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US ambassador said Grace seems to have aged

Former United States ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee said First Lady Grace Mugabe “appeared to have aged significantly, looking much older than forty-four and much thinner than she appeared in recent photographs” when she attended a function in honour of visiting Swazi King Mswati III in June 2009.

The function was held at the Rainbow Towers and was attended by Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara among others. King Mswati was on his way to Victoria Falls to attend a COMESA meeting.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09HARARE465, ZIMBABWEAN STATE DINNER HONORING THE KING OF SWAZILAND

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09HARARE465

2009-06-05 12:38

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO2689

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0465 1561238

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 051238Z JUN 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4567

RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 2298

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2864

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2983

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1422

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2246

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2613

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 3031

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5472

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2155

RUZEHAA/CDR USEUCOM INTEL VAIHINGEN GE

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC

RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS HARARE 000465

 

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B. WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR M. GAVIN

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR L.DOBBINS AND E.LOKEN

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PHUM ASEC KDEM PGOV PREL ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWEAN STATE DINNER HONORING THE KING OF SWAZILAND

 

1. (U) On June 3, President Robert Mugabe held a State dinner at the

Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare in honor of visiting King Mswati III

of Swaziland. The dinner occurred before King Mswati departed to

Victoria Falls for the COMESA Summit. Mugabe thanked the King for

his support of the inclusive government and stressed the importance

of continued cooperation between the two countries, especially on

the economic front.

 

————————————-

Government of Zimbabwe Representation

————————————-

 

2. (SBU) Poloff attended the dinner along with other diplomats and

leading members of Zimbabwe’s busines community. Representing the

Government of Zimbabwe (GOZ) at the event were President Mugabe and

First Lady Grace Mugabe, Vice President Joyce Mujuru, Deputy Prime

Minister Arthur Mutambara, General Constantine Chiwenga and the

Mayor of Harare, Muchadeyi Masunda. King Mswati was accompanied by

his fourteenth wife, who sat next to the First Lady during the

dinner. (COMMENT: First Lady Mugabe appeared to have aged

significantly, looking much older than forty-four and much thinner

than she appeared in recent photographs. END COMMENT.)

 

——————————————— ——-

Continued Cooperation between Zimbabwe and Swaziland

——————————————— ——-

 

3. (U) During his ten-minute toast to King Mswati, Mugabe thanked

the King for his continued support of Zimbabwe. He highlighted two

recent visits the King had made to Zimbabwe, and thanked him for

coming to the swearing-in of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. He

stressed the need for African countries to work together through

trade to build their economies. Mugabe said that it was important

for Zimbabwe and Swaziland to continue to cooperate, especially on

the economic front, and to become partners in trade. Mugabe also

touted recent progress and cited the lifting of “unjustified” travel

warnings by western nations and the upcoming meetings between GOZ

officials and the United States Government as evidence of this

progress. During a brief speech, King Mswati also stressed the

importance of a strong relationship between Zimbabwe and Swaziland.

However, King Mswati’s speech also underlined the need for the

inclusive government to succeed and for stability in Zimbabwe.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

4. (SBU) President Mugabe’s toast framed the current situation in

Zimbabwe in a positive light. Notably, Mugabe only mentioned the

West’s “illegal” sanctions once. Most of the people attending the

dinner were local businessmen and women and members of the

diplomatic community. However, because the COMESA Summit had

already begun, many key government officials were not present. END

Qalready begun, many key government officials were not present. END

COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

(20 VIEWS)

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