Muchena once tipped to become Minister of Youth


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Olivia Muchena, who was Minister of State in Vice-President Joseph Msika’s Office at the time, was tipped to take over as Minister of Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation following the death of firebrand Border Gezi.

The United States embassy said President Robert Mugabe was going to place a premium on loyalty for his appointments and was going to select those willing to do everything to ensure that he was re-elected.

Shuvai Mahofa, who was the deputy Minister of Youth, was not likely to be promoted because she was perceived as a protégée of Vice-President Simon Muzenda.

 

Full cable:

Viewing cable 01HARARE1727, DEFENSE MINISTER MAHACHI DIES SUDDENLY

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

01HARARE1727

2001-05-29 15:22

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

291522Z May 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ1952

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 01727 01 OF 02 291521Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00

DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00 FBIE-00

VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00

AC-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00

ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00

PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /007W

——————F1C6F7 291521Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8975

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001727

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SA – C. PALMA

 

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 01727 01 OF 02 291521Z

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/29/11

TAGS: PGOV PINR ZI

SUBJECT: DEFENSE MINISTER MAHACHI DIES SUDDENLY

LEAVING A THIRD CABINET VACANCY IN A MONTH

 

 

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D’AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING FOR

REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

1. (C) ADRESSEES WILL HAVE SEEN PRESS REPORTING OF THE

DEATH MAY 26 OF MINISTER OF DEFENSE MOVEN MAHACHI.

MAHACHI WAS IN THE BACK SEAT OF A HEAVILY LOADED LAND

ROVER DISCOVERY THAT WAS HIT BROADSIDE BY A CAR WHOSE

DRIVER WAS REPORTEDLY DRUNK. THE IMPACT CAUSED THE

MINISTER’S VEHICLE TO ROLL AND THE TALL MAHACHI, WHO WAS

SITTING HIGHER THAN OTHER PASSENGERS, WAS KILLED

INSTANTLY WHEN THE CAR’S ROOF COLLAPSED ON HIS HEAD,

ACCORDINQ TO EGYPTIAN DCM KADRI ABDEL-MOTTALEB, WHO

HEARD THE ACCOUNT OF ARMY COMMANDER CONSTANTINE

CHIWENGA. POLICE HAVE TAKEN PAINS TO SAY THAT THERE WAS

NOTHING SINISTER ABOUT THE CRASH, A WAY OF DYINQ LONQ

ASSOCIATED HERE WITH ZANU-PF POLITICAL ASSASSINATION.

MAHACHI’S DEMISE IN A ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENT IS THE

SECOND IN A MONTH (MINISTER OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, GENDER

AND EMPLOYMENT CREATION BORDER GEZI WAS KILLED ON APRIL

28) AND HAS LEFT PRESIDENT MUGABE REELING. THE LATE

DEFENSE MINISTER WAS ONE OF THE ZANU-PF “OLD GUARD,” WHO

FOUGHT SIDE-HY-SIDE WITH MUQABE IN MOZAMBIQUE AND WAS A

MEMBER OF HIS DELEGATION AT THE LANCASTER HOUSE

CONSTITUTIONAL CONFERENCE.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 01727 01 OF 02 291521Z

2. (C) MAHACHI’S DEATH CREATED THE THIRD CABINET

VACANCY IN A MONTH (MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND

INTERNATIONAL COMMERCE NKOSANA MOYO RESIGNED SUDDENLY IN

EARLY MAY). IN ZIMBABWE DEPUTY MINISTERS DO NOT

AUTOMATICALLY SUBSTITUTE THEIR MINISTERS. MUGABE, WHO

IN THE PAST HAS BEEN KNOWN TO PUT OFF MAKING DECISIONS

ON CABINET APPOINTMENTS UNTIL THE URGENCY OF EVENTS

FORCES HIM TO TAKE ACTION, MUST BE FEELING THE PRESSURE

TO PUT TOGETHER A NEW TEAM. BOTH GEZI AND MAHACHI WERE

ELECTED MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT AND THEIR VACANT SEATS

MUST BE FILLED WITH A BY-ELECTION. FORMER INDUSTRY

MINISTER MOYO — WHO WAS NOT AN ELECTED MEMBER OF

PARLIAMENT — DID NOT HAVE A DEPUTY; THE MINISTRY IS

BEING TEMPORARILY HEADED BY THE PERMANENT SECRETARY,

STUART COMBERBACH. COMBERBACH, ONE OF THE FEW SENIOR

WHITES REMAINING IN GOVERNMENT, IS A COMPETENT

TECHNOCRAT BUT, THOUGH CLOSE TO RETIRED ZANU-PF STALWART

NATHAN SHAMUYARIRA, IS SEEN AS A POLITICAL LIGHTWEIGHT.

