Shamuyarira says Gono would be massacred if he stepped into politics


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Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front information boss Nathan Shamuyarira told United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell that central bank governor Gideon Gono would be massacred if he stepped into the political ring. 

 

 

Shamuyarira was briefing Dell on the upcoming ZANU-PF conference that was due at Goromonzi and the issue of succession which he said would only be finalised in 2007.

When Dell suggested that Gono appeared to be in the running for succession, Shamuyarira, a former journalist, said Gono was a good performer on economic matters and made “good copy” but he would “be massacred” if he stepped into the political ring.

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 06HARARE1413, ZANU-PF POLITBURO MEMBER OFFERS SUCCESSION INSIGHTS

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Reference ID 

Created 

Released 

Classification 

Origin 

06HARARE1413

2006-11-29 12:59

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO1312
RR RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSB #1413/01 3331259
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 291259Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0873
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1390
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1244
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1394
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0129
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0655
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1020
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1448
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 3833
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1217
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1870
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUFGNOA/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RUEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1611
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001413 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
AF/S FOR S. HILL 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN 
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU 
ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/29/2016 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ZI
SUBJECT: ZANU-PF POLITBURO MEMBER OFFERS SUCCESSION INSIGHTS 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Christopher W. Dell under Section 1.4 b/d 
 
------- 
Summary 
------- 
 
1. (C) ZANU-PF Secretary for Information and Publicity 
Nathan Shamuyarira told the Ambassador on November 28 that 
the forthcoming ruling party conference was unlikely to 
finalize the succession issue. The party would instead 
settle the issue in 2007. He opined that the presidential 
and parliamentary elections should be unified in 2008 so that 
ZANU-PF could capitalize on the opposition's disarray. 
Commenting on potential successors, Shamuyarira added the 
names of former-Finance Minister Simba Makoni, Speaker of 
Parliament John Nkomo, and Vice President Joseph Msika to the 
traditional mix. The Old Guard ZANU-PF insider recited the 
party's now stale attack on sanctions, but said he agreed 
with the Ambassador's contention that both sides must instead 
look to the future. End Summary. 
 
----------------------------------------- 
Succession To Wait Until After Conference 
----------------------------------------- 
 
2. (C) Asked by the Ambassador for his expectations for the 
ruling party's December 14-17 conference, Shamuyarira said 
expectations were too high and that the succession debate 
would likely only be finalized in 2007. Unlike the party 
congress held every four years, the annual party conference 
had no mandate to decide major policy issues, according to 
Shamuyarira. With 7,000 people expected, the conference was 
not the proper venue for a serious discussion. Instead, the 
conference would review measures to turn around the economy. 
 
3. (C) Shamuyarira added that the ZANU-PF Politburo had 
agreed to merge the presidential election scheduled for 2008 
with the parliamentary election scheduled for 2010, but had 
yet to decide on how to merge them or who should stand as the 
party's presidential candidate. These issues would be left 
for 2007. Rather than amend the constitution to extend the 
president's term until 2010, Shamuyarira said he favored 
accelerating the parliamentary election to 2008. Such as 
move would be easier, as the president can dissolve the 
legislature at any time. Shamuyarira commented that an early 
parliamentary election would also allow the ruling party to 
capitalize on divisions within the opposition to win 
additional seats in the body. 
 
-------------------------- 
Field of Successors Widens 
-------------------------- 
 
4. (C) Surveying the list of would-be successors to Mugabe, 
Shamuyarira mentioned former Finance Minister and fellow 
Politburo member Simba Makoni, Speaker of Parliament John 
Nkomo, and Vice President Joseph Msika in addition to the 
traditional mix of Joyce Mujuru and Emmerson Mnangagwa. 
Makoni was a serious candidate, although "a dark horse" due 
to his absence from the political limelight. Shamuyarira 
cautioned that Msika should not be written off and that 
despite his advanced age (N.B. he turns 84 in early December) 
he remains vigorous and strong. Shamuyarira also noted 
Nkomo's statement to journalists last Friday that he was 
interested in the presidency. Should Msika not run, 
Shamuyarira said that Mugabe, out of commitment to the Unity 
Accord that merged the Ndebele and Shona ethnic components of 
the ruling party, may support the minority Nkomo's bid. 
 
 
HARARE 00001413 002 OF 002 
 
 
5. (C) Shamuyarira dismissed the Ambassador's suggestion 
that Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono also appeared to be in 
the running. Gono was a good performer on economic matters 
and made "good copy," according to the former journalist, but 
he would "be massacred" if he stepped into the political ring. 
 
------------------------------------- 
Looking Beyond the Sanctions Rhetoric 
------------------------------------- 
 
6. (C) The Politburo member recited the seemingly obligatory 
condemnation of Western sanctions and supposed propaganda 
that precluded investment. In response, the Ambassador noted 
that during his more than two years in Zimbabwe not one US 
investor had approached him for advice. Instead, foreign 
investors were assessing Zimbabwe's economic and political 
fundamentals on their own and staying away due to the GOZ's 
assault on rule of law and economic mismanagement. 
 
7. (C) Furthermore, the Ambassador said that the USG was 
interested in playing a constructive role in Zimbabwe's 
future, not in arguing about the past. The USG was eager to 
join a discussion of what Zimbabwe's future should look like, 
but first needed to see that the GOZ had the political will 
to address the governance question. Shamuyarira agreed, 
saying that "we should look to the future, not live in the 
past." Further opening the door, he conceded that "we've 
made our own mistakes". 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
8. (C) Providing an apt analogy for today's ZANU-PF, the 
78-year old Shamuyarira did not look well ) his skin 
appeared chalky and gray, and despite an over-sized hearing 
aid the Ambassador periodically had to repeat himself several 
times to be heard. Also showing his advanced age, 
Shamuyarira opened the meeting by noting that many of his 
schoolmates have since retired ) and presumably many more 
have died also. Perhaps because of his age, he was 
remarkably candid with the Ambassador. Although the media 
and business community have for some time been muting the 
possibility of Makoni as a reform-minded successor, this is 
the first mention we have heard from a Politburo member. 
 
9. (C) As for the up-coming ZANU-PF conference, we are not 
holding our breath that the succession issue will be 
finalized by year end. Instead, this year's meeting is 
shaping up to be little more than a highly-choreographed pep 
rally, much like last year's and the ones before it. As 
Shamuyarira suggests, Mugabe is expected to postpone a 
decision on succession until next year. While pressure is 
mounting for him to make an anointment, the inclusion of new 
names into the succession hopper probably serves to mitigate 
these stresses as new factions emerge and focus their ire on 
party rivals, rather than Mugabe himself. Nkomo's statement 
that he might become a candidate was probably meant to signa 
his interest in the vice presidency slot and to remind Mugabe 
that the latter cannot assume other party leaders will 
automatically fall into line behind the president's choice 
for a successor. Meanwhile, Shamuyarira is being 
disingenuous concerning Msika, who is widely believed to be 
in poor health and anxious to leave public office. 
DELL

(21 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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