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Masiyiwa prepared recovery plan with Nkosana Moyo

Businessman Strive Masiyiwa was so confident that change would come to Zimbabwe by December 2007 that he prepared a Zimbabwe Economic Recovery Plan with exiled Zimbabwean economists and other businessmen to speed up the country’s economic recovery.

He told United States diplomats on 12 July that former Industry and Trade Minister Nkosana Moyo was heading the initiative.

Others said to be involved in the project were Peter Robison, Callisto Madavo and Wellington Chadehumbe.

Nkosana Moyo was to be the public face of the project.

Masiyiwa said Moyo had already briefed South African Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni and Trade and Industry Minister Alec Erwin about the project.

South African President Thabo Mbeki was also aware of the initiative and said it was a “good thing” and “necessary,” but stressed that the South African government could not be associated with it because of political sensitivities with Harare.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 07PRETORIA2478, ZIMBABWEAN BUSINESSMEN DEVELOPING RECONSTRUCTION

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

07PRETORIA2478

2007-07-16 14:00

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Pretoria

VZCZCXRO3724

RR RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSA #2478/01 1971400

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 161400Z JUL 07

FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0767

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1235

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1115

RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0085

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0530

RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 0484

RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0425

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PRETORIA 002478

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF/S S. HILL, M. TABLER-STONE

DEPT PASS TO USAID/AFR E. LOKEN, M. COPSON

NSC FOR SENIOR AF DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN, B. LEO

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/14/2017

TAGS: PREL ECON SF ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWEAN BUSINESSMEN DEVELOPING RECONSTRUCTION

PLAN

 

REF: PRETORIA 356

 

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Donald Teitelbaum. Reasons 1.4(

b) and (d).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY. A group of exiled Zimbabwean economists and

businessmen is developing plans for Zimbabwe’s economic

recovery once an internationally-acceptable government takes

office, according to South African-based businessman Strive

Masiyiwa. Nkosana Moyo, former Zimbabwean Minister of

Industry and Trade, is heading the initiative. The group

hopes to present their plans to key partners by December, and

thus help shorten the time for Zimbabwe’s recovery. The

plans focus both on stabilizing the macroeconomic environment

and rebuilding key sectors. On the current political crisis,

Masiyiwa believes “change will come” to Zimbabwe by December,

likely as soon as August, although it is not clear what the

change will look like. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) Exiled Zimbabwean businessman and Econet CEO Strive

Masiyiwa briefed PolOff July 12 on a new initiative to plan

for Zimbabwe’s economic recovery. (NOTE: Masiyiwa wants to

keep the initiative — particularly his involvement —

confidential, so please protect accordingly. END NOTE.)

 

SIPDIS

Called the “Zimbabwe Economic Recovery Plan” (or ZERP), the

project involves a small number of “non-partisan,” prominent

Zimbabwean economists and businessmen, mostly living in

exile, such as Peter Robinson, Callisto Madavo, and

Wellington Chadehumbe. The group is meeting with top

international economists to flesh out plans for stabilizing

Zimbabwe’s economy and kick-starting growth once an

“internationally-acceptable” government is in place in

Zimbabwe. Former Zimbabwean Minister of Industry and Trade

and IFC official Nkosana Moyo is heading the project. If it

becomes necessary to go public, Moyo will be the public face

of the initiative.

 

3. (C) The group hopes to gather its key findings and

recommendations in a final “blueprint document” by December

and present it to key multilateral and bilateral partners.

The goal is to “soft circle” what needs to be done when a new

government takes office and thus cut back the recovery time.

Should change come sooner than December, the group will be

ready to present their ideas. However, Masiyiwa speculated

that there will be a period of political uncertainty

surrounding any change in power, so December is still a solid

target date. At this point, the group does not plan to

discuss the initiative with the current regime in Harare.

 

4. (C) Nkosana Moyo has briefed South African Reserve Bank

Governor Tito Mboweni and Trade and Industry Minister Alec

Erwin on their work. South African President Mbeki is aware

of the initiative and said it was a “good thing” and

“necessary,” but stressed that the South African Government

cannot be associated with it because of political

sensitivities with Harare.

 

———————–

Macroeconomic Stability

———————–

 

5. (C) Masiyiwa and Moyo have divided the project into two

“work areas”: macroeconomic stability and microeconomic

reform/growth. The macro team is working with a group of

economists at Oxford, headed by Paul Collier, to develop an

action plan to deal with hyperinflation and stabilize the

macroeconomic environment. The Zimbabwean team asked Collier

to be as practical as possible, pretending he is advising a

new Zimbabwean government to take certain actions the first

100 days, other actions the next 100 days, and so on.

Collier and his Oxford team has agreed to provide their

services pro bono. The Zimbabweans and Collier are meeting

every two weeks to flesh out the details of the program.

Masiyiwa and his team last met with Collier in Oxford July

7-8.

 

 

PRETORIA 00002478 002 OF 002

 

 

—————————

Microeconomic Reform/Growth

—————————

 

6. (C) The microeconomic team is working in eleven “activity

groups” dealing with topics such as tourism, mining, land and

agriculture, investment policy, and humanitarian aid. The

group is planing for restoration of the industrial capacity

of Zimbabwe, which they estimate will take at least three

years and USD 1 billion in capital. Masiyiwa noted that land

will be one of the most difficult topics. Their current

thinking on land is to create a non-partisan commission to

study rural development and provide recommendations.

Observing that it will be politically impossible to return to

the days of large commercial farms, Masiyiwa said the group

seeks to create a rural middle class with commercially-viable

plots of land, instead of the current peasant class,

subsistence farmers.

 

7. (C) Masiyiwa wants to engage a U.S. private consulting

company, Monitor Group, headed by Tom Fuller and Michael

Porter, to provide advice and pull together the output of the

various microeconomic working groups. Monitor has not yet

provided a final quote for the services, but Masiyiwa’s

estimates it will be USD 2-3 million. The Zimbabweans may

approach key partners, possibly the USG, for co-funding of

this part of ZERP.

 

————————-

Views on Current Politics

————————-

 

8. (C) Turning to the current political crisis in Zimbabwe,

Masiyiwa stated flatly that “change will come no later than

December, likely by the end of August.” The only question is

what the change will look like. Masiyiwa said that Mugabe is

completely disconnected from reality and thinks his price

controls are doing good. Mugabe is attempting to repeat with

business what he did with the farms, not realizing that he is

destroying his economy.

 

9. (C) On the MDC, Masiyiwa expressed his view that “there is

only one MDC — the one led by Morgan Tsvangirai.” The other

faction has little popular support in Zimbabwe, but is led by

“some smart people” who are well-connected in the West and in

South Africa. The international community should stop trying

to force the two groups together (“humpty dumpty has fallen

off the wall”).

 

————————–

Comment and Action Request

————————–

 

10. (C) While we cannot comment on the details of Masiyiwa’s

economic plans, we are encouraged that the Zimbabwean

diaspora is beginning to play a more active role in planning

for their country’s future. We know South African-based

businessmen Masiyiwa and Chadehumbe well, and believe they

are serious and sharp businessmen who are genuinely committed

to the future of their country.

 

11. (C) ACTION REQUEST: We understand the USG has developed

its own plans for Zimbabwe’s economic recovery phase. If

appropriate, it may be useful to share elements of that

strategy with Masiyiwa or members of his team to inform their

thinking — and ours — in advance of the political change in

Zimbabwe. END ACTION REQUEST.

Bost

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