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Tsvangirai on returning to Zimbabwe

Movement for Democratic Change leader and Prime Minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai who had been living in Botswana said he would be returning home in January 2009 and meet with President Robert Mugabe.

Tsvangirai said that the resolution of outstanding issues between ZANU-PF and the MDC was a condition for MDC passage of Amendment 19 and entry into a government with ZANU-PF.

The issues included:

  • equitable allocation of ministries,
  • allocation of half of the 10 governorship positions to MDC,
  • joint control of the national security council,
  • equitable allocation of ambassadors and permanent secretaries,
  • rescission of the appointments of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana,
  • and an end to political abductions and a full accounting of those abducted.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09HARARE47, ZIM NOTES 01-16-2009

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

09HARARE47

2009-01-20 07:23

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO0323

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0047/01 0200723

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 200723Z JAN 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3946

RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 2170

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2564

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2686

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1177

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1955

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2310

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2735

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5163

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1850

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000047

 

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 ROBERT TELCHIN

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O.12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ECON ZI

 

SUBJECT: ZIM NOTES 01-16-2009

 

———–

1. SUMMARY

———–

 

Topics of the week:

 

– Tsvangirai to Return, Meet Mugabe…

– Conviction Threatens to Expel MDC MP from Parliament…

– Still no Resolution on Court Cases…

– SADC Tribunal Wrong Says Zimbabwean Supreme Court Justice…

– Schools Opening or Not?

– New Report on Zim Crisis…

– Harare’s Water Woes Continue…

– Reserve Bank Introduces New Notes…

– Harare Declared World’s Priciest City for Foreigners…

– Health Workers Allowed To Open FCAs…

– Dollarization Widens…

– World Bank Mission Reports on Private Sector…

 

———————————

2. Price Movements-Exchange Rate

and Selected products

———————————

 

Parallel rate for cash shot up to Z$400 billion:US$1

Check rate rose to Z$35 quadrillion:US$1 against inter-bank average

of Z$15.33 million:US$1

Bread on the parallel market went up to Z$400 billion

Sugar shot up to Z$800 billion/2kg

Petrol and diesel rose to Z$480 billion/liter

 

—————————–

On the Political/Social Front

—————————–

 

3. Tsvangirai to Return, Meet Mugabe… MDC leader Morgan

Tsvangirai told a press conference in Johannesburg on Thursday that

he will return to Harare this weekend, chair a meeting of the MDC

National Executive, and meet with Zimbabwean president Mugabe.

Tsvangirai made clear that resolution of outstanding issues between

ZANU-PF and the MDC was a condition for MDC passage of Amendment 19

and entry into a government with ZANU-PF. These issues include

equitable allocation of ministries, allocation of half of the 10

governorship postions to MDC, joint control of the national security

council, equitable allocation of ambassadors and permanent

secretaries, rescission of the appointments of Reserve Bank of

Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana,

and an end to political abduction and a full accounting of those

abducted. At this point, it is unlikely ZANU-PF will accede to the

MDC’s demands. See Harare 38.

 

4. Conviction Threatens to Expel MDC MP from Parliament… A

Zimbabwean magistrate convicted an MDC-T MP of forging four

signatures nominating her to contest the Chimanimani West

constituency seat in last March’s parliamentary elections. Lynette

Karenyi won the seat by beating out a ZANU-PF candidate, but she now

faces expulsion according to portions of the Zimbabwe Electoral Act

cited by the magistrate. The MDC-T plans to appeal the ruling in an

effort to maintain its slim plurality in the closely-contested House

of Assembly. Speaker of the House Lovemore Moyo stated Karenyi would

remain in her seat, as Parliament would determine her eligibility to

sit. Separately, on January 14 Zimbabwean police detained Meki

Makuyana, the MDC MP for Chipinge South in Manicaland. No formal

charges have yet been brought against Makuyana. See Harare 40.

 

5. Still no Resolution on Court Cases… Of the 18 abductees who

first appeared in court on Christmas Eve, all except two-year-old

Nigel Mutemagau remain in custody, pending numerous court hearings

 

HARARE 00000047 002 OF 003

 

 

in which the State continues to stall. On January 15, the State

admitted three other abduction victims – Lloyd Tarumbwa, Terry

Musona and Fanny Tembo – are in “police protective custody.”

Abductee Bothwell Pasipamire (never brought to court) escaped to

South Africa this week and gave details of his detention, including

torture, at a press conference. Separately, the MDC mayor of Bindura

was charged this week with making death threats against a police

officer. Sources tell us the mayor and two others are under

investigation for the alleged assassination of Elliot Manyika and

alleged assassination attempt of Air Marshall Perence Shiri.

 

6. SADC Tribunal Wrong Says Zimbabwean Supreme Court Justice… In

a state of the judiciary speech in Bulawayo, Deputy Chief Justice

Luke Malaba declared that the SADC Tribunal lacked jurisdiction in

its November 2008 ruling that 77 white farmers had been

unconstitutionally and unlawfully dispossessed of their farms.

Malaba said that the plaintiffs had not exhausted all legal options

available in Zimbabwe, and therefore should not have had their case

heard before the Tribunal in Windhoek. The SADC Tribunal considered

this point in its ruling, noting that the farmers had filed a

petition with the Zimbabwe Supreme Court in March 2007 and no ruling

had been made.

 

7. Schools Opening or Not? A great deal of uncertainty surrounds

when both government and private schools will open for the new term.

Government schools have been ordered to open on January 27, or two

weeks later than anticipated because of delays in grading last

year’s exams (exam markers are demanding payment in forex) and

uncertainty as to whether the schools will be authorized to accept

school fees in forex. Private schools, which are collecting school

fees in forex and which had planned on opening either this week or

next week, have been told to follow suit, but according to Embassy

sources, a number of them appear intent on bucking the order.

 

8. New Report on Zim Crisis… Physicians for Human Rights released

a damning and thorough report this week on the collapse of the

health care system. See: http://physiciansforhumanrights.org

/library/report-2009-01-13.html

 

———————————-

On the Economic and Business Front

———————————-

 

9. Harare’s Water Woes Continue… Post has prepared an assessment

of the degradation of Harare’s water infrastructure that has

resulted in water stoppages or intermittent supplies to nearly all

of Harare. Mismanagement by water parastatal ZINWA, lack of

investment, and the departure of many skilled employees are all to

blame for the loss of delivery capacity that is fueling the ongoing

cholera crisis. See Harare 39.

 

10. Reserve Bank Introduces New Notes… The Reserve Bank of

Zimbabwe (RBZ) introduced $100 trillion (US$ 250), $50 trillion (US$

125), $20 trillion (US$ 50), and $10 trillion (US$ 25) notes to go

into circulation today starting with the $10 trillion note. Last

week, the RBZ introduced Z$20 billion and Z$50 billion–effective as

of January 12, 2009–to coincide with an increase in the monthly

cash withdrawal limit from Z$10 billion to a full month’s pay with

proof of a January pay slip. The change has resulted in a slow-down

in banking business, further weakening most banks.

 

11. Harare Declared World’s Priciest City for Foreigners… A

London-based human resources organization designated Harare as the

most expensive city in the world for foreigners based on hard

currency prices of a standardized basket of goods. The survey

compared 125 consumer goods and services from 270 different

locations. Angola’s capital Luanda ranked second in the survey,

followed by Tokyo.

 

HARARE 00000047 003 OF 003

 

 

 

12. Health Workers Allowed To Open FCAs… Health workers who are

authorized to earn foreign currency may now open foreign currency

accounts (FCAs) with local banks. The measure is intended to stop

the exodus of skilled workers in the sector. The Ministry of Health

and Child Welfare said it has budgeted US$1.5 million for January

salaries, which are expected to range from US$50 for nurses to

US$850 for doctors, though health workers are demanding more.

 

13. Dollarization Widens… Zimbabwe’s state-owned fixed line

telephone operator TelOne has received authorization to bill clients

in foreign currency beginning in February, 2009. The charges, at

US10 cents per unit plus a fixed rental of US$20, should improve the

parastatal’s viability. Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply

Authority (ZESA) has expanded the list of clients billed in foreign

currency to include retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers that

are licensed to sell goods and services in foreign currency, as well

as NGOs, embassies, and foreign-funded international organizations.

 

 

14. World Bank Mission Reports on Private Sector… A World Bank

team visited Zimbabwe from December 9-13, 2008 to identify the

elements of a pre-reengagement work program in private and financial

sector development. The program will be financed by the Multi-Donor

Trust Fund. The team’s assessment by sector of the present

situation, short- and medium-term recovery priorities, and next

steps, is posted on our intranet site under the Political Economic

Documents: http://harare.state.gov/index

.cfm?fuseaction=public.display&id=

a99f72af-b335-4075-a9c7-e51ec133105b

 

—————–

Quote of the Week

—————–

 

15. At High Court hearings this week dealing with abductions of MDC

members and human rights activists, government legal counsel

referred to escaped MDC member Bothwell Pasipamire as “globetrotting

on an MDC budget.” Pasipamire had been abducted and tortured by

state agents, but managed to escape to South Africa.

 

 

MCGEE

 

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