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.