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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06HARARE1064 2006-08-30 14:33:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

SOLOMON MUJURU LASHES OUT AT US PRESSURE, BUT

Tags:   PGOV PREL ZI 
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RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1518
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001064 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

AF/S FOR S. HILL
SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/30/2015
TAGS: PGOV PREL ZI
SUBJECT: SOLOMON MUJURU LASHES OUT AT US PRESSURE, BUT
LEAVES DOOR OPEN

REF: REFTEL: HARARE 1056

Classified By: Ambassador Christopher Dell for reasons 1.5 b/d

-------
Summary
-------



1. (C) Retired general and ZANU-PF kingmaker Solomon Mujuru
told visiting staffdel and the Ambassador on August 25 that
the GOZ was open to dialogue, but that targeted sanctions
demonstrated that Western capitals were not interested in
real discussions. Saying that only the rural poor felt the
bite of sanctions, Mujuru said that the West's policy of
isolation merely insulted the dignity of regime leaders.
Despite the stale rhetoric, Mujuru conceded that the GOZ had
made some mistakes and left the door open for future
meetings. End Summary.



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


Sanctions Expose Sore Point


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





2. (C) Responding to the staffdel's question on what can be
done to establish dialogue, Mujuru said that the GOZ was "100
percent open" to talks, but that the US and other Western
governments were not willing to talk. Mujuru then launched
into the familiar history lesson of how Robert Mugabe had
preached reconciliation at independence only to be abandoned
by the British government. Mujuru pointed to aid suspensions
and financial and travel sanctions as evidence that the West
only wanted to press Zimbabwe into submission. "How can we
talk if my hands are in chains?" Mujuru asked.



3. (C) Although he initially claimed that sanctions were
impacting all Zimbabweans especially those in the rural
areas, Mujuru conceded that the leadership sanctions were
beginning to sting after the staffdel retorted that Western
governments maintained only targeted sanctions against regime
leaders. Demonstrating that even he was hurt by the
financial sanctions, Mujuru complained bitterly about a US$7
million line of credit he had arranged which had been frozen
by OFAC. Mujuru added that the targeted sanctions were
impacting other regime leaders and making them less eager to
engage.



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


US Approach Insults Regime's Honor


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





4. (C) Claiming that the GOZ was democratically elected and
respected the rights of opposition supporters, Mujuru said
that the GOZ did not understand what the USG wanted.
Repeated Western criticism was not working, according to
Mujuru. The Ambassador replied the USG believed that the GOZ
had lost its way since the 1980s, when the ruling party had
worked for the good of the people, and that Washington wanted
regime restoration, not regime change. Mujuru immediately
fell back on the line that this criticism was an "attack on
GOZ's manhood." "You can not come into another man's house
and tell him he has a problem with his family." The West
needed to "find a way to tell us nicely" what the problems
are. The Ambassador rejoined that he had been careful not to
say the USG was insisting on its own solutions for Zimbabwe,
but rather that the GOZ was not abiding by the standards that
it had set for itself years ago. Echoing these statements,
the staffdel told Mujuru that many in the United States, who
had once celebrated ZANU-PF's liberation legacy, now viewed
the regime as an oppressor. The Ambassador added that if
Mujuru was serious about wanting dialogue he could not

HARARE 00001064 002 OF 002


instinctively defend his machismo every time he heard
something he did not agree with.



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


Leaves Door Open


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





5. (C) Asked by the staffdel what steps the GOZ was willing
to take to reach out to the USG, Mujuru said he was open to
suggestions and asked that the USG put into writing the steps
that needed to be taken. Mujuru appeared to concede to the
Ambassador's point that the GOZ needed to reclaim its legacy
of the 1980s and stated that "we have all made mistakes."
Noting that he had historically had good relations with US
officials, Mujuru at the close of the meeting invited the
Ambassador to return in the future to continue the discussion.



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


Bio Note


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





6. (C) Although reported to have AIDS and to be an
alcoholic, Mujuru looked remarkably good and surprisingly
young for a man of 61 years. Contacts tell us that the
spotlight-averse retired General spends most of his time on
his farm in Beatrice, about an hour south of Harare, and that
his wife, Vice President Joyce Mujuru, is an infrequent
visitor. Nonetheless, the staffdel met the liberation war
hero at the Harare office headquarters of his far-flung
business empire. Suggestive of his influence, Mujuru said
that he often visited Mugabe unannounced by simply knocking
on the door and saying "it's me." Majuru has a high school
education and exhibited at the meeting a limited grasp of
complicated issues such as economic reform. Although he
spoke in English with the staffdel, he reportedly conducts
most business meetings in Shona and uses an interpreter.



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


Comment


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





7. (C) This was the first USG meeting with Mujuru in several
years. He apparently felt compelled to rehearse standard
GOZ/ZANU-PF lines on the causes of Zimbabwe's problems and
the reasons for its growing isolation, but thereafter seemed
to hint at a more flexible willingness to drop the posturing
and talk about real issues. Similarly, his prickly attack on
sanctions belies the GOZ's oft-repeated rhetoric that
targeted sanctions hurt only the little man, not the
leadership. End comment.



8. (U) The staffdel did not have an opportunity to clear
this cable before leaving Harare.
DELL