Cablegate: Mocumbi - His Days Are Numbered, It Would Seem

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Mocumbi - His days are numbered, it would seem

1. (SBU) Summary: At a Press conference held in Maputo January
20, Prime Minister Pascoal Mocumbi indicated that he will accept
a position as the High Level Representative of a European Union
Health Initiative. While he did not state when he would be
leaving his current position, it appears that it could be as
early as February/March. End summary

2. (U) At the invite of the European Union, the Ambassador
attended a January 20 press conference which featured Prime
Minister Mocumbi. Purpose of the encounter with the Press was to
provide the media with information on the "European Developing
Countries Clinical Trials Partnership - EDCTP" an initiative in
which Prime Minister Mocumbi has been invited to serve as the
High Level Representative.

3. (U) The initiative was featured as a bold undertaking , a
long term partnership between Europe and developing countries to
develop new medicines and vaccines to address the three largest
health threats to development: HIV/AIDS, Malaria and
Tuberculosis. Fifteen European countries are participating in
the coordinating committee. The EU plans to provide 200 million
Euros in support for the project. The EDCTP will seek to
coordinate research efforts and information flow among the
various African and European scientific communities. The
initiative also envisions paying stipends to encourage African
researchers and scientists who have departed Africa to return.
While still in its earliest stages, the EDCTP will set up two
secretariats: one in the Netherlands, the other in Africa.


4. (SBU) Avoiding responding directly to questions concerning
his future role in the initiative, Mocumbi's comments focused on
the importance of the program and its potential for Africa and
for Mozambique. He side-stepped questions from the press
regarding whether he would be leaving his position as prime
minister soon, by saying that the timing of his participation in
the project is still unclear as the initiative is in its early
stages. His role is first to serve a Prime Minister of
Mozambique, he said, and the decision is not his to make, but
President Chissano's.

5. (SBU) Comment: This press conference appears to set the stage
for an imminent departure by Mocumbi. Maputo is rife with rumors
regarding who will succeed him. We have heard that Finance
Minister Louisa Diogo is the top candidate. It is widely held
that Diogo would only hold the job until a new cabinet would be
formed following the expected election victory of Armando
Guebuza. Guebuza is expected to select a close ally to serve as
PM, possible former Information Minister Teodato Hunguane.
Rumors have circulated in the past months regarding Mocumbi's
imminent departure for Europe, and he put them off. The Dutch
Ambassador thought Mocumbi would be leaving sooner rather than
later. She mentioned that the EDCTP hopes to have its
secretariat launched in February. If that is so, and if

Mocumbi's role is a critical one, it would seem that he would
have to be free to assume his new duties soon. What is missing
in all of this is a statement from the Presidency concerning
Mocumbi and his successor. Mocumbi, for his part, put off
answering a question regarding how he would enjoy living in
Holland by saying he would prefer to defer comment until he has
had the opportunity to live there a while and to experience the

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