Did Mutasa cost Gula-Ndebele his job?

Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front secretary for Administration Didymus Mutasa might have cost former Attorney-General Sobusa Gula-Ndebele his job when he was Minister of State Security. Gula-Ndebele tried to prosecute Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa for allegedly trying to dissuade witnesses from testifying in an assault case against Mutasa.

According to briefing notes compiled by the United States embassy in Harare and released by Wikileaks Gula-Ndebele “who was associated with the Mujuru faction and (was) considered an honest prosecutor” was arrested on allegations of abuse of office leading to speculation that this could have been a way of Chinamasa and Mutasa getting back at him.

Gula-Ndebele allegedly assured former NMBZ Holdings deputy managing director James Mushore, who had fled Zimbabwe in 2004 while facing charges of externalising foreign currency, that he would not be prosecuted if he returned to the country.

Mushore was arrested on his return. There have been reports that Mushore is related to Mujuru.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 07HARARE1011, Zim Notes November 9, 2007

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

07HARARE1011

2007-11-09 10:21

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO2705

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #1011/01 3131021

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 091021Z NOV 07

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2116

RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1767

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1649

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1780

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0397

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1057

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1406

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1837

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4265

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0903

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 001011

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S.HILL

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B.PITTMAN

TREASURY FOR J.RALYEA AND T.RAND

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 November 9, 2007

 

1. The Embassy Harare Political/Economic Section began producing

Zim Notes in July, 2007 to present a perspective on current events

in Zimbabwe. Suggestions are always welcome. If you would like to

receive Zim Notes by email, as well, please contact Frances Chisholm

at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Distribution is restricted to U.S.

government employees.

 

2. Parallel exchange rate: ZW$1.5million:US$1

Official exchange rate: ZW$30,000:US$1

 

Black market sugar price Z$/2kg vs. controlled price of

Z$82,000/2kg

Cooking oil Z$ /2 liters vs. controlled price of Z$250,000/750 ml

 

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

On the Political/Social Front

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

Turmoil in the MDC - Controversy over the MDC's dissolution of its

Women's Assembly continues to roil. President Morgan Tsvangirai

claims the decision was made because of mismanagement by Assembly

chair Lucia Matibenga. Matibenga and her allies within the party

counter that the action was without foundation and

extra-constitutional, and is an example of Tsvangirai's dictatorial

behavior. Civil society women's groups have not surprisingly lined

up to support Matibenga. Regardless of which side is right, the MDC

has at least been temporarily weakened at a time it should be

concentrating on preparing for next year's elections. See Harare

1004.

 

Mobile Voter Registration Still Unsatisfactory - The Zimbabwe

Electoral Support Network (ZESN) has concluded that the same

problems that afflicted a mobile registration exercise between June

and August are still present in a mobile registration drive that

began on October 26 and will continue until November 15. Due to a

lack of publicity, people are unaware of when and where they can

register. Political parties have not been involved in creating

awareness of the registration opportunity. For logistical reason,

people have been unable to acquire IDs necessary for registration.

On the positive side, ZESN reported that the registration process

has been peaceful and there has been an absence of intimidation.

 

Attorney General Arrested - Attorney General Sobusa Gula Ndebele was

arrested on allegations of abuse of office on Tuesday. Ndebele

allegedly assured former NMBZ Holdings deputy managing director

James Mushore, who fled Zimbabwe in 2004 while facing charges of

externalizing foreign currency, that he would not be prosecuted if

he returned to the country. Mushore did in fact return in September

and is still in custody after being arrested. Ndebele, who is

associated with the Mujuru faction and is considered an honest

prosecutor, last year unsuccessfully tried to prosecute his boss,

Justice Minister Patrick Chinimasa, for obstruction of justice for

allegedly trying to dissuade witnesses from testifying in an assault

trial against Security Minister Didymus Mutasa.

