UN chief of­fered Mu­gabe deal to step down: Wik­iLeaks

The Pak Banker - - International -

HARARE: For­mer United Na­tions chief Kofi An­nan of­fered Zim­bab­wean Pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe a deal to step down and live in a safe haven, but the vet­eran leader re­jected the of­fer, ac­cord­ing to U.S. doc­u­ments ob­tained by Wik­iLeaks.

A con­fi­den­tial doc­u­ment dated Septem­ber 2000 showed that a source from Prime Min­is­ter Mor­gan Ts­van­gi­rai's MDC party told U.S. of­fi­cials in Harare the party had been told that An­nan, the for­mer U.N Sec­re­tary Gen­eral An­nan, had made the of­fer to Mu­gabe dur­ing a U.N. sum­mit in New York. The source said the MDC did not know the de­tails of the deal, re­ported to it by a busi­ness­man, but that it likely guar­an­teed Mu­gabe a fi­nan­cial pack­age from Libyan Pres­i­dent Muam­mar Gaddafi and a safe haven, the cable showed. "Kofi An­nan, in the re­cent meet­ing in New York dur­ing the Mil­len­nium sum­mit, of­fered Mu­gabe a deal to step down," ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ment. "The op­po­si­tion party heard that Mu­gabe turned down the of­fer the fol­low­ing day af­ter dis­cussing it with the first lady."

A spokes­woman for An­nan de­clined to com­ment.

Mu­gabe has ruled Zim­babwe since in­de­pen­dence in 1980 and al­though there has been talk of sev­eral plans to ease him from of­fice in the last decade, the 86-year-old has re­jected the idea, say­ing he would never live in ex­ile.

Ac­cord­ing to an­other con­fi­den­tial U.S. cable pub­lished by Wik­iLeaks dated Oc­to­ber 2009, a se­nior MDC of­fi­cial sug­gested that the U.S. should con­trib­ute to a fund to buy off se­cu­rity ser­vice chiefs.

El­ton Man­goma, a se­nior mem­ber in the MDC and min­is­ter in the unity govern­ment, told U.S. of­fi­cials that the mil­i­tary men were frus­trat­ing re­form and did not want to leave of­fice fear­ing that they had not made enough money and could be pros­e­cuted.

"Man­goma asked for con­sid­er­a­tion of U.S. con­tri­bu­tion to a 'trust fund' that could be used to ne­go­ti­ate the ser­vice chiefs' re­tire­ment. He said he planned to ap­proach the UK and Ger­many with the same request," the doc­u­ments said. The ser­vice chiefs have in the past pub­licly backed Mu­gabe dur­ing elec­tions, say­ing they would not ac­knowl­edge a leader who had not fought in the in­de­pen­dence war, a ref­er­ence to Ts­van­gi­rai. -Reuters

IVORY COAST: UN forces pa­trol out­side the UN head­quar­ters in Ivory Coast, Abid­jan, Ivory Coast. The UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil ex­tended its peace­keep­ing mis­sion in Ivory Coast on Mon­day. -Ap

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