The Simba Makoni Wikileaks cables


Simba Makoni was one of the youngest cabinet ministers at independence. When he was posted to the Southern African Development Community as secretary-general, there was wide speculation that President Robert Mugabe was grooming him to eventually take over and was giving him the international exposure that he needed

These hopes were dashed when after leaving SADC, Makoni was made chief executive of Zimbabwe Newspapers. Political observers believed this was a way to keep Makoni out of politics and succession.

But hopes were raised again when he was catapulted to Finance Minister in 2000. He remained a strong contender until he decided to stand against Mugabe and Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai in 2008.

Most people believe Makoni was misled by his colleagues from ZANU-PF who had promised to break away from the party at the critical period in the run up to the 2008 elections but never did so.

There  are 142 Wikileaks cables on Makoni. Here they are.



142-Mpofu a political lightweight

141-Makoni launches party

140-Dabengwa said Makoni would never break from ZANU-PF

139-Mutambara piffed West not willing to oust Mugabe by military force

138-SA refused to bow down to pressure to force Mugabe to step down

137-Mzembi said Gono was running scared

136-How Mugabe clipped Mujuru’s wings

135-Gono planned to start his own party

134-Was Grace prophetic about Tsvangirai?

133-Makoni attracted wrath of media for saying MDC was violent

132-Mnangagwa assumed virtual presidency role in runoff

131-Tsvangirai galvanised short-lived MDC united front

130-Masamvu said Mugabe would hand over to Mnangagwa in six months

129-Makoni said Tsvangirai was influenced too much by Masiyiwa and Bennett

128-Trevor Ncube said the MDC is unstrategic and arrogant

127-Tsvangirai prepared to work with Mutambara not Makoni

126-Tsvangirai and Makoni had no problem with elections

125-Trevor Ncube said Masiyiwa should not be trusted

124-Gen Mujuru’s about turn

123-Herald calls Tsvangirai and Makoni Western stooges

122-Mugabe was ready to concede defeat in 2008 – Wikileaks

121-ZANU-PF planned to rig 2008 election a day after vote- Wikileaks

120-Mujuru was in contact with Tsvangirai to deny Mugabe victory?

119-Is not winning, losing?

118-Mutasa said Mugabe had to go

117-Makoni was seen as a spoiler

116-Masiyiwa funded anti-rigging plan in 2008 elections- Wikileaks

115-Did Mugabe use indigenisation to scare business not to vote for Makoni?

114-Gen Mujuru told Mugabe to resign two weeks before 2008 elections!

113-Dabengwa was confident Mugabe could be defeated

112-US ambassador said Makoni candidacy would make rigging more difficult

111-Goche refused US offer for a Mugabe exit package

110-SA official said Makoni’s presidential bid was premature

109-Mugabe led in opinion poll three weeks before elections

108-Bennett said the Makoni project was a ruse

107-Simba Makoni or Jonathan Moyo-who was responsible for postponement of nomination date?

106-Did Mujuru back Makoni or not?

105-Chinotimba called Simba Makoni a traitor

104-Gono said Makoni’s backers lacked credibility

103-Goche said Makoni was a coward

102-Mujuru preferred Dabengwa to Makoni

101-Bulawayo mayor advocated for an anti-Mugabe coalition

100-Makoni was the best ZANU-PF could offer

99-Mushore said the Mujurus were behind Makoni

98-Ten Mutambara MPs were ready to defect- Bennett

97-Why no one in ZANU-PF is challenging Mugabe

96-Trevor Ncube thoroughly disgusted with MDC

95-Mugabe tried to put Mujuru under surveillance but CIO refused

94-US ambassador conceded that Jonathan Moyo is a shrewd analyst

93-Masiyiwa had ties to both ZANU-PF and MDC!

92-Jonathan Moyo says Mandela asked Mugabe to step down in 2007

91-Getting Bob out first step to change in Zimbabwe

90-SA opposed extension of Mugabe’s term- Masamvu

89-Zvobgo Jnr and Jonathan Moyo differ on future of VP Mujuru

88-Mugabe fears for his wife and children

87-Coltart said Makoni might emerge compromise candidate

86-Shamuyarira said Makoni was a serious presidential contender

85-Makoni was South Africa’s first choice for president

84-State Department supported business forum in Harare

83-Zimbabweans good at planning but not implementing

82-Zvobgo said everyone agreed that Mugabe had outlived his time

81-Gono told Dell that Grace wanted Mugabe to step down

80-Georgias says Mugabe is the key

79-Makoni talks about three ways for regime change

78-US view on the ZANU-PF succession battle

77-Makoni ZANU-PF to the core

76-Zvobgo says Mugabe’s departure will trigger uncertainty, national relief

75-US official says Jonathan Moyo is a political chameleon

74-Mutasa said he was responsible for Murambatsvina and had no regrets

73-US embassy official said he expected no change while Mugabe was still alive

72-Makoni urged US to talk to Mutasa to improve relations

71-Botswana pleaded with US to support Makoni for ADB job

70-Business said there was no hope until Mugabe was gone

69-Makoni right candidate wrong country

68-Gono: wolf in sheep’s clothing?

67-Squabbles galore in ZANU-PF but….

66-Makoni says ZANU-PF politburo is dysfunctional

65-Ncube said Mujuru and Makoni were all out to bring down Mnangagwa

64-Makoni said Mugabe wanted to crush MDC not accommodate it

63-Makoni asked Gono how he got away with double what he had

62-ZANU-PF succession scorecard

61-Bishops say Manicaland has never followed the ZANU-PF line

60-Gono becomes central banker, Finance, and Trade minister melded in one

59-Gono did not want RBZ job- Wikileaks

58-Did Mutasa outsmart Oppah Muchinguri?

57Chindori-Chininga’s take on the succession issue

56-Mugabe’s potential successor according to Tsvangirai

55-Makoni insisted 40 percent of white farmers could get back their land

54-Mugabe succession elusive

53-Makoni can only be pushed by Mujuru

52-Mugabe reluctant to choose a Karanga as successor- ambassador

51-Makoni says dismissal of Mudzuri work of Gang of Four

50-US ambassador says Makoni is a breath of fresh air

49-Media reaction to George Bush’s visit to Africa

48-Makoni says ministers cowed by Mugabe

47-Five years of ruinous policy

46-Murerwa takes over from Makoni

45-MP says Mugabe wanted to step down in 2001 but was urged to stay on

44-Mugabe rewards loyalty not competence

43-Devaluation through the back door

42-RBZ document leaked to US embassy

41-Robertson on how Zimbabwe was getting its fuel

40-Letter detailing Zimbabwe’s debts leaked to US embassy

39-Makoni defends land reform

38-Makoni bows down to tobacco famers

37-Finance permsec resigned to ZANU-PF machinations

36-Makoni paints bleak picture of Zimbabwe

35-Pius Ncube says Tsvangirai is too weak to lead Zimbabwe

34-Zvobgo says Mugabe has too much power

33-Tsvangirai says Mugabe mistrusts everyone

32-Makoni acknowledges there will be a food shortage

31-How to get Mugabe to step down

30-Makoni asked Zvobgo how he could get out of government

29-Farmers facing a hard sell

28-Farmers see Makoni as conduit to Mugabe

27-Mugabe’s presidential succession race down to two runners

26-CFU director proposed sanctions on individuals rather than on Zimbabwe

25-Chamisa, Musekiwa, Jongwe and Sikhala are ZANU-PF plants!

24-Farmers say Mugabe does not want to destroy agriculture but to keep them out of politics

23-Nicholas Ncube disappoints US embassy officials

22-ZANU-PF offered MDC 40% of cabinet seats if it entered GNU in 2001

21-Zvobgo says Mugabe is now a majority of one in ZANU-PF

20-Mnangagwa would be more ruthless than Mugabe- Wikileaks

19-Chombo tells diplomats land reform is irreversible -it is unhealthy to continue debating the issue

18-Did Chombo make an about-turn on land reform?

17-US could cut aid to Zimbabwe over a US$210 000 debt

16-Mugabe views everything according to whether it threatens his tenure or not

15-US embassy showers Makoni with praise on his first budget

14-Danish Ministers says Mugabe is “a man without a plan”

13-Kasukuwere says Mugabe must be phased out for ZANU-PF to survive

12-Mugabe believes he is the only one who can hold ZANU-PF together

11-Tsvangirai says it would be risky to make him disappear

10-Withdrawal of troops from DRC linked to presidential elections

9-IMF team paints a bleak picture of Zimbabwe

8-Mugabe is like a father who has betrayed his children – MP

7-Makoni says judge Zimbabwe on its deeds not its rhetoric

6-Moyo versus Moyo

5-Cabinet split four weeks after getting into office

4-US embassy says Mugabe sees himself as the Fidel Castro of Southern Africa

3-IMF resident rep sees bleak future for Zimbabwe

2-Tsvangirai says Makoni is a coward

1-Mugabe’s cabinet composed of place holders


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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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