Manhanga says Pius Ncube was set up but adultery allegations are true


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Evangelical Bishop Trevor Manhanga told United States embassy officials that although Archbishop Pius Ncube was set up, the charges of adultery that were being levelled against him were undoubtedly true and would do considerable harm to the opposition.

According to a cable released by Wikileaks Manhanga said it was obviously a set up and showed what the government would do to silence critics.

Ncube said the government was holding evidence against two other Catholic bishops. This would be a severe blow, Manhanga added, to the Catholic Church and to the Save Zimbabwe Coalition of which Ncube was a prominent member.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 07HARARE656, TREVOR MANHANGA ON MEETINGS WITH MUGABE AND GONO,

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

07HARARE656

2007-07-19 14:58

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO7320

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R 191458Z JUL 07

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INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1652

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1520

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1656

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0300

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0922

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1285

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1712

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4129

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1482

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2146

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0777

RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

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RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1873

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000656

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S.HILL

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E.LOKEN AND L.DOBBINS

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B.PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/09/2012

TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON ZI

SUBJECT: TREVOR MANHANGA ON MEETINGS WITH MUGABE AND GONO,

VIEWS ON PIUS NCUBE

 

 

Classified By: Charge d’affaires, a.i. Katherine Dhanani under Section

1.4 b/d

 

1. (C) Summary. Evangelical Bishop Trevor Manhanga,

Chairman of the Heads of Christian Denominations in Zimbabwe,

spoke with Poleconchief July 18 and recounted a recent

meeting with President Mugabe. According to Manhanga, Mugabe

is preparing for elections next year and is confident he will

win. He is dismissive of the SADC talks and will push for

adoption of Constitutional Amendment 18 to pave the way for

succession after his election. Manhanga also spoke on July

17 with Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono, a

chief advisor to Mugabe on economic matters. Gono told

Manhanga he went over the dire economic situation in detail

with Mugabe and counseled that the current price control

regime was leading to unacceptable shortages of food. Mugabe

listened to Gono but gave no indication of changing course.

Turning to Archbishop Pius Ncube, Manhanga opined that

although Ncube was set up, the charges were undoubtedly true

and would do considerable harm to the opposition. End

Summary.

 

——————-

Meeting with Mugabe

——————-

 

2. (C) Manhanga and Bishop Sebastian Bakare of Mutare met

about two weeks ago with Mugabe. Also present was Minister

of Justice Patrick Chinimasa. Manhanga said he sought the

meeting to discuss the situation in Zimbabwe and Mugabe’s

future, including plans for retirement. He told us he

emphasized to Mugabe the urgency of dealing with the

Zimbabwean crisis and that a resolution was dependent upon

Mugabe’s retirement and plan for succession.

 

3. (C) According to Manhanga, Mugabe was noncommittal, but

left the clear impression he intended to run for election

and, after being reelected, to then deal with the succession

issue. Mugabe complained that his cabinet was the worst ever

and was constantly speaking out without coordinating with

him. Manhanga thought that Mugabe was content to permit this

as well as intraparty squabbling in advance of the elections

as long as no coherent opposition to him developed.

 

4. (C) On the issue of the Mbeki-led SADC talks, Chinimasa,

who is one of the ZANU-PF negotiators, was dismissive stating

there was nothing to discuss. Manhanga told us he thought

the recent failure of Chinimasa and Nicholas Goche to travel

to South Africa two weeks ago for scheduled talks was typical

of ZANU-PF when it did not want to deal seriously with

issues. He felt that unless SADC as a whole mandated Mbeki

to get tough, Mbeki would continue with his “quiet diplomacy.”

 

5. (C) Manhanga told us that in 2005 he had traveled to the

U.S. and met with, among others, the members of the

Congressional Black Caucus and staff, Jessie Jackson, and

Andrew Young and discussed a visit of African-Americans to

Zimbabwe to exchange views. He said he mentioned this to

Mugabe who was receptive to the idea.

 

6. (C) Manhanga, who sees Mugabe from time to time, found

him alert and aware of the situation in the country.

 

————–

Price Controls

————–

 

HARARE 00000656 002 OF 003

 

 

 

7. (C) In a July 17 meeting, Gono told Manhanga he had

recently met with Mugabe and had explained in detail that the

current price controls would not work and would lead to

shortages. As an example, he told Mugabe that the military

was already suffering from a shortage of food.

 

8. (C) Gono, according to Manhanga, understood that

merchants could not sell at a loss. His immediate

prescription was to return to the “social contract” to bring

government, labor, and business together to discuss a

resolution of the problems created by the price controls.

(Note: In early June, the GOZ touted the signing of a social

contract under which the government allegedly promised to

foster economic growth, labor promised to rein in wage

demands, and business agreed to control prices. Needless to

say, the agreement did not address fundamental economic

problems and did not work–within a week inflation had once

again taken off. End Note.)

 

9. (C) Manhanga told us, as we have heard elsewhere, that

the decision to impose price controls was made by the Joint

Operations Command (JOC) comprised of the heads of the

military, Central Intelligence Organization (CIO), police,

and Minister for State Security Didymus Mutasa. Manhanga

said that Mugabe continued to take advice from the JOC; he

remained close, however, to Gono and listened to his economic

advice. A decision to seek a way out of the current mess,

according to Manhanga, may depend on how convincing Gono is.

 

10. (C) For his part, Manhanga said he had been in contact

with a number of business concerns, including the Congress of

Zimbabwean Industry (CZI), TA Holdings, the Rainbow Group,

Econet, and Stanbic; and he was seeking a meeting for them

with Mugabe to give the president a reality check.

 

——————-

On Archbishop Ncube

——————-

 

11. (C) Manhanga thought the recent adultery allegations

against Ncube were true. It was obviously a set up and

showed what the government would do to silence critics.

Ncube also said the GOZ is holding evidence against two other

Catholic bishops. This will be a severe blow, Manhanga

added, to the Catholic Church and to the Save Zimbabwe

Coalition of which Ncube was a prominent member.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

12. (C) Manhanga considers himself a bridge builder. His

infrequent criticisms of the government have been muted; this

has permitted him to retain a relationship with Mugabe,

although many in the opposition consider him a government

collaborator. His inside the regime view tracks with what

others have told us and with what we have observed: Mugabe

intends to run for reelection and expects to win after which

he will deal with succession. The Mbeki talks are a sideshow

he does not take seriously. Finally, Gono has the

president’s ear and is the most important voice against price

controls and the havoc they are raising within ZANU-PF. We

note, however, that others in ZANU-PF appear unwilling to

take on Mugabe’s destructive populist policies and a change

of course does not appear on the horizon. Evidence of this

 

HARARE 00000656 003 OF 003

 

 

is the recent imposition of import controls on staples and

fuel which will exacerbate the scarcity of food (Septel).

DHANANI

(571 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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