This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MAPUTO 000321
SIPDIS AF/S FOR HTREGER E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/07/2015 TAGS: PREL PGOV ETRD KPKO MARR MASS EINV MZ ZI SUBJECT: MOZAMBIQUE: A/S NEWMAN MEETING WITH PRESIDENT GUEBUZA ADVISOR, MINISTER MADEIRA
REF: MAPUTO 310 Classified By: Ambassador Helen La Lime for reasons 1.4 (b/d)
1. (C) Summary: Visiting Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Constance Newman, accompanied by the Ambassador, met with Mozambique's Minister in the Presidency for Diplomatic Affairs, Francisco Madeira, March 2. Minister Madeira received A/S Newman immediately after returning from a visit to Zimbabwe. Madeira emphasized how difficult it is to get Mugabe to respond to outside pressure, and, while saying Mozambique wanted its neighbor to change, cited the importance to Mozambique of remaining on good terms with Harare. A/S Newman and Madeira also discussed Mozambique's interest in peacekeeping missions and its lack of interest for now in SACU membership. End Summary.
2. (C) Madeira described Zimbabwe as "a very delicate problem" for his government. The Zimbabweans are "very sensitive to advice," he told A/S Newman, and contend that they don't need any. When asked how they explain to their people the problems with their economy such as massive inflation, he said they blame the United States and the EU, replied Madeira, for imposing sanctions on the country. However, the government feels that it has found a way out of the crisis. It has a "good" governor of the Central Bank, according to Madeira, and with him the regime feels it is on the right path. And criticism by the people appears to be less acute, he continued -- for now "they are willing to live with Mugabe."
3. (C) Zimbabwe is a delicate issue, Madeira explained, because his country is not only Zimbabwe's neighbor, but, in some measure, it is also dependent on Zimbabwe's economy. Problems in Zimbabwe affect the central region of Mozambique -- particularly Beira and its port, through which a significant amount of Zimbabwean trade passes. Lamenting that his country suffered from Zimbabwe's wrong policies, Madeira said Mozambique endured because "we cannot afford to have unfriendly relations across our borders." He said his government had little power to sway Zimbabwe's policies. When the Assistant Secretary asked what would happen if all of Zimbabwe's neighbors joined together to pressure Mugabe, Madeira indicated that this had been tried before. He reported that in 2001 a delegation from the region had met with Mugabe to urge him to moderate his policies, but to no avail. He listened, but that was all. One can only advise Mugabe when he is ready to accept advice, said Madeira. Otherwise, "the more you criticize, the more he stigmatizes you."
4. (C) "Why doesn't the government in Harare open the country to outside observers for the Parliamentary election?" Ms. Newman pressed. After all, ZANU is in a strong position versus the opposition. Why not follow SADC principles? She warned Madeira that it would be very hard for the G8 to ignore the way Zimbabwe handled the election. The Zimbabweans believe that they have the right to choose who observes the elections, Madeira responded. SADC representatives have been invited, along with representatives from other African countries, Latin America, and Russia. The Assistant Secretary asked why not invite observers from the European Union or the Carter Center if the country really had nothing to hide. Nodding, Madeira agreed, saying that his government "wants our neighbor to change, but we don't want to lose our neighbor."
5. (C) Ms. Newman inquired into Mozambican intentions toward joining the Southern African Customs Union, SACU. For the time being the Mozambican leadership had little interest, Madeira answered. Customs duties were an important revenue source and, beyond this, there was a residual psychological stigma in many peoples' minds attached to dealing with South Africa, dating from the apartheid period, that blocked joining SACU. But Mozambique strongly welcomed South African investment in its economy, and had begun to request investment linked with managerial training. Would this be similar to the black empowerment policies of the Mbeki government?, the Assistant Secretary wondered. No, Madeira said, such empowerment regulations had not been codified, but Mozambique would be looking for investors who helped Mozambicans beyond just providing jobs.
6. (C) On peacekeeping, Madeira echoed what others had told the Assistant Secretary of Mozambican willingness to engage in more peacekeeping missions, saying "the real problem is money." The government was working to professionalize the army, and peacekeeping duties helped this by exposing Mozambican soldiers to other peacekeeping forces. But President Guebuza was so committed to keeping his campaign promises on fighting poverty and other domestic problems that "there is not a cent to spare for peacekeeping." A/S Newman indicated that for Darfur, the U.S. and the EU between them were providing lift and equipment. LALIME