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Tsvangirai’s childhood friend appointed ambassador

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s childhood friend Hebson Makuvise was appointed ambassador to Germany and told United States embassy officials that new governors would assume office in September.

Makuvise was one of four ambassadors to be appointed from the Tsvangirai faction of the Movement for Democratic Change. The Mutambara faction was given one ambassadorship, to Senegal.

Makuvise went into exile in London in 2001 and represented the MDC in the UK and Europe. He returned to Zimbabwe for the first time the day before Tsvangirai’s February 2009 inauguration and was interrogated at the airport for five hours before being released.

Ed: The inclusive government has not appointed provincial governors from the MDC up to now.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 09HARARE613, ZIM NOTES 07-24-2009

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09HARARE613

2009-07-27 07:09

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO8245

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0613/01 2080709

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 270709Z JUL 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4755

RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 2358

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2957

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 3074

RUEHRL/AMEMASSY BERLIN 1503

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2337

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2704

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 3122

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5565

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2252

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000613

 

AF/S FOR B. WALCH

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR

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

COMMERCE FOR ROBERT TELCHIN

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O.12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ECON ZI

 

SUBJECT: ZIM NOTES 07-24-2009

 

HARARE 00000613 001.2 OF 003

 

 

———–

1. SUMMARY

———–

 

Topics of the week:

 

– Launch of Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation, and

Integration…

– Senate Passes Biti’s Budget…

– MDC Gets Ambassadors…

– Zaka North MP Convicted…

– Civil Servants Get 50% Raise…

– Foul Play in Death of Manicaland MP?

– AG Tomana Refuses to Budge…

– Zimbabwe: Still Failing…

– Month-on-Month Inflation Rises in June…

– Demutualization of Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) Begins…

– Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) Repairs Dragline…

– Zimbabwe-South Africa Investment Agreement Soon…

 

—————————–

On the Political/Social Front

——————————

 

2. Launch of Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation, and

Integration… President Mugabe, Vice-President Tsvangirai, and

Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara, representing their respective

parties, addressed the initial public meeting of the Organ which was

called for by the Global Political Agreement. The launch is

intended to mark the beginning of three days dedicated to national

healing as well as a longer process. Civil society organizations

boycotted the event as they continue to call for an independent body

to investigate human rights abuses and reparations for victims.

 

3. Senate Passes Biti’s Budget… The Senate passed the Finance

and Appropriations Bills, giving legal credence to Finance Minister

Tendai Biti’s budget presented last week. The new bills eliminated

the duty on basic commodities, which will hopefully increase

production, and raised taxes on tobacco, beer, and wine. In

addition, the bills scrapped duties on imported newspapers,

telephones, computers, and printers. Econet wireless has already

announced reduced cellphone prices reflecting the elimination of the

import duty.

 

4. MDC Gets Ambassadors… Hebson Makuvise, who has been named as

one of five new MDC ambassadors, paid a courtesy call on the Charg

on Thursday. A childhood friend of Prime Minister Morgan

Tsvangirai, Makuvise went into exile in London in 2001 and

represented the MDC in the UK and with Europe. He returned to

Zimbabwe for the first time the day before Tsvangirai’s February

inauguration and was interrogated at the airport for five hours

before being released. Makuvise will be posted to Germany. MDC-T

will also have ambassadorships in Australia, Sudan, and Nigeria;

MDC-M’s sole ambassadorship will be in Senegal. Makuvise also

confirmed that new governors will assume office on September 1.

 

5. Zaka North MP Convicted… Ernest Mudavanhu (MDC-T) was

convicted on July 21 for abusing subsidized farming inputs. Harare

magistrate Olivia Mariga sentenced him to two years in prison, with

six months suspended for good behavior. Mudavanhu filed an appeal

on Thursday. He is the fifth MDC MP convicted of a crime in recent

months. This conviction is the latest in an apparent effort to pick

off MDC members of parliament in preparation for possible

Qoff MDC members of parliament in preparation for possible

by-elections that could increase ZANU-PF’s numbers in parliament.

