09 December, 2010 10:38:00 Staff Reporter
HARARE – This morning The Zimbabwe Mail has just heard from high-level
sources in the Zimbabwe security services that President Mugabe is under
pressure from Zanu PF hardliners to arrest Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai,
outlaw the MDC and also expel the United States ambassador.
We can reveal that an emergency high level meeting is currently under way in
Harare this morning between Senior Zanu PF leaders and Security Chiefs and
on the agenda is the plan to seize on the latest highly sensitive material
released by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks, amid reports that
hardliners in Zanu PF are pushing for the immediate banning of the Movement
for Democratic Change led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
There are now fears that the country could slide into a military state as
Zanu PF opportunists try to seize the moment to outlaw all political
activities in the country.
Last night, the classified communication documents released by the Guardian
newspaper revealed a catalogue of attempts by the United States government
to help nudge President Robert Mugabe out of power.
A senior government and Zanu PF official whose identity cannot be revealed
described the matter to our reporter as "very serious" and said they will
leave no stone unturned.
"Those collaborating with the Western forces to overthrow us from power must
not cry foul when the rule of law takes its course, we fought for this
country and we will not fold our hands and let this happen", he said.
"We will get to the bottom of this and I can assure you we have legal and
moral grounds to ban the MDC from engaging in any political activities in
"Tsvangirai is going to be locked up for a very long time, mudhara (Mugabe)
is very angry. I spoke to him this morning and he is breathing fire", the
source said before he rushed to the meeting.
The sources also said there will be efforts to pursue those exiled
businessmen who engaged in the conspiracy to unseat Robert Mugabe.
A bloodless coup was planned to remove Robert Mugabe as Zimbabwe's president
with the help of pressure from the UN secretary general, according to
classified US documents.A confidential memo from the US embassy in South
Africa is entitled "Secret power sharing plan" and dated 30 January 2007. At
the time Zimbabwe was plunging into an unprecedented economic crisis. The
cable names a group of prominent Zimbabwean businessmen living in South
Africa who were pushing for change but says their leader's identity should
be "strictly protected".
Despite the United States of American and Zimbabwe having for long had an
uneasy relationship, political commentators argue that the situation could
get worse following Mugabe’s mention in the leaked documents. According to
them, Zanu PF has been gifted with a propaganda coup.
Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi says diplomats
engaged in the "illegal regime change" plot will have to face the full wrath
of the law.
Mumbengegwi, who also doubles up as External Affairs official in Zanu PF
says diplomats engaged in the "illegal regime change" plot will have to face
the full wrath of the law.
"Now the good thing about all this is that we now have incontrovertible
evidence that the Western countries and the United States in particular has
been collaborating with MDC T in this country to destabilise this country
which is in total violation of the Vienna Convention," Mumbengegwi said.
Mumbengegwi added," In the Dell report, he admits that US is funding
political parties in this country. And everybody knows that this cannot be
Zanu PF. And in our laws this is absolutely illegal."
He warned that no diplomatic representative was allowed under international
law to violate any laws of the country to which they are accredited.
"And now we have this revelation to the effect that the former American
ambassador was interfering in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe. And this is
a matter we take extremely seriously," Mumbengegwi said.
"We intend to enforce the provisions of international law to the letter.
Zimbabwe will not accept, Zimbabwe will not tolerate any interference in the
internal politics of Zimbabwe by any of the diplomatic representatives of
any country no matter how powerful that country maybe.
"They are bound by international law, they must obey international law," a
tough-talking Mumbengegwi said.
However, despite Mumbengegwi’s claims, the United States is by far the
largest donor to humanitarian agencies in Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, the US embassy, based in the capital, Harare, is getting on with
the robust and confidential business of diplomacy without getting
sidetracked by the volatile WikiLeaks episode, which raises questions about
the need to maintain proper protection for the large body of classified
US deputy Ambassador David Abell says views contained in the leaks neither
reflect neither his government’s position nor policies.
"The American people have high opinion of the people of Zimbabwe. We want to
continue to have a friendly relationship with this country".
" We diplomats write reports from time to time and these reports are then
handed over to policymakers in our country. We do not make polices as
By Tererai Karimakwenda
09 December, 2010
Retired officers from the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) have approached two
chiefs in the Buhera area, proposing to set up what they called a youth
training centre. But it’s reported that the chiefs refused.
Our Bulawayo correspondent, Lionel Saungweme, reported that the ZNA officers
wanted to set up youth militia training camps that would also be used as
torture bases by ZANU PF during the elections next year. They went to Chief
Gwebu and Chief Makumbe, both traditional leaders in Buhera district, and
tried to disguise the project as a skills training centre that would benefit
But according to Saungweme, the chiefs refused because ZANU PF has a long
history of terrorizing the area, especially because Buhera is the home of
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Our correspondent said people in Buhera still have fresh memories of the
brutal murder of MDC activists Talent Mabika and Tichaona Chiminya, back in
the year 2000. The two activists were campaigning for the MDC and were
burned to death by ZANU PF thugs.
Saungweme explained that the party took the case to court in 2002, claiming
that the violence had influenced the election results, and won. But the
docket went ‘missing’ and no-one has ever been arrested for the murders.
ZANU PF targeted Buhera again during the presidential runoff in 2008.
Saungweme said war vet leader Joseph Chinotimba went around the area
threatening MDC supporters. The MP for Buhera, Eric Matinenga, was also
arrested at that time for claiming that the military was involved in the
Saungweme said it is not clear whether Chief Gwebu and Chief Makumbe were
offered any bribes or whether they were threatened by the army officers who
approached them. But the incident is more confirmation that ZANU PF is
looking to target Buhera again, ahead of the elections in 2011.
by Tobias Manyuchi Thursday 09 December 2010
HARARE – Zimbabwe’s government is nationalising all alluvial diamond
deposits while the state will assume controlling stake in all future mining
ventures involving other minerals including gold, platinum and non-alluvial
diamonds, economic indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said
At present, the government holds 50 percent stakes in each of the companies
that are mining alluvial diamonds in the controversial Marange fields to the
north of the country.
Addressing journalists in Harare, Kasukuwere said the ruling coalition of
President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai had unanimously
agreed on the sweeping changes that although targeting new projects are
certain to leave investors in established mines wondering about how safe
their investments are in Zimbabwe.
Kasukuwere said: “At its weekly sitting…cabinet took far reaching decisions
on the issue of implementation of Indigenisation and Empowerment Act in
general and the mining sector in particular.
“The shareholding in the mining sector as it relates to the state shall be
as follows, 100 percent for alluvial diamonds.”
According to the regulations, government would establish a ‘Sovereign Wealth
Fund’ to function as a vehicle through which the state will acquire
controlling stake in all new mining ventures that do not involve alluvial
Kasukuwere said once the new rules came into force, communities would now
get 10 percent of gross profit from the exploitation of their mineral
resources. He said the new rules would become effective once gazzeted but
did not say when exactly that would be.
“Cabinet resolved that through a Community Share Ownership
Scheme…communities shall be entitled to 10 percent of profit before tax,” he
The minister said the funds would be channeled towards supporting new
health, education and infrastructural projects in communities.
Government would soon be announcing new guidelines on how the controversial
Indigenisation Act would be implemented in other sectors of the economy, he
Meanwhile, Kasukuwere dismissed claims by Minister of Industry and Commerce
Professor Welshman Ncube that government had suspended implementation of the
“Let me say that the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and
Empowerment remains the sole mouthpiece on issues of indigenisation and
empowerment. We have not frozen indigenisation,” he said.
Under the empowerment programme, foreign-owned firms are required to cede
significant stake to local blacks by 2015 and those failing to comply risk
losing their operating licenses.
Mugabe, whose then sole ruling ZANU PF party passed the Indigenisation and
Economic Empowerment Bill in 2007, had initially wanted all foreign-owned
firms to cede 51 percent stake to locals.
He backed down after Tsvangirai opposed the requirement to force all
foreigners to surrender control of their investments and the coalition
government later modified the rules to allow varying percentages of
shareholding foreign-owned companies in various sectors of the economy must
transfer to local blacks.
The committees appointed to recommend to the government the various
shareholding thresholds are yet to report back to Kasukuwere.
Analysts say the empowerment drive is unlikely to succeed as most local
business people are unable to raise the required funding to buy shares from
A similar empowerment drive by Mugabe in agriculture destroyed the mainstay
sector, leaving once self sufficient Zimbabwe dependent on food aid after
the 86-year old leader failed to provide funding, inputs and skills training
to black villagers resettled on former white-owned commercial farms to
And critics fear that the economic empowerment is a ploy by Mugabe to reward
his allies and supporters with thriving businesses in the same way his top
backers in his ZANU PF party and the military were rewarded with the best
farms grabbed from whites.
Large multinational corporations such as cigarette manufacturer BAT
Zimbabwe, which is 80 percent British-owned; UK-controlled financial
institutions Barclays Bank and Standard Chartered Bank, food group Nestlé
Zimbabwe, mining giants Rio Tinto and Zimplats, and AON Insurance are some
of the big foreign-owned firms that will be forced to cede control to
locals. – ZimOnline.
Dec 9, 2010, 10:04 GMT
Harare - The government of Zimbabwe plans to nationalize mining activities,
taking 100 per cent of alluvial diamond mining and 51 per cent of other
minerals, a cabinet minister was quoted Thursday as saying.
Indigenization and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere was quoted in the
state-owned Herald newspaper as saying that the cabinet of the country's
coalition government agreed 'unanimously' on Tuesday to the new measures.
They would take effect as soon as official regulations were published,
Kasukuwere said. No confirmation from other senior officials was immediately
He was also quoted as saying that 'all new projects in the mining sector are
expected to comply with the above requirements of the law,' which analysts
said perhaps suggested that existing mines would not be affected.
Mining is Zimbabwe's largest source of income, dominated by a 1.5
billion-dollar platinum complex owned by South Africa's Impala Platinum, the
biggest producer in the world.
The country also has several foreign-owned gold mines as well as ferrochrome
The Marange diamonds fields in the east have been plagued by charges of
human rights abuses and looting by the army and government officials.
There are currently about eight operators licensed to mine the
60,000-hectare fields, none of them major international producers.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti has frequently complained that the state
receives only 'peanuts' from Marange.
After eight years of catastrophic economic decline, Zimbabwe's economy began
growing again last year following the establishment of a power-sharing
government between President Robert Mugabe and former opposition leader,
Morgan Tsvangirai, who is now prime minister.
The mining industry was the fastest growing sector of the economy this year,
recording 47 per cent growth.
By Tony Hawkins in Harare
Published: December 9 2010 15:36 | Last updated: December 9 2010 15:36
Uncertainty surrounds claims that Zimbabwe’s alluvial diamond fields in the
Marange-Chiadzwya area are to nationalised following a ‘unanimous’ cabinet
Saviour Kasukuwere, indigenisation minister, said it had also been agreed
that the state would own 51 per cent of all other mining operations,
including non-alluvial diamonds.
He said:“The broad principle that has been set up by government is that the
alluvial diamonds belong to the state and they must benefit the people of
However, a source from the Movement for Democratic Change, the party of
Morgan Tsvangirai, prime minister, poured cold water on the minister’s
claim, saying his understanding was that a report on indigenisation had been
put forward, but not formally adopted.
Moreover, Mr Tsvangirai had not been present at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting
when Mr Kasukuwere said the decisions were “unanimously” adopted.
If the decision goes ahead, it will affect several mining companies,
including Rio Tinto which plans to expand operations at its Murowa
(non-alluvial) diamond mine, Zimbabwe Platinum, controlled by Impala
Platinum of South Africa and Anglo American’s Unki platinum mine which
started production recently.
Mr Kasukuwere said the cabinet also decided local communities would receive
10 per cent of the pretax profits from mining activities in their areas, and
that the government would establish a sovereign wealth fund – an idea first
mooted two years ago in a United Nations Development Programme report on
economic recovery in Zimbabwe.
These decisions would take effect as soon as the laws were gazetted, he
The announcement came just 48 hours after Welshman Ncube, Zimbabwe’s
industry minister, was reported as saying in an interview that the cabinet
had agreed to freeze the country’s indigenisation laws, which stipulate 51
per cent local (black) ownership of all foreign owned businesses with assets
in excess of $500,000.
It also coincided with a forecast by Victor Gapare, president of the
Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines, that Zimbabwe’s gold production would increase
more than fivefold over the next five years and that gold would surpass
platinum as the industry’s main generator of foreign exchange.
The conflicting statements highlight the deep divisions within the coalition
government that took office nearly two years ago.
Mr Kasukuwere, a hardline member of president Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF, is
attempting to force through the indigenisation legislation against the
wishes of some ministers from Mr Tsvangirai’s MDC.
A mining company executive said Mr Kasukuwere had referred to “all new
projects” in his announcement, adding: “Hopefully this means existing
projects will be exempt”.
Economists and political analysts say Mr Kasukuwere’s insistence that he is
“the sole mouthpiece on issues of indigenisation and empowerment in
Zimbabwe” can only increase uncertainty over the future direction of
government policy towards foreign investment.
– 59 mins ago
HARARE (AFP) – Zimbabwe's deputy prime minister Thokozani Khupe on Thursday
warned against rushed elections, while a leading lawyer said there would be
a "bloodbath" if polls are held next year without international support.
"Yes to elections, but we do not want to hold an election for the sake of
it," said Khupe, vice president of the ex-opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, at the launch of a report by human rights lawyers on the political
"We want an election which is going to be credible and legitimate, an
election which will respect the will of the people," he said.
Human rights lawyer Alec Muchadehama, however, warned of a repeat of the
violence-tainted general elections in 2008 if new polls are held next year.
"The 2008 is a classic example of how not to do it," Muchadehama said. "If
we hold elections next year there could be mayhem and a bloodbath."
Khupe called on the regional Southern African Development Community bloc,
the African Union and other international bodies to ensure a suitable
environment for a free and fair vote.
The report analysed events in the lead-up to the country's disputed 2008
elections which President Robert Mugabe won after his MDC rival Morgan
Tsvangirai withdrew, citing violence against his supporters.
