Mzembi said ZANU-PF opponents to Mugabe had “no balls”


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Walter Mzembi, Deputy Minister of Water Resources, told United States embassy officials that opponents to President Robert Mugabe within the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front had “no balls”.

He therefore saw no effective challenge to Mugabe from within the party.

The greatest threat to Mugabe and ZANU-PF was the economy, especially the absence of goods in the shops.

Mzembi was talking to embassy officials after the government’s directive to cut down prices which was a short-lived bonanza for consumers but left supermarket shelves empty.

He said that the parlous state of the economy was the greatest threat to a ZANU-PF victory in upcoming elections.

A divided Movement for Democratic Change presented minimal threat.

Mzembi also said that ZANU-PF had had discussions with the pro-Senate (Mutambara) MDC faction about a coalition.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 07HARARE736, ZANU-PF OFFICIAL ON CURRENT POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC

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

07HARARE736

2007-08-17 11:37

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO3043

RR RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0736/01 2291137

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 171137Z AUG 07

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1784

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1674

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1546

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1678

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0324

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0944

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1307

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1735

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4152

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1505

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2168

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0799

RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1895

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000736

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S.HILL

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E.LOKEN AND L.DOBBINS

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B.PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/09/2012

TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON ZI

SUBJECT: ZANU-PF OFFICIAL ON CURRENT POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC

SITUATION

 

Classified By: Pol/Econ Chief Glenn Warren under 1.4 b/d

 

——-

Summary

——-

 

1. (C) Walter Mzembi, GOZ Deputy Minister for Water

Resources and Infrastructural Development, told polecon chief

that the recent price control policy had been badly

mismanaged and that recovery would be difficult. The parlous

economic situation was ZANU-PF’s greatest enemy in next

year’s elections, but MDC lack of unity greatly improved the

ruling party’s chances. On U.S.-Zimbabwe relations, Mzembi

encouraged greater contact between the Embassy and the

government. End Summary.

 

2. (C) Polecon chief met with Mzembi on August 16. Mzembi

is one of the few GOZ or ZANU-PF officials who has been

willing to talk with us in recent years.

 

————————-

Price Controls a Disaster

————————-

 

3. (C) Mzembi said that the GOZ’s recent price control

policy was a precipitous response to former Ambassador Dell’s

prediction in May that the government would fall within

months as a result of inflation, which Dell said could climb

to over one million percent by year’s end. Mzembi thought a

response to spiraling inflation was necessary. In his view,

however, the government should have frozen prices, rather

than roll them back to an arbitrary date, and should have

formulated a comprehensive policy to deal with wholesalers

and producers at the same time.

 

4. (C) Mzembi thought that recovery would be difficult.

While the populist policy had been a short-term boon to

consumers, there were no goods in the pipeline and it would

be uneconomical, given current policies, for producers to

renew production. In the long run, the solution was to let

the law of supply and demand work. But this would require a

change in government policy. Mzembi noted that he was one of

the few within the government willing to challenge economic

policy.

 

———————————————

Economy a Threat to ZANU-PF…but not the MDC

———————————————

 

5. (C) Acknowledging that the absence of consumer goods

caused by the price control policy was creating disquiet

among not only urban dwellers, but also the rural population

which has traditionally been ZANU-PF’s base, Mzembi said that

the parlous state of the economy was the greatest threat to a

ZANU-PF victory in upcoming elections. At present, however,

a divided MDC presented minimal threat to ZANU-PF. Mzembi

also said ZANU-PF had had discussions with the pro-Senate

(Mutambara) MDC faction about a coalition. Although there

were currently Ndebele in government, a coalition to include

elected parliamentarians from Matabeleland would increase

ZANU-PF’s strength, according to Mzembi.

 

6. (C) Polecon chief asked Mzembi about opposition to Mugabe

within ZANU-PF, particularly from the Mujuru faction. Mzembi

said internal opponents to Mugabe had “no balls,” and he saw

no effective challenge to the president from within the party.

 

HARARE 00000736 002 OF 002

 

 

 

——————

U.S.-GOZ relations

——————

 

7. (C) Noting that U.S. policy would not change with the

departure of Ambassador Dell and the arrival of a new

ambassador, polecon chief told Mzembi we would nevertheless

like to expand our contacts with reformist ZANU-PF

parliamentarians and GOZ officials–whatever the

configuration of a post-Mugabe government, some of these

individuals could be involved and it would be useful to know

each other. Mzembi responded that the advent of a new

ambassador might present such opportunities, and he would

sound out some of his colleagues.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

8. (C) With under nine months until elections, there are

various political cross-currents at play. The Tsvangirai

faction has had talks with the Mujuru faction and the

Mutambara faction has discussed a coalition with ZANU-PF in

general. Both MDC factions continue to talk. While next

March could well result in an election between Mugabe and the

MDC, the dynamic political environment could foster other

scenarios.

DHANANI

 

(6 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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