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Tsvangirai said Gono transferred $100 million into his personal account

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told United States ambassador James McGee and British ambassador Andrew Pocock on 10 April 2009 that the Movement for Democratic Change had damning information that the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Gideon Gono had transferred US$100 million from the central bank into a personal account.

He also said Gono’s deputy (advisor) Munyaradzi Kereke had transferred US$75 million.

Tsvangirai had requested the meeting with the two ambassadors to brief them on developments in the inclusive government.

Gono and Tsvangirai come from the same village and he even described Gono to the ambassadors as his “home boy”.

Gono was one of the major issues of conflict between the MDC and ZANU-PF as the MDC wanted him fired saying his reappointment at the end of 2008 was not in compliance with the Global Political Agreement that the parties signed on 15 September 2008.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09HARARE303, TSVANGIRAI UPDATES U.S. AND UK AMBASSADORS

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09HARARE303

2009-04-14 12:12

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO9202

OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0303/01 1041212

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 141212Z APR 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4364

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2769

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2891

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1336

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2156

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2521

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2939

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5380

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2058

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000303

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B.WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

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

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR MICHELLE GAVIN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/14/2019

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: TSVANGIRAI UPDATES U.S. AND UK AMBASSADORS

 

Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4 (d)

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) In an April 10 meeting, Prime Minister Morgan

Tsvangirai acknowledged the problematic nature of recent farm

invasions and the continuing presence of Reserve Bank of

Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Gideon Gono. He noted that his

personal situation had removed him from the fray for three

weeks. He planned to meet with Zimbabwean President Mugabe

to attempt to resolve these issues. Tsvangirai commented

that the Victoria Falls ministerial retreat had been a

success; 100-day plans for different sectors had been

formulated, and he planned to travel throughout Zimbabwe and

internationally to communicate progress of the new

government. He believed that the ZANU-PF patronage machine

had collapsed and that ZANU-PF ministers were beginning to

realize that the transitional process was irreversible.

Resources were still a problem; bumping up civil service

allowances from US$100 to US$150 would go a long way toward

weakening ZANU-PF. Finally, Tsvangirai believed Emmerson

Mnangagwa was targeting him and others and was a primary

threat to the new government. END SUMMARY.

 

———————————————

Farm Invasions, Gono, and Political Detainees

———————————————

 

2. (C) Tsvangirai requested the meeting with Ambassador and

UK Ambassador Andrew Pocock to review the progress of the new

government. He noted he had been away from work for the

better part of three weeks, had not seen Mugabe, and

therefore had not been able to deal with outstanding issues

including recent farm invasions and the status of Gono. The

Ambassador remarked that the farm invasions and Gono were

overshadowing progress of the government and were leaving a

negative impression of the new government and its ability to

deal with problems in Washington. Failure to deal with them

would hamper reengagement. Tsvangirai understood and said he

would discuss this directly with Mugabe.

 

3. (C) The Joint Montoring and Implementation Committee

(JOMIC) had researched the farm invasions, according to

Tsvangirai. Since farms of MDC supporters had almost all

already been seized, the latest invasions were directed at

farms covered by Bilateral Protection and Promotion

Agreements (BIPPAs) or those occupied by whites with

political connections. Tsvangirai concluded that they were

spearheaded by ZANU-PF elements intent on subverting the new

government.

 

4. (C) Tsvangirai averred that the MDC had damning

information that Gono had transferred US$100 million from the

RBZ into a personal account and that his deputy, Munyaradzi

Kereke, had transferred US$75 million. The MDC was intent on

forcing Gono out of the RBZ. Gono was a “home boy” of

Tsvangirai from the same village and had been trying to see

Tsvangirai for some time. Tsvangirai said he now intended to

meet with Gono and tell him that an immediate resignation

Qmeet with Gono and tell him that an immediate resignation

might forestall criminal prosecution.

 

5. (C) On the issue of political detainees, Tsvangirai said

the last three political detainees had been granted bail but,

in violation of the Inter-Party Political Agreement, the

State had appealed, resulting in continuing detention until

the appeal was heard in mid-April. In addition to Mugabe,

Tsvangirai said he would raise this issue with Minister of

Justice Patrick Chinamasa.

 

 

HARARE 00000303 002 OF 003

 

 

———————–

Victoria Falls Retreat

———————-

 

6. (C) The retreat had been a success, according to

Tsvangirai. All ministers, with the exception of hard-liners

Emmerson Mnangagwa, Didymus Mutasa, and Joseph Made (who

claimed to be ill), attended. “Bonding” had occurred between

ZANU-PF and MDC ministers. A 100-day plan had been produced

by clusters of related ministries. After the adoption of the

plan by Cabinet, Tsvangirai said he would travel throughout

Zimbabwe to communicate it to people in cities and villages.

He would then travel internationally to discuss the progress

of the government and its needs. Tsvangirai concluded that,

although a transitional process would never be perfect, the

ZANU-PF patronage machinery had collapsed and most ZANU-PF

ministers now realized the transitional process was

irreversible.

 

————————-

Resources Still a Concern

————————-

 

7. (C) Tsvangirai said there was growing dissatisfaction

with US$100 allowances for civil servants. (NOTE: Teachers

are threatening to strike in May. END NOTE.) An adjustment

to perhaps US$150 could help resolve this. Failure to make

an adjustment would play into the hands of ZANU-PF, which was

looking for avenues to criticize the MDC.

 

————————

Security Still a Concern

————————

 

8. (C) Without being specific as to the nature of the

threat, Tsvangirai said there were rumors that he, Tendai

Biti, Elton Mangoma, and Roy Bennett were being targeted by

Emmerson Mnangagwa. Both ambassadors suggested that after

consultation with their respective capitals, a message could

be passed to Mnangagwa through intermediaries that he would

be held personally responsible should anything happen to

these MDC officials.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

9. (C) The Herald announced in its Friday edition that the

Information Communication Technology ministry headed by

Nelson Chamisa had been stripped of postal and

telecommunications portfolios which were transferred to the

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure headed by

ZANU-PF’s Nicholas Goche. Tsvangirai was apparently unaware

of this when he talked with us. He subsequently told the

press the action was “illegal.” This is another issue for

him to raise with Mugabe — and another example of the lack

of good will of ZANU-PF, both in the action it took and the

fact it did not alert Tsvangirai of what it intended to do.

 

10. (C) While Tsvangirai at times appears over-optimistic,

he is also quick to point out that this is a transitional

process. The realist in him pointed out that right after the

“bonding” experience of Victoria Falls, Mugabe endorsed the

continuing farm invasions. As we have noted, this is not a

government of national unity but a fitful marriage of

convenience. We also bear in mind that the government is

only two-months old, and Tsvangirai has been away for three

Qonly two-months old, and Tsvangirai has been away for three

weeks of that time. The next month to two months should give

us a better indication of what can and cannot be

accomplished. END COMMENT.

 

 

HARARE 00000303 003 OF 003

 

 

MCGEE

(21 VIEWS)

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