They formed an uneasy power-sharing government the following year which has
since been torn by tension and disagreement on the debt-wracked country's
budget, the appointment of top officials and other policy matters.
Khupe urged the political parties to "learn from mistakes of 2008" and
called for "critical electoral reforms."
Mugabe has indicated that the southern African nation would go for polls
next year, but government officials and diplomats say credible elections can
only be held either in 2012 or 2013.
In August, the head of the electoral commission indicated that it did not
have enough money to clean up the voters' roll, which has been cited as a
tool used in previous elections to hand victory to Mugabe's ZANU PF party.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
09 December, 2010
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) took part in a march in Harare
on Thursday to commemorate International Human Rights Day. The lawyers used
the occasion to deliver a petition to several government offices, calling
for improved working conditions for the magistrates in the country. They
also launched a report on future elections in Zimbabwe.
Kumbirai Mafunda, the ZLHR communications officer, said the march was
peaceful and the lawyers had a police escort. The lawyers passed by the High
Court, the Supreme Court and the Parliament building in order to deliver
their petition, ending the march at the ‘Human Rights Tree’ which they
planted in the Harare Gardens some years ago.
Mafunda said the ZLHR also launched a report that compares the laws and
practices relating to elections as they were before, during and after the
2008 elections. The goal was to assess what is required to hold free and
fair elections in the future in Zimbabwe.
Mafunda explained that the report also looks at the environment that existed
at the time for Human Rights Defenders, and compares that with the regional
norms and standards for democratic elections set by institutions such as
“The report concludes that there should be a significant emphasis on
legislative and institutional reform before any elections are held,” said
“The report also noted the establishment of the Human Rights Commission and
its potential role in monitoring human rights violations and protecting
fundamental rights during future elections,” he added.
He stressed that there should be key changes in institutions such as the
police, the Zimbabwe Media Commission and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission,
if there was to be any hope of a free and fair election.
Mafunda told SW Radio Africa that copies of the ZLHR report will soon be
Meanwhile the Institute for Democratic Alternatives South Africa (Idasa)
also launched a report focusing on the targeted sanctions on the regime in
Zimbabwe. The report deals with the effects of three possible options around
these restrictive measures: maintaining the restrictions: lifting them
completely: a gradual removal based on performance in the unity government.
The report concludes that just maintaining the restrictive measures would do
nothing to encourage any concessions from ZANU PF and would prolong the
current stalemate between the parties. Completely lifting them would be
premature, because international donors and businesses do not trust Mugabe
and the situation in Zimbabwe.
The third option is seen as the one most likely to gain broad support. The
remove of restrictive measures; based on six benchmarks, which include a
credible voters’ roll, an independent electoral commission, media freedom,
constitutional reform, a land audit and reform in the security sector.
Both reports launched this week recommend significant reforms in Zimbabwe’s
institutions, ahead of future elections. The pressure on Robert Mugabe and
ZANU PF to make these changes is mounting ahead of the elections that they
are preparing for in 2011.
By Tichaona Sibanda
9 December 2010
The regional SADC bloc will carry out an assessment of the political
environment in Zimbabwe before the three parties in the inclusive government
can announce the date for elections.
ZANU PF leader Robert Mugabe has made proclamations that elections will be
held in the middle of next year. But Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
insists the elections cannot take place without reforms and a constitutional
But a well placed source in the Civil Society in Zimbabwe told SW Radio
Africa the regional bloc told them Mugabe cannot unilaterally call for
elections without SADC’s involvement or input.
A delegation from the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition held a meeting with Tomaz
Salomao, the SADC executive secretary, on November 22nd in Gaborone,
The meeting focused on the bloc’s role in efforts to find a lasting solution
to Zimbabwe’s political conflict. They also discussed the sub-regional
position on elections and the lifespan of the coalition government.
‘Apparently Salomao observed during the meeting that contrary to calls by
Mugabe to hold elections next year, SADC will sit down with the three
parties in the GPA and draw up a roadmap that would lead to a new poll.
The executive secretary insisted ZANU PF cannot dictate terms as far as
elections are concerned. It has to be a tripartite agreement, with the
concurrence of SADC,’ a source said.
A SADC Troika summit to decide on the contents of an election roadmap will
meet in Lusaka, Zambia early next year. Civil Society Organisations and Non
Governmental Organisations are pushing hard for SADC and the African Union,
as guarantors of the GPA, to make an independent assessment of conditions on
the ground prior to that. They want SADC to deploy monitors to Zimbabwe and
to ensure the full implementation of the GPA. How SADC would manage to do
that, after two years of fruitless talks with Robert Mugabe, is not clear.
Tsvangirai told Reuters news agency this week it was not possible to have
elections in June next year because a referendum on the constitution was
‘I don't think at the moment you can conduct an election. One of the
fundamental issues we need to handle is the issue of violence. All elections
so far have been conducted in a manner that is very violent ... this is
violence that is state-sponsored, the Prime Minister said.
‘When the police, army, militia, war veterans are used to intimidate,
coerce, and cause torture and death to the people, that is the kind of
violence we need to contain,’ he added.
By Tichaona Sibanda
9 December 2010
A Bill to amend the draconian Public Order and Security Act (POSA), passed
its first hurdle on Wednesday when it sailed through the House of Assembly.
‘One hurdle has been overcome and we will wait to see how ZANU PF reacts to
the Bill when it goes to the Senate,’ MDC-T chief whip and Mutare Central MP
Innocent Gonese said on Thursday.
It also marked the first time in the country’s parliamentary history that a
private member’s Bill sailed through the legislature.
Gonese introduced the motion to amend POSA through a private member’s Bill
in October last year. Proposed amendments to the Act, which has curtailed
basic freedoms, were passed in their entirety after the third reading.
‘The Bill has now been transmitted to the Senate and we just hope the same
spirit that prevailed during the third reading in the House of Assembly may
prevail in the Senate,’ Gonese said. The MDC holds a slight majority in the
Lower House, while ZANU PF has a huge majority in the Upper House which it
uses to block legislation.
Early this week, the former ruling ZANU PF party withdrew its support for
changes to POSA but the MDC managed to squeeze it past the Lower House
because of its majority. POSA was made a much more restrictive law by a ZANU
PF dominated parliament in 2002.
The draconian legislation gives untold powers to the police and the Ministry
of Home Affairs and the police are responsible for the administration of the
It’s reported ZANU PF legislators withdrew support for the amendments after
they received a tongue lashing, from Vice-President Joice Mujuru at a party
caucus meeting on November 18th for supporting the proposed changes.
‘We understand the securocrats have put some spanners into the works by
influencing members to oppose the amendment Bill, but we will cross that
bridge when we come to it,’ Gonese said.
The MDC-T party applauded its legislators for pushing through the amendments
in the Lowe House, but the Bill has a good chance of being blocked in the
Upper House. If it does pass through the Senate, it will still need the
signature of Robert Mugabe to be signed into law.
‘The passing of the Bill comes at a time when the people expected a new
political dispensation to take root and propel the country into a new era.
‘With its sweeping provisions, all pointing poisoned arrows at people’s
freedoms, POSA caused untold suffering to several generations of Zimbabweans
who sought to exercise their fundamental right to freedom of expression and
assembly,’ the MDC said.
The party added that it was encouraging the inclusive government to review
all retrogressive laws that curtail people’s freedoms across the board, to
bring meaning to the exercise of democracy and citizens’ rights.
‘In particular, all media laws—AIPPA, the Broadcasting Services Act, and the
Censorship and Entertainment Act—must be repealed as a matter of urgency,’
the statement said.
Masvingo, 09 December, 2010 - The Movement for Democratic Change led by
Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC-T) here has expressed concern over the continued
increase in death of their members who succumbed to injuries sustained
during the violent June 2008 Presidential election run-off and this year’s
post constitution outreach violence.
Speaking during the burial of a couple that succumbed to injuries sustained
in political violence in 2008 and this year at Nyazvidzi
village in Gutu north, local legislator, Edmore Maramwidze Hamandishe said
they were worried with the ever increasing number of their
members who are losing their lives as a result of torture and harassment by
members of the rival Zanu pf.
Crispen Gurajena and his wife, Raina were buried last Friday after they died
of severe internal injuries they sustained after they were
beaten in 2008 for spearheading MDCT campaign in their constituency before
they were also attacked last month by youth militias who
accused them of defying Zanu pf orders in contributing views during the just
ended constitution making out-reach programme.
Hamandishe said the couple that held the post of district secretary and
information and publicity was taken to hospital last week after
they started complaining of internal pains in their bodies. They were
admitted at Gutu Mission hospital where the wife passed away first
before the husband followed two days later.
“We are not pleased at all to watch our members perish from injuries they
sustained during acts of political violence. As a party we are
growing impatient with the failure by government to take action against
those who are responsible for the murders of our colleagues,
we know them and they are walking freely in the villages,” said Hamandishe.
Hamandishe said his party in the province was growing edgy by the National
healing organ he described as useless and a toothless bulldog
that has done nothing to heal the souls of political victims and their
“When we set up this organ in the Inclusive government we thought that it
was going to do its job of healing the wounds of political
violence from our people but two years on it has done nothing and our people
continue to bear the pain of seeing perpetrators of violence
walking free when they killed their relatives,” he added.
He added that the organ should be disbanded and government bring the
perpetrators to book and face trial for the atrocities they committed.
Hamandishe said this year alone in Gutu, his party has buried over 30
activists who succumbed to injuries sustained in the infamous 2008
elections run-off were MDC claim that it lost over 200 members to political
Harare, December 09, 2010 - Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe has
apologised for Operation Murambatsvina (Clean-up) carried out in 2005 and
resulted in the demolition of thousands of poor people's homes .
She said the government was guilty of treating people inhumanely.
Addressing scores of Hopley Farm residents on the outskirts of Harare on
Wednesday, Khupe said the clean up operation had given the government bitter
lessons for the future.
“I would like to apologise for the way you were resettled here, next time we
will make ensure that there is adequate infrastructure before resettling
them,” she said.
About 5 000 people were resettled at the farm in the aftermath of Operation
Murambatsvina, which saw more than 750 000 rendered homeless, while others
lost their livelihoods.
Khupe said the government will be proactive in future and ensure that
infrastructure is built for residents of Hopley and other resettlement
She said the government would start by building clinics and schools in
Hopley Farm for the residents, whom she said were suffering two fold, first
they were evicted and then they now they lacked basic necessities.
Khupe’s visit to the farm follows a report by Amnesty International that
revealed 21 newly born babies had died in the squatter camp.
“No woman should die while giving birth, so maternity fees here in Hopley
have been waived so that every woman can receive basic health care,” she
The Amnesty International report urged the government to step in immediately
to investigate the deaths.
Michelle Kagari, the organisation’s deputy director for Africa, said the
government had neglected Hopley Farm after resettling people there in the
aftermath of Operation Murambatsvina.
Harare, December 09, 2010 - A Zimbabwe election watchdog has called on the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to monitor all party jingles and
advertisements before allowing them to be broadcast to the public before the
elections next year.
Zimbabwe is scheduled to hold an election next year but analysts are saying
the playing field is not yet level for the main political parties that could
contest because the voter's role is currently in "shambles" and ZEC is
"The ZEC must enforce advertising ethics - Code of Conduct - for the
political parties and the public broadcaster (content and structure of
adverts and political messages)," read a statement by the Zimbabwe Electoral
Support Network (ZESN) made available to Radio VOP.
"The ZEC must give voters information and updates using the public media on
time. The ZEC must also have an independent agency to monitor and regulate
adverts, party jingles and music, and politically insensitive music."
This has been a very sensitive subject because Zanu (PF) is already running
adverts on ZBC TV showing President Robert Mugabe, Deputy Presidents, John
Nkomo and Joyce Mujuru, playing soccer as a "Team".
Zanu (PF) music is played while the "Team" adverts are broadcast almost
daily in Zimbabwe on ZBC TV which is the only national television station.
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has already refused to remove the
Zanu (PF) jingles saying they are not political.
It has, however, refused to broadcast jingles belonging to Prime Minister,
Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC-T.
ZESN said the monitoring of adverts and jingles was among several conditions
that needed to be fulfilled for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe next
"This is promoting democratic elections in Zimbabwe," ZESN said in the
statement. "These are some of the minimum conditions for free and fair
By Thelma Chikwanha
Thursday, 09 December 2010 17:24
HARARE - Only 24 Members of Parliament out of 210 in the Lower House have
declared their assets to the Speaker of Parliament as required under section
19 of the standing rules and orders of the house in commemoration of the
UN International Anti Corruption Day.
Speaking after a march organised by African Parliamentarians Network Against
Corruption (APNAC), the organisation’s chairperson and MP for Kambuzuma,
Willias Madzimure said those who declared their assets had done so
Madzimure also said that declaring assets would go a long way in curbing
corruption which he said hindered social and economic development and
increased poverty by diverting domestic and foreign investment from the
“We are taking stock as a country, on the progress we made, on what we are
doing and we are prepared to be scrutinised by the public. We also want to
move for the adoption of section 19 of the standing rules and orders which
requires MP’s to declare their assets to the Speaker of Parliament,” he
The APNAC chairperson also called upon members of the public to be very
observant and speak out against corruption which erodes education and health
systems thereby depriving people of their basic and fundamental rights.
“A lot of people are dying because they cannot afford to pay for
Antiretroviral Treatment yet the Government is offering them for free. It is
wrong for people to pay a headmaster to secure a learning place for your
The headmaster should give your child a place at school without you paying
him anything,” he said.
APNAC’s initiative comes at a time when Harare residents have called for a
probe into allegations of corruption by the MP for Zvimba North, Ignatius
Chombo who is also the Minister for Local Government, Urban and Rural
Residents want the Minister investigated on his acquisition of 100 stands
and houses from various local authorities countrywide.
Loveness Nzungu,a member of the public who also attended the march said the
move by parliamentarians was admirable but the number of MP’s who declared
their assets was insignificant.
