Mugabe usurps Tsvangirai

President Robert Mugabe usurped Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in February last year, barely a year after the swearing in of the inclusive government, when he issued a circular implying that ministers should report to his two vice-Presidents, Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo, instead of to Tsvangirai.

According to the directive Mujuru was now in charge of social, agricultural and infrastructural ministries while Nkomo was responsible for financial, economic and environmental ministries.

Tsvangirai challenged the circular saying it was in violation of the Global Political Agreement which ushered in the inclusive government.

Finance Minister, Tendai Biti, who is a lawyer by profession and is the Movement for Democratic Change secretary general, blasted ZANU-PF for attempting to sabotage the inclusive government.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 10HARARE100, ZIM NOTES 02-05-2010

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

10HARARE100

2010-02-08 07:49

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO8635

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0100/01 0390751

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 080749Z FEB 10

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0017

INFO SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC

RHMCSUU/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 0004

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0004

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 0004

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0004

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 HARARE 000100

 

SIPDIS

AF/S FOR B. WALSH

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR

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

COMMERCE FOR ROBERT TELCHIN

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: ZIM NOTES 02-05-2010

 

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1. SUMMARY

 

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IMF to Restore Voting Rights-Biti...

 

Circular Arguments...

 

ACR Reports Offices Raided...

 

Dozens Arrested While Discussing the Constitution...

 

Zimbabwe Named to AU's Security Council...

 

MDC-M Spokesman Defects...

 

MDC Councilors Accused of Killing a ZANU-PF Councilor...

 

AG Admits (Some) Mistakes...

 

Police Arrest Private Newspaper Employees...

 

Anglicans Gather In Protest Service...

 

Central Bank Defaults on Bond...

 

Zimbabwe to Import Grain...

 

Government Restricts Foreign Travel...

 

RBZ Farm Mechanization Beneficiaries to Repay...

 

 

 

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On the Political and Social Front

 

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2. The Zimbabwe Independent quotes Minister of Finance Tendai

Biti, who returned this week from visits to Washington, London, and

Germany, as stating, "We were pushing for the restoration of

Zimbabwe's voting rights in the IMF. The U.S. will support us, and

we made similar requests to Germany and the UK, who will also

support us in this regard."

 

 

 

3. President Mugabe issued a circular this week implying that

ministers should report to the two vice presidents -- Joice Mujuru

and John Nkomo of ZANU-PF -- instead of PM Tsvangirai. The

directive lays out supervisory responsibilities for Mujuru over

social, agricultural, and infrastructural ministries, and for Nkomo

over financial, economic, and environmental ministries. The

controversial circular was immediately challenged by Tsvangirai who

charged that it was in violation of the GPA and therefore

unconstitutional. Finance Minister Biti also released an MDC

statement this week blasting ZANU-PF for attempting to sabotage the

inclusive government. The circular follows reports from MDC

negotiators that their ZANU-PF counterparts have adopted entrenched

negotiating positions since the ZANU-PF party Congress in December.

 

HARARE 00000100 002 OF 004

 

 

4. Mining firm African Consolidated Resources (ACR) reported that

on February 3 their offices in Harare were raided by well-armed

gunmen. Eight men reportedly armed with AK-47s broke into ACR's

offices shortly after midnight and left with computer equipment and

a vehicle. ACR is embroiled in an ownership dispute over diamond

rights with the government and two private mining firms, Mbada and

Canadile. Last week, the Supreme Court ordered that Zimbabwean

mining parastatal Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ)

hand over diamonds taken from ACR to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

That transfer has now been put on hold because of security

concerns.

 

 

 

5. On January 30 in Mt. Darwin, police broke up an MDC meeting on

the constitution and arrested all 52 MDC supporters in attendance.

Police force-marched the group to the police station where most

were released without charge. Eleven, including the MDC's chairman

for Mashonaland Central were detained, charged with breaching

security laws, and released on bail on February 4. Separately, 22

Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) activists were arrested while

discussing constitutional reform in a private house in Bulawayo on

February 2. They were released the same day without charge, and

police apologized noting they "didn't know they were WOZA members."

 

 

 

 

6. At the African Union summit in Ethiopia earlier this week,

Zimbabwe was named to the Peace and Security Council. Zimbabwe will

retain a seat at the 15-member council for two to three years.

