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Who will be beheaded first- Gono, Mugabe, Mutambara, Chihuri…?

A five-minute video simulating a hostage situation of prominent Zimbabweans which was posted on YouTube and ended with the beheading of a cardboard cut-out of central bank governor Gideon Go0no after a litany of charges against him were raised, found its way onto the Wikileaks cables.

The video accepted votes on who should be beheaded next from a cast that included President Robert Mugabe, opposition leader Arthur Mutambara, police commissioner Augustine Chihuri and defence forces chief Constantine Chiwenga.

It was not clear why former South African President Thabo Mbeki who brought about the Zimbabwe settlement was thrown into the fray.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE918, ZIM NOTES 10-10-2008

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

08HARARE918

2008-10-14 06:23

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO4845

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0918/01 2880623

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 140623Z OCT 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3557

RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 2098

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2349

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2467

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0977

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1745

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2100

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2521

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4953

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1616

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000918

 

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 BECKY ERKUL

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O.12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ECON ZI

 

SUBJECT: ZIM NOTES 10-10-2008

 

———–

1. SUMMARY

———–

 

Topics of the week:

 

– Tsvangirai Suspends Talks…

– Teachers Unions Call for Cancellation of Exams…

– Mock Hostage Situation on YouTube…

– Inflation Gallops–Even By Official Standards…

– Zimbabwe Dollar Depreciates Sharply Despite New Policies…

– Dire Payment Situation, a Further Blow to the Economy…

– Macroeconomic Instability Undermines Export Competitiveness…

– ZSE Scaling New Heights…

 

———————————

2. Price Movements-Exchange Rate

and Selected products

———————————

 

Parallel rate for cash nearly tripled to Z$12,000:US$1

 

Check rate (see note below) was Z$3,500,000:US$1 against inter-bank

average of Z$185:US$1

 

Bread on the parallel market more than doubled to Z$10,000

 

Sugar shot up to $15,000/2kg

 

Petrol and diesel climbed to Z$10,000/liter

 

Note: Due to the suspension of the Real-Time Gross Settlement system

by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on October 3, Post will now be

reporting on the unofficial check transfer rate that individuals and

entities are using to make non-cash payments.

 

—————————–

On the Political/Social Front

—————————–

 

3. Tsvangirai Suspends Talks… Prime minister designate and MDC-T

president Morgan Tsvangirai suspended ministerial talks with ZANU-PF

on October 9, citing the need for the reengagement of mediator and

former South African president, Thabo Mbeki. Tsvangirai also called

for the involvement of SADC and the AU to reaffirm their commitment

as the deal’s guarantors. Tsvangirai made clear that the MDC-T

intends to negotiate the division of ministries collectively, as he

disputed that only Finance and Home Affairs were still being

contested. A statement released yesterday by Tsvangirai charges

ZANU-PF with negotiating in bad faith and using hate speech,

political discrimination, and trumped-up charges to divide the

country. See Harare 915.

 

4. Teachers Unions Call for Cancellation of Exams… Both the

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) and the Zimbabwe

Teachers’ Association called for the cancellation of public

examinations this year because students are unprepared following a

two month teacher’s strike, lack of materials, and disruptions

caused by elections-related violence. Cancelling the exams would

force several million children to repeat the school year. “For the

record, there was no meaningful learning and teaching in 2008 and

all examination classes are not prepared,” Takavafira Zhou, leader

of the PTUZ, told journalists.

 

5. Mock Hostage Situation on YouTube… A new five minute video

simulating a hostage situation of prominent Zimbabwean officials wa

recently posted to YouTube. The morbidly humorus video ends with

the beheading of a cardboard ut-out of Gideon Gono after a litany

 

HARARE 00000918 002 OF 003

 

 

of charges against him are raised. The “Survivor-style” show will

accept internet votes on who should be beheaded next from a cast

including Mugabe, Mbeki, Mutambara, Chihuri, and Chiwenga. Go to

http://www.youtube.com/

watch?v=K_aJzqOhtWY to view the video.

 

———————————-

On the Economic and Business Front

———————————-

 

6. Inflation Gallops–Even By Official Standards… According to

The Herald of October 9, Zimbabwe’s year-on-year rate of inflation

rose sharply from just over 11 million percent in June to 231

million percent in July 2008, with the month-on-month rate rising

from 839.3 percent to a massive 2,600 percent over the same period.

According to the Central Statistical Office, bread and cereals were

the main drivers of inflation in July as producers had to rely on

importing the ingredients.

 

7. Zimbabwe Dollar Depreciates Sharply Despite New Policies… The

local currency continued to depreciate massively on the parallel

market despite Gono’s policies of suspending all bank transfers to

curtail parallel market activities. People quickly replaced bank

transfers with checks and, as of October 9, the unofficial Zimbabwe

dollar check rate had depreciated by over 99.9 percent from

Z$70:US$1 on August 1 to US$3,500,000:US$1 while the cash rate fell

by 99.9 percent from Z$15:1 to Z$12,000 :US$1 over the same period.

 

8. Dire Payment Situation, a Further Blow to the Economy…

Hyperinflation is rapidly eroding the value of the new Z$20,000 note

introduced recently to quell unrest over cash availability. The

suspension of inter-bank transfers on October 3, cash shortages, the

low purchasing power of cash, plus empty shelves that render debit

cards in local currency useless have all exacerbated the payment

situation. In light of the lag in clearing checks, vendors who

accept checks are likely to jack up their prices faster than ever.

For their part, banks anticipate that their outdated check clearing

systems will be unable to handle the expected volume of checks. See

Harare 914.

 

9. Macroeconomic Instability Undermines Export Competitiveness…

Our response to a USITC request details the deteriorating road, rail

transport, electric power generation and distribution, and

telecommunications networks in Zimbabwe. Despite these limitations,

firms regarded Zimbabwe’s macroeconomic instability as the greatest

constraint on their export competitiveness. See Harare 898.

 

10. ZSE Scaling New Heights… Activity on the Zimbabwe Stock

Exchange continues to soar despite significant falls in most world

markets due to the current credit crunch. Although there was a lull

following the lopping off of 10 zeros on August 1, and the reduction

in the payment period from 7 to 3 days, the market has rebounded

since then. The recent suspension of bank transfers in preference

for checks has driven up prices to reflect the time required for

checks to clear. As a result, the benchmark industrial index rose

by a whopping 5,127,920 percent between August 1 and October 9,

while the mining index rose by 5,080,116 percent over the same

period.

 

—————–

Quote of the Week

—————–

 

11. Zimbabwe Independent columnist Chido Makunike in an article

published this week. “ZANU-PF is a revolutionary party. When it

wants to eat its own children, it will just accuse them of smelling

like goats.”

 

 

HARARE 00000918 003 OF 003

 

 

 

DHANANI

(25 VIEWS)

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