Jonathan Moyo failed to attend session because of Air Zimbabwe fiasco


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Independent Member of Parliament Jonathan Moyo missed the official opening of parliament in 2005 reportedly because he was on an Air Zimbabwe flight that made an emergency landing in Johannesburg.

 All the 41 Movement for Democratic Change Members of Parliament also did not turn up.

 Party Secretary-General Welshman Ncube said the party had boycotted the session because it supported the June 9-10 stay-away to protest Operation Restore Order.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 05HARARE804, NO NEW DIRECTION IN MUGABE OPENING OF PARLIAMENT

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

05HARARE804

2005-06-09 15:37

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 000804

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B. NEULING

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2010

TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: NO NEW DIRECTION IN MUGABE OPENING OF PARLIAMENT

 

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires a.i. Eric Schultz under Section 1.4 b/

d

 

——-

Summary

——-

 

¶1. (SBU) President Mugabe’s speech to the opening session of

the new Parliament on June 9 projected familiar themes of

western conspiracies and government intervention in the

economy. It broke little new ground and reinforced that the

GOZ was unlikely to relax its heavy-handedness in political,

economic, or social spheres. Mugabe made no mention of the

opposition, which boycotted the session in solidarity with

the stay-away it was supporting with civil society

organizations to protest the GOZ,s Operation Restore Order

(septel). END SUMMARY.

 

————————

Anti-Imperialist Opening

————————

 

¶2. (U) Mugabe opened his half-hour nationally broadcast

speech with high praise for the conduct of Zimbabwe’s recent

parliamentary elections, which he cast as in compliance with

SADC election principles. He thanked the broader

international community for its unqualified endorsement of

the elections as free and fair. Mugabe castigated the UK and

the U.S. for their “shameless refusal” to join “international

consensus” ) proof, he claimed, of their neo-colonial agenda

to undermine Zimbabwe’s sovereignty. He pledged to intensify

Zimbabwe’s relations with SADC members and Asian nations.

Zimbabwe would work hard to reform the UN to stem the

“excesses of a unipolar world where might prevails over

right.”

 

——————————————-

Changes in Constitution and Law Enforcement

——————————————-

 

¶3. (U) The President did not elaborate on the GOZ’s highly

publicized plans for constitutional amendments, other than to

reiterate that they would provide for establishment of (1) a

Senate, (2) a consolidated independent election commission,

and (3) provisions for streamlining GOZ acquisition of land.

To combat corruption, the GOZ would establish a new

Anti-Corruption Commission and establish stiff mandatory

penalties for illicit trade in currency and minerals. A

Judicial Services Bill and an Attorney General Office’s Bill

would streamline the administration of justice and stem brain

drain the legal sector.

 

———————————-

Nothing New in Economic Priorities

———————————-

 

¶4. (U) Turning to economic policy, Mugabe reported that the

GOZ would eliminate the country’s reliance on rain by putting

nearly 600,000 hectares under irrigation. It would dedicate

Z$1 trillion (US$110 million at the GOZ auction rate) to

irrigation development, supplementing the existing GOZ

commitment to make available Z$5 trillion (US$550 million) in

concessionary loans for the agricultural sector. To stem

inflation, the GOZ would establish a National Income and

Salary Commission with unspecified authority.

 

¶5. (U) Mugabe painted rosy pictures of “strong recovery” in

the tourism sector, progress in education, and unspecified

new initiatives to attract investment and develop alternative

fuels in the energy sector. The GOZ would introduce

legislation to advance its indigenization objectives,

including amendments to the Mine and Mineral Act. The GOZ

would address urban ills through its Operation “Restore

Order” (septels), unspecified amendments to the Urban and

Rural Council Acts, and a Z$12 trillion (US$1.2 billion)

municipal working capital fund. A corporate governance

framework would turn around parastatals that he characterized

as “opaque, bottomless receptacles.” He reiterated the GOZ’s

priority on combating HIV/AIDS and pledged legislation to

curb domestic violence and victimization of women and

children.

 

———–

MDC Boycott

———–

 

¶6. (SBU) None of the MDC’s delegation of 41 attended the

opening. Party Secretary-General Welshman Ncube told the

Embassy it was boycotting the session, consistent with the

June 9-10 stay-away it was supporting with civil society to

protest Operation Restore Order. Also absent from the

opening was independent MP and former Information Minister

Jonathan Moyo, who reportedly was on an Air Zimbabwe flight

that made an emergency landing at Johannesburg on June 8.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

¶7. (C) There was little new or encouraging in this address.

The prominent condemnation of the West contrasts with

Mugabe’s notably more moderate parliamentary opening last

year and undoubtedly reflects pique at our condemnation of

the election. Mugabe’s portrayal of the economy and his

economic prescriptions are pure fantasy. The huge municipal

working capital fund, for example, was announced just before

the March 31 election but none of the mayors we know have

seen a dime of it nor do they have any expectation they will.

Mugabe laid down the indigenization marker in last year’s

speech and it is not clear how or when the government intends

to follow through on it. Nonetheless, its mere mention, like

so much else in the speech and GOZ policy in general,

underscores the government,s penchant for micromanagement

and its unwillingness to countenance any meaningful political

or economic reforms.

 

¶8. (C) Recently rumored to be ill or dead, Mugabe appeared

to be fit and steady in his delivery. Also rumored to be ill

or dead, Vice President Joseph Msika joined fellow Vice

President Joyce Mujuru in attendance.

SCHULTZ

 

(8 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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