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Banker said Chinamasa, Made, Moyo and Chombo were enriching themselves

Standard Chartered Chief Executive and Zimbabwe Bankers’ Association President Washington Matsaira told United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Joseph Sullivan that President Mugabe’s inner-circle “hawks”- Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, Agriculture Minister Joseph Made, Information

Minister Jonathan Moyo and Public Works Minister Ignatius Chombo- were either still enriching themselves from the government’s interventionist policies by accessing foreign currency at the official rate or unwilling to press Mugabe to make a change.

This had led to decision-making paralysis which was quite frustrating for industry leadership because it believed it had convinced all the key players of the need to devalue.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 03HARARE337, Leading Banker Fears Decision Paralysis

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

03HARARE337

2003-02-19 07:43

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

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

UNCLAS HARARE 000337

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

STATE FOR AF/S AND AF/EX

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER

USDOC FOR 2037 DIEMOND

PASS USTR ROSA WHITAKER

TREASURY FOR ED BARBER AND C WILKINSON

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR MARJORIE COPSON

 

E. O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ECON ETRD EFIN ZI

SUBJECT: Leading Banker Fears Decision Paralysis

 

Ref: a) Harare 111 b) Harare 244

 

1. (SBU) Summary: Unless the GOZ modifies its economic

policies, the Bankers’ Association President believes its

once-formidable infrastructure will be irreparably

damaged. End summary.

 

2. (SBU) Standard Chartered Chief Executive and Zimbabwe

Bankers’ Association President Washington Matsaira told

Ambassador Sullivan that President Mugabe’s inner-circle

“hawks” are subverting the Tripartite Agreement (septel)

as well as the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries’

(CZI) proposal to devalue the Zimdollar for exporters

(ref a). Hardliners — Justice Minister Patrick

Chinamasa, Agriculture Minister Joseph Made, Information

Minister Jonathan Moyo and Public Works Minister Ignatius

Chombo — are either still enriching themselves from the

GOZ’s interventionist policies (often accessing U.S.

dollars at the official rate) or unwilling to press

Mugabe to make a change. This has led to decision-making

paralysis, particularly frustrating because CZI’s

leadership believed it had convinced all the key players

of the need to devalue. Matsaira said a group of

exporters even persuaded the GOZ to allow a one-time

parallel market exchange US$ 25 million last month,

seeming admission that the official rate is untenable.

There has been no further positive sign from government.

 

3. (SBU) Matsaira notices increasing infrastructure and

even moral decay in Zimbabwe, symptoms of the economic

crisis that may become permanent by the year’s end. An

every-man-for-himself dictum is taking grip of a society

that once exalted community. The banker sees unmotivated

teachers and bribe-hungry policemen with an audacity

unthinkable just 5 years ago. The brain-drain is so

severe that it is no longer possible to fill certain

professional positions at Standard Chartered (in spite of

the country’s high unemployment). Indigenous fuel

companies clandestinely send their supply of heavily-

subsidized fuel to neighboring countries. In sum,

Matsaira thinks Zimbabwe is gradually being “Zaire-ized,”

a reference to Mobutu Sese Seko’s misrule in today’s

Democratic Republic of the Congo.

 

Comment

——-

4. (SBU) Matasaira’s somber observations parallel those

that lower-grade local employees shared with us a few

weeks ago (ref b). Zimbabweans surprise themselves with

their own growing contempt for laws and social-norms, one

step in the country’s rapid metamorphism.

 

Sullivan

(16 VIEWS)

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