Nkomo not happy with war vets leader’s speech


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The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front national chairman John Nkomo was not happy with the speech by war veterans leader Patrick Nyaruwata because he had criticised the government in what was supposed to be a solidarity speech.

Nyaruwata had accused the government of corruption in the land distribution exercise and appealed to President Robert Mugabe to act against the corrupt officials.

Nyaruwata was addressing the party’s annual conference at Chinhoyi.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 02HARARE2803, ZIMBABWE PROMISES MORE OF THE SAME AT ZANU-PF

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

02HARARE2803

2002-12-16 14:42

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.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 002803

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR J. FRAZER

LONDON FOR C. GURNEY

PARIS FOR C. NEARY

NAIROBI FOR T. PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/16/2012

TAGS: PGOV ZI ZANU PF

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE PROMISES MORE OF THE SAME AT ZANU-PF

CONFERENCE

 

REF: HARARE 2742

 

Classified By: Political Officer Kimberly Jemison for reasons 1.5 b/d.

 

SUMMARY

——-

1. (C) ZANU-PF,s annual conference, concluded in Chinhoyi

December 14, proved to be another platform from which the

senior party leadership could blast their critics and blame

others for the country,s economic woes. President Mugabe

tacitly admitted that the land reform exercise had not gone

well but in the same breath he blamed most of the country,s

economic woes on the British and other Western powers. END

SUMMARY.

 

MUGABE CONTINUES TO DEMONIZE MDC, BRITAIN, AND THE WEST

——————————————— ———-

2. (U) ZANU-PF,s sixth National People,s Conference was

filled with the same rhetoric the party has been espousing

over the last year. The West, the MDC, NGOs, and civic

groups, led by Britain, are the reason for most of the

economic problems besieging the country, Mugabe said in his

opening address. Mugabe also made a thinly veiled threat

against Australia, New Zealand, and some EU member states

that if these countries continued to side with Britain, then

they would be treated as enemies. &The more they work

against us, the more they should expect hostility from us and

the more negative we shall become to their kith and kin

here.8 An Australian diplomat in attendance told us Mugabe

had said explicitly “white people are the enemy” and noted

that the US was notably absent among the list of countries in

the diatribe. (NOTE: Despite assurances from ZANU-PF

Director of Administration, Fred Shava, that the Embassy

would receive an invitation to the opening ceremony, we never

did (see reftel). Other Western embassies received

invitations during the week leading up to the opening

ceremony. Our Australian colleague told us he had to

repeatedly ask for their invitation. END NOTE.)

 

LAND REFORM NOT TOTAL SUCCESS

—————————–

3. (U) Mugabe admitted that it was necessary to review the

land reform and that there had been disapproval and

dissatisfaction with some aspects of the exercise, especially

the A2 model, according to press accounts. Mugabe was quick

to say there would be no turning back on the land issue and

he reiterated a desire to indigenize the mining,

manufacturing, industry, tourism, and the financial sector.

Mugabe reiterated a threat he made two months ago to

nationalize gas stations owned by multinational oil

companies.

 

4. (U) Patrick Nyaruwata, the chairman of the Zimbabwe

National Liberation War Veterans Association, criticized the

government over corruption in land distribution during his

speech, according to the independent newspaper, the Daily

News.   Nyaruwata appealed to Mugabe to act against the

corrupt officials. After the speech, John Nkomo, ZANU-PF

national chairman, admonished Nyaruwata for criticizing the

government in what was supposed to have been a solidarity

speech.

 

CONFERENCE ATMOSPHERICS

———————–

5. (C) Our Australian diplomatic colleague was alarmed at

the number of guns he saw at the conference. Machine guns

were everywhere and seven bodyguards surrounded Mugabe to

within an arms length. (COMMENT: This is the most bodyguards

we have known Mugabe to have and is a revealing statement of

Mugabe’s personal sense of security, at an event attended

primarily by his own party supporters. END COMMENT.) Few

Western diplomats attended the conference–the Australian

diplomat reckons Greece (EU Acting President), Canada and

Belgium were present–but was reasonably well-attended by

some Eastern European countries, Arab and African countries,

Cuba, China, and Indonesia. As soon as Mugabe finished, most

of the diplomats left.

 

COMMENT

——-

6. (C) As expected, there was no discussion on succession or

any substantive shift on policies expressed at this year’s

conference. Conference delegates expressed concern over most

crises afflicting the country (fuel, food, and HIV) but

offered no real solutions to the problems, instead proposing

more price controls, intensified nationalization and

indigenization of businesses, and mobilization of resources

to win the Kuwadzana and Highfield parliamentary

by-elections. In a transparent attempt to boost morale at its

annual conference, Chinhoyi was flush with food and fuel,

according to the independent weekly, The Standard. Prior to

the conference, Chinhoyi suffered the same shortages as the

rest of the country (corn meal, bread, sugar, milk, meat,

chicken, and fuel).

 

7. (C) Mugabe’s attempts to fan racial hatred are troubling,

but even more worrisome is his absolutist approach to a

deteriorating economic situation over which he has decreasing

influence. Mugabe’s determination to forge on with a

“business as usual” approach is pushing his regime and this

country ever closer to the precipice. While one moderate

ZANU-PF governor cautioned us not to take the conference’s

political rhetoric too seriously, he acknowledged that he was

worried that the “situation may have slipped out of our

control.”

 

 

 

 

 

SULLIVAN

 

(7 VIEWS)

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