Makoni paints bleak picture of Zimbabwe


0

Finance Minister Simba Makoni presented a gloomy picture of Zimbabwe to visiting United States assistant secretary for African Affairs Walter Kansteiner and even asked what Zimbabwe could do to avoid being slapped with sanctions under the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act.

Makoni said he expected a significant decline in the planting of key crops like tobacco which was down 25 percent and maize which was down by 40 percent.

Makoni said he was worried about the economic impact of the fast track land reform programme and had urged his colleagues to show flexibility in implementing it.

He said that despite the rhetoric one could count the number of farmers who had inherited their properties as most had bought the farms after independence in 1980 after obtaining certificates of no interest from the government.

Makoni said he wanted commercial farmers to be able to reinvest earnings, not to be forced into destitution.

On sanctions Kansteiner to avoid them Zimbabwe should do everything to ensure that election process was transparent and above board, and reduce violence and intimidation.

“You have your finger on the trigger,” he said, “and you can determine whether to pull it”.

Makoni’s “frankness” earned him praise from United States embassy officials who said that their meeting with the minister was “a breath of fresh air”.

“He is bright, politically moderate, and willing to engage in a genuine dialogue about how to extricate Zimbabwe from its current mess. It is too bad he doesn’t have more influence with the old man and other ruling party hardliners, who are often irritated by Makoni’s willingness to call things as he sees them in public,” embassy officials said.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 01HARARE3690, A/S KANSTEINER DELIVERS TOUGH MESSAGE TO

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE3690

2001-12-12 15:55

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.

 

121555Z Dec 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ7916

 

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FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0516

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

AMEMBASSY OSLO

AMEMBASSY CANBERRA

AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM

AMEMBASSY KINGSTON

AMEMBASSY ABUJA

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 06 HARARE 003690

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 12/12/11

 

TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PINR ZI

SUBJECT: A/S KANSTEINER DELIVERS TOUGH MESSAGE TO

ZIMBABWEAN OFFICIALS

 

 

CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF MATT HARRINGTON.

REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) IN MEETINGS DECEMBER 10-11 WITH SPEAKER OF

PARLIAMENT EMMERSON MNANGAGWA, FOREIGN MINISTER STANISLAUS

MUDENGE, AND FINANCE MINISTER SIMBA MAKONI — AF ASSISTANT

SECRETARY KANSTEINER EXPLAINED ZDERA AND ITS IMPLICATIONS.

 

SIPDIS

HE EMPHASIZED THAT THERE IS STILL TIME FOR THE GOVERNMENT

OF ZIMBABWE TO AVOID RESTRICTIONS TARGETED AT THE RULING

ELITE BY REDUCING VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION AND ENSURING

THE ELECTORAL PROCESS IS FREE AND FAIR. KANSTEINER SAID

THE USG WOULD USE THE ELECTORAL NORMS AND STANDARDS

ENDORSED IN MARCH BY THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM AS OUR

BENCHMARKS IN ASSESSING THE FAIRNESS OF THE ELECTORAL

PROCESS. MNANGAGWA CLAIMED THAT THE POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT

HAD IMPROVED CONSIDERABLY DURING THE PREVIOUS THREE MONTHS,

AND BLAMED MOST INCIDENTS OF VIOLENCE ON THE MDC AND ITS

SUPPORTERS. HE PROMISED TO “STUDY” OUR CONCERNS ABOUT

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE ELECTORAL ACT, AND LATER CALLED

THE AMBASSADOR TO SAY HE AND THE PRESIDENT HAD DECIDED TO

EXPUNGE ONE PARTICULARLY TROUBLING PROVISION. MUDENGE WAS

COMBATIVE, DISMISSING KANSTEINER’S REFERENCES TO PRESIDENT

MBEKI’S RECENT EXPRESSIONS OF CONCERN ABOUT ZIMBABWE AND

INSISTING THAT THE SADC-PF ELECTORAL NORMS AND STANDARDS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03690 01 OF 06 121706Z

DOCUMENT WAS AN “INTERNAL COMMITMENT AMONG FRIENDS” THAT

SHOULD NOT RECEIVE SCRUTINY FROM OUTSIDE THE REGION. THE

FOREIGN MINISTER PRESSED FOR A LARGE U.S. ROLE IN THE DRC,

AND SAID ZIMBABWEAN TROOPS WOULD WITHDRAW WHEN ASKED TO DO

SO BY KINSHASA, “LUSAKA OR NO LUSAKA.” MAKONI PAINTED A

DISMAL PICTURE OF ZIMBABWE’S SHORT-TERM ECONOMIC PROSPECTS,

AND ENGAGED CONSTRUCTIVELY WITH US ABOUT HOW THE GOZ MIGHT

FORESTALL IMPOSITION OF TARGETED RESTRICTIONS ON ITS

LEADERSHIP. END SUMMARY.

 

ZDERA

—–

 

2. (C) THE PASSAGE OF THE ZIMBABWE DEMOCRACY AND ECONOMIC

RECOVERY ACT (ZDERA) SEVERAL DAYS BEFORE A/S KANSTEINER’S

ARRIVAL ENSURED THAT ZDERA WOULD FIGURE PROMINENTLY IN HIS

DISCUSSIONS. THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY TOLD ALL THREE GOZ

MINISTERS THAT ZDERA REFLECTS SERIOUS CONGRESSIONAL

CONCERNS — SHARED BY THE ADMINISTRATION — ABOUT THE

DIRECTION OF EVENTS IN ZIMBABWE. ONCE THE SENATE AND HOUSE

RECONCILE THE MINOR DIFFERENCES IN THEIR VERSIONS, THE

SINGLE TEXT WILL BE SENT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR SIGNATURE

INTO LAW. KANSTEINER EMPHASIZED THAT ZDERA IS NOT A

SANCTIONS BILL. RATHER, IT INCLUDES CARROTS AND STICKS

WHICH CAN BE USED TO INFLUENCE THE GOZ IN A POSITIVE

DIRECTION, AND INSTRUCTS THE ADMINISTRATION TO CONSULT WITH

KEY INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS — THE EU, THE COMMONWEALTH, AND

SADC — ABOUT THEIR IMPLEMENTATION. IF THE GOZ DOES NOT

MEET CERTAIN BENCHMARKS — ENSURING A RETURN TO THE RULE OF

LAW, RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, AN END TO GOVERNMENT-

SANCTIONED VIOLENCE, AND A FREE AND FAIR ELECTION — THE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03690 01 OF 06 121706Z

USG HAS THE OPTION OF IMPOSING RESTRICTIONS ON MEMBERS OF

ZIMBABWE’S RULING ELITE, INCLUDING TRAVEL BANS AND FREEZING

OF ASSETS.   THERE IS STILL TIME FOR THE GOZ TO REVERSE

COURSE AND AVOID SUCH PUNITIVE ACTION, KANSTEINER ASSERTED.

 

3. (C) SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT EMMERSON MNANGAGWA EXPRESSED

SURPRISE THAT THE U.S. CONGRESS WOULD PASS SUCH A BILL, AS

ZIMBABWE ASPIRES TO BE A “SHINING DEMOCRACY.” THE KEY

ACTORS WHO NEED TO ENSURE THAT THE ELECTIONS ARE FREE AND

FAIR, ACCORDING TO MNANGAGWA, ARE ZIMBABWEANS THEMSELVES.

IN A TENSE EXCHANGE, FM MUDENGE SAID THE BILL WAS “NOT

HELPFUL,” AND DISDAINFULLY REFERRED TO THE SECTION ON

TARGETED PERSONAL SANCTIONS AS “JESSE HELMS-INSPIRED.”

KANSTEINER POINTED OUT THAT THE BILL HAD PASSED

OVERWHELMINGLY IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND THAT

NOT A SINGLE MEMBER OF THE CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS HAD

VOTED AGAINST IT. MUDENGE SAID HE UNDERSTOOD WHERE THE

BILL WAS COMING FROM BUT URGED THE USG TO CONVEY ITS

CONCERNS PRIVATELY TO THE GOZ, NOT DO SO WITH GRAND

GESTURES OR THROUGH THE MEDIA.

 

4. (C) IN A CONSTRUCTIVE AND OPEN CONVERSATION, FINANCE

MINISTER MAKONI ASKED WHAT ZIMBABWE NEEDED TO DO TO AVOID

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ7918

 

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——————4A89D7 121707Z /68

O 121555Z DEC 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0517

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

AMEMBASSY OSLO

AMEMBASSY CANBERRA

AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM

AMEMBASSY KINGSTON

AMEMBASSY ABUJA

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 06 HARARE 003690

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 12/12/11

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03690 02 OF 06 121707Z

TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PINR ZI

SUBJECT: A/S KANSTEINER DELIVERS TOUGH MESSAGE TO

ZIMBABWEAN OFFICIALS

 

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TARGETED RESTRICTIONS. THE GOZ

SHOULD DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO ENSURE THAT THE ELECTION

PROCESS IS TRANSPARENT AND ABOVE BOARD, AND REDUCE VIOLENCE

AND INTIMIDATION, KANSTEINER SAID. THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY

EMPHASIZED THAT THE GOZ’S OWN ACTIONS WILL DETERMINE

WHETHER THE RESTRICTIONS WILL BE IMPLEMENTED. “YOU HAVE

YOUR FINGER ON THE TRIGGER,” HE SAID, “AND YOU CAN

DETERMINE WHETHER TO PULL IT.”

 

VIOLENCE

——–

 

5. (C) KANSTEINER SAID THE USG FULLY SHARED PRESIDENT

MBEKI’S STRONG CONCERNS ABOUT ONGOING VIOLENCE AND

INTIMIDATION WHICH, ALTHOUGH NOT ONE-SIDED, WAS

PREDOMINANTLY TARGETED AGAINST OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS.

MNANGAGWA BLAMED THE VIOLENCE ON THE MDC AND ITS

SUPPORTERS. ZANU-PF, HE SAID, IS THE DOMINANT PARTY WHICH

HAS NO INTEREST IN SEEKING CONFRONTATION WITH “SMALL

PEOPLE.” IT IS THE NEWCOMERS TO THE POLITICAL SCENE, THOSE

STRIVING FOR POWER, WHO INITIATE SUCH PROBLEMS. MNANGAGWA

SAID HE THOUGHT THE POLITICAL SITUATION HAD IMPROVED DURING

THE PAST THREE MONTHS. NO MORE LAND INVASIONS HAVE

OCCURRED, HE CLAIMED, AND THERE IS NOW LESS VIOLENCE ON

FARMS. THE AMBASSADOR RECALLED AN EARLIER CONVERSATION

WITH MNANGAGWA IN WHICH THE SPEAKER HAD INDICATED HIS

INTEREST IN SECURING THE AGREEMENT OF THE TWO MAJOR PARTIES

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03690 02 OF 06 121707Z

TO AN ELECTORAL CODE OF CONDUCT. SUCH AN AGREEMENT WOULD

SEND A VERY POSITIVE SIGNAL TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY,

KANSTEINER ADDED. MNANGAGWA REPORTED THAT ONGOING TALKS

BETWEEN ZANU-PF AND THE MDC ARE FOCUSED ON THIS ISSUE, BUT

HE DID NOT ELABORATE ON WHETHER MUCH PROGRESS HAD BEEN

ACHIEVED.

 

6. (C) KANSTEINER REGISTERED HIS CONCERN WITH MNANGAGWA

ABOUT THE CASE OF FLETCHER DULINI-NCUBE, THE MDC’S NATIONAL

TREASURER. DULINI-NCUBE HAS BEEN IN DETENTION SINCE MID-

NOVEMBER, CHARGED WITH INVOLVEMENT IN THE MURDER OF LATE

WAR VETERAN LEADER CAIN NKALA. THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY

SAID HE UNDERSTOOD CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS ARE ONGOING, BUT

HE URGED THAT DULINI-NCUBE BE GRANTED BAIL IN THE INTERIM,

AS HIS HEALTH IS APPARENTLY FAILING. MNANGAGWA SAID IT IS

IMPORTANT THAT THE LAW TAKE ITS COURSE AND THAT THE MDC

OFFICIAL WOULD EVENTUALLY BE RELEASED IF ACQUITTED.

 

7. (C) FM MUDENGE STRONGLY OBJECTED TO KANSTEINER’S

REFERENCE TO PRESIDENT MBEKI. HE SAID HE HAD TOLD BRITISH

FM JACK STRAW THE DAY BEFORE WHEN HE HAD MADE A SIMILAR

COMMENT THAT STRAW DID NOT SPEAK FOR THABO MBEKI. “WHEN I

WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE SOUTH AFRICANS THINK, I WILL ASK

THEM. TODAY, I WANT TO HEAR U.S. VIEWS.” HE CLAIMED THAT

THE GOZ HAS MADE SIGNIFICANT EFFORTS TO REDUCE VIOLENCE,

BUT LAMENTED THAT THE TASK IS DIFFICULT SINCE LAND IS AN

“EMOTIVE ISSUE.” SO ARE POLITICS AND ELECTIONS, KANSTEINER

COUNTERED. YES, MUDENGE AGREED, BUT HE NOTED THAT ZANU-PF

HAD LOST TO THE MDC IN THE DECEMBER 8-9 MAYORAL ELECTION IN

CHEGUTU (SEPTEL) AND WOULD LOSE THE HARARE MAYORAL

ELECTION, DUE TO TAKE PLACE BY FEBRUARY 11. GIVEN THE FACT

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03690 02 OF 06 121707Z

THAT THE MDC HAS WON ALL THREE MAYORAL ELECTIONS HELD THIS

YEAR, MUDENGE SAID THE MDC’S COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE

UNFAIRNESS OF THE ELECTORAL PROCESS ARE MERELY TACTICAL.

 

YOU WANT RULE OF LAW, WE’LL GIVE YOU RULE OF LAW

——————————————— —

 

8. (C) A/S KANSTEINER EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT PENDING

LEGISLATION DRAFTED BY THE GOZ. PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE

ELECTORAL ACT ARE VERY RESTRICTIVE — THE MOST WORRISOME

PROVISIONS WOULD CRIMINALIZE POLITICAL POSTERS, LIMIT VOTER

EDUCATION, AND REQUIRE THAT ELECTION MONITORS BE DRAWN FROM

THE RANKS OF CIVIL SERVANTS. THE ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND

PROTECTION OF PRIVACY BILL WAS ALSO TROUBLING, AS IT WOULD

PLACE STRINGENT CONSTRAINTS ON THE MEDIA, REQUIRING, FOR

INSTANCE, THE LICENSING OF JOURNALISTS BY THE MINISTER OF

INFORMATION AND FORBIDDING ARTICLES OR POLITICAL CARTOONS

THAT DENIGRATE OR “INCITE DISAFFECTION FOR” THE PRESIDENT

OR LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES.

 

9. (C) WHEN MNANGAGWA PROFESSED IGNORANCE OF THE PROVISION

ON POLITICAL POSTERS, THE AMBASSADOR SHOWED HIM A COPY OF

THE TEXT. MNANGAGWA SAID THE INTENTION OF THAT PROVISION

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ7928

 

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T-00     USIE-00 SNIS-00 NISC-00 PMB-00   PRM-00   DRL-02

G-00     SAS-00     /007W

——————4A8A19 121708Z /68

O 121555Z DEC 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0518

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

AMEMBASSY OSLO

AMEMBASSY CANBERRA

AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM

AMEMBASSY KINGSTON

AMEMBASSY ABUJA

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 06 HARARE 003690

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 12/12/11

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03690 03 OF 06 121708Z

TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PINR ZI

SUBJECT: A/S KANSTEINER DELIVERS TOUGH MESSAGE TO

ZIMBABWEAN OFFICIALS

 

WAS TO PROHIBIT THE DEFACING OF PROPERTY AND CREATION OF

SITUATIONS THAT MIGHT ENDANGER ORDINARY CITIZENS — SUCH AS

COVERING TRAFFIC SIGNS WITH POLITICAL GRAFFITI. MNANGAGWA

THOUGHT THAT MONITORS WOULD BE DRAWN FROM THE PUBLIC AT

LARGE, NOT JUST CIVIL SERVANTS. WHEN THE AMBASSADOR AGAIN

POINTED OUT THE RELEVANT PROVISION IN THE PROPOSED

LEGISLATION, MNANGAGWA SAID HE HAD BEEN UNAWARE OF THAT

CHANGE AND UNDERTOOK TO STUDY IT. REGARDING INTERNATIONAL

OBSERVERS, MNANGAGWA SAID DELEGATIONS FROM THE OAU, THE

COMMONWEALTH, THE EU, AND THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM HAD

OBSERVED PREVIOUS ELECTIONS, BUT HE WAS NOT SURE WHETHER

THE EU WOULD BE INVITED THIS TIME. MNANGAGWA SAID HE

SUPPORTED THE PROPOSED REQUIREMENT THAT NGOS INTENDING TO

CONDUCT VOTER EDUCATION REGISTER WITH THE ESC, WHICH WOULD

ALSO APPROVE ANY MATERIALS THEY PLANNED TO USE. GOVERNMENT

HAD LITTLE CHOICE BUT TO TAKE THIS STEP, MNANGAGWA

INSISTED, AS NGOS IN THE PAST WERE GIVEN FREE REIN TO

CONDUCT VOTER EDUCATION CAMPAIGNS, AND SOME USED THIS

FREEDOM TO LOBBY FOR PARTICULAR POLITICAL PARTIES.

 

10. (C) (NOTE: ASKED AT THE END OF THEIR CONVERSATION HOW

MANY OF THE SPEAKER’S CHILDREN ARE STUDYING IN THE U.S.,

MNANGAGWA SAID TWO, BOTH AT MIDLANDS UNIVERSITY IN TEXAS.

TWO DAYS LATER, THE SPEAKER PHONED THE AMBASSADOR TO SAY

THAT HE AND THE PRESIDENT HAD “FIXED” THE ELECTORAL ACT

CONCERNS WE HAD RAISED, SPECIFICALLY EXPUNGING THE

REQUIREMENT THAT ONLY CIVIL SERVANTS COULD SERVE AS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03690 03 OF 06 121708Z

MONITORS. HE ALSO EXPRESSED HIS OPENNESS TO FINDING A

MECHANISM WHEREBY POLITICAL PARTIES CAN CONTRIBUTE TO ESC

DELIBERATIONS. END NOTE.)

 

11. (C) WHEN KANSTEINER PRAISED THE GOZ DECISION TO EXTEND

THE VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE FROM DECEMBER 9 TO DECEMBER

19, MUDENGE SAID ZANU-PF NEEDED MORE TIME TO GETS ITS

SUPPORTERS REGISTERED. THE FOREIGN MINISTER SAID SOME GOOD

CHANGES ARE INCLUDED IN THE PROPOSED ELECTORAL ACT

AMENDMENTS. ONE, FOR INSTANCE, WOULD PERMIT POLITICAL

PARTY AGENTS TO JOIN THE PRESIDING ELECTION OFFICIAL IN

CHECKING FOR INDELIBLE INK ON THE VOTER’S HANDS — TO

ENSURE THEY HAVE NOT ALREADY CAST A BALLOT — AND TO

OBSERVE AT CLOSE-RANGE THE SEARCH FOR THE VOTER’S NAME ON

THE REGISTER. (NOTE: IN THE PAST, PARTY AGENTS HAVE HAD TO

STAND ACROSS THE ROOM AS LONG-DISTANCE SPECTATORS. END

NOTE.) MUDENGE SAID THE PRESIDING OFFICIAL, A POLICE

OFFICER, AND A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REGISTRAR-GENERAL’S

OFFICE WOULD ENTER THE BOOTH WITH BLIND OR OTHERWISE

INCAPACITATED VOTERS TO HELP THEM MARK THE BALLOT FOR THE

CANDIDATE OF THEIR CHOICE. KANSTEINER ASKED WHETHER

MUDENGE WAS CONCERNED THAT THE THREE PEOPLE HELPING SUCH

INDIVIDUALS TO VOTE ARE CIVIL SERVANTS WHO DEPEND ON

GOVERNMENT FOR THEIR LIVELIHOODS. “NO, MY FRIEND,” MUDENGE

REPLIED, “MOST CIVIL SERVANTS ARE MDC SUPPORTERS WHO WILL

WORK TO ENSURE AN OPPOSITION VICTORY.” HE THEN TURNED TO

THE FOUR NOTETAKERS ON EITHER SIDE OF HIM AND SAID, “I

DON’T KNOW FOR SURE, BUT I SUSPECT THAT THESE MEMBERS OF MY

STAFF PROBABLY WILL VOTE FOR THE MDC.” IT WOULD BE HARD TO

SELL THAT ARGUMENT TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY,

KANSTEINER WARNED.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03690 03 OF 06 121708Z

 

12. (C) MUDENGE CLAIMED THAT THE ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND

PROTECTION OF PRIVACY BILL WAS MODELED CLOSELY ON SIMILAR

LEGISLATION IN SOUTH AFRICA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM. TAKING

THE WORST OF TWO PIECES OF LEGISLATION IS NOT NECESSARILY

THE BEST COURSE OF ACTION, KANSTEINER REMARKED. THE

FOREIGN MINISTER SAID THE PRESS SEEMED MOST WORRIED BY THE

PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF A MEDIA ETHICS COMMISSION, WHICH

WILL ENSURE THAT WHAT JOURNALISTS WRITE IS TRUTHFUL.

STRAIGHT-FACED, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY SAID HE WAS WORRIED

ABOUT THE DRAFT LAW’S IMPACT ON THE (GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED)

“THE HERALD,” SINCE POLITICAL PARTIES WON’T BE PERMITTED TO

RUN NEWSPAPERS AND “THE HERALD” IS AN INSTRUMENT OF ZANU-

PF. “THE HERALD” IS PART OF THE PUBLIC MEDIA, MUDENGE

RETORTED — “WE DON’T RUN NEWSPAPERS.” HE DISMISSED

CONCERNS ABOUT MEDIA FREEDOM, SAYING ZANU-PF REGULARLY GETS

“SLAUGHTERED” BY THE INDEPENDENT PRESS. “THESE PEOPLE HAVE

THE FREEDOM TO SAY WHATEVER THEY WANT.” KANSTEINER

EXPRESSED CONCERN THAT JOHANNESBURG-BASED CORRESPONDENTS

FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES AND THE WASHINGTON POST WERE

RECENTLY DENIED ZIMBABWEAN VISAS. MUDENGE SAID HE WAS

UNFAMILIAR WITH THEIR CASES.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ7929

 

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ACTION AF-00

 

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ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SSO-00   SS-00   STR-00   TRSE-00

T-00     USIE-00 SNIS-00 NISC-00 PMB-00   PRM-00   DRL-02

G-00    SAS-00     /007W

——————4A8A28 121709Z /68

O 121555Z DEC 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0519

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

AMEMBASSY OSLO

AMEMBASSY CANBERRA

AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM

AMEMBASSY KINGSTON

AMEMBASSY ABUJA

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 04 OF 06 HARARE 003690

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 12/12/11

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03690 04 OF 06 121709Z

TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PINR ZI

SUBJECT: A/S KANSTEINER DELIVERS TOUGH MESSAGE TO

ZIMBABWEAN OFFICIALS

 

13. (C) MAKONI SUGGESTED THAT COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE

ELECTORAL ACT AMENDMENTS ARE UNFORTUNATE, AS THE GOZ IS

TRYING TO STRENGTHEN THE ESC BY GIVING IT MORE STATUTORY

AUTHORITY AND MORE RESOURCES, SO THAT IT CAN ENSURE THE

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IS BEYOND REPROACH. HE ASKED WHY THE

ESC WAS NOT CONSIDERED INDEPENDENT, AND THE AMBASSADOR

RESPONDED THAT THERE IS NO OPPORTUNITY FOR POLITICAL

PARTIES TO HAVE INPUT. MAKONI SAID HE DID NOT WANT TO

DISMISS USG CONCERNS, BUT HE THOUGHT THAT LACK OF TRUST AND

CONFIDENCE IN THE SYSTEM WERE THE REAL PROBLEM, NOT

NECESSARILY THE SUBSTANCE OF THE DRAFT LEGISLATION. HE

THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA IF GOVERNMENT SAT DOWN WITH

KEY STAKEHOLDERS TO WALK THROUGH THESE ISSUES. PERHAPS, AS

A STARTING POINT, MNANGAGWA — AS THE RULING PARTY’S

SECRETARY FOR ADMINISTRATION — AND MDC SECRETARY-GENERAL

 

SIPDIS

WELSHMAN NCUBE COULD REACH AGREEMENT ON HOW THE TWO PARTIES

CAN COMPETE FAIRLY. THE AMBASSADOR SUGGESTED THAT ONE WAY

TO ADDRESS THE LACK OF CONFIDENCE WOULD BE TO ALLOW

REPRESENTATIVES OF BOTH MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES TO SIT ON

THE ESC.

 

SADC ELECTORAL NORMS AND STANDARDS

———————————-

 

14. (C) KANSTEINER TOLD HIS INTERLOCUTORS THE USG WOULD

USE THE ELECTORAL NORMS AND STANDARDS ENDORSED IN MARCH

2001 BY THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM — IN A GATHERING

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03      HARARE 03690 04 OF 06 121709Z

ATTENDED BY MNANGAGWA — AS ITS BENCHMARKS FOR ASSESSING

THE ELECTORAL PROCESS. BALANCED ACCESS TO THE MEDIA FOR

ALL POLITICAL PARTIES WAS ONE IMPORTANT POINT ADDRESSED IN

THE SADC-PF DOCUMENT, AND AN ISSUE WE AND OTHERS IN THE

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WILL WATCH CLOSELY AS AN INDICATION

OF THE FAIRNESS OF THE PROCESS. YES, MNANGAGWA SAID, HE

HAD ATTENDED THAT MEETING BUT WAS NOT SURE WHERE THE GOZ

STOOD ON THOSE NORMS AND STANDARDS.   MNANGAGWA DECLARED

THAT, AFTER THE ELECTION DATES ARE ANNOUNCED, POLITICAL

PARTIES WILL BE ALLOCATED FREE RADIO AND TELEVISION TIME

ACCORDING TO THE PERCENTAGE OF SEATS THEY HOLD IN

PARLIAMENT. ANY PARTY THAT WANTS ADDITIONAL TIME CAN

PURCHASE IT.

 

15. (C) MUDENGE WAS NOT INTERESTED IN DISCUSSING THE SADC-

PF’S ELECTORAL NORMS. “PLEASE LEAVE OUT OUR COMMITMENTS TO

OUR SADC FRIENDS,” HE SAID POINTEDLY. “THAT’S AN INTERNAL

DOCUMENT. WE HAVE WAYS OF HELPING EACH OTHER BECAUSE WE

WANT TO GROW AS A REGION.” KANSTEINER AGREED WITH

MUDENGE’S LATTER POINT, SAYING THAT WAS PART OF THE REASON

PRESIDENT MBEKI SEEMED SO CONCERNED ABOUT EVENTS IN

ZIMBABWE. “LEAVE MBEKI,” MUDENGE ASSERTED. “I SPEAK TO

HIS MINISTER REGULARLY BUT, NOW, I WANT TO HEAR YOUR

CONCERNS.” “OUR CONCERNS ARE THEIR CONCERNS,” KANSTEINER

REPLIED. THE FOREIGN MINISTER SAID SOUTH AFRICA IS

“TOTALLY OPPOSED” TO THE SANCTIONS THE UNITED STATES HAD

PLACED ON ZIMBABWE, WHICH HURTS ZIMBABWEANS AND DOES NOT

HELP OUR BILATERAL DIALOGUE. KANSTEINER REITERATED THAT

THE USG HAS NOT IMPOSED SANCTIONS ON ZIMBABWE. ZDERA

RECOMMENDS IMPOSITION OF RESTRICTIONS ON THE RULING ELITE,

WHICH MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR FAILURE TO ADDRESS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03690 04 OF 06 121709Z

THE CONCERNS OF THE ZIMBABWEAN PEOPLE. “WE HAVE NOT

FAILED,” MUDENGE INSISTED, BLAMING THE COUNTRY’S ECONOMIC

DIFFICULTIES ON FLUCTUATIONS IN WORLD COMMODITY PRICES.

“THAT’S WHAT’S KILLING US,” HE SAID. KANSTEINER REPLIED

THAT HIS OWN MACROECONOMIC ANALYSIS WOULD BE DIFFERENT, AND

MAINTAINED THAT ZIMBABWE’S ECONOMIC DECLINE HAS BEEN CAUSED

PRIMARILY BY GOVERNMENT MISMANAGEMENT.

 

DRC

 

16. (C) KANSTEINER ATTRIBUTED PART OF ZIMBABWE’S ECONOMIC

DECLINE TO THE GOVERNMENT’S INVOLVEMENT IN THE DRC. “YOUR

PEOPLE HAVE PAID A HIGH PRICE FOR THAT MILITARY

INVOLVEMENT,” KANSTEINER SAID, THROUGH WHICH THE GOZ HAD

ESSENTIALLY PLACED SANCTIONS ON ITS OWN PEOPLE. MUDENGE

CONTENDED THAT THE GOZ HAD ENTERED THE CONFLICT IN THE DRC

AS A WAY TO THANK AFRICA FOR HELPING ZIMBABWEANS DURING

THEIR LIBERATION STRUGGLE. KANSTEINER SAID THE GOZ NEEDED

TO DO A BETTER JOB OF EXPLAINING THE REASONS FOR ITS DRC

INVOLVEMENT TO THE ZIMBABWEAN PEOPLE.   IF ZIMBABWEAN

TROOPS WITHDRAW, MUDENGE REPLIED, THEN THE GOVERNMENT WOULD

COLLAPSE. “THEN WHAT WOULD OUR COMMITMENT THERE HAVE

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ7931

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03690 05 OF 06 121710Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   AID-00   CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 EB-00   EUR-00

VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00     AC-01

NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00

ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SSO-00   SS-00   STR-00   TRSE-00

T-00     USIE-00 SNIS-00 NISC-00 PMB-00   PRM-00   DRL-02

G-00   SAS-00     /007W

——————4A8A3E 121710Z /68

O 121555Z DEC 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0520

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

AMEMBASSY OSLO

AMEMBASSY CANBERRA

AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM

AMEMBASSY KINGSTON

AMEMBASSY ABUJA

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 05 OF 06 HARARE 003690

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 12/12/11

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03690 05 OF 06 121710Z

TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PINR ZI

SUBJECT: A/S KANSTEINER DELIVERS TOUGH MESSAGE TO

ZIMBABWEAN OFFICIALS

 

ACCOMPLISHED?” HE REMINDED KANSTEINER THAT ZIMBABWE WAS IN

DRC AT THE REQUEST OF THE KINSHASA GOVERNMENT AND WOULD

WITHDRAW AS SOON AS KINSHASA ASKED THEM TO, “LUSAKA OR NO

LUSAKA.”

 

17. (C) MUDENGE SAID THAT, ALTHOUGH WE MAY HAVE OUR

DIFFERENCES ON DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS IN ZIMBABWE, THE GOZ

WANTS VERY MUCH TO WORK WITH THE UNITED STATES TO ENSURE

STABILITY IN THE DRC. THE GOZ WANTED THE USG INVOLVED “IN

A BIG WAY,” AS IT WAS THE ONLY COUNTRY THAT CAN MAKE A REAL

DIFFERENCE THERE. HE SAID THE GOZ REGULARLY INCORPORATES

OUR NON-PAPERS AND OTHER INFORMATION WE SHARE INTO THEIR

THINKING, AND SAID HE WAS AVAILABLE ANY TIME TO EXCHANGE

IDEAS ON THE WAY FORWARD. KANSTEINER REPORTED THAT

PRESIDENT BUSH HAD HAD A GOOD MEETING IN NEW YORK WITH

PRESIDENT KABILA, AND HAD ENCOURAGED HIM TO PRESS FORWARD

ON THE INTERNAL DIALOGUE. MUDENGE SAID HE WAS DISAPPOINTED

TO HEAR THAT PRESIDENT MASIRE DID NOT HAVE SUFFICIENT

RESOURCES, AND INDICATED THAT A SADC MEETING MIGHT BE

CALLED TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE. KANSTEINER SAID THE USG HAS

GIVEN HIM SOME RESOURCES AND HE UNDERSTOOD THAT THE SOUTH

AFRICANS MAY HELP OUT AS WELL. “LET’S NOT DUMP THIS IN THE

LAP OF THE SOUTH AFRICANS,” MUDENGE DECLARED. IF THE UN

SECURITY COUNCIL CANNOT COME UP WITH $6 MILLION FOR MASIRE,

THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY IS SHOWING A REAL LACK OF

COMMITMENT. THAT’S WHY THE UNITED STATES WOULD HELP,

REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE UNSC DOES, KANSTEINER SAID. MUDENGE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03690 05 OF 06 121710Z

REPORTED THAT THE GOZ IS TRYING TO IMPROVE RELATIONS WITH

RWANDA AND HAS HAD A NUMBER OF MEETINGS WITH JEAN-PIERRE

BEMBA. ASKED HIS IMPRESSIONS OF BEMBA, MUDENGE CHUCKLED

AND SAID HE IS A “YOUNG MAN WHO KNOWS WHAT HE WANTS.”

 

THE BRITS ARE AGAINST US

————————

 

18. (C) MUDENGE CRITICIZED THE GOZ’S FAVORITE WHIPPING

BOY, THE BRITISH, SAYING THE UK HAS “DESTABILIZED THE

LANDSCAPE” BY FUNDING THE OPPOSITION MDC. BY BETTING ON

OUR ENEMIES, THEY HAVE MADE THEMSELVES THE GOZ’S ENEMIES.

KANSTEINER EMPHASIZED THAT WE COULD NOT CARE LESS WHO WINS

THE ELECTION. WE DO CARE HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED, HOWEVER,

AND HOW THE TRANSITION IS MANAGED. THERE WON’T BE A

TRANSITION, MUDENGE REPLIED, BECAUSE ZANU-PF WILL WIN THE

ELECTION.

 

GLOOMY ECONOMIC PICTURE

———————–

 

19. (C) MAKONI PRESENTED A GLOOMY PICTURE OF ZIMBABWE’S

MACROECONOMIC SITUATION. HE EXPECTED A SIGNIFICANT DECLINE

IN PLANTING OF KEY CROPS: THE NUMBER OF HECTARES OF TOBACCO

(ZIMBABWE’S PRIMARY FOREIGN EXCHANGE EARNER) PLANTED IS

DOWN 25 PERCENT OVER LAST YEAR, WHILE MAIZE PLANTINGS IN

COMMERCIAL FARMING AREAS ARE DOWN 40 PERCENT. HE HAD HOPED

THE SHORTFALL IN MAIZE PLANTINGS WOULD BE MADE UP IN

COMMUNAL AND RESETTLEMENT AREAS, BUT HE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT

THIS WAS STILL AN OPEN QUESTION. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT

MAIZE PRODUCTION WOULD FALL SIGNIFICANTLY SHORT OF THE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03690 05 OF 06 121710Z

ANNUAL CONSUMPTION REQUIREMENT OF 2.2 MILLION TONS. THE

IMPOSITION OF PRICE CONTROLS HAD NOT HELPED MATTERS, MAKONI

SAID, AS BOTH COMMERCIAL AND SMALL-SCALE MAIZE FARMERS ARE

LIKELY HOLDING ONTO THEIR PRODUCT UNTIL THE PRICE IS RIGHT.

