Gono pre-empts protest march


0

Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono increased the individual and corporate cash withdrawal limits from Z$500 000 and Z$1 million a day to Z$100 million and Z$50 million respectively with effect from 4 December defusing a scheduled protest march by civil society groups demanding unlimited cash withdrawals.

Despite the increase in withdrawal limits the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions said it would go ahead with the march. The National Constitutional Assembly said it would support the ZCTU protest.

The United States embassy said it was encouraged that ZCTU and NCA were not buying Gono’s bite this time around and was pleased that the two organisations were consolidating their protest efforts.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08HARARE1061, GONO ATTEMPTS TO DEFUSE PROTESTS OVER CASH LIMITS

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

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE1061

2008-12-03 05:58

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO6989

OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #1061 3380558

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

O 030558Z DEC 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3762

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2467

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2592

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1085

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1861

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2216

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2641

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5069

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1733

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS HARARE 001061

 

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B. WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E. LOKEN AND L. DOBBINS

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PREL EFIN ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: GONO ATTEMPTS TO DEFUSE PROTESTS OVER CASH LIMITS

 

1. (SBU) Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono announced in late

November that the central bank raised the individual and

corporate cash withdrawal limits from Z$500,000 and Z$1

million a day to Z$100 million and Z$50 million respectively

once a week. The changes will be effective December 4 and

are intended to defuse a scheduled protest march on December

3 by civil society groups demanding unlimited cash

withdrawals. In a November 30 article in the

government-controlled newspaper the Sunday Mail, Gono blamed

the need for cash withdrawal limits on Western sanctions.

 

2. (SBU) Despite the increase in withdrawal limits, Zimbabwe

Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) spokesperson Kumbulani Ndlovu

told us on December 1 that her organization would stage

protests at banks demanding the removal of all limits. She

believed that Gono’s policy change came in response to the

threat of large scale protests by ZCTU and other cooperating

organizations. She said that the revised higher withdrawal

limits would not impact the protests as it would only be a

matter of time before the new limits become inadequate. ZCTU

is asking its members to protest in front of their respective

banks beginning at eight thirty in the morning. Ndlovu cited

a similar situation in September 2008 when ZCTU was

threatening protests over cash withdrawal limits and Gono

immediately raised the limit. Consequently ZCTU canceled

their protest, a move the organization now regrets.

 

3. (SBU) Lovemore Madhuku, president of the National

Constitutional Assembly (NCA), has asked his supporters to

join the ZCTU protest to bolster their numbers. Madhuku told

us on December 1 that ZCTU told him that they hoped to

mobilize between 1,000 and 2,000 protesters. NCA might be

able to contribute an additional 800 people, which is the

number Madhuku said participated in last week’s NCA march.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

4. (SBU) Gono’s upward revision of withdrawal limits is

consistent with his previous stop-gap attempts to defuse

public anger towards his monetary policies. We’re encouraged

that ZCTU and NCA are not buying it this time around.

Equally positive is that the two organizations are

consolidating their protest efforts, but we’ll have to see if

they can mobilize several thousand protesters. END COMMENT.

 

McGee

 

(4 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 *