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Tsvangirai said Makoni was a coward

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai told an officer of the British High Commission that Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front member Simba Makoni was a coward when he accepted the post of Minister of Finance.

Tsvangirai said if Makoni thought that this was a way to advance his political career, he was wrong.

Tsvangirai was disappointed because at one point it had appeared probable that Makoni might join the MDC, adding to the new party’s intellectual heft and prestige.

Mugabe on the other hand had scored a major political victory because by appointing Makoni to such a senior post this showed that he was a forgiving person who was lifting the “little man” that once insulted him. But Makoni would be a “made man” dependent on the one who had made him- Mugabe.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 00HARARE4039, WILL NEW FINANCE MINISTER BE ABLE TO STAND UP

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Reference ID 

Created 

Released 

Classification 

Origin 

00HARARE4039

2000-07-21 10:02

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
 
211002Z Jul 00
 
 
                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4484
 
PAGE 01       HARARE 04039 01 OF 03 210957Z 
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                 ------------------70E1D8 210958Z /38   
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6665
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
DEPTTREAS WASHDC
AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 
AMEMBASSY GABORONE 
AMEMBASSY LILONGWE 
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA 
AMEMBASSY MAPUTO 
AMEMBASSY MASERU 
AMEMBASSY MBABANE 
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 
USDOC WASHDC
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
                       CONFIDENTIAL   
 
PAGE 02       HARARE 04039 01 OF 03 210957Z 
AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 004039 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH 
 
LONDON FOR PFLAUMER 
 
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS 
 
USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS 
 
PASS USAID FOR R. MCALL AND AFR/SA T. PARK 
 
PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/20/2010 
TAGS: PGOV PINR ECON ZI
SUBJECT: WILL NEW FINANCE MINISTER BE ABLE TO STAND UP 
TO MUGABE? 
 
REF: HARARE 3967 
 
CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D'AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING FOR 
REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D). 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY: LESS THAN A WEEK AFTER THE APPOINTMENT 
WAS ANNOUNCED, ALL EYES ARE ON FINANCE MINISTER SIMBA 
MAKONI, A TALENTED TECHNOCRAT WHO MANY BELIEVE IS THE 
CABINET'S MOST IMPORTANT MINISTER, WHILE INDUSTRY AND 
INTERNATIONAL TRADE MINISTER NKOSANA MOYO ARGUABLY HAS 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE 04039 01 OF 03 210957Z 
THE NUMBER TWO SPOT. THE CHOICE OF MAKONI SURPRISED 
MANY, GIVEN THE ROCKY RELATIONSHIP HE HAS HAD WITH THE 
PRESIDENT AND RECENT INDICATIONS THAT MACON MIGHT JOIN 
THE OPPOSITION MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC).  WE 
THINK THAT THE IDEOLOGICALLY UNRECONSTRUCTED MUGABE WILL 
NOT YIELD ANY POWER AND WILL BE UNABLE TO RESIST 
MEDDLING IN MAKONI'S BRIEF. IF THAT TURNS OUT TO BE THE 
CASE, MAKONI MAY NOT LAST LONG IN THE JOB AND HIS MOST 
POWERFUL WEAPON WOULD BE A CRITICALLY WORDED RESIGNATION 
LETTER. MUGABE MAY ATTEMPT TO CO-OPT HIS NEW FINANCE 
MINISTER BY ELEVATING HIM TO ZANU-PF'S POLITBURO, A MOVE 
THAT SURELY WILL BE RESISTED BY INSIDERS LIKE EMMERSON 
MNANGAGWA AND SYDNEY SEKERAMAYI. ZANU-PF OFFICIALS ARE 
IN CAMPAIGN MODE FOR THE 2002 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, AND 
IT IS NOT REALISTIC TO EXPECT ENLIGHTENED BEHAVIOR FROM 
THEM. THE BEST THAT CAN BE SAID IS THAT MAKONI IS 
LIKELY TO FIGHT HARD TO PUT IN PLACE SOUND ECONOMIC 
POLICIES, BUT WILL ONLY WIN SOME OF THEM. END SUMMARY. 
 
