Cabinet split four weeks after getting into office


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Zimbabwe’s cabinet of 2000 was split barely four weeks after being appointed to office with Information Minister Jonathan Moyo leading one faction and Finance Minister Simba Makoni another.

Jonathan Moyo was reported to be leading the hardliners who were proponents of the accelerated land reform programme. In his camp were Foreign Minister Stanislaus Mudenge and Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo.

Makoni was with Industry and Trade Minister Nkosana Moyo and Higher Education Minister Herbert Murerwa.

The Makoni camp was regarded by United States embassy officials as “more moderate, objective and perhaps more intellectual or at least pragmatic leaders”.

This group was more willing to compromise with the Movement for Democratic Change on certain issues of national significance.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 00HARARE4492, WINDOW DRESSING OR REFORM? FOR NOW AT LEAST,

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE4492

2000-08-15 16:50

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.

 

151650Z Aug 00

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2487

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 04492 01 OF 02 151652Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CEA-01   CIAE-00 COME-00

CTME-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00

EUR-00   EXIM-01 E-00     FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00   FRB-00

H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   ITC-01   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01

DCP-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00

ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00

PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /010W

——————7A1E3C 151652Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6844

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 004492

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/14/10

TAGS: PGOV PINR ECON ZI

SUBJECT: WINDOW DRESSING OR REFORM? FOR NOW AT LEAST,

INTELLECTUALS HAVE TAKEN THE INITIATIVE IN A SPLIT

CABINET

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 04492 01 OF 02 151652Z

REF: HARARE 4362

 

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD. REASONS: 1.5 (B)

AND (D).

 

1. (C) AFTER ONLY FOUR MEETINGS, ZIMBABWE’S CABINET

APPEARS TO BE SPLIT BETWEEN FACTIONS: ONE LED BY

INFORMATION AND PUBLICITY MINISTER JONATHAN MOYO AND THE

OTHER LED BY FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MINISTER

SIMBA MAKONI AND INDUSTRY AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE

MINISTER NKOSANA MOYO. THESE LATTER INDIVIDUALS HAVE

EMERGED AS THE CABINET’S MORE MODERATE, OBJECTIVE AND

PERHAPS MORE INTELLECTUAL OR AT LEAST PRAGMATIC LEADERS,

WHILE ITS OTHER MEMBERS HAVE NOT DEMONSTRATED THE SAME

ABILITY TO TAKE STOCK OF THE FUTURE OR ARTICULATE

POSITIONS. JONATHAN MOYO LEADS THE ANTI-WEST GROUP WHO

ARE PROPONENTS OF THE ACCELERATED LAND REFORM PROGRAM,

THE DONORS AND CONSEQUENCES BE DAMNED. IN THAT GROUP WE

WOULD PLACE FOREIGN MINISTER STANISLAUS MUDENGE, AND

LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING

MINISTER IGNATIUS CHOMBO, WHO IS ALSO THE LEADER OF THE

INTER-MINISTERIAL GROUP RESPONSIBLE FOR IMPLEMENTING THE

FAST TRACK LAND RESETTLEMENT EXERCISE. THE OTHER

FACTION IS WHAT ONE MIGHT LOOSELY TERM THE PRAGMATISTS,

WHO WANT TO TURN THE ECONOMY AROUND AND WOULD BE WILLING

TO COMPROMISE WITH THE OPPOSITION MOVEMENT FOR

DEMOCRATIC CHANGE ON CERTAIN ISSUES OF NATIONAL

SIGNIFICANCE. WHILE IN THE MINORITY, WE WOULD PLACE IN

THE GROUP HIGHER EDUCATION AND TECHNOLOGY MINISTER

HERBERT MURERWA.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 04492 01 OF 02 151652Z

2. (C) OF GREATER INTEREST TO US IS HOW THE MAKONI

SCHOOL OF THOUGHT WILL FARE. AT THIS EARLY STAGE,

PRESIDENT MUGABE APPEARS TO HAVE ALLOWED THE CABINET

RIFT TO EMERGE, WHILE GIVING NO OVERT SIGN WITH RESPECT

TO WHICH SIDE HE ALIGNS HIMSELF. HE SEEMS HAPPY TO PLAY

THE ONE OFF AGAINST THE OTHER, IN THE TRADITION OF AN

AFRICAN CHIEF. MAKONI, FOR HIS PART, IS ALSO MOVING

QUICKLY. ZIMBABWE’S MINISTRIES ARE ALREADY FEELING HIS

REDUCED AND PENNY PINCHING DISBURSEMENTS. THE FINANCE

MINISTER IS OVERWHELMING THE CABINET WITH THE NUMBER OF

PROPOSALS HE PUTS TO IT EVERY SESSION. AT THE AUGUST 15

MEETING, MAKONI WAS SCHEDULED TO PRESENT A NUMBER OF

PROPOSALS FOR SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCING EXPENDITURES BY

MINISTERS ON PERKS. OBVIOUSLY, THIS WILL BE MET WITH

SOME RESISTANCE. ADDITIONALLY, HE IS ALSO SAID TO BE

LOOKING FOR AN ENTRY POINT ON THE LAND QUESTION TO WREST

ITS OWNERSHIP AWAY FROM THE HARDLINERS.

