Death of Jokonya a sign that old generation is leaving the scene


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The United States embassy in Harare said the death of Information Minister Tichaona Jokonya on 21 June 2006 literally and symbolically reinforced the message that ZANU-PF’s older generation was leaving the scene and President Robert Mugabe was even more isolated.

Jokonya was 67 compared to Mugabe who was 82.

The embassy said Jokonya, a former diplomat, had never exerted the same influence on policy that his predecessor Jonathan Moyo had and speculated that Mugabe might appoint his spokesman George Charamba as the new minister.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 06HARARE765, INFORMATION MINISTER’S PASSING LEAVES NO VOID

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

06HARARE765

2006-06-27 15:43

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO1911

PP RUEHMR

DE RUEHSB #0765 1781543

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 271543Z JUN 06

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0256

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1250

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1095

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1256

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0515

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 0880

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1308

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 3679

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1079

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1718

RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC//DHO-7//

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1465

RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK//DOOC/ECMO/CC/DAO/DOB/DOI//

RUEPGBA/CDR USEUCOM INTEL VAIHINGEN GE//ECJ23-CH/ECJ5M//

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000765

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B. NEULING

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE

AFR/SA FOR E. LOKEN

COMMERCE FOR BECKY ERKUL

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2011

TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM KPAO ZI

SUBJECT: INFORMATION MINISTER’S PASSING LEAVES NO VOID

 

REF: 05 HARARE 663

 

Classified By: Ambassador Christopher W. Dell under Section 1.4 b/d

 

1. (U) The state media on June 22 announced the June 21

death of Minister of Information and Publicity Tichaona

Jokonya. A former Permanent Representative at the UN and

Executive Director of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Jokonya

was 67. The minister had been treated in the United States

for an undisclosed ailment last year before being placed on

the sanctions list following his appointment. Jokonya was a

first-time MP from Chikomba, a Mashonaland East ZANU-PF

stronghold where he won his seat in March 2005 by a

comfortable margin of 17,925 to 7,403. In a condolence

message published on the front page of the state-controlled

Sunday Mail, President Mugabe mourned the loss of one of the

nation’s “top diplomats, scholars, administrators and

politicians.”

 

2. (C) Comment: Jokonya’s death literally and symbolically

reinforces the message that ZANU-PF’s older generation is

leaving the scene and that Mugabe is even more isolated.

Jokonya never exerted the same influence on policy or the

state propaganda apparatus as did his notorious predecessor,

Jonathan Moyo. The state media’s message during his tenure

became less focused and coherent, although still relentlessly

anti-Western. There is no word on his ministerial

replacement, but we would not rule out Mugabe appointing his

press spokesperson, George Charamba to the minister,s

position as well. No word yet either on the date of a

parliamentary by-election, which seems unlikely to be of

great political significance given ZANU-PF’s historical sway

over the vacated seat.

DELL

 

(93 VIEWS)

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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.

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