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US warned Mugabe’s safety could not be guaranteed if violence continued

United States assistant secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer told Mozambican President Armando Guebuza that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s safety could not be guaranteed if he continued to use violence against the opposition.

Frazer said Mugabe, who lost the 29 March 2008 elections to Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai, had been told that could live out his years “honourably” if he stepped down, lost or conceded defeat, but she warned that if Mugabe continued to use violence against or killed the opposition in the run-up to the elections then the situation could change and he could be pursued.

She met Guebuza at a summit in Arusha, Tanzania, and expressed her concern at the arrest of Movement for Democratic Change leaders including Arthur Mutambara whom she described at MDC deputy president.

In her view, Mugabe had now crossed a line that merited a strong response from all concerned, including the Southern African Development Community and the African Union.

“If there is no strong response or condemnation, Mugabe’s government will go further in its intimidation,” she said.

Frazer told Guebuza that the United States believed that the people of Zimbabwe were fed up and ready to vote Mugabe out, if the international community could assure them that the elections would be free and fair.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08DARESSALAAM370, A/S FRAZER’S MEETING WITH PRESIDENT ARMANDO

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08DARESSALAAM370

2008-06-17 20:20

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Dar Es Salaam

VZCZCXRO1663

PP RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN RUEHROV

DE RUEHDR #0370/01 1692020

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 172020Z JUN 08

FM AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7616

INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY 3316

RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS PRIORITY 1415

RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON PRIORITY 0016

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0392

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0301

RUEHDS/USMISSION USAU ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 DAR ES SALAAM 000370

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT AF/S FOR MJWILLS; ALSO AF/E FOR SHAMILTON, JLIDDLE

AF/RSA FOR LMAZEL

ADDIS ABABA FOR AU MISSION

LONDON, PARIS, LISBON FOR AFRICA WATCHERS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/18/2018

TAGS: PREL KDEM ECON PGOV MZ TZ

SUBJECT: A/S FRAZER’S MEETING WITH PRESIDENT ARMANDO

GUEBUZA OF MOZAMBIQUE

 

Classified By: Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, T. Mushingi for

reasons 1.4 (b,d).

 

SUMMARY

——–

1. (SBU) During the Leon H. Sullivan Summit in Arusha,

Tanzania, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Jendayi

Frazer, met with President Armando Guebuza on June 3 to

discuss the MCC compact, the effect of rising oil and food

prices on Mozambique’s economy, and how the Government of

Mozambique (GOM) is adjusting to the global economic

situation. President Guebuza and A/S Frazer discussed at

length steps needed to ensure that the June 27 runoff

elections in Zimbabwe are transparent and fair, and allow the

people of Zimbabwe to voice their will. End summary.

 

MCC, Guebuza’s Economic Development Goals

—————————————

2. (C) President Guebuza told A/S Frazer he had flown to

Arusha directly from the Tokyo International Conference on

African Development (TICAD). At the development conference,

the focus among African leaders had been rising food prices,

and the advantages and opportunities for economic development

in Africa. While in Japan, the SADC leaders had met on the

margins to discuss plans to deploy SADC monitors to the

second round of Zimbabwe elections, but no agreement was

reached.

 

3. (SBU) In response to A/S Frazer’s inquiry about the

progress of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)

compact, President Guebuza noted the MCC team had requested

some changes be made. Other delays occurred due to

additional reviews of the infrastructure, water and

sanitation projects. However, overall the MCC outlook

appeared to be on track and a positive contribution to

Mozambique’s development. He also expressed appreciation

that through the MCA program, his government could obtain two

patrol boats. A/S Frazer said her goal is for the MCC plan

to unfold as quickly as possible in Mozambique. President

Guebuza said with concerns about food supply shortages on the

rise, a key objective for Mozambique is to improve rice

production through better seeds and improved technology. He

mentioned among his other top goals are more technical

education opportunities for youth and increased production in

maize and in cassava. Guebuza noted cassava flour mixed with

wheat, which Mozambique imports, creates a blend that

produces nutritious bread.

 

4. (SBU) Guebuza explained that he has “an open presidency”

and routinely travels to spend four to five full days in each

district. He listens to complaints and discusses development

strategies with his citizens. Most persons are concerned

about increasing literacy and the number of schools. Also,

the people request improved energy delivery and cellular

phone networks. Guebuza noted that following the riots over

transportation fare increases in Maputo in February 2008, his

government decided to temporarily subsidize fuel prices for

operators of mini-buses. However, the long-term solution

would be to establish a reliable public transportation system

using rail systems or ferries as possible options.

 

5. (SBU) Mozambique has initiated a plan to increase

investment. Each of the country’s 128 districts will receive

USD 300,000. A council of citizens decides how the money

will be spent, in line with the overarching objective to

create more jobs related to food production. President

Guebuza believed having the people involved ensures that the

investment program will be successful.

 

Returnees/Refugees from South African Anti-Foreigner Riots

——————————————— ————

6. (C) President Guebuza said that the riots against

foreigners in South Africa have driven 39,000 Mozambicans

back home to Maputo and other cities. Many have returned by

boat; most have left everything behind. This sudden influx

of now unemployed workers has created an extremely difficult

situation for many families as well for the GOM. Guebuza has

spoken to President Mbeki who promised the situation in South

 

DAR ES SAL 00000370 002 OF 003

 

 

Africa is under control and improving; attacks against

foreigners will not be tolerated.

 

7. (C) He told A/S Frazer that Mozambique stands ready to

participate in more peace keeping missions, if resources are

available. A/S Frazer said that the State Department’s

African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance

(ACOTA) programs are presently assisting several African

countries to get ready to deploy to Darfur. President

Guebuza said that shortly after the Sullivan Summit, he will

be headed to the United States to attend a conference on HIV

and AIDs. During this trip, he plans to consult with United

Nations officials about peace keeping operations (PKO).

 

Zimbabwe Elections

——————

8. (SBU) President Guebuza expressed his deep concern about

the violence in Zimbabwe during the lead up to the June 27

runoff elections. He understood that President Mbeki was

sending a team to ascertain why this violence continues.

Guebuza noted he heard talk in Tokyo of a unity government

for Zimbabwe, but did not know if the Zimbabwe constitution

would provide for such a structure: “It is Zimbabwe’s law, so

they must decide.”   A/S Frazer said she had an ominous

feeling about the situation in Zimbabwe. She noted that on

June 2, Mugabe’s government arrested and put Arthur

Mutambara, the MDC Deputy in jail. In her view, Mugabe has

now crossed a line that merits a strong response from all

concerned, including SADC and the AU. If there is no strong

response or condemnation, Mugabe’s government will go further

in its intimidation. (Note: Two days later, Morgan

Tsvangirai was detained and later in the week, Tendai Biti

was arrested and charged with treason. End note.)

 

9. (C) A/S Frazer told Guebuza that the arrest of Mutambara

highlights the urgency of the United States’ concern that MDC

candidate Morgan Tsvangirai and other MDC leaders need

protection. She stressed that the SADC leaders must ask

President Mugabe to guarantee such protection. In addition,

large numbers of SADC or AU monitors need to be mobilized and

allowed entry into Zimbabwe as early as possible. The

monitors should deploy throughout Zimbabwe, especially in the

rural areas, and be working night and day. A/S Frazer told

Guebuza the White House issued a statement June 2 condemning

the arrest and detention of Arthur Mutambara. She also

explained that Mugabe has a Joint Operations Command of

intelligence, police and military who are loyal and ready to

ensure by any means that he gets reelected.

 

10. (C) A/S Frazer emphasized that Morgan Tsvangirai has been

absolutely clear: if he were elected, he would not seek to

bring charges or retaliate against Mugabe. However, she

noted if the violence against opposition parties continues

unabated “it is possible Tsvangirai could change his mind.”

She stressed the opposition has been beaten, but not

responded with violence; thus the U.S does not want to be

complicit in sanctioning Mugabe’s attempt to win by violence

and intimidation. Election monitors are the key.

 

11. (C) Both A/S Frazer and Guebuza agreed the situation in

Zimbabwe is complex. She confirmed that our U.S. Ambassador

in Harare and his staff, continue to reach out on all levels,

speaking to citizens and visiting many regions of the

country. Mugabe, on the other hand, is not reaching out at

all, and MDC members continue to be openly beaten by members

of the Joint Operations Command, especially the police. A/S

said if there are enough trained observers, then they can

report violence or other human rights violations.

 

12. (C) A/S Frazer told Guebuza the United States believes

the people of Zimbabwe are fed up and ready to vote Mugabe

out, if the international community can assure the elections

would be free and fair. While the U.S. could support

monitoring missions financially, SADC and the African Union

would have to take the lead.

 

13. (C) If Mugabe steps down or loses and concedes, he has

been told privately until now that he could live out his

 

DAR ES SAL 00000370 003 OF 003

 

 

years “honorably” i Zimbabwe. However, A/S Frazer warned if

he continues using violence against or even killing

opposition leaders and members, then the situation would

change and he could be pursued. Guebuza insisted that the

situation in Zimbabwe should still be regarded with at least

some hope. He alluded to talks taking place between MDC and

ZANU-PF according to the South Africans. A/S Frazer closed

by noting that she had spoken with President dos Santos of

Angola who agreed to send the message to Mugabe that there

has to be many observers in place before the June 27

elections: in the rural areas, at the rallies, everywhere.

 

Participants

————

14. (U) The participants in the June 3 meeting in Arusha,

Tanzania were:

 

Government of the United States:

Hon. Jendayi Frazer, Assistant Secretary of State

for African Affairs

Fatuma Sanneh, Assistant to A/S Frazer

Mary Johnson, US Embassy Dar es Salaam, notetaker

 

Government of Mozambique:

Hon. Armando Emilio Guebuza, President of Mozambique

Personal Staff Assistants, notetakers

 

15. (U) This cable was cleared by Assistant Secretary Frazer.

GREEN

(13 VIEWS)

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