Creation of Senate created job for Nyoni


0

The re-introduction of the Senate in 2005 created a job for Sithembiso Nyoni who had once again lost the elections in the March. The elevation of Edna Madzongwe freed up space for Nyoni in the lower House.

President Robert Mugabe appointed the two-time loser Minister of State for Small and Medium Enterprises, a position she had held before her defeat.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 05HARARE1647, SENATE TAKES OFFICE WITH SOME SURPRISE APPOINTEES

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

05HARARE1647

2005-12-06 14:09

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001647

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B. NEULING

SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/06/2015

TAGS: ASEC PGOV PHUM PREL ZI

SUBJECT: SENATE TAKES OFFICE WITH SOME SURPRISE APPOINTEES

BUT NO AGENDA

 

REF: A. REF A: HARARE 001609

B. REF B: HARARE 001296

C. REF C: HARARE 001187

 

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires, a.i. Eric T Schultz under Section 1.4

b/d

 

——-

Summary

——-

 

1. (C) The 66 members of the Senate took the oath of office

on November 30, amidst little fanfare and low expectations.

They adjourned the next day until December 13. Beyond

reviewing and debating the budget bill (septel) it is unclear

what will be on the Senate,s agenda when it resumes. In

addition to the 43 ZANU-PF and seven MDC elected members (ref

A), President Mugabe appointed six Senators and ten more came

from the ranks of the traditional chiefs. The six Mugabe

appointees include two surprising choices from the legal and

women,s rights communities. Mugabe also resurrected two

members of the ruling party old guard to fill vacant slots in

his Cabinet. End Summary.

 

—————————

Senate Sworn In — Adjourns

—————————

 

2. (C) Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma on November 30 swore

in the 66 members of the reconstituted Senate, following an

election in which less than a fifth of eligible voters

bothered to cast a ballot. As its first act, the body

elected Edna Madzongwe, the former Deputy Speaker of

Parliament, as its president. Naison Ndlovu, the ZANU-PF

Secretary for Production and Labor and new Senator for

 

SIPDIS

Insiza, was elected as Deputy President. Replacing Madzongwe

as Deputy Speaker of Parliament is the unimpressive Buhera

South MP and ZANU-PF Secretary for Foreign Relations,

Kumbirai Kangai (ref B).

 

3. (C) In her opening speech, Madzongwe said that her

nomination and the high number of women in the upper house

(20 out of 66 members) demonstrated the progress that women

have made in Zimbabwe. The director of the SUNY

parliamentary support project, John Makamure, however, told

poloff on December 1 that Madzongwe,s leadership did not

bode well for the institution,s impartiality. While in the

lower house she had often violated procedures to side with

the ruling party.

 

4. (C) The Senate met again December 1, at which time the

government,s budget announced by Finance Minister Murerwa

was introduced (septel). The Senators then adjourned until

December 13. Makamure said that the Senators would be

integrated into preexisting parliamentary committees as a way

of quickly acclimating the new members. (Comment: Further

calling into question the upper house,s independence and

reason for being.) Makamure also said that the Senate had no

real legislative agenda but speculated that the GOZ might

introduce some legislation in that body first as a means to

justify its reconstitution.

 

——————

Senate Composition

——————

 

5. (C) In addition to the 50 elected members, Mugabe

appointed six non-constituency Senators and named ten

&traditional leaders8 (i.e. tribal chiefs) to the body.

The chiefs can all be expected to toe the government line.

However the six appointees are more of a mixed bag. In

addition to the expected ZANU-PF insider/financiers there

were two surprise choices of legal and civil society

activists: Tazvitya Jonathan Mapfumo (a respected lawyer, who

has worked on many women,s issues) and Sheila Mahere, the

sole woman of the six non-constituency Senators.

 

6. (C) Mahere is a particular surprise. She is a long-time

Embassy contact and the director of Musasa Project, a

Democracy and Human Rights Fund grant recipient that works

with battered women. In a December 2 conversation with

poloff, Mahere professed to be surprised by her appointment,

which she said was apparently supported by Vice President

Mujuru and Minister of Women,s Affairs Muchinguri. She said

she and her fellow Senators were aware of the criticisms

levied against the institution and accordingly planned to

work doubly hard to justify their positions. Mahere said she

personally hoped to use her new role to advance gender

issues, such as the long-shelved domestic violence bill.

Noting that Mugabe needed legal minds in the Senate, she also

suggested that she and fellow lawyer Mapfumo would likely

form the backbone of the upper house,s contingent in the

parliamentary legal committee.

 

————————————–

Old Guard Retreads Reemerge in Cabinet

————————————–

 

7. (C) Mugabe also moved this week to fill holes in his

Cabinet with two ZANU-PF insiders. Sithembiso Nyoni, a

two-time parliamentary loser, was renamed Minister of State

for Small to Medium Enterprise, a position she had vacated

earlier this year when she lost in the March election and

Mugabe failed to appoint her to Parliament. The elevation of

Madzongwe to Senate freed up space in the lower house for

Nyoni. Meanwhile, newly-minted Senator Samuel Mumbengegwi

was tapped to fill the top position at the Ministry of

Indigenization and Empowerment left vacant by Josiah

Tungamirai,s death in August (ref C). Like Tungamirai,

Mumbengegwi is a member of the Karanga subgroup of the

majority Shona ethnic group and hails from Masvingo.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

8. (C) Mahere and the handful of other reform-minded

Senators may be able to use their new positions to call

attention to needed changes (see septel for bio details of

potential reformers). However, we are skeptical )- as is

all of Zimbabwe — that the Senate as a whole will find a

useful role to play in governing the country. As currently

constituted the Senate will likely do little or nothing )-

as Mugabe probably intended -) beyond snuffling up to the

public trough.

SCHULTZ

 

(3 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHARETweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email
Print this page
Print

Like it? Share with your friends!

0
Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *