abuses and ongoing violence and this would not lead to any kind of real “transformation”.

It appeared as if everyone was focused on power -how to get it and how much- rather than justice, democracy, or institutional reform.

Ecklund said Sweden was privately urging all Southern African Development Community leaders to refuse to recognise Mugabe as legitimate president and head of government in any sort of unity government.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08PRETORIA1740, SWEDEN SHARES USG CONCERNS ON ZIMBABWE

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

08PRETORIA1740

2008-08-07 13:00

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Pretoria

VZCZCXRO5549

RR RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSA #1740 2201300

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 071300Z AUG 08

FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5335

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 5891

RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN 0059

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L PRETORIA 001740

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/07/2018

TAGS: PREL SF ZI

SUBJECT: SWEDEN SHARES USG CONCERNS ON ZIMBABWE

 

Classified By: Political Counselor Raymond L. Brown. Reasons 1.4(b) and

(d).

 

1. (C) Swedish diplomat Jon Ecklund (protect) on 6 August

shared his government’s concerns that fundamental issues will

not/not be addressed in a unity government agreement brokered

by President Mbeki between MDC Leader Morgan Tsvangirai and

President Robert Mugabe. He specifically mentioned that they

have been disappointed by the lack of any discussion during

negotiations around human rights abuses and ongoing violence,

and that its absence will not lead to any kind of real

“transformation.” In current talks, he said it appears as if

everyone is focused on power — how to get it and how much —

rather than justice, democracy, or institutional reform. As

a result, Ecklund said that Stockholm is struggling to come

up with a policy on how to reengage with Zimbabwe if an

agreement is signed, especially if Mugabe retains any

executive power with MDC’s agreement.

 

2. (C) In the meantime, Ecklund said President Mbeki asked

Stockholm to speak to Mugabe to see if they could influence

him in anyway. Ecklund refused to give details, but

mentioned that his Foreign Affairs Minister tried but that

they do not have great access or leverage over Mugabe. He

also said that they are privately urging all SADC capitals to

refuse to recognize Mugabe as legitimate president and head

of government in any sort of unity government. In addition,

Stockholm is directing all of its diplomats in SADC countries

to be more “pro-active” on Zimbabwe with their host

governments. By doing so, he said he realizes Stockholm is

jeopardizing its relationship with President Mbeki and the

ANC, but does not believe that Mbeki is aware of Stockholm’s

increased diplomatic pressure. Regardless, he said that

Stockholm will continue its pressure using human rights

issues as an anchor, adding that one of Sweden’s church

groups just informed them that 18 bodies were discovered

floating in a dam and that they fear there are many more that

they do not know about. (NOTE: Sweden’s unwavering support

of the ANC during apartheid has resulted in excellent

relationships with the Presidency, DFA, and the ANC. Ecklund

was surprised when PolOff told him that the Zimbabwe crisis

has strained our relationship with DFA and said that DFA is

always willing to see him. END NOTE)

 

3. (C) Last, Ecklund passed on a document entitled,

“Unpacking the Memorandum of Understanding Between Zanu-PF

and MDC” (sent by email to AF/S). He did not reveal the

author, but said it was done by civil society members with a

human rights focus, meaning though they are not officially

MDC, they are probably more likely to agree with them given

the current conditions in Zimbabwe. Overall, the document is

pessimistic. It notes that the three parties still seem far

apart, that the MoU does not address the current humanitarian

crisis or justice, and that the parties all commit themselves

to returning the country to “prosperity,” but not to

democratic principles or good governance. It also questions

ZANU-PF’s commitment to peace, pointing out that public

statements must be accompanied by practical steps, and that

this has not been the case thus far.

BOST

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