in Stories

Masiyiwa baffled by Tsvangirai and Biti’s view of Mugabe

Econet boss Strive Masiyiwa was baffled that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Finance Minister Tendai Biti had told United States government officials that President Robert was not as bad as they had thought he would be.

He told this to United States assistant secretary of African Affairs Johnnie Carson on 10 May 2009 shortly after the inauguration of Jacob Zuma as South African president.

According to a diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks Carson met Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Masiyiwa separately in Pretoria.

Tsvangirai was very optimistic about the new government and stressed that the Movement for Democratic Change was “committed to making the transition work.”

He said the government needed $100 million per month for the next ten months in order to stabilize the situation, to pay civil service and security personnel salaries, and to cover essential government services expenses.

Tsvangirai also said that President Mugabe needed to replace or remove Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono and the Attorney General Johannes Tomana and he believed that Leonard Tsumba, the former bank Governor, would be an acceptable replacement for Gono.

Masiyiwa was less optimistic about the progress claiming that ZANU-PF was still effectively in control. He said it was unfortunate that Tsvangirai and Biti believed that more progress was being made than was justified by the facts, and he dismissed their statements that President Mugabe was not as bad as they thought he would be.

According to the cable this statement was evidence of Tsvangirai’s lack of political acumen and his willingness to take the less than proper treatment meted out to him and his party by Mugabe’s ZANU-PF.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09PRETORIA1005, A/S CARSON DISCUSSES ZIMBABWE WITH TSVANGIRAI AND

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09PRETORIA1005

2009-05-18 17:19

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Pretoria

VZCZCXRO9755

OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO

DE RUEHSA #1005/01 1381719

ZNY CCCCC ZZH ZDS

O 181719Z MAY 09

FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8507

INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN IMMEDIATE 6856

RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN IMMEDIATE 0968

RUEHJO/AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG IMMEDIATE 9205

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PRETORIA 001005

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPARTMENT PLEASE PASS TO A/S JOHNNIE CARSON

 

C O R R E C T E D   C O P Y (ADDED PARA MARKINGS)

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/15/2019

TAGS: PGOV PREL SF

SUBJECT: A/S CARSON DISCUSSES ZIMBABWE WITH TSVANGIRAI AND

MASIYIWA

 

REF: PRETORIA 995

 

PRETORIA 00001005 001.4 OF 002

 

 

Classified By: Political Counselor Raymond L. Brown for Reasons 1.4 (b)

and (d)

 

1.(C) Summary: On May 10, Assistant Secretary Carson discussed

Zimbabwe with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Zimbabwean

businessman Strive Masiyiwa. Tsvangirai told Carson that the

MDC is “committed to making the transition work” and appealed

for additional USG support to ensure further progress.

Despite positive trends, Tsvangirai said the process is still

uncertain. Strive Masiyiwa was much less optimistic about

the transition’s level of progress. He said the ZANU-PF

continues to obstruct and intimidate MDC and civil society

activists and alleged that the MDC Cabinet members have not

all been formally made state officials — while some have

been cooped by government issued Mercedes Benz limousines and

other perquisites. Masiyiwa said it is unfortunate that

Tsvangirai and Tendai Biti believe that more progress was

being made than the facts justify. End Summary.

 

2.(C) Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson

was a member of the Presidential Delegation led by USTR Ron

Kirk for the May 9, 2009 inauguration of ruling African

National Congress President Jacob Zuma as the fourth

post-apartheid president of South Africa. Carson held side

meetings with a range of interlocutors to discuss topical

issues in South Africa and the southern Africa region; i.e.,

Madagascar (reftel) and Zimbabwe. On May 10, he discussed

recent developments in Zimbabwe with Prime Minister Morgan

Tsvangirai of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change

(MDC) and also joined a working dinner with Zimbabwean

businessman Strive Masiyiwa. Carson was accompanied by

Charge d’affaires Helen La Lime and Political Counselor

Raymond L. Brown.

 

——————————————— ———–

TRANSITION PROGRESS ACHIEVED BUT OUTCOME STILL UNCERTAIN

——————————————— ———–

 

3.(C) Tsvangirai conveyed his views on the transitional

arrangement and his relationship with the ruling ZANU-PF

President Robert Mugabe. This collaboration was designed to

provide a glide path to political stability, economic

recovery and future democratic elections. He stressed that

the MDC is “committed to making the transition work.” He said

there is a rising level of confidence in the process and

insisted that the government is making progress. He reported

that the harassment, killings and detention of MDC and civil

society activists have stopped. Based on this apparent

progress, Tsvangirai appealed to Carson for additional USG

support to ensure further progress. He claimed that the

government needs $100 million per month for the next ten

months in order to stabilize the situation, to pay civil

service and security personnel salaries, and to cover

essential government services expenses. In addition,

Tsvangirai said there is a need for balance of payments

support as well as “a large line of credit.” Tsvangirai

critically observed that President Mugabe needs to replace or

remove Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono and the Attorney

General. He believes that Leonard Tsumba, the former bank

Governor would be acceptable replacement for Gono — and

QGovernor would be acceptable replacement for Gono — and

Mugabe is likely to agree. He added that he does not believe

that either Emerson Managawa or Nelson Chinamasa are a threat

to new progress. Despite these largely positive trends,

Tsvangirai said, “the process is still uncertain.”

 

——————————————— —————–

TSVANGIRAI –MUGABE AND ZANU-PF ARE NOT AS BAD AS ONCE THOUGHT

——————————————— —————–

 

4.(C) Strive Masiyiwa, accompanied by Tsvangirai’s former

election campaign manager George Sibotshiwe, expressed a much

less optimistic assessment of the transitional unity

government. Masiyiwa told Carson that the ZANU-PF continued

to obstruct and intimidate MDC and civil society activists

and though many of them were released from jail, they were

indicted for terrorism and treason and will be called to

court in the future. Masiyiwa alleged that MDC members of

the transitional Cabinet and Parliament have not all been

formally made state officials, while some have been co-opted

by government-issue Mercedes Benz limousines and other

perquisites. Masiyiwa observed wryly that the

 

PRETORIA 00001005 002.4 OF 002

 

 

“dollarization” of the Zimbabwean economy occurred prior to

MDC Finance Minister Tendai Biti assumed his post, reducing

the mega-inflation immediately to Mugabe’s credit. Mugabe

continues to frustrate Tsvangirai’s efforts to fulfill his

mandate, leaving the impression among Zimbabweans that

Tsvangirai is weak and ineffectual, Masiyiwa said. He noted

further that during Biti’s recent visit to Washington, D.C.

Biti asked the USG to remove sanctions on ZANU-PF officials

and enterprises as well as provide political and financial

support to his economic restructuring plan. According to

Masiyiwa, Biti also made the case that progress was being

made in the transitional government and USG support was

critical if additional progress was to be achieved. Masiyiwa

said it was unfortunate that Tsvangirai and Tendai Biti

believed that more progress was being made than was justified

by the facts, and he dismissed their statements that

President Mugabe was not as bad as they thought he would be.

To Carson’s two interlocutors, this statement was evidence of

Tsvangirai’s lack of political acumen and his willingness to

take the less than proper treatment meted out to him and his

party by Mugabe’s ZANU-PF. Masiyiwa was concerned that

progress to reform the Zimbabwean constitution was stalled

and that President Mugabe wanted the transitional authority

to exist for five years rather than the original MDC demand

for 18 months before new elections were held to resolve the

political impasse.

LA LIME

(31 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHAREShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

Write a Comment

Comment