 

3. (C) MUGABE, AT LEAST INITIALLY, SEEMS TO HAVE GIVEN

MAKONI SOME LEASH TO PROPOSE PROGRAMS TO REVERSE

ZIMBABWE’S ECONOMIC SLIDE. RUMORS CONTINUE TO MULTIPLY

THAT MUGABE WILL ELEVATE HIS FINANCE MINISTER TO THE

POLITBURO. THE PRESIDENT IS PLAYING AN IMPORTANT CARD

BY INCREASING THE AUTHORITY AND CLOUT OF THIS APPEALING

AND CAPABLE CABINET MEMBER. AGAINST WHOM AND FOR WHAT

REASON REMAINS UNCLEAR, BUT IN SO DOING, HE WILL

EVENTUALLY CONSOLIDATE HIS CONTROL OVER HIS FINANCE

MINISTER. AMONG POSSIBLE SCENARIOS, MUGABE MAY BE

CONSIDERING MAKONI AS HIS SUCCESSOR.

 

4. (C) THE ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT REMAINS AN ENIGMATIC

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 04492 01 OF 02 151652Z

IF NOT MERCURIAL FIGURE. HE HAS NOT LOST HIS EDGE AS A

STRATEGIC THINKER AND IS PROMOTING MAKONI FOR A REASON,

PROBABLY AS A TRUMP CARD TO ENSURE THAT ZANU-PF WINS THE

PRESIDENCY IN 2002. MUGABE WOULD NEED THAT OUTCOME FOR

HIS OWN PROTECTION, IF HE CHOOSES NOT TO RUN. AT THE

SAME TIME, THE PRESIDENT REMAINS CONSISTENT: HE

CONTINUES TO HAVE NEAR TOTAL DISREGARD FOR THE ECONOMY.

HIS DISCOURSE FOLLOWS A POLITICAL/MILITARY LOGIC, AND IN

HIS MIND, IT IS CORRECT FOR WHAT HE WANTS: POWER AND THE

ASSETS OF THE WHITE COMMERCIAL FARMING COMMUNITY. THAT

THE DESTRUCTION OF COMMERCIAL AGRICULTURE SOUNDS

MONSTROUS IN LIGHT OF THE POPULAR FRUSTRATION WITH THE

COUNTRY’S ECONOMIC DOWNFALL IS OF LITTLE CONCERN TO HIM.

HE DOES UNDERSTAND POLITICAL ECONOMY: A ZANU-PF

ELECTORAL VICTORY IN 2002 WOULD BE CLINCHED IF THE

COUNTRY’S ECONOMY WERE TO START EXHIBITING SIGNS OF A

POSITIVE GROWTH RATE SOMETIME LATER THIS YEAR AND INTO

NEXT. THAT WOULD BE AN ASTOUNDING PERFORMANCE FOR SIMBA

MAKONI, POSSIBLE IF THE PRESIDENT WERE TO STOP TALKING

AND ABANDON HIS CURRENT TACK ON LAND REFORM. HAVE WE

SEEN ANY SIGNS OF THIS? NO. IS IT POSSIBLE? WE DOUBT

IT. WHILE WE WISH MAKONI WELL, AND HAVE HIGH REGARD FOR

HIM, HIS EFFORTS MAY AMOUNT TO TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE, AND

HE MAY NOT LAST LONG. IN FACT, THE FAILURE OF SUCH AN

INDIVIDUAL WOULD, WITHOUT DOUBT, BE POINTED TO BY MUGABE

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2489

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 04492 02 OF 02 151652Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CEA-01   CIAE-00 COME-00

CTME-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00

EUR-00   EXIM-01 E-00     FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00   FRB-00

H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   ITC-01   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01

NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00

P-00     SP-00   SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00

DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /009W

——————7A1E41 151652Z /38

P 151650Z AUG 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6845

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PRIORITY

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 004492

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/14/10

TAGS: PGOV PINR ECON ZI

SUBJECT: WINDOW DRESSING OR REFORM? FOR NOW AT LEAST,

INTELLECTUALS HAVE TAKEN THE INITIATIVE IN A SPLIT

CABINET

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 04492 02 OF 02 151652Z

AS YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF HOW AND WHY MARKET-REFORMERS

WITH WESTERN IDEALS JUST CANNOT WORK IN ZIMBABWE. IN

HIS POST-MORTEM STATEMENTS, MUGABE WOULD AGAIN BEAT THE

DRUMS OF HIS OWN PERSONAL IDEOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY, THE

REST OF THE WORLD BE DAMNED.

 

MCDONALD

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

(149 VIEWS)

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The Insider

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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