Murerwa said US was exaggerating Zimbabwe’s shortcomings


0

Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa told United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell that the United States was exaggerating Zimbabwe’s democratic shortcomings and urged Washington to re-engage more with Harare.

Murerwa said the government was making a concerted effort to rebuild ties with the US.

“We want you to help us strengthen our democracy,” he said.

Dell said he was aware of President Robert Mugabe’s more restrained tone toward the US but was looking for concrete progress.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 04HARARE2012, GOZ CABINET OFFICIAL “TALKS” CLOSER TIES

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

04HARARE2012

2004-12-14 08:19

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.

 

140819Z Dec 04

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 002012

 

SIPDIS

 

STATE FOR AF/S

USDOC FOR ROBERT TELCHIN

TREASURY FOR OREN WYCHE-SHAW

PASS USTR FLORIZELLE LISER

STATE PASS USAID FOR MARJORIE COPSON

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/13/2014

TAGS: EFIN ECON ETRD EINV PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: GOZ CABINET OFFICIAL “TALKS” CLOSER TIES

 

REF: A. A) HARARE 2003

 

B. B) HARARE 1913

 

Classified By: Classified by Ambassador Christopher W. Dell under Secti

on 1.5 b/d

 

1. (C) Summary: Acting Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa told

the Ambassador he believes the U.S. has exaggerated the

GOZ,s democratic shortcomings and urged us to reengage more

with Zimbabwe. The Ambassador responded that the U.S. is

aware of recent GOZ overtures, but that reality on the ground

must match this new rhetoric. End summary.

 

2. (C) During the Ambassador,s Dec. 13 introductory courtesy

call on the acting Finance Minister, Murerwa suggested the

GOZ was making a concerted effort to rebuild ties with the

U.S. &We want you to help us strengthen our democracy,8

said Murerwa, a Harvard alumnus. The acting Finance Minister

complained that &little things8 were getting in the way of

U.S.-Zimbabwe relations, citing the GOZ,s Oct. 27

deportation of a Congress of South African Trade Unions

(COSATU) delegation. &Any country worth its salt would have

thrown them out,8 Murerwa insisted.

 

3. (C) The Ambassador said we were aware of President

Mugabe,s more restrained tone toward the U.S. but were

looking for concrete progress on issues of concern. The

Ambassador said a confident, democratic government would not

worry about thirteen trade unionists on a fact-finding

mission. He cited other recent GOZ actions that undermine

democracy and open debate, such as the NGO Bill, the Access

to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), the

Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and its decision to

appeal the not guilty verdict in the treason trial of

opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan

Tsvangirai.

 

SIPDIS

 

4. (C) Murerwa defended each of these policies, but said he

would have applied them more narrowly. &We are not a normal

country. We are a country under siege,8 he said. In

justifying the NGO bill, Murerwa maintained &the evidence

was there8 that &the NGOs were being used for political

purposes8 (Ref a).

 

5. (C) Biographic Note: Murerwa studied for a BA, MA and PhD

at Harvard from 1972-79 through a Ford Foundation grant. He

returned to Zimbabwe at independence in 1979 and immediately

became one of the first four black permanent secretaries.

From 1984-90, he was Zimbabwe,s Ambassador to the UK and

Ireland. Murerwa is now on his third stint as Finance

Minister (acting this time), although he readily acknowledges

that education rather than economics is his forte. He has a

son at the University of Pennsylvania.

 

6. (C) Comment: Murerwa,s remarks provide additional

confirmation that the GOZ is softening its rhetoric toward

the U.S. in the hope it can lessen its isolation. While

making it clear in discussions with senior GOZ officials that

we would welcome an improved relationship, we have also

underscored that our views are based on principle, that the

GOZ’s rhetoric must be matched by concrete actions and the

first move has to come from Harare.

DELL

 

(5 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHARETweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email
Print this page
Print

Like it? Share with your friends!

0
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.

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *