wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
00HARARE2204
2000-04-24 12:44:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

PROPOSAL FOR POTUS TO ENGAGE MUGABE BY

Tags:  PREL ZI US SF WA MZ ZA PGOV 
pdf how-to read a cable
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

241244Z Apr 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTO6696

PAGE 01        HARARE  02204  01 OF 02  241241Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    ACQ-00   CIAE-00  SMEC-00  INL-01   DODE-00  
      DOEE-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    EUR-01   FBIE-00  VC-01    H-01     
      TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    L-00     AC-01    DCP-01   NSAE-00  
      OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     
      SP-00    IRM-00   SSO-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00  R-00     PMB-00   
      DSCC-00  DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /010W
                  ------------------4F2F84  241241Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5825
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 
AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 
AMEMBASSY MAPUTO 
AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK 
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA 
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY PARIS
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 002204 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 02204 01 OF 02 241241Z
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/24/2010
TAGS: PREL ZI US SF WA MZ ZA PGOV
SUBJECT: PROPOSAL FOR POTUS TO ENGAGE MUGABE BY
TELEPHONE ON CURRENT DISTURBANCES IN ZIMBABWE


CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD FOR REASON 1.5
(D).



1. (C) RECENT, PRESIDENTIALLY DIRECTED EVENTS HAVE
TAKEN ZIMBABWE TO THE VERGE OF CRISIS. WE BELIEVE A
STRONG AND HIGH-LEVEL MESSAGE APPEALING FOR CALM,
RESTRAINT AND A RETURN TO DEMOCRACY AND RESPECT FOR THE
RULE OF LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS IS CRITICAL. IN THIS
CONNECTION, I STRONGLY URGE THAT PRESIDENT DELIVER SUCH
A MESSAGE VIA A TELEPHONE CALL AT THE EARLIEST
OPPORTUNITY TO PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE.



2. (C) WITH THE PROBABILITY OF BEING DRIVEN FROM OFFICE
BY THE FIRST VIABLE OPPOSITION CHALLENGE IN TWENTY
YEARS, ROBERT MUGABE HAS UNLEASHED A REIGN OF TERROR
AGAINST THE RIVAL MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC)
AND THIS COUNTRY'S WHITE FARMERS. THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE
BELIEVES THE LATTER TO BE BANKROLLING THE OPPOSITION
PARTY AND HELPING TO RECRUIT AND ORGANIZE ITS RURAL
CONSTITUENCY. MUGABE HAS USED MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL
LIBERATION WAR VETERANS' ASSOCIATION AND THE STATE
SECURITY APPARATUS TO PERPETRATE THE VIOLENCE. IT IS A
HARDLY SPONTANEOUS OR NATIONAL MOVEMENT; MOST RIGHT-
THINKING ZIMBABWEANS ARE REPELLED BY THE FARM
OCCUPATIONS. WITHIN THE LAST SEVEN DAYS TWO MDC PARTY
OPERATIVES WERE KILLED IN A FIREBOMB ATTACK ON THEIR
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 02204 01 OF 02 241241Z
VEHICLE, TWO WHITE FARMERS WERE FATALLY SHOT, A SCORE
WERE BEATEN TO WITHIN AN INCH OF THEIR LIVES, AND
OSTENSIBLE WAR VETERANS RAPED A PAIR OF WHITE WOMEN IN
THEIR FARMHOUSE NEAR HARARE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. THE
"WAR VETERANS" HAVE BATTERED HUNDREDS OF BLACK FARM
WORKERS; STOLEN OR DESTROYED THEIR PROPERTY, AND KILLED
AN UNKNOWN NUMBER. TO THEIR CREDIT, THE COMMERCIAL
FARMERS UNION HAS INSTRUCTED ITS MEMBERS NOT TO RESORT
TO VIOLENCE, TAKING SOME OF THE POTENTIAL FOR EXPLOSION
OUT OF THE OPERATION, AND MAKING IT POSSIBLE FOR THE
OBJECTIVE VIEWER TO DECIDE WHO IS AT FAULT. THE POLICE,
AT MUGABE'S INSTRUCTION, HAVE LARGELY STOOD ON THE
SIDELINES AND PASSIVELY WATCHED THE SPECTACLE OF INJURY
AND DESTRUCTION.



3. (C) WHILE MUGABE AND THE LEADERS OF THE RULING ZANU-
PF PUT THE VIOLENCE IN THE CONTEXT OF REMOVING THE LAST
AND MOST UNJUST VESTIGE OF COLONIAL RULE, THE OWNERSHIP
OF THE LAND, IN OUR JUDGMENT THE STRUGGLE IS ALL ABOUT
POWER: WHO GETS IT AND WHO KEEPS IT. THE PRESIDENT
STANDS TO LOSE SOME OF IT IN THE STILL UNSCHEDULED
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION. IF THE RULING PARTY LOSES
ENOUGH SEATS, SAY OVER 50 PERCENT, MDC LEADER MORGAN
TSVANGIRAI TELLS US THAT MUGABE WOULD STEP DOWN,

SIPDIS
UNACCUSTOMED TO GOVERNING WITH AN OPPOSITION THAT WOULD
ACT AS A REAL CHECK TO UNTRAMMELED EXECUTIVE POWER.
MUGABE'S VIEW OF POWER IS MANICHEAN: EITHER YOU HAVE IT
ALL OR YOU HAVE NOTHING. MOREOVER, THE ZIMBABWEAN
PRESIDENT MUST KNOW THAT THERE ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH
PEOPLE IN ZIMBABWE WITH A GOOD REASON TO KILL HIM, AND
THAT AS AN EX-PRESIDENT HE WOULD NOT LAST LONG, AT LEAST
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 02204 01 OF 02 241241Z
STAYING IN THE COUNTRY HE HELPED FOUND. THEREFORE, WE
THINK THAT HE WILL NOT CALL FOR AN ELECTION UNTIL HE IS
CERTAIN THAT HE WILL WIN IT OVERWHELMINGLY. IF HIS
POLITICAL NOSE TELLS HIM THAT CONDITIONS DO NOT EXIST
FOR THAT OUTCOME TO OCCUR WITHIN THE TIME FRAME
PRESCRIBED BY THE CONSTITUTION, THERE IS SUFFICIENT
TURMOIL IN THE COUNTRY FOR HIM TO DECLARE MARTIAL LAW OR
A STATE OF EMERGENCY, WHICH HE COULD USE TO SCRUB THE
ELECTION AND RULE BY DECREE.



4. (C) WE HAVE MADE A NUMBER OF DEMARCHES TO MINISTERS
AND EVEN TO PRESIDENT MUGABE HIMSELF TO ENFORCE THE LAW.
I HAVE PURSUED OUR DONOR COLLEAGUES WITH VIGOR TO WEIGH
IN JOINTLY WITH US TO THE ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT, BUT
HAVE HEARD NOTHING BUT DEMURRALS, TEMPORIZING, AND EVEN
A CLEAR "NO;" THEY ALL WANT THEIR CAPITALS TO TAKE THE
LEAD. I THINK THAT THE TIME HAS COME FOR US TO RATCHET
UP THE PRESSURE UNILATERALLY. THE NEXT STEP, IN MY
VIEW, IS TO REQUEST THE PRESIDENT TO MAKE A TELEPHONE
CALL TO MUGABE. I MUST STRESS THAT IT NEEDS TO BE
NOTHING LESS THAN A TELEPHONE CALL, AS A LETTER COULD
VERY WELL BE IGNORED (MUGABE WOULD KNOW THAT IT HAD BEEN
DRAFTED BY A SUBORDINATE AND LIKELY NOT EVEN SEEN BY THE

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTO6697

PAGE 01 HARARE 02204 02 OF 02 241241Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 SMEC-00 INL-01 DODE-00
DOEE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EUR-01 FBIE-00 VC-01 H-01
TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 L-00 AC-01 DCP-01 NSAE-00
OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00
SP-00 IRM-00 SSO-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 R-00 PMB-00
DSCC-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /010W


