Makoni right candidate wrong country


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United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell said the United States should not support the candidacy of Simba Makoni to head the African Development Bank because that would send the wrong signal about the importance of sound economic policies.

He was commenting after the government had told local ambassadors that it was supporting Makoni for the post of African Development bank president to succeed Moroccan Omar Kabbaj.

Dell said Makoni was qualified and among the best of the ZANU-PF party members. Supporting his candidacy would be a way to signal the United States’ new policy of selective engagement.

“That said, he is the national candidate of a government that is hundreds of millions of dollars in arrears to the IFIS, including the ADB, and we think this would send the wrong signal about the importance of sound economic policies.”

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 05HARARE128, ZIMBABWE NOMINATES SIMBA MAKONI FOR ADB PRESIDENT

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

05HARARE128

2005-01-25 06:01

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 000128

 

SIPDIS

 

INFO ALL EUROPEAN DIPLOMATIC POSTS

ALL DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR POSTS

NSC WASHDC

 

AF/S FOR BNEULING

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVELLE, D. TEITELBAUM

TREASURY FOR OREN WYCHE-SHAW, STATE PASS USAID FOR MARJORIE

COPSON

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2009

TAGS: ECIN EAID AORC ZI EINV

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE NOMINATES SIMBA MAKONI FOR ADB PRESIDENT

 

Classified By: Ambassador Christopher Dell for reason 1.4 b/d

 

1. (SBU) The GOZ informed diplomatic representatives from

African Development Bank (ADB) shareholder countries that it

will nominate former Finance Minister Simba Makoni to succeed

Moroccan Omar Kabbaj as ADB President. Foreign Minister

Mudenge and acting Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa presented

Makoni’s candidacy to assembled diplomats from ADB countries

January 19. Mudenge said Makoni enjoyed the “full support of

the government and party” and that the GOZ had persuaded the

other 13 SADC countries to back Makoni (N.B., the election is

scheduled for May 18.)   In his brief remarks, Makoni said he

would call on the ambassadors from ADB shareholder countries

in the coming months to lobby for his candidacy.

 

——————————————— —

Biographical Background and Comment

——————————————— —

 

2. (C) Makoni was Finance Minister from 2000-2002. After

Makoni called for devaluation of the zimdollar, President

Mugabe referred to him as a “traitor” and did not include him

in the August 2002 cabinet reshuffle. The 55-year old Makoni

was one of Zimbabwe,s youngest ministers in 1980s, serving

as Energy as well as Youth Minister while in his thirties.

He also served ten years as SADC’s executive secretary. An

UK-educated engineer and successful businessperson, Makoni

was often seen as a technocrat among ZANU-PF Marxists and

ideologues. One of the party’s few top leaders still

well-regarded in international circles, Makoni wass the only

serving GOZ cabinet minister against whom the U.S. did not

imposed travel sanctions.

 

3. (C) The decision by the politically ambitious Makoni to

accept the GOZ’s nomination for ADB President probably means

he has given up on returning to the political upper echelons

for now. Before he fell out of favor in 2002, Makoni was

often mentioned as a potential Mugabe successor, and a poll

conducted by the Mass Public Opinion Institute last year

showed him to be the only prospective ZANU-PF successor with

significant support in all provinces. He has been one of the

Embassy’s most accessible and candid interlocutors within the

ruling party.

 

———————

Recommendation

———————

 

4. (SBU) On balance, we would not recommend supporting

Makoni,s candidacy. He is qualified and among the best of

the ZANU-PF party members. In addition, supporting his

candidacy would be a way to signal our new policy of

selective engagement. That said, he is the national

candidate of a government that is hundreds of millions of

dollars in arrears to the IFIS, including the ADB, and we

think this would send the wrong signal about the importance

of sound economic policies.

DELL

(9 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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