Minister of Regional Trade and International Cooperation Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Industry and Trade Minister Welshman Ncube, both from the Mutambara faction of the Movement for Democratic Change, were more vocal about the lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe than Zimbabwe African National Union negotiator Patrick Chinamasa who was also Minister of Justice.
This was said by then Minister of Economic Planning Elton Mangoma who argued that sanctions on individuals should remain but those on parastatals should be removed because the parastatals were now under the MDC.
Mangoma said sanctions on parastatals and banks should be lifted to free up frozen funds for the government and loosen credit.
Viewing cable 09HARARE240, ELTON MANGOMA ON THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE
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SUBJECT: ELTON MANGOMA ON THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE
Classified By: CDA Katherine Dhanani for reason 1.4 (b) and (d)
¶1. (C) Minister of Economic Development Elton Mangoma
provided Polecon Chief on March 19 his observations on the
current political landscape.
¶2. (C) Mangoma, who was one of the MDC negotiators in
arriving at the Inter-Party Agreement and was supportive of
the MDC entering into government, expressed cautious
optimism. While acknowledging roadblocks, he averred that
Amendment 19 has greatly constrained Mugabe’s powers and that
the MDC and Prime Minister Tsvangirai were gradually learning
how to assert control of government. He pointed to Minister
of Finance Tendai Biti’s successful downward revision of the
budget (Septel). Biti had met with Mugabe before the cabinet
meeting at which the revised budget was discussed and
convinced him that the revision was necessary. While ZANU-PF
ministers were resistant, Biti had already “cooked” the deal
with Mugabe who then at the cabinet meeting asserted his
authority with the ZANU-PF ministers.
¶3. (C) Biti has been negotiating for budgetary support and
credit with South Africa. Mangoma told us he was relatively
confident that the South Africans would provide a significant
revolving line of credit; budgetary support was more doubtful.
¶4. (C) The MDC has made it clear publicly and privately,
according to Mangoma, that it wants Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
(RBZ) governor Gideon Gono to leave. He said the MDC was
approaching this on a political level through discussions
with Mugabe. Biti was trying to strip Gono of power by
usurping many of the functions of the RBZ. Mangoma said Gono
had asked for a meeting with him; he would tell Gono he
should leave. Mangoma realized Gono’s importance as a symbol
of the worst of ZANU-PF governance and believed he would be
forced out in the not too distant future. He argued,
however, that Gono was becoming powerless and, apart from
symbolism, it was largely irrelevant whether Gono stayed or
¶5. (C) Mangoma stated that the MDC continued to be concerned
about farm invasions, but was uncertain who was orchestrating
them. The matter would be discussed at the next meeting of
the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC).
JOMIC is functioning collegially, according to Mangoma, and
he credited it with facilitating the release of detainees.
(NOTE: Mangoma confirmed that there are three MDC members
still detained in “protective custody” as potential
witnesses. The whereabouts of seven activists are unknown.
¶6. (C) Roy Bennett has been sworn in as a Senator but,
Mangoma informed us, Mugabe has resisted swearing him in as a
Deputy Minister of Agriculture. The MDC was approaching this
in a low-key and non-public manner which Mangoma opined was
the best way to deal with Mugabe.
¶7. (C) Turning to sanctions, Mangoma said that as a sop to
ZANU-PF Tsvangirai had referred to eliminating “restrictive
measures” in his inaugural address to Parliament, but wanted
Qmeasures” in his inaugural address to Parliament, but wanted
to avoid saying more. Mangoma argued to us that individual
sanctions should remain, but sanctions on parastatals and
banks should be lifted to free up frozen funds for the
government and loosen credit. He pointed out that
parastatals were now under the MDC Ministry of State
Enterprises and Parastatals.
¶8. (C) Also on the issue of sanctions, Mangoma related that
he had attended a function in honor of the visiting Danish
Minister of Cooperation Development. At the function MDC-M
ministers Welshman Ncube and Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga
were even more vocal than ZANU-PF Miister of Justice Patrick
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Chinamasa in urging that sanctions be lifted.
¶9. (C) COMMENT: As an architect of the current arrangement,
that Mangoma would provide a positive assessment is not
surprising. The evidence he cites in making the case for
optimism, however, is both real and significant. END COMMENT.