Trevor Ncube wins German award

Zimbabwean journalist, Trevor Ncube, publisher of The Zimbabwe Independent and The Standard, won Germany's Africa Award for his tireless engagement on behalf of freedom and human rights in Zimbabwe and Africa. The award was presented by the president of the European Parliament.

Full cable:

Viewing cable 08HARARE963, ZIM NOTES 10-24-2008

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE963

2008-10-27 08:32

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO5361

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0963/01 3010832

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 270832Z OCT 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3614

RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 2106

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2377

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2497

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1003

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1773

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2128

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2553

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4981

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1646

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000963

 

AF/S FOR B. WALCH

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B.PITTMAN

TREASURY FOR D. PETERS

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 10-24-2008

 

-----------

1. SUMMARY

-----------

 

Topics of the week:

 

- Deadlocked, But SADC-Hosted Talks to Resume...

- No Progress Says Tsvangirai...

- Lack of Passport Paper to Blame...

- Botswana Calls for New Elections...

- Zimbabwean Elephants Get a Reprieve...

- Zimbabwean Journalist Wins German Award...

- RBZ's Profligacy on Patronage Vehicles...

- The ZSE Runs Amok As Currency Grows Worthless...

- Fuel Shortages Force Cuts in Bus Services...

- Zimbabwe Chamber of Commerce Issues Manifesto...

- Another Victim of Price Controls...

- Good Start to Rainy Season...

 

---------------------------------

2. Price Movements-Exchange Rate

and Selected products

---------------------------------

 

Parallel rate for cash more than doubled to Z$55,000:US$1

 

Check rate (see note below) more than quadrupled to

Z$2,000,000,000:US$1 against inter-bank average of Z$346:US$1

 

Bread on the parallel market tripled to Z$70,000

 

Sugar rose to $150,000/2kg

 

Petrol and diesel rose to Z$80,000/liter

 

Note: Due to the suspension of the Real-Time Gross Settlement system

by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on October 3, Post will now be

reporting on the unofficial check transfer rate that individuals and

entities are using to make non-cash payments.

 

-----------------------------

On the Political/Social Front

-----------------------------

 

3. Deadlocked, But SADC-Hosted Talks to Resume... The SADC

Troika-Angola, Mozambique, and Swaziland-will attempt to mediate a

resolution to the stalled power-sharing negotiations in Harare on

October 27. Insiders to the negotiations are not optimistic

progress will be made, or even in the event an agreement is reached,

that ZANU-PF would honor it. See Harare 959 and Harare 960.

 

4. No Progress Says Tsvangirai... MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai

addressed the assembled OECD heads of mission on October 22 and

explained that the negotiations had made no progress and would

require SADC and AU mediation. Despite threats to boycott over

frustration at not yet having received his passport, Tsvangirai is

expected to participate in Troika discussions on the October 27.

Newly-appointed South African president Motlanthe is also expected

to be present. See Harare 955.

 

5. Lack of Passport Paper to Blame... Mugabe spokesperson George

Charamba blamed Western sanctions for a lack of passport paper that

led to the Registrar General's inability to issue Tsvangirai a new

passport. Tsvangirai has been waiting since August to get his

passport renewed, and chose not to attend a SADC Troika meeting in

Swaziland on Monday to highlight the issue.

 

6. Botswana Calls for New Elections... The Government of Botswana

 

HARARE 00000963 002 OF 003

 

 

issued a press release on October 20 criticizing ZANU-PF and

supporting Tsvangirai's efforts to achieve a power-sharing

settlement. In the event of continued deadlock, Botswana called for

a new presidential election to determine Zimbabwe's political

future.

 

7. Zimbabwean Elephants Get a Reprieve... The Zimbabwean Parks and

Wildlife Authority (Parks) has agreed, under pressure from

photographic tour operators, to suspend the issuance of hundreds of

questionable elephant hunting permits. The Parks program had been

abused as hunters and Parks' staff killed animals larger than

allowed or outside the program parameters and profited from the meat

and ivory. The "quiet diplomacy" effort proved successful in part

because the issue was kept out of the media. See Harare 956.

 

8. Zimbabwean Journalist Wins German Award... Trevor Ncube,

Zimbabwean journalist and publisher of Zimbabwe independent

newspapers The Zimbabwe Independent and The Standard, won Germany's

Africa Award for his tireless engagement on behalf of freedom and

human rights in Zimbabwe and Africa. The award was presented by the

president of the European Parliament.

 

----------------------------------

On the Economic and Business Front

----------------------------------

 

9. RBZ's Profligacy on Patronage Vehicles... A vehicle importer

divulged to us how the RBZ was using the parallel market to finance

the importation of millions of U.S. dollars worth of popular pickup

trucks and 4x4s for patronage purposes. See Harare 947.

 

10. The ZSE Runs Amok As Currency Grows Worthless... As economic

fundamentals continue to weaken and negative real returns on the

money market deepen, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) and fixed

properties have become the only reasonable hedges against exploding

inflation. All ZSE counters witnessed record-breaking increases in

prices in recent weeks. The industrial and mining indices have

risen by 415 trillion percent and 291 trillion percent respectively

since January. On a related note, the check exchange rate plummeted

further in line with movement in the Old Mutual Implied exchange

rate. The check rate fell from Z$40 million:US$1 on October 17 to

Z$2 billion:US$1 a week later, reflecting, in the main, the

continued shortage of foreign exchange.

 

11. Fuel Shortages Force Cuts in Bus Services... A cutback in

subsidized fuel from the government-owned National Oil Company of

Zimbabwe (NOCZIM) due to a crippling lack of foreign exchange has

left Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) operating at 20

percent capacity. The public bus company can no longer maintain

full service on all its routes due to its low subsidized fares.

 

12. Zimbabwe Chamber of Commerce Issues Manifesto... The ZNCC

issued a business manifesto this week that calls for more policy

consultation between government and business; depoliticization and

demilitarization of public institutions; concentration on

engineering, import substitution and the full utilization of

strategic resources; and a policy environment that encourages

private public partnerships in construction and in infrastructure

maintenance.

 

13. Another Victim of Price Controls... Food giant Cairns released

a deplorable set of results to the end of August. Capacity

utilization fell from 40% in 2007 to 14% this reporting year, and

volume fell 53% under the scourge of price controls.

 

14. Good Start to Rainy Season... The clouds broke this week and

much of the country enjoyed a thunderous start to the rainy season.

Unfortunately, neither maize seed nor fertilizer is readily

 

HARARE 00000963 003 OF 003

 

 

available on the markets.

 

-----------------

Quote of the Week

-----------------

 

15. "The Zimbabwean economy has collapsed, but African economies do

not collapse until there is no food in State House." Chenjerai

Hove, a Columnist for Zimbabwetimes.com, October 19, 2008.

 

 

MCGEE

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