 

6. Civil Servants Get 50% Raise… Public Service Minister Eliphas

Mukonoweshuro (MDC-T) announced this week that civil servants, who

had threatened to strike over low wages, will now receive monthly

pay averaging US$150, up from the US$100 they have been receiving

since February. They will also again receive health insurance.

 

HARARE 00000613 002.2 OF 003

 

 

Reactions are mixed, with many civil servants and union leaders

continuing to clamor for higher wages.

 

7. Foul Play in Death of Manicaland MP? ZANU-PF’s MP for Mutare

North, Charles Pemhenayi, was buried this week after dying in a car

accident on a rural road in mountainous Nyanga on July 17. After

initially asserting that foul play was not suspected, police now

report that a car sped away when police first arrived on the

accident scene to investigate the deadly crash. The MP’s wife and

son suffered minor injuries in a separate car accident on Tuesday on

their way to Pemhenayi’s funeral.

 

8. AG Tomana Refuses to Budge… In an interview this week,

Attorney General Johannes Tomana reasserted the legitimacy of his

appointment as the government’s top prosecutor. He made the

statements responding to criticism from Finance Minister Tendai Biti

and Minister of Information Communication Technology Nelson Chamisa

who accused Tomana of being “divisive” for refusing to release the

passport of MDC treasurer Roy Bennett. Tomana was appointed by

President Robert Mugabe without consultation with Morgan Tsvangirai

and Arthur Mutambara as called for by the Global Political

Agreement; his presence in the government continues to be a point of

contention with the MDC.

 

9. Zimbabwe: Still Failing… In its annual ranking of failed

states, Foreign Policy Magazine placed Zimbabwe second, just after

Somalia. Zim scored perfect 10s for Human Flight and Economic

Decline. The full list is at: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/

articles/2009/06/22/2009_failed_states_

index_interactive_map_and_rankings.

 

———————————–

On the Economic and Business Front

———————————-

 

10. Month-on-Month Inflation Rises in June… Following five

months of deflation since January 2009, the country recorded a

month-on-month inflation of 0.6 percent in June primarily due to a

rapid increase in prices of non-food products which rose by 1.45

percent. Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages actually fell

by 1.26 percent in June compared to a decline of just 0.84 percent

in May 2009.

 

11. Demutualization of Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) Begins…

Following the Finance Minister’s mid-year fiscal policy review

statement on the demutualization of the ZSE, the Chief Executive

Officer of the bourse is now busy producing a document outlining the

processes to be followed in forming a company. He believes that the

ZSE will be demutualized by end of August 2009, thereby unlocking

value by allowing more shareholders to invest on the local bourse.

 

12. Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) Repairs Dragline…

According to a report in the Herald (July 23, 2009), HCCL has

finished some interim repairs to its dragline but more work still

needs to be done to the supporting equipment used together with the

dragline in coal mining. All repair works are expected to be

completed by the third week of August, paving the way for increased

Qcompleted by the third week of August, paving the way for increased

coal output at the company.

 

13. Zimbabwe-South Afric Investment Agreement Soon… At a

breakfast seminar organized by business to discuss the fiscal review

statement, the Minister of Finance assured stakeholders that the

long-awaited Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement with South

Africa would be concluded within a few weeks. Failure to conclude

the agreement has been blamed for the low take-up of investment

opportunities in Zimbabwe by South African businesses who expressed

concern over guarantees on security of investments during a visit in

April 2009.

 

—————–

 

HARARE 00000613 003.2 OF 003

 

 

Quote of the Week

—————–

 

14. “We are slowly liberating ourselves from the era of economic

fascism and economic hedonism……… We have a duty to rise above

the mediocrity of subjectivities and the sterility of conflict. We

have a duty to ignore the long sulk of godfathers. Zimbabwe is too

valuable a dream to be squandered.” — Finance Minister Tendai Biti,

delivering his mid-term budget statement.

 

 

DHANANI

 

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