2. (C) WHEN PRESIDENT MUGABE APPOINTED HIS NEW CABINET, 
IT WAS WIDELY AGREED THAT THE BEST NEWS WAS THE 
APPOINTMENT OF DR. SIMBARASHE "SIMBA" HERBERT STANLEY 
MAKONI AS MINISTER OF FINANCE. THE CHOICE WAS SOMETHING 
OF A SURPRISE, GIVEN PAST TENSIONS BETWEEN THE TWO MEN. 
ONCE A RISING STAR IN CABINET AS ENERGY MINISTER, 
MAKONI, LATER AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE STATE-OWNED 
NEWSPAPER CORPORATION, ANGERED MUGABE AFTER TRYING TO 
SUSPEND "SUNDAY MAIL" EDITOR CHARLES CHIKEREMA, A ZANU- 
PF HEAVYWEIGHT. THE ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT ARRANGED FOR 
POLITICALLY CENTRIST MAKONI TO BE PUSHED OUT OF HIS 
POSITION AS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04       HARARE 04039 01 OF 03 210957Z 
DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY, A POSITION HE HELD FROM 1984 TO 
1993. MAKONI IS SEEN AS THE MOST IMPORTANT MINISTER IN 
THE NEW CABINET, AND, LESS THAN A WEEK AFTER MAKONI'S 
APPOINTMENT, ALL EYES ARE ON HIM. MINISTER OF INDUSTRY 
AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE NKOSANA MOYO, WHO UNTIL LAST 
WEEK DID NOT HAVE A ZANU-PF PARTY CARD, IS IN THE SAME 
LEAGUE AND HAS RECEIVED ALMOST AS MUCH ATTENTION. 
 
3. (C) THERE ARE TWO STORIES CIRCULATING IN HARARE ON 
THE APPOINTMENT OF THE CAPABLE SIMBA MAKONI AS MINISTER 
OF FINANCE. THE FIRST IS THAT PRESIDENT MUGABE ASKED 
VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH MSIKA TO INFORM MAKONI OF HIS 
DECISION. WHEN THE VICE PRESIDENT DID SO, THE MINISTER 
DESIGNATE ASKED FOR AN AUDIENCE WITH MUGABE TO DISCUSS 
HOW HE WOULD HANDLE THE PORTFOLIO. MSIKA TOOK THE 
MESSAGE BACK, AND IN TYPICAL MUGABE FASHION NO AUDIENCE 
TOOK PLACE AND THE PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT WAS MADE. IN THE 
SECOND VERSION, MAKONI ACTUALLY MET WITH MUGABE FOR 
THREE HOURS DURING WHICH TIME HE SPELLED OUT THE 
CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH HE WOULD ACCEPT THE APPOINTMENT. 
DEPENDING ON WHICH VERSION YOU BELIEVE, EITHER MUGABE OR 
MAKONI HAS ALREADY WON THE FIRST OF WHAT ARE LIKELY TO 
BE MANY BATTLES. 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4494 
 
PAGE 01       HARARE 04039 02 OF 03 210957Z 
ACTION AF-00 
 
INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CEA-01   CIAE-00 SMEC-00 
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     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /012W 
                 ------------------70E1F0 210959Z /38 
P 211002Z JUL 00 
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6666 
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY 
DEPTTREAS WASHDC 
AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 
AMEMBASSY GABORONE 
AMEMBASSY LILONGWE 
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA 
AMEMBASSY MAPUTO 
AMEMBASSY MASERU 
AMEMBASSY MBABANE 
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 
USDOC WASHDC 
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02       HARARE 04039 02 OF 03 210957Z 
AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK 
 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 004039 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH 
 
LONDON FOR PFLAUMER 
 
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS 
 
USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS 
 
PASS USAID FOR R. MCALL AND AFR/SA T. PARK 
 
PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/20/2010 
TAGS: PGOV PINR ECON ZI
SUBJECT: WILL NEW FINANCE MINISTER BE ABLE TO STAND UP 
TO MUGABE? 
 
