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Ministers demanded cut on oil deals with South Africa

Some unnamed government ministers wrote to the South African power company Eskom and oil company Sasol demanding a cut on all business deals between Zimbabwe and South Africa because they operated businesses that could act as middlemen- one of the cables released by Wikileaks says.

The cable dispatched by former United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Tom McDonald on 8 September 2000 says this information was provided to embassy officials by the Managing Director of the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe Gideon Gono.

At the time CBZ was the last resort the government turned to when it needed hard currency and Gono was the “go-to” man.

Gono was irritated that he was being sidelined in oil deals since a cabinet reshuffle which saw former Security Minister Sydney Sekeramayi become Mines and Energy Minister.

Sekeramayi had , however, finally turned to Gono “in desperation” and Gono had travelled to South Africa to arrange lines of credit.

Gono said he was told By Eskom and Sasol officials that “more than one Zimbabwe minister and a few other notables from north of the border” had already sent letters to Eskom and Sasol requesting a cut on all new energy deals between South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Embassy officials said Gono’s information was highly credible and if this story came out in the media, there would be a public outcry which could put strong pressure on Sekeramayi to resign.

 

Full cable:

 

 

 

Viewing cable 00HARARE4999, NEW TALE OF CORRUPTION IN ZIMBABWE'S ENERGY

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE4999

2000-09-08 11:14

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.

 

081114Z Sep 00

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTO7301

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 04999 081116Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 COME-00 INL-00   DODE-00

DOEE-00 DOTE-00 DS-00   EB-00   FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00

TEDE-00 INR-00   VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OES-01   ACE-00

SSO-00   SS-00   TRSE-00 EPAE-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00

NFAT-00 SAS-00     /004W

——————82ED3B 081116Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7043

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 004999

 

SIPDIS

 

STATE FOR AF, AF/S

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/08/05

TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR ECON SENV ZI SA

SUBJECT: NEW TALE OF CORRUPTION IN ZIMBABWE'S ENERGY

SECTOR

 

 

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD, REASON 1.5 (B),

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 04999 081116Z

(D)

 

1. (C) AMBASSADOR MCDONALD ATTENDED A DINNER SEPTEMBER

7 WITH A VARIETY OF RESIDENT AMBASSADORS AND A FEW

ZIMBABWEANS, DURING WHICH GIDEON GONO (PROTECT),

MANAGING DIRECTOR OF COMMERCIAL BANK OF ZIMBABWE (CBZ),

REPORTED A CREDIBLE STORY ABOUT NEW GOVERNMENT

MALFEASANCE IN THE ENERGY SECTOR. BEFORE MUGABE

APPOINTED HIS NEW CABINET IN JULY, GONO HAD BEEN THE

GOVERNMENT'S GO-TO MAN ON FINDING NEW SOURCES OF FUNDING

FOR ZIMBABWE'S DWINDLING FUEL SUPPLIES. GONO, A ZANU-PF

STALWART AND FRIEND OF MUGABE, WAS THE PRINCIPAL

NEGOTIATOR OF A KUWAITI/EUROPEAN BANKS OIL CREDIT LINE

EARLIER THIS YEAR DURING THE BEGINNING STAGES OF THE

FUEL CRISIS. CBZ IS ALSO OFTEN THE LAST RESORT BANK TO

WHICH THE GOVERNMENT TURNS WHEN A PARTICULARLY ACUTE OR

ELEVENTH HOUR HARD CURRENCY PAYMENT MUST BE MADE.

 

2. (C) AN IRRITATED GONO REPORTED, HOWEVER, THAT SINCE

THE CABINET RESHUFFLE HE HAS BEEN SIDELINED ON OIL DEALS

IN FAVOR OF NEW MINES AND ENERGY MINISTER SIDNEY

SEKERAMAYI, HIS STAFF, AND OFFICIALS OF THE ZIMBABWE OIL

PARASTATAL NOCZIM. APPARENTLY OUT OF DESPERATION,

SEKERAMAYI RECENTLY CALLED GONO FOR HELP IN RETAINING

AND TRYING TO EXPAND LINES OF CREDIT FROM SOUTH AFRICA'S

ELECTRICITY AND OIL PARASTATALS. GONO INFORMED THE

AMBASSADOR AND A FEW OTHERS AT THE DINNER PARTY THAT AS

A RESULT, HE TRAVELED TO SOUTH AFRICA IN THE LAST WEEK

TO UNDERTAKE THESE CREDIT NEGOTIATIONS ON BEHALF OF THE

ENERGY MINISTRY AND NOCZIM. WHILE THERE, GONO LEARNED

FROM ESKOM AND SASOL OFFICIALS THAT "MORE THAN ONE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 04999 081116Z

ZIMBABWE MINISTER AND A FEW OTHER NOTABLES FROM NORTH OF

THE BORDER" (GONO DID NOT NAME NAMES, ALTHOUGH

PRESUMEDLY ONE IS SEKERAMAYI) HAD ALREADY SENT LETTERS

TO ESKOM AND SASOL REQUESTING A CUT OF ALL NEW ENERGY

DEALS BETWEEN SOUTH AFRICA AND ZIMBABWE BECAUSE THEY

OPERATED PERSONAL BUSINESSES THAT COULD ACT AS

MIDDLEMEN. GONO DID NOT PROVIDE ANY FURTHER DETAILS OF

THE REQUEST OR PRODUCE THE LETTERS. CHARITY NZENZA

(PROTECT), UNDERSECRETARY FOR THE MIDDLE EAST AND ASIA

IN ZIMBABWE'S MFA, WAS AGHAST AT GONO'S DISCLOSURE AND

LAMENTED THAT IT WAS OFFICIALS LIKE THOSE WHO CAUSED HER

TO WAIT IN LONG PETROL QUEUES WITH OTHER AVERAGE

ZIMBABWEANS. SHE SAID "WE ARE NOT STUPID; THE PUBLIC

KNOWS WHAT IS GOING ON."

 

3. (C) COMMENT: GIVEN HIS HISTORY AS THE GOZ'S ENERGY

POINT MAN AND HIS VISIBLE DISPLEASURE AT BEING CUT OUT *

OF THE LOOP, GONO'S STORY APPEARS HIGHLY CREDIBLE TO US.

THE TALE IS AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF THE GOZ LEADERSHIP'S

GROWING DETERMINATION TO GET WHILE THE GETTING IS STILL

POSSIBLE. IF THIS STORY EVER FINDS ITS WAY INTO THE

MEDIA, THE PUBLIC OUTCRY WOULD BE ENORMOUS, WITH

SEKERAMAYI COMING UNDER VERY STRONG PRESSURE TO RESIGN.

WE ALSO STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT ANALAGOUS CASES OF

CORRUPTION AND PROFITEERING EXIST AT MANY OF THE OTHER

PARASTATALS, WITH A NUMBER OF CABINET OFFICIALS, TOP

RULING PARTY OFFICIALS, AND POLITICAL APPOINTEES ON THE

TAKE AT PUBLIC EXPENSE.

 

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 04999 081116Z

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

(24 VIEWS)

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