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Cablegate: Ambassador Urges Tanzania?S Prime Minister Forward

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDR #1282/01 2130808
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 010808Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4461
INFO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS DAR ES SALAAM 001282

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT AF/E FOR BYODER, ALSO FOR OES
TREASURY FOR L KOHLER
PASS TO USAID AF/W
PASS ALSO TO CDC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KTFN EAID TZ
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR URGES TANZANIA?S PRIME MINISTER FORWARD
IN FIGHT AGAINST AIDS AND FINANCIAL CRIME

REF: DAR ES SALAAM 01090

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. To urge the Government of Tanzania
(GOT) forward on HIV/AIDS testing policy and anti-money
laundering (AML) legislation, Ambassador Retzer, together
with USAID Director Pam White, called on Prime Minister
Lowassa during their visit to Dodoma on July 19. Prime
Minister Lowassa promised to work with the Minister of
Health to address the GOT's delayed procurement of new test
kits and delayed transition to new and more effective "pin-
prick" test technology. On the AML issue, Prime Minister
Lowassa assured the Ambassador that the legislation was
progressing and would be introduced in the October 2006
Parliamentary session with an appropriate Swahili name.
From his side, the Prime Minister expressed his worry that
the emerging conflict in the Middle East might extend to
Iran. END SUMMARY.

Reform Needed: Tanzania's HIV/AIDS Testing Policy
--------------------------------------------- ----

2. (SBU) The Ambassador expressed to Prime Minister
Lowassa his continuing concern regarding HIV/AIDS testing
in Tanzania, especially the GOT's delay in transitioning to
easier to use "pin-prick" test kits. Highlighting the
urgency of the matter, the Ambassador said, "Every day 435
Tanzanians die from AIDS; that is like a passenger plane
crashing in Tanzania every day." White added that
currently three quarters of the country is lacking test
kits and that without testing, the U.S. cannot get people
on life saving drugs. Lowassa looked surprised and
responded that he had already told the Minister of Health,
Dr. David Mwakyusa, to look into the problem.

3. (SBU) When the Ambassador noted that Dr. Mwakyusa had
been unprepared to provide a response on the issue earlier
in the morning, Lowassa immediately told his assistant in
Swahili to have the Minister of Health report to his office
at 2:00 p.m. Lowassa promised to address the issue and
said, "Ambassador, I realize this must be very important to
you since we have discussed this twice in just two weeks."
(See Reftel A).

4. (SBU) When the Ambassador emphasized the need for
stronger legislation on HIV/AIDS testing, Lowassa's first
reaction was that "opt-out testing" might be too harsh.
However, Lowassa seemed unfamiliar with the concept and
when the Ambassador and White couched it in the context of
testing those patients who might be at higher risk, such as
pregnant women and patients with Tuberculosis, Lowassa
fully agreed that such testing would be sensible.

New: Anti-Money Laundering has Swahili Soundbite
--------------------------------------------- ---

5. (SBU) Addressing the second item on the Ambassador's
agenda, Prime Minister Lowassa assured the Ambassador that
the GOT was making progress on the Anti-Money Laundering
(AML) Bill. He said that a Cabinet sub-Committee had
already looked at the bill closely. The plan was to
introduce the legislation during the October 2006
Parliamentary session and Lowassa did not foresee any
problems with the bill's passage. Smiling, Lowassa told
the Ambassador that the sub-Committee had even given the
legislation a good Swahili name: "Biashara Kusafisha Pesa"
(Business to Clean Money). Lowassa translated this for the
Ambassador and appeared pleased with the image of someone
literally trying to clean or wash illegality off money.

Tanzania on the National Mall
-----------------------------

6. (SBU) Finishing with an upbeat agenda item, the
Ambassador introduced Prime Minister Lowassa to the concept
of the annual Smithsonian summer exhibition on the National
mall in Washington D.C. The Ambassador explained that
every year the event honors one country, bringing wide
exposure to the country's culture and tourist sites.
Drawing more than one million visitors per year, the
Ambassador suggested what a unique opportunity the event
could offer if Tanzania were selected. Prime Minister
Lowassa appeared receptive to the notion and again signaled
to his assistant asking to call on the Minister of Tourism
(Anthony Diallo) to look into the idea.

Prime Minister's Concerns: Kikwete's Reception in U.S.,

8. (SBU) Second, Lowassa asked Ambassador Retzer for
insight about the situation in Lebanon and expressed fears
that the conflict could spill over into Iran. Ambassador
explained that Israel had been fighting for life since its
birth, a small state surrounded by countries rejecting its
raison d'etre. Emphasizing the U.S. government's hope for
a diplomatic solution to the problem, the Ambassador told
Lowassa that the Secretary of State, Condelezza Rice, would
be traveling to the region in the near future. The
Ambassador also stressed the importance of non-aligned
countries serving as mediators through the United Nations
to prevent further escalation.

Comment: PM Responsive to USG Priorities
----------------------------------------

9. (SBU) Comment: The joint call on Prime Minister
Lowassa, by the Ambassador and USAID Director Pam White,
followed on the heels of their June 23 meeting and proved a
powerful way to drive home the importance of two USG
priorities in Tanzania: fighting HIV/AIDS and fighting
financial crime. The message on HIV/AIDS testing, for
example, clicked when Lowassa exclaimed, "Ambassador, this
must be very important since you have raised it twice in
just two weeks." Calling on his aides to arrange follow-up
meetings to address the Ambassador's concerns, Lowassa
demonstrated his continuing responsiveness to U.S.
interests. The adoption of a catchy Swahili soundbite for
the AML bill was also music to our ears, signaling greater
country ownership of the money laundering problem. The
GOT's adoption of a Swahili acronym for its Poverty
Reduction Strategy in 2005 ("Mkukuta") gave the document a
new significance and the name is now widely used among GOT
officials, the donor community and even the general
population. END COMMENT. RETZER

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