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Cablegate: Media Report State Newspaper Attacks Goz Minister;

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

170736Z Oct 03

UNCLAS HARARE 002080

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/PDPA FOR DALTON, MITCHELL AND SIMS
NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR GURNEY
PARIS FOR NEARY
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KPAO KMDR ZI
SUBJECT: MEDIA REPORT STATE NEWSPAPER ATTACKS GOZ MINISTER;
HARARE


1. Under headline "Take urgent steps to arrest inflation"
the government-controlled daily newspaper "The Herald"
(circulation 50 - 70,000) dedicated its October 16
editorial to attacking Finance Minister Dr. Herbert Murerwa
and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) for doing nothing to
arrest the run-away inflation in the country. This could
be the first direct salvo on one of Robert Mugabe's key
minister's since the economic downturn started in 1999 by
this newspaper that has long been the leading propaganda
organ for the Mugabe administration. Excerpts of the
unusual editorial follow:

2. "The Achilles' heel of Zimbabwe's economy is the
spiraling inflation, which has now reached a peak of
455,5 percent. There is need to act quickly to
contain the rampant inflation, a major contributor
to declining standards of living and deepening
poverty levels. . .The Minister of Finance and
Economic Development, Dr. Herbert Murerwa, is aware
of how bad the inflation has risen but has not done
anything that could see a deceleration of the
inflation. . .It is that the minister and the
central bank, which acts as an adviser to the
government on economic matters, have not done
anything to ensure that inflation stops
accelerating. . .Both the Ministry of Finance and
Economic Development and the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe have apparently been spectators standing on
the sidelines while inflation has been worsening. .
.We urge Dr. Murerwa to act timeously (sic) on
critical issues like inflation, which have serious
repercussions on the entire economy and livelihood
of the people."

SULLIVAN

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