US embassy cable - 01HARARE672

SWEDISH AMBASSADOR EXPLAINS SWEDEN'S AID CUTBACK TO ZIMBABWE

Identifier: 01HARARE672
Wikileaks: View 01HARARE672 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2001-02-08 15:23:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL EAID PHUM KDEM PINR ZI SW
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.

081523Z Feb 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6362

PAGE 01        HARARE  00672  01 OF 02  081521Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   EVG-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00  SMEC-00  
      INL-00   DINT-00  DODE-00  DOEE-00  DOTE-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    
      EB-00    EUR-00   FAAE-00  FBIE-00  VC-00    H-01     TEDE-00  
      INR-00   IO-00    L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    NSAE-00  OIC-02   
      OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     
      SP-00    IRM-00   STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00  BBG-00   PMB-00   
      DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /009W
                  ------------------C2E939  081521Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8193
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000672 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER 
 
LONDON FOR GURNEY 
 
PARIS FOR WILLIAMS 
 
STOCKHOLM FOR MILOVANOVICH 
 
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SA C. PALMA 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  00672  01 OF 02  081521Z 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/08/11 
TAGS: PREL, EAID, PHUM, KDEM, PINR, ZI, SW 
SUBJECT:  SWEDISH AMBASSADOR EXPLAINS SWEDEN'S AID 
CUTBACK TO ZIMBABWE 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D'AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING FOR 
REASONS 1.5 B/D. 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY: RELATIONS BETWEEN ZIMBABWE AND SWEDEN 
FELL TO AN ALL-TIME LOW DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF 
FEBRUARY AS THE SWEDISH GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED THAT IT 
HAD SUSPENDED BILATERAL AID TO THE GOVERNMENT OF 
ZIMBABWE.  ZIMBABWEAN FOREIGN MINISTER STANISLAUS 
MUDENGE RESPONDED ANGRILY, SAYING THAT HIS GOVERNMENT 
WOULD REVIEW ITS RELATIONS WITH SWEDEN.  THE 
GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE, THROUGH AN ANONYMOUS 
SPOKESMAN, ALSO IMPLIED THAT THE SWEDISH EMBASSY MIGHT 
NO LONGER BE WELCOME IN ZIMBABWE.  AT A LUNCHEON ON 
FEBRUARY 7, SWEDEN'S AMBASSADOR TO ZIMBABWE, LENNARTH 
HJELMAKER, CITED HIS GOVERNMENT'S WISH TO MAKE A 
STRONG STATEMENT OF ITS CONCERN WITH EVENTS IN 
ZIMBABWE, COUPLED WITH BAD TIMING, AS THE REASON FOR 
THE CURRENT TENSION BETWEEN SWEDEN AND ZIMBABWE. 
AMBASSADOR HJELMAKER DID NOT THINK THAT HE OR HIS 
STAFF WERE IN IMMINENT DANGER OF BEING DECLARED 
PERSONAE NON GRATA, BUT CONCEDED THAT HE WAS WORKING 
HARD TO MANAGE THE DELICATE SITUATION.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2.  (C) THE FEBRUARY 1 ANNOUNCEMENT IN STOCKHOLM THAT 
THE GOVERNMENT OF SWEDEN WAS SUSPENDING BILATERAL 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  00672  01 OF 02  081521Z 
DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE TO THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE 
DID NOT PLAY WELL IN HARARE.  THE STATE-OWNED DAILY 
NEWSPAPER "THE HERALD" DISTORTED THE FACTS OF THE 
SWEDISH DECISION IN ITS FEBRUARY 2 STORY, CLAIMING 
THAT "SWEDEN...HAS ANNOUNCED THAT IT IS SLASHING AID 
TO THE GOVERNMENT AND WILL CHANNEL ABOUT 400 MILLION 
ZIMBABWE DOLLARS TOWARDS OPPOSITION POLITICAL PARTIES 
AND NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS."  WHILE THIS IS 
NOT TRUE (SWEDISH AID SUPPORTS HIV/AIDS PROGRAMS, NON- 
PARTISAN DEMOCRACY PROGRAMS AND DISASTER RELIEF), IT 
PROVIDED RIGHTEOUS HIGH GROUND FOR AN UNNAMED GOZ 
SOURCE WHO WAS QUOTED IN THE "HERALD" REPORT.  THE 
SOURCE SAID "...EMBASSIES WITH NO BUSINESS WITH THE 
GOVERNMENT AND INTENDING TO CONCENTRATE THEIR EFFORTS 
ON BACKING OPPOSITION POLITICAL PARTIES AND NON- 
GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS, MEDDLING IN THE INTERNAL 
POLITICS OF THE COUNTRY, HAVE NO REASON TO BE HERE... 
THERE IS NO WAY THAT GOVERNMENT WILL TAKE KINDLY TO A 
SITUATION WHERE AN EMBASSY BROUGHT INTO THE COUNTRY 
FOR OFFICIAL STATE-TO-STATE INTERACTION IS ALLOWED TO 
DE-OFFICIALIZE ITSELF AND BECOME CONDUITS OF FOREIGN 
OFFICIAL SUPPORT TO BOTH THE OPPOSITION AND PARTISAN 
NGOS CREATED BY THEIR OWN GOVERNMENTS.  THEY ARE 
BECOMING FEATURES OF SUBVERSION AND EXPECT STATE 
BENEDICTION.  THIS CANNOT BE..." 
 
3. (U) FOREIGN MINISTER STANISLAUS MUDENGE ALSO 
REACTED ANGRILY AND PUBLICLY, APPEARING ON STATE- 
CONTROLLED ZBC TELEVISION ON FEBRUARY 5 TO CRITICIZE 
THE SWEDISH DECISION.  MUDENGE SAID THAT HE WOULD 
REVIEW ZIMBABWE'S RELATIONS WITH SWEDEN, IMPLYING THE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  00672  01 OF 02  081521Z 
POSSIBILITY OF A DIPLOMATIC RUPTURE BETWEEN THE TWO 
COUNTRIES. 
 
4. (C) AT A LUNCHEON IN THE SWISS EMBASSY ON FEBRUARY 7, 
AMBASSADOR HJELMAKER TOLD EMBOFF THAT PART OF THE 
REASON FOR ZIMBABWE'S ANGER WAS THAT THE ANNOUNCEMENT 
OF THE AID SUSPENSION HAD BEEN BADLY HANDLED.  HE SAID 
THAT HIS GOVERNMENT WANTED TO MAKE A STRONG STATEMENT 
ABOUT ITS CONCERN OVER ZIMBABWE'S DEPARTURE FROM 
DEMOCRATIC NORMS, BUT THAT BAD TIMING IN STOCKHOLM AND 
HARARE MEANT THAT THE ANNOUNCEMENT TOOK ZIMBABWE'S 
FOREIGN MINISTRY BY SURPRISE.  HJELMAKER SAID THAT 
ZIMBABWE'S AMBASSADOR TO SWEDEN HAD BEEN OUT OF THE 
COUNTRY WHEN THE SWEDES DECIDED IN LATE JANUARY TO 
SUSPEND BILATERAL AID.  SWEDISH PROCEDURE IS THAT 
GOVERNMENT DECISIONS ARE GAZETTED ON THE FIRST OF EACH 
MONTH ("...JUST PART OF OUR OPEN DEMOCRACY..." SAID 
HJELMAKER), SO THE DECISION WAS PUBLISHED BEFORE THE 
ZIMBABWEAN AMBASSADOR COULD BE NOTIFIED.  SIMILARLY, 
FOREIGN MINISTER MUDENGE AND AMBASSADOR HJELMAKER WERE 
BOTH ABSENT FROM HARARE DURING THE LAST WEEK OF 
JANUARY, SO A SUBORDINATE AT THE SWEDISH EMBASSY ONLY 
INFORMED THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE (THROUGH WHICH ALL 
BILATERAL ASSISTANCE IS CHANNELED) OF THE SUSPENSION. 
THESE TWO CIRCUMSTANCES MEANT THAT THE ZIMBABWEAN 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTO6270 
 
PAGE 01        HARARE  00672  02 OF 02  081521Z 
ACTION AF-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00  SMEC-00  USNW-00 
      DINT-00  DODE-00  DOEE-00  DOTE-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    EB-00 
      EUR-00   FAAE-00  FBIE-00  VC-00    H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00 
      IO-00    L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    NSAE-00  OIC-02   OMB-01 
      OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00 
      STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00  PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02 
      G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /009W 
                  ------------------C2E945  081521Z /38 
P 081523Z FEB 01 
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8194 
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY 
 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 000672 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER 
 
LONDON FOR GURNEY 
 
PARIS FOR WILLIAMS 
 
STOCKHOLM FOR MILOVANOVICH 
 
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SA C. PALMA 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  00672  02 OF 02  081521Z 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/08/11 
TAGS: PREL, EAID, PHUM, KDEM, PINR, ZI, SW 
SUBJECT:  SWEDISH AMBASSADOR EXPLAINS SWEDEN'S AID 
CUTBACK TO ZIMBABWE 
 
FOREIGN MINISTRY WAS CAUGHT FLAT-FOOTED BY THE SWEDISH 
ANNOUNCEMENT.  HJELMAKER TOLD EMBOFF THAT MUDENGE WAS 
INFURIATED, AND EXCORIATED THE AMBASSADOR FOR THIS 
BREACH OF PROTOCOL. 
 
5. (C) THE SWEDES HAVE BEEN PARTICULARLY STALWART 
SUPPORTERS OF ROBERT MUGABE'S ZIMBABWE AND VERY GENEROUS 
PROVIDERS OF DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE.  GIVEN THAT 
HISTORY, THEIR DECISION TO SUSPEND FUNDING OF GOVERNMENT 
PROGRAMS HERE REPRESENTS A SIGNIFICANT DEEPENING OF 
ZIMBABWE'S ISOLATION FROM WESTERN DEMOCRACIES.  SWEDEN'S 
LACK OF A COLONIAL HISTORY IN AFRICA, OR OF OTHER 
IMPERIALISTIC CREDENTIALS, MAKES IT MORE DIFFICULT FOR 
THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE TO DISMISS THE SUSPENSION OF 
AID AS PART OF THE "BRITISH-IMPERIALIST PLOT" TO RUIN 
ZIMBABWE.  NONETHELESS, THE UNNAMED GOZ SOURCE DID TELL 
"THE HERALD" THAT "THE SWEDES ARE NOW INCREASINGLY 
REDUCING THEMSELVES TO AN APPENDAGE OF WHITEHALL." 
 
6. (C) COMMENT: BECAUSE OF THEIR LONG HISTORY OF 
SUPPORT FOR ZIMBABWE AND THEIR TRADITION OF 
NEUTRALITY, THE SWEDES ARE UNLIKELY TO BE THROWN OUT 
OF ZIMBABWE.  THIS EPISODE DOES, HOWEVER, SUGGEST THE 
NEED FOR CAREFULLY CHOREOGRAPHED NOTIFICATION IF THE 
UNITED STATES EVER NEEDS TO DELIVER BAD NEWS TO THE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  00672  02 OF 02  081521Z 
GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE.  END COMMENT. 
 
IRVING 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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