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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08LILONGWE361
2008-06-19 10:27:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Lilongwe
Cable title:  

MALAWI: SADC MINISTERIAL TROIKA VISITS PRESIDENT

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  MI 
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VZCZCXRO3120
RR RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHLG #0361 1711027
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 191027Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY LILONGWE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5326
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION WASHINGTON DC
						C O N F I D E N T I A L LILONGWE 000361 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/S - E. PELLETREAU

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/19/2018
TAGS: PGOV PREL MI
SUBJECT: MALAWI: SADC MINISTERIAL TROIKA VISITS PRESIDENT
MUTHARIKA

REF: A. LILONGWE 307

B. LILONGWE 294

C. LILONGWE 286

D. LILONGWE 280

Classified By: Political Officer John Letvin for reason 1.4(d).

(C)
1. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Henri Mumba
confirmed to emboff that a SADC Ministerial Troika led by
Angolan Minister of External Relations Joao Miranda visited
Malawi on June 17 and June 18. Mumba commented that the
visit was prompted by concerns over the recent coup
allegations against Mutharika (reftels). Mumba said the
visit was supposed to be kept quiet and that the troika met
with President Mutharika only. He continued that he had not
yet been briefed on the outcome of the talks, but understood
the talks were focused on evidence of the coup and did not
discuss potential mediation efforts for the current
parliamentary impasse.



2. (C) Comment: Mumba seemed genuinely surprised that news of
the SADC troika visit had been released to the press. Former
president Muluzi and the United Democratic Front (UDF) have
already begun to use the SADC troika visit to push propaganda
on the virulently pro-Muluzi/anti-Mutharika Nyasa Times
website to the effect that the SADC troika told Mutharika he
had no right to meddle with the United Democratic Front's
(UDF) choice of presidential candidate, However both Mumba
and the UDF confirmed that SADC did not meet with Muluzi on
their visit. While the troika visit came at an opportune
time, just days before Mutharika's proclaimed June 20
deadline for the Parliament to pass the national budget, if
the purpose of the visit was to notify Mutharika that SADC
was watching his actions, the effects were not immediately
apparent. In Mutharika's first post-troika comments, made at
a June 18 rally in Blantyre, he continued to blast Muluzi for
causing chaos in Parliament and reiterated he expects the
budget by June 20. A Presidential address to the nation has
been announced for this evening (June 19), the eve of
Mutharika's deadline, so we expect Mutharika's next move in
the stalemate to be announced at that time. End Comment.
EASTHAM