Transport Minister Nicholas Goche told United States ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGhee that he was happy with the cooperation between the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and the Movement for Democratic Change but admitted that the inclusive government had not found favour with the heads of the security forces.
He, however, said apart from the top of the security forces, most officers welcomed the stability that the inclusive government had brought about.
Goche, a former diplomat in the United States, started toeing the party line when McGhee said the United States would only consider assisting Zimbabwe when the issue of central bank governor Gideon Gono and attorney-general Johannes Tomana was resolved.
He said that Gono’s situation had changed so he should no longer be of concern to the United States. He argued that Tomana might have been politically insensitive but he was abiding by the law.
On farm invasions, Goche said that the government had the legal right to reallocate land, and that most recent incidents involved individuals exercising their rights under government-authorised offer letters.
McGhee said Goche was a ZANU-PF apparatchik and he predictably spouted the party line.
The ambassador, however, said his meeting with Goche was useful a means to send a message to Mugabe.
Viewing cable 09HARARE403, AMBASSADOR’S COURTESY CALL ON NICHOLAS GOCHE
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NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR M. GAVIN
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/14/2019
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR’S COURTESY CALL ON NICHOLAS GOCHE
Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4 (b) and (d)
¶1. (SBU) As part of a series of courtesy calls on new
Government of Zimbabwe (GOZ) ministers, the Ambassador met on
May 14 with Nicholas Goche, Minister of Transport and
Infrastructural Development. Goche is a long-time ZANU-PF
insider who served as that party’s lead negotiator in
negotiations between ZANU-PF and the MDC that resulted in the
September 15 Global Political Agreement (GPA). He previously
served for five years as Zimbabwe’s ambassador to the U.S.
¶2. (C) Goche told the Ambassador that negotiations had been
difficult and tense, but he was now happy with cooperation
between the two parties. In his opinion, the government was
largely harmonious. Goche acknowledged that the GPA had not
found favor with the heads of the security forces and that
there was residual opposition. But apart from the top of the
security forces, most officers welcomed the stability that it
¶3. (C) When Goche brought up the issue of U.S. assistance,
the Ambassador responded that we needed to see genuine reform
and highlighted the continuing presence of Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes
Tomana as obstacles to reform. Goche said that Gono’s
situation had changed — he implied his wings had been
clipped — and said he should no longer be of concern to us.
He argued that Tomana in dealing with detainees had been
abiding by the law, but he admitted Tomana had been
politically insensitive. Goche gave no indication that the
removal of either Gono or Tomana was under consideration.
¶4. (C) The Ambassador also brought up the issue of farm
invasions/disruptions. Goche replied that the State has the
legal right to reallocate land, and that most recent
incidents involved individuals exercising their rights under
government-authorized offer letters. There had been some
cases of illegal activity and the Joint Monitoring and
Implementation Committee (JOMIC) was considering these.
¶5. (C) Goche is a ZANU-PF apparatchik and he predictably
spouted the party line. The meeting was useful, however, as
a means to send a message to Mugabe. Goche is close to
Mugabe and had just come from a meeting with him. The
Ambassador’s comments that U.S. economic support will be
impossible with the likes of Gono and Tomana occupying
important offices will certainly be relayed. END COMMENT.