Trevor Ncube said CIO hated Mutasa


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Publisher Trevor Ncube told United States ambassador Christopher Dell that the Central Intelligence Organisation as a whole hated Intelligence Minister Didymus Mutasa and morale was very low within the organisation.

He said the intelligence organisation was also divided over the succession issue between the supporters of former army commander Solomon Mujuru and Emmerson Mnangagwa who had been demoted after the 2004 congress.

Dell noted that morale was also low in the military and the police, so how much longer did Ncube think the government could last.

Ncube said that the “tipping point” was coming. Sooner or later the country would erupt, either as a result of shortages, such as food or water, or inflation and economic decline, or some other factor. The only thing lacking was a spark.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 05HARARE1712, PUBLISHER TREVOR NCUBE ON MEDIA ENVIRONMENT AND

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

05HARARE1712

2005-12-20 13:06

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001712

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR BRUCE NEULING

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE

AFR/SA FOR E. LOKEN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/20/2015

TAGS: PHUM PGOV KPAO ZI

SUBJECT: PUBLISHER TREVOR NCUBE ON MEDIA ENVIRONMENT AND

PROSPECTS FOR POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC CHANGE

 

REF: HARARE 01692

 

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

 

——-

Summary

——-

 

1. In a December 15 meeting, Trevor Ncube, publisher of The

Independent and The Standard (as well as the Mail and

Guardian in South Africa) told the Ambassador about his

successful legal efforts to get back his passport (reftel).

Ncube added that the GOZ was determined to curb the

independent press but that its propaganda machine had become

increasingly ineffective. He said the CIO and other

&securicrats8 were running the country but had no solutions

and knew their time in power was short. They were out to

steal as much as possible and were prepared to do whatever it

took to stay in power as long as possible. He said the

Ambassador,s November speech in Mutare had exposed their

activities, which is why the GOZ had reacted with such fury.

The Ambassador responded that it was important to make clear

to senior GOZ officials that they would ultimately be held

accountable. End Summary.

 

———————————

A Weakened GOZ Propaganda Machine

———————————

 

2. (C) Ncube told the Ambassador that circulation was down

and that his papers were no longer profitable. However, he

was committed to helping maintain an independent media in

Zimbabwe. He said he had been told by a source in the

Central Intelligence Organization (CIO) that the real target

of the passport seizures was the independent media, which the

government was determined to crack down on. Ncube confirmed

that many journalists already practiced some self-censorship

and that the passport seizures could have a &chilling

effect.8

 

3. (C) However, Ncube said two factors were working in favor

of the independent media. The first was the courage of the

young journalists on the staffs of his newspapers, who were

determined to expose government wrong doing despite the

risks. The second was the weakness of the current leadership

of the GOZ,s propaganda machine, whom Ncube called clowns

and bozos, especially in comparison to the clever if

unscrupulous Jonathan Moyo. Ncube said George Charamba and

the other leaders lacked sophistication, as had been evident

in their response to the Ambassador,s speech. In their

fury, they had actually ensured that most Zimbabweans would

hear of the speech, rather than 200 students in Mutare. The

Ambassador responded that he had counted on just this sort of

reaction to get our message out.

 

————————————–

A Weak, Divided and Corrupt Government

————————————–

 

4. (C) Ncube said the government had reacted with such fury

to the speech because the Ambassador had told the truth about

what was really happening in the country. The CIO and other

&securicrats8 were in charge of the country and were in the

process of destroying it. No one in the GOZ was looking at

the &big picture.8 They had no solutions to the country,s

continuing economic decline but were instead intent on

stealing as much as possible while in power and were prepared

to kill to keep the gravy flowing. In that regard, Ncube

noted that for the first time he had felt real fear and

insecurity in Zimbabwe when his passport was seized.

 

5. (C) However, Ncube said the CIO, like the rest of ZANU-PF,

was split over the succession issue between supporters of the

Mujurus and supporters of Emmerson Mnangagwa. Ncube added

that the CIO as a whole hated the Intelligence Minister,

Didymus Mutasa, and that morale was increasingly low within

the organization. The Ambassador, noting that morale was

also supposedly low within the military and the police, asked

how much longer the government could last. Ncube responded

that the &tipping point8 was coming. Sooner or later the

country would erupt, either as a result of shortages, such as

food or water, or inflation and economic decline, or some

other factor. The only thing lacking now was a spark.

 

—————————

Holding the GOZ Accountable

—————————

 

6. (C) Ncube said, however, that the opposition MDC was also

weak and divided and would be unable to control a spontaneous

uprising. He feared the consequences of such an event, which

could be used as an excuse by the military or the CIO to take

power in their own right. Paradoxically, Mugabe provided

stability of sorts and his sudden death could destabilize the

country and produce a similar result. In that regard, Ncube

noted that for the first time military names were being

mentioned as potential successors to Mugabe.

 

7. (C) The Ambassador responded that the international

community would not be prepared to reengage with a successor

implicated in the crimes of the Mugabe regime. Many of the

senior GOZ officials would have to go before the IMF and

other IFIs would be allowed to provide the balance of

payments support Zimbabwe would need to revive its economy.

Ncube agreed but noted that Zimbabweans would have to do more

than rely on the international community to hold the current

regime accountable.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

8. (C) Ncube,s views track with many other Zimbabweans with

whom we have talked in recent weeks. The GOZ has no

solutions to the country,s problems and its major players

are consumed with advancing their own personal interests.

There is a palpable sense that the post-Mugabe period has

already begun. In this fin-de-regime atmosphere, it is

essential that the international community as a whole stress

the inevitability of an accounting. This is the best means

we have at the moment to influence and moderate the behavior

of senior GOZ leadership.

 

Dell#

DELL

(17 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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