Mutambara said look East policy was over


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Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara told an indigenisation forum that the government had abandoned its “Look East” policy and would now look neither East nor West for investment.

It would look to all corners of the globe.

 

Look cable:


Viewing cable 09HARARE472, ZIM NOTES 06-05-09 (Corrected)

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09HARARE472

2009-06-08 12:35

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO3075

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0472/01 1591235

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 081235Z JUN 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4575

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 2305

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2872

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2991

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1430

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2254

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2621

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 3039

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5480

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2163

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000472

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B. WALCH

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR MICHELLE GAVIN

TREASURY FOR D. PETERS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR LDOBBINS AND JHARMON

COMMERCE FOR BECKY ERKUL

 

E.O.12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM EAGR ECON EFIN ZI

SUBJECT: ZIM NOTES 06-05-09 (Corrected)

 

—————————-

SUMMARY – Topics of the week

—————————-

 

APOLOGIES – Harare 467 should have read Zim Notes 05-22-09.

 

– CODEL Payne Visits Zimbabwe

– Tsvangirai World Tour Kicking Off

– Farmers Going Back to SADC for Enforcement of Ruling

– MDC-T Annual Conference Concludes

– High Court to Rule on Legal Status of MIC

– Ivory and Diamond Smugglers Arrested

– Abductees Re-Abducted

– “Drop the Sanctions” Drumbeat Going Strong

– Brits Clarify Sanctions

– Still Deflation in April, but Fuel Prices Rising

– USDA’s 2009 Zimbabwe Crop Assessment

– Lively Discussion at Indigenization Forum

– The End of Look East

– Cabinet Approves Privatization of Parastatals

– Bloch Calls Gideon Gono a Genius

– Quote of the Week

 

—————————–

On the Political/Social Front

—————————–

 

1. CODEL Payne Visits Zimbabwe: Chairman of the House

Sub-Committee on Africa and Global Health, Donald Payne and three

professional congressional staffers visited Zimbabwe May 29-31. The

delegation met with President Mugabe (Harare 456), Prime Minister

Morgan Tsvangirai, a number of senior government officials, and

business and civil society leaders. This was the first CODEL Post

has received in several years.

 

2. Tsvangirai World Tour Kicking Off:   Prime Minister Morgan

Tsvangirai and a delegation of senior government officials depart

Zimbabwe this weekend for a three-week tour of North American and

European capitals to lobby for financial assistance, reassure the

West of their commitment to bringing about human rights reforms, and

report on the inclusive government’s progress. The trip will begin

in the U.S. and also includes stops in Canada, the UK, Germany,

France, and several other European nations. Finance Minister Tendai

Biti has said that Zimbabwe needs over eight billion U.S. dollars to

turn around the economy.

 

3. Farmers Going Back to SADC for Enforcement of Ruling:   On June

5 the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal in

Windhoek will hear an application of Zimbabwe commercial farmers

William Campbell and Richard Etheredge to have the Zimbabwe

government’s noncompliance with last November’s ruling reported to

the SADC Summit for eventual enforcement. Since the November

ruling, it has been widely reported that many of the over 70

plaintiff farmers and their workers have continued to suffer

evictions, harassment and in some cases, beatings.

 

4. MDC-T Annual Conference Concludes:   The MDC-T wrapped up its

two-day national conference in Harare on May 31 to renew and

re-evaluate the party’s priorities. The event was attended by over

1,000 party delegates who issued resolutions affirming the party’s

primary objective of achieving democratic progress and criticizing

continued breaches in the rule of law and the prevalence of

Qcontinued breaches in the rule of law and the prevalence of

high-level corruption. The conference specifically called for the

ouster of RBZ Governor Gono and Attorney General Tomana. The

Speaker of the House of Assembly, Lovemore Moyo, was elected

substantive chairperson of the MDC-T.

 

5. High Court to Rule on Legal Status of MIC: The High Court is

 

HARARE 00000472 002 OF 003

 

 

scheduled to rule on June 5 on a challenge to the requirement that

journalists be accredited by the Media and Information Commission

(MIC) for the ongoing COMESA summit. Four freelance journalists —

Stanley Gama, Valentine Maponga, Jealous Mawarire and Stanley Kwenda

— are asking the court to order Media and Information Minister

Webster Shamu to retract statements issued in late May instructing

journalists to seek accreditation through the MIC. The MIC was

rendered illegal by amendments to the Access to Information and

Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). In a statement issued through

the government-controlled daily newspaper The Herald, the Ministry

said “the MIC commissioners would cease their functions” while

accreditation is being conducted by the MIC secretariat “under the

law.”

 

6. Ivory and Diamond Smugglers Arrested: This week The Herald

touted two different arrests of smugglers. First, the paper

reported that three airport security officers were in court this

week for facilitating the smuggling of 500kg of ivory intercepted at

the Beijing airport back in January. Other airport employees are

reportedly under investigation for smuggling ivory, drugs, and

evading duty payments. Separately, a Lebanese man was arrested this

week for attempting to smuggle out 2.3kg of diamonds. These arrests

are likely designed to demonstrate progress to address CITES and

Kimberley Process concerns about smuggling.

