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Mugabe said his day was coming, but he did not know when

President Robert Mugabe told the United Nations general assembly that those who were proposing sanctions on Zimbabwe in the United Nations Security Council were insane.

He said they were themselves “international perpetrators of genocide, acts of aggression and mass destruction”.

In an interview later, he said:”They are waiting for a day when this man, this evil man, called Robert Mugabe is no longer in control, and I don’t know when that day is coming.”

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE881, ZIM NOTES 9-26-2008

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

08HARARE881

2008-09-29 09:20

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO3686

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0881/01 2730920

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 290920Z SEP 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3497

RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 2088

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2327

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2445

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0959

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1723

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2078

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2499

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4931

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1594

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000881

 

AF/S FOR B. WALCH

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B.PITTMAN

TREASURY FOR J.RALYEA AND T.RAND

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR L.DOBBINS AND E.LOKEN

COMMERCE FOR BECKY ERKUL

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O.12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ECON ZI

 

SUBJECT: ZIM NOTES 9-26-2008

 

———–

1. SUMMARY

———–

 

Topics of the week:

 

– Mugabe UNGA Speech Hits Familiar Themes

– Mbeki Resignation Causing ZANU-PF Concern

– Welshman Ncube Discusses Negotiation Impasse

– Donors Discuss Re-Engagement

– Violence Continues

– Teachers Still on Strike, Union Leader Released

– Ministers to Continue During Deadlock

– Poaching on the Rise

– Cash Shortage Worsens

– Local Currency Falling Nearly 2% per Day in Value

– Zimbabwe Facing Major Cereal Shortages

– Government Widens Tax Brackets

 

———————————

2. Price Movements-Exchange Rate

and Selected products

———————————

 

Parallel rate for cash doubled to Z$970:US$1

 

Bank transfer rate increased fivefold to Z$220,000:US$1 against

inter-bank average of Z$123:US$1

 

Bread on the parallel market rose at Z$1,500

 

Sugar is steady at $1,000/2kg

 

Petrol and diesel climbed to Z$1,300/liter

 

—————————–

On the Political/Social Front

—————————–

 

3. Mugabe UNGA Speech Hits Familiar Themes… Oblivious to the

situation on the ground in Zimbabwe, Mugabe boasted about the

foundation land reform has established for food security and the

GOZ’s contribution to sustainable development. He called the US and

UK vindictive and self righteous, saying those who proposed UNSC

sanctions on Zimbabwe were insane and “themselves international

perpetrators of genocide, acts of aggression and mass destruction.”

He pledged ZANU-PF commitment to the September 15 power sharing

agreement, which he lauded as an African solution to an African

problem. For full text of speech, see http://www.un.org/ga/63/

generaldebate/zimbabwe.shtml.

 

4. Mbeki Resignation Causing ZANU-PF Concern… ZANU-PF officials

are worried about the impact the sudden forced resignation of South

African President Thabo Mbeki will have on the implementation of the

signed agreement. They fear the replacement of a

ZANU-PF-sympathetic Mbeki with potentially a more pro-MDC mediator

could lead to pressure for additional political concessions. See

Harare 874

 

5. Welshman Ncube Discusses Negotiation Impasse… MDC-M Secretary

General Welshman Ncube gave us his take on a range of issues

including the deadlock in ministerial negotiations, South Africa’s

role in breaking the stalemate, and the local and international

criticism surrounding the MDC-M’s controversial leader Arthur

Mutambara. Ncube confirmed that allocation of four ministries-Home

Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Finance, and Local Government-is holding

up the implementation of the agreement. See Harare 878.

 

 

HARARE 00000881 002 OF 003

 

 

6. Donors Discuss Re-Engagement… On September 25, the

like-minded donor group held an all-day workshop on donor

re-engagement. The agenda included sessions to outline and come to

consensus on a recovery plan, how it would unfold operationally

(benchmarks for the GOZ), aid modalities that would be used, areas

of sectoral interest and expected funding levels for different

donors, and mechanisms and principles for coordination. A technical

note outlining the discussion will be presented at the next high

level donor meeting schedule in Ottawa on October 30.

 

7. Violence Continues… Despite the deal, violence and arbitrary

arrests continue. In Mutare, eight MDC supporters were arrested on

September 19, accused of celebrating the signed agreement by

attacking the house of a ZANU-PF member. In the high-density Harare

suburb of Mbare, dozens of families were attacked by ZANU-PF militia

members in front of police, who took no action. The families had

been illegally evicted in the wake of political violence in June.

 

8. Teachers Still on Strike, Union Leader Released… This week

the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA) joined the Progressive

Teachers Union (PTUZ) in the teachers’ strike, now in its third

week. PTUZ President Takavafira Zhou was released on September 22

after spending four nights in jail in Masvingo. While he faces

charges of insulting the President, his jailers accused him of

interfering with their children’s education and leading the strike.

 

9. Ministers to Continue During Deadlock… The government’s

mouthpiece, The Herald, reported on September 23 that according to

Mugabe’s chief secretary, incumbent ministers should continue in

their current positions until the appointment of new ministers has

taken effect.

 

10. Poaching on the Rise… Zimbabwe’s environmental degradation

has accelerated this year in light of growing economic woes and

ongoing political turmoil. Despite increased poaching, only two

culprits have been convicted and numerous others have gone free.

See Harare 863 and a WWF press statement on rhino poaching in

Zimbabwe at www.panda.org/species.

 

———————————-

On the Economic and Business Front

———————————-

 

11. Cash Shortage Worsens… Banks are barely getting a fifth of

their daily cash requirement from the Reserve Bank as cash grows

increasingly scarce. The shortage drove the bank transfer rate up

fivefold this week. In the meantime, responding to intense public

pressure, the government increased the daily cash withdrawal limit

from Z$1,000 (roughly US$1) to Z$20,000. See Harare 0865.

 

12. Local Currency Falling Nearly 2% per Day in Value… Since the

revaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar on August 1, the currency has

been losing value at the rate of about 1.8 percent per day. On

September 25, 2008, it was worth about a fifth of its value on

August 1 hen 10 zeros were dropped.

 

13. Zimbabwe Facing ajor Cereal Shortages… FEWSNET’s Zimbabwe

Foo Security Alert of September 24, 2008 reports thatcombined

commercial and humanitarian cereal impots must triple from their

current rate between nw and March 2009 to meet the country’s

requiremens for the remainder of the marketing year. At the

current rate, Zimbabwe could run out of cereals y early November.

For full Alert, see www.fews.net/zimbabwe.

 

14. Government Widens Tax Brackets… The GOZ raised the tax-free

income threshold from Z$500 (roughly US$0.50 on the street) per

month to Z$15,000 (US$15) per month effective September 1, 2008. It

also widened income tax bands; the highest tax rate of 47.5% now

 

HARARE 00000881 003 OF 003

 

 

comes into effect for incomes above Z$300,000 (US$300) per month.

The AIDS levy of 3% of the tax pushes the highest tax rate to 48.9%.

Given galloping inflation, bracket creep has become bracket leap

for most Zimbabweans.

 

————————————

Quote of the Week: Mugabe on Mugabe

————————————

 

15. President Robert Mugabe, in an interview following his UNGA

speech on September 25: “They are waiting for a day when this man,

this evil man, called Robert Mugabe is no longer in control,” he

said “and I don’t know when that day is coming.” – New Zimbabwe,

September 25.

 

 

MCGEE

 

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