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Gono said he was responsible for Jonathan Moyo’s demise

Central bank governor Gideon Gono told United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell that he was responsible for Information Minister Jonathan Moyo’s demise.

Gono, who told the ambassador that he was speaking on behalf of President Robert Mugabe, said Mugabe had complained to him shortly after the Tsholotsho Declaration that a banker close to Gono had bankrolled the Tsholotsho meeting which was aimed at blocking Joice Mujuru from becoming vice-President.

Those opposed to Mujuru were in favour of Emmerson Mnangagwa who was Speaker of Parliament at the time.

Gono said that the unnamed banker had mistakenly believed that Mugabe’s close associations with Mnangagwa and Moyo meant that the President supported their plans at Tsholotsho.

Gono said he told Mugabe that these politicians had taken advantage of the President’s perceived support.

By having spent four hours at the wedding of Mnangagwa’s child, Mugabe conveyed the false impression to the ZANU-PF faithful that the Speaker was his heir apparent.

Information Minister Moyo’s frequent visits to the President had conveyed the false impression that he was speaking on behalf of Mugabe, including when he organised the Tsholotsho meeting.

Gono also postulated that Chinamasa’s influence was waning and that Mugabe might exclude the Justice Minister from the new Politburo, in part a result of Gono’s own efforts to undermine Chinamasa.

The central bank governor said he had no sympathy for Chinamasa so it was sometimes a good thing to see people like Chinamasa get wounded.

Dell commented that Gono’s considerable ego and ambition sometimes made it difficult to distinguish the degree to which he was speaking for Mugabe from the self-serving spin he put on events.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 04HARARE2052, GIDEON GONO: ZIMBABWE,S WOULD-BE KINGMAKER?

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

04HARARE2052

2004-12-17 10:20

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 002052

 

SIPDIS

 

STATE FOR AF/S

USDOC FOR ROBERT TELCHIN

TREASURY FOR OREN WYCHE-SHAW

PASS USTR FLORIZELLE LISER

STATE PASS USAID FOR MARJORIE COPSON

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/13/2014

TAGS: PGOV EFIN ECON ETRD EINV ZI

SUBJECT: GIDEON GONO: ZIMBABWE,S WOULD-BE KINGMAKER?

 

Classified By: Classified by Ambassador Christopher

W. Dell under Section 1.5 b/d

 

1. (C) Reserve Bank (RBZ) Governor Gideon Gono, claiming to

be speaking on behalf of President Mugabe, told the

Ambassador that Mugabe wanted better relations with the U.S.

The Ambassador responded that the U.S. welcomed these

overtures, but that we needed to see real changes that

matched the rhetoric. On the economy, Gono shared a copy of

the letter the GOZ had sent to the IMF (faxed to AF/S) and

implored the U.S. to support another six-month reprieve when

the International Monetary Fund (IMF),s Executive Directors

vote on Zimbabwe,s compulsory withdrawal in late-January.

The Ambassador responded that the GOZ would again need to

demonstrate real commitment to improved economic management

and as a first step should make an authoritative public

statement along the lines of the letter. Gono also took

credit for the demise of Information and Publicity Minister

Jonathan Moyo and claimed that due to his influence with

Mugabe, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa might also soon be

fired. End summary.

 

——————————————— —-

Mugabe’s Messenger

——————————————— —-

2. (C)   In a 90-minute session with the Ambassador, Gono

claimed to have been sent to see the Ambassador as

“messenger” from Mugabe. He insisted Mugabe sought

rapprochement with the U.S.   The Ambassador responded that

we were open to better relations but that the GOZ needed to

first move beyond rhetoric and take concrete steps that

demonstrated real change was underway. As specific areas

where the GOZ could take immediate action, the Ambassador

cited allowing the banned Daily News to resume publication,

revoking – or at least not enforcing – the NGO law and

inviting impartial international observers to oversee

March,s parliamentary elections.

 

3. (C) Gono admitted he had failed to convince Mugabe to kill

the NGO legislation, which the RBZ had estimated could cost

the economy 10,000 jobs and several hundred million U.S.

dollars of inflows. He said Mugabe had been very upset by

U.S. criticism of the bill and now felt he had no choice but

to sign it since to do otherwise would be seen to be caving

in to external pressure. The Ambassador responded that

Mugabe could always return it to Parliament on a technicality

and then, if it were true that its author Chinamasa was in

trouble and possibly losing both his job and his place with

the Politburo, use it as a reason to fire Chinamasa thus

disposing of two problems at one time. While not responding

directly, Gono showed marked interest in this idea.

