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UK can’t find why eight parastatals were put on EU sanctions

The head of the Zimbabwe unit in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office John Dennis said research by the British government had failed to establish why eight Zimbabwean parastatals were put on sanctions in the first place.

Dennis was putting a strong defence on the lifting of sanctions on the parastatals because they were now separate from Mugabe’s power structures.

He said the de-listing would be very important, especially given that the International Monetary Fund Board might vote around the same time to restore Zimbabwe’s voting rights.

Dennis said he thought the EU statement would “recognize” the progress on the economic front and express “disappointment” on the lack of progress on the political reforms.

He said the UK would continue to push for “tough language” in the EU on Zimbabwe, while acknowledging that there are no major levers of power to induce reform.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 10LONDON360, SADC: AF DAS PAGE’S FEB 8 MEETINGS WITH SENIOR UK

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

10LONDON360

2010-02-17 12:00

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN

Embassy London

VZCZCXRO5589

PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHLO #0360/01 0481200

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 171200Z FEB 10

FM AMEMBASSY LONDON

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4981

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 LONDON 000360

 

SIPDIS

NOFORN

 

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/FO, AF/S

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/16/2020

TAGS: PGOV PREL EAID KDEM ZU SF UK

SUBJECT: SADC: AF DAS PAGE’S FEB 8 MEETINGS WITH SENIOR UK

OFFICIALS

 

Classified By: Political Counselor Robin Quinville,

reasons 1.4 (b/d).

 

1. (C) Summary. Senior UK Foreign Office (FCO), Department

for International Development (DFID), and Number 10 (No10)

Africa officials told AF DAS Page during February 8 meetings

that de-listing some entities in Zimbabwe was necessary

because of timing and in order to maintain EU consensus.

They also believed that South Africa could do more on

Zimbabwe. In advance of South African President Zuma’s March

2-3 state visit to the UK, UK officials are working on

deliverables for the visit that will focus on employment,

education, climate change, and urban re-generation; the visit

will also include a trip to the London 2012 Olympic Site and

several people-to-people meetings in urban areas. With the

Group of 19 in Mozambique’s linking of corruption and

governance issues to direct budget support, the UK has

received pressure from the Governments of Mozambique and

Portugal to continue support at current levels and has also

noticed some positive responses on governance, though they

continue to debate the issue internally. Governance trends

in Malawi, Zambia, Lesotho, and Swaziland are worrisome.

Such trendlines have caused DFID to grapple with how to

handle countries where economic progress has been good but

where democratic space has been reducing, which will be a

major focus issue for DFID in 2010. DFID will also have a

renewed focus on management of natural resources. UK Prime

Minister Gordon Brown continues to be focused on health —

especially maternal health and ending payment of user fees

for health services — and universal primary education. End

summary.

 

2. (SBU) AF DAS Susan Page held separate meetings on February

8 with FCO Southern and West Africa Department Head Janet

Douglas, FCO Zimbabwe Unit Head John Dennis, DFID Southern

and West Africa Head Beverley Warmington, and the Prime

Minister’s Special Advisor for Africa Brendan Cox.

 

Zimbabwe

——–

 

3. (C/NF) After offering his analysis of the situation on the

ground and of Global Peace Agreement (GPA) implementation,

Dennis said the UK hopes to see South African President Jacob

Zuma do more on Zimbabwe, as South Africa has a vested

interest in a long-term bilateral relationship, has felt the

impact on the region, and is currently hosting many

Zimbabweans within its borders. While agreeing that the

political reforms called for in the GPA had not been

implemented, Dennis provided a robust defense to the UK’s

decision to support within the EU the de-listing of eight

parastatals and a limited number of individuals, arguing that

the parastatals are now separate from Mugabe’s power

structures and saying that the individuals were either dead

or no longer associating with ZANU-PF. Dennis also noted that

the UK’s research failed to determine the reasons the eight

companies had been included on the sanctions list in the

first place. He said the messaging around the de-listing

would be very important, especially given that the IMF Board

may vote around the same time to restore Zimbabwe’s voting

rights. Offering his impromptu thinking on what the EU’s

messaging would be, Dennis said he thought the EU statement

would “recognize” the progress on the economic front and

express “disappointment” on the lack of progress on the

political reforms. He said the UK will continue to push for

“tough language” in the EU on Zimbabwe, while acknowledging

that there are no major levers of power to induce reform.

 

4. (C/NF) Warmington said the debate in DFID on relaxing

restrictive measures within the EU had been more robust, as

Development Secretary Douglas Alexander, not normally

involved in sanctions discussions, inserted himself into the

process, much to the annoyance of the FCO. In the end,

Warmington said the pressure from Zimbabwe Prime Minister

Morgan Tsvangirai and Finance Minister Tendai Biti as well as

the time constraints on passing a new package before the

existing measures expired, resulted in the de-listings.