 

20. (C) THE FINANCE MINISTER SAID HE WAS WORRIED ABOUT THE

ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE FAST TRACK EFFORT, AND HAD URGED HIS

COLLEAGUES TO SHOW FLEXIBILITY IN IMPLEMENTING IT. GOZ

RHETORIC NOTWITHSTANDING, ONE COULD COUNT THE NUMBER OF

FARMERS WHO HAD INHERITED THEIR PROPERTIES ON ONE HAND.

MOST COMMERCIAL FARMERS HAD BOUGHT THEIR LAND SINCE

INDEPENDENCE IN 1980, AFTER OBTAINING A CERTIFICATE OF NO

INTEREST FROM THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT. MAKONI SAID HE

WANTED COMMERCIAL FARMERS TO BE ABLE TO REINVEST EARNINGS,

NOT BE FORCED INTO DESTITUTION. WHILE THERE CERTAINLY IS

AN ISSUE OF HISTORICAL INJUSTICE, THE GOZ NEEDS TO KEEP

THAT IN PERSPECTIVE. SOME IN GOVERNMENT WOULD NOT BE SO

FRANK, MAKONI ADMITTED, BUT HE WAS THE ONE DEALING WITH THE

NUTS AND BOLTS OF THE COUNTRY’S ENORMOUS ECONOMIC

DIFFICULTIES. THE MINISTER EXPRESSED SERIOUS CONCERN ABOUT

THE EXPOSURE OF ZIMBABWEAN BANKS, MOST OF WHICH HOLD

SIGNIFICANT AGRICULTURAL LOAN PORTFOLIOS.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ7930

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03690 06 OF 06 121709Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   AID-00   CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 EB-00   EUR-00

VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00     AC-01

NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00

ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SSO-00   SS-00   STR-00   TRSE-00

T-00     USIE-00 SNIS-00 NISC-00 PMB-00   PRM-00   DRL-02

G-00     SAS-00     /007W

——————4A8A36 121709Z /68

O 121555Z DEC 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0521

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

AMEMBASSY OSLO

AMEMBASSY CANBERRA

AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM

AMEMBASSY KINGSTON

AMEMBASSY ABUJA

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 06 OF 06 HARARE 003690

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 12/12/11

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02      HARARE 03690 06 OF 06 121709Z

TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PINR ZI

SUBJECT: A/S KANSTEINER DELIVERS TOUGH MESSAGE TO

ZIMBABWEAN OFFICIALS

 

COMMENT

——-

 

21. (C) WE BELIEVE THE THREE MINISTERS — ALL OF WHOM SIT

ON THE RULING PARTY’S SUPREME DECISION-MAKING BODY, THE

POLITBURO — HEARD AND ABSORBED A/S KANSTEINER’S POINTED

MESSAGE: THAT GOZ ACTIONS ALONE WOULD DETERMINE WHETHER

RESTRICTIONS WOULD BE IMPOSED ON KEY MEMBERS OF THE

LEADERSHIP AND THAT THERE WAS STILL TIME TO AVOID SUCH

MEASURES. MNANGAGWA’S QUICK ACTION ON THE CIVIL

SERVANT/MONITOR ISSUE SUGGESTS THAT THE MESSAGE GOT

THROUGH, AS WE SUSPECT HE WAS INSPIRED IN PART BY CONCERN

THAT HIS CHILDREN’S STUDIES IN TEXAS MIGHT BE ENDED

PREMATURELY. HIS REACTION INDICATES THAT THE THREAT OF

RESTRICTIONS MIGHT INDEED BE EFFECTIVE IN ELICITING SOME

POSITIVE POLICY CHANGES HERE.

 

22. (C) MUDENGE SEEMED LESS ARROGANT AND MORE DEFENSIVE

THAN IN PREVIOUS MEETINGS WITH US, PERHAPS REFLECTING A

REALIZATION THAT HIS NORMALLY OVER-THE-TOP AGGRESSIVE STYLE

HAS ONLY WORSENED THE GOZ’S ISOLATION, AS REGIONAL AND

INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE ON THE MUGABE REGIME GROWS MORE

INTENSE. PRESIDENT MBEKI’S RECENT CRITICISMS CLEARLY

TOUCHED A RAW NERVE IN THE GOZ LEADERSHIP, JUDGING FROM

MUDENGE’S STRONG REACTION, BECAUSE SUCH PUBLIC CANDOR FROM

ZIMBABWE’S NEIGHBORS UNDERMINES MUGABE’S ATTEMPTS TO

PORTRAY HIMSELF AS A DEFENDER OF BLACK AFRICAN INTERESTS.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03690 06 OF 06 121709Z

OUR MEETING WITH MAKONI WAS A BREATH OF FRESH AIR. HE IS

BRIGHT, POLITICALLY MODERATE, AND WILLING TO ENGAGE IN A

GENUINE DIALOGUE ABOUT HOW TO EXTRICATE ZIMBABWE FROM ITS

CURRENT MESS. IT IS TOO BAD HE DOESN’T HAVE MORE INFLUENCE

WITH THE OLD MAN AND OTHER RULING PARTY HARDLINERS, WHO ARE

OFTEN IRRITATED BY MAKONI’S WILLINGNESS TO CALL THINGS AS

HE SEES THEM IN PUBLIC.

 

23. (U) A/S KANSTEINER WAS NOT ABLE TO CLEAR THIS CABLE

BEFORE HIS DEPARTURE.

 

SULLIVAN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

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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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