Mzembi sings praises to the US


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Masvingo South legislator Walter Mzembi, who was also chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands, Land Resettlement, Agriculture and Water Resources, praised the United States government-funded State University of New York parliamentary programme saying it had done excellent work in developing the potential of the parliamentary committee structure to bring the Executive branch to account.

He encouraged the United States embassy to focus on ZANU-PF and to target 15-20 ruling party parliamentarians to push for reform and cautioned against any inclination to write off Parliament.

He said there was not a committee that had not ruffled the Executive’s feathers, thanks to the good work of SUNY, and appealed to the United States government for further support and suggested it send a delegation of MPs on a study trip to the US Congress.

The embassy said Parliament could be a key factor in advancing a reform agenda in Zimbabwe because MPs from across the political spectrum had become increasingly restive at their lack of influence over policy and were openly critical of the executive branch.

The embassy therefore planned to use the SUNY project to encourage greater parliamentary independence as well as to increase its capacity for independent action.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 06HARARE1322, KEY ZANU-PF MP ENCOURAGES USG SUPPORT FOR REFORM

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

06HARARE1322

2006-11-06 15:01

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO0728

PP RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #1322/01 3101501

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 061501Z NOV 06

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PRIORITY

RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0772

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1361

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1214

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1365

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0626

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 0991

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1419

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 3797

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1188

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1840

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0592

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1582

RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC

RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

RUEFDIA/DIA WASHDC//DHO-7//

RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK//DOOC/ECMO/CC/DAO/DOB/DOI//

RUEPGBA/CDR USEUCOM INTEL VAIHINGEN GE//ECJ23-CH/ECJ5M//

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001322

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR M. COPSON AND E.LOKEN

TREASURY FOR J. RALYEA AND T.RAND

COMMERCE FOR BECKY ERKUL

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/12/2016

TAGS: CH EAGR ECON EFIN PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: KEY ZANU-PF MP ENCOURAGES USG SUPPORT FOR REFORM

PUSH IN PARLIAMENT

 

REF: HARARE 1317

 

Classified By: Ambassador Christopher Dell under Section 1.4 b/d

 

——-

Summary

——-

 

1. (C) U.S. Economics Professor Craig Richardson, who was in

Harare to speak at the October 5 American Business

Association of Zimbabwe (ABAZ) forum (reftel), along with

econoff, met October 4 with Walter Mzembi, the outspoken

ZANU-PF Chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on

Lands, Land Resettlement, Agriculture and Water Resources.

Mzembi said his Committee had drawn conclusions similar to

Richardson,s on needed reforms. He added that on a recent

trip to China, Chinese officials had also recommended market

reforms. Mzembi encouraged the Embassy to target 15-20

ruling party MPs to push for reform, and praised the

USAID-sponsored SUNY Center for International Development for

its effective work with the committees. End Summary

 

——————————————— ——

Committee Chair Agrees on Need for Ag Sector Reform

——————————————— ——

 

2. (SBU) Richardson shared with Mzembi visual evidence

(reftel) of the cost of destroying property rights in the

agricultural sector in Zimbabwe. Mzembi asked permission to

use Richardson’s material in his own presentations, to which

Richardson agreed. Mzembi pointed out similarities between

several of Richardson’s conclusions and those drawn by his

Committee in its recent Report on the State of Preparedness

by the Agricultural Sector for the 2006/7 Summer Crop Season

(e-mailed to AF/S separately), including especially the need

for farmers to have land tenure as a means to encourage

investment.

 

———————————-

Message from China: Embrace Market

———————————-

 

3. (C) Mzembi, who was a member of a recent GOZ delegation to

China, relayed the gist of those meetings, including with the

chairman of the Chinese People’s Congress. According to

Mzembi, Chinese officials’ advice to the delegation had been

to “follow the market route, and take an example from us and

what we have achieved.” There was no “magic formula” for

driving up production other than putting the right

legislative framework in place and deregulating the market.

The Chinese reaction to the GOZ’s request for loans had been

to “deal with the Zimbabwean mindset first,” before China

would open its purse.

 

————————–

Request for USG Assistance

————————–

 

4. (C) Turning to Parliament, Mzembi encouraged the Embassy

to focus on ZANU-PF and to target 15-20 ruling party

parliamentarians to push for reform. He cautioned against

any inclination to write off Parliament. In that regard,

 

HARARE 00001322 002 OF 002

 

 

Mzembi said the USAID-funded SUNY Center for International

Development, which has assisted development of parliamentary

committees, had done excellent work in developing the

potential of the parliamentary committee structure to bring

the Executive branch to account. There was not a committee

that had not ruffled the Executive’s feathers, thanks to the

good work of SUNY, he said. Mzembi appealed to the USG for

further support and suggested it send a delegation of MPs on

a study trip to the US Congress.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

5. (C) Parliament could be a key factor in advancing a reform

agenda in Zimbabwe. MPs from across the political spectrum

have been increasingly restive at their lack of influence

over policy, openly critical of the executive branch, and

have increasingly called for reforms. To that end, we plan

to use the SUNY project to encourage greater parliamentary

independence as well as to increase the institution’s

capacity for independent action.

DELL

 

(1 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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