US embassy cable - 00HARARE2206

SUBJECT: WOLPE/MUGABE TETE-A-TETE

Identifier: 00HARARE2206
Wikileaks: View 00HARARE2206 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2000-04-24 13:05:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV CG PREL PHUM PINS CG ZI EAGR EAID
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

241305Z Apr 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTO6733

PAGE 01        HARARE  02206  01 OF 06  241301Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AGRE-00  AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00  COME-00  
      DINT-00  DODE-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    EB-00    FBIE-00  VC-01    
      H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    L-00     AC-01    NSAE-00  
      OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00   
      P-00     SP-00    SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00  R-00     
      PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00   
      SWCI-00    /010W
                  ------------------4F320E  241302Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5831
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
NSC WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 06 HARARE 002206 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/24/10 
TAGS: PGOV, CG, PREL, PHUM, PINS, CG, ZI, EAGR, EAID 
SUBJECT: SUBJECT: WOLPE/MUGABE TETE-A-TETE 
 
 
DEPT FOR P U/S PICKERING, A/S SUSAN RICE 
USUN FOR AMBASSADOR RICHARD HOLBROOKE 
NSC FOR GAYLE SMITH SENIOR DIRECTOR FOR AFRICA 
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS 
LONDON FOR PFLAUMER 
 
CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD, FOR REASONS 1.5 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  02206  01 OF 06  241301Z 
(B) AND (D). 
 
REFS: A) HARARE 2205, B) HARARE 2202 
 
1.  (U) THIS MESSAGE CONTAINS AN ACTION REQUEST. SEE 
PARAGRAPHS FOUR AND TWENTY EIGHT. 
 
------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
2.  (C) IN A FORTY FIVE MINUTE TETE-A-TETE ZIMBABWEAN 
PRESIDENT MUGABE AND I HAD A CORDIAL BUT FRANK EXCHANGE 
ON ZIMBABWE'S DOMESTIC POLITICAL CRISIS.  I TOLD THE 
ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT, WHOM I HAVE KNOWN SINCE THE 
1970'S, THAT THERE WAS A GROWING AND WIDELY HELD 
PERCEPTION, EVEN AMONG HIS COUNTRY'S LONGEST AND 
STRONGEST SUPPORTERS, THAT THE ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT HAD 
ABANDONED ITS COMMITMENT TO THE RULE OF LAW; WAS 
COMPLICIT IN RECENT ACTS OF LAWLESSNESS AND VIOLENCE; 
AND WAS CONTRIBUTING TO A CLIMATE OF INCREASED RACIAL 
POLARIZATION AND DANGEROUS POLITICAL TENSION.  I TOLD 
MUGABE THAT RECENT EVENTS WERE THREATENING TO IMPERIL 
ZIMBABWE'S FUTURE AND HIS OWN PERSONAL LEGACY. 
 
3.  (C) THE ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT LISTENED CLOSELY AND 
APPEARED TO WELCOME THE OPPORTUNITY TO TALK THROUGH A 
NUMBER OF HIS IMMEDIATE PREOCCUPATIONS: 
 
--HE WAS KEENLY AWARE OF THE IMMEDIATE DANGERS, HAD 
PUBLICLY CONDEMNED THE VIOLENCE THAT HAD OCCURRED, AND 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  02206  01 OF 06  241301Z 
WAS WORKING TO DEFUSE THE CRISIS. 
 
--HIS GOVERNMENT HAD NOT ABANDONED THE RULE OF LAW, BUT 
FEARED THE CONSEQUENCES OF ANY POLICE OR ARMY EFFORT TO 
FORCIBLY REMOVE THE WAR VETERANS WHO HAD OCCUPIED THE 
COMMERCIAL FARMS. 
 
--HE FELT THAT THE BRITISH HAD YET TO HOLD UP THEIR PART 
OF THE BARGAIN STRUCK AT LANCASTER HOUSE, AND HAD NO 
MORAL BASIS TO COMPLAIN NOW ABOUT ZIMBABWE'S INSISTENCE 
THAT LONG-DELAYED LAND REFORM BE IMPLEMENTED WITH OR 
WITHOUT COMPENSATION TO THE WHITE COMMERCIAL FARMERS. 
AFTER ALL, IT WAS THE AFRICANS WHO HAD ORIGINALLY BEEN 
FORCIBLY SEPARATED FROM THEIR TRADITIONAL LANDS BY THE 
WHITE SETTLERS. 
 
--THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT APPEARED IMPLACABLY AND 
UNREASONABLY HOSTILE TO HIM AND HIS GOVERNMENT. AS FAR 
AS THE LAND ISSUE WAS CONCERNED, HE HAD BEEN 
PARTICULARLY DISAPPOINTED AT THE FAILURE OF THE NEW 
LABOR GOVERNMENT TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON THE CONSTRUCTIVE 
RECOMMENDATIONS OF A COMMISSION APPOINTED BY 
CONSERVATIVE PRIME MINISTER JOHN MAJOR. 
 
--WHILE HE STILL HOPED FOR A NEGOTIATED SOLUTION TO THE 
LAND QUESTION, HE WAS DETERMINED TO ADDRESS THIS 
HISTORICAL INJUSTICE ONCE AND FOR ALL. 
 
--HE HAD YET TO HAVE A REAL MEETING OR EXCHANGE WITH 
PRIME MINISTER BLAIR AND, MORE GENERALLY, FELT SLIGHTED 
BY THE NEW LABOR GOVERNMENT. 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  02206  01 OF 06  241301Z 
 
--A ZIMBABWEAN DELEGATION WAS TRAVELLING NEXT WEEK TO 
LONDON IN AN ATTEMPT TO ESTABLISH A MORE CONSTRUCTIVE 
DIALOGUE WITH THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT. 
 
--MANY OF ZIMBABWE'S WHITE FARMERS HAD NEVER RECONCILED 
THEMSELVES TO A BLACK-LED ZIMBABWE.  THERE WERE, 
HOWEVER, SOME NOTABLE EXCEPTIONS.  UNFORTUNATELY, ONE 
PROGRESSIVE COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION PRESIDENT HAD 
FAILED IN HIS EFFORTS TO PERSUADE HIS COLLEAGUES TO 
NEGOTIATE A BINDING SETTLEMENT THAT WOULD DEFINITIVELY 
RESOLVE THE LAND ISSUE. 
 
--HE WELCOMED THE WILLINGNESS OF THE USG GOVERNMENT TO 
BE OF ASSISTANCE, BOTH IN DIRECT SUPPORT OF ZIMBABWE'S 
LAND REFORM PROGRAM AND IN OUR CONVERSATIONS WITH THE 
BRITISH. 
 
4.  (C) PARAGRAPH 28 BELOW CONTAINS AN ACTION REQUEST 
THAT, IN ADVANCE OF NEXT WEEK'S UK/GOZ MEETING IN 
LONDON, THIS REPORT OF MY MEETING WITH PRESIDENT MUGABE 
BE SHARED WITH THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT, AND THAT 
UNDERSECRETARY PICKERING SPEAK DIRECTLY TO FOREIGN 
MINISTER COOK.  END SUMMARY. 
 


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