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Cablegate: Malawi Government Calls for Release of Zimbabwe Election

VZCZCXRO3594
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHLG #0234 1121410
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 211410Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY LILONGWE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5204
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS LILONGWE 000234

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/S S. HILL, E. PELLETREAU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL SADC ZI MI
SUBJECT: Malawi Government Calls for Release of Zimbabwe Election
Results


1. (SBU) Summary: In a statement released on April 19, the GOM
called on the Zimbabwe Government to release the election results so
that "a Government can be formed that will steer the country to the
future." Reiterating the SADC principle of "non-interference," the
GOM expressed concern over the economic and political issues facing
the people of Zimbabwe. Adding that it believes Zimbabweans "should
not live in the past," the GOM called for new negotiations "to
reconcile differences," including a resumption of the Zimbabwe-UK
talks that followed the Lancaster House Agreement. Regarding
Zimbabwean discussions with the UK Government, the GOM stated, "even
when a new Government is constituted, dialogue between Britain and
Zimbabwe will still be necessary." Prior to this statement, Malawi
had not strayed from the SADC line. It appears that the GOM has
begun to soften that stance and may be opening up to the possibility
of Mugabe's fall. End summary.

Malawi Calls for Release of Election Results
--------------------------------------------
2. (SBU) In a statement released on April 19, the GOM stated it is
"ready to work with any Government that will emerge in Zimbabwe,
based on the will of the people as expressed through the general
elections." The statement adds that "it is important that the
results of the general elections that took place recently need to be
published so that a Government can be formed that will steer the
country to the future."

3. (SBU) Noting the SADC principle of non-interference in the
internal affairs of a sovereign state, the GOM went on to commend
the work of South African President Mbeki in "bringing the ZANU-PF
and the MDC to the negotiating table that led to the holding of the
recent General Elections."

Zimbabwe Should Not Live in the Past - Call for New Negotiations
------------------------------------- -------------

4. (SBU) The GOM stated its belief that Zimbabweans "should not live
in the past. They must move on." The statement added, "therefore,
we believe that a new set of negotiations could be initiated at
different levels ... to air their views, to listen to one another
and to reconcile their differences."

5. (SBU) Specifically, the GOM called for the resumption of the
negotiations between Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom "that took
place following the Lancaster House Agreement." The GOM claims that
the breakdown of those talks contributed to the current situation,
and it called for a "new atmosphere of understanding and mutual
trust between the two governments as the basis for solving the
Zimbabwe crisis." The statement added that "even when a new
Government is constituted, dialogue between Britain and Zimbabwe
will still be necessary."

6. (SBU) The GOM called for new negotiations between the GOZ and
white farmers "to deal with the issue of land resettlement." Malawi
also called for the strengthening of the dialogue between the
Government of Zimbabwe and the MDC "to look at the underlying
political crisis and to remove the current deadlock. The release of
all the results of the recent elections is the necessary condition
for such dialogue."

Comment
-------
7. (SBU) The GOM has not strayed far from the SADC line on Zimbabwe
- until now. By calling for the release of election results,
terming the situation a "crisis," and appearing to lay the
groundwork for reconciliation through ongoing and broad-based
negotiations, the GOM is taking a welcome step out of SADC's shadow,
perhaps even opening to the possibility of a new government in
Zimbabwe. Our GOM contacts are spinning this statement as reflecting
a great deal of nuance and a new attitude on their part.

8. (U) The complete text of the GOM press statement has been
transmitted to AF/S desk officer.

EASTHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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