Integration Minister Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga was the government’s preferred choice to represent it on the Multi-Donor Trust Fund much to the consternation of the Tsvangirai faction of the Movement for Democratic Change.
The MDC-T wanted the Prime Minister’s office, which was headed by Gorden Moyo at the time, to represent the government.
The MDTF was to be monitored by a Policy Oversight Committee consisting of the government, donors, the United Nations Development Programme head and a World Bank representative who would identify projects and deliver funds.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga was accused by her own party members of being too close to ZANU-PF.
Viewing cable 09HARARE447, GORDON MOYO SHARES INSIGHTS INTO CABINET AND TOP
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SUBJECT: GORDON MOYO SHARES INSIGHTS INTO CABINET AND TOP
Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4 (b) and (d)
¶1. (C) Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s office,
Gordon Moyo, explained President Mugabe’s refusal to fire
Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General
Johannes Tomana. Firing Gono would be an indictment on
Mugabe’s presidency and he was still financially useful,
while Tomana was a useful tool for harassing the opposition.
Cabinet this week was dominated by a heated debate over
whether the MDC-T would retain control over donor funds.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tsvangirai has been traveling to
ZANU-PF strongholds to build support ahead of an eventual
election. END SUMMARY.
What’s Next for Gono and Tomana?
¶2. (C) Minister of State Gordon Moyo met with poloff on May
29 and confirmed that the twin appointment issues of Reserve
Bank Governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes
Tomana had reached an absolute deadlock between the
principals, with President Mugabe refusing to budge. This
left the MDC-T no option but to refer the issue to SADC via a
letter to South African President Jacob Zuma. Moyo suspected
that SADC would not call an extraordinary summit for solely
this issue, but would instead push the issue to the SADC
Troika organ on politics, defense, and security.
¶3. (C) When asked why Gono in particular was such a
non-negotiable issue with Mugabe, Moyo said it was two-fold:
Firing Gono would be an indictment on Mugabe’s presidency as
everything Gono had done was with his blessing, and Gono was
still finding illicit ways to get funds to Mugabe, party
leaders, and security chiefs. Moyo said that while Gono’s
RBZ authorities had been dramatically cut, he maintained his
business interests –obtained illicitly through his tenure at
the helm of the RBZ– which generated income that he was
distributing to Mugabe and key ZANU-PF players. He cited
gold purchases as an area where he continued to profit.
¶4. (C) Mugabe was determined to keep AG Tomana because he
had proven to be a useful tool to harass and distract
political opponents. Moyo said that Tomana was actually a
bigger issue than Gono, because of the extent to which he
could undermine the rule of law.
MDTF Big Issue in Cabinet This Week
¶5. (C) Moyo told us that discussion of the administration of
the Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) was the primary issue
discussed at the May 27 Cabinet meeting. Moyo presented his
proposal that the prime minister’s office should represent
the government on the MDTF Policy Oversight Committee
–consisting of government, donors, the UNDP head, and a
World Bank representative who will identify projects and
deliver funds– at which the ZANU-PF ministers erupted in
opposition, sparking a three-hour debate. Interestingly, the
Qopposition, sparking a three-hour debate. Interestingly, the
Minister of Regional Integration and International
Co-operation, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga of the MDC-M,
was ZANU-PF’s preferred choice to represent the government.
¶6. (C) The farm invasion issue has left Cabinet and is now
being addressed at the Council of Ministers which is
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directing the land-audit process. Moyo said that two
Zimbabwean professors, Samuel Moyo and Mandivamba Rukuni,
would direct the audit to determine who held title in farm
disputes and eliminate multiple farm ownership.
Tsvangirai in Campaign Mode Already
¶7. (C) Moyo said that Tsvangirai has been traveling
throughout the country –but focusing on the ZANU-PF
strongholds in Mashonaland– meeting with local officials to
explain his next 100-day plan and field questions. The local
government bureaucrats he had been meeting with consisted of
provincial officials, chiefs, school teachers, and local law
enforcement. Their reaction was overwhelmingly positive to
Tsvangirai’s outreach effort and appeared to indicate that
ZANU-PF’s grip on these regions was weakening. While many in
the audience were ZANU-PF party officials, Moyo said that
they had not benefited from their party ties.
¶8. (C) We have little confidence that SADC will have the
appetite to force out Gono and Tomana. SADC has
traditionally chosen the path of least resistance when
dealing with Zimbabwe. While the MDC can make the argument
that their appointments violated the Inter-party Political
Agreement and an MOU between the parties, these are
appointments that Mugabe is constitutionally authorized to
make. While some donors may be able to live with an
emasculated Gono, we stressed that the MDC must represent the
government when proposing uses for donor trust funds to
generate confidence in the international donor community.