--------------------------

4F2F90 241241Z /38
O 241244Z APR 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5826
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN
AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY PARIS

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 002204

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 02204 02 OF 02 241241Z
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/24/2010
TAGS: PREL ZI US SF WA MZ ZA PGOV
SUBJECT: PROPOSAL FOR POTUS TO ENGAGE MUGABE BY
TELEPHONE ON CURRENT DISTURBANCES IN ZIMBABWE

PRESIDENT. ALSO, THE CLEARANCE PROCESS MAY RESULT IN A
MESSAGE THAT IS EITHER EQUIVOCAL OR TOOTHLESS. WHAT IS
OCCURRING HERE DEMANDS MORE. WHILE POTUS HAS NOT
DIRECTLY ENGAGED MUGABE IN THE PAST, I BELIEVE THAT HIS
PERSONAL WARMTH, STYLE, AND DEMONSTRATED COMMITMENT TO
AFRICA WILL GO A LONG WAY. IF THE PRESIDENT IS
UNAVAILABLE, THEN STRONG CONSIDERATION SHOULD BE GIVEN
TO ASKING VICE PRESIDENT GORE TO PLACE THE CALL.



5. (C) THE PRINCIPAL PITFALL IN A TELEPHONE CALL IS
THAT MUGABE WILL MAKE AN EFFORT TO DRAW THE PRESIDENT
INTO A DEBATE ON THE LAND ISSUE IN ZIMBABWE, AND THE
USG'S OSTENSIBLE OBLIGATIONS IN THAT REGARD. WE WOULD
URGE THAT THE PRESIDENT STEER AWAY FROM THE TOPIC TO THE
EXTENT POSSIBLE, AND FOCUS ON THE INTERNATIONAL
COMMUNITY'S VIEW OF RECENT EVENTS IN ZIMBABWE AND WHAT
IT COULD MEAN DOWN THE ROAD. WITHOUT MINCING WORDS, THE
BEST TACTICAL APPROACH IN THIS CONVERSATION WOULD BE TO
EMPHASIZE HISTORY'S VIEW OF LEADERS: THE LAURELS FOR
THOSE WHO ARE LARGE ENOUGH TO RISE TO THE DEMANDS OF A
SITUATION, VERSUS BRICKBATS OR OBLIVION FOR THOSE WHO
HAVE BEEN BLINDED BY SHORT-TERM CIRCUMSTANCE. MUGABE
VALUES HIS LEGACY AND MAY WELL PROVE MOST RECEPTIVE TO
AN APPROACH ALONG THESE LINES. THE PRESIDENT SHOULD
STRESS TO MUGABE THAT:

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 02204 02 OF 02 241241Z
-- WHILE NOT PULLING PUNCHES WITH REGARDS TO U.S.
CONCERNS ABOUT SUCH ISSUES AS THE GOZ'S FAILURE TO
UPHOLD THE RULE OF LAW AND MUGABE'S PUBLIC STATEMENTS
THAT CAN BE READ AS AN INCITEMENT TO RACIAL OR POLITICAL
VIOLENCE, WE HAVE MADE CLEAR OUR DESIRE TO WORK WITH
ZIMBABWE BOTH TO ADDRESS THE STILL-UNRESOLVED LAND
ISSUE, AND TO HELP HALT THE COUNTRY'S DOWNWARD ECONOMIC
AND POLITICAL SPIRAL;

-- AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE,
MUGABE'S FIRST RESPONSIBILITY IS TO ENSURE THAT THE RULE
OF LAW IS UPHELD;

-- THE U.S. VIEWS ZIMBABWE AS A FELLOW DEMOCRACY, AND
THAT IN DEMOCRACIES PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT AND FREEDOM TO
CHANGE THEIR GOVERNMENT VIA THE BALLOT BOX; AND

-- THERE IS AN URGENT NEED TO ADDRESS THE ECONOMIC
MORASS, SINCE FARMERS, ESPECIALLY NEW ONES, NEED PEACE,
PREDICTABILITY AND BANK LINES TO PLOW THEIR FIELDS AND
REAP THE FRUITS OF THEIR EFFORTS.

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

>