in Stories

Mushore said the Mujurus were behind Makoni

Former banker, James Mushore, who was said to be a nephew of General Solomon Mujuru and Vice-President Joice Mujuru, told United States embassy officials that both Mujurus were solidly behind former Finance Minister Simba Makoni’s candidacy in the 2008 presidential elections.

They could not, however, come out in the open because Joice was concerned about losing the trappings of office while the general realised that if Makoni lost, he would be history.

Mushore also implied that Central Intelligence Organisation boss Happyton Bonyongwe was behind Makoni.

He feared that Makoni risked assassination if Mugabe thought Makoni might keep him from securing over 50 percent of the vote, which he needed to win the election in the first round.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE162, ZIMBABWE PRINTING MONEY “AT ALL COSTS”

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

08HARARE162

2008-02-29 11:19

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO1090

PP RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0162/01 0601119

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 291119Z FEB 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2532

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1859

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1790

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1916

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0495

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1193

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1550

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1972

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4403

RUEHMZ/AMCONSUL MUNICH 0004

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1043

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC

RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC//DHO-7//

RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK//DOOC/ECMO/CC/DAO/DOB/DOI//

RUEPGBA/CDR USEUCOM INTEL VAIHINGEN GE//ECJ23-CH/ECJ5M//

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000162

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

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

TREASURY FOR J. RALYEA AND T.RAND

COMMERCE FOR BECKY ERKUL

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/28/2018

TAGS: PGOV ECON ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE PRINTING MONEY “AT ALL COSTS”

 

Classified By: CDA Katherine Dhanani for reasons 1.4 (d)

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) Former NMB Bank Ltd Managing Director and co-founder

James Mushore told econoff on February 28 that the ability of

the Government of Zimbabwe (GOZ) to print money is key to the

regime’s survival. In fact, it is printing Z$24.2

trillion/day (US$1.2 million/day at the cash parallel rate)

at maximum capacity, and an equal amount of currency is being

imported from the German printer Giesecke and Devrient in an

attempt to buy the election at any cost. Mushore implored the

USG to intercede to put pressure on the German printer to

stop supplying printing paper and banknotes to the GOZ.

According to Mushore, who is a nephew of General Solomon and

Vice President Joyce Mujuru, the Mujurus are solidly behind

Simba Makoni’s presidential candidacy. Mushore and the other

NMB founders fled Zimbabwe in 2004 under charges of foreign

currency externalization. He was arrested upon his return to

Zimbabwe in October 2007, despite safety assurances from

Attorney General Gula-Ndebele. Both Mushore and Gula-Ndebele

were subsequently arrested, the latter on charges of

obstructing justice by meeting with Mushore, and both are

awaiting trial in a politically charged case. END SUMMARY.

 

—————————-

Printing Money “At Any Cost”

—————————-

 

2. (C) The GOZ’s ability to print money is key to the

regime’s survival, according to James Mushore, former

Managing Director and co-founder of NMB Bank Ltd. In a

meeting with econoff on February 28, he said the GOZ was

printing Z$24.2 trillion/day in Z$10 million notes at Reserve

Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) owned Fidelity Printers in Harare, and

purchasing 432,000 sheets of notepaper per week from the

German company Giesecke and Devrient. In early February,

faced with frequent power outages, RBZ Governor Gono

outfitted the printer with enough power generators to ensure

24/7 production, according to Mushore. Even at maximum

production, however, Fidelity was still unable to meet the

RBZ’s soaring demand for cash. To meet the shortfall, Mushore

said the RBZ on February 5 had subcontracted the German

printer to supply an equal daily amount of currency directly

from Germany. Mushore said the GOZ was desperate for cash at

any cost to “buy votes” and to purchase foreign exchange on

the parallel market to ensure that fuel, water, electric

power, goods and food were widely available in the run up to

the March 29 elections.

 

———————————-

A Plea To Intercede/Name and Shame

———————————-

 

3. (C) Mushore asked the USG to intercede with the German

government to pressure Giesecke and Devrient to stop

supplying the paper and banknotes that were sustaining the

regime. He said the German Ambassador had been informed of

the arrangement with the German printer but he was not aware

of any action she might have taken. Mushore added that

detailed information about the printing operation in Germany

had been provided to “The Sunday Times” of London in an

 

HARARE 00000162 002 OF 002

 

 

attempt by the opposition to “name and shame,” and the

newspaper was considering publishing the story.

 

——————————————— ——-

On Mushore, The Mujurus, Makoni, and His Own Arrest

——————————————— ——-

 

4. (C) Mushore did not disclose his source, but as a nephew

of General Solomon Mujuru and Vice President Joyce Mujuru, he

is privy to closely-held information. He said both Mujurus

were solidly behind Simba Makoni’s candidacy for president,

although the Vice President was concerned about losing the

trappings of office. The General, whom he described as “very

well, lucid, but you have to catch him at the right time )

he likes his whiskey,” realized that if Makoni lost, Mujuru

himself was history. He said Mujuru was “looking for a sign

from the people,” before he came out openly for Makoni.

Mushore mused about an “ideal scenario8 under which Solomon

Mujuru and CIO chief Happyton Bonyongwe came out for Makoni

two days before the election, insinuating Bonyongwe support

for Makoni, as well. Mushore said the Makoni campaign was

confident of taking all provinces except Mashonaland. Simba

Makoni’s personal safety was a major concern; Mushore feared

Makoni risked assassination if Mugabe thought Makoni might

keep him from securing over 50 percent of the vote, which he

needs to win the election on the first round.

 

5. (C) Mushore was co-founder of NMB Bank, Zimbabwe’s first

indigenous-owned bank. The Bank’s founders fled Zimbabwe to

the UK in 2004 under charges of foreign currency

externalization. When a serious case of embezzlement

threatened to bring the Bank down in 2007, Mushore returned

to manage the problem. Attorney General Gula-Ndebele (a man

who “calls a spade a spade,” according to Mushore) allegedly

assured Mushore’s lawyers that the banker would not be

detained, but both Mushore and later Gula-Ndebele ended up

arrested – Gula-Ndebele on charges of obstruction of justice

related to a meeting with Mushore. Mushore was released on

bail but the police are withholding his passport pending

trial.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

6. (C) Every indication, from the depreciation in the

exchange rate this month (from Z$6 million to Z$20

million:US$ for cash) to reports from the street, points to

furious buying up of forex on the street by the RBZ. The GOZ

is clearly worried about having enough cash on hand to “buy”

this election, which no longer appears to be a slam dunk for

Mugabe. END COMMENT.

 

DHANANI

(61 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