“We would have appreciated it if prominent MP’s like Ignatius Chombo, Nelson
Chamisa, Tendai Biti, Nicholas Goche and Bright Matonga had also declared
their assets,” she said.
Willias Madimure (Kambuzuma), Blessing Chebundo (Kwekwe Central), Ransome
Makamure(Gutu East), Jani Varandeni(Bikita South), Maina Mandava*, Lynette
Karenyi(Chimanimani West), Margaret Zinyemba(Mazowe South), Hamandishe
Maramwidze(Gutu North), Tall Chambati(Hurungwe West), Editor Matamisa
(Kadoma Central), Piniel Denga(Mbare), Jeffryson Chitando(Masvingo Central),
Betty Chikava(Mount Darwin East), Metrine Mudau(Beitbridge West), Steward
Garadhi(Chinhoyi) Ward Nezi(Murehwa West), David Anthony Chimhini(Mutasa
North), Gabriel Ndebele(Matobo South), Felix Magalela Sibanda(Magwegwe),
Dorothy Mhangami(Gokwe), were among the MP’s who declared their assets.
By Alex Bell
09 December 2010
South Africa’s Office of the Public Protector has this week been called on
to intervene on behalf of tens of thousands of Zimbabweans, trying to
regularise their stay before the end of the year.
The December 31st deadline for Zim nationals to get proper permits to remain
in South Africa is fast approaching, and fears are high that there will be a
return to mass deportations in the New Year. But despite clear signs and
warnings that the documentation process is doomed to fail, South Africa’s
department of Home Affairs has adamantly refused to extend the deadline past
Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) and a group of 18 other civil society
organisations have now submitted an official complaint to the Public
Protector, over this refusal to extend the deadline. LHR’s head of the group’s
refugee and migrants rights programme, Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, told SW Radio
Africa on Thursday that Home Affairs is putting thousands of people at risk
“We all hoped that that the Minister of Home Affairs would understand the
difficulties and challenges associated with the implementation of the
documentation project, and allow people to collect the documents necessary
in order to apply for the permits. But it appears that the Minister has
decided not to exercise discretion or reasonableness in the exercise of her
public power in order to obtain a successful outcome of this project,”
LHR has been calling on Home Affairs to extend the deadline since it was
first announced earlier this year, calls that have been echoed by various
rights groups in recent weeks. Hundreds of thousands of Zim nationals have
been queuing, sometimes for days at a time, to get their paper work in
order. But to date there has only been an estimated 40 000 successful
applications, even though well over a million people are said to need
“It has become obvious that the deadline will not allow a success of the
project, because there are a number of difficulties that means a large
number of undocumented people will be left vulnerable,” Ramjathan-Keogh
The civil society groups are calling on the Public Protector to intervene
with Home Affairs and departmental officials “to ensure that this project is
in fact capable of achieving its stated aims and objectives.” The groups
want the Public Protector discuss a number of issues with Home Affairs,
including reviewing the deadline and considering the current political
situation in Zimbabwe, before deportations resume.
Ramjathan-Keogh explained that a return to mass deportations is a huge
concern, because “such deportations not only result in widespread violation
of rights, but are a massive waste of public money and resources.” She also
expressed more concern that a newly built detention facility in the Musina
border town is about to become operational, calling the timing “worryingly
LHR will address a press conference about the Zimbabwe documentation project
on Friday, which will mark International Human Rights Day.
“We continue to call on government to reconsider this matter and abide by
its obligations under international law and the Constitution,” LHR said.
09 December, 2010 07:45:00 By
Harare - Political analyst and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) founder
member, Dr Lovemore Madhuku has revealed that he is harbouring political
Madhuku, who is the current chairperson of the National Constitutional
Assembly (NCA) told Radio VOP in an exclusive interview that he will soon
turn to politics.
“Yes definitely I am going into politics, my contract at NCA is expiring at
the end of next year and besides I am already into politics,” said Madhuku.
Asked whether he will be forming a political party, Madhuku said, “I will
not be forming a political party but I will just be campaigning for a
particular political position.”
“I am a leader of a movement which is advancing a cause which is political
and that makes me a political player,” said Madhuku."
“I am a leader of a movement which is advancing a cause which is political
and that makes me a political player”Pressed to indicate when exactly he
might make his grand entry into the muddy Zimbabwean political arena,
Madhuku said, “The outcome of the referendum will determine the next move.”
Zimbabwe is due to hold a referendum next year to endorse or reject the new
constitution that is being put together following a process to gather views
from the public spearheaded by a Parliamentary Committee. The process was
however marred by political intimidation and violence in most parts of the
Previously Madhuku who is blessed with incisive political thought and
judgement has been courted by senior members of the MDC party to join them
but he has turned them down.
Often times he has predicted how political events in this country will turn
out. Recently he predicted a chaotic constitution making process and his
prophetic warnings are today a reality after an MDC supporter was killed for
giving out his views while hundreds others were assaulted and arrested for
Meanwhile a committee of parliament (COPAC) tasked with coming up with the
country’s new constitution is struggling to complete the exercise.
The NCA is mounting a campaign to encourage Zimbabweans to vote against the
outcome of the process.
The COPAC process has been facing a plethora of problems ranging from
political interference to lack of cash to roll to its programmes.
The NCA which in 2000 successfully campaigned for a “No Vote” in the
constitutional referendum is pushing for a similar outcome of the exercise
to COPAC process.
The group argues that the whole exercise is “undemocratic” and suffers from
It has launched a grassroots based campaign which aims to persuade
Zimbabweans to reject the outcome of the process in a referendum whose date
is not certain due to chaotic programming.
The campaign is being mounted under the theme “Take Charge.” “The campaign
is calling people to take charge of the constitution making process,” said
Madhuku who himself is a constitutional law expert and seasoned campaigner
for the country’s new constitution.
The campaign is structured around small community meetings of about 40 to
100 people in every ward of the country’s districts.
“We are going to the real grassroots to explain why they should Vote No,”
Madhuku argued that Zimbabwean citizens must reject the outcome of the
on-going constitution making process because they did not contribute to the
process in a democratic manner.
In 2000 when citizens rejected the proposed constitution President Robert
Mugabe’s government simply continued using 1979 Lancaster House
Constitution. The constitution has been amended 19 times since independence
in 1980 and is blamed for Zimbabwe’s bad human rights record.
Asked if the rejection of the proposed constitution will not worsen
Zimbabwe's political situation, Madhuku said, “We are between a rock and a
hard place but the only way to get a better constitution is to have a good
start and that comes with the rejection of the draft that shall come out of
In addition he said the response from Zimbabweans for his campaign been
“There is a false notion that Zimbabweans will listen to their political
parties, there are a few political activists in both Zanu (PF) and MDC, many
Zimbabweans who will vote in the referendum are just ordinary people who can
vote either way,” said Madhuku.
Madhuku said the draft that is going to be produced by the COPAC process
will largely reflect the views of Zanu (PF) and a few elements from MDC but
it will also ultimately reflect the “balance of power in the Government of
National Unity,” which is heavily tilted towards President Mugabe and his
Zanu (PF) party.
Madhuku said the adoption of a new constitution for the country will not
mean the death of the NCA.
“It will be naive for us to say immediately after the adoption of a new
constitution that we want a democratic constitution, we will accept the
result and revert back to some of our organisational mandate that is to
provide civic education on constitutional matters,” said Madhuku.
The constitutional process is critical to the future of the country because
any future elections are to be held based on it as agreed in the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) signed by Mugabe and the two MDC leaders, Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.
The agreement also sets a benchmark for future elections based on security
sector reform, establishment of an independent Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
(ZEC) and the eradication of political violence.
However the process is lagging behind by months. Mugabe said he is reluctant
to extend the lifespan of the GPA, thus he wanted fresh elections by next
Meanwhile the COPAC process is now on the drafting stage, thereafter a draft
will be taken to Parliament before is put to a referendum. - Radio VOP
December 9 2010 at 11:40am
Harare - The cost of living for an average urban Zimbabwean family of six
rose by $8 to $498,53 in November reflecting a 0,01 percent increase on the
previous month, Zimbabwe's Herald Online reported on Thursday.
The change was driven by rising food prices, the Consumer Council of
Zimbabwe (CCZ) said.
CCZ said the cost of the food basket increased by 0,04 from $136,76 in
October to $142,77 last month. The cost of the food and detergents basket
increased from $147 in October to $154,53
Generally, CCZ said, most of the products in the urban family of six
consumer basket increased and these included margarine, tea leaves, fresh
milk, bread, flour, onions, cabbages, white sugar, cooking oil, salt and
While retailers cite the strengthening Rand against the greenback for rising
prices, since Zimbabwe imports most basic products from South Africa, CCZ
attributes this to the traditional behaviour of retailers towards the
“For some time now the rand has been very strong against the US dollar, but
CCZ is concerned that the increase in the food basket may be attributed to
the traditional behaviour of supermarket towards the festive season,” CCZ
executive director Rosemary Siyachitema said. - Sapa
By Paul Goodman
LATHAM PAULINE Pauline Latham, the MP for Mid-Derbyshire, made a very
thorough speech in yesterday's debate on Zimbabwe, setting the scene -
"Since 2000 we have seen the breadbasket of Africa turn into the basket case
of Africa. The commercial farming sector and the economy have collapsed,
even though Zimbabwe used to export produce all over the world, and to
neighbouring countries, as well as feed all its people. It is a tragedy that
that situation is not returning at the moment. The lack of food resulted in
the spread of chronic poverty, with about 2 million Zimbabweans depending on
food aid. At poverty's highest point, more than 80% of the Zimbabwean
population were living on less than $1 a day. With cholera, malaria and
HIV/AIDS at the worst level of any country in Africa and on the rise, and
with Zimbabwe's infrastructure on a sharp decline, the country fell into
- Looking at trends in the delivery of aid -
"It is not how much money we spend, but how it is spent, that will make a
difference. The Secretary of State has said that a lot since taking office.
Between 2004-05 and 2008-09 the balance of DFID bilateral aid to Zimbabwe
shifted. At the beginning of the period, most aid was delivered by NGOs, but
at the end, most was delivered via multilaterals...Although I recognise the
importance of the co-ordination that multilaterals such as the UN offer, I
agree with critics who cite inefficiencies at ground level. I hope that as
NGOs move back into Zimbabwe, we will see the role of multilaterals change
from humanitarian to crisis management to overall strategic country growth.
It is not often that I agree with the TUC, but I concede that as Zimbabwe's
economy grows and the need for humanitarian relief declines, DFID should
look to move away from humanitarian relief and towards core
- And pointing to the indispensability of land reform and political change -
"One of the two most important ways in which DFID can help with the
redevelopment of Zimbabwe is helping to fund the land audit. The GNU Finance
Minister has allocated $30 million for a future audit, but previous Zimbabwe
Government land audit findings have not been released, and I am sceptical
that without the international community's involvement, the findings will be
unfair. It is not for me to suggest what conditions the international
community should impose on funding for the land audit, but as the DFID
Minister at the time of the International Development Committee report
stated, a land audit would be the first step towards reform, but it cannot
be carried with the current President and his cronies blocking international
Finally, DFID has a role in developing the political system. I understand
the view that the inclusive Zimbabwe Government is not yet the partner that
we require to sustain a full development relationship. The global political
agreement and the resulting GNU are steps in the right direction, but
unfortunately, as Tsvangirai pointed out, things have not radically altered,
and Mugabe continues to act without consulting other GNU members. As a
result, I believe that DFID's strategy on providing technical assistance and
policy support will strengthen the political process in Zimbabwe. I hope
that the desired outcome of political change will take place, but if the
recent Act concerning white-owned businesses is anything to go by, we have
some way to go, as we heard from the hon. Member for Birmingham, Northfield
and my right hon. Friend the Member for Gordon."
Posted on Thursday, December 09, 2010 at 06:25
NEW YORK FOREIGN PRESS CENTER BRIEFING WITH ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS PHILIP J. CROWLEY
TOPIC: WIKILEAKS AND OTHER GLOBAL EVENTS
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2010, 4:00 P.M., EST
NEW YORK FOREIGN PRESS CENTER, 150 E. 52ND STREET, 5TH FLOOR
MR. CROWLEY: Good afternoon. Happy to be here. Happy to be back in New York. I think this is very unusual, we did a briefing earlier this morning in Washington and now this is the second half of what we call the double-header this morning, but happy to be here. And I thought the topic I would start with involves putting WikiLeaks in perspective, although I’m sure that you have other subjects on your mind which I will be happy to talk about.
Obviously, the fact that Julian Assange has been arrested in Britain is a matter between Britain and Sweden. The United States does not take a position on the merits of that particular warrant from Interpol for his arrest. We have and continue to condemn what Julian Assange and WikiLeaks has done. In our view, he has done substantial damage to the interests of the United States and the interests of other countries around the world. We clearly recognize that for a period of time, the conduct of diplomacy around the world will be more difficult.
What concerns us more significantly is that in the release of 250,000 cables, Mr. Assange has put real lives and real interests at risk. There are people every day in every country around the world with which we have diplomatic relations who engage diplomats of the United States. These are government officials. These are members of civil society. They help provide perspective on activities and events in those countries. In turn, our diplomats report this information back to Washington, which informs our policies and our actions.
I should emphasize that on any given day diplomats provide their best perspective to policymakers in Washington about world events, but policy is made in Washington, D.C., not out in our posts around the world. But in – certainly in many authoritarian societies by engaging diplomats in the United States, individuals can put themselves at risk. They risk their careers. They risk their lives in some cases, and this is what is irresponsible through the actions of Mr. Assange.
In anticipation of the revelations of these cables, we have reached out to sources around the world. We have expressed our concern about their well-being, and in certain cases, we have offered, if they fear – if they feel threatened, to help them, if necessary, move to a safer location. I can’t say that at this point any of that action has been necessary, but that is something that we will continue to watch as we go forward.
That said, we are very proud of our diplomats. Our diplomats, every day, are out in countries serving the national interest of the United States, which is what they’re paid to do. And we believe that they engage in other countries and work with friends, allies, other partners to help solve global issues around the world. And they’re doing what diplomats for other countries are doing in a place like here in New York, as well as in other locations in our country. This is what diplomats do. And we’re not going to change what we do because of what has happened here.