 

WOZA continues with its campaign - calling for an end to political

violence - Women of Zimbabwe Arise staged another peaceful

demonstration in Harare on November 6, to protest the "continued

harassment of and violence against human rights activists at the

hands of the Zimbabwe Republic Police." More than 250 members

reportedly took part in this demonstration at Parliament and were

arrested by the police riot squad who beat a number of women with

baton sticks. 98 members were detained for 7 hours at Harare Central

before being released. Unusually, the police asked the WOZA members

to state their grievances and to notify the police in advance of any

future protests.

 

Magistrates and Prosecutor's strike cripples the judicial sector -

The National Association of Magistrate's called for a nationwide

strike last week giving the GOZ an ultimatum of Friday November 2,

 

HARARE 00001011 002 OF 003

 

 

to meet its wage demands - or face labor action from the group. By

Monday November 5, most junior magistrates at the local and

provincial level had heeded the call in Harare and Mutare and

stopped going to work. The lowest paid magistrate earns about $ 20

million a month, (US$16 on the parallel market). The strike will

further damage a judicial system already crippled by a lack of

resources.

 

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

On the Economic and Business front

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

"Mother of all Seasons" - But Is There Enough Seed*? - The local

production of seed for this planting season is arguably well below

the national requirement. The local supply of seed maize has

historically been 35,000 metric tons - sufficient to plant for 1.4

million hectares. However, the GOZ is aiming to put 2 million

hectares under maize production this season, pushing the seed

requirement to 50,000 metric tons, according to the seed houses.

With regard to small grains, the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) and

the Agriculture Coordination Working Group under FAO leadership

maintain that sorghum is in very short supply with stocks estimated

at 1,400 metric tons against a national requirement of 4,000 metric

tons. Moreover, the amount of soy bean seed available is just 8,400

metric tons, which is sufficient to plant an area of about 84,000

hectares, yet the GOZ is targeting 120,000 hectares this season. The

CFU also estimates that ground nut seed is in short supply and there

is no sunflower seed at all in the country. Whether Zimbabwe will be

able to produce the oil seed needed to alleviate the acute cooking

oil shortage depends primarily on the ability to import seed. In

view of the perennial foreign currency shortages, Reserve Bank

Governor Goon's "mother of all agricultural seasons" could be a

mother of all disappointments. Only cotton and tobacco seed are said

to be in adequate supply for the targeted land area this summer.

 

National Social Security Authority (NSSA) To Raise Pension Payouts -

How Far Will The Money Go? - In oral evidence presented to the

Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labor and

Social Welfare, NSSA acting Director of Finance and Investment James

Matiza announced that with effect from 2008 NSSA will increase its

monthly minimum pension payouts from Z$250,000 (US$0.21 on the

parallel market) to Z$10,000,000 (US$8.33), with the highest paid

pensioner receiving Z$23 million (US$19.17), up from Z$350,000

(US$0.29). While the increases appear high in nominal terms, by the

time they reach the pensioners' purses, hyperinflation will likely

have eroded it all away.

 

Private Sector Estimates of Inflation Surge - See Harare 1003 for an

overview of the latest private sector estimates of inflation - deep

in 5-digit territory.

 

Prices Continue To Soar on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) -

Activity on the ZSE has been high in recent months with almost all

counters registering significant price increases. Both the

industrial and mining indices have risen to dizzying heights, thanks

to a number of factors. The introduction of the concessionary

BACOSSI facility has depressed interest rates on the money market

resulting in investors opting for the stock market. In addition,

numerous companies have been churning out impressive interim and

end-of-year results in nominal terms at least, although in real

terms, many of them have registered significant declines. The mining

index has also benefited from the upswing in prices of most metals,

including gold, platinum and chrome, even though Zimbabwe on the

whole has hardly benefited due to its poor investment climate.

 

Reserve Bank Governor Gono Shelves Plans To Introduce New Currency -

Gono told the state-controlled Sunday Mail that a new currency would

not be launched any time soon. See "Quote of the Week" below for

more color. We assume he meant no new bearer cheques either any

time soon. How long Gono can go without introducing new notes to

 

HARARE 00001011 003 OF 003

 

 

help business cope with the hyperinflation accounting problem of

billions, trillions and quadrillions is unclear.

 

 

DHANANI

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