 

 

 

7. Gabriel Chaibva, MDC-M's spokesman, announced this week that he

was leaving the party and joining ZANU-PF. In his resignation

Chaibva said he wanted to "work hard for the people's party,

ZANU-PF, to regain its revolutionary image as the defender of our

freedom, democracy, and the gains of our liberation struggle."

 

 

 

8. Three MDC councilors in Banket, Mashonaland West, including

Fanny Tembo and Emmanuel Chinanzavana (who were abducted and

tortured by security agents in 2008), were arrested on January 28

and charged with abducting and killing a ZANU-PF councilor in

Banket. The three remain in jail after numerous delays in

scheduling a bail hearing.

 

 

 

9. Attorney General Johannes Tomana conceded that his law officers

and prosecutors had at times misjudged when they invoked section

121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (CPEA) to

effectively reverse the granting of bail by magistrates or judges.

Section 121 is essentially an appeal of the decision granting bail

and forces the accused to remain in custody for 7 days until the

government makes a decision whether to appeal. In most cases, the

government does not appeal; the procedure is a harassment technique

to extract additional custody. The provision has been used

repeatedly since 2008, particularly in political cases. Testifying

before a parliamentary committee, Tomana said he could not rule out

"malice, corruption, misjudgment, and human error" on the part of

his law officers when invoking section 121.

 

HARARE 00000100 003 OF 004

 

 

10. Police officers forced their way in to an apartment belonging

to independent newspaper The Zimbabwean on Wednesday. Officers took

two employees (believed to be marketing officers) to a nearby

police station and released them the same day without charge. The

apartment is used by stringers who write for The Zimbabwean, which

is published in South Africa and the UK.

 

 

 

11. Approximately 3,000 members of the regional body of the

Anglican Church, the Church of the Province of Central Africa

(CPCA) gathered in Harare's Africa Unity Square on January 31 to

pray for peace and to protest their continued inability to access

Anglican churches. For nearly three years, rogue ex-Anglican bishop

and ZANU-PF stalwart Nolbert Kunonga has used his influence and the

police to prevent members of the CPCA from accessing Anglican

churches, schools, cemeteries, and other property. Harare's CPCA

Bishop Chad Gandiya led the service and prayed for peace, noting

the irony of holding the service directly across the street from

the locked Anglican cathedral. The service was not disrupted by the

police or Kunonga's handful of supporters.

 

 

 

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On the Economic and Business Front

 

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12. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has failed to redeem on

time the gold bonds it issued for gold delivered by mining

companies in 2007 and 2008. The financially distressed central bank

extended the life of the bonds by another six months pending the

outcome of talks on funding with the Ministry of Finance. The RBZ

has also failed to refund over US$34 million owed to platinum

producer Zimplats, hoping government will take over the debt. These

defaults and calls for indigenization of mines pose a threat to the

nascent recovery now evident in the mining sector.

 

 

 

13. Preliminary estimates show that Zimbabwe is likely to produce

only a quarter of its two-million-ton maize requirement in 2010.

The huge deficit has been caused by a dry spell that hit most parts

of Zimbabwe in January and the continued farm invasions. The

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union has urged the government to start

preparing to import grain in order to avert starvation. More

reliable estimates should be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

 

 

 

14. The Chief Secretary to Cabinet has issued instructions

restricting foreign travel by government officials to critical

businesses that support the economic recovery process. The goal is

a reduction in the number of both trips and delegates as a way of

reducing costs. During his 2010 budget speech, Finance Minister

Biti reported that foreign travel by government officials had

gobbled US$28.6 million, more than the GOZ spent on social sectors.

 

HARARE 00000100 004 OF 004

 

 

15. Hamstrung by a shortage of funds, RBZ Governor Gono now wants

new farmers who benefited from the farm mechanization program to

start repaying for equipment they received from the RBZ out of this

year's harvest. According to the Financial Gazette, the debt

recovery process is expected to realize US$1 billion which will be

used to recapitalize the RBZ. Fat chance.

 

 

 

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Quote of the Week

 

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16. "ZANU-PF continues to use the public media, the constitutional

process, the commercial farms, the diamond mines and the civil

service as the battlefields for its destructive agenda aimed at

perpetuating their selfish grip on power. Their determination to

enrich themselves at the expense of national development risks

keeping all our citizens mired in poverty." -- Finance Minister and

MDC-T Secretary General Tendai Biti in a statement issued by the

MDC-T on February 2, 2010.

 

 

 

RAY

RAY

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