You can see today, for example, in Geneva, we had Under Secretary Bill Burns engage with other members of what we call the P-5+1 for the first conversation, direct conversation, with an Iranian delegation in more than a year, trying to answer questions that just not the United States, but the international community has about the nature of Iran’s nuclear program.
Today, in Cancun, we have diplomats who are engaged in a difficult, complex effort working with other countries constructively to try to advance the cause of reduction of greenhouse gases. We have, in Morocco, diplomats who are working on a North African partnership, an extension of the entrepreneurial summit last April and the pledge that the President made in his Cairo speech to work to promote entrepreneurs around the world, particularly in Muslim-majority countries. We have a diplomat in Europe today following up on the Secretary of State’s announcement here in New York back in September about cook stoves. You have two diplomats in Ukraine today working cooperatively with Ukraine to combat the challenge of human trafficking around the world.
This is what American diplomats do, day in and day out. There have been those that suggest that there’s a grand conspiracy here. That’s nonsense. The – you see, without talking about any particular cable, what you see in some of the revelations that have come forward is diplomats pursuing in private what we absolutely say every day in public.
There has been suggestions that the United States is responsible for or promoted the release of these documents – again, nonsense. The United States Government condemns what WikiLeaks has done. We had no – well, let me pause – we do recognize that what is a crime started inside the United States Government, where one individual who has pledged to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States violated that pledge and downloaded these documents and released them to someone who is not authorized to have them. The United States Government beyond that played no role in the release of these documents.
There have been suggestions that our diplomats are spies – again, nonsense. Our diplomats do – they are diplomats. They are not spies. What they do every day is seek information, information that helps guide our policies and our actions. We expect that our diplomats, just as the diplomats of other countries, give candid reporting to policymakers about what they see happening in their particular engagements with countries all around the world.
And that is what they’re going to continue to do. We’re very proud of them. And the Secretary of State has been very clear in communicating to our diplomats that we value their work and we hope that their efforts will continue to pursue peace, prosperity, security, which is in our interest, the interest of our people, as well as the interest of the people in other parts of the world.
With that as a brief introduction, I’d be happy to take questions on this or other subjects.
Wait for the microphone, I think.
QUESTION: Hi. My name is Mercedes Gallego. I work with the newspaper El Correo from Spain. My question is actually very simple: Are the American diplomats at the UN ordered to collect information from their colleagues on credit cards and any other personal information?
MR. CROWLEY: Again, it’s very difficult to answer that question without getting into the contents of cables. I will say that the intelligence community provides information throughout the government as to what its priorities are and what its needs are, but that is not a direct tasking to diplomats. Here in New York and anywhere else, our diplomats are guided by U.S. law, and our diplomats do not break U.S. law. Or if they do, for one reason or another, they are subject to appropriate punishment.
So it one thing to say that the intelligence community will tell U.S. Government employees what it would like to have; that doesn’t change the role of our diplomats. As I think Ambassador Rice said very clearly here in New York a couple of weeks ago, our diplomats are just that – they’re diplomats.
QUESTION: My name is Olivier O’Mahony with Paris Match magazine. I wanted to ask you, is there any way to – or to pursue Julian Assange on a legal basis for the damage – damages he’s done to the United States?
MR. CROWLEY: We are pursuing an investigation. And as I acknowledged, first and foremost, we’re pursuing an investigation of what happened inside the United States Government that resulted in the leak of these classified documents. But we have pledged that we will investigate this aggressively and we will pursue anyone that we feel has violated U.S. law and will be held to account. So I can’t predict where that investigation will lead at this point.
QUESTION: This morning in your – sorry, Federico Rampini, La Republica, Italy. This morning in your previous conference in Washington, if I understood well, you said that one of the consequences of the WikiLeaks would have been to make it more difficult to prevent terrorist attacks like the one that were prevented through international cooperation with other governments on the cargo planes recently.
If that is correct, could you elaborate on how that kind of cooperation in antiterrorism would be more difficult? And would that be one of the crimes that Mr. Assange would be charged of?
MR. CROWLEY: I don’t remember that coming up in this morning’s briefing, but I’ll address the question. The United States Government – the United States and the American people clearly benefit from cooperation with other countries in a variety of ways. For example, if you look, on the one hand, we will not solve the global financial crisis without effective action by the United States as well as other countries around the world.
Likewise, when you think about the scourge of terrorism, it is a threat to the United States and to the American people. It is a threat to other countries as well, including in Europe and including in other parts of the country – other parts of the world. You see clearly in a recent instance where crucial information provided by foreign governments enabled the United States and other governments to interdict a terrorist plot against the United States involving the movement of cargo on – passenger and cargo aircraft from the Middle East and Europe headed to the United States. That is precisely the kind of effective cooperation and coordination that allows us to protect our respective populations who all share this risk.
One of the potential impacts of what’s happened here is that country by country, perhaps candor will be – diplomats will be less candid, the flow of information will be interrupted. If that happens, then unfortunately, there could be a rise in terrorism risk to the United States, to the American people, and to others. We’d hate to see that happen. We understand that through these revelations, there has been a breach of trust. We regret what’s happened. We condemn what WikiLeaks has done and we’re going to work as hard as we can to rebuild that trust.
QUESTION: Razi Canikligil, Hurriyet newspaper of Turkey. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, he said he will take legal action against the U.S. envoys and – because they made false state – false reports against his government. And he also accused them – making gossip diplomacy.
MR. CROWLEY: I’m sorry?
QUESTION: The gossip diplomacy.
MR. CROWLEY: Gossip diplomacy?
QUESTION: Yeah. What do you – what is your response?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, our – again, without getting into any particular cable, our diplomats provide frank, candid assessments of what’s happening in countries around the world. It is useful and important that our diplomats continue to do that. We take it on faith that the diplomats of other countries do the very same thing here in the United States, reporting back to capitals in countries all around the world.
In fact, when Secretary Clinton, who has done a number of calls and had a number of meetings in her trip last week to Kazakhstan and Bahrain – she was talking to one foreign minister and he said, “Don’t worry about it. You should see what we report about you.” This is what diplomats do. They provide their best perspective.
Now, that perspective may be what they see or what they sense at a particular time, and those judgments evolve as events evolve. So what you see frequently in cables is just a snapshot in time based on – in some cases, it may not be based on what a diplomat himself or herself feels. It might be based on what they were told by somebody else. So – but this is the nature of diplomacy. This is what we ask our diplomats to do, to give their best judgment, their best assessment to inform policymaking back here in Washington.
That said, we have a close, effective relationship between the United States and Turkey. It benefits the United States, it benefits Turkey, it benefits the region as well. We are NATO allies. We are close friends. The next meeting of the P-5+1 will occur in Istanbul and we will be very grateful for Turkey’s willingness to host this second meeting of what is a crucial dialogue to the future of the region with which Turkey sits and with which Turkey has a relationship with Iran.
The Secretary met last week with Foreign Minister Davutoglu. It was a very constructive meeting. And we’re going to continue to cooperate on a broad series of issues with which the United States and Turkey share mutual interests.
MODERATOR: We have a question from Washington.
QUESTION: Hello, my name is Wolfgang Geier from ORF. The assessment that was made (inaudible), to put it mildly. Any reactions from Austria (inaudible)? In your view, (inaudible)?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, again, I’ll leave the second question aside in terms of whether we stand by the assessments. These were classified documents and private assessments by our diplomats to our policymakers. And we will keep them private.
We understand that this has created turmoil. It’s one of the reasons why, in the days before the beginning of the release of documents – and our estimate now is roughly 1,400 documents have been released publicly – we reached out to diplomats around the world to warn them about what was coming, and to the extent that we had had some time since the first revelation of the leak back in the spring, we’ve been able to do a damage assessment. We have a sense of what is in this tranche of 250,000 cables. And we’ve had frank, honest discussions with governments since these cables have been released publicly. We’re going to continue to do that.
Our ambassadors, on a case-by-case basis, have reached out and communicated to local populations to try to put this in context. In brief, our relations with other countries are based on mutual interests and mutual respect, and that has not changed by what has happened here. We believe that there will be difficult moments ahead in the short term, but we think that over the longer term, the larger interest and the compelling interest that we have in Europe and elsewhere will once again rise to the fore.
So we’re prepared to work as hard as we can for as long as it takes to rebuild the trust that we know has been strained by what has happened.
QUESTION: Frank Van Vliet of Die Telegraaf from the Netherlands. There are suggestions that the recent problems of WikiLeaks are sort of organized by the United – of – by the U.S. – the access to the web, Visa card, MasterCard, not dealing with them anymore. Can you – are you trying to shut them down like that or can you say with hand on your heart that you’re not behind all these accusations?
MR. CROWLEY: Just to clarify, I’m not exactly sure what you’re talking about.
QUESTION: I’m talking about, at the moment, WikiLeaks doesn’t have access anymore to their Visa and MasterCard accounts. They have problem getting into own website, et cetera. So the suggestion was that you or the U.S. Government is behind those things and trying to close them down this way.
MR. CROWLEY: Well, you’re talking about private businesses. I can’t explain why they’re having that kind of difficulty. I just don’t know of any involvement by the United States Government on this.
QUESTION: Alexei Osipov of Novosty Nedeli. Russian President Medvedev (inaudible) reacted to WikiLeaks. And he says that WikiLeaks confirm that American policy is very cynic. Will you respond for this?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, absolutely. The President has had a number of meetings with President Medvedev and I would expect there will be more of those in the future. Likewise, Secretary Clinton talks on a regular basis with Foreign Minister Lavrov. And we’re going to continue doing what we do. Russia plays a central role in some of the issues that we’ve outlined here, from the P-5+1 to our efforts to try to convince North Korea to pursue a different path.
So Russia has a keen interest in how Iran advances. Russia has the same concerns as the United States regarding Iran’s nuclear programs. Russia played a constructive role in that context in declining to forward the S-300 missiles to Iran, as one example in the aftermath of UN Security Council Resolution 1929. So we will continue to cooperate with Russia. We’ll continue the so-called reset with Russia. And that – our relationship with Russia will not change by what’s been revealed here.
QUESTION: I’ve actually got the mike right down here. David Common with Canadian television.
MR. CROWLEY: Hello, David.
QUESTION: Just in relation to the investigation on Assange, he’s threatened to release more documents that originated with State, some of them top secret, if in fact he’s charged by the U.S. What role does that play in the broader investigation and the consideration whether to charge?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, the fact is he’s already released the documents to some news organizations, and so that was the basis of an exchange between Mr. Assange’s lawyer and the legal advisor of the State Department a few days ago. We called on him to return stolen property to the United States Government and he declined. I can’t predict where the investigation is going to go. Our Justice Department will investigate this fully. They’re working hand-in-glove with the Department of Defense and others. And we will hold those who have committed crimes against U.S. law fully accountable.
QUESTION: I am – my name is Hassim Al Adaf. I am a reporter of BBC Urdu and I have a very – two quick questions. Secretary – that – by – from WikiLeaks reports, it has been revealed purportedly that United States had been (inaudible) for getting amnesty to the military dictator like General Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan, and who did a lot of human rights violations, including he dismissed judges and put them in jail, and journalists. So do you think it’s good for the image here in the eyes of people of Pakistan?
And my second question: Don’t you think this is heart (ph) of tsunami to American diplomacy, the WikiLeaks? And if so, how much damage has been done?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, we think in the immediate term, damage has been done. You can look yesterday at the release of very sensitive information in terms of infrastructure that affects the United States and what supports our economy and our society and the – and those of other countries.
Information is classified for a very good reason. In some cases, it’s sensitive information that is crucial to the conduct of diplomacy or our economy. In other cases, it’s the sensitivity of sources, whether human sources or their technological sources. Every government has secrets. Every company has secrets. In Mr. Assange’s world, this – Google would give up its algorithm. In Mr. Assange’s world, Coca-Cola would give up its secret formula.
The fact is that everyone has proprietary information and you need protected information for any entity to be able to properly function. So we recognize that this is damaging. We’re going to do everything in our power to apply lessons that we’ve learned. We’ve already taken some steps to try to make sure that this cannot happen again. In a way, this is a 21st century challenge that you have information that is attached to global networks and you – in the race of technology, not only the United States, but others will have to work ever harder to try to protect that information, whether it’s from a leaker on the one hand or from a hacker on the other hand. This is a – this would be a profound challenge for companies and countries going forward.
In my view, judge the United States by its actions. And Pakistan is a perfect example – somebody’s got a phone on – perfect example of where the United States has worked to help Pakistan restore civilian government, from what amounted to a military dictatorship. And we are moving forward with a strategic partnership not only to continue to help Pakistan improve its military capability to confront an insurgency which is a threat to Pakistan as well as other countries. And most importantly, to build up the capacity of the Pakistani Government to be able to serve the legitimate needs of the Pakistani people.
We have put a significant amount of money forward. We have made a long-term commitment to Pakistan. We recognize that the Pakistani people are skeptical. We understand that. We’re going to work hard in a sustained effort over time to try to convince Pakistan that this is a relationship that we believe will be enduring and will serve the interests of the Pakistani people, the American people, and other people in the region and around the world.
MODERATOR: We’re going to take one more question from Washington.
QUESTION: Christophe Schmidt from AFP.
MR. CROWLEY: Hey, Christophe.
QUESTION: My question is on the Middle East. So we are just on the – is the United States (inaudible) try any more to get extension of the settlement freeze in the West Bank? So I understand your goals remain the same, that is, (inaudible). But could you elaborate on the change in strategy and the reasons for it?
And also, there is a report saying that Secretary Clinton will make a statement tomorrow. So is that true?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, Christophe, I’ve been on an airplane since I saw you last, so I – the Secretary will have more to say later in this week, but I’m not – I just have not been informed about a particular statement tomorrow at this point.