 

——————————————— ——

Gono pleads for another six months at IMF

——————————————— ——

4. (C) Gono urged the U.S. to support a further six-month

deferral on Zimbabwe,s compulsory withdrawal from the IMF

when it comes before the Executive Directors in late-January.

He dismissed as &misunderstandings8 the IMF,s and GOZ,s

widely conflicting 2005 forecasts for the economy. In that

regard, he gave the Ambassador a Dec. 10 letter from acting

Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa to IMF Managing Director

Rodrigo Rato assuring more assertive action to repair the

economy. Reaching well beyond Gono,s Oct. 28 monetary

statement and Murerwa,s Nov. 25 budget speech, the letter

promises to reduce broad money (M3) growth from 220 to 80

percent by Dec 2005, eliminate the Z$824:US$ exchange rate

(largely a surrender requirement for exporters) and raise

quarterly IMF arrears payments to US$5 to 9 million in March.

In addition, Gono said he would also prevent a proposed 270

percent pay increase for civil servants and partly liberalize

currency auctions.

 

5. (C) The Ambassador responded that the U.S. was still

considering its stance on compulsory withdrawal, but said

Zimbabwe,s case would be strengthened if it took decisive

and unequivocal steps to begin implementing the commitments

in the letter. In view of the short time available before

the January board meeting, a possible first might be for the

GOZ to commit itself publicly at an authoritative level to

the sort of sound economic policies it had referenced in the

letter.

 

——————————————

Conspiring against the conspirators

——————————————

6. (C) Gono told the Ambassador that Mugabe had complained

that a banker close to Gono had acted disloyally and

bankrolled the Tsholotsho meeting.   Gono responded that the

unnamed banker had mistakenly believed that Mugabe’s close

assocations with Mnangagwa and Moyo meant that the President

supported their plans at Tsholotsho.   In this manner, Gono

said he told Mugabe that these politicians had taken

advantage of the President,s perceived support. &You are

not aware of the credibility that comes with association,8

Gono said he told Mugabe. By having spent four hours at the

wedding of Mnangagwa,s child, Mugabe conveyed the false

impression to the ZANU-PF faithful that the Speaker was his

&heir apparent.8 Likewise, Information Minister Moyo,s

frequent visits to the President had conveyed the false

impression that he was speaking on behalf of Mugabe,

including when he organized the Tsholotsho meeting.   Gono

predicted Mugabe would not include Moyo in the new Politburo,

which he expected the President to announce this Friday.

Without a Politburo seat, Gono speculated that Moyo could not

plausibly continue as the GOZ,s official spokesman. Gono

confirmed that many in ZANU-PF were &fed up with Jonathan

and his approach,8 and supported his ouster.   GOZ moderates

were increasingly supporting the Daily and Sunday Mirror,

which Gono claimed was open to all viewpoints (N.B. and in

which Gono reportedly has a large financial stake).

 

7. (C) Gono also postulated that Chinamasa,s influence was

waning and that Mugabe might exclude the Justice Minister

from the new Politburo, in part a result of Gono,s own

efforts to undermine Chinimasa. The RBZ Governor explained

he had &no sympathy8 for Chinamasa after he turned down the

UN Development Program,s election assistance offer. The

Ambassador noted that he had sought a meeting with Chinimasa

for several months and just last week, suddenly, had received

the meeting. Gono responded that it was sometimes a good

thing to see people like Chinimasa get &wounded.8 He added

that Mugabe also expressed displeasure with Local Governments

Minister Chombo and Foreign Minister Mudenge, and that both

of them could be on their way out as well.

 

————

Comment

————

8. (C) Gono’s considerable ego and ambition sometimes make

it difficult to distinguish the degree to which he is

speaking for Mugabe from the self-serving spin he puts on

events. Nonetheless, this is the latest and perhaps

strongest indication to date of the GOZ’s growing interest in

rapprochement with the United States and the Ambassador used

it to lay down a strong marker that we expect the GOZ to take

the first steps. With respect to Gono, he clearly has

designs on still higher office. The bulk of the conversation

was about politics regardless of the fact that as RBZ

Governor, Gono,s writ is confined largely to economics. In

fact, he works to protray himself as having a much larger

role and great sway over Mugabe, albeit on an informal basis.

It is hard to say just how far Gono,s ambitions go but he

certainly aims as far as Prime Minister should that position

be recreated.

DELL

(42 VIEWS)

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