4. (C) SOME CRITICS, FOR EXAMPLE MDC PRESIDENT MORGAN 
TSVANGIRAI, BELIEVE THAT MAKONI'S ACCEPTANCE OF THE 
 
SIPDIS 
APPOINTMENT WAS IN ITSELF A CAPITULATION TO MUGABE. IT 
CAUGHT THE OPPOSITION LEADER BY SURPRISE BECAUSE AT ONE 
POINT IT APPEARED PROBABLE THAT MAKONI MIGHT JOIN THE 
MDC, ADDING TO THE NEW PARTY'S INTELLECTUAL HEFT AND 
PRESTIGE. TSVANGIRAI TOLD AN OFFICER OF THE BRITISH 
HIGH COMMISSION HERE THAT HE THOUGHT MAKONI WAS A 
"COWARD," AND THAT IF HE THOUGHT THAT WAS THE WAY TO 
ADVANCE HIS POLITICAL CAREER, HE WAS WRONG. 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03       HARARE 04039 02 OF 03 210957Z 
NEVERTHELESS, MAKONI HAS A REPUTATION FOR INDEPENDENT 
THINKING, AND IF MUGABE DOES WISH TO CO-OPT HIM, 
ELEVATING HIM TO THE POLITBURO OF ZANU-PF IS PROBABLY 
THE BEST WAY TO DO SO. THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY LIKELY 
WILL APPLAUD THE MOVE, AS IT WILL GIVE MAKONI THE 
POLITICAL CLOUT TO PURSUE HIS POLICIES. SIMILARLY, IT 
MAY SHOW THE POPULATION THAT MUGABE IS FORGIVING, IN THE 
TRADITION OF AFRICAN CHIEFS, OF A "LITTLE MAN" WHO ONCE 
INSULTED HIM. FINALLY, MAKONI WOULD BE A "MADE MAN," 
DEPENDENT ON THE ONE WHO MADE HIM -- MUGABE. 
 
5. (C) TSVANGIRAI'S PERSONAL DISAPPOINTMENT 
NOTWITHSTANDING, MANY OBSERVERS HERE SEE MAKONI AND MOYO 
OPERATING FROM A POSITION OF STRENGTH. THEY ARGUE THAT 
IT IS UNLIKELY THAT THE TWO MEN WOULD HAVE ACCEPTED 
THEIR POSITIONS IF IT WAS CLEAR FROM THE OUTSET THAT 
THEIR HANDS WOULD BE COMPLETELY TIED. FURTHERMORE, IF 
THE PRESIDENT HAD SIMPLY WANTED A ZANU-PF PARTY HACK, HE 
WOULD HAVE APPOINTED ONE. IN FACT, WE UNDERSTAND THE 
PRESIDENT MADE THE APPOINTMENT AT THE PRODDING OF SOME 
MEMBERS OF HIS ENTOURAGE, WHO SEE ADDRESSING THE 
COUNTRY'S ECONOMIC ILLS AS THE KEY TO ZANU-PF'S (AS WELL 
AS THEIR) OWN SURVIVAL. THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF IS 
PROBABLY NOT CONVINCED THAT THE ECONOMY IS THE MOST 
PRESSING ISSUE ON HIS AGENDA, BUT HE LIKES TO SURPRISE 
AND CHALLENGE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM, AND THUS AGREED TO 
MAKE THE APPOINTMENT. IF THE TWO MINISTERS DO FIND 
THEMSELVES STYMIED BY MUGABE, THEIR MOST POWERFUL WEAPON 
AT THE MOMENT WOULD BE A CRITICALLY WORDED LETTER OF 
RESIGNATION, SHOULD PRESIDENTIAL INTERFERENCE IN THEIR 
PORTFOLIO MAKE THEIR POSITION UNTENABLE. 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04       HARARE 04039 02 OF 03 210957Z 
 