Let me work – I would say in response to your question, there’s not a change in strategy; there may well be a change in tactics. Let’s work from back to front. The United States remains committed to end the conflict in the Middle East. And we continue to pursue comprehensive peace in the Middle East, and that is in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian challenge, in the context of the Israeli-Syrian challenge, and in the context of the Israeli-Lebanese challenge. Nothing has changed.
We continue to pursue a framework agreement where we can reach a basic understanding on all of the core issues within this effort. They’re all well known, from borders and security to refugees and the status of Jerusalem. We have been pursuing a moratorium as a means to create conditions for a return to meaningful and sustained negotiations. After a considerable effort, we have concluded that this does not create a firm basis to work towards our shared goal of a framework agreement. And so we will be, in the coming days, inviting Palestinian and Israeli representatives to come to Washington to review how to best move the process forward and continue to make progress on the core issues.
QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. Crowley. Sylviane Zehil, L’Orient du Jour. WikiLeaks says that in the cable, that there are proof that the U.S. controls Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Do you have any reaction on that?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, I’ll be happy to answer that question while sitting here in New York across the street from the United Nations. No nation controls the Special Tribunal on Lebanon. It is an international body that is independent, and it is seeking justice and an end to impunity in Lebanon. It is supported by the United States, it is supported by the international community, but it is independent. And we reject all efforts to try to politicize the work of the tribunal. We will continue to support the tribunal and we look forward to whatever judgments and actions it recommends.
MODERATOR: Right over here.
QUESTION: Janine Harper, Fuji TV.
MR. CROWLEY: Hi.
QUESTION: Can you just describe your feeling upon hearing the news that Julian Assange was arrested today?
MR. CROWLEY: We – I’ve already answered that question. This is an issue between Britain and Sweden.
QUESTION: Hi, Robert Poredos, Slovenian Press Agency. I was wondering, was there any kind of embarrassment about the revelations in the State Department? Would they change in any way how you guys conduct your business or communicate in the cables?
MR. CROWLEY: We don’t plan to change what we’re doing as a result of these revelations.
QUESTION: Thank you, sir. My name is Kahraman Haliscelik with Turkish Radio and Television. One of my colleagues asked probably the same question. But with all due respect, some of the revelations were accusatory, like prime minister had bank accounts in Switzerland, or this had this, or those were accusations that normally within the country, people would pursue in courts. I mean, to – if somebody said that in politics, the prime minister sue them.
In the same context, did you speak with anybody about those things in Turkey? Did somebody speak with the prime minister of Turkey, or did any of these accusations – were spoken between the Secretary of State and Mr. Davutoglu?
MR. CROWLEY: The Secretary and the prime – and the foreign minister did have a meeting last week. Included in that meeting was a 30-minute one-on-one meeting where the Secretary and the foreign minister discussed WikiLeaks, and they emerged from their private meeting and recommitted themselves to continue to work to strengthen our relationship and to continue to cooperate on crucial issues of importance to Turkey and the United States. Beyond that, I won’t comment on any other – on the contents of any cable.
MODERATOR: Right here, Mr. Crowley.
MR. CROWLEY: All right.
QUESTION: Okay. Zdenek Fucik, Czech News Agency. In your view, where do you see the distinction between WikiLeaks and the traditional media, which has published cables as well? Do you think they could be affected by the DOJ investigation as well?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, earlier today, we announced that we proudly will host UNESCO’s 2011 World Press Freedom Day. And that is – that’s something that’s enshrined in our Constitution. It’s something that we promote day in and day out all around the world. We understand and appreciate and support the vital role that journalists have in creating a civil society around the world in holding governments to account. It is essential to the advance of good governance and, country by country, the advance of democracy. And we understand that you and your colleagues in various parts of the world are subject to intimidation and legal action and in some cases assassination every single day. So we appreciate and without hesitation continue to support the role of journalists in your daily pursuits. In our view, Mr. Assange is not a journalist.
MODERATOR: Yeah, go ahead.
QUESTION: Yes, Neeme Raude, Estonian television.
MR. CROWLEY: I’ll let you guys do the selections.
QUESTION: Okay, sorry. The main thing, as you said and other experts said, is to rebuild the trust. How the United States is doing that? What actions do you plan for that?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, we have done extensive outreach and we’re going to continue to do outreach with governments and with civil society. Our ambassadors and other diplomats have been engaging in daily conversations over the past couple of weeks and will continue to do that. But again, I would just say judge the United States by what we are doing day in and day out to advance our national interests but also to advance interests of other countries and other regions. There was no grand conspiracy through any of these that I have seen. We are continuing to cooperate and collaborate with other countries because it is in our mutual interest to do so. Our diplomats haven’t changed their pursuit of this cooperation, and we are – continue – encourage them to continue to do what they do.
And as I said at the outset, that’s what we’re doing country by country. It’s why the Secretary hosted the foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea yesterday, because we still face these compelling challenges. And none of these challenges can be resolved without broad cooperation. None of these challenges can be resolved without a role of the United States. So we can’t let Julian Assange undercut the system of close cooperation among governments which is symbolized by the United Nations here in New York, but also by other partnerships or formal alliances or regional organizations with which the United States and other countries cooperate for the good of the people of the world.
QUESTION: Following up on the question of –
MODERATOR: State your name and organization.
QUESTION: Kristin Saloomey from Al Jazeera English. Excuse my voice. A follow-up to the question on the Middle East peace process: How will the Administration bring the Palestinians back to the table, given the settlement issue was a red line for them? They said they won’t come back to the table. Is supporting a Palestinian declaration of statehood at the United Nations, or at least not opposing a declaration, an option that the U.S. would consider?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, taking that last point, we believe earnestly that final status issues should be negotiated between the parties. And we think at this stage, bringing these issues to the United Nations will just distract us from the important business at hand of charting a way forward and tackling the core issues in discussions between the Palestinians and the Israelis. It will take a complex environment and make it even more complicated. So –
QUESTION: (Inaudible) the negotiations aren’t going anywhere?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, we’re going – recall what I made clear: We haven’t changed our ultimate objective of ending the conflict. We still believe that in order to make progress on these issues, some kind of direct negotiation will be necessary. All that we’ve changed here is the path by which we will pursue progress on the core issues and, once again, try to create conditions that enable the process to move forward.
We thought for a period of time that the moratorium and then a resumption of the moratorium might be the best mechanism to advance a meaningful and sustained dialogue between the parties. We’ve come to the conclusion that that is not the best basis to move forward. We will have further conversations on the substance with the parties and will continue to try to find ways to create the kind of confidence that will eventually, we hope, allow them to engage directly.
QUESTION: Yes, my name is Kyung Min Jung, a correspondent for Korean newspaper. With regard to collecting information of United Nations high-profile people, including Secretary General, can you explain why do you need the personal information such as credit card number and internet password? I think that caused a kind of a suspicion of U.S. diplomats’ role.
And second, I know that Secretary Clinton met Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently, so what she explained about this issue? Can you brief it?
MR. CROWLEY: I’m – they did have a meeting and it was a constructive conversation. I will leave it between the Secretary and the Secretary General. She has reached out to a number of leaders in person and by phone and will continue to do that.
Regarding your first question, all I can tell you is that our diplomats are governed by U.S. law. And nothing in a, what I would call, intelligence community wish list changed the fundamental role of any of our diplomats.
QUESTION: Hello. My name is Louise With. I’m with Daily Newspaper Information in Denmark. Coming back to legal action, I’m wondering, first, what steps are you taking to protect this information better, given that we’ve heard that millions had access to it, that it was on lots of computers? And secondly –
MR. CROWLEY: Millions is not right.
QUESTION: Hundreds – how many? I’m wondering about that, too, actually.
MR. CROWLEY: A large number.
QUESTION: And secondly, which laws could be relevant here, which U.S. laws? Or would Congress have to consider new legislation to take legal action against WikiLeaks? Thank you.
MR. CROWLEY: I’m not a lawyer, so I will leave the second question to our fine lawyers at the Department of Justice.
Your first question is a very good one, and it’s appropriate to address that question here in New York. If you – in the pre-9/11 environment, information was siloed agency by agency and then very selectively offered across walls across the United States Government. In a vernacular, that meant that the proper dots were not connected to allow everyone across the government to fully understand what was transpiring with respect to this terrorism plot.
In the aftermath, rightly, there was a shift from need-to-know to the concept of need-to-share. It is the right concept, and through a variety of new legislation and reforms, we reformed our intelligence community and reformed the way in which agencies shared information. And this is vitally important in today’s operating environment. You look at a place like Afghanistan, for example, where you have soldiers standing side-by-side with diplomats, standing side-by-side with agricultural experts, standing side-by-side with legal experts, who are trying in different ways to help stabilize and strengthen Afghan institutions so that the Afghans can effectively govern themselves. And the Afghan Government at the state and – local and provincial level can serve the needs of the Afghan people. In order to work constructively in a whole-of-government effort, you need to share information so everyone is on the same page. So that is what we do. And it was in that context that we had a shared database where State Department information was available to others, including personnel within the Department of Defense.
In light of what has happened here, we have already taken and made certain adjustments. In the short term, we have narrowed the number of people who have access to the State Department database where these cables reside. And we are reviewing our procedures, and it may well be that we have to re-balance the need to share with the need to protect information. So that is something that is being actively pursued, led by a task force at the White House, of which the State Department is a full participant.
QUESTION: My name is Moviz Saddiqi, and I’m from AAJ TV from Pakistan. I have two quick questions. Number one, some part of the world, including Mister President of Iran, consider this leak is by design, from America, number one. Number two question –
MR. CROWLEY: Can I answer that question first?
MODERATOR: We’re just going to – we’ll take his one question and then we have time for one more.
MR. CROWLEY: No, I’m fine. I’m fine.
QUESTION: Second question is –
MR. CROWLEY: The first answer is no. As I’ve already answered this question a couple of times, no one within the United States Government with a brain wanted to see this happen. I can guarantee you this is not part of any grand conspiracy on behalf of the United States. The last thing that we wanted to see is what has actually happened.
QUESTION: My second question is about this WikiLeaks. Secretary Clinton says (inaudible) about the Saudi rulers. This is – they announced there was no (inaudible) real threat in the Middle East. But he’s – as you know, he’s a dictator. And 80 percent of population – with the news, anyway – says that 80 percent of population of Arab, the threat – they consider Israel is a real threat. Seventy-seven percent of Arabs, the threat America, 77 percent – America is real threat. So why she consider a dictator’s word, not the people words?
MR. CROWLEY: That’s a very difficult question to answer. All I can tell you, once again, is to judge the United States by what we do. What we are doing today is continuing to pursue comprehensive peace in the Middle East. We are continuing to work collaboratively and constructively with the international community in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen. As we mentioned earlier, we continue to support the special tribunal in Lebanon, obviously one of the most challenging and tense situations within an already volatile region. We are supporting these efforts and others, and I would also mention what we’re doing today in – with respect to Cote d’Ivoire and some meetings that happened across the street at the United Nations today to promote democracy and to demonstrate that we are committed to respect the will of the Ivoirian people.
This is what the United States does day in and day out, serving what we believe and trying to help solve challenges which affect our people and reflect – and affect people around the world. We are interested in peace, prosperity, security. We understand that people have some very strong views about the United States. We are committed to engage not just governments around the world, we’re engaging people around the world. The President has led an effort to try to change the context of the conversation. In a place like Geneva today, we understood that the tension that has existed between Iran and the United States would not be resolved in one meeting, but we are gratified that there is now a commitment to a second meeting, and we hope that that will lead to a process through which the international community and Iran can resolve questions that do exist about the nature of Iran’s nuclear program.
We hosted a very important meeting yesterday with respect to our treaty allies in the Pacific region, Japan and Korea. We continue to engage China and others to try to reduce tensions along the Korean Peninsula. As the Secretary announced yesterday, there will be a high-level delegation from the United States led by the Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg go out – will be going to the region next week, again, in the pursuit of peace and the pursuit of our agenda of avoiding the proliferation of dangerous materials that poses a risk not just to the United States but to other countries around the world. This is what we do. And we hope that over time people will respect what we do. We’re not out to capture territory. We’re not out to dominate people. We’re out to solve shared challenges. And that’s – we hope is how people around the world will judge us.
MODERATOR: Okay, I think we have time for one more question.
MR. CROWLEY: We’ll take two.
QUESTION: Thank you. My name is Natalia Slavina, ITAR-TASS Russia. The year is going past. Could you name the main crucial achievements of State Department foreign policy as well as in this view of the relationships between Russia and USA? Thank you.
MR. CROWLEY: An achievement this year –
MR. CROWLEY: Between the United States and Russia?
QUESTION: As well as just in foreign policy in general and with Russia.
MR. CROWLEY: Boy, what an opening. Well, we hope, we hope, that before the year is out the United States Senate will provide its advice and consent regarding a New START Treaty which was negotiated beginning late last year and into the first part of this year in good faith between Russia and the United States. That treaty is absolutely in the United States’s interest, in Russia’s interest, and in the world’s interests. The two leading nuclear superpowers should, in fact, cooperate to reduce our reliance – to reduce our stocks and reduce our reliance on nuclear weapons. This is an example of where Russia and the United States can lead by example, and we hope that the respective legislatures of both countries will recognize that and affirm this treaty as soon as possible. We hope that this will happen in the United States before the end of the year.
I think that if you think about Africa, for example, while we continue to work with the international community to convince the current government in Cote d’Ivoire to work towards a – to respect the will of their people and work towards a peaceful transition, we also recognize that we just had a significant achievement in Guinea Conakry, where, for the first time in decades, there is a new democratic government that the United States, together with France and others in the region, were able to help engineer from a very tragic circumstance where a number of people were killed in a stadium. But that led the way to a fundamental change in Guinea Conakry.
But we recognize that that’s one example. There are many, many others. I would say what the Secretary has done this year, among other things, in terms of continuing to bring attention to the challenge confronted by women around the world and the importance that if you were going to solve local, regional, international challenges, women will have to play a more significant role. Women will have to have the same rights as their male colleagues. Where 70 percent of women around the world – or 70 percent of agricultural workers are women, you have to advance the status of women in these societies, give them the ability to own property, to accumulate wealth. And that has – that can have a profound effect in helping to transform different countries, different regions, and the world as a whole. So these are just some examples of what we’re very, very proud of in terms of what we’ve accomplished this year. That’s not an exclusive list. There are many others.
