Makoni said Mugabe wanted to crush MDC not accommodate it


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Former Finance Minister Simba Makoni told United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Joseph Sullivan that President Robert Mugabe had never wanted to accommodate the Movement for Democratic Change.

The party line was to crush the opposition.

He had been asked by the ambassador whether the government’s failure to have dialogue with the MDC reflected Mugabe’s ambivalence or bad faith.

Makoni said over the years Mugabe had not laid any groundwork within the politburo to encourage political accommodation with the MDC.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 04HARARE312, MAKONI CONFIRMS TALKS A RUSE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

04HARARE312

2004-02-23 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 000312

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR J. FRAZER, TEITELBAUM

LONDON FOR C. GURNEY

PARIS FOR C. NEARY

NAIROBI FOR T. PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/23/2014

TAGS: PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: MAKONI CONFIRMS TALKS A RUSE

 

Classified By: Political Officer Kimberly Jemison for reasons 1.5 b/d.

 

1. (C) Following a conversation he had with former Minister

of Finance and Economic Development and Politburo member

Simba Makoni on February 19, during which Makoni expressed

regret that nothing was being done by ZANU-PF to resolve the

political crisis besieging Zimbabwe, the Ambassador asked for

clarification during a February 20 dinner. The Ambassador

asked specifically whether GOZ failure to move toward

dialogue reflected Mugabe’s ambivalence or bad faith on the

subject. Makoni reflected on his answer and admitted that

based on his observations over the last several years Mugabe

had laid no groundwork within the Politburo to encourage

political accommodation with the MDC. The party line,

according to Makoni, has been to crush the opposition.

(Comment: Makoni has been straightforward with the Embassy in

the past and has been in favor of addressing the political

crisis while still maintaining his loyalty to ZANU-PF. End

comment.)

 

2. (C) With respect to the economic situation, Makoni was

positive about the economic measures recently adopted but

admitted that without political stability, they would not

achieve the desired results. Makoni also thought removing

the responsibility of lands from Minister of Agriculture

Joseph Made was a positive step. Makoni said John Nkomo was

a much more reliable and moderate person than Made and would

most likely try to rationalize the land redistribution

process, using the Utete report as a guide. Makoni claimed

that over the last few years, Made has been intent on

creating chaos and turmoil about the land process by

regularly publishing new farm acquisition lists that included

already acquired lands and by keeping the land issue on the

front page. Makoni concurred with the Ambassador that the

Utete Commission’s treatment of the Abuja agreement

attributing responsibility for its failure to donors was not

accurate. Makoni admitted that the one man-one farm

principle touted in Abuja in September 2001 was a ruse to get

the international community off the GOZ,s back and not meant

to be policy. Makoni surmised that under Nkomo the one

man-one farm policy would only be applied to new farmers and

not result in return of land to white farmers.

 

3. (C) Comment: Though estranged from Mugabe, Makoni remains

in the Politburo and offers inside confirmation of the lack

of Mugabe’s commitment towards political accommodation with

the MDC.   His comments are consistent with recent high-level

public comments projecting the party,s lack of seriousness

on talks. In a birthday interview February 20, President

Mugabe asserted that his party was open to dialogue with the

MDC but rejected MDC policies and said it would have to

&wean itself8 from western backers. Information Minister

Jonathan Moyo was more explicit in a Lusaka interview

February 21, in which he asserted that interparty talks could

only happen if the MDC distanced itself from &colonial

masters8 and, even then, would not contemplate removal of

ZANU-PF from power. Makoni,s conclusions about the

limitations of one man-one farm implementation are consistent

with the GOZ’s failure to repeat its Abuja pledge, while

vowing to remove multiple farms from new farmers. End

comment.

SULLIVAN

 

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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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