Warmington said the World Bank Trust Fund for Zimbabwe was

becoming a “nightmare” because the World Bank will not

recognize restrictive measures and the UK cannot donate to

the fund if assistance will go to sanctioned entities. She

said donors plan to write to World Bank President Zoellick to

request a change in operating procedures, or donors will have

to create the Trust Fund with the African Development Bank.

 

5. (C/NF) Cox said the Prime Minister is worried about the

“next bit of reform” for Zimbabwe, as the most contentious

political issues are the ones outstanding. He described the

EU’s de-listing as necessary in order to keep all EU partners

 

LONDON 00000360 002 OF 003

 

 

on board, especially given the time constraints in approving

a new package before the existing one expires.

 

South Africa

————

 

6. (C/NF) Douglas said her primary focus at the moment is

preparation for South African President Jacob Zuma’s state

visit to the UK in the first week of March. She said the

visit will focus on employment, education, climate change,

and urban re-generation and will include a visit to the

London 2012 Olympic Site and several people-to-people

meetings in urban areas. Douglas said Number Ten is looking

for deliverables, particular on Zimbabwe, but predicts a

series of statements is the most likely outcome. She said

that during a recent visit South African Sports Minister

Makhenkesi Stofile had said that crowd control and human

security are his biggest concerns related to the upcoming

World Cup. Douglas said the UK’s Metropolitan Police and

Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) are providing

assistance and technical support to help manage these issues.

Douglas also said she is looking at child trafficking in

connection with the games, as she has heard informally that

networks in southern Africa are increasing trafficking into

South Africa in advance of the World Cup.

 

7. (C/NF) Warmington said South Africa is a regional hub for

DFID’s activities, as DFID only has limited bilateral

programming in South Africa, including on HIV/AIDS and

infrastructure. She also acknowledged the UK government’s

difficulty in determining outcomes for the state visit. Cox

highlighted Zuma’s state visit as important for the bilateral

relationship but said that the Prime Minister wants to

discuss Zimbabwe with Zuma in addition to how to carry

forward work on G20 issues. Warmington, however, did not see

a “deliverable” from Zuma on Zimbabwe during the State visit.

 

Mozambique

———-

 

8. (C/NF) Douglas said the UK has been under pressure from

the Government of Mozambique — and the Portuguese

bilaterally — to continue the Group of 19’s funding at

current levels. She said the Group of 19 had decided to link

corruption and lack of progress on governance issues,

especially on electoral reform and separation of party and

state, to support levels by asking for the Government of

Mozambique to give donors a game plan of reform. Warmington,

however, said she had become less concerned about governance,

especially with regard to the rest of the region, after her

recent visit there. She said the group of donors had felt

“ignored” by the Government of Mozambique, which resulted in

the tough messaging. She said she does not currently foresee

a situation where the UK’s assistance level or framework

would change, as the Government of Mozambique appeared to be

responding to the issues. She also said the conversation

between the international community and the Government of

Mozambique should be with the entire donor community, not

just the Group of 19.

 

Malawi

——

 

9. (C/NF) Douglas said Malawi has “consistently been a pain”

on governance issues and with the recent gay rights case.

She offered that the referral of the case to the

constitutional court would give Malawi time to maneuver

politically, which would probably be helpful. She also

agreed that the governance trends are worrying, especially

with the sidelining of Vice President Joyce Banda. While the

President’s brother Peter Mutharika may be “more

progressive,” his potential appointment as the ruling party’s

presidential candidate could be problematic with regard to

governance issues. Warmington said that DFID had been very

“disappointed” by Malawi’s purchasing of a plane off budget

and said that Development Secretary Douglas Alexander had

decided to reduce its assistance by the value of the airplane

divided over the next five years, approximately USD 3 million

per year.

 

Encouraging Good Governance

—————————

 

10. (C/NF) Douglas agreed that governance in Zambia, Lesotho

and Swaziland is also worrying. Warmington said that DFID is

currently grappling with how to handle countries where

economic progress has been good but where democratic space

has been reducing, such as Zambia and Ethiopia. She said

this will be a major issue for DFID in 2010. She also said

 

LONDON 00000360 003 OF 003

 

 

there will be a renewed focus on management of natural

resources.

 

The PM’s Priorities: Education and Health

—————————————–

 

11. (C/NF) Cox said that health — especially maternal health

and ending payment of user fees for health services — and

universal primary education continue to be major focuses for

the Prime Minister. He highlighted the education initiatives

around the World Cup and said the UK is working on strategies

and is seeking funding for various initiatives.

 

 

 

Visit London’s Classified Website:

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SUSMAN

(18 VIEWS)

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