 

3. (C) AT THIS WRITING WE CAN ONLY SPECULATE ABOUT WHOM

MUGABE WILL PLACE IN THESE VACANCIES. LAST JUNE THE NEW

CABINET HE ROLLED OUT APPEARED MEANT TO IMPRESS THE

WORLD THAT ZIMBABWE WAS READY TO TACKLE ITS ECONOMIC AND

POLITICAL PROBLEMS. THIS YEAR WE WOULD WAGER THAT THE

ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT WILL PLACE A PREMIUM ON LOYALTY FOR

HIS APPOINTMENTS, AND WILL AIM TO SELECT THOSE WILLING

TO DO EVERYTHING NECESSARY TO ENSURE HIS REELECTION IN

2002. WE DOUBT, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT DEPUTY MINISTER OF

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, GENDER AND EMPLOYMENT CREATION SHUVAI

MAHOFA WILL BE PROMOTED TO MINISTER, AS SHE IS PERCEIVED

TO HAVE GOTTEN THE PORTFOLIO FOR BEING A PROTEGEE OF

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 01727 01 OF 02 291521Z

VICE PRESIDENT MUZENDA. SOME OBSERVERS PREDICT THE

MINISTRY MIGHT GO TO OLIVIA MUCHENA, CURRENTLY MINISTER

OF STATE IN VICE PRESIDENT MSIKA’S OFFICE. FILLING THE

DEFENSE PORTFOLIO IS ONE THAT WILL REQUIRE CONSULTATION

WITH THE CHIEFS OF THE ARMED FORCES AND ONE IN WHICH

SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT EMMERSON MNANGAGWA, WHOSE

COMMERCIAL BIDDING IN THE CONGO MAHACHI DID, WILL BE

INTIMATELY INVOLVED IN VETTING. IN ANY CASE, BALANCING

CROSS-CUTTING POLITICAL AND REGIONAL RIVALRIES,

CURRENTLY TEARING ZANU-PF APART, WILL BE FOREMOST ON THE

PRESIDENT’S MIND AS HE ASSEMBLES HIS NEW CABINET.

 

4. (C) MUGABE WILL BE HARD-PRESSED TO FIND SUPPORTERS

AS UNQUESTIONINGLY ENTHUSIASTIC AS GEZI AND MAHACHI. IT

IS POSSIBLE THAT, GIVEN HIS PENCHANT FOR SPRINGING

SURPRISES, THE ZIMBABWEAN CHIEF EXECUTIVE COULD PROMOTE

A WAR VETERAN LEADER AS DEFENSE MINISTER IN A NOD TO

THAT CONSTITUENCY’S CURRENT IMPORTANCE, ALTHOUGH

NATIONAL LIBERATION WAR VETERANS’ ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT

CHENJERAI HUNZVI IS SERIOUSLY ILL AND NOT EXPECTED TO

RECOVER HIS HEALTH. THE SO-CALLED WAR VETERANS WHO

COMPRISE ZANU-PF’S GANGSTER MILITIA, HOWEVER, WOULD NOT

COMMAND THE RESPECT OF PROFESSIONAL MILITARY OFFICERS,

WHO CONSIDER HUNZVI AND HIS ILK UNDISCIPLINED

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ1951

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 01727 02 OF 02 291521Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00

DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00 FBIE-00

VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00

AC-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00

ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00

PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /007W

——————F1C6FA 291521Z /38

O 291522Z MAY 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8976

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 001727

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SA – C. PALMA

 

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 01727 02 OF 02 291521Z

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/29/11

TAGS: PGOV PINR ZI

SUBJECT: DEFENSE MINISTER MAHACHI DIES SUDDENLY

LEAVING A THIRD CABINET VACANCY IN A MONTH

 

TROUBLEMAKERS. REGARDLESS OF WHOM HE ULTIMATELY CHOOSES

FOR THE THREE CABINET POSTS, WE HAVE NO DOUBT THAT

MUGABE WILL IMPOSE ORDER FROM THE TOP AND PROLONG ZANU-

PF’S PATHOLOGY. AS THE PARTY HAS NEITHER CARROTS TO

OFFER THE POPULATION NOR A TRACK RECORD ON WHICH TO RUN,

WE PREDICT THAT THE ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT WILL UNLEASH

UNPRECEDENTED LEVELS OF VIOLENCE ON THE POPULATION TO

COMPENSATE FOR THE VULNERABILITY HE IS FEELING. WITH

MAHACHI AND GEZI NOW CONSIGNED TO THE ASH HEAP OF

HISTORY, AND HUNZVI NOT FAR BEHIND, WE WILL HAVE TO

WATCH CLOSELY TO SEE WHETHER MUGABE IS ABLE TO FIND

OTHERS WILLING TO WAGE WAR AGAINST THEIR OWN PEOPLE WITH

AS MUCH RELISH.

 

IRVING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

(27 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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