Sipepa Nkomo said Mai Mujuru was very critical of ZANU-PF

Minister of Water Sam Sipepa Nkomo says when he met Vice-President Joice Mujuru privately, as she was a former Minister of Water, she was critical of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and supported Movement for Democratic Change programmes to liberalise the economy and expand political space.

Nkomo told this to United States embassy officials on 19 March 2009 when he met them to discuss the plight of his ministry which he said was broke.

He said Mujuru had even supported Finance Minister Tendai Biti when he revised the budget downwards, a move that most ZANU-PF ministers opposed.

“Mujuru supported the MDC position which was ultimately supported by President Mugabe as well. Nkomo opined that while Mugabe remains influential, he is constrained by ZANU-PF hardliners such as Patrick Chinamasa, Nicholas Goche and the service chiefs,” a diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks says.

In their comment, embassy officials said: “Nkomo's comments on Mujuru tracks with what we have been hearing. Joice Mujuru has had private contacts with the MDC and she and her husband Solomon would not be sad to see Mugabe go.”

But they added: “While there are fissures within ZANU-PF and the party appears to be weakening, a clean break by Mujuru and her followers does not appear to be on the horizon.”

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09HARARE239, OBSERVATIONS OF MDC MINISTER OF WATER

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

09HARARE239

2009-03-19 10:01

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO3642

OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0239/01 0781001

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 191001Z MAR 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4252

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2713

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2835

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1289

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2100

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2456

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2883

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5322

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2002

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000239

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B.WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

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

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR MICHELLE GAVIN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/19/2019

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: OBSERVATIONS OF MDC MINISTER OF WATER

 

Classified By: CDA Katherine Dhanani for reason 1.4 (b) and (d)

 

1. (C) Polecon Chief spoke with Minister of Water Sam Nkomo

on March 19. Nkomo is an MDC MP from Matabeleland North and

is the brother of John Nkomo, the ZANU-PF party chairman and

a Minister of State in the president's office. He offered

observations on the current situation.

 

2. (C) Nkomo said the Ministry of Water, like other

ministries, is "broke." He is centralizing the purchase of

treatment chemicals to achieve economies of scale and

discounts. Until now, ministers and ZANU-PF insiders have

sold chemicals to the government to their own benefit. He

estimates that a year's supply of chemicals would be US$28

million.

 

3. (C) Nkomo is a professional accountant and his permanent

secretary, whom he described as competent and hard-working,

has an agricultural background. Many technically qualified

people have left the ministry in the last several years. He

would welcome technical assistance from a water expert to

give him a good overview of Zimbabwe's water problems and

what is needed to correct them.

 

4. (C) ZANU-PF cabinet members are for the most part set in

their ways and difficult to deal with, according to Nkomo.

He excepted Minister of the Environment Francis Nhema and

Minister of Tourism Walter Mzembi whom he described as

moderates with whom the MDC could work. Nkomo thought

political and economic progress would be difficult given

ZANU-PF intransigence; the MDC's goal was to get to free and

fair elections, which it was confident it could win, and to

provide as many services as possible until then to maintain

and gain support.

 

5. (C) Nkomo, who has been a strong Tsvangirai supporter,

told us that Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara had been

a positive force in cabinet and had been caucusing with MDC-T

ministers. The other two MDC-M ministers, Welshman Ncube and

Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, had not caucused with MDC-T

and had taken a more neutral role in cabinet meetings.

 

6. (C) Turning to ZANU-PF politics, Nkomo said he had spoken

privately recently with Vice President Joice Mujuru, who was

formerly Minister of Water. He said she was critical of

ZANU-PF and supported MDC programs to liberalize the economy

and expand political space. He recounted the cabinet's

discussion of Minister of Finance Tendai Biti's downward

revision of the budget which was presented to Parliament

yesterday (Septel). Most ZANU-PF ministers opposed the

revision and wanted to delay consideration by Parliament.

Mujuru supported the MDC position which was ultimately

supported by President Mugabe as well. Nkomo opined that

while Mugabe remains influential, he is constrained by

ZANU-PF hardliners such as Patrick Chinamasa, Nicholas Goche

and the service chiefs.

 

-------

COMMENT

-------

 

7. (C) Nkomo's comments on Mujuru tracks with what we have

been hearing. Joice Mujuru has had private contacts with the

Qbeen hearing. Joice Mujuru has had private contacts with the

MDC and she and her husband Solomon would not be sad to see

Mugabe go. (Solomon Mujuru has remained largely on the

sidelines since his unsuccessful attempt to force Mugabe's

retirement in December 2007.) While there are fissures

within ZANU-PF and the party appears to be weakening, a clean

break by Mujuru and her followers does not appear to be on

the horizon. END COMMENT.

 

 

HARARE 00000239 002 OF 002

 

 

DHANANI

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