MDC did not understand the dynamics of aid from the beginning


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The Movement for Democratic Change leadership did not understand the dynamics of aid way back from 2008 when they organised a meeting with the World Bank’s Multi-Donor Trust Fund to discuss post-transition economic recovery and development strategies.

According to United States ambassador to Zimbabwe at the time, James McGee, the MDC leadership appeared to believe that aid would be immediately available once an agreement was reached, and in large sums.

Indeed, after the formation of the inclusive government Finance Minister Tendai Biti, who is the party’s secretary general, said the country needed US$10 billion to revive the economy.

The MDTF meeting was facilitated by Eddie Cross, head of MDC policy, and Mungai Llenieye, who was acting country director for the World Bank.

McGee said overall, the MDC presentations were general in nature and did not offer ideas that differed markedly from what donors were already thinking.

“The MDC is to be commended for reaching out to donors to better identify needs and priorities, and coordinate efforts. It is encouraging that local-level officials, who will have the best access to evaluate implementation of recovery efforts, are working together and in concert with MDC national-level leadership,” McGee said.

“Despite efforts to soften expectations, MDC leadership appears to believe aid will be immediately available once an agreement is reached, and in large sums. All this of course begs the question as to if and when the MDC will be in a position to direct the government and coordinate assistance.”

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE709, MDC/DONORS MEET TO DISCUSS AID PRIORITIES

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

Classification

Origin

08HARARE709

2008-08-21 13:29

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO5740

PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0709/01 2341329

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

P 211329Z AUG 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3318

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2338

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1615

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1487

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000709

 

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

 

DCHA/AA FOR MIKE HESS

AFR/AA FOR KATE ALMQUIST AND FRANKLIN MOORE

AFR/SA FOR ELOKEN, LDOBBINS, JKOLE

DCHA/OFDA FOR KLUU, ACONVERY, TDENYSENKO, LMTHOMAS

DCHA/FFP FOR JBORNS, JDWORKEN, LPETERSON, ASINK

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: EAID PHUM PREF PGOV PREL ZI

SUBJECT: MDC/DONORS MEET TO DISCUSS AID PRIORITIES

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (SBU) On August 15, at the request of the Movement for Democratic

Change (MDC), MDC leadership met with major donors that support the

World Bank’s Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) to discuss

post-transition economic recovery and development strategies. The

meeting was an opportunity for the MDC and donors to hear from one

another the most urgent sectoral needs in the period immediately

following a political transition. Through donor consultation and

internal planning, the MDC is preparing the groundwork to rapidly

address humanitarian, economic stabilization, and development needs

should the MDC achieve power as a result of the ongoing negotiations

with ZANU-PF. MDC appears ready to quickly engage with the donor

community, but does not yet fully understand the intricacies of

donor aid modalities and coordination mechanisms. END SUMMARY.

 

—————————————

MDC looks towards the transition period

—————————————

 

2. (SBU) MDC leadership coordinated a meeting with the heads of

donor agencies that support the MDTF on August 15. The all-day

meeting provided an opportunity for the MDC to share its vision for

immediate, recovery-oriented needs in a transition period. Eddie

Cross, the MDC head of policy, and Mungai Llenieye, Acting Country

Director of the World Bank, facilitated the meeting. Most of the

MDC secretaries (shadow ministers) were in attendance and presented

their specific sectoral needs. Overall, the MDC presentations were

general in nature (not technical) and did not offer ideas that

differ markedly from what donors are already thinking.

 

3. (SBU) Donors presented aid effectiveness principles (e.g.,

ownership, accountability, harmonization, managing for results, etc)

and focused on how to most effectively manage aid. Donors urged the

MDC to establish an office to coordinate donor assistance. The MDC

stated that there would be a unit in the MOF to do this. Although

one already exists, the MDC recognized that it needs to be

strengthened considerably.

 

4. (SBU) The sectoral presentations mirrored the MDTF’s planned

Emergency and Economic Recovery Program, which the World Bank plans

to develop over the next few months for presentation to donors and

subsequent funding, when a transition period begins. The sectors

discussed included:

 

(1) Economic stabilization – The MDC plans to implement a rigorous

fiscal stabilization strategy within days of assuming control of the

RBZ. It will immediately float the dollar, remove price controls,

stabilize exchange rates, and eliminate subsidies. The MDC

requested considerable social safety net support to counter negative

effects of the above actions.

(2) Food security – The MDC wants to redesign food aid to overcome

dependency. It stressed that the focus should be on production and

that inputs such as seeds and fertilizers were critically

important.

(3) Small-scale agriculture – The MDC stressed again the importance

of agricultural inputs and the need to strengthen markets.

(4) Power system rehabilitation – The MDC stated that it did not

need support in this sector, with the possible exception of

technical assistance related to energy policy. Interestingly, the

MDC said it would not privatize ZESA.

(5) Water system rehabilitation

(6) Health service recovery

(7) Education recovery

(8) Public financial management strengthening

(9) Parastatal Reform

 

5. (SBU) The MDC also stressed the immediate urgency of programs to

address: psychiatric treatment for victims; reconciliation;

assistance for more than one million returning refugees; reform of

the security sector; and private sector development. It saw

recovery programs commencing as soon as possible.

 

————————————–

MDC Mayors Pledge Non-Partisan Agendas

 

HARARE 00000709 002 OF 002

 

 

————————————–

 

6. (SBU) The following day, the MDC shadow ministers met with the

MDC mayors from across the country to discuss how to use local

resources, e.g., service delivery, to deal with urgent humanitarian

needs at the community level. The meeting was significant in that it

established a network of democratic local government officials who

committed themselves to honesty, integrity, anti-corruption, and

transparency in the conduct of council business. In addition,

participants pledged to promote a non-partisan local government

agenda and to unify community leaders, given that they are

inheriting post-conflict localities. Mayors from Harare, Bulawayo,

Gweru, Mutare, Victoria Falls, Kadoma, Kariba, and Masvingo were

among those in attendance.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

7. (SBU) The MDC is to be commended for reaching out to donors to

better identify needs and priorities, and coordinate efforts. It is

encouraging that local-level officials, who will have the best

access to evaluate implementation of recovery efforts, are working

together and in concert with MDC national-level leadership. Despite

efforts to soften expectations, MDC leadership appears to believe

aid will be immediately available once an agreement is reached, and

in large sums. All this of course begs the question as to if and

when the MDC will be in a position to direct the government and

coordinate assistance. END COMMENT.

 

 

MCGEE

 

(3 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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