Makoni can only be pushed by Mujuru


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The United States embassy said way back in 2003 that former Finance Minister Simba Makoni had little political weight on his own to advance his political ambitions and could only emerge as a serious candidate if he was pushed by others like Solomon Mujuru.

The embassy said Mujuru was behind Makoni because he wanted to stop the presidential candidacy of the then Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 03HARARE1333, SIMBA MAKONI ON ZIMBABWEAN CRISIS

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

03HARARE1333

2003-07-01 13:16

2011-08-30 01:44

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 HARARE 001333

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR AFRICA SENIOR ADVISER JENDAYII FRAZER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/01/2013

TAGS: PGOV PREL ZI ZANU PF

SUBJECT: SIMBA MAKONI ON ZIMBABWEAN CRISIS

 

Classified By: CLASSIFIED BY JOSEPH G. SULLIVAN FOR REASONS 1.5b/d

 

 

1. (C) Former Finance Minister and still ZANU-PF Politburo

member Simba Makoni called on the Ambassador July 1. Makoni,

who recently lost his 23-year old son to suicide, told the

Ambassador July 1 that he was focused on family and his

growing consultancy business and relatively disconnected

from politics these days. Makoni, who has relatively little

political power, is rumored likely to lose his politburo seat

soon. He is mentioned as a potential presidential candidate,

most often as the candidate of ZANU-PF heavyweight Solomon

Mujuru to stop the presidential candidacy of Emmerson

Mnangagwa. Makoni said that President Mugabe’s recent public

statement calling for an open and above-board campaign for

presidential succession had stimulated more open discussion

of succession in the party.

 

2.(C) Makoni acknowledged that another factor was slowing

down resolution of Zimbabwe’s crisis. The fact that no clear

succession path exists in ZANU-PF has tended to slow any

actual progress toward transition. Makoni said that this

absence of a solution often makes it seem like the GOZ

leadership feels no urgency at all to deal with the country’s

crisis. Makoni believed that the South Africans and other

Africans were in the best position to deliver ar a solution

in Zimbabwe. But he compared the efforts of President Mbeki

seeking to find a solution with Mugabe to that which he often

faced as Finance Minister in dealing with President Mugabe on

economic issues. The President would say: “yes, yes, yes” as

they discussed a possible solution, but then never act to

implement what they had discussed. Makoni said it was as if

the economic and political crises were beyond the Zimbabwean

leadership’s ability to solve or even confront. Nonetheless,

Makoni thought that African leaders were in the best position

to advance and help deliver a resolution. He added that

Secretary Powell’s mention (in his “OP-Ed”) of US and other

 

SIPDIS

donor assistance to a transitional Zimbabwean Government was

positive.

 

3.(C) Makoni was aware of the debate over how effective a

coalition transitional government could be prior to new

elections. He hoped that it could be effective in laying out

the path to realistic and pragmatic economic and political

solutions. He also believed that in addressing the damage of

the land redistribution exercise, a transitional government

might be better positioned than an elected ZANU-PF or MDC

government to set a new direction. Makoni believed that the

existing land review commission headed by former Cabinet

Secretary Charles Utete would do a good and respectable job

 

SIPDIS

of assessing problems in the land redistribution exercise,

but had no ability to implement the necessary corrections.

Nor did Makoni believe that the current Mugabe Government had

the political will to implement tough recommendations.

Makoni said: “One more Commission report to sit on the

shelf.”

 

4. Comment: Makoni has little political weight of his own

and is not in position to advance his own political

ambitions. If his name emerges as a serious candidate, it

will be because others like Mujuru push him forward.

SULLIVAN

 

(16 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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