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Cablegate: Kenyan Prime Minister Says "Mugabe Must Go"

VZCZCXRO1576
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHNR #2740 3440618
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 090618Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7838
INFO RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE PRIORITY 1660
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA PRIORITY 9247
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 6213
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7427

UNCLAS NAIROBI 002740

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/E
LONDON, PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHER

E.O.12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM KPAO KE
SUBJECT: Kenyan Prime Minister says "Mugabe Must Go"

1. Speaking at an international press conference on December 7 in
Nairobi, Prime Minister Raila Odinga called Robert Mugabe's
government a "vile dictatorship" that must be stopped. Odinga urged
the African Union to send troops to end the humanitarian crisis, or
allow the UN to do so. "The international community must respond to
the call of the African people and help end this murderous reign of
Mugabe," Odinga said. Asked why President Kibaki has yet to address
publicly the Zimbabwean crisis, Odinga confirmed he was doing so on
behalf of the GOK.

2. Odinga also said he called for Mugabe's isolation in recent
talks with Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa's governing African
National Congress party. "I do believe strongly that if the
leadership in South Africa took a firm stand and told Mugabe to quit
he will have no choice but to do so," Odinga said. Aligning himself
with the PM, Moody Awori, former Kenyan Vice President, said the
situation in Zimbabwe is on the verge of spinning out of control if
no action is taken. The Kenyan Cabinet may discuss the Zimbabwean
situation at next week's cabinet meeting.

3. Odinga's December 7 press conference on Zimbabwe was the second
time in a week the Prime Minister has spoken out publicly against
Mugabe. (He first spoke out during his July visit to the U.S., and
has remained outspoken and firm on the issue.) After a private
meeting in his Nairobi home last week with Zimbabwe opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai that was widely covered by local and
international media, Odinga said that Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe should be removed from power as all efforts at power-sharing
had failed. Odinga reportedly said Mugabe was unwilling to share
power with opposition officials and therefore should be ousted from
his position. Media contacts who attended the meeting confirmed the
reporting to us. "Power-sharing is dead in Zimbabwe and will not
work with a dictator who does not really believe in power-sharing,"
Odinga declared.

4. During a meeting December 8 with the Ambassador and visiting
African Development Foundation head Lloyd Pierson, Odinga said he
will continue to speak out on the issue and urge others to do so.
He welcomed the recent comments made by A/S Frazer and the
Secretary. Odinga believes that the Presidents of Rwanda, Zambia,
and Senegal can be convinced to speak out. The Ambassador welcomed
Odinga's comments and urged him to continue efforts to get others to
speak out as well.

RANNEBERGER

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