6. (C) EVEN IF MUGABE DOES NOT ACT DIRECTLY TO THWART 
MAKONI, THE NEW FINANCE MINISTER STILL FACES A DIFFICULT 
TASK. WHILE THE OUTCOME OF THE JUNE 24-25 PARLIAMENTARY 
ELECTION WAS THE BEST POSSIBLE FOR MINIMIZING THE 
POTENTIAL FOR WIDESPREAD VIOLENCE, AND THE NATURE OF THE 
DOMESTIC DEBATE IS SHIFTING TOWARD ECONOMICS, CURRENT 
CONDITIONS MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO REACH DECISIONS ON THE 
ECONOMY. WHILE MAKONI IS AN ABLE TECHNOCRAT, HE LACKS 
THE POLITICAL BASE OR CLOUT TO ENFORCE THE TOUGH 
ECONOMIC DECISIONS THAT HAVE TO BE MADE. HE ENJOYS THE 
SUPPORT AND RESPECT OF THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, BUT 
GETTING TOO CLOSE TO IT WOULD RAISE THE PRESIDENT'S 
SUSPICIONS, AS MUGABE PERCEIVES IT AS THE ENEMY. IN 
ADDITION, THE BOSSY AND IDEOLOGICALLY UNRECONSTRUCTED 
MUGABE MAY FIND IT DIFFICULT TO RESIST MEDDLING WITH 
MAKONI'S PORTFOLIO. MEMBERS OF THE ZANU-PF INNER 
CIRCLE, SUCH AS EMMERSON MNANGAGWA AND SYDNEY 
SEKERAMAYI, WOULD SEE MAKONI'S SUDDEN RISE INTO THE 
POLITBURO AS A THREAT TO THEIR INTERESTS AND WOULD DO 
EVERYTHING THEY COULD TO BLOCK IT. 
 
7. (C) FURTHERMORE, ZIMBABWE'S ECONOMIC RECOVERY 
DEPENDS ON A NUMBER OF FACTORS OUTSIDE MAKONI'S CONTROL, 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4485 
 
PAGE 01       HARARE 04039 03 OF 03 210958Z 
ACTION AF-00 
 
INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CEA-01   CIAE-00 SMEC-00 
     CTME-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 
     EB-00   EUR-00   EXIM-01 E-00     FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00 
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     L-00     VCE-00  AC-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01 
     PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SSO-00 
     STR-00   USIE-00 R-00     PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00 
     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /012W 
                 ------------------70E203 210958Z /38 
P 211002Z JUL 00 
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6667 
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY 
DEPTTREAS WASHDC 
AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 
AMEMBASSY GABORONE 
AMEMBASSY LILONGWE 
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA 
AMEMBASSY MAPUTO 
AMEMBASSY MASERU 
AMEMBASSY MBABANE 
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 
USDOC WASHDC 
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02       HARARE 04039 03 OF 03 210958Z 
AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK 
 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 004039 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH 
 
LONDON FOR PFLAUMER 
 
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS 
 
USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS 
 
PASS USAID FOR R. MCALL AND AFR/SA T. PARK 
 
PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/20/2010 
TAGS: PGOV PINR ECON ZI
SUBJECT: WILL NEW FINANCE MINISTER BE ABLE TO STAND UP 
TO MUGABE? 
 
PRIMARILY THE LAND ISSUE, WHICH MUST BE RESOLVED IF 
ZIMBABWE IS TO WIN THE CONFIDENCE OF INVESTORS AND THE 
INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL ORGANIZATIONS. ZANU-PF 
OFFICIALS ARE IN CAMPAIGN MODE FOR THE 2002 PRESIDENTIAL 
ELECTION AND ARE UNLIKELY TO BEHAVE DIFFERENTLY THAN 
THEY HAVE SO FAR. 
 
8. (C) THE PRESIDENT WILL ULTIMATELY CALL THE SHOTS ON 
THE PORTFOLIOS OF BOTH MAKONI AND MOYO. WE DOUBT THAT 
THEY WILL LAST IN OFFICE, ONCE THEY REALIZE THEY ARE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03       HARARE 04039 03 OF 03 210958Z 
LITTLE MORE THAN WINDOW DRESSING. THEY HAVE THE 
OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEROES, UNLESS THEY HAVE BEEN 
COMPLETELY BOUGHT OFF. THE BEST THAT CAN BE SAID IS 
THAT MAKONI IS LIKELY TO FIGHT HARD TO PUT IN PLACE 
SOUND POLICIES BUT WILL ONLY WIN SOME OF THEM. 
 
IRVING 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 

(51 VIEWS)

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