QUESTION: Thanks a lot. Matthew Lee, Inner City Press. I wanted to ask about Yemen. You were asked, I think back on December 15th, if the U.S. was involved in any military operations in Yemen. And you said no. And obviously, the cables have sort of confirmed air strikes at least as early as December 17th. I understand maybe you’re going to say that you – the question was only about the Houthis. Can you just say – I guess is it –
MR. CROWLEY: Well, in fact, the question was about the Houthis.
QUESTION: Does that –
MR. CROWLEY: I went back. I was asked about this earlier, and I went back to the transcript of last year. And the question started with the Houthis claiming that the United States had bombed them, and the answer to that question was no. Remember, in Yemen, there are multiple conflicts, and thankfully, at least for the moment, the conflict between the Yemeni Government and the Houthis has been resolved – or not resolved, but it has been arrested. But there is a conflict between the Yemeni Government and al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. If you go back to a number of cases where we have been asked about particular issues, we have given a different answer that the United States supports Yemen’s counterterrorism efforts without being specific. So I understand that there is some confusion over how I answered that question, but I answered that question in the context of whether the United States was involved in the Yemeni action against the Houthis, and the answer to that was and remains no.
QUESTION: And also on Sudan, I wanted to ask you – there’s some who are saying that the government started bombing – has been bombing in Darfur for some weeks and has actually now twice bombed South Sudan. So some people are wondering why the U.S. – obviously, the focus is on the CPA and the referendum, but is the U.S. thinking of naming an envoy, as some of the activists and NGO groups have said? What is the U.S. view of – are things going – what’s this bombing mean? Does it mean that the government is trying to stop the referendum? And what does – during your Security Council presidency?
MR. CROWLEY: I’m delighted that you brought up Sudan, and I think probably working off of the question of accomplishments in 2010, we can look to probably what might well be the most significant story that we face in 2011. We are now 30 days away from a referendum about the future of Sudan. We are encouraged by the voter registration that has been ongoing in preparation for that referendum. And we have made it clear to the parties that their future relationship with the United States depends on working cooperatively towards a successful and credible referendum on January 9th.
And secondly, depending on the outcome of that referendum and the will of the people of South Sudan, who through the CPA have earned the right to have a voice in their future, we have made it clear to leaders in Khartoum and Juba that they must cooperate in the post-referendum phase. And should the people of South Sudan vote for independence, it’ll be incumbent upon them to work effectively and cooperatively leading to the creation of a new nation of South Sudan next July.
This is arguably the most compelling – one of the most – if not the most compelling story that the world will face in the first half of 2011. And we understand the risks quite compellingly that if this goes well, it has the ability to transform and have a very positive effect on many challenges around the region, not the least of which is the situation in Darfur. And if it goes badly, we understand that there is a significant risk of a return to civil war. We are doing everything in our power, working, again, cooperatively with the international community, to try to make sure that the referendum on South Sudan moves ahead constructively.
We continue to press the parties with respect to the situation on Abyei. I think we have a recognition that that referendum will not go forward on January 9th, but we continue to encourage the parties to work on a solution to Abyei. Our Special Envoy Scott Gration has just – is returning to the region today and will be engaged over the next several days in Khartoum, in Juba, in Darfur. He will also be in Doha where the Qataris have led a very effective process to garner international support for this effort. So this is something that we have been committed to since the Obama Administration came into office, following up on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that was negotiated during the last American administration, and we are committed to do everything in our power to see this referendum come off peacefully and credibly.
Okay, one more.
QUESTION: Thank you. I am Hyun Sik Lee of SBS Korea. Is there still a possibility of the United States and the allies discussing the matter of Yeonpyeong Island’s shelling at the Security Council of the UN? Thank you.
MR. CROWLEY: I’ll probably defer to my colleagues here at the UN on that. We did discuss the way forward yesterday in – with the Secretary in her discussions with the foreign ministers of Korea and Japan, and we will be consulting, as we said, next week with our partners in the Six-Party process. So I don’t want to rule out that – any particular action, but this is something that is under discussion.
Thank you very, very much.
MODERATOR: Thank you.
Bloodless coup plotted by exiles involved president sharing power with a
prime minister – as eventually happened
* David Smith in Johannesburg
* guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 8 December 2010 21.30 GMT
Robert Mugabe, right, swears in Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister Robert
Mugabe, right, swears in Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister during the
February 2009 installation of their power-sharing administration.
Photograph: Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images
A bloodless coup was planned to remove Robert Mugabe as Zimbabwe's president
with the help of pressure from the UN secretary general, according to
classified US documents.
A group of exiled Zimbabwean businessman proposed in 2007 that Mugabe could
be persuaded to hand over executive power to a prime minister before leaving
office completely three years later. American officials welcomed the idea,
noting that it was "increasingly in circulation" in the capital, Harare, and
"may not require outside intervention".
The plot came to nothing, although it does bear similarities to the power
sharing deal that saw Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan
Tsvangirai become prime minister after violent elections in 2008.
A confidential memo from the US embassy in South Africa is entitled "Secret
power sharing plan" and dated 30 January 2007. At the time Zimbabwe was
plunging into an unprecedented economic crisis. The cable names a group of
prominent Zimbabwean businessmen living in South Africa who were pushing for
change but says their leader's identity should be "strictly protected".
Executive power was to be shifted from Mugabe to a "technocratic" prime
minister. "To get Mugabe to accept the deal, Mugabe would remain president
until 2010 with some power over the security apparatus, but the prime
minister would run the economy and get the country back on its feet," the
"All parties would work together to draft a new constitution. [The
businessman] was open to ideas on who best to sell the plan, but suggested
new UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, working through an envoy like former
Malaysian PM Mahathir, as possible mediators."
Mugabe would have retained the power to appoint the ministers of defence,
home affairs and national security. The prime minister would have appointed
other cabinet members, particularly in the economic arena. Deployment of
troops would have required the approval of both the PM and president.
In return for various reforms the international community was to agree on a
phased lifting of sanctions, the "acceptance" of the extension of Mugabe's
term to 2010 and economic assistance to help rehabilitate the Zimbabwean
The prime minister would have needed the backing of 85% of parliament and
therefore the support of the opposition MDC.
The US embassy said it could not comment on the merits of the plan but found
it "encouraging" that senior Zimbabwean businessmen abroad were discussing
solutions to the country's political and economic malaise.
"The four businessmen agreed that there is a 'window of opportunity' to
bring positive change to Zimbabwe, opened by the deteriorating economic
situation and Mugabe's advancing age and declining health."
Little detail was given on how Mugabe, a hero of the liberation struggle who
came to power in 1980, could be persuaded to stand aside.
Moeletsi Mbeki, a South African businessman and brother of its then
president, Thabo Mbeki, recommended against South Africa playing the
mediation role, arguing instead for a combination such as Ban and Mahathir.
An additional note from the US embassy in Harare suggests the MDC endorsed
the concept. It says Tsvangirai told embassy officials that "this is
Mugabe's Plan B as he runs into growing resistance" and that the prime
minister would be Simba Makoni, a former Mugabe ally turned rival.
"Significant outside intervention, therefore, may not be necessary; however,
gentle encouragement from Pretoria is unlikely to be amiss. UN SYG
[secretary general] Ban may not wish to engage on this issue at the
beginning of his tenure, especially in view of the way Mugabe treated former
UN SYG [Kofi] Annan.
"He fears for his future if he steps down – citing the Charles Taylor
example [the former Liberian president now on trial for war crimes] – and
perhaps even more importantly fears for the future of his wife and young
Another memo from the US embassy in Harare – with subheadings that include
"How to get Mugabe out" – shows that a decade ago the MDC considered a "mass
action" intended to force the president from office.
It details a breakfast meeting on 16 November 2000 between Tsvangirai and
Susan Rice, then-president Bill Clinton's assistant secretary for African
"Mass action would be intended to pressure president Mugabe to resign," it
says. "The MDC understands the serious risks associated with mass action,
Tsvangirai professed, and recognises that it is in the country's best
interest to avoid bloodshed."
Mass action would most likely have taken the form of a general strike that
December, it adds. But brutal government retaliation was a genuine fear:
"Tsvangirai believed the army wouldn't hesitate to shoot a lot of people.
"Tsvangirai was frank, confident and relaxed. However he did not convince us
that the MDC has a clear or well thought out plan for mass action or what it
"Everyone is focused on seeing Mugabe go but it will probably take a
convergence of opposition from Zanu-PF, the military and regional leaders to
force him out."
The MDC leader was seeking foreign assistance with little success.
"Tsvangirai mentioned that on his last visit to South Africa he met with
former president [Nelson] Mandela – who still exerts great influence in
South Africa, he stated – and urged the leader to intervene in Zimbabwe. He
did not receive a firm commitment from Mandela, however, and did not see
"Tsvangirai said that when he was in the UK recently he told the British to
refrain from making public statements on land reform in Zimbabwe and to use
their influence behind the scenes to resolve the problem."
Even in 2000 Tsvangirai said that ideally the MDC would like to see a
"transitional arrangement" over two years where Mugabe's Zanu-PF remained in
power but brought in MDC ministers to arrest economic decline. Another eight
years, with much bloodshed and hardship, were to pass before this became
* guardian.co.uk, Thursday 9 December 2010 11.50 GMT
Wednesday, 10 February 2010, 13:00
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000093
AF/S FOR BRIAN WALCH
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR MICHELLE GAVIN
ADDIS FOR USAU
EO 12958 DECL: 2020/02/10
TAGS PREL, PGOV, ZI
SUBJECT: XXXXXXXXXXXX's observations on the political landscape and
REF: HARARE 87; HARARE 36
CLASSIFIED BY: Charles A. Ray, Ambassador, STATE, EXEC; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)
1. (SBU) Pol/econ chief met February 9 with XXXXXXXXXXXX offered his
observations on various topics including the state of ZANU-PF,
indigenization, and elections.
2. (C) ZANU-PF. XXXXXXXXXXXX described the party as badly fractured. It was
like a stick of TNT, susceptible to ignition and disintegration. ZANU-PF was
holding together because of the threat of MDC-T and foreign pressure. He
likened ZANU-PF to a troop of baboons incessantly fighting among themselves,
but coming together to face an external threat. New leadership was essential
and would emerge as some of the old timers, including Robert Mugabe, left
the scene. XXXXXXXXXXXX opined that Vice President Joice Mujuru or S.K. Moyo
(former ambassador to South African and now party chair) were possibilities,
although Mujuru's fear of Mugabe was affecting her ability to lead.
3. (C) MDC-T. According to XXXXXXXXXXXX, MDC-T is alienating supporters
because of corruption. He pointed to the Harare suburb of Chitungwiza where
MDC-T is investigating its councilors for being on the take. Residents of
Chitungwiza blame the party. XXXXXXXXXXXX commented that part of the problem
was that many MDC-T local councilors and parliamentarians elected in 2008
had no independent income. Unable to survive on their US$200/month salaries,
they were now turning to graft. He also noted that the national party was
not enabling parliamentarians to demonstrate, e.g. by bringing home pork,
that they were working for their constituents.
4. (C) Elections. XXXXXXXXXXXX believed elections would take place in 2012
or 2013. Parliamentarians from all parties, particularly those who had no
income before coming into office, had no interest in running again before
necessary. They would try to stall the constitutional process.
5. (C) Global Political Agreement (GPA). XXXXXXXXXXXX thought there would be
slow progress. In his opinion, the most important achievement of the GPA was
the sidelining of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono.
6. (C) Indigenization. Taking an opposite view to Minister of Youth and
Indigenization Saviour Kasukuwere (Ref A), XXXXXXXXXXXX said the
government's indigenization program benefitted nobody accept those who were
already wealthy. It did nothing for his constituents, who couldn't afford to
buy into companies and were living hand-to-mouth.
7. (C) Economic Recovery. XXXXXXXXXXXX said a primary focus should be
communal lands where 80 percent of Zimbabweans live. Before the economy
collapsed, he said the communal areas produced 80 percent of farm output
consumed in the country. (NOTE: These numbers are indicative but not
accurate. More than 30 percent of Zimbabweans live in urban areas, so
somewhat less than 80 percent live on communal lands. But communal lands
have long been the main source of Zimbabwe's domestic food supply. END
NOTE.) Production dramatically decreased with the collapse of the economy as
small farmers were no longer able to access inputs. Another factor was the
Grain Marketing Board's requirement that crops be sold to it. It then failed
to pay farmers. XXXXXXXXXXXX stated that international assistance would be
necessary to resuscitate the economy. But
HARARE 00000093 002 OF 002
lesser steps were important. He volunteered that the Ambassador's Self Help
Program had once been present in communal areas. It was a powerful
indication of U.S. interest in helping Zimbabweans, and was of tremendous
assistance to those who benefitted from projects.
8. (C) Sanctions and ZDERA. XXXXXXXXXXXX said sanctions on individuals
should remain if justified by the behavior of these individuals. Sanctions
on parastatals that were contributing or could contribute to the economy
should be lifted. With regard to ZDERA, XXXXXXXXXXXX acknowledged that the
IMF and World Bank had ceased activities in Zimbabwe before ZDERA was
enacted. The economy was already on a downhill trajectory because of
misguided economic policies and the disastrous land reform policy. But the
passage of ZDERA was like slashing an already deflating tire. Many
Zimbabweans viewed ZDERA as an attempt to hurt them when they were already
suffering. As such, said XXXXXXXXXXXX, ZDERA has a large symbolic value and
should be repealed.
9. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX
10. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX's comments on ZANU-PF are representative of a large
part of the party. There is little doubt that if a secret party election
were held, Mugabe and his inner circle would lose their positions. But
Mugabe, aided by the securocrats and through fear, still has control. On
sanctions and ZDERA, most ZANU-PF members, even moderates, tell us they
believe sanctions, especially on parastatals, and ZDERA have hurt the
economy (though they cannot cite evidence for this claim). XXXXXXXXXXXX's
view is more nuanced than most. XXXXXXXXXXXX's view on ZDERA is what many in
the MDC-T have been telling us: It is serving no real purpose other than to
provide a convenient whipping boy for ZANU-PF. END COMMENT RAY
Thu Dec 9, 2010 5:56am EST
* Mugabe's wife implicated in trade
* Central bank printed currency to buy stones
* Military gained money from diamonds
By Jon Herskovitz
JOHANNESBURG, Dec 9 (Reuters) - The illicit diamond trade in Zimbabwe has
led to the murder of thousands, enriched those close to President Robert
Mugabe and been financed in part by the central bank, according to U.S.
documents on WikiLeaks.
"In a country filled with corrupt schemes, the diamond business in Zimbabwe
is one of the dirtiest," according to a classified document dated in
November 2008 from the U.S. embassy in the country, released this week on
Mugabe was forced into a unity government with long-time rivals nearly two
years ago and the state has been trying to boost the economy by winning
approval for diamond sales through the Kimberly Process, a world monitor of
the diamond trade.
In the classified documents that date from before the unity government came
to power, U.S. diplomats cite a well established British mining executive as
saying those close to Mugabe, including his wife, "have been extracting
tremendous profits" from the Chiadzwa mine in the eastern part of the
"The diamonds that are sold to regime members and elites are sold for
freshly printed Zimbabwean notes issued by the RBZ (Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe)," one document from late 2008 cited British mining executive
Andrew Cranswick as saying.
The stones dubbed "blood diamonds" because of the human rights abuses
associated with their extraction, were then resold to foreign buyers,
earning each of the members of the powerful group hundreds of thousands of
dollars a month, it said.
Rights groups have accused Zimbabwe's military of widespread atrocities in
the diamond fields in 2008 as Mugabe's previous government moved to stop
thousands of illegal miners on the poorly secured fields in the east of the
Mugabe has accused Western countries of working to stop Zimbabwe from
benefiting from its mineral resources.
Ministry of Mines secretary Thankful Musukutwa told a parliamentary
committee earlier this year the government was complying with demands from
diamond trade regulator Kimberly Process.
A separate document from January 2009 said that as the local currency became
essentially worthless, the Zimbabwe military stepped more deeply into the
diamonds trade, using hard cash from abroad to finance operations.
"This has not deterred the continued brisk diamond trade involving foreign
buyers, including most prominently the Lebanese," said a document from
January 2009 citing a classified report from an unnamed U.S. political
Just before the power sharing government was installed, the military
intensified its control over the diamond fields, aiming to gain as much
money as possible, it said.
The government deployed soldiers at the diamond fields in Marange in 2008 to
seal off the area and clamp down on illegal mining, but rights activists say
this resulted in serious rights abuses by the army. [ID:nLJ308759]
Villagers were uprooted and murders increased, the classified U.S. documents
A classified document cited a village chief as saying the government had
relocated as many as 25,000 villagers in an attempt to secure more money.
Zimbabwe is now struggling to sell its Marange diamonds after the Kimberley
Process barred its members from dealing in the stones, saying their
certification by global regulators did not guarantee they were free from
human rights abuses.
08 December, 2010 10:30:00 -
Wednesday, 29 November 2000, 13:59
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 006677
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
EO 12958 DECL: 11/29/10
TAGS PGOV, PREL, ECON, PINR, ZI, SA
SUBJECT: ASSISTANT SECRETARY MEETS WITH ZIMBABWE
PAGE 02 HARARE 06677 01 OF 03 291400Z OPPOSITION LEADER
REFTEL: HARARE 6584
CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD FOR REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D).
1. (C) SUMMARY: ASSISTANT SECRETARY SUSAN E. RICE MET MOVEMENT FOR
DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI ON NOVEMBER 16.
TSVANGIRAI OFFERED FOUR SIPDIS SCENARIOS UNDER WHICH THE CURRENT POLITICAL
CRISIS COULD UNFOLD.
HE BELIEVES A TRANSITIONAL UNITY GOVERNMENT IS THE BEST WAY OUT OF THE
CRISIS PITTING THE PEOPLE AGAINST THEIR UNPOPULAR LEADER. MASS ACTION WILL
BE CONSIDERED INITIALLY AT THE MDC'S NATIONAL COUNCIL MEETING NOVEMBER 24.
MASS ACTION WOULD BE INTENDED TO PRESSURE PRESIDENT MUGABE TO RESIGN. THE
MDC UNDERSTANDS THE SERIOUS RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH MASS ACTION, TSVANGIRAI
PROFESSED, AND RECOGNIZES THAT IT IS IN THE COUNTRY'S BEST INTEREST TO AVOID
BLOODSHED. EVERYONE IS FOCUSED ON SEEING MUGABE GO, BUT IT WILL PROBABLY
TAKE A CONVERGENCE OF OPPOSITION FROM ZANU-PF, THE MILITARY, AND REGIONAL
LEADERS TO FORCE HIM OUT. END SUMMARY.
2. (C) ON NOVEMBER 16, ASSISTANT SECRETARY SUSAN E. RICE, HER DELEGATION,
AMBASSADOR MCDONALD, DCM, AND POLOFF (NOTETAKER) HAD A BREAKFAST MEETING
WITH MDC PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI. TSVANGIRAI WAS ACCOMPANIED BY MDC
NATIONAL CHAIRMAN ISAAC MATONGO.
PAGE 03 HARARE 06677 01 OF 03 291400Z
TSVANGIRAI LOOKS INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL
3. (C) TSVANGIRAI BEGAN BY SAYING THAT HE SEES THREE FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEMS IN
ZIMBABWE: LAWLESSNESS, THE LAND QUESTION, AND THE ECONOMY, AND EMPHASIZED
THAT THE ECONOMY IS THE MOST DIRE PROBLEM. HE ALSO STATED THAT THE
GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE (GOZ) IS TRYING TO POLARIZE THE POLITICAL PLAYERS IN
THE MDC LEADER SEES FOUR POTENTIAL SCENARIOS EMERGING FROM THE CURRENT
POLITICAL CRISIS: 1) THE PEOPLE WAIT 18 MONTHS TO VOTE MUGABE OUT--THIS IS
THE MOST CONSTITUTIONAL, BUT LEAST LIKELY SCENARIO. 2) THERE IS AN
ACCELERATED, BUT STILL CONSTITUTIONAL, PROCESS WHEREBY MUGABE RESIGNS OR IS
EASED OUT AT THE DECEMBER ZANU-PF CONGRESS. THIS IS NOT VERY LIKELY EITHER
SINCE MUGABE HAS OUSTED THE PROVINCIAL PARTY EXECUTIVES THAT MIGHT CHALLENGE
HIS INTENTION TO RUN AGAIN IN 2002. 3) MASS ACTION IS UNDERTAKEN, FORCING
MUGABE TO LEAVE THE SCENE EARLY. TSVANGIRAI STATED THAT THIS OPTION MUST BE
CAREFULLY SIPDIS CONSIDERED, AND HE ASKED RHETORICALLY: DO WE WANT TO PUSH
OUT AN ELECTED PRESIDENT BEFORE HIS TERM IS UP? 4) AN ARMY COUP THAT REMOVES
MUGABE, POSSIBLY WITH A GREAT DEAL OF BLOODSHED, FROM WHICH IT WOULD BE VERY
DIFFICULT FOR ZIMBABWE TO RECOVER.
4. (C) IDEALLY, TSVANGIRAI CONTINUED, THE MDC WOULD LIKE TO SEE A
TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENT FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS WHERE ZANU-PF REMAINED IN
CONTROL OF THE GOVERNMENT BUT BROUGHT IN MDC MINISTERS--ESSENTIALLY, A
PAGE 04 HARARE 06677 01 OF 03 291400Z COALITION GOVERNMENT. THE GOAL OF A
TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT WOULD BE TO ARREST THE ECONOMIC DECLINE, RESTORE
INTERNATIONAL CONFIDENCE IN ZIMBABWE, AND ESTABLISH THE CONSTITUTIONAL
PROCESS FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. WHEN ASKED ABOUT AMENDING THE
CONSTITUTION FIRST TO MAKE A COALITION GOVERNMENT MORE FEASIBLE, TSVANGIRAI
STATED THAT A CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM PROCESS
SIPDIS SHOULD BE BROAD-BASED AND WELL-CONSIDERED. UNFORTUNATELY, THERE IS
NOT ENOUGH TIME TO GO THROUGH THAT PROCESS NOW. HE SAID THE ECONOMY IS THE
PRIORITY ISSUE BECAUSE CONFIDENCE MUST BE RESTORED IN IT BEFORE THE
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN 2002. IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE TO TALK ABOUT THE
CONSTITUTION WHILE THE PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING.
MASS ACTION IS ON THE TABLE
5. (C) THE OPPOSITION LEADER WENT ON TO SAY THAT THE COUNTRY CANNOT CONTINUE
AS IT HAS FOR ANOTHER SIX MONTHS. WE KNOW THAT ZIMBABWE IS NOT LIKE
YUGOSLAVIA, BUT THE PEOPLE ARE DEMANDING CHANGE BEFORE THE SITUATION GETS
WORSE, HE PROFESSED. UNDER NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES, THE MDC WOULD WAIT UNTIL
2002 FOR CHANGE, BUT THE ECONOMIC DECLINE IS SO STEEP THAT IF IT WAITS THAT
PAGE 01 HARARE 06677 02 OF 03 291401Z ACTION AF-00
INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00 COME-00 CTME-00 DINT-00
DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EUR-00 EXIM-01 E-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00
VC-00 FRB-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO">IO">IO-00 ITC-01 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00
AC-01 NSAE-00 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00
SP">SP">SP">SP">SP-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-02
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/38 O 291359Z NOV 00 FM AMEMBASSY HARARE TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7739
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY AMEMBASSY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 006677
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/29/10 TAGS: PGOV, PREL, ECON, PINR, ZI, SA SUBJECT:
ASSISTANT SECRETARY MEETS WITH ZIMBABWE CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 02 HARARE 06677 02 OF 03 291401Z OPPOSITION LEADER
THERE WILL BE "NOTHING TO VOTE FOR" BY THE TIME THE ELECTION ARRIVES. THE
MDC'S NATIONAL COUNCIL , AT LEAST INITIALLY, WILL MEET NOVEMBER 24 TO
CONSIDER MASS ACTION. IF THE EXECUTIVE DECIDES TO CONDUCT A MASS ACTION, IT
WILL MOST LIKELY BE IN THE FORM OF GENERAL STRIKE TO BEGIN IN MID-DECEMBER
WHEN CHILDREN ARE HOME FROM SCHOOL AND BUSINESSES BEGIN TO CLOSE ANYWAY FOR
THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY. THIS WOULD MINIMIZE THE ECONOMIC IMPACT ON THE
POPULATION, TSVANGIRAI BELIEVES. (NOTE: THE MDC'S NATIONAL COUNCIL CANCELLED
PLANS FOR MASS ACTION AT ITS NOVEMBER 24 MEETING. SEE REFTEL. END NOTE.) HE
SAID THE MDC UNDERSTANDS THE MAGNITUDE AND SERIOUSNESS OF MASS ACTION, AND
IT HAS TRIED TO POSTPONE IT FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE, BUT THE POPULAR
SENTIMENT IS TO DO IT. A GENERAL STAY-AWAY IS PREFERABLE TO CONFRONTATION
SINCE IT IS NOT IN THE COUNTRY'S BEST INTEREST TO HAVE VIOLENCE OR
6. (C) ON THE GOZ'S REACTION TO A MASS DEMONSTRATION IN HARARE, TSVANGIRAI
BELIEVED THE ARMY WOULDN'T HESITATE TO SHOOT A LOT OF PEOPLE. HE THOUGHT ITS
REACTION WOULD BE LESS SEVERE IN OTHER CITIES LIKE BULAWAYO AND MUTARE,
WHERE THE NUMBER OF TROOPS IS MUCH FEWER AND THEIR LOYALTY TO MUGABE MORE
QUESTIONABLE. ON THE OTHER HAND, HE SEES THE MILITARY AS DIVIDED. MUGABE HAS
APPROPRIATED THE TOP BRASS FOR HIS OWN ENDS, AND THEY ARE LOYAL TO HIM.
HOWEVER, THE BULK OF THE MILITARY'S LOWER RANKS DO NOT SUPPORT THE
PRESIDENT, TSVANGIRAI CLAIMED. CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 03 HARARE 06677 02 OF 03 291401Z
HOW TO GET MUGABE OUT
7. (C) THE MILITARY IS ONE OF THE THREE MAJOR INFLUENCES ON MUGABE,
TSVANGIRAI CONTINUED. THE OTHER TWO ARE ZANU-PF AND REGIONAL LEADERS. IF
MUGABE IS TO BE PRESSURED TO LEAVE THE SCENE, ALL THREE MUST TURN AGAINST
HIM, THE OPPOSITION LEADER DECLARED. WHEN ASKED WHAT ELSE MIGHT INDUCE
MUGABE TO STEP DOWN, TSVANGIRAI SAID THE PRESIDENT WILL DO SO ONLY AFTER HE
HAS HAD HIS REVENGE AGAINST THE WHITES AND ONLY AFTER HE HAS REIGNED IN
ZANU-PF DISSIDENTS AND UNIFIED HIS PARTY. MUGABE IS A VINDICTIVE PERSON,
TSVANGIRAI PROFESSED. FOR ITS PART, THE MDC RECOGNIZES MUGABE AS THE
NATION'S FIRST LEADER AND A VERY IMPORTANT ONE IN ITS HISTORY. THE MDC WON'T
ENGAGE IN RETRIBUTION AGAINST MUGABE AND HIS SUPPORTERS, TSVANGIRAI HINTED,
BECAUSE "WE CAN'T FOCUS ON THE PAST IF WE ARE TO MOVE FORWARD." WHILE MUGABE
IS PRESIDENT, THE MDC LEADERSHIP WON'T MAKE PERSONAL COMMENTS ABOUT HIM, AS
THAT WOULD JUST INFLAME THE SITUATION.
ROLE OF REGIONAL LEADERS
8. (C) THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY ASKED THE MDC LEADER ABOUT THE ROLE REGIONAL
LEADERS COULD PLAY IN RESOLVING THE SITUATION. TSVANGIRAI STATED THAT AFTER
PAGE 04 HARARE 06677 02 OF 03 291401Z SHOWING AMBIVALENCE TOWARD ZIMBABWE,
SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT MBEKI HAS RECENTLY STARTED TO TALK MORE FIRMLY AND
IS SHOWING SIGNS HE WILL NO LONGER TOLERATE THE SITUATION IN ZIMBABWE.
TSVANGIRAI MENTIONED THAT ON HIS LAST VISIT TO SOUTH AFRICA, HE MET WITH
FORMER PRESIDENT MANDELA--WHO STILL EXERTS GREAT INFLUENCE IN SOUTH AFRICA,
HE STATED--AND URGED THE LEADER TO INTERVENE IN ZIMBABWE. HE DID NOT RECEIVE
A FIRM COMMITMENT FROM MANDELA, HOWEVER, AND DID NOT SEE MBEKI. ZAMBIAN
PRESIDENT CHILUBA HAS BEEN DISTANT WITH THE MDC..
MDC'S VIEW ON LAND ISSUE
9. (C) ON THE LAND ISSUE, TSVANGIRAI ACKNOWLEDGED THAT LAND REFORM WAS
"UNFINISHED" BUSINESS AND MUST BE ADDRESSED SERIOUSLY BY ANY GOVERNMENT OF
ZIMBABWE. HOWEVER, EQUITY, LEGALITY AND ECONOMIC VIABILITY MUST BE KEYSTONES
TO ANY SUCCESSFUL LAND REFORM PROGRAM. THE MDC SUPPORTS THE ESTABLISHMENT OF
A LAND COMMISSION TO OVERSEE THE REDISTRIBUTION OF LAND. THE MDC ALSO SEES
THE 1998 DONORS CONFERENCE AS THE STARTING POINT FOR LAND REFORM, AND IT
WOULD SUPPORT THE UNDP LAND INITIATIVE, THE OPPOSITION LEADER STATED.
TSVANGIRAI SAID THAT WHEN HE WAS IN THE UK RECENTLY, HE TOLD THE
PAGE 01 HARARE 06677 03 OF 03 291401Z ACTION AF-00
INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00 COME-00 CTME-00 DINT-00
DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EUR-00 EXIM-01 E-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00
VC-00 FRB-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO">IO">IO-00 ITC-01 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00
AC-01 NSAE-00 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00
SP">SP">SP">SP">SP-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-02
DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 SWCI-00 /012W ------------------A54E5D 291401Z
/38 O 291359Z NOV 00 FM AMEMBASSY HARARE TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7740
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY AMEMBASSY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 006677
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/29/10 TAGS: PGOV, PREL, ECON, PINR, ZI, SA SUBJECT:
ASSISTANT SECRETARY MEETS WITH ZIMBABWE CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 02 HARARE 06677 03 OF 03 291401Z OPPOSITION LEADER
BRITISH TO REFRAIN FROM MAKING PUBLIC STATEMENTS ON LAND REFORM IN ZIMBABWE
AND TO USE ITS INFLUENCE BEHIND THE SCENES TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM.
ZIMBABWE NEEDS A PEACEFUL TRANSITION
10. (C) THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY STRESSED THE IMPORTANCE OF A PEACEFUL
POLITICAL TRANSITION TO THE OPPOSITION LEADER. THE USG SEES HUGE RISKS--WITH
FEW, IF ANY, UPSIDES--TO MASS ACTION, AND URGED THE MDC TO MANAGE THE
POLITICAL TRANSITION CAREFULLY. WE HAVE URGED THE GOZ NOT TO USE LETHAL
FORCE ON DEMONSTRATORS, AND WE URGE THE OPPOSITION NOT TO GET IN A SITUATION
WHERE LETHAL FORCE MIGHT BE USED, THE SECRETARY SAID. THE USG ALSO WANTS TO
ENCOURAGE THE MDC TO ENGAGE IN A DIALOGUE WITH MODERATES IN ZANU-PF, EVEN IF
PRIVATELY. A/S RICE AFFIRMED THE USG'S WILLINGNESS TO FACILITATE SUCH
CONTACTS, IF DESIRED. SHE ALSO PUSHED THE MDC TO PARTICIPATE IN THE
GOVERNANCE OF THE COUNTRY THROUGH ITS SUBSTANTIAL PRESENCE IN PARLIAMENT,
AND LAMENTED THE MDC FAILURE TO ENGAGE IN THE PREPARATION OF THE BUDGET,
DESPITE THE FINANCE MINISTER'S SOLICITATION OF MDC INPUT. SUCH ENGAGEMENT,
RICE ARGUED, WOULD SHOW THAT THE MDC IS A SERIOUS AND CREDIBLE ALTERNATIVE
TO ZANU- PF. TSVANGIRAI, WHEN PRESSED, RELUCTANTLY TOOK THIS POINT ON BOARD.
PAGE 03 HARARE 06677 03 OF 03 291401Z 11. (C) COMMENT: TSVANGIRAI WAS FRANK,
CONFIDENT AND RELAXED. HOWEVER, HE DID NOT CONVINCE US THAT THE MDC HAS A
CLEAR OR WELL-THOUGHT-OUT PLAN FOR MASS ACTION OR WHAT IT WOULD ACCOMPLISH.
HIS COMMENTS SUGGESTED THE MDC IS PINNING HOPE ON INTERNAL ZANU-PF
MACHINATIONS TO FORCE MUGABE FROM POWER. HIS PUBLIC APPROVAL OF FINANCE
MINISTER MAKONI'S BUDGET, AS REPORTED IN THE NOVEMBER 17 "THE DAILY NEWS,"
MAY BE AN INDICATION OF HIS UNDERSTANDING OF THE NEED TO DEMONSTRATE
CREDIBLE POLITICAL LEADERSHIP. TSVANGIRAI IS CLEARLY UNDER PRESSURE FROM THE
PUBLIC TO LEAD A CHANGE OF GOVERNMENT. OTHER INTERLOCUTORS HAVE TOLD US THAT
IF HE DOES NOT DO SO SOON, HE HIMSELF MAY BE FORCED FROM THE PARTY
LEADERSHIP. NOW THAT THE QUESTION OF MASS ACTION IS MOOT FOR THE TIME-BEING,
IT WILL BE UP TO TSVANGIRAI TO CHANNEL THE PEOPLE'S, AND HIS OWN PARTY
MEMBERS', FRUSTRATION INTO CONSTRUCTIVE CHANGE. IF TSVANGIRAI CAN DO THAT,
HIS POSITION WILL BE STRENGTHENED IMMEASURABLY, BOTH HERE AND ABROAD. END
12. (U) A/S RICE HAS CLEARED THIS MESSAGE.
08 December, 2010 09:43:00 The Guardian (UK)
US embassy cables: Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai tells US Mugabe
is increasingly 'old, tired and poorly briefed'
Thursday, 24 December 2009, 08:26
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001004
DEPT FOR ASSISTANT SECRETARY CARSON, DAS PAGE, AND AF/S
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR MICHELLE GAVIN
EO 12958 DECL: 12/24/2019
TAGS PREL, PGOV, PHUM, ASEC, ZI
SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI ASKS THE WEST FOR HELP ON CHANGING THE
REF: HARARE 987
Classified By: AMBASSADOR CHARLES A. RAY FOR REASONS 1.4 B,D
1. (SBU) This cable includes an ACTION REQUEST, please see paragraph 8.
2. (C) SUMMARY: Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said that while there was
tremendous progress in 2009 as compared to 2008, Zimbabwe and its coalition
government still faces challenges. Reforms must be implemented quickly, and
there has been some progress, though none that affects the ZANU-PF power
structure. Implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) has been
slow and Mugabe has been using delay to maintain control.
In 2010 there must be some progress to show the people, but it will require
actions by all parties, including the Western powers, to change the status
quo. He expects the recently announced commissions to be installed in early
2010, and is satisfied with their makeup. ZANU-PF has implemented a strategy
of reciprocity in the negotiations, using Western sanctions as a cudgel
against MDC. He would like to see some quiet moves, provided there are
acceptable benchmarks, to 'give' some modest reward for modest progress.
3. (C) Ambassadors of the U.S., UK, French, and the Netherlands, and a
representative of the EU were called to PM Tsvangirai's residence at 0730 on
December 24 for an update briefing on the current discussions among the
principals in the coalition government and a request from him for some
flexibility on the part of the West on the issue of sanctions.
He said that there has been tremendous progress in restoring confidence of
the people in government in 2009 as compared to 2008. The people generally
endorse the government, but the future holds both opportunities and
challenges. The principal challenge is how to quickly embark on reforms.
There has been a little progress on that front, but not what was expected.
Implementation of the GPA has been too slow, and he is not satisfied with
it. ZANU-PF has been using delay on the GPA to maintain control.
The negotiators have held 11 meetings up until the end of the year. On the
issues of media, land, and corruption, there has been some progress, but
none of it touches on the power structure. On the three stickiest issues,
Gono, Tomana, and Bennett, there has been no progress. He is hopeful,
however, that if some progress can be made on other issues, these too will
4. (C) ZANU-PF seems to have introduced a new tactic in its agenda -
reciprocity. What this means, he said, is that Mugabe is asking, "What's in
this for us?" If MDC gets governorships, Mugabe asks, why can't the
sanctions against ZANU-PF be lifted? Tsvangirai said that it seems that
Mugabe plans to use the governors as a trade-off against sanctions. He said
he has repeatedly told Mugabe that MDC has no control over sanctions. But,
he added, lack of any flexibility on the issue of sanctions poses a problem
for him and his party. In this he assured us that Deputy Prime Minister
Arthur Q In this he assured us that Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara
is in full agreement with him. He also acknowledged that his public
statements calling for easing of sanctions versus his private conversations
saying they must be kept in place have caused problems.
5. (C) Tsvangirai said the challenges for 2010 are:
- Get the reforms moving on the constitutional process. - Open media space,
national healing, and anti-corruption. - Prepare for elections in 2011. -
Move from economic stability to growth. - Deal with human rights violations.
He said the coalition government must expedite action in all these areas
because, not only are Western governments watching, but the people of
Zimbabwe will expect improvement. He said Security Sector Reform will take
center stage in
HARARE 00001004 002 OF 002
2010, using a multilateral approach involving all parties here and SADC. In
early 2010, Tsvangirai and Mutambara will take the diplomatic lead on the
sanctions issue. The question before us, Tsvangirai said, is how to start
moving on rewarding progress without giving the impression we are rewarding
lack of progress or bad behavior. We need to establish acceptable benchmarks
of progress, and determine what each involved party needs to do to change
the status quo. If necessary, he said, he and Mutambara can quietly meet
with Western leadership to develop a plan on the issue of sanctions. He said
that he and Mutambara have decided to take this issue out of the hands of
the negotiators and handle it personally. What is needed is some kind of
concrete roadmap that all can agree on, linking easing of sanctions with
identifiable and quantifiable progress.
6. (C) Tsvangirai wants to go to Mugabe after the negotiators deliver their
final report on January 15, 2010, with some idea of what the Western
position is on sanctions. He said that in order to change the status quo,
all parties might have to take some risks, because maintaining the status
quo only guarantees continued stalemate in the reform process. Economic
recovery and democratic reform are the essential requirements in Zimbabwe
right now. The 2011 elections are a critical goal as well. Winning the
election, he said, is not the problem, but a peaceful transfer of power is.
The recently announced commissions will be installed early in 2010, he said,
and he is satisfied with their makeup. The heads of the Media and Electoral
Commissions are honest men who he believes will put the interests of the
country first. His goal is to have the Electoral Commission hire its own
staff and be independent. The key is to wrest control from the Securocrats.
7. (C) On the subject of Mugabe himself, Tsvangirai said that in his recent
meetings, though Mugabe seems mentally acute, he appears old and very tired.
He comes to many meetings unbriefed and unaware of the content. It appears
that he is being managed by hardliners. Tsvangirai said his goal now is to
find a way to 'manage' Mugabe himself. One way, perhaps, would be to give
him something to give his hardliners. Precisely what that something is, he
said, is something he is still wrestling with.
8. (C) COMMENT AND ACTION REQUEST. We are skeptical of Mugabe's motives, and
worried a bit at what appears to be naivete on Tsvangirai's part. However,
we believe that in one area he is correct: changing the status quo here will
require some risk taking on everyone's part. As we've previously discussed
(reftel), we think it might be in USG interests to consider some form of
incremental easing of non-personal sanctions, provided we see actual
implementation of some of these reforms. Post would appreciate Washington's
view on what would be acceptable benchmarks, and possible moves on our part.
We also request guidance on what to tell Qmoves on our part. We also request
guidance on what to tell Tsvangirai at our next meeting, which is expected
early in the New Year.
END COMMENT AND ACTION REQUEST.
Many of you may have seen the True Vision documentary screened on the BBC this year called 'Zimbabwe's Forgotten Children'. This heart breaking film showed the struggle faced by three children in receiving an education in today's Zimbabwe.
After a generous outpouring of public support the three children featured in the film now have sufficient financial support to take them to adulthood. However there are thousands of other children just like them in Zimbabwe.
Because of this, those behind the film have partnered with the Zimbabwe Benefit Foundation (www.zbf.org.uk) on an education and agriculture project targeting ten primary schools in 2011. The plan is to get 2,500 children back into education next year, whilst also providing a meal for them each day and additional income generating capacity for the schools.
For just £2.50 a month or a one off donation of £30, you can pay for a child of primary school age to receive an education in Zimbabwe for an entire year. To find out more and to offer support, please visit:
Thank you for your support & Merry Christmas.
True Vision Foundation & Zimbabwe Benefit Foundation
Zimbabwe Benefit Foundation
020 7637 1527 - www.zbf.org.uk