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ZANUPF and MDC resolve some outstanding issues

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai announced on 21 May 2009 thatthe three political parties that formed the inclusive government had reached agreement on the contentious issues of division of governorships, appointment of permanent secretaries and ambassadors, and the delayed swearing in of Roy Bennett as Deputy Minister of Agriculture.

The portfolio responsibilities for communications in Zimbabwe were also resolved.

The Ministry of Information Communications Technology led by Nelson Chamisa of the MDC-T would retain control over Zimbabwe’s telecom and postal parastatals but would cede the responsibility for the Interception of Communications Act to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development led by Nicholas Goche of ZANU-PF.

The Ministry of Media Information and Publicity, led by Webster Shamu of ZANU-PF, would oversee the Broadcasting Act.

The three parties still disagreed on the appointments of central bank governor Gideon Gono and attorney general Johannes Tomana.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09HARARE431, ZANU-PF AND MDC-T RESOLVE SOME OUTSTANDING ISSUES

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09HARARE431

2009-05-21 18:04

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO0192

OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0431/01 1411604

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 281104Z MAY 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4526

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2845

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2964

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1403

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2227

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2592

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 3012

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5453

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2136

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000431

 

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

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR MICHELLE GAVIN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/21/2019

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: ZANU-PF AND MDC-T RESOLVE SOME OUTSTANDING ISSUES

 

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

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (SBU) Prime Minister Tsvangirai announced on May 21 that

the three political parties had reached agreement on the

contentious issues of division of governorships, appointment

of permanent secretaries and ambassadors, and the delayed

swearing in of Roy Bennett as Deputy Minister of Agriculture.

The portfolio responsibilities for communications in

Zimbabwe were also resolved. However, the three parties

still disagree on the appointments of RBZ Governor Gideon

Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana. The announcements

break a deadlock that had forced the MDC-T to appeal to SADC

for resolution, though SADC will still be asked to review the

Gono and Tomana appointments. END SUMMARY.

 

—————————————-

Deal Reached on Long Contested Issues…

—————————————-

 

2. (C) Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s advisor, Ian

Makone, met with poloff on May 21 to clarify the terms of the

recent agreement between the three political parties on

outstanding issues including the appointment of permanent

secretaries, governors, ambassadors, Roy Bennett, and the

controversial appointments of Reserve Bank Governor Gideon

Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana.

 

3. (SBU) On May 20, President Mugabe’s spokesperson, Misheck

Sibanda, announced that an agreement had been reached to

retain all of the permanent secretaries unilaterally

nominated by Mugabe in late February. The announcement

failed to mention that in exchange the MDC-T would receive

five out of ten governorships, four out of five vacant

ambassadorships, and Mugabe’s acquiescence on swearing

Bennett into his position as Deputy Minister of Agriculture.

 

4. (C) On governors, Makone said that the provinces of

Masvingo, Manicaland, Matabeleland North, and the two

municipal provinces — Bulawayo and Harare — would be filled

by MDC-T appointees. Mashonaland West, Mashonaland Central,

Mashonaland East, and Midlands would be filled by ZANU-PF.

The MDC-M would receive Matabeleland South. Makone clarified

that the governorships would be filled in the next few weeks,

rather than waiting for their terms to expire later this

year. Five current ambassadorial vacancies would be filled

by four MDC-T nominees and one MDC-M nominee. Future

vacancies would be divided equitably.

 

5. (SBU) The ministerial responsibilities over

communications in Zimbabwe were also clarified. The Ministry

of Information Communications Technology led by Nelson

Chamisa of the MDC-T will retain control over Zimbabwe’s

telecom and postal parastatals (Telone, NetOne and Zim Post),

but will cede the responsibility for the Interception of

Communications Act to the Ministry of Transport and

Infrastructural Development led by Nicholas Goche of ZANU-PF.

The Ministry of Media Information and Publicity, led by

Q The Ministry of Media Information and Publicity, led by

Webster Shamu of ZANU-PF, will oversee the Broadcasting Act.

 

—————————————–

… Though Still Stuck on Gono and Tomana

—————————————–

 

6. (SBU) The long contentious issue of Bennett’s appointment

may also be resolved. Tsvangirai announced that Bennett

would be sworn in at the same time the governors assume their

posts. While Bennett will be allowed to take his deputy

 

HARARE 00000431 002 OF 002

 

 

ministerial position, the charges against him of possessing

weapons to be used in banditry, sabotage, and terrorism will

not be dropped.

 

7. (C) One area where progress was not achieved was on the

status of Gono and Tomana. The Tsvangirai camp is holding

firm that Gono must be fired because as a matter of legality

his appointment was not in line with the Inter-party

Political Agreement that formed the unity government. Makone

believed that Mugabe had resisted his dismissal because “Gono

knows too much.” This was a reference to Gono’s central role

in maintaining the ZANU-PF patronage scheme. The MDC-T hoped

that they would be able to check Tomana for overstepping his

legal authority by personally ordering the arrest of

individuals, including two journalists last week.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

8. (C) While ZANU-PF has yet to confirm this agreement, if

adopted, these announcements are positive indicators that

Tsvangirai and Mugabe are able to reach agreement when

absolutely necessary. In particular, the MDC’s receipt of

five governorships will be beneficial in curtailing the

specter of ZANU-PF-led violence and intimidation in these

provinces during the next electoral cycle. It may also prove

beneficial on rule of law issues in these provinces that

include some contentious farms and the Chiadzwa diamond

fields.

 

9. (C) However, the most important issues were not settled,

as Gono and Tomana remain despite Tsvangirai’s best efforts.

This is critical because international assistance may hinge

on Gono’s dismissal, and Tomana has been actively subverting

the judicial system and threatening press freedom. END

COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

(5 VIEWS)

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