Made scuttled US$30 million tobacco deal


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Agriculture Minister Joseph Made scuttled a US$30 million tobacco deal when he announced that the government was reconstituting the Agricultural Marketing Authority which purchased all the country’s tobacco until 1994.

The announcement is said to have scared off an international financier who was prepared to lend US$30 million against future tobacco earnings as it was seen as nationalisation of tobacco sales.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 03HARARE2140, Rare Public Rift Among GOZ Ministries

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

03HARARE2140

2003-10-28 12:26

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

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

 

281226Z Oct 03

UNCLAS HARARE 002140

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

STATE FOR AF/S

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER

USDOC FOR 2037 DIEMOND

TREASURY FOR OREN WYCHE-SHAW

PASS USTR FLORIZELLE LISER

STATE PASS USAID FOR MARJORIE COPSON

 

E. O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ECON EINV PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: Rare Public Rift Among GOZ Ministries

 

 

1. (SBU) Summary: Disagreement among moderates and

hardliners has spilled into public fora, a rare and

refreshing occurrence in this insular government. End

summary.

 

2. (SBU) Over the past year, the GOZ’s media and more

militant ministers have increasingly castigated the GOZ’s

economic team for mismanagement. Pusillanimous Reserve

Bank (RBZ) and Finance Ministry officials have

consistently ignored this public thrashing. Recently,

however, one official decided to strike back.

 

Interventionist Proposals Spook Lender

————————————–

3. (SBU) On October 10, the State-run Herald led with

Agriculture Minister Joseph Made’s plan to reconstitute

the defunct Agricultural Marketing Authority, a

parastatal that purchased all Zimbabwean tobacco until

1994. The timing could not have been worse. Apparently,

Made’s remarks boosted Zimbabwe’s already-stratospheric

risk factor, scaring off an international financier

prepared to lend US$30 million against future tobacco

earnings. When Made subsequently lashed out at the RBZ

for failing to release the funds for inputs for resettled

farmers – the Herald’s October 21 lead story – Deputy

Finance Minister Chris Kuruneri fought back. He told the

Business Tribune that it was Made’s, not RBZ’s, fault

that the US$30 deal fell through, since the lender backed

out only because Made proposed nationalizing tobacco

purchases. Kuruneri has publicly called upon Made to

clarify his position.

 

4. (SBU) An RBZ director told us Kuruneri’s rebuke of

Made lifted spirits on the central bank’s sullen staff.

However, the RBZ director said Kuruneri may not embolden

many others on the economic team to speak out. Outgoing

RBZ Governor Leonard Tsumba left his post as a “beaten

man” and the Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa is “too

much of a gentleman.”

 

Comment

——-

5. (SBU) It seems RBZ and Finance officials will

continue to belittle self-defeating economic policies in

private – but refuse to admit the Emperor has no clothes

in public.

 

Sullivan

(15 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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