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Mugabe denied he had anything against Bennett

President Robert Mugabe denied that he had anything against Movement for Democratic Change treasurer Roy Bennett.

He had been asked by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai why he was refusing to swear in Bennett as deputy Minister of Agriculture.

Mugabe said that he had not sworn in Bennett because he had pending criminal charges.

Two other MDC legislators, Finance Minister Tendai Biti and Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga, were sworn in though they too had pending charges.

Mugabe remained adamant that Bennett would not join his government until the MDC had to replace him with Seiso Moyo.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09HARARE360, TSVANGIRAI BRIEFS AMBASSADOR ON GOZ PROGRESS

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

09HARARE360

2009-05-04 13:35

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO5593

OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0360/01 1241335

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 041335Z MAY 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4433

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2799

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2918

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1363

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2183

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2548

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2966

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5407

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2092

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000360

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B.WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR J. HARMON AND L. DOBBINS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/04/2019

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI BRIEFS AMBASSADOR ON GOZ PROGRESS

 

Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4 (d)

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told the Ambassador

May 1 that he is reasonably satisfied with the progress of

the new transitional government. Outstanding issues in the

process of being resolved include: governorships, permanent

secretaries and ambassadorships; political detainees; and

farm invasions. The two major remaining unresolved issues

are the status of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor

Gideon Gono and the swearing-in of Roy Bennett as Deputy

Secretary of Agriculture. Tsvangirai also said he is

planning to visit Washington at the beginning of June. END

SUMMARY.

 

——————

Outstanding Issues

——————

 

2. (C) Noting that he, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe,

and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara had met several

times in the last couple of weeks, Tsvangirai stated that

most of the outstanding issues had been resolved. Thirteen

(of 30) permanent secretaries had been agreed upon and the

three principals would meet to agree on the remainder.

Mugabe had agreed to a division of governorships, but had

insisted that the outgoing governors be given severance

packages. Tsvangirai said he had found a donor to finance

the packages (he did not say who) and that Mugabe would soon

make an announcement. MDC-T would get five governor

positions and ZANU-PF would either get five or give MDC-M one

position. Ambassadors, according to Tsvangirai, would be

replaced as their tours ended and would be divided between

ZANU-PF and MDC-T.

 

3. (C) Tsvangirai said the most difficult remaining issue

remained Gono. (NOTE: He conceded there was little he could

do about removing Attorney General Johannes Tomana. END

NOTE.) He had talked for over two hours with Gono and told

him he had two options. He could remain in office with his

power stripped while he continued to be vilified around the

country. (According to Tsvangirai, Gono is routinely booed

at rallies, and Zimbabweans from all walks of life hold him

responsible for the worthlessness of their pensions.) Or

Gono could do the honorable thing and leave the RBZ. Gono

countered that he wanted a severance package and assurance

that he would not be prosecuted.

 

4. (C) Minister of Finance Tendai Biti was adamant that Gono

had to leave the RBZ and that the issue should be dealt with

as soon as possible. Tsvangirai said he and Biti intended to

confront Mugabe and tell him that Gono’s exit was essential

to opening up lines of credit.

 

5. (C) Tsvangirai told the Ambassador he had directly raised

with Mugabe his refusal to swear-in Roy Bennett and had asked

Mugabe whether it was due to personal animus toward Bennett.

Mugabe replied in the negative; he said his inaction was

based on the fact that Bennett had pending criminal charges.

(NOTE: Several other ministers including Biti and Minister

of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Eric Matinenga

Qof Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Eric Matinenga

also have pending charges. END NOTE.)

 

6. (C) Turning to farm invasions, Tsvangirai said Mutambara

had tabled a report with Cabinet, based on his joint

investigation with the Ministers of Home Affairs and Lands

into several recent intrusions. Mugabe, Tsvangirai and their

deputies would discuss the issue. Tsvangirai had proposed a

land audit and the establishment of a commission to deal with

 

HARARE 00000360 002 OF 002

 

 

titles.

 

7. (C) Finally, Tsvangirai acknowledged that two political

detainees remained in police custody, after posting bond,

while receiving hospital care. He promised this situation

would soon be sorted out.

 

—————

Looking Forward

—————

 

8. (C) Pointing out that the government was less than

three-months old, Tsvangirai said he was reasonably satisfied

with progress. He had been prepared to give a press

conference last week to denounce progress on outstanding

issues, and then to appeal to SADC. But he was pleased with

his last meeting with Mugabe and believed that all issues

would soon be resolved. Tsvangirai commented that he was

looking forward to visiting Washington at the beginning of

June, but had informed Mugabe his trip was dependent on

sufficient progress on the outstanding issues.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

9. (C) Tsvangirai has been under pressure from many of his

own officials and from civil society to make more rapid

progress on the outstanding issues. While there may be

agreement in principle on a number of these issues, they are

still not resolved, and there has been little progress on the

major issues of Gono and Bennett. Biti has returned from

Washington and London and informed Tsvangirai that the West

is looking for more, and Tsvangirai no doubt wants to

demonstrate his ability to deliver when he makes his own trip

to the U.S. and UK next in June. For the moment, he believes

he can achieve more by working behind the scenes with Mugabe

than by confronting him. END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

(4 VIEWS)

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