 

7. Abductees Re-Abducted: On Tuesday, three of the MDC members who

were abducted in late 2008 and held incommunicado for several months

were re-abducted by police. The officers took the trio to the

Attorney General’s office where they were forced to recite testimony

the AG’s office prepared for them. The testimony is to be used in

the first of three trials of the abductees that will begin on Monday

June 8.

 

8. “Drop the Sanctions” Drumbeat Going Strong: Rhetoric in the

press calling on the U.S. and UK to drop sanctions appears to be

increasing daily, probably in preparation for Prime Minister

Tsvangirai’s upcoming trip to the U.S. and Europe. This week the

independent weekly The Zimbabwe Independent cited “high level

government sources” in an article reporting that Congressman Payne’s

visit was partly in preparations to lift sanctions and the Zimbabwe

Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZDERA).

 

9. Brits Clarify Sanctions: The British Embassy in Harare,

apparently fed up with the local press’s sanctions rhetoric, issueda press release this week to clarify that British sanctions are

limited to 243 individuals. The press release came after an article

in The Herald declared sanctions had hit British pensioners hard; it

was accompanied by a cartoon that mischaracterized British

assistance to citizens. The British embassy recently stepped up

efforts to repatriate elderly citizens who want to leave Zimbabwe.

Qefforts to repatriate elderly citizens who want to leave Zimbabwe.

 

————————–

Economic and Business News

————————–

 

10. Still Deflation in April, but Fuel Prices Rising: The

month-on-month inflation as measured by changes in the consumer

price index (CPI) fell from 3 percent in March to 1.1 percent in

April 2009. Most commodity subgroups recorded declines in prices

with the exception of housing, water, electricity and gas, as well

as recreation and culture which recorded m-o-m price increases of

6.5 percent and 0.2 percent respectively. In a blow to business

recovery, this week the price of gasoline and diesel rose 12 percent

and 18 percent respectively on the back of higher world prices and

the recent policy shift from a fixed amount of duty to an ad valorem

rate.

 

11. USDA’s 2009 Zimbabwe Crop Assessment:   The USDA Assessment

 

HARARE 00000472 003 OF 003

 

 

suggests that 1,144,000 ha of maize were planted last year and yield

was 0.44 MT/ha for a total crop of only half a million tons. The

report takes into account the acute shortage of inputs, along with

late planting. The USDA estimate is less than half the calculation

made by the GOZ, which used a slightly higher area planted and a

much higher yield of 0.82 MT/ha. Zimbabwe’s national maize

requirement is between 1.8 and 2.3 million MT. To put the yield

figures in perspective, before fast-track land reform, commercial

maize growers strove to be in the celebrated and now defunct “Ten

Tonne Club” of farmers who achieved a yield of 10 MT/ha. The USDA

Assessment is available at

www.pecad.fas.usda.gov/highlights/2009/06/zim babwe/

 

12. Lively Discussion at Indigenization Forum:   The American

Business Association of Zimbabwe held a half-day policy dialogue

forum on indigenization this week with guest speakers from the

business communities of Zimbabwe and South Africa, as well as from

the Ministry of Indigenization and Zimbabwe’s vociferous Affirmative

Action Group. The focus of lively discussion was the contrast

between South Africa’s focus on empowerment and the focus of

Zimbabwe’s Indigenization Act on ownership.

 

13. The End of Look East:   Opening the Indigenization Forum,

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara announced that the GOZ had

abandoned its “Look East” policy and would now look neither east nor

west for investment, rather to all corners of the globe.

 

14. Cabinet Approves Privatization of Parastatals: The Independent

reported today that Cabinet approved commercialization and

privatization plans for Zimbabwe’s deeply loss-making parastatals

“to revive the comatose economy.” Details are sketchy.

 

15. Bloch Calls Gideon Gono a Genius: Despite the Reserve Bank’s

glaring failure in economic management, Bulawayo accountant and

self-styled economist Eric Bloch thinks RBZ Governor Gideon Gono is

a genius who should be allowed to see his second term out because

his removal would not be in the best interest of Zimbabweans.

Bloch, who served as an advisor to Gono, absolved him any

wrongdoing, saying whatever Gono did at the RBZ was under the

direction of the ZANU-PF government.

 

16. Quote of the Week:

 

 

“We now have the biggest chicken hatching project in Africa: People

might see this and say I built it with money stolen from RBZ.

That’s not it; it’s a vision that I have always had and I can tell

you that by end of 2010, I will be slaughtering five million

chickens a year.”

 

— Reserve Bank Governor and Self-Proclaimed “Best Chicken Farmer in

Africa” Gideon Gono, touting his farm’s success to The Zimbabwe

Times on June 4, 2009.